Shofar: Core Goodness and Boundless Potential, By Rabbi Moshe Hauer

“Sound the Shofar at the moon’s renewal, at the appointed time for our festive day, for it is a decree for Israel, judgment day for the G-d of Yaakov.”(Tehillim 91)

We recite this verse as we prepare for the first Amidah of Rosh Hashana, for our first opportunity to stand in G-d’s presence on this day of affirmation of His Kingdom.  This verse from the Psalms is laden with meaning, and much is derived from it regarding the character of Rosh Hashana.

Harav Yissachar Shlomo Teichtal, HYD, was a prominent Slovakian Rav who was ultimately murdered in the Holocaust, and was keenly aware of the painful upheavals – both internal and external – that the Jewish people were experiencing, yet with his unique perspective he was able to see in the Hell that had broken loose around him the seeds that would plant the Garden of Eden in Eretz Yisrael.

One of the central aspects of his work and writing was his perspective on Jews who were not perfect, who lived their lives differently than he and not in line with the tradition, sometimes even opposed to it.  His beautiful and uplifting perspective on the imperfect Jew informs his insight into this verse and into the awesome Yom Tov we are about to begin.

Why does the verse attribute the judgment of Rosh Hashana to Elokei Yaakov, the G-d of Jacob?  Why does the verse specifically associate Yaakov with this Day of Judgment?

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