The letters of our thoughts are the ideas present in our mind before they come to realization . . . Thoughts that are, yet not felt . . . The words of the subconscious . . . of the soul . . .


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Another Rosh Hashana Blog Post

Tomorrow night, Friday 18, September, the festival of Rosh Hashana begins.
When gather in synagogue the following morning, something will be conspicuously absent from the service - the blowing of the shofar.
The absences of such an integral mitzvah is based on a Talmudic dictum that forbids the use of the Shofar when Rosh Hashana coincides with the Sabbath. The decree was thus made to prevent someone from carrying the Shofar in public - a violation of Shabbat. True the Torah gives the Rabbinic body the authority to prevent possible transgressions and build 'fences' around Biblical law, however abrogating the blowing of the Shofar, a mitzvah that represents and accomplishes such lofty things, seems rather drastic.

The Chassidic masters explain that the day of Shabbat itself is able to bring down all of the divine revelations that the Shofar does during the week.

Let us take a better look at the Shofar. Like the trumpets blown by the coronation of a king, we blow the shofar to crown G-d, the supernal king of all kings, as our ruler once more on the anniversary of creation. Through the blowing of the shofar, the primordial scream of our soul to return to G-d and accept his presence anew in our lives, we make manifest once more His desire to rule over the world. Thus through our actions, we reveal G-ds inner pleasure and delight in His creations, reforging the bonds between us and Him. Shabbat is also a day of divine pleasure in the Creation, a day when G-d's infinite essence is manifest so strongly, that mundane work seems almost obscene, and thus forbidden.
 Since both moments, the blowing of the Shofar and the day of Shabbat, are points of pleasure above, the mitzvah of Shofar, then becomes almost a redundancy and is thus pushed off  due to the Rabbinic decree.

Interestingly enough, however, on Sunday - the second day of Rosh Hashana - we do blow the shofar. Why, one might ask, if Shabbat accomplishes the same inner purpose, do we need to blow the next day? The answer stresses the great power and responsibility that we have. True Shabbat does what the Shofar does and accomplishes the same sublime and lofty goals . . . but who makes Shabbat a holiday, who makes the divine pleasure manifest? Not you nor me, but rather G-d Himself. Thus a very important ingredient is missing from the pleasure of Shabbat - human action. 
On the second day of of Rosh Hashana, however, we blow the shofar in order that we - as a community, and as individuals - will once again reforge our covenent with the Creator. In other words - the whole world can be on the most sublime levels of revelation, but our actions as individuals are still needed.

May we all be blessed with a sweet new year of abundant blessings and revealed good!
-Mordechai Lightstone

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Altie said...

Amen. Same to you.

the sabra said...

like the pic