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Biography of Yehuda Katz | Archives | This Week's Parsha


"You shall sound a broken blast on the Shofar......."(25:9)(24:10)

Having counted seven cycles of Shmitta (7 years) years, the Sanhedrin (Jewish High Court) proclaimed the 50th year as a "Yovail" year. On Yom Kippur of a "yovail" year, a Shofar was sounded to proclaim freedom for all Jewish slaves.( In Judaism "slavery" was much different that what is commonly known. A Jewish "slave" had rights, however , a further understanding of this concept is beyond the scope of this sheet.) We must try to understand the significance of the Shofar blowing in regard to the freeing of the "slaves" in the "Yovail" year, Bezrat Hashem..................................................I would like to propose the following original idea in this regard, Bezrat Hashem as follows: When the "owner" sees his "slave" go free with the sound of the Shofar, it has a profound effect on him in a very spiritual way. It reminds him of something that is very significant...........When this owner sees a person being freed from his servitude, the owner in turn also wishes to be free. But , he wants freedom from his bad habits and the very things that holds him back from reaching great levels of spirituality, namely his evil inclination. A time will come when this will occur.....But when???? We find in Isaiah 27:13 a reference to the Shofar as follows: " And it shall come to pass on that day, that a great Shofar shall be blown............................" This is referring to the Messianic time. Therefore, when the "owner" hears the Shofar being blown on the "Yovail" year that frees his "slaves", it makes him nostalgic for a time when he will also be free from the shackles of his evil inclination. However, the Torah is giving him a chance to free himself now even if its only slightly. By seeing his 'slaves" go free, this should also enable him to in some sense be aware of what freedom is. This will jolt him to discover inside of himself what actually needs to be fixed and corrected so that his own personal freedom can be further be facilitated. The Shofar blast has the power and the ability to bring about change. However, are we ready to listen? Have a good Shabbos................


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