Hearing the Cries In the Blast of the Shofar
The following email was sent to our congregation on August 19, 2021
During the month of Elul, the shofar’s blast resounds in Jewish communities around the world. As we prepare to enter into the new year, the sound of the shofar rouses us from complacency, calling us to individual and collective reflection (Mishneh Torah 3:4). It is the blast of the shofar which carries us through the new year, its sound even moving God and inspiring divine compassion and mercy for the created world (Vayikrah Rabbah 29:3). Our sages teach that the blast of the shofar mimics that of weeping, the short piercing cries of parents worrying for their children (Pirke d’Rav Eliezer 32; RH 33b).
Around the world, communities are crying out in pain. We watch the news from Afghanistan as the Taliban retakes control of the country. As Jews, we understand acutely what it means to be denied or granted refuge, and we stand with HIAS and human rights advocates in asking the US government to take immediate action to protect the most vulnerable during this time.
Our hearts also break for the destruction and devastation from Saturday’s earthquake in Haiti, which killed more than 1,200 people and has left thousands injured and without shelter.
As we pray for the lives lost and for those who are missing, we also dedicate ourselves to the urgent effort to support those who have lost their homes and are in need of immediate aid. If you would like to provide aid through our community, we are collecting funds to donate through Central Synagogue’s Emergency Relief Fund. You can contribute here.
This season, as the cries of the shofar mix with the cries of all who are suffering, may the sound also call us to action and inspire us to build a better world.
The Central Clergy Team
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