In the midst of the month of ELUL, the month preceding the High Holy Days; it is during this month that the voice of the Jewish People – Kol Am Yisrael – is heard. Our People’s voice is heard every morning of the month after Shacharit/morning services – through the blasting of the Shofar – the ram’s horn (except for the first and last days of the month to make a clear distinction between rabbinic ruling and the Torah’s commandment to blow Shofar on Rosh HaShanna).
Why did the rabbis feel the need to create this ruling, to blow the Shofar throughout the month of Elul? Is it not enough during the High Holy Days?
Deep reflection is not to be taken lightly. Just as we invest our time and energy in our professional aspirations, and other needs and desires – so too we must invest in reflecting on our lives, searching for the very essence of who and why we are.
The Shofar blast every morning is meant to remind us of this very purpose; an alarm clock that awakens us from a deep, at times mundane slumber. The blasts of the Shofar scream out on behalf of our souls: CAN YOU HEAR ME?!
It is also during this period of reflection that the process of asking forgiveness for the wrong we have done to others begins (God cannot forgive us for sins done to others until we obtain forgiveness from them).
The combination of hearing the Shofar blast, and taking responsibility for our actions, is part of a journey towards heightened awareness in three areas: between one and one’s self, between one another, and one and God –
ben adam l’atzmoh, ben adam l’havero, u’ben adam l’makom.
It’s never too late to get started – your return on investment is priceless
– feel the Shofar blast!– Rabbi Leor Sinai