Forget the Clock, Follow the Calendar of Life, By Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

There is a lovely story about time, it goes as follows: two elderly Jews who haven’t seen each other in fifty years, meet, slowly recognize one another, and embrace. They go back to the apartment of one of them to talk about the days long ago.

The conversation goes on for hours. Night falls. One asks the other, “Look at your watch. What time is it?” “I don’t have a watch,” says the second.

“Then look at the clock.”

“I don’t have a clock.”

“Then how do you tell the time?”

“You see that trumpet in the corner? That’s how I tell the time.”

“You’re crazy,” says the first, “How can you tell the time with a trumpet?”

“I’ll show you.”

He picks up the trumpet, opens the window and blows a deafening blast. Thirty seconds later, an angry neighbor shouts out, “Two-thirty in the morning, and you’re playing the trumpet?” The man turns to his friend and says, “You see? That’s how you tell the time with a trumpet!” Roughly speaking, that’s how the greatest rabbi of the Middle Ages, Moses Maimonides, explained why we blow a shofar (ram’s horn) on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, which we celebrate in six days’ time.

Continue reading

Advertisements