Vol 34.13 - Ellul Spanish French Audio Video
|Hebrew Text: HaYom Yom|
(5748) The directive of the Rebbe Rayatz (HaYom Yom: Menachem-Av-30): that during the first day of Rosh-Chodesh Ellul we "practice sounding the shofar"
1. Concerning sounding the shofar (Tekiat Shofar) in the month of Elul, the Rebbe Rayatz instructed (as it is printed in HaYom Yom) that:
“during this day (the first day of Rosh Chodesh) one learns (tokim lehislamed) the sounding the shofar. And on the second day of Rosh Chodesh we begin sounding the shofar after davening.”
Seemingly this requires examination:
What does it mean “learn to sound” during the first day of Rosh Chodesh? For seemingly, it is completely not understandable:
Simply, one could say that the Rebbe Rayatz wanted to differentiate between the opinions of the day when we begin to sound the Shofar in Elul.
And the resolution is that the obligation for the Shofar sounds (Tekiot) in Elul begins on the second day of Rosh Chodesh. But, in order to acquiesce to those that say that we begin on the first day of Rosh Chodesh, we “practice sounding”. In other words we blow the Shofar, but not due to an obligation, but rather just solely to learn (how to do so).
But we need to explain the wording: “learn to sound”. For, it could have simply said: We sound, but not because of a Minhag (custom) or obligation, but just in order to learn, or something similar.
Therefore it is apparent that there is a special aspect in the sounding (Tekiah) which is just: “to learn”. And this Tekiah has a connection to the first day of Rosh Chodesh Elul, as will be explained.
2. According to that which was explained previously, in the explanation of the custom to “learn to sound” - one must analyze the custom when the calendar configuration (kevius) for the first day of Rosh Chodesh Elul occurs on Shabbat (as it does this year), where one may not blow:
For this calendar configuration, we should begin on Erev Rosh Chodesh .
Therefore, for this configuration, we miss the beginning of “learn to sound”.
However, simply one could say that there is no lack. For, it is like every Shabbat in the month of Elul where one does not blow at all. In the Pnimiyut of the subject, it can be understood according to the explanation of the Alter Rebbe that the reason that we do not blow the Shofar on Rosh Hashanah that occurs on Shabbat is because, inwardly, there is no need for the sounding of the Shofar on Shabbat (in the countryside).
For that which is effected by the sounding of the Shofar is accomplished automatically through the Shabbat itself (whose essence is "permanently sanctified" (miKadsha v’Kaima) )
And the same law applies here regarding the Tekiot of the month of Elul. That which the Tekiot need to accomplish on this Shabbat, is automatically accomplished through Shabbat itself.
The simple reason is:
The Tekiot of the month of Elul come to exhort people how to do Teshuvah. As the Sages say:
‘Shabbat are the letters Return (Tashiv)”.
In other words, the essence of the day of Shabbat leads a person to Teshuvah.
[It is just that the Teshuvah of the day of the Shabbat is an extremely high level: “Supernal Teshuva (Teshuva Ila’ah) which is above the mentioning of sins etc., as is explained at length in Igeret HaTeshuvah and in many places]
However, according to the aforementioned (at the end of paragraph 1) it is not ideal (glatik/smooth) to explain so regarding the Tekiot of the first day of Rosh Chodesh –
For there is no reason for this Tekiah in order to exhort one to Teshuvah. But rather, as explained by the wording of the Rebbe Rayatz, it is in order “to learn”. Therefore, how is it possible to say that Shabbat, in and of itself, effects the learning?
3. One could say that the explanation for this (can be understood) by prefacing the explanation of the Alter Rebbe of the custom to blow on Yom Kippur after the Neilah service, one Tekiah - for this Tekiah is similar to the sounding of the “Great Shofar (Shofar Gadol) that (will be sounded) in the future.
For the Tekiot of Rosh Hashanah (which are a hundred sounds including many types of sounds: Tekiah , Shevarim, Teruah ) are (just termed) plain “Shofar”. But the Tekiah Gedolah which we blow at the end and conclusion of the Days of Awe, after the Neilah prayer of Yom Kippur , which is a simple Tekiah, is the epitome of the quality of the sounding of the Shofar – it is similar to the “Great Shofar (Shofar Gadol) that (will be sounded) in the future.
The explanation is:
It is cited in many places that the inner theme of sounding the Shofar is (that it is) the inner voice of the soul which is an inner cry and ”simple” (pashut). It is specifically a “simple sound” (kol pashut).
[And this is the (inner) explanation in Halacha why “all sounds of the Shofar are proper (kosher)” - For the main aspect of the Shofar is specifically a simple sound. Therefore the “form” (tziur) of the sound is not critical, but rather the essence of the sound of the Shofar]
And this is the concept of the “one Tekiah” that we blow after the Neilah prayer, which is one simple sound. For its aspect is the inner cry from the source of the soul which is above every aspect of “form”, even from the “form” of the Tekiah , Shevarim, Teruah (sounds) of Rosh Hashanah which are also called a simple sound compared to the sounds of musical instruments.
[However in order to attain this ‘simple sound’ of Yom Kippur, one needs to precede the sounding of the one-hundred Tekiot of Rosh Hashanna. Through this, one afterwards attains the epitome of the quality of the Shofar, the one Tekiah (Gedolah) at the Neilah prayer of Yom Kippur]
4. According to the principle of “Klal uPrat uKklal” (general/specific/general)
Editor’s note: Based on the hermeneutical principles of R.Yishmael, Klal uPrat uKlal is where two general propositions are separated from each other by an enumeration of particulars. In such a scenario, the general propositions are to be limited to include only such items or facts as are similar to those specified in the particulars.
Just as there is a “proposition/Klal” that comes after “particulars/Prat”, so too, there is a “proposition/Klal” which precedes and is an introduction to the “particulars/Prat”.
The same is also in our case:
For just as after the “particular” one-hundred sounds of Rosh Hashanah, one attains the “proposition/Klal”, the general essential theme (tochno haKlali) of the Shofar - a simple tekiah (specifically a simple sound) of Neilah of Yom Kippur.
Similarly, it is the same at the beginning of the forty days. For before the Avodah in the particulars of the aspect of the sounding the shofar (even in the month of Elul where we sound ten sounds) - there must be a point of beginning , the “proposition/Klal” which precedes the particulars/peratim - and which emphasizes the general theme of the particulars/peratim that follow.
One could say that this is the: “learning to sound” - for this is similar and comparable to the one Tekiah that we sound at the conclusion of the forty days. And as we plainly see, when we begin to sound the Shofar in order to learn, the beginning of the learning is (learning how to) emit a simple sound (and afterwards one learns the specific sounds of Tekiah , Shevarim, Teruah ) - For that is the essential aspect of “all the sounds” of the Shofar, the simple sound which is above the one-hundred sounds of Rosh Hashanah.
5. According to the aforementioned that the intent of “learning to sound” is not just learning how to actually sound the Shofar,
(For if this were so, one could have done this before the first day of Rosh Chodesh Elul)
but rather, that primarily it is the start of the aspect of, the cry of the soul, a simple sound – it is understood that this is applicable, even according to the calendar configuration of this year, where the first day of Rosh Chodesh Elul occurs on Shabbat.
For even though one cannot actually sound the Shofar, nevertheless the essence of the theme of “learning to sound” should and therefore also must exist on the day of Shabbat. Therefore when one performs his Avodah in conjunction with the inner aspect of the Shabbat day, ‘Shabbat are the letters Return (Tashiv)”, Supernal Teshuva (Teshuva Ila’ah), as aforementioned - one attains the simple sound , from the essence of his soul.
However if one knows in his heart, that for whatever reason, he did not perform this Avodah, on this Shabbat - he must do so, as aforementioned.
And one could say that, when the first day of Rosh Chodesh occurs on Shabbat, then just as Shabbat
affects (ahania) the aspect of Rosh Chodesh, so too it is the opposite - the special quality (segulah) of the first day of Rosh Chodesh Elul (which is the day that Moses ascended the mountain according to the opinion that we begin to sound the Shofar on the first day of Rosh Chodesh Elul) “affects” (ahani), that the Supernal Teshuvah of the Shabbat day (in general) should be in a higher manner. So much so (that it effects an) inward crying from the essence of the soul, until it is similar to the ‘Great shofar’ of the future.
M’Sichas first day of Rosh Chodesh Elul 5742
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