Every day this month, prior to the Jewish High Holy Days, Jews will sound the Shofar, the rams horn, to herald the coming of the Days of Judgement and Atonement. One of the reasons given for the call of the shofar is to remind us of the eternal voiceless cry of the soul.
This thirteenth anniversary of September 11th and the symbolism of the shofar are expressed by this soulful prayer for our time of remembrance this Thursday:
*May the cry of the shofar remind us of the 2,973 lives that were taken that day. May the shofar’s sound echo like the sirens of the firefighters. police officers and first responders whose heroic sacrifices were extraordinary on that day.
*May the shofar’s plaintiff call remind us how fleeting and fragile this life is.
*May the voice of the shofar serve to comfort all who were wounded in body and spirit; those who lost loved ones and friends, and all whose hearts were broken by witnessing the pain of others.
*On this 13th anniversary, may the blast of the shofar drown out the shouts of cruel extremists who threaten us and who would destroy our lives and our freedom.
*On this 13th anniversary, and every day yet to come, may we find hope and strength in a world that is broken and needs healing. And let us pray that all caring and compassionate human beings will not surrender to evil and will summon the courage to repair our fractured world.
And let the shofar be like a siren that alerts us to danger and summons us to act.
May there come a day when we, and our children, and our children’s children, will live unafraid in a more tolerant, just, and peaceful world.
Rabbi Hirshel Jaffe has lived a courageous life of involvement and dedication. He led a Unity March against the Ku Klux Klan, rallied to free Soviet Jews, and was a member of the Clergy Delegation who visited the American Hostages in Iran. His participation in the New York City Marathon earned him the nickname, “The Running Rabbi.”