Shofar: A Message of Assurance, By Rabbi Haïm Korsia (Chief Rabbi of France)

After the spiritual preparation of Elul comes Rosh Hashanah, which celebrates the creation of the first human being. At that time, we do have a specific mitzvah, injunction, to realize— that is to listen— to the Shofar: “It shall be a day of shofar sounding for you “. (Numbers 29, 1).

The shofar, this ram’s horn, embodies the essence of this special day. Among the ten reasons mentioned by Rav Saadia Gaon to explain the meaning of these sounds, there is one particular reason that must always give us confidence in the future. Rosh Hashanah, the first of Tishrei— is the anniversary of the creation of Mankind by the Almighty. With the appearance of Adam and his wife Eve, the Lord becomes the bearer of the King of Humanity’s title. To recall the beginning of His reign, we sound Shofar like the great royal courts where the coronation of a new ruler was accompanied by such ringtones in long horns.

In our liturgy, Rosh Hashanah is nicknamed by our Sages “Yom Hazikarone,” which means the day of remembrance. At the beginning of the year, we recall in our prayers, the key characters of our History and the decisive moments of the epic of Humanity: Noah and his family, to whom mankind owes his survival, as well as the Patriarchs and Matriarchs, who have implored the Almighty, that He may open to them the doors of fertility on this day.

Let us not forget our ancestors, moved by an extraordinary faith, who followed G.od from Egypt to the promised land, despite the difficulties. Sounding Shofar appears as one of the remedies that can appease our fears. It is incumbent upon us to remember the divine project, the King of Humanity, Creator of the Universe, whose coronation we remember as king of kings, king of humanity, 5779 years ago.

Based on our past, we reaffirm that no one could hinder the progress of Humanity towards the Messianic era where the greatness of the Creator and his servants will be revealed to everyone, these men and women having known how to make of their existence an ode to the Almighty, an act of permanent trust.

May this year be beautiful, prosperous and heralding peace, for the Jewry, for the United States, France, Israel and the whole world. May we all, as well as our loved ones, be inscribed in the Book of Life. Shana Tova Umetuka, happy New Year!

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