Before we blast the shofar on Rosh Hashana, we recite Psalm 47, SEVEN times. This reminds us of the book of Joshua, Chapter 6, when we read how the Israelites encircled Jericho for SEVEN straight days, blasting shofarot. This culminated on the SEVENTH day with the encircling of the city SEVEN times until with one final blast of the shofar the walls of Jericho came tumbling down.
Perhaps this is a model for the power of the Shofar to cause walls to collapse. However, the walls that we need to fall during this time of year are of a different type. These are the invisible walls that distance us from one another and from God.
As we blast the shofar during the month of Elul and on Rosh Hashana, let us allow the piercing sound of the shofar to inspire us to tear down the walls that divide us from one another and from God.
We have been distanced in various ways from one another the past couple of years. As we are blessed to be back in person returning to normalcy, let us make sure that we are not only physically closer but also more deeply connected to one another through Jewish community, connection to Israel, and our sacred Torah.
Shana Tova from my family to yours!
Adam Starr is the rabbi of Congregation Ohr HaTorah in Toco Hills.