What has more power to change the present than crying? When someone we love begins to cry – a child, a friend, a spouse – it’s as if the world stops in its place. “What’s happened?” “You’re upset about something.” “What can I do to help?” “Are you hurt?” The tears seem to pierce through all barriers of inhibition, reservation and suppressed feelings, and uncover a reservoir of passion and love. The pain, the unbridled emotion proves too powerful to ignore.
Consider the cry of the Shofar horn. The Shofar’s extended tones and whimpering notes serve as the cries of the people, expressing profound, intimate sentiments to their Father . Examine the horn’s shape – narrow on one end and wide on the other. This is symbolic of the painful pressures that burden us and hold us back, and the open escape to deliverance and freedom on the other side. “From the narrow places I called G-d; G-d answered me with wide expansion.” (Psalms 118:5 and recited before the Shofar blowing service). (Based on Nesivos Shalom and Rav Shimshon Pincus zt”l)
G-d hears the Shofar blast and the cry breaches the wall that separates the King of Kings and His servants. We’re given a chance for freedom from the constraints of our prior mistakes and failures. The Shofar cries our cry and G-d’s attributes of mercy are thereby awakened, as it were; His natural love rekindled. Rosh Hashana marks the new year, and the Day when G-d draws up His plans for the world and for all of us. Through the cries of the Shofar may we arouse G-d’s love for us, and may He then inscribe and seal us all for life and a Sweet New Year!
Good Shabbos and Shana Tova!
Rabbi Mordechai Dixler
Program Director, Project Genesis – Torah.org