Rosh Hashana 5782 (2021)

In Parshat Nitzavim Hashem says we have seen the Gelulaihem (גִּלֻּלֵיהֶ֑ם) of the nations we have passed.

They are described as being of wood and stone and metal.

The root of the word Glal is same as the root of  b’glal.

These are physical gods. Gods of cause and effect.

 

I believe this pasuk is speaking to us, today.

 

Today, we seek both utility and meaning in physical cause and effect.

 

We worship the גִּלֻּלֵיהֶ֑ם of the nations.

 

These last few years should have shattered our belief in those gods.

With coronavirus, we’ve been reminded of how little our models of cause and effect matter.

And with more recent news, we’ve been reminded of how the unpredictable decisions of a few people can transform the lives of millions.

 

The gods of cause and effect are not as powerful – or controllable – as we might like to imagine.

 

Knowing this, realizing this, cannot help but sow feelings of panic, fear and helplessness.

It all seems to be beyond our control. 

 

The Shofar is Hashem’s answer to these emotions.

 

The Akeidah (Sacrifice of Isaac) demonstrated Abraham’s Fear of G-d through his suppression of his own desires and understandings.

The Akeidah forever associated the horns of the Eyil (ram) with the Fear of G-d.

 

When Hashem created us, he breathed our Neshama (soul) into us. Our Ruach Hakodesh (spirit of holiness).

Our voices, normally, combine the physical with the divine.

But when we blow through the horn of the Eyil, the Fear of G-d erases our physical voices.

The Shofar is about to erase my physical voice.

 

And what will be left is an echo of the divine breath.

 

As we listen to the Shofar, we can hear a world beyond the material.

Beyond Biglal.

Beyond the gods of the Nations.

 

As we listen to the Shofar, we can realize that we are not simply cogs in a material machine – but Holy beings whose lives are filled with purpose and meaning.

 

No matter what our challenges or circumstances.

 

We can listen and we can know that no matter how random the world seems to be – we are at one with our G-d and so we need not fear.

 

Shana Tova.

h/t to my brother for the concept of the Shofar as a filter that exposes our divine voice

Photo by Filip Filipov on Unsplash

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