And as joyful as the two-day Rosh Hashannah, exact translation being Head of the Year, holy day certainly is, don't forget that it's a serious time, no joke.
Our future is in our hands. We're responsible for our lives and how G-d will judge us.
As I've written previously, the big mitzvah on Rosh Hashannah is hearing the sound of the shofar.
I guess I've been thinking about this quite a bit.
Before Rosh Hashannah a very special short movie began being posted on all sorts of sites and blogs. It's about the heroes who defied the British ban on shofar blowing at the end of Yom Kippur. The first Jew who defied the British ban was a former neighbor of ours in the Old City, Rabbi Moshe Tzvi Segal, Zatza"l. If you haven't yet seen the movie, please do. I'm posting it here. Under the movie will be my Rosh Hashannah shofar experience.
The custom is to hear one hundred blasts of the shofar each day of Rosh Hashannah, expect if the holiday is on Shabbat. This is very important and if someone can't get to synagogue they should get someone to visit them and blow shofar.
On Thursday, the first day of Rosh Hashannah, as I stood in my place in the local synagogue I began thinking of that mitzvah, hearing the sound/voice of the shofar, lishmo'ah kol shofar. Listening should be a kinesthetic experience, so that means that I should use more than my ears. I needed to let the voice of the shofar enter my body, reach every part.
So that's what I did, and it was amazing. There are three different notes, short staccato, medium and long. The short ones seemed to be chipping away at spiritual blockages. The medium ones entered my limbs, and the long ones totally filled me as if I was a balloon. I felt myself rising in the most amazing way. Could everyone behind me see how I was floating?
Just like I let the voice of the shofar into every part of my being, we must remember that G-d belongs in every part of our lives. Judaism isn't a part-time religion. Being a Jew is a full-time job; it's 24/7. Every aspect of our lives is affected.
Now it's the new year. May it be