This Rosh Hashanah which falls on Shabbos, we do not blow Shofar. This is hinted in the words זכרון תרועה that on Shabbos there is only a remembrance of the shofar blowing but not the actual blowing. The gemarah says that the blowing of the shofar announces Hashem as our king and it brings before the Kisay Hakavod our being remembered for the good. How then without the shofar can we merit the same achievement which is so crucial for us on the Day of Judgement when our lives and futures are determined and are at stake?
Before answering this question let us elaborate how the shofar itself accomplishes this goal. Our Chazal point to the Akaidah where we have first mentioned the horns of a ram from where the shofar of Rosh Hashanah is alluded to. When Hashem told Avraham that there was no need to actualize the sacrifice of Yitzchak, he saw a ram that was נאחז בסבך בקרניו entangled in a tree by its horns. Avraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. The ram entangled with its horns making it immobile, symbolizes the day of Rosh Hashanah. During the year we entangle ourselves with aveiros that make us immobile and stunts our spiritual growth. However, on Rosh Hashanah we like the ram, become untangled and make a new resolve, and commit ourselves to sacrifice if need be כל נפשך in order to come closer to Hashem.
Our Yetzer Harahs utilize incredible imagination in order to seduce us to actualize our physical desires which are prohibited from the Torah. This imagination is tantamount to a dream which includes many of the improper fantasies that we could not act out during our waking hours. This imagination can manipulate a person to transgress Hashem’s wishes even during his waking hours as the Rambam writes in Hilchos Teshuvah that the shofar comes to awaken us from our sleep and slumber which includes our waking hours involved in dreaming distortions of reality and listening to the seductions of the yetzer harah. The kol of the shofar is the call of Yovel as we learn from Yovel that each sound of teruah must be preceded and followed by a tekiahsound. It is the blowing of the shofar of Yovel that releases all Jewish slaves to their freedom from servitude.
The fantasies with which the yetzer harah harasses and disturbs us, enslave us to hearken to its fictional fulfillments and fleeting whims that he offers. With the Shofar blowing we realize that its entire agenda is merely a dream of fantasies that only give momentary pleasure at the most, leaving one in a valley of feelings of unworthiness and void of inner fulfillment. אשרי העם יודעי תרועה the shofar suddenly opens up one’s clarity of purpose and meaning, enabling one to realize that he has become a slave to an evil and sinister force that seeks only his spiritual demise and downfall. He realizes that his choice of paths for life, indulging in this world with the counsel of the yetzer harah can only lead to disaster and misfortune and losing out on the eternal reward waiting for him in the Next World.
The shofar wakes one up from walking, working, talking, eating, which are all associated with streaming dreaming of delusions, and brings one to recognize the reality that they are a dead end street. The shofar breaks the bubble of the dream reality in which one was living until now. It is as if by hearing the shofar one is toveil in a Mikveh which the Rambam calls מי הדעת. He regains control of his mind and neshamah and it suddenly becomes crystal clear to him both emotionally and psychologically, that he has been hijacked and taken for a ride to live his daily life in a dream fantasy – a חלום which he adhered and idolized as his reality and pursuit of life.
Once the shofar delivers to one this reality check, he can successfully do teshuva by untangling himself from “the tree” the Aitz Hadaas, admit he was wrong, regret and have remorse, and take on the responsibility of not falling into the same trap. By realizing that all mistaken pathways that he had taken were merely a חלום , he will do teshuvah, disentangle himself, and Hashem will מוחל him through the same letters as his חלום. That is why we find בסבך to be gematriah of חלום for coming to the conclusion that the way you lead your life is to pursue the yeter harah’s fantasies and promises without delivering happiness but only empty dreams, then you can escape from the סבך from after being constantly enmeshed in it.
One can extricate himself from בסבך by negating himself to Hashem in a מקוה טהרה של מ סאה one that contains the volume of 40 seah measurements of water. This is hinted in the word בסבך that when written with its inner letters only בית סמך בית כף it equals 960 corresponding to the volume of 960 lugin which is equal to 40 seah (each seah equals 24 lugin). The way to uproot oneself from looking at the world with the lens of fantasy and make believe, one has to go to the inner core of his problem, his yetzer harah and uproot it from his life. When hearing the kol shofar one can get a new identity just as a convert tovils in the mikveh before he becomes a Yid. The kol shofar is like such a mikveh which envelopes the person with a רוח אלקים מרחפת על פני המים and no longer is he fooled into thinking that listening to his yetzer harah is a reality but rather a big bluff that can never give him fulfillment. That is why the gematriah of קול תרועה equals הוא מקוה טהרה של מ סאה.
In fact, the entire day of Rosh Hashanah is called יום תרועה which possesses two interpretations to connect and to shatter into pieces – disconnect. With the blowing of the shofar we are awakened to the reality that every offer and deal of the yetzer harah who is the biggest con artist around is fake, and nothing but a pipe dream. The entire day is a קול תרועה disconnecting from your yetzer and reconnecting to Hashem. The entire day we are submerged in a mikveh of דעת אלקים which is טהורה היא. As soon as we finish the set of blowing shofar we say אשרי העם יודעי תרועה ה’ באור פניך יהלכון lucky is the nation who understands the inner meaning of the teruah – Hashem from now on they will follow your light of your countenance.
With this we can understand the passuk תקעו בחדש שופר בכסה ליום חגינו the mitzvah of shofar is associated with Rosh Hashanah being a day that is covered (the moon). We can interpret this to allude to the purpose of the shofar to awaken one up from a life of “awake sleepiness” coined for the person who fails to realize that his life is a dream and failure if he continues with this false reality. It is the non realization of חלום that his life is entrenched in בסבך. The shofar will inspire him to be freed from his yetzer harah, free from being a slave to his materialistic desires, and rather become committed to crown Hashem as his king forever. The word בכסה concealed is the letters of הסבך the tree of Aitz Haddas which entangles one just like the Nachash which was the personification of the yetzer harah entangled Adam and Chavah to eat from its forbidden fruit.
Now we are ready to discuss the segulah of Shabbos and how it too reflects the achievement of the Kol Teruah. The Zohar calls the Shabbos the day of Neshamah. Because a Yid receives an extra neshamah of light on Shabbos he has a deeper clarity of the emes what is, and who is an imposter. The letters of שבת spells boshes which means embarrassment that the body is embarrassed to act out in front of the guest neshamah which comes from the Otzar of the Melech. Even an Am Haaretz won’t lie concerning the separations of his Maaserthe moment Shabbos starts, which is not so before Shabbos arrives. Just as a mikveh completely surrounds a person who toveils inside its waters, so too Shabbos in time, envelopes a person totally with its kedusha and beracha.
Shabbos is a glimpse of the Next World. It has the power to bring the geulahas Chazal say if Yidden would have kept the Shabbos, immediately the geulahwould come. In the time of the geulah it says הגדיל ה’ לעשות עמנו היינו כחלמיםwhen Hashem reveals Himself to us we will realize retroactively we were in a dream state of fantasy the whole time. Every Shabbos a Yid gets a glimpse of Acharis Hayamim which includes the realization that the yetzer Harah is full of sheker.
Chazal say Berachos 14 כל הלן ז’ ימים בלא חלום נקרא רע if one sleeps over seven days and does not possess a dream he is called evil. How do we make sense of this? A tzaddik explained this to mean if one can go through seven days which automatically includes a Shabbos and still did not come to realize that everything that his yetzer harah tells him is really a luring enticing fake dream, then he must be following an evil path. For even a Shabbos cannot inspire to get his spiritual life together to be bonded with Hashem.
The letters of סבך are followed by the letters of עגל which is avodah zarah. When one becomes entangled with his yetzer harah it could chas veshalomlead to worshipping avodahzarah. Shabbos can bring one out from even the סבך of avodah zarah. As the passuk says כל השומר שבת מחללו Chazal say even if one worshipped avodah zarah like the generation of Enosh, if he keeps Shabbos according to Halacha, מחללו from desecrating it , he will deserve forgiveness for avidah zarah as the same word can be read מחול לו he is forgiven. Shabbos can extricate one from even avodah zarah.
Shabbos itself is a shofar for Am Yisrael to wake them up from their sleep and fantasy of what is the true meaning and mission of life. It is the Shabbos and the day of Rosh Hashanah together which help bring out the results of the shofar.
Gut Shabbos KESIVAH VECHASIMA TOVA