web analytics
July 8, 2015 / 21 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


The Shofar’s Unifying Blasts


Front-Page-083013

Similarly, the shofar blasts on Rosh Hashanah signify national unity. They are a call for collective introspection and remind us not only to do teshuvah but also that Hashem judges us all collectively as one. Hashem looks at us as individuals but at the same time as his collective children. The sound of the shofar is a powerful blast and a cry that should spur us to bring our hearts closer to Hashem, for the only true unity, the only true achdus, is doing Hashem’s bidding and fulfilling His desire.

Indeed, HaRav Yehudah Assad (Divrei Mahariya to Parashas Mikeitz) writes at length about the concept of national unity through the shofar blasts of Rosh Hashanah, and in the course of his essay he mentions that this was the purpose of the shofar blasts at Har Sinai as well.

Our Value Is Only in Unity

So how can we achieve this unity?

Unity can only be achieved as it was at Har Sinai. At the foot of the mountain the Jewish nation unquestioningly accepted upon itself the yoke of Torah and fear of Heaven. This complete and total acceptance of Torah as given at Har Sinai is the only way to attain achdus. All other ways of “fixing the world,” whether through cultural events or social gatherings, will not endure. The only enduring message is the message of Sinai.

Likewise, true unity was achieved in the Beis HaMikdash. All Jews, no matter what they looked like or in what profession they were engaged, came to the Beis HaMikdash and engaged in its service as one.

The function of the Beis HaMikdash was to provide a means for the Shechinah to reside within the entire Jewish people. This is clear from Hashem’s initial commandment to build the Mishkan (Shemos 25:8) – “They shall make Me a sanctuary and I will dwell among them” – and from the Torah’s later statement (ibid. 29:44-45), “I will sanctify the Tent of Meeting…and I will dwell in the midst of Bnei Yisrael.”

The Vilna Gaon teaches in his commentary on Mishlei (6:19) that the Shechinah rests on the Jewish people only when total unity exists among them: “When Bnei Yisrael are united, then the Shechinah rests on Yisrael…but when there are ‘conflicts among brothers,’ then ‘My Soul is revolted’ ” (Vayikra 26:30).

Thus, if we remove the divisive barriers surrounding our hearts; if we recognize that true unity – not the empty slogans calling for unity but true unity – can only be achieved by Klal Yisrael coming together as they did at Har Sinai and in the Beis HaMikdash, we will have indeed absorbed an integral lesson of Mattan Torah.

This unity will not be achieved if we conduct ourselves as millions of individuals but only if we act as one collective unit striving to fulfill the dictates of the Torah and trying to achieve shleimus.

Many people claim to wish for unity among Klal Yisrael but the unity they envision is often superficial, a veneer and a slogan that conceals the divisiveness in their hearts. To achieve genuine unity it is necessary to eliminate the acrimony that surrounds people’s hearts. The shofar blasts have the potential to help us reach the necessary level of unity, as they help us realize that each of us as an individual has so much less value. Our ultimate worth and our true value is only as collective components in the larger unified unit called Klal Yisrael.

The shofar blasts have the potential to help us achieve the requisite level of unity by empowering us to realize that each of us individually has such minimal value. Our ultimate worth, our true value, is only as collective components in the larger, unified unit called Klal Yisrael.

Only as part of the Klal, joined together to fulfill Hashem’s will, do we have the divinely-endowed ability to receive the Torah as “one nation in the Land.” By collectively coming together b’achdus to fulfill Hashem’s Will, we will be one step closer to that exalted day when “The great shofar will be sounded; the people who have been lost in the land of Ashur and those abandoned in the land of Egypt will come and prostrate themselves before Hashem on the holy mountain, in Yerushalayim.”

About the Author: Rav Dovid Hofstedter is the founder and nasi of Dirshu and mechaber of the Dorash Dovid sefarim on the Torah and Moadim.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Shofar’s Unifying Blasts”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
jstreet-time
Obama Officials Tout J Street Polls for Jewish Support on Iran Deal
Latest Indepth Stories
Billboard posted by CAMERA during the Hamas war against Israel.

NY Times praises US killing of terrorist leaders; a different story when Israel kills the bad guys

Terms of Surrender

Dear Pres. Obama, A “deal” in which one side makes all the concessions is, of course, a “surrender.”

Michael Oren, Israel's Former Ambassador to the United States

ALLY is a terrific read because Oren has a mission: Defending&protecting the Jewish State of Israel.

George Soros: No friend of Israel

George Soros: “European anti-Semitism is the result of the policies of Israel and the United States”

Sources say seemingly irreconcilable differences between the 2 main parties, Washington and Tehran.

Instead of accepting reality, the President is trying to hold on to an illusion.

Those who suggest further capitulation to Iran are wrongly harming the interests of the West.

Few Arab Israelis found anything positive in the decision of its MKS to join any Gaza flotilla.

US Jews prefer to be like their non-Jewish liberal friends complaining about “settlements” and Bibi

New Israel Fund & its supporters must be countered; Israel’s in the midst of an unprecedented storm

PM Netanyahu this week identified ISIS and Iran as Israel’s primary threat. It is a planetary threat that carries the promise of peace.

Haym Solomon, overlooked hero of the Revolutionary War, was America’s “Funding Father.”

Latvia, July 4, 1941 they forced many Jews in the shul putting it on fire; everyone was burned alive

There’s blood on the reporters’ hands AND New Israel Fund for funding groups feeding lies to the UN

Respect & appreciation for our country is not only a civic value but an essential Jewish one as well

When words lose meaning, the world becomes an Orwellian dystopia; a veritable Tower of Babel

More Articles from Rav Dovid Hofstedter
A still from recently unearthed FoxMovieTone Film

We are grateful to Hashem that we have been privileged to institute this program and that over the years we have experienced tremendous siyata d’shmaya, with the program spreading throughout the world and its membership rapidly rising.

An Orthodox Jewish man blows the shofar near the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Israel's Old City.

Rav Shlomo Wolbe states that every member of Klal Yisrael is dependent on the entire nation just as a leaf depends on the tree from which it grows.

Perhaps worse than all the above is the acute lack of unity among Jews

Achdus, unity, is a term that warms the heart. It is an ideal we all aspire to achieve but often find so elusive.

We are still in galus. Another year has gone by, a difficult year in many ways, but Mashiach has not yet arrived, the Beis HaMikdash has not yet been rebuilt and we are still languishing in exile.

“Therefore we are obligated to give thanks…to the One Who performed all these miracles for our forefathers and for us. He took us out from slavery to freedom…and from servitude to redemption.” – Haggadah shel Pesach

Every Jew’s soul is a piece of the Divine essence, hewn from beneath the Throne of Glory.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/front-page/the-shofars-unifying-blasts/2013/08/28/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: