Posts Tagged ‘Shofar’

27
Sep

Sound Bites: Finding Our Hearts

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer, Spiritual Growth

“God, your Lord, will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring.” (Deuteronomy 30:6) The first letters of “your heart and the heart of your offspring” spell Elul.

“From heaven God gazed down upon mankind, to see if there exists a reflective person who seeks out God.” (Psalm 53:3)

The Holy One, Blessed is He, searches for the truly righteous person who has achieved greatness through the application of his formidable intellect. God then takes a second look to see whether this person is able to let go of the reason that successfully took him so far and use only his heart to search for God. One who uses only his heart can hear what God demands.

Binah L’Ittim Lecture 12

God uses the Shofar of Elul to circumcise our hearts and cut away anything other than our Emunah Peshuta – Simple Faith – to search for Him.

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Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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18
Sep

Sound Bites: Beautiful Words

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Prayer

“Naftali is a hind let loose who delivers beautiful sayings.” (Genesis 49:21 Beautiful sayings is “Imrei Shafer”. We again find the word shofar associated with beauty. (See Soundbites 1 & 2)

The Panim Yafot (Genesis 49) explains the verse using the words of Isaiah: “ The Lord said: inasmuch as this people has drawn close, with its mouth and with its lips it has honored Me, yet it has distanced its heart from Me – their fear of Me is like rote learning of human commands.” (Isaiah 29:13) Isaiah reminds us that prayer without awareness and commitment to our words is like a body without a soul.

He continues; When is Naftali compared to a hind let loose and free? Only when he delivers beautiful sayings – Imrei Shafer.

The Shofar reminds us that in order for our words to have “shafer” – beauty – they must come from the heart. The Shofar blast from deep inside the one who blows in an expression of his whole being in the blast.

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Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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17
Sep

Hearing: Impact

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

“But My people did not hear My voice and Israel did not desire Me (Psalms 81:12).” Unfortunately, the dramatic Exodus did not leave a lasting impression upon the people. Immediately afterwards, in the wilderness, they refused to obey God. They continued to neglect God in the days of the judges and during the reign of the kings. (Radak)

The verse teaches that our ability to hear God’s voice is a reflection of our level of desire for God. Because we did not desire God, we did not hear His Voice as we could have, meaning in a way that would have a permanent impact.

The way we hear the Shofar of Elul and Rosh Hashanah is determined by our level of desire to connect to God. If we hear with full desire for a complete attachment to the Creator, we will hear a message that will have a lasting impact on us.

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Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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17
Sep

Tehillim Tools: 80:5: Elul: Removing the Smoke

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays

“God, Lord of Hosts, how long will You fume (smoke) at the prayers of Your nation (Psalms 80:5)?”  When God is angered, the verse states that, “Smoke arose from His nostrils (18:9).” A barrier of smoke bars the path of Israel’s prayers as they struggle to ascend heavenward. (Rabbi Moshe Alshich)

I imagine the smoke of this verse, the smoke that blocks our prayers as hovering over us just as the smoke hovered over the ruins of Jerusalem and the Beit Hamikdash. I then imagine the Shofar of Elul as blowing away all the smoke that lingers from Av, clearing the way for our prayers to soar.

This verse can be used as a Kavanah when listening to the Elul Shofar: Please allow the Shofar, and the feelings it arouses in our hearts to clear all barriers between our prayers and You.

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Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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14
Sep

Hearing: The Full Message

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays

“Listen, My nation, and I will attest to you; O Israel, if you would but listen to Me (Psalms 81:9).” The Midrash (Shir Hashirim 1) says that God’s commanding voice made such a profound impression on them at Sinai that the Evil Inclination was purged from their hearts. After hearing these two commandments, however, Israel grew weak. They panicked and refused to listen to God’s awesome voice. They demanded that Moses to come their intermediary and transmit the remaining eight Commandments to them. At that moment, they ceased to be spellbound by God’s holy words, and the Evil Inclination returned to their hearts.

Therefore, God says, “Oh, Israel, if you had listened to Me there would be no strange god [i.e. Evil Inclination] within you.” (Shevet M’Yisrael)

The Shofar’s voice is the same voice we heard at Sinai. It potentially carries the same power to purge the Evil Inclination from our hearts. We must lease in as if we are being presented with the same choice as the people who stood at Sinai: Will we choose to listen directly to God’s voice? Or, will we be so intimidated that we will, once again, fail to take full advantage of the opportunity.

What do we desire to hear?

How do we desire to hear the Voice of the Shofar?

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Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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4
Sep

Voices: Introduction

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays

This series, Voices, will focus on verses that describe different voices, whether the voice of God speaking to us, the voice of the prophets, or our voices addressing God. I hope to use each voice as a practical strategy for listening to the voice of the shofar during Elul, and on Rosh Hashanah.

“My voice is raised to the Lord and I cry aloud, my voice is raised it to the Lord and He gives year to me (Psalms 77:2).” The Seforno explains the repetition of, “My voice is raised to the Lord,” as underlying the dual aspect of Israel’s prayers; we beseech to save us from the direct persecution of the enemy and to alleviate the in direct suffering of the exile, caused by economic and social problems.

There is a separate voice for each suffering. There is a separate voice for each aspect of the suffering; each of its direct and in direct consequences for us. We do not need to cry out to God only in general terms. We sound the shofar over and over as if 2 point out each detail of our suffering. We use the shofar as an expression of each and every emotion we feel in our relationship with God. There are so many soundings of the shofar between Elul and Rosh Hashanah because there are so many different voices deep inside of us waiting to be expressed. All the different voices of the shofar are to encourage us to express all the voices of all our different emotions and experiences as we approach the coronation of the King on Rosh Hashanah.

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Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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12
Aug

Miscommunications

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer, Reflections & Observations

A man calls the doctor: “Doctor, what should I do? My friend just keeled over and died!”

“The first thing is to make sure he’s definitely dead.”

“Okay, hold on.” A gunshot sounds. “Now what?”

The sense of helplessness in an emergency, the tragic miscommunication between doctor and caller and it’s tragic consequence and the eager ingenuousness of the final question provoke a simultaneously unbearable and exquisite emotion. We laugh, well, I did.

Most miscommunications are not so funny, but equally tragic, or painful. The husband who responds to his wife without thinking. The child who misunderstands a parent. The parent who misunderstands a child.

When I read all the advertisements for Shabbat Nachamu parties and gatherings, I see miscommunication. Nachamu means “Be comforted,” not, “Party!” I know that some people have joyous wakes when someone dies, but I’ve never seen a party to celebrate the end of Shiva.

The miscommunication does not begin with “Nachamu,” it probably begins with the way we mourn: If the mourning was real and heartfelt, we would not be able to switch so quickly to “Come join our Shabbat Nachamu Blast!”

Were we actually mourning?

Where is this miscommunication? When we are told to mourn what once was. Tisha B’Av is not to mourn what happened long ago; it is to mourn over what we do not have in the here and now because there is no Beit Hamikdash. We mourn the loss of possibilities. We mourn the sense that our efforts do not seem to matter as much as they should. We mourn that we live in such a confusing world. We mourn that we do not seem to celebrate our joys as much as we suffer our pains. We mourn that we do not hear the Torah’s teachings with more clarity.

We mourn the miscommunications. No wonder the Torah portion of Shabbat Nachamu contains the Shema: Hear what is really being said. It’s the only way we will effectively hear the message of the Shofar at the conclusion of the Nechama process.

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Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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8
Sep

Goose-Stepping III: Why I Posted The Mistaken Version

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer, Spiritual Growth

You can read both versions of the Goose-stepping story: Goose-Stepping I: The MIstaken Version & Goose-Steppping II: The Correct Version on the blog. You may wonder why I posted both, or why I posted the mistaken version at all, or, to make things confusing, if I prefer the Mistaken Version, why did I post the correct version?

I originally posted what ended up being called the “Mistaken Version” two weeks ago. My very dear friend, who shared the story with me, immediately called me to tell me that I got the story all wrong, and to please take it off the blog. I did as he asked, but could not stop wondering how I so misconstrued a story. I basically heard the opposite of what was being said!

If my mind can so twist a story, how do I know that I can accurately quote stories or thoughts I have heard from others? I guess my mind took the story as I was listening and began to apply it, which prevented me from listening carefully. I ended up getting it all wrong.

So, what am I going to do to make sure that I hear what the Shofar is saying to me rather than what I expect or want to hear? I have been posting Sound Bites on the Shofar since Rosh Chodesh Elul. I already have all sorts of ideas about the Shofar’s message. But I want to hear what it actually says, not what I expect it to hear!

I publicly commit myself to spend the time between now and Rosh Hashana listening with great care. I will stress listening over speaking. I will also pray between now and then that God grant me the gift of being able to hear the Shofar, as my Uncle Noach zt”l would say: with my ears, not my brain!

I am open to your ideas. Please. And to my incredibly reliable friend: Thanks for the story, the corrected version, and the Tochacha. You have again proven your reliability and integrity. I love you.

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Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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31
Aug

Sound Bites: The Shofar of the Messiah

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Music of Halacha, Prayer

The Shofar stirs people to return to God, as the verse (Amos 3) says: “If a Shofar is blasted in a city, will the people not tremble?”

The Sages taught that the Shofar blast of Rosh Hashana confuses Satan who believes that it may be the Shofar of the Messiah. It seems strange that Satan does not know that we blow the Shofar on Rosh Hashana and can be so easily confused.

The message of the Shofar is so powerful that Satan expects us to repent and merit the Shofar of the Messiah! (Kli Yakar, Genesis 22:13)

If only we would believe as much as Satan in the Shofar’s power!

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Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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29
Aug

Confusing the Satan – What Does That Mean? by Heshie HaGibbor

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays

The Talmud (Rosh Hashana 16b) says that one of the reasons we blow shofar on Rosh Hashana is “k’day l’arbeiv haSatan” – to confuse the Satan, the accuser.

What does that mean, to confuse the Satan?

Consider the following scenario:

A woman is in her house preparing dinner in the kitchen. It’s thundering and lightning outside and water is pouring down from the sky. It’s a real thunderstorm. The sound of an ambulance siren can be heard wailing in the distance and on the radio, the song, “Sugar Pie Honey Bun” is playing.

Just at that moment, a thief breaks into the house through the back door of the kitchen, runs inside, knocks her down, grabs her pocket book, and she falls to the floor and he runs out the door. As she’s falling, the glass of orange juice in her hand falls to the floor and shatters with a crash, and the juice spills onto the floor. And as she’s falling she bumps into a chair and knocks the chair over with a bang.

She’s very shaken up. She calls 911 and the police come. They make sure she’s safe, take a report from her and eventually they catch the thief and he goes to jail.

And so, we think, the story ends.

Fast forward 20 years

The woman is now happily married with a family. If someone spills some juice, she feels uneasy. If a glass falls and breaks or a chair falls over, she gets uncomfortable. Whenever it rains, her heart pounds, not consciously knowing why. If there is a thunderstorm with rain and lightning and an ambulance happens to be passing by with its siren wailing, and “Sugar Pie Honey Bun” is playing on the radio at the same time, she goes into a full blown panic attack, never knowing why.

Picture the scene:

The Akeidas Yitzchak, the Binding of Isaac. Abraham has the knife in his hand and is about to slaughter his son Isaac, and offer him up to Hashem as a sacrifice.

Anxiously waiting in the bushes is the Angel of Death, the Satan, whose job it is to take the soul of Yitzchak Avinu, the juiciest Korbon (sacrifice) of all times, and deliver it back to HaKadosh Boruch Hu, the source of all souls.

The Satan is waiting with bated breath to do his job. Suddenly, an angel of Hashem calls to Avraham from heaven and says, “Abraham, Abraham! . . . Do not stretch out your hand against the lad nor do anything to him for now I know that you are a God-fearing man, since you have not withheld your son, you only one from Me. “ (Genesis 22:11,12)

Avraham lifts up his eyes and sees – v’hinei ayil achar ne’echaz basvach b’karnov – and

behold a ram! “ayil achar” caught in the thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as an offering instead of his son. (Genesis 22:13).

The Torah could have said, v’hinei ayil ne’echaz – and a ram was caught. Why the extra word, “Achar”? What does that word tell us?

The word “Achar” meaning “other”, refers to the “Sitra Achara”, another name for the Satan.

The Ayil Achar, the other ram, was the Satan.

Suddenly, Avraham is not slaughtering his son, the Satan is now grabbed instead of Yitzchak, and he is slaughtered instead. The Satan is saying, “Whoa! Wait a minute! What’s going on here?! I’m supposed to take the soul of Yitzchak and instead I am being slaughtered. What’s happening?!”

He is totally confused because the tables are being turned on him.

The accuser is now the accused. The executioner has become the Korbon, the sacrifice.

So now, when we blow the shofar, the horn of the ram that was caught in the thicket, the Ayil Achar, the ram that was slaughtered instead of Isaac, the Sitra Achara or the Satan is brought back to that very moment to the Akeida, just like the woman is brought back by the thunder and lightning to the moment when she was attacked by the thief.

And he is totally confused. When he hears the sound of the shofar, he says “Whoa! Wait a minute! What’s going on here?! What’s happening?!”

And he is totally incapacitated and unable to accuse anybody of anything. That’s when the path of Teshuva is clear and wide open for us.

That is what it means to be “mebalbeil” the Satan – to confuse the Satan.

So during the month of Elul, and especially on Rosh Hashana, when we hear the sounds of the shofar, let us remember how confused the Satan is and make our best efforts to do complete Teshuva to HaKadosh Boruch Hu, because the way is clear.

And may we be zocheh (merit) to a year filled with unlimited sheffa (flow) from the Creator and to hear the sound of the Shofar of Moshiach (the Messiah) this year!

Shana Tova Umesukah.

Heshie Klein, MD

Copyright© 2009, Harvey (Heshie) Klein, MD

DrHeshie@MDHealer.com

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Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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