Rosh Hashanah Message – the meaning of the Shofar
Dearest Friends of Itamar,
It is hard to believe that another year is here. Rosh Hashanah brings us all back to the sixth day of creation where Hashem created man. It is brought down that the very day man was created he sinned and was expelled from the Garden of Eden. This day was Rosh Hashanah! Although we always have to work on ourselves and improve ourselves spiritually, this particular time is special because it was on Rosh Hashanah that Adam and Eve were judged. Therefore, every year at this time G-D judges all mankind. At the same time, He opens up the gates of mercy and allows our prayers and supplications to reach the highest spiritual worlds. This is done through the special mitzvah of the shofar which is the key that opens up these gates. The sound of the shofar brings us back to the receiving of the Torah as mentioned in the book of Shemot 19:16 “On the third day in the morning there was thunder and lightning and a heavy cloud on the mountain and the sound of the shofar was very strong and the entire camp was frightened.” It is interesting that the shofar mentioned in this verse is not sounded by man; it is Hashem Himself that sounded this shofar. The Talmud explains that the sound was so powerful that it reached every part of the world. The nations of the world were frightened by it as they did not have a clue of what was taking place. They turned to their leader Bilaam and asked him what is going on. He told them that G-D has a special treasure and that was hidden for 974 generations before the creation of the world and now he is giving it to His children, Israel. This is hinted to in Psalms 29:11 “G-D is giving might (Torah) to His nation and G-D will bless His nation with peace.” After the nations were told that Torah was being given to Israel they immediately blessed Am Yisrael saying – may G-D bless His nation with peace. It is only through the Torah that the entire world will be blessed as it says regarding Abraham – those who bless you will be blessed. The 70 nations of the world deep down know that without the nation of Israel bringing light unto all through the Torah, the world will remain null and void of true Godliness. By blessing Israel they will bring a blessing to themselves! Here we are thousands of years later and again there are sounds being heard from one end of the world to the next. The world is a mess. There are nations that are suffering from natural disasters like floods and earthquakes others are stricken with civil war and bloodshed. Crime, drug addiction, and iniquity are as common as disease. The financial crisis has hit almost every country. Who knows what tomorrow is going to bring? In order to put an end to these terrible tragedies, we all must repent and turn to Hashem. The nation of Israel that was set aside by G-D to lead the world to repentance by showing what the light of the Torah can do for all of mankind. Unfortunately, the nations have not yet accepted Israel as their teacher -instead they are going against us by outlawing circumcision and trying to create an Arab state on our homeland. Others are threatening to wipe us out with a nuclear bomb and the world remains idle. Others dare to distort and abuse our Holy Torah attempting to bring proof of their false gods. Let us turn these noises of negative energy into the sound of the shofar! As it says in Joel 2:1 Blow a Shofar in Zion, And shout aloud on My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, For the day of the Hashem is coming; Surely it is near.
Rabbi Moshe Goldsmith Itamar Israel
Erev Rosh Hashanah 5773