Light of the Nations
Shana Tova! I would like to start with a quick catch-up as a way to bring us to this moment:
Why are we here?
To see and hear someone try to get a series of notes out of an animal part, a ram’s horn?
Are we here to fulfill a biblical instruction, something that has been passed along to us from generations of our ancestors, who didn’t have near the scientific knowledge or technology that we do today, but said that we still need to do this?
The life growth aspects of Rosh Hashanah suggest that it is to our benefit to have reviewed our efforts over the last year, with an eye for improvement; and to celebrate the opportunity we have now, now that we are a year older, more experienced and supposedly wiser, to improve on our choices.
Rosh Hashanah, spiritually, is like the ultimate Mikvah cleansing. We get a “do over,” a chance to start again with a clean slate.
So, now that we are here, what now? What are we doing here right now?
Are we just here to reconnect with our family, friends and community, or are we here praying?
Are we opening our hearts in the hopes of improving the quality of our lives, and those of our loved ones, Israel and the world?
If we are praying, this means we are trying to communicate with a seemingly undetectable Powerful Intelligence that we think is involved with our lives, One that we must believe we have the ability to engage with and influence.
For me, it really comes down to this. If there is a God, … there is hope. A chance for better lives here, and a chance for better lives in a world beyond this one. There is a chance for our world, all peoples and all our children.
And we should all be wanting there to be an engaged God, One involved with us and our world, because it will require something “miraculous” to get us out of the mess we are in.
Fortunately, our traditions and wisdom teach us of the Divine Shechinah Presence, of just such a powerful Force, One interacting with and influencing our lives. Knowing this enables us to pray while being truthful to ourselves and our understandings relating to the hope of something more beyond this life, which this offers us all.
Hearing the shofar is traditionally recognized as one of the main Torah commandments relating to Rosh Hashanah.
So, who has the most difficult challenge right now, … me, having to try to engage the sound vibrations in a meaningfully connecting way, or you, who has to “hear” the sound in a way that will meaningfully, and profoundly, impact your life?
It’s been said that because of its unpredictable sound, Shofar blowing can be a frustrating and challenging endeavor. And it’s true.
But “you,” actually, have the most difficult part of this partnership, because regardless of the sounds I make, you have to be able to hear and process them in a way that will awake and increase your conscious awareness and advance your kavvanah, your spiritual intention.
So, to draw on a line from another one of our festivals, why is this sound different from all other sounds?
Because it is an opportunity right now for us to reconnect with the deepest, spiritual, part of our life essence and genuinely experience the wonders of life in this New Year!
The closer this sound of sounds helps us get to our heart, the more successful the time we have spent here will be.
From our current perspective, the most important thing for us right now is to have our Kavannah in the right place, because this means that our hearts and minds are in the right place, and that at least for right now, we know “wholeness” in our lives. Whole – ness! Holy – ness! The fact that we are even here together to celebrate Rosh Hashanah like this, any sounds we make, because we can make them, and share them together, is wonderful.
Listen to the sound of the shofar call, the resonance of energy and vibrations, past and present, manifesting the wonders of the Creative genius influencing our existence.