CALL OF THE SHOFAR
The shofar with its pure and piercing sound awakens and reminds us of our origin, responsibility, and destiny. The sound originates from the breath of Man, the life-force infused by Hashem into Adam.
The shofar with its pure and piercing sound awakens and reminds us of our origin, responsibility, and destiny. The sound originates from the breath of Man, the life-force infused by Hashem into Adam. On Rosh Hashanah, we approach Hashem with our breath of life and offer it through the shofar as a plea for mercy, asking Hashem to inscribe us in the Book of Life.
The shofar produces the ultimate voice conveying thoughts deeper than any words could produce, and its sound rises above our limited cognitive and vocal faculties. The sound of the shofar is the sound of the soul reaching out to its Creator. It is the sound which relates back to one of Man's greatest moments - the binding of Isaac, representing the supreme test of Abraham's devotion and willingness to follow Hashem's command despite overwhelming emotional and intellectual considerations to the contrary. It is the sound which accompanied the giving of the Torah, and is the great sound which will herald in the coming of the Mashiach (Messiah).
The structure of the shofar sounds are smooth, broken, and smooth again. The first uniform tone reflects the original straight and upright condition of Man. The broken sound represents the altered condition of Man as he stumbles in sin. The third straight tone represents the repaired state, which we hope will come speedily in our days, in which Hashem will return Mankind to its original dignity.
May we be worthy to hear and heed the many profound messages of the shofar, and may Hashem inscribe the entire Jewish people for a year of health and peace.
Steve Lerner is an attorney in Atlanta.
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