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Special Days

70: Listening to the Shofar

"A day of blowing you shall have." (Bemidbar 29:1)

We are commanded to blow a shofar, the hollowed-out horn of a ram, on Rosh HaShanah, thus proclaiming Hashem as our King on the New Year.

The shofar helps inspire us to repent. As we honor Hashem and proclaim His greatness, we think thoughts of our humility and prayer. We pray for forgiveness for our sins and recommit ourselves to the Torah and mitzvos.

Rosh Hashanah is the anniversary of the creation of the universe and is also the Day of Judgment, when each person's deeds are evaluated. The various sounds of the shofar help a person overcome his temptations and fortify his resolve to serve Hashem on a higher level (Sefer HaChinuch, mitzvah 405).

We use a ram's horn to remind ourselves to serve Hashem like our father Yitzchak, who was willing to give his life to Hashem (Rosh Hashanah 16a).

The curved shape of the shofar reminds us to bend our ego for Hashem (ibid. 26a).


Text Copyright 2007 by Rabbi Moshe Goldberger and Torah.org.


 
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