An enlightened New Year – Shanna Tova 5769

As we reflect and prepare for our entry into another space and time, I would like to share with you some of my reflections.

The only references to this period of judgment we are entering is found in Leviticus 23:23, “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall you have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of horns, a holy gathering.” and one in Numbers 29:1, “And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have an holy gathering; you shall do no labor; it is a day of blowing (the horn) for you.”

In each there is no mention of Rosh HaShanna rather – יום תרועה – A blasting day.
And so you may ask, then what does this reference to “a day of blowing the horn…” mean?
There are commentators that take this verse and apply it to the mitzvah of hearing the Shofar. The Talmud (Tractate Megillah 20a) explains that from here we learn that the Shofar is permitted to be heard all day, any time of the day – as it is said יוֹם תְּרוּעָה – a day of blasting.

R’ Shalom Noach Barzofsky, a early 20th century Hasidic master, explains, the language being used, “you should have a day of blasting”, יוֹם תְּרוּעָה יִהְיֶה לָכֶם: is not in command form, it does not tell us to “go and blast the shofar” as it would have said: Litko’ah shofar. Instead the language is passive. He goes further and explains that Rosh HaShanna, the very day itself, is in fact Yom Teru’a, a day whose core is a constant blast, a constant sounding of the horn; the essence of this day of judgement, the whole day itself, is one huge spiritual blast.

I pray we all merit a taste of such spiritual awareness and find ourselves living life as it should be.

Wishing us a year of health, happiness, and purpose.

Shanna Tova t’katevu u’techateimu

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