It is Divine humor that tells us to live with absurdity, and supreme holy witticism that asks us to live with laughter. We are asked to enjoy the journey and realize that there is no arrival.
The blowing of the shofar proves that we can surpass ourselves. On our own, using only our vocal cords, we are unable to produce this sound—a terrifying, awesome, penetrating resonance. This is a sound that can cause us to break down, pick ourselves up again, and transform ourselves into new individuals.
The blowing of the shofar proves that we can surpass ourselves. On our own, using our vocal cords, we are unable to produce this sound – a terrifying penetrating resonance. Alone, we cannot produce a sound that comes close to the piercing and penetrating heavenly voice of the shofar, which can cause human beings to break down, pick themselves up again, and transform into new individuals.
Why is it, asks the Talmud, that children of the Sages rarely became talmudic scholars and pious Jews? Should it not have been they, more than anyone, who walked in the footsteps of their parents, reaching even greater heights in learning and genuine observance? How could it be that their parents, the Sages, did not provide them with the tools to do so? The answer has important implications for all of us.
Every ordinary act should be turned into a kind of mitzvah, a spiritual challenge, making it a dignified encounter with God. On Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur we are reminded that our deeds must redeem God’s presence and rescue Him from oblivion. In doing the finite we must be able to perceive the infinite.