Shanah Tovah! Happy New Year to all those who are celebrating Rosh Hashanah this week and Yom Kippur next week. Sometimes called, “The High Holidays”, this important time brings the Jewish people in every community throughout the world together to welcome in a new year.
What heralds the beginning of these most joyous and, at the same time, most solemn days? It is the sound of the shofar–the ram’s horn–as trumpeted by someone especially trained to bring forth the power and the inspiration that come from its blasts. They are heard by all present in their synagogues or temples. The difficulty in being able to produce these awesome tones is significant in the meaning behind them.
Much has been written about the shofar and its significance at being sounded on these days of Rosh Hashanah. It seems to be calling out to us to remember! What is it that the Jewish people are asked to remember? Many emotions are stirred by the distinctive blasts of the shofar, especially the one, long, continuous tone at the end.
Of course, we remember those friends and family members who are not here any longer with us to celebrate the arrival of a new time. People are filled with the memories of their loved ones who touched their lives in so many ways .In addition, however, as congregation members listen to the sounds of the shofar, they are reminded that the Jewish people are indeed as one, celebrating this season all over the world in the same manner and with the same devotion.
United through a common history and cultural heritage, the Jewish people carry on the traditions of those who have lived and indeed sacrificed at times their own lives so that future generations might practice and enjoy their faith without fear.The shofar,however, does not cry out to us to remember and pray only for the sweetness of the new year for Jewish families throughout our communities. It sounds as a reminder to pray and work for peace in the world for everyone.
The incredible sounds of the shofar remind us to pray for the well-being and happiness for all people.Just as those who lived before this time, the Jewish people today must hear and heed the blasts of the shofar to make a safe and beautiful world for their children and for the children of the future. Listen! Can you hear its distictive sound? Once again, Shanah Tova to all!