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Rabbi Katie Bauman - Erev Rosh Hashanah, September 18, 2020
Jason Gaines, the Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Dept. of Jewish Studies at Tulane, shares his historical and literary interpretation of Exodus 19, the first time that the shofar is mentioned in the Torah.
The shofar calls us to begin the introspection our tradition asks of us during the Yamim Noraim — the Days of Awe. The cycle of different shofar blasts guides our journey, as we look at those parts of ourselves that may be broken. T’kiya G’dolah, the final, solid long blast, leads us back to wholeness.
Next to me here in Audubon Park is the Tree of Life.
Just imagine all of the moments this tree has witnessed throughout the years, the storms it has weathered, the weddings celebrated underneath its branches.
Next to this Tree of Life, the shofar calls us to celebrate life.
Today is the new moon — the first day of the month of Elul — which marks the beginning of the High Holiday season. Over the course of this month, the moon will wax until it’s full, and when it disappears in the sky again, we enter the new year with Rosh HaShanah.
Take a look at the sky each night — the moon is a reminder of the sacred time we are entering. Each day over the course of this month the shofar calls us, reminding us to prepare to make the most of the coming new year.
Poet Marcia Falk wrote this reflection:...