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Rosh HaShanah: The Challenge of the Shofar

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Something strange happens on Rosh Hashana. We spend hours declaring God’s majesty, using poetic and unique phrases. We refer to Him as the Ultimate King and Mover of the World. We ask Him to strengthen and reinforce His relationship with us and to show us His omnipotence.

But the ultimate prayer of this day is a sound that carries no words, and it is the only biblical commandment of the day: the blowing of the shofar.

What is there in a sound that words cannot express? And why do we hear this sound only once a year, on Rosh Hashana, when we remind ourselves of the Creation and of the radical new beginning in our lives; when we repent, turn over a new leaf, and recreate ourselves?

The blowing of the shofar proves that we can surpass ourselves. On our own, using only our vocal cords, we are unable to produce this sound—a terrifying, awesome, penetrating resonance. We can scream, howl, and wail, but nothing more than that. Our reach is limited. Alone, we cannot produce any sound that comes close to........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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