The period of Ellul through to Hoshanna Rabba is suggested by the word Aryeh – אריה – in the verse “The lion has roared, who will not fear?” (Amo 3:8) as an acronym.
The alef – א is Ellul.
The reish – ר is Rosh HaShana.
The yud – י is Yom Kippur.
The hey – ה is Hoshanna Rabba.
These are the four time elements of a month and days that instill in us awe, respect and even fear – of our doings this past year, of the things we could have done, of the things we could have done better, of the things we shouldn’t have done as we did them. And of what awaits us in this coming year and can we do better.
I thought to add that we have just celebrated Shmini Atzeret/Simchat Torah, a holiday of joy, of happy expressions. We have the Torah and we have the way to do better.
If we engage not in a feeling of fear and awe but, in a feeling of joy, we use the tools by which to do good, our joy and happiness will exponentially increase and erase that feeling of dread.
May we be blessed with a good new year.