The Triumphant Call of the Shofar
By: Shera Dubitsky, Clinical Supervisor
Beginning in the Hebrew month of Elul until Yom Kippur, we hear the piercing notes of the Shofar and listen intently to its sounds. The reverberations of the Shofar can be heard in times of battle. I liken the sound to a heart beat. Most of the time, our hearts beat with a steady rhythm. We go about our regular routines, taking care of our families, meeting deadlines at work, volunteering in the community, spending time with friends. Tekiah. There are times when we are challenged, perhaps with a knowledge that one is a carrier of the BRCA mutation, or that one has been diagnosed with cancer or a recurrence. The rhythm of our hearts change reflecting our anxiety, our fears. Shevarim. Deep within the battle, our heart beat quickens as our anxiety heightens, and our fears overwhelm us. Teruah.
We don’t hear these sounds once. We hear the cycle of the Shofar notes throughout the holiday season, alternating between the steady calm notes of Tekiah to the quickened sounds of Teruah. So too, with the rhythm and challenges of our lives. When faced with difficult news, remember that with each Shevarim and Teruah, we return to the calmness of the single sound of Tekiah.
The Shofar can be a wake up call to stop and take time for introspection. As we listen to the notes of the Shofar, we can become aware of the changes of our beating heart. It is a reminder to attend to our bodies, to our instincts, to our emotions. The sounding of the Shofar can help us refocus and make sure that we are taking care of our hearts, minds, and souls. When we pay attention to the inner and outer sounds, we hear the last blast of the Shofar, a signal of hope and triumph. Tekiah Gedolah.