The sound of the shofar has no intrinsic meaning; it's just sound.
G-d's sound is Holiness.
What's more important, listening or speaking?
Speaking is active, but listening is more active;
It's harder to hear someone else, to pay attention to what is not you.
Shofar is a cry – we are broken, in need of mending and meaning.
Shofar is G-d's cry to us and our cry to G-d.
We are present only when we hear it, and then it disappears like smoke.
Shofar is incense of hearing
the last thing before death
the first experience of life is Breath and a cry..
Shofar is a warning and a blessing within us
from me to you only
an echo sound upon silence inside
Shofar is everything and nothing, inside and outside, what we know and don't know.
Halakhot (Laws) of Shoforot
- Every sound must be clear, precise and of required length.
- Teruah (an alarm, warning) consists of nine short sounds;
- Shevarim ('broken') is three successive sounds, each as long as three Teruah sounds so that Shevarim equals nine sounds…
- Tekiot (proclamation and coronation) should be as long as Teruah and Shevarim together, nine sounds."
Source: [Shulcan Aruch,129;13]
Rabbi Isaac Arama (1420-1494), author of the Akeidat Yitzhak, interpreted tekiah as the sound of joy, hope and trust in future redemption, and teruah as the sound of awe, fear and trembling. That's why tekiah must be of equal length to shevarim-teruah. Life is Balance.
"And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, amidst thunder and lightening and thick clouds covering the mountain that tremendous piercing blasts of the shofar were heard, so that all the people in the camp trembled … And G-d descended as fire and smoke rose as if from a furnace and the whole mountain shook as the wail of the shofar became longer and louder and louder…
Shofar is the link between the binding of Isaac, the Akeidah, and Revelation, Giloui Shechinah, pachad Yitzhak, a moment of Truth and Awareness.
Bound by the past and hurtling into the future, between helplessness and strength, ritual and creativity, blindness and vision, meaninglessness and meaning, confusion and clarity – the shofar screams, "Where are you?" and "Where are You?"
Without Akidah there cannot be Revelation; and without Revelation, Akidah is meaningless. Amidst chaos and confusion, doubt and despair, the shofar cries out beyond words, what cannot be said: faith in G-d, belief in who we are and can become...