This year we have been very fortunate that we are in school for the entire month of Elul; the month leading into the High Holy Days and the month known as a time to prepare our minds and souls to ask for forgiveness. Elul is a month of reflection and emotional preparation for the New Year, and the sound of the shofar is meant to stir our souls in anticipation of the High Holy Days.
Every morning at Ilan Ramon Day School, the students gather on the yard waiting to hear the sound of the shofarot, blown by fellow classmates and teachers. When the sound is heard, students are encouraged to examine their past deeds and to reflect on their actions. We take this to the next level when the children prepare for Tashlich in a few weeks, where they write down their deeds and ultimately throw them into the water during the Tachlich service.
The shofar is one of the most ancient musical instruments. Its’ sound, like music without words, touches our heart and connects us with one another and with generations past. The solemn, soulful cry of the shofar is a sound that echoes across centuries of anguish and aspiration. It is the same shofar (ram’s horn) that tested Abraham’s faith in one God; it is the sound that was heard in God’s revelation on Sinai, on the hills of Judea announcing the Jubilee, on the walls of Jericho, and during the destruction of the temple.
When the children of Ilan Ramon Day School hear “Tekia” and blow the shofar, they connect with generations of Jewish history. The sound brings hope for the peace and unity of the Jewish people. When one child blows the shofar, we are reminded that we are one people, with one sound, and what unites us is perhaps greater than what divides us. When the chorus of so many children blow the shofar we are reminded of the strength of our community and the importance of our sacred Jewish community.
It is my hope that as many of you as possible will join us each morning as we blow the shofar, and for those of you with the special talent of blowing the shofar you will share it with us in the days to come. And may the sound of the shofar continue to strengthen our sacred family as we approach the New Year.
Posted on Mon, September 19, 2016
by Yuri Hronsky