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University of Colorado Boulder Program in Jewish Studies

Why the Shofar and Not the Violin?

Did you ever stop to think about why we blow the Shofar on Rosh Hashonah? Wouldn’t it be more inspiring if we used a bit of a more musical instrument such as a violin or at least a trumpet?

Chassidic Philosophy explains that music is a form of language. It expresses feelings and at times it can even express a philosophical thought.  However, the shofar is not music, it is a raw cry which expresse a level of our soul that is beyond our conscious thought and emotions.  The shofar expresses the inner super-rational desire of our souls to be closer to G-d.

On Rosh Hashonah, when the Shofar is blown, we become in touch with this level of our soul and this elicits from G-d a similar superrational response of love and blessings. Although we might have not kept the Torah as well as we should have, we are still granted by G-d,  a year of life health and sustenance.

May we all be blessed with a year of joy, health and nachas from our children and may we merit to hear the sound of the Great Shofar heralding in the coming of Moshiach speedily in our days!

Bar/Bat Mitzvah Prep

About Rabbi Pesach Scheiner

Rabbi Pesach Scheiner is the Rabbi of Boulder County Center for Judaism. In addition, he teaches extensively throughout Boulder County and is the author of "Finding the Joy in Everyday Living," a book of short chapters explaining the ways to access happiness through appreciation, gratitude, and a sense of purpose.

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