The call of the shofar has many different functions and meanings. It is a reminder of history and a call for the future. It can stir us to repentance. It can be an echo of sadness, tears and brokenness. It can be a call of yearning, hope and strength. It can be a summon to freedom, and when we hear the shofar call we can connect with all of these things at the same time.
This multiplicity reminds me of the human experience of emotion. Often people think they should only feel and think one way about experiences, and then they feel confused when they realize they are actually experiencing a bunch of different thoughts and emotions.
They may try to force themselves to “figure it out” and pin down that one feeling, but, just like the shofar’s multi-dimensional nature, a person can have many different emotions existing within them at the same time.
You can feel scared and excited, regretful and inspired to do better, broken but hopeful. You can even feel uninspired, wanting to be inspired, conflicted about wanting to be inspired, overwhelmed with how you do this and motivated to find what speaks to you.
It doesn’t have to feel overwhelming and confusing. It is a beautiful thing to be so multi-faceted. It’s a blessing to not have to be narrowed down to one thing, to have room for multiple perspectives and outlooks; to be able to shift.
The shofar reminds us of the complexity and beauty of the human experience. May we all be able to embrace and appreciate this wonderful gift!