A Shofar Blast to Shake Us Up

A white and brown shofar resting on a piece of blue satin.

If you have come here tonight on Rosh Hashanah and feel that there is nothing to examine, no wound in your life to heal, no relationship to repair—then I hope you will listen especially closely to the shofar. Rosh Hashanah is also known as Yom Teruah—the Day for the Sounding of the Shofar. The purpose of the Shofar blast is to shake us up, and to disturb our status quo. The shofar call, “Shevarim,” literally means BROKEN. And if you do not feel any cracks emerge from that sonic signal, you might ask yourself if you’ve truly fulfilled your obligation to hear it.

For the shofar blast should be a wake up call that reminds us to dig a little deeper, to bear into what is hard, to stop living life on the surface of it all. To return to our fractured relationships. To lean into the grief that you’re feeling for someone you lost. To examine the imperfections that we constantly criticize and then, to get curious. Perhaps this pain—this flaw—this broken heart—has a purpose.