Ever wonder why...we blow the shofar during the month of Elul?
We must begin with a bit of
background. On the 6th of Sivan, forty-nine days after Bnei Yisrael
left Egypt they stood at Har Sinai to receive the Torah from Hashem.
They heard the Aseret Hadibrot, The Ten Commandments, from Hashem. The
next day, the 7th of Sivan Moshe Rabeinnu went up to Har Sinai to learn
the rest of the Torah and then teach it to Bnei Yisrael.
Moshe was supposed to stay for forty days and
nights. The people became confused and committed the Chait HaEigel, the
Sin of the Golden Calf. This took place on the 17th of Tammuz. Hashem
wanted to destroy the Jewish people and start a new nation from Moshe.
On the 18th of Tammuz, Moshe went back up to Har Sinai to plead for
Bnei Yisrael. Hashem forgave Bnei Yisrael, and told Moshe to go back up
to Har Sinai for another forty days and forty nights in order to
receive the second set of Luchot, Tablets. This was Rosh Chodesh Elul.
Moshe was very concerned that the people might sin
again. He therefore instructed that the shofar should be blown daily to
remind the people not to sin. Moshe returned on Yom Kippur. Hashem had
totally forgiven Bnei Yisrael and Yom Kippur had become a day of
forgiveness for the Jewish people forever.
During Elul we prepare ourselves for the upcoming
Yom Hadin, Day of Judgment. It is a time when of retrospect, soul
searching and repentance before Rosh Hashanah. Our Rabbi’s recognized
the power of the shofar to arouse people into a heightened awareness of
the need to repent. It is the nature of a shofar's blast to bring about
these feelings, as the Prophet Amos stated (Amos 3:6): "Shall a Shofar
be blown in a city and the people not tremble?" They therefore
established the Shofar to be blown during the month of Elul just as
Moshe had done.
Rabbi Eliezer Kessler