Shalom and Bracha!
May Hashem inscribe and seal you and all of your family and all
who are dear to you in the book of life for a good and sweet
year brimming with health, happiness, wealth, peace, success,
fulfillment and joy.
The primary Mitzvah of Rosh Hashanah is the Mitzvah of the
Shofar, the ram’s horn. The Shofar has many aspects. Firstly, it
reminds us of the binding of Yitzchak, which occurred on and is
read in the Torah in Rosh Hashanah. When Avraham showed his
readiness to sacrifice his son, Hashem told him not to. He
sacrificed a ram instead. The ram’s horn serves as a reminder
both to us and to Hashem. It reminds us that when we accept
Hashem’s Kingship, it must be a full acceptance. It reminds
Hashem of the tremendous devotion of our forefathers and that He
should grant us a good year in their merit.
Further, the Shofar reminds us of the giving of the Torah. The
entire time the Torah was given, the sound of the Shofar was
heard. This reminds us to rededicate ourselves to the Torah and
Hashem to bless us because of our acceptance of the Torah.
Rambam writes that although the Shofar is a decree of Hashem,
and must be followed without knowing the reason, it serves as a
wake up call. Throughout the year we are overwhelmed with
mundane pursuits and forget our Divine purpose. The Shofar wakes
us up to return to Hashem. The eerie sound of the Shofar awakens
within us our innate awe of G-d. The Shofar is also a symbol of
coronation, because on Rosh Hashanah we crown Hashem as our
King. The sound of the Shofar also hints to a person crying.
When we stand before Hashem on Rosh Hashanah and reflect on our
mistakes, we cry for forgiveness and acceptance.
There are two beautiful parables concerning the Shofar from the
Baal Shem Tov and Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev. There was
once a King who went hunting. As he traveled deep into the
forest, he became separated from his royal entourage. When he
reached a road, no one recognized him. Whomever he approached
laughed at him for claiming to be the king. Finally, one wise
person listened carefully and thought deeply and recognized that
he must be the king. He returned him to the palace and the
throne. In gratitude, the king made him his viceroy and gave him
great wealth. Eventually, the man abused his power and was to be
punished by the king. He told the king that he has but one
request: they both should don the same garments they wore on the
day they met. The king acquiesced, and as he donned the hunting
garb he recalled what it was like to be without a kingdom and
his mercies were aroused. He forgave the viceroy who returned to
his glory. When Hashem created the world, He wished that His
Kingship be should recognized by all. The Midrash teaches that
Hashem offered the Torah to all of the nations. Only the Jewish
people accepted. At that time, the sound of the Shofar was
heard. Each year, on the Day of Judgment, we don the “garment”
of the Shofar and Hashem grants us a good year.
Another parable is of a king who sent his prince to a distant
land in order to mature and accomplish outside of the palace.
The prince quickly squandered his resources and began to
assimilate with the common folk. After time, he lost his royal
garments and tongue and any semblance of royalty. After a time,
he decided to return to his father. When he reached the palace
gates, the guards refused him, because he had neither royal
garments nor tongue. After trying to enter again, they beat him.
He cried from the depths of his heart, “Father! Save me!” Upon
hearing his voice, the king came down from his chamber and
brought his son into the palace. Hashem sends a soul to this
world to follow the paths of Torah. Sometimes, we are lacking in
the “garments of Mitzvot or the royal language. When we blow the
Shofar, the cry of the heart, Hashem welcomes us and grants us a
final meaning of the Shofar is that the sound we will hear
announcing the coming of Moshiach is the Great Shofar. May we
speedily hear the Great Shofar of the redemption this year!
L’shana Tovah Tikateiv V’teichateim!
you be written and inscribed for a good year!