Coming back home: The shofar’s call

The shofar call us home, form the Kabbalah of Rabbi Ashlag

Blowing the shofar

The month of Elul, the month preceding Rosh haShanah is a good moment for taking time out to contemplate the last year….  or  to look at our lives as a whole. Its a moment when quietly we can be truthful with ourselves and see which of our  thoughts, actions and words were in line with our own highest values, and where to be frank we let ourselves down.

Thoughts  of our own slip-ups  are painful and sorrowful and our most likely response is to push them away.   A different, more healthy response that  will bring us into a more aware consciousnesses,  is the message of the shofar.

The Zohar teaches us that the sound of the shofar is the voice of compassion, the voice of loving-kindness.  It awakens us to Teshuvah, because the ultimate source of our unhappiness and of our mistakes is our disconnection from our Source. But words that were said, can’t be unsaid, and actions that were taken. now exist. So what can we do to mend things?

Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto, in his great work, Mesillat Yesharim, (The path of the righteous) writes:

“ Teshuvah, (Repentance) is given to people with absolute loving-kindness so that the rooting out of the will which prompted the deed is considered a rooting out of the deed itself.”

This loving-kindness manifests in the sound of the shofar. The voice of the shofar opens the opportunity to make good , to undo , to come back fresh…. and to a new start.

This is the miracle of Teshuvah: Teshuvah is returning home. It is returning to our Source. Before the world was created Teshuvah was created. Before Man came into being, the possibility of return was built into the whole scheme of things. The call of the shofar, is the call of compassion, of mercy and of bringing us back home.

May we all be blessed with a sweet and happy New Year.

Listen to podcast

This Torah podcast is dedicated l’ilui nishmat  Chana Annette bat Mazal and Moshe 

This talk is based on excerpts from Rabbi Ashlag’s Perush haSulam on Zohar Vayerah 381 and  Zohar TeZaveh 88-92

photo credit

Further talks on Elul, Teshuvah and Rosh hashanah

Forty days of love: From Elul to Yom Kippur

Enjoying the month of Elul

Shame is a precious feeling

The language of Rosh Hashanah is derived from the Kabbalah

The Shofar, the sound of compassion

Changing our outlook on Rosh HaShanah

Rosh Hashanah: Choosing anew.

Rosh Hashanah apples pomegranate and shofar

Rosh Hashanah: apples, pomegranate, and shofar

Ego or soul? which one do we want to be governed by? The concept of God as King is actually a discussion of our own choice.

Rosh HaShanah, the new year is a day of choice; a day when we are given the possibility of choosing again. This is an amazing thought. For so many of us, the days go by and we seem to have drifted into habits of thought, feeling and even actions, which on closer examination we may not in fact espouse.
So what does this new choice consist of, and how do we choose?

Do we choose to come back into the mode of compassion or giving which will bring us back to union with the Creator? Of course we do. So what makes this choice so difficult/ or so hard to uphold?

Listen

to an article by Rabbi baruch Shalom Ashlag who ex[plains the choice and how to take th leapr of fiath towards the Creator who then takes the giant steps towards us. But the choice is ours and the day of choice, Rosh hashanah!

May all of us be blessed with a sweet New Year, Shanah Tovah! Yedidah

Listen

Other talks for Rosh Hashanah can be found here

The language of Rosh Hashanah is derived from the Kabbalah

The Shofar, the sound of compassion

Changing our outlook on Rosh HaShanah

 

The Book of life is the consciousness of giving

Elul: the month of choice for life and compassion

The shofar is the sound of compassion

People often approach the high holidays with some feelings of guilt or dread. Much of this is based on misinterpretations of classical texts. Rabbi Ashlag, by teaching us the spiritual roots of the language helps us correct these faulty ideas and discover how wrong we have been. This particularly apples to the festivals of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, transforming them from occasions dreaded, to festivals of happiness and joy.

The Talmud states that on Rosh Hashanah three books are opened: the book of the righteous, the book of the wicked and that of those in-between. In the language of the Kabbalah “a book” is a vehicle of consciousness, “life” is the affinity of form with the Life of all Lives, and the wicked is the will to receive for ourselves alone. Thus we see that the books that are opened are consciousnesses within us and the judgement is our own. Which choices will we make? Let us pray to the Creator that we may choose that which gives goodness to our fellow and is compassionate, writing our postive selves for life and sustenance and letting die our ego- orientated selfish desires.

Listen to podcast

Other talks for Elul:

Forty days of love: From Elul to Yom Kippur
Enjoying the month of Elul
Shame is a precious feeling

The shofar: a call to compassion

Blowing the shofar, the sound of compassion

As the cycle of the new year starts anew, we start the tikkun of the Malchut again. Just as she came forth on the fourth day of creation so she comes forth again on the morning of Rosh Hashanah . But the light of Chochmah, with which she was endowed, is too strong for the souls, and there is a fear that if that light were to be left as it is, it would cause great suffering in the world, as we would receive it for ourselves alone. To avert this, and to balance the light , we invoke the light of loving kindness by blowing the shofar.

This action, conducted by Jews the world over, brings the light of Binah, the light of compassion into the world. Now, more than  ever, the world needs the precious light of  compassion.

May we merit to hear the sound of the shofar in love this year. Amen.

Listen to  a class on the Zohar for Rosh Hashanah   (35 minutes)

The Language of Rosh Hashanah derives from the Kabbalah

The symbls of Rosha Hshanah are derived  from the KabbalahBlessings, compassion and connection with God are the true associations with Rosh HaShanah. It isn’t generally appreciated the extent to which the language of the Kabbalah has penetrated our prayers and traditions. As we learn the true meanings of the symbols of the New Year, we understand more clearly the meaning of the festival.
Click for talk

 

The symbols of Rosh haShanah

When we take a fresh look at the symbols associated with the Jewish New Year according to the Kabbalah, we find judgement turns into compassion and fear and guilt turn into confidence in ourselves and in the future. listen here  http://www.nehorapress.com/115470/audio-on-festivals

Looking forward to the high holidays. Yes it is possible!

So many people dread this time of the year. It  tends to bring up images of an old man in the sky sitting in judgment. Of course we don’t believe in such things but still the anxiety persists. This  false idea of the holidays is so prevlent especially amongst Jews of Ashkenazi  origin , that I had a relook at the holidays from the perspective of the Kabbalah and found anxiety turned into confidence, dread into an eager-looking forward and the day of judgment turned into the day of compassion. Join me in these ten minute talks on this link http://www.nehorapress.com/115470/High-holidays