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From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) Date: Tue, 7 Oct 1997 22:41:38 -0400 Subject: A Honey Sweet Symbolism of Shofar For the New Year Akiva Miller asks >>Why does the blessing on SHOFAR mention, not the SHOFAR, but instead the TRUAH.>> I will answer this with a recap of Rabbi Hirsch's nifty symbolism on Shofar. (Incidentally, I would advocate for this list that a regular feature from time to time should be short 'gems' in explanations or understanding that are obscure. It would add to the flavor of the group and contrast well with some of the more 'polarized' discussions. Actually I believe this already takes place) Rav Hirsch begins his analysis of Shofar with the procedure for breaking camp mentioned in Num 10. This has 3 components: * An announcement that we are breaking camp and going to move * Actual "packing" to move * Final call that packing is over and the start of the move Rav Hirsch now suggests in a simple manner (consistent with the text) that * A long blast (Tekiah) is an attention getter<--->like an announcement * A collection of short blasts (Teruah) denotes activity<--->packing for moving * A final long blast (Tekiah) then focuses attention for the move In passing, the use of wailing (Shvarim) vs Teruah focuses on the EMOTIONAL aspect of the moving---it saddens us that we are leaving our old home. To summarize Tekiah-Teruah-Tekiah = Attention--Pack---Lets go and is symbolic of moving to a new home. In typical Hirschian pithiness Rav Hirsch now deftly makes the following equations: Moving to a new home (spatial movement) = Moving to a new year (temporal movement) = Moving to a '(re)newed soul'(spiritual movement) In other words the triplet Tekiah-Teruah-Tekiah = Attention=Pack your things-Lets go applies equally whether we move to a new home, to a new year or renew our souls. This is the symbolic explanation of shofar. To answer Akiva's question --why Teruah vs Shofar--we now see that the hard part of Shofar is not focusing our attention---knowing we have to do Teshuva--rather the hard part is--'packing'---taking an account of our previous actions and making corrective action plans to change. It is therefore no wonder that the emphasis in` the blessing is on Teruah=packing and change vs the shofar itself. As for the mention of QooL--the "voice" of the shofar---this would correspond to the Shvarim =Wailing aspect of packing, since "QooL" in Tenach often denotes "tone" and "mood". Wishing everybody a Gmar Chativah Tovah with Good Torah for the coming year Russell Jay Hendel; Ph.d.;ASA; rhendel @ mcs drexel edu