spirituality >> Torah portion
Shabbat Shuvah, Parshat Haazinu:
Deuteronomy 32:1-32:52; Hosea 14:2-
10, Micah 7:18-20, Joel 2:15-27.
ach of our festivals derives its
sanctity from a miraculous
occurrence that took place on
But why is the day the first human
being was born biblically linked to the
sighing, sobbing sound of the teruah?
My revered teacher, Rav Joseph B.
On Rosh Hashanah, our liturgy
Soloveitchik, explained that, in truth,
repeats, "Today the world was con-
the Almighty created an imperfect,
ceived; and the midrash explains that
incomplete — even broken — world.
this phrase refers to when the
Rav Haim Vital, of 16th-
first human being was created.
century Tzfat, explains
Hence, Rosh Hashanah
that God — who is first
is the most universal of our
and foremost a God of
celebrations, urging us to give
love — had to leave room
thought to and thanks for the
for a human being with
emergence of humanity.
the freedom of choice to
This leads us to ponder the
do even that which God
most existential of questions:
would not wish him to do,
For what purpose are we here?
leave room for a world that
And are we personally making
would also contain chaos,
Rabb i Shlomo
the most of our allotted time
darkness and evil.
in this world?
Thus, the human being
The commandments of the
would not merely be an
day will help us on this crucial existen-
extension of God. The truly free human
tial journey. A commandment unique
being would then act not merely as a
to Rosh Hashanah states: On this day
pawn or puppet — but rather as a full
we must sound the shofar, the ram's
partner with God, charged with the
horn, and it is to be the broken, stac-
possibility of repairing the broken world
cato sound of the horn, the teruah. The
or perfecting the imperfect, incomplete
Talmud defines this sound as either
world in the Kingship of the Divine.
three sighs (shevarim), nine sobs (ter-
God promises His chosen people,
uah) or a combination of the two.
Israel, that we will ultimately choose
What is this commandment teaching the good; to repent, to perfect ourselves
us? Is it that this world, this life into
and teach the world God's love, moral-
which we were born, is a vale of tears, a
ity and peace, so that the world may be
series of sighs, a sojourn of suffering? If
redeemed (Deuteronomy 30:1-10, Isaiah
so, why is Rosh Hashanah considered a
2, Micah 4). Hence our mission is to
festival, a day on which we are enjoined
repair the broken world, each in his/her
to rejoice, drink wine and eat meat?
own way, each with the gifts with that
But there is an additional sound
we were blessed with by God.
of the shofar: An exultant, victorious
The teruah, the broken sound of
sound; the straight, clear sound which
Rosh Hashanah, tells it to us the way it
announced the coronation of the kings
is, from the depths of the broken vessels
of Israel: the tekiyah. But the source of
within the world. The exultant tekiyah
this sound belongs to the Yom Kippur
sound tells us that ultimately we can
of the Jubilee year, the 50th year that in
and will succeed — personally, univer-
biblical times proclaimed freedom for
sally and cosmically.
all — when each person was to return
For every broken sound, there are two
to his family and ancestral heritage,
victorious sounds — because our Creator
a year which presaged the period of
loves us, believes in us and guarantees
redemption for all humanity.
our ultimate success and redemption. ❑
The Talmud links Yom Kippur to
Shlomo Riskin is chancellor of Ohr Torah
Rosh Hashanah and joins the tekiyah
of Yom Kippur to the teruah of Rosh
Stone and chief rabbi of Efrat,
Hashanah as well.
Join us in honoring Cantor Sam!
Shalom Detroit! Cantor Sam Greenbaum has touched thousands of you at
some point in your family's life. He may have performed a bris, officiated at a
lifecycle event, led a service or offered a kind word.
Congregation Beth Shalom is honoring Cantor Sam and his amazing wife,
Mona, for their 40 years of service to the synagogue and the Detroit Jewish
community at our third annual Chai Life Celebration on October 13, 2013.
We hope you will join us!
Please choose how you would like to honor Cantor Sam and Mona:
• Place an ad or personal message in the ad journal
(all ads are due by September 9, 2013)
• Attend the Chai Life Celebration on Oct. 13, 2013 at
Beth Shalom. Tickets are $150 and include a silent
auction, "pushka" auction, Gold Star tickets and a
fabulous strolling dinner by Quality Kosher Catering.
• Donate an item to our silent auction
• Add your children's names to our "I'm perfect now"
page in the ad journal ($18.00 per name). As you know
if you have ever been to a Cantor Sam bris,
he gives every one of his newborn clients a T-shirt
with this slogan!
Please return the form below to let us know how you would like to participate.
Contact the synagogue office at (248) 547-7970 or firstname.lastname@example.org
if you have any questions.
Lynn Lipman (email@example.com )
Chai Life Co-chair
Gail Elkus (firstname.lastname@example.org )
Chai Life Co-chair
Congregation Beth Shalom
14601 W. Lincoln, Oak Park, MI 48237 • (248) 547-7970
Yes! I want to honor Cantor Sam and Mona Greenbaum by:
J Placing an ad in the ad journal. Please send a contract.
A Attending the Chai Life Celebration. Please send an invitation.
A Making a donation to the silent auction. Please contact me.
A Adding name(s) to the "I'm Perfect Now" page ($18.00 per name):
A Making a monetary donation in Cantor Sam's honor (check enclosed)
September 5 • 2013