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Posts Tagged ‘Jewish New Year’

Rosh Hashanah is one of my favorite holidays.  It is known as the birthday of the world–the beginning of creation. It comes at a beautiful time of year, when school is starting and the weather is getting cooler and it is filled with the promise of new beginnings.

The most prevalent symbol of the Jewish New Year is the shofar.  For Jews, one of the requirements of the holiday is to hear the blasts of the shofar. I’ve always found that interesting because most “mitzvot” or commandments, are about doing something active. Like saying a prayer or wearing a head covering.  This one is different. It’s about listening.

The shofar is not an easy thing to get a sound out of. Some of the  best players are often those who have experience playing brass instruments. Fortunately, you don’t need to be able to play the shofar, you only need to be able to hear it. The sound is amazing. If you close your eyes, you can imagine yourself looking up at a hilltop and seeing an ancient shepherd alerting people for miles around of a momentous occasion.  It is loud and it vibrates and fills the room.

The sound of the shofar shakes us from our fog and forces us to sit up and pay attention.  It makes us aware of the moment.  It’s literally a wake-up call. Now that we are awake, now what?

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