Saturday, September 17, 2005

#142 Do They Hear It?

Musings #142
September 16, 2005
The 12th of Ellul

Do They Hear It?

As I write this, the music in the background is the sound of the shofar, the ram’s horn blown every morning at the end of prayers during the Jewish month of Ellul, which leads up to Rosh Hashannah, the Jewish New Year. And during Rosh Hashannah prayers the shofar is blown a total of at least one hundred blasts in three different patterns. There are times during the day, when it seems like everyone is practicing and shofrot blast from all over the neighborhood.

We are now in the month of reflection, when we’re supposed to do a “cheshbon nefesh,” an accounting, deep into our souls about our past year. This has been a very difficult year for many Jews and Israelis.

At the same time that the Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, is being praised in the United Nations, well known for its anti-Israel policies and decisions, people he uprooted from their homes
fear for their lives. Among them are the refugees from Elei Sinai who took the government’s offer to live in Carmiya, only to discover that their new homes in the Negev are much more dangerous than what they had left, especially since Gush Katif is Judenrein, no longer protecting the Negev and Southern coast. And this is the “peace” that the world is praising Sharon for.

At the same time that some of his opponents, “dangerous” teenage girls who trust in G-d as their
Judge, are still in jail, the government is letting leftist stone soldiers. Those violent leftists are being treated with “kid gloves” while the anti-Disengagement demonstrators have been punished worse than murderers for blocking traffic, asking for policemen’s names and playing “practical jokes.”

It is said that the sound the shofar makes reflects the soul of the blower, and it is a great honor to be asked to blow the shofar for the congregation of Rosh Hashannah. Even if one cannot attend prayers, for medical reasons, it’s required to hear the blasts. In Jewish communities it’s common for people to go from house to house blowing the shofar for those who could not hear it otherwise.

There are three basic types of blasts. Tekiyah is a long, strong sound, like a siren. Shvarim is three, equal attention-getting shorter wails. And Teru’ah is nine short, quick, strong jabs or blasts. I must admit that there are years when they hit me straight in the gut, transforming my seat by the far wall into something of another world. Only after the final magnificent Tekiyah Gedolah, Giant Tekiyah blast that I slowly sink back to earth. But I’m a “dancer at heart” and music strongly affects me.

I’m also a teacher and know that today’s pedagogic experts preach that there are many different learning styles and
intelligences. For me the three different shofar blasts remind us how different we all are. Not only do people learn differently, different speeds, senses etc, but we all relate to G-d differently, and we all need different types of reminders to repent.

For some people, one hint does the job, and it hits deeply into the soul, like the Tekiyah. Other people need periodic reminders, very much like Shvarim. And some, unfortunately, need a constant hammering away, to get them to wake up; it’s hard to ignore Teru’ah.

Whether we like it or not, we the Jewish People are judged as one. It’s a hard thing to accept, especially at times like this. It really doesn’t seem fair, that some Jews should suffer, because others are disengaged; they don’t care about our Nation.

Our job is to bring them back, each one according to his needs.

May the sound of the shofar awaken their souls and ours, so we will be united.

Gmar Chatima Tovah*,


*After the High Holidays, Rosh Hashannah, Yom Kippur, G-d either acceps or rejects our prayers. And Gmar Chatima asks that G-d signs us for life.

Batya Medad, Shiloh
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2 comments:

Marcel said...

What will be the outcome of the great effort Israeli PM. Sharon has gone to to please mortal men ?
Will this catastrophic failure unfolding before our eyes lead to the awakening of those who remain in Israel to forget pleasing a corrupt and evil system and seek to please their God alone ?
Truly Israel has expended all it has for this false peace and reaped nothing even close to peace. This alone should awaken a remnant at least to the darkness and deception prevalent in our day. I would say that the majority are walking in deep darkness and know not where they are headed.The false prophets of our day have the ears of the majority and this signals catastrophic days ahead. It is truly time for serious introspection and repentance before God.
The prudent sees the evil and hides himself,
but the naive go on ,and are punished for it. Proverbs 22:3

Batya said...

Judaism teaches us not to go with the majority, like with the spies.

And King David wrote that the evil one will be stabbed by his own sword.