UNDER CONSTRUCTION
ROSH HASHANAH
Yom Teruah
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Shofar


{Ram's Horn}

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Rosh Hashanah ~ The beginning of the year, commonly referred to as New Year, a festival occurring on the first two days of the Hebrew month of Tishri. It ushers in the most solemn period of the Jewish year, the ten days of penitence, and culminates in Yom Kippur on the 10th day of the month. The 1st of Tishri is designated in the Bible as Zichron Teruah, a memorial of the sounding of the shofar ram's horn and Yom Teruah, a day of sounding the shofar. According to the rabbis, Rosh Hashanah commemorates the creation of the universe, and on this day the Almighty sits in judgment of His creatures. In the words of the Mishnah, "On Rosh Hashanah, all that come into the world pass before Him like flocks of sheep." In the observance of Rosh Hashanah the accent is on prayer and repentance.

The call to repentance is already issued during the month of Elul preceding Rosh Hashanah when each morning, at the end of the Shacharit, the shofar is sounded to prepare the people for the coming holy days. While the shofar was sounded in ancient times on various occasions such as the proclaiming of the Jubilee year or the appointing of a king, it is now almost entirely confined to use in the synagogue during the high festival period. Many interpretations have been given for the significance of the sounding of the shofar on the high festivals, chief among which are the following:

Since Rosh Hashanah is the anniversary of the creation, the shofar-tones are equivalent to the sounds of jubilation attendant on the proclamation of G-d as King of the Universe

The ram's horn reminds us of the ram offered instead of Yitzchak as a sacrifice, and of Avraham's unconditional obedience to the word of G-d

The shofar is also reminiscent of the revelation at Mt. Sinai which was accompanied by its sounding

The shofar awakens us from our spiritual slumber, urges us to repent and not to waste our lives in pursuit of material things which are only temporary an fleeting

To remind us of the words of the Neviim, which were compared to the sounding of the shofar, "And whoever hears the sound of the shofar {the call of the Nevi'im} and takes no warning....if the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be upon his own head; whereas, if he had taken heed, he would have saved his soul {Yechezkel 33:1-7}

To remind us of the destruction of the Beit Mikdash and the trumpet-warning of the enemy attack. When we hear the shofar's sound, we are to pray to G-d for the rebuilding of the Beit Mikdash

To recall our faith in the future resurrection of the dead. As it says,"All you inhabitants of the world, and you who dwell in the earth; when a banner is lifted on the mountains you shall see, and when the shofar is sounded you shall hear" {Yeshayahu 18}


Rosh Hashanah thus bears a universal message...a message of yearning for the establishment of G-d's sovereignty over the entire world and for the day "that all works may revere Thee and all creatures prostrate themselves before Thee, that they may all form a single band to do Thy will with a perfect heart"



ROSH HASHANAH


Rosh Hashanah ~Portrays many themes and teaches many concepts.