Tag Archives: shofar

Rabbinical School Divrei Torah Daniel-Lehmann

The Dual Nature of Shofar

This reflection is an excerpt from the Hebrew College High Holiday Companion, to be published late summer 2017, for study and reflection during the High Holidays. Learn more and sign up for our pre-order list.  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… 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 →

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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 →

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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 →