It’s not the blowing…writes Rabbi Michoel Gourarie

September 16, 2016 by Rabbi Michoel Gourarie
Read on for article

We are just over two weeks away from Rosh Hashanah, the beginning of a new year.  

Rabbi Michoel Gourarie

Rabbi Michoel Gourarie

On Rosh Hashanah, the highlight of the service is the blowing of the Shofar. Ten days later at the very end of Yom Kippur, the piercing shrill of the Shofar signals the end of the fast.
The Midrash states that although many nations blow trumpets or bagpipes, there is something different and unique about the sounds of the Shofar. It is only the Shofar that causes G-d to “sit on the throne of mercy” and bless each of us with a good and sweet year. What is the secret of the Shofar?

With the blowing of any instrument the skill lies in the ability to blow. The player is the skilled one who is able to produce musical, loud and beautiful notes. The greater the talent of the musician the more complex and musical are the sounds that he produces. Those that listen sit back, relax and passively enjoy the performance.

The Shofar is very different. The Mitzvah is actually not to blow the Shofar. The Mitzvah is to listen to the sounds that it produces. With the Shofar the skill is not with the one who blows. The real effort and talent are with those that listen, absorb and internalize its message. The notes that we produce don’t even have to be beautiful or musical. What is critical to the experience is to listen intently to those sounds, absorbing their power and intense holiness.

Each sound has a story and a message. Every note wakes us up, reminding us of our pure and pristine soul that is the essence of our identity. By listening and absorbing the sounds we are able to peel away our exterior and discover our true self.

So when you hear the last sound of Shofar at the end of this Yom Kippur close your eyes, listen hard and hold on to the experience for the rest of year.

Speak Your Mind

Comments received without a full name will not be considered
Email addresses are NEVER published! All comments are moderated. J-Wire will publish considered comments by people who provide a real name and email address. Comments that are abusive, rude, defamatory or which contain offensive language will not be published

Got something to say about this?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.