Beit Midrash

  • Shabbat and Holidays
  • The Essence of Rosh Hashana
To dedicate this lesson

The Torah study is dedicated in the memory of

Freicha daughter of Ester

Will you be Tuned in? A Message for Rosh Hashana.

Why is it that only the angels respond to the sound of the shofar?; Are we tuned in?


Rabbi Yaakov Zev

On Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, we recite the moving and emotional prayer, "Unetaneh Tokef," which mentions "the great shofar that is sounded" and "the gentle whisper that is heard" How can it be that a most powerful instrument is blown, and yet only a thin whisper of a sound is heard? And, furthermore, why is it that only the angels respond to the sound of the shofar? Why do ordinary men and women not hear and react to the call?

We know that in order to hear a radio broadcast or watch a television show, we must first switch on the radio or the TV. Sounds and pictures are broadcast all the time all over the world, but in order for us to receive the signals, the radio or TV must be operating and tuned to the right frequency. God too is constantly sending out messages, but only those people who are "tuned in" to the right frequency are able to hear these messages.

55 years ago, G-d created the State of Israel, broadcasting a clear and simple message to the Jewish people all over the World: "Come Home." But apparently the antenna of the Jewish people was tuned to the wrong frequency, and so they failed to respond. In 1967, God sent out another major wake-up call to the Jewish people. Some of our people began to respond and headed home. But that message was soon lost among those Jews still living on the Diaspora frequency, and they did not return. And so, the messages continue, every day and in so many ways.

When you hear the Shofar this Rosh Hashana, will you hear the message, "Come Home," or the usual hundred blasts that you have heard for so many years?

Will you be tuned in?

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