Photo Credit: Jewish Press

The blast of the shofar is our annual wake-up call reminding us that Hakadosh Baruch Hu, the ultimate and only judge of the universe ,is summoning us to trial. Ever since I was a young girl, the significance of the shofar sounds would send a shudder down my spine as I wondered, “Am I ready for the day of judgment – the Yom HaDin?”

When people appear in a court of law and await to have their cases called, the tension, stress and anxiety is usually obvious. The litigants worry, “Will the judge understand me?” They worry because a mortal judge has human limitations and finite capacities.


Conversely, we can feel confident as we approach Rosh Hashana. The shofar blasts remind us that Hashem is the infinite and all-knowing king and judge. We need not worry if the judge will understand us, if our witnesses will show up or if the lawyer will do a good job. All we need to be concerned about is our behavior – our teshuvah, tefillah and tzedakah which will determine our verdict.

May we merit a kesiva v’chasima tova with refuos and yeshuous for Klal Yisroel.


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The Honorable Rachel (Ruchie) E. Freier is a civil court judge. She founded B’Derech, a grassroots non-profit organization advocating for education and opportunity for adolescents in the Chassidic community. She is also a paramedic and the director of an all-women volunteer paramedic agency, Ezras Nashim, as well as a proud mother of six and a devoted wife and grandmother.