Rabbi Tuvia Bolton: Nitzavim – Shofar is ALWAYS NEW!


    Rabbi Tuvia Bolton: Nitzavim – Shofar is ALWAYS NEW!

    Try to remember the first time you ever heard the Shofar on Rosh Hashanah? There are millions of Jews throughout the world that cannot. Because either they do not know that they are Jewish… don’t know what it means or don’t care… Read the rest of this article by Rabbi Tuvia Bolton • Full Article

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    Try to remember the first time you ever heard the Shofar on Rosh Hashanah? There are millions of Jews throughout the world that cannot. Because either they do not know that they are Jewish … don’t know what it means or don’t care.

    But the Baal Shem Tov taught that every Jew, without exception, no matter when or how many times they have heard the Shofar it is always as though hearing it for the first time.

    And he gave a parable:

    Once there was a great king that had a mischievous son. The ten-year-old boy requested from his father several times to let him play with the town children outside of the castle wall but his father refused saying, ‘Soon you will be King, and a King must be different’.

    So he escaped. When no one was looking he changed into simple clothes, hid himself under some baskets in the back of a wagon that was about to leave the palace, and in minutes he was outside, free! It was so simple! He was really free!

    After a distance he jumped out of the wagon, and was on the way to a new life, playing with other children and having fun. When after a few days he ran out of money, he wasn’t fazed. He was enjoying himself and he didn’t want to stop. So he learned how to beg and was soon living each day as it came, constantly on the move so he wouldn’t get caught. He wandered from city to city and country to country. The days turned into weeks and the weeks to months until ten years had passed and he had become a strong young man. But he hardly looked like the prince he really was, in fact he barely looked human. His ragged clothes, long dirty hair and strange stare made him look like some wild animal. He had long forgotten about playing games and his only thought was to keep moving and survive; collecting money for food.

    As fate would have it, he wandered unknowingly to the country of his birth. Remembering nothing, and seeing the huge castle in the distance, he headed there hoping to get a large donation. But it wasn’t that easy. As soon as he began to try the gates the guards rushed to stop him and a fight broke out.

    Meanwhile, his father the king had not forgotten him. Every day for the last ten years he would climb high in one of the castle towers and gaze into the distance for several minutes, hoping to see some sign of his son. What more could he do? He had already sent out hundreds of messengers and searchers year after year with no results.

    So it was on this day, high in the tower he looked at the horizon, remembering his son’s angelic face, his warm smiling eyes, and a small tear trickled down his cheek. “Another empty day,” he thought to himself, as he slowly turned to descend the tower steps.

    Meanwhile down at the gate the fight was going fast and furious and the guards were having trouble controlling this wild man. At one point he incapacitated them all with one mighty blow, lifted his head in victory and unexpectedly noticed the old king in the window of the tower.

    And he began to cry.

    “What is this?” he thought to himself “Am I a baby? Why am I crying? I never cry!” Then, in a flash, it all came back to him. He remembered the building, the wall! “This is my house! My Castle! Wait… that man, that old man in the window he is …… MY FATHER!! The KING!!!”

    But those few seconds of reverie cost him dearly. The guards recovered and began striking him mercilessly. He tried to protect himself from the blows but it was too late he was about to lose consciousness.

    In desperation he cried out; “FATHER, FATHER!!! HELP!!! SAVE ME!!!!” But it didn’t work. In the ten years that he was away he had forgotten his native tongue his father did not understand him, and had turned to leave.

    Suddenly from somewhere deep inside of him, somewhere even deeper than all the new memories and deeper than the pain he was feeling he screamed. Even the guards were startled for a moment. First a long piercing scream … then a broken cry.

    The king turned. “What is that?” he said to himself, “What is that scream?” He ran to the window and looked down … and their eyes met. “Those eyes!” The King’s mind was racing, “Those are the eyes of ROYALTY! … Those are the eyes of ….. my son!!! MY SON!!”

    The King raced down the winding tower stairs, opened the huge castle gates, shoved away the guards and embraced the filthy ‘wild man’ in torn clothes saying, “My son, My son, I haven’t forgotten you!” And the prince was home again.

    This is the parable of the Baal Shem Tov.

    The King is G-d. His son is the Jewish people. The Castle is the Synagogue. All the year we think that we are just ordinary people, we forget who we are. But once a year on Rosh Hashanah we return to the palace and realize that we are royalty! The King of all creation is our father! But we forgot the language. We’ve almost lost our consciousness. So we desperately scream to the King himself.  The scream is the blast of the Shofar

    This is what every Jew feels anew every time they hear the Shofar on Rosh HaShanah. And that is the language that Gd really understands; a scream from the essence of the Jewish heart “Father, Father, save me!”

    That is why this week’s Torah reading Nitzavim (which always is read just before Rosh Hashanah) begins with the unity of all the Jews:

    “You are all standing today all of you” And the Rebbe explains that ‘today’ here refers to Rosh Hashanah; on this day the Shofar unites all the Jewish people with this same feeling.

    But often, too often, this feeling is ignored, misinterpreted, or forgotten. And this is the job of Moshiach (and every Rebbe of Chabad is the Moshiach of his time).

    The Moshiach will educate all the Jewish people so that no one ignores, forgets, or misinterprets this G-dly arousal as we pray for three times a day: “Sound the Great Shofar and gather all of us”.

    We are begging G-d to send the Moshiach and the ‘Shofar blast’; from above that will arouse the Jewish identity in each and every Jew.

    Sounds hard to believe? Well, it’s already happening! Myriads of Jews are regaining consciousness. This is one main reason that many people believe the Lubavitcher Rebbe to be Moshiach; because he is sounding the Great Shofar of worldwide outreach to inspire and educate EVERY JEW in the world.

    But it all depends on us to help, and not much is missing: even one more good deed, word or even thought can change the entire world to become a blessed, happy, heathy and holy place.

    Wishing all our readers a good, sweet, healthy, happy, prosperous, New Year, kisiva vchasima Tova with ……

    Moshiach NOW!
    Rabbi Tuvia Bolton
    Yeshiva Ohr Tmimim
    Kfar Chabad, Israel



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    Rabbi Tuvia Bolton: Nitzavim – Shofar is ALWAYS NEW!