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The Mystery of the Shofar...

By Zanna Linskaia

Why do we blow the shofar on Rosh-HaShanah?

And why the blowing of the shofar is one of the mystical commandment of the High Holidays?

The great Torah sage, Rav Saadiah Gaon, who lived in 9th century

mentioned 10 different reasons for blowing the shofar - to stir our

conscience, to confront our past mistakes and return to G-d.

But the most important in the ancient time was the fact that shofar is

reminiscent of a trumpet that was blow during the coronation of the King

of the Kings. Are we going to listen to coronation sound of the new

British and Commonwealth King Charles III?

The shofar service conducted after the Torah reading begins with the

story of the binding of Isaac. It calls to remind the image of the ram

stuck in the bush that Abraham sacrificed instead of his son. There are

different blasts in the Torah - tekiah - long note, like King coronation,

shevarim - sound of weeping and t’ruah - short, staccato sounds, like

alarm. The last blast - tekiah gdola concludes the service with a hope

toward the future in a new year.

If you turn the Shofar on its side, it looks like a question mark and its

blasts draw our attention to the most important question - Who we are?

Sometimes, the Shofar may simply refuse to make any sound at all.

There is always a mystery, always a question! To whom is this question

addressed? Jewish law has a clear answer. We have to listen to it by

ourselves - What can I do and what can I give?

The sound of Shofar is also universal call, deeper than a human sound.

It is a voice of eternity and spirit of creation!


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