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A Prayer for Sounding the Shofar

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Dear God,

Moses, placed in the basket by the river, kept silent, too frightened to cry.

Abraham, walking up the mountain with Isaac, kept silent, refusing to give way to the wild sounds of his own grief.

When Aaron's children were taken from him, Aaron was silent for there were no words.

Ruth walked without a sound to the fields for she could give no voice to her loss and her hope.

We, too, are fearful. We stay hidden behind our respectable masks, our tears dried, our faces composed. Our fears are unexpressed, our cries buried deep within.

Like Moses, Abraham, Aaron, Rachel, we are too awed or too timid or simply too self-conscious to open our wounds to the world.

You have given us a way to cry. Behind the thicket Abraham found the ram and the instrument of our expression.

The shofar will cry for us.

In the shevarim, the brokenness that afflicts our hearts.

In the teruah, the blasts of pain or hope or recognition that sometimes sear our souls.

In the tekiah, the hope for wholeness. We cry out from healing as we do from hurt.

We cry in supplication, in loss, in love.

Dear God, help us learn the sounds of the shofar. The sound of our history. The sound of our sorrows.

Let it draw us closer to You with each blast, with each whispered promise, with each unspoken prayer.

TEKIAH GEDOLAH. For ourselves, our ancestors, our children, let us listen to the cries of the shofar. In each note is the secret, ancient anguish of the Jewish heart.

In its sound is our awakening and hope for redemption.

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