Tonight at sunset began the Feast of the Trumpets. I received an email from a friend that I wanted to share an excerpt:
"Tonight, on this sacred and momentous night, as the haunting call of the Shofar cries out to the world to prepare for HIS coming judgement, the Day of Atonement (Yom Kipppur) along with his imminent return, I feel a deeper sense of urgency to listen, to HEAR the shofar and let it pierce not just my ears, but my heart. As the events of these the "last days" in which we live continue to remind us that time is short, may we hearken to the soul stirring call of HIS Shofar, pleading with us to prepare and repent and to break down the walls around our hearts that would prevent us from doing so.
"There is one form of communication that comes from a place so deep within our souls that words cannot easily manipulate or control. Crying bursts forth involuntarily when we are touched to the very core of our being as a result of shock, tragedy or joy. Crying is the primal voice of the soul that bursts through to the surface.
The sound of the Shofar represents the human cry.Each note signifies a different emotion and the Shofar is meant to penetrate the deep recesses of a person’s soul and spiritually express the thoughts and feelings that words alone cannot describe.
What is it about the sound of the Shofar that elicits such a response? One of the basic concepts of Judaism is that the inner will of every soul is to connect with God in the deepest way possible. This desire does not always manifest itself readily because of a wall of resistance created by the evil inclination that inhibits the heart from breaking through. It is the blast of the Shofar that breaks down this wall. Like the fortifications surrounding Jericho, the Shofar cuts through all obstructions and frees us to do what is truly in our hearts – to love and connect with God. That freedom is fully expressed on Rosh Hashana, the day in which we are so acutely aware of our inner selves that no power or force can interfere with.
There is therefore no more appropriate way to announce the Jubilee Year, when all slaves were released, than with the clarion call of the Shofar. The instrument which liberates our soul from its shackles each year on Rosh Hashana has an unparalleled ability to inspire and is therefore the perfect way to “proclaim freedom throughout the land for all its inhabitants.”
written by Rabbi Tuly Weisz