Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Ten Reasons For Sounding the Shofar on Rosh HaShanah (Saadiah Gaon)

"1.  God completed the creation of the heavens and the earth on Rosh ha-Shanah thus establishing His sovereignty over the Universe.  We herald our acknowledgement of HIs being King with blowing the shofar.

2.  Rosh ha-Shanah is the beginning of the Ten Days of Penitence.  The shofar admonishes us to repentance.

3.  It is to remind us of the momentous occasion when we stood at the foot of Mt. Sinai and received the Torah amidst the sound of the shofar.

4.  It is to impress upon us the importance of the Prophets, and their exhortations which are compared to the blasts of a shofar.

5.  The broken blasts (shevarim) of the shofar remind us of the destroyed Temple.  We must pray for its rebuilding and the restoration of its services.

6.  We must remember and emulate Abraham's readiness to obey God and sacrifice his son Isaac.  It was a ram that was substituted for Isaac, hence the use of a ram's horn.

7.  The stirring sounds of the shofar prompt us to address our prayers to God with broken hearts and feelings of awe. 

8.  It helps us recognize the solemnity of the day and to be imbued by its sanctity.

9.  To remind us of the day of the ingathering of the Jews into the Land of Israel, an event which will be heralded by the blasts of the shofar.

10.  To impress upon us the belief in the resurrection of the dead, which will also be heralded by the shofar sounds in the Messianic era," pg. 190 of The Minhagim by Abraham Chill

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