The month of Elul always begins around the week when we read the portion of Shoftim, which speaks of appointing judges (shoftim), anointing a king, and setting aside “Cities of Refuge” for those who killed unintentionally.

As there are no coincidences, we must ask ourselves: What lesson can we learn here?

As we approach the High Holidays, is the time to get closer to G‑d—not physically, but mentally and spiritually.

“Judges you shall place in all your gates.” Now is the time to take an account of the past year. Judge yourself and see if you have used your abilities to the fullest to fulfill G‑d’s will. Knowing where you stand is a great motivator. This is dealing with the past.

“Appoint a king over yourself.” Accepting G‑d as your King will move you to want to do His will, strengthening your commitment to Him. This is dealing with the future.

“You shall set aside three cities.” The month of Elul is a “City of Refuge” in time, a place to go for atonement. It’s an open opportunity to get closer to G‑d as His arms are open to forgive us.

G‑d, our king, is in the field. He is smiling, and he grants good to us all. All we need to do is go out and meet Him. This is a great opportunity; don’t waste it!

On a personal level, many of us are in relationships that just seem to be on autopilot. We don’t even realize that our significant other is hurt by this. We think all is fine.

If you think everything is fine, then you need to follow the next steps:

Revisit Relationships: When was the last time you sat together and talked a about what is important? Take an account of your relationship. This is dealing with the past.

Recognize the Other: What are his or her needs? If you can’t figure out on your own, ask him/her to tell you or to write it down. Strengthen your commitment to each other. This is dealing with the future.

Talk It Out: Don’t be afraid to go down this road because bettering your relationship is something you both want. Your significant other will be more than glad to work with you to improve your relationship.

Just imagine coming to shul this Rosh Hashanah knowing that you are one with G‑d and one with your spouse. What a way to start the year!