Rav Chatzkel Levenstein, the mashgiach of Mir Yeshiva, once came into the beis medrash of Mir and went over to two bochurim who were learning and asked them what day in Elul it was. They didn’t know right away, so they started to make a cheshbon, trying to remember when Rosh Chodesh Elul was. One of them turned to the other and asked, “Nu, what day of Elul is it?” His chavrusa said, “It’s either the 9th or 10th of Elul.” When Rav Chatzkel heard this, he gave a shrei and said, “Bochurim! You don’t know what day it is in Elul?!
The month of Elul is a month for introspection and becoming aware of what one’s challenges are in this world. Do you know what our biggest challenge is? The biggest challenge that everybody has in this world is the same one. I share the same challenge as all of you. We both share a common enemy, and that enemy’s name is yeitzer hara or as the chassidim say yaitzer hurah or as the Sefardim say yeitzer ha-rah. But whatever the name is, however you pronounce it, it’s all the same thing, it’s the same enemy.