Rosh Hashanah is often called the feast which no man knows the day or hour – since it officially begins with the visual sighting of the new moon.
This day is believed by Judaism to be the anniversary of the sixth day of creation, the day the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, were created. A day of the sounding of the shofar! This is the simple description of Rosh HaShana in the Torah. (Deuteronomy 23:24)
Other than a very few offerings unique to Rosh HaShana, the sounding of the shofar – a ram’s horn – is the sole commandment of the day. And the sole responsibility of every man, woman and child in Israel is to hear the sounding of the shofar.
When we let down all our defenses and allow our entire being to really hear the shofar, to allow it to penetrate to the very marrow of our bones and the very depths of our souls we find ourselves carried along on a beam of light, traveling back to the day of our creation, the creation of Adam on the sixth and final day of creation, for that is the day and that is the event that Rosh HaShana commemorates. The breath of the ba’al tokeya – the blower of the shofar – is the breath of all of us, the breath we share, the breath that G-d breathed into the nostrils of Adam, when He transformed a lifeless lump of clay into a living, thinking, yearning human being. When we hear the sound of the shofar we are hearing the pure G-dly breath of our existence, shared by all, but made unique within each and every one of us.
Hearing the shofar is the reminder of our origin and our purpose. It is the proof of our worth and our importance to G-d. It is our rite of passage into a new year, a year full of challenges, of tests and trials and of ups and of downs. Hearing the shofar is the reminder that all which awaits us is because G-d loves us, and that we can measure up to these challenges and opportunities, to the bad breaks and the great good fortune that lie before us because we carry within us the very breath of our Creator.
When Avraham successfully met the greatest challenge of his life – the binding of Yitzchak – he was rewarded with a ram, whose horns were caught in a thicket. This was G-d’s reminder to Avraham that both He and we can be in the same place and time, and live our lives always in G-d’s presence. (The Temple Institute)
“We are – because you, God, King and Sovereign over all creation created us and breathed into us the breath of life.”
Click HERE for our study on Rosh Hashanah.