The timing of this election cycle's national conventions couldn't be more apropos—both the major parties choosing to schedule their conventions right around the onset of the auspicious month of Elul.

The purpose of these conventions is twofold: a) The selection of the parties' nominees for president; though, in recent years, with the adoption of the primary system, the convention's nomination process is a mere formality, with the identity of the nominee known well in advance. b) The adoption of the parties' respective platforms. These mission statements outline a party's beliefs and goals—which are regularly modified to reflect the fluctuating needs of the times as well as society's steadily progressing value system.

Nominating a leader and fine-tuning and recommitting to our mission statement. It would be difficult to find words that would better sum up the theme of the month of Elul.

Although G‑d is our king, the process whereby we coronate Him is actually quite democraticRabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi famously said that during Elul the "King is in the field." In a little less than one month we will gather in synagogues and, amidst the piercing blasts of the shofar, coronate G‑d as our king. (For more on this subject, see The Kabbalistic Spin on Rosh Hashanah and Days of Awe.) In advance of that momentous occasion, G‑d is on the campaign trail, hoping that we take the time and effort to nominate Him as our king. For although G‑d is our king, the process whereby we coronate Him is actually quite democratic. (For more on the Jewish concept of monarchy, see G‑d on the Campaign Trail and Moshiach: A Return to Monarchy?)

And just like today's conventions, the enthusiasm and excitement of the moment isn't diminished by that fact that the nominee's identity isn't really in doubt...

Practically, what does this mean? How do we nominate and then coronate G‑d as our king? This is where the "platform" comes into play. We accept G‑d as our king by pledging to be loyal subjects. During this month we examine the past year's deeds and goals, were they in line with what G‑d wants from us? For the coming year, does our platform need minor adjustment – based on an additional year's maturity and spiritual progression – or do we need to head on a new course altogether?

While conventions are serious business, with far-reaching national and even global implications, they aren't somber affaires at all. These affairs are characterized by cheering, celebration, and, most importantly, extreme confidence.

Yes, installing G‑d as king is serious stuff. But we do it with immense pride and joy, and supreme confidence that we will successfully pull it off.