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The Sounds of Rosh Hashana

By: Hadassah Reich (11th Grade)

On Rosh Hashanah the Shofar is blown in three different sound variations. The first is one long blast called the Tekiyah. Three consecutive medium blasts are known as the Shevarim. Lastly, the T'ruah is nine quick and short blasts. The Gemara in Rosh Hashanah explains that Shevarim and T’ruah are meant to sound like cries and Ben Ish Chai claims that the Tekiyah sound reflects a celebratory sound. These ideas are clearly contradictory. If Rosh Hashanah is a joyous holiday, why do we blow Shofar notes that echo sounds of suffering and why are they sounded right after the celebratory Tekiyah blast?

The happiness of Tekiyah is significantly juxtaposed to the cries of Shevarim and T’ruah. Listening to the joyous sound in contrast to the painful, teaches us that Hashem is always with us through the good and the bad. When life is difficult and it is easy to turn away from Hashem; that is when we need to remember Him the most. Even in the most painful moment, Hashem can turn anyone’s luck around. On the opposite end, when life is going great and we think it is all because of our own hard work, we still have to remind ourselves that it is all from Hashem. No matter where we are, on top of the world or at the down in the dumps, remember Hashem and how He is remembering and taking care of you. 

Shabbat Shalom and Shana Tova!

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