Day Eight: Am I Awake?

INSPIRATION

There are three main types of shofar blasts that we hear on Rosh Hashanah and the days leading up to it: Tekiah, shevarim and t'ruah. A fourth type, tekiah gedolah, is just a longer version of the regular tekiah blast.

The tekiah blast is one long note that acts as a kind of summons. It is the sound which is to awaken us from a spiritual slumber and prepare us for the work to be done. 

One of the favorite prayers we sing in temple is before the Barchu. Written by Noah Aronson, we sing:

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Am I awake?
Am I prepared?
Are you listening to my prayer?
Can you hear my voice?
Can you understand?
Am I awake?
Am I prepared?

Interestingly, there is no mitzvah to blow a tekiah on the shofar - there is only the mitzvah to hear the tekiah from the shofar. The question we are asked on these days is, are you awake? Are you listening? Can you hear the piercing tekiah?

PERSPIRATION

There are a multitude of moments calling to us, shouting out - tekiah! Perhaps you hear the tekiah of those less fortunate than you; those who cannot raise their voice; those who are ignored, repressed, and mistreated. Maybe you hear the tekiah of injustice or the tekiah of racism, anti-semitism or xenophobia. Perhaps you hear the tekiah of those who don't even have enough to feed their families.

What Do I Do?

This year, don't just hear the tekiah, awaken to it. Be ready to answer the call. We will be collecting food for those who are hungry on Yom Kippur and the tekiah is calling out to you. Listen, wake up!

FOR KIDS

When you hear the shofar, what does it make you think of? Maybe an alarm telling you that there is something important to do?