Tag Archives: shofar

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Adina Allen

Will We Listen?

(Ki Tavo, Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8) In this week’s parsha, Moses sets two paths before the Israelites as they prepare to enter the land. If they heed God’s word, the Israelites will be blessed in every way possible and will be established as am kadosh, a holy people to God. If, however, they do not heed God, they will be cursed in every way imaginable. Their communities will be torn apart, their… Read Article →

Rabbinical School Divrei Torah Daniel-Lehmann

The Dual Nature of Shofar

This reflection is an excerpt from the Hebrew College High Holiday Companion, published in August 2017, for study and reflection during the High Holidays. Learn more and order your copy. The sounding of the shofar, the ram’s horn, during the month of Elul leading up to Rosh Hashanah and on Rosh Hashanah itself, has a dual nature. In one of the classic medieval codes of Jewish law, the Arba’ah Turim, the laws… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Shofar

Wake Up to a New Year: A Yom Kippur Reflection

The shofar blasts on Rosh Hashanah are designed to wake us up. How do we avoid hitting the snooze button, rolling over, and going back to sleep once the holiday passes? That is the goal of Yom Kippur – to keep us spiritually awake. In the days of the ancient Temple in Jerusalem, Yom Kippur was primarily a day focused on ritual purity. While ritual purity and impurity may not… Read Article →

Rabbinical School Divrei Torah Hebrew College Tablet Logo

Meditation on Zikhronot (God’s Remembering)

In the Torah, Rosh HaShana is called yom teru‘ah “a day of sounding the shofar” (Num. 29:1) and zikharon teru‘ah “a remembrance of sounding the shofar” (Lev. 23:24), yet no reason is given for why we blow the shofar. If it is a day of remembering, what are we compelled to recall? Is the shofar meant to arouse our own memory, or God’s? For us, memory is an act of recollection, reassembling past events… Read Article →

Rabbinical School Divrei Torah Hebrew College Tablet Logo

The Routine Call of the Shofar

I know that we’re about to begin the month of Tishrei, the opening of the Jewish year, with Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and Sukkot, but humor me for a bit while I write about Pesah. In the Talmud Yerushalmi, Rabbi Levi says that “anyone who eats matzah on the day before Pesah is like a man who has sex with his fiancée in his father-in-law’s house,” i.e., prior to the… Read Article →