Rabbi Arthur Waskow offers some reasons why the shofar is not blown on Shabbat. The most obvious is the halakhic conundrum of carrying. We are not supposed to carry the shofar from home to the synagogue, which would violate the Jewish law of carrying from private to public domains.
The second reason is one we should absorb for the upcoming new year. He explains that the shofar is not blown on Shabbat because nothing should prevent the contemplation of Shabbat. And there is a chance the shofar would break our spiritual concentration. Shabbat itself is a stronger stirring of the soul than the shofar ever could be. Nothing should be allowed to break that spiritual barrier.
What a powerful force. Each week, we hold something just as jarring, alerting, and inspiring as the shofar. If we let Shabbat in, imagine what we might hear. Imagine what we might see.
The shofar is blown to wake us up. To help us move towards a more righteous path. The quick blasts might inspire quick moves and fast decisions. Necessary actions for the new year. But Shabbat helps us plan. Methodical choices that build character and sustain the soul.
We’ll hear the shofar on the second day of Rosh Hashana. And Shabbat comes each week. May the shofar encourage the immediate movement we need to begin our year. May Shabbat inspire a continuous holy journey, lifting us higher week after week.
Shana Tovah and Shabbat Shalom
In partnership with The Jewish Journal, you can also find Rabbi Guzik’s blog post HERE.