It’s the end of a full circle, today finds us in the middle of Rosh HaShannah and the start of Yom Teruah, the Feast of Trumpets or literally ‘the day of blasting’. Traditionally the Shofar, a trumpet made from a ram’s (a horn from a flock) horn is used to ‘blast’ or ‘blow’ on Yom Teruah but an argument can be made for just roaring with your own voice.
It’s an interesting thing (for me), the way humans find bracketing events and giving definite space to certain areas of time helpful. There are obvious benefits to giving names to a selected period of time like ‘a week’ or ‘vacation’ especially when it comes to labelling a certain event or budgeting.. but what’s odd, I think, is the way we assign some sort of power to it.
I won’t lie, this last 12 months has been a rough one. The world has seen some utterly terrifying events, political upheaval, soul and home destroying weather and worrying changes in the threat levels of many previously ‘safe’ places. I’ve seen personally utter loss and devastation and grief layed at the door of families who simply didn’t deserve it (who does?)
In 2 weeks it’s Yom Kippur, a day on which a person should reflect on their place in life, their journey so far, their actions.. and attempt to acknowledge the mistakes they have made, seek to find a way to improve themselves and give their soul a makeover. It’s a period of personal reflection that should (if I’m honest) be a daily event for us but rarely is.
Yom Kippur isn’t a time for making noise, it’s a time for peace, it’s a time for thought. I can’t imagine, sitting here right now, expressing myself very well in my own ‘thought landscape’ which the bunched up, tightly stretched and roughly treated emotions and stored up feelings I have been hoarding over the last months. I’m all wound up.
I’m not here to tell you what is right or what to do. Traditionally the Shofar is blown to wake the souls from their sleep, to say, ‘Hey, get with the plan because Judgement is coming!’, this year I’ll be blowing mine with a mind to wake up my own soul from its chains and maybe to shake it free from its anxiousness. I need to take this heavy heart and smash it. I need to do a Jericho number on it and I reckon Yom Teruah is just the day for that..because if I don’t cut away this scar tissue then I’m going to struggle when it comes to exposing my soul on Yom Kippur.
The bible tells us over and over to call out to God and we, often, do just that but internally, I suggest to you that you find a quiet place and just for a change, open your lungs up and try it externally, make some noise. Get it out. Give it up. Make an offering of your voice. Call out a Psalm, openly pray, whatever it takes. Blow that Shofar, call Him. Unburden yourselves.
This is a time to prepare, to start over. A time to blast. A time to shout.