Shofar

The Shofar

IMG_5977_2The Rambam tells us, when we hear the sound of the shofar we must “wake up”; remembering who we are, and where we belong. Hashem brought our soul into the world with an specific mission, but it is easy to forget our mission. The Shofar is the alarm clock that wakes us up from our distractions – recalling our mission in life.

On Rosh Hashanah we blow the shofar on both days 100 times. (except on shabbos)

We start blowing the shofar during the month of Elul to awaken us to do Teshuvah, and strengthen our bond with Hashem.

• The shofar should be of a ram’s horn, reminding us of akeidat Yitzchok, it should be curved to show that we are ready to bend our will for the Will of Hashem.

• The sound of the Shofar sounds like a cry telling us to wake up to do teshuvah.

• The sheep is spiritually rooted in the attribute of mercy, it evokes mercy and compassion when it bleats.

We blow the shofar to evoke the thirteen attributes of mercy.

The ShofarIMG_3533

The shofar is made from an animal. An animal has a simple language.

The shofar is a simple horn, blown with a simple tone, that comes from an inner heart, not  a complex intellect.

A cry of words is an intellectual act; a cry from the heart is instantaneous.

The animal represents our own animal soul. The sounding of the shofar reminds us that we should serve Hashem even from our basest level. Our service of G-d must penetrate down to the most actual and real level – to the power of action represented by our animal soul.

Rosh Hashanah is the day of creation of man, but instead of showing superiority over other creatures, we sound the hollowed out horn of an animal, making a simple tone, showing our connection with the animal.

Before we use the intellect to serve Hashem we must show simple humility.

ActivityDifference-Between-Trumpet-and-Cornet1

•  Compare different instruments to the raw sound of the shofar.

• Notice how blowing the shofar has a sensation of inner cry

Teruah:

Tero’eim: “Pounding and shattering”

• Shattering and nullifying the ego, repentance from the heart.

Vetervot: “Affection and friendship”

• G-d’s great affection to us

Hashem wants us to do teshuvah because He loves us, by doing teshuvah we are connecting with Hashem, bringing out affection and friendship.

Shofar Sounds:

Tekiah: (utakir)

We act with vigor so that this awakening will penetrate our entirety and last for the whole year.

Shevarim: (shattered heart- lev hishbor)IMG_7498

We shatter our heart remembering what we did wrong

Teruah:

We shatter the larger fragments into smaller ones.

Activity

• Visualize the sounds using the shofar sound strips

• Blow the shofar

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