Sedra of the week: Yitro

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Sedra of the week: Yitro

Rabbi Boruch M Boudilovsky looks ahead to this week's portion of the Torah

 “All the inhabitants of the world, all the dwellers on this earth, when He lifts up a banner on the mountains, you will see it, and when He sounds the shofar you shall hear.” (Isaiah 18)

“On that day a great Shofar will be sounded, and those who are lost will come from the land of Assyria, and those who were banished, from the land of Egypt, and they will worship the Lord at the holy mountain in Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 27)

“The lord will appear to them, His arrow will come out like lightning, and the Lord God will sound the Shofar and will move in storm winds of the south.” (Zechariah 9)

These verses are the final three of 10 exploring the general theme of the shofar as an introduction to the blessing of Shofarot, said on Rosh Hashanah.

They highlight the universal role the shofar plays. In the Jewish utopian vision, its sound extends beyond the halls of synagogues and encompasses the entire world, from its largest capital cities to its smallest distant villages. Indeed, all will be inspired to look to Jerusalem and serve God in unity and peace.

But the final universal call of the shofar is one that has been enabled by the first, which was heard by those gathered at Sinai.

“In thunder and lightning You revealed Yourself to them, and amid the sound of the shofar You appeared.”

The magnificent sound of the shofar announcing an unprecedented era is the same sound that accompanied our nation at Sinai.

Judaism is whole when it includes both shofar callings, the first at Sinai and the final messianic one. We are inspired to follow the same model of articulating Judaism’s universal values while remaining committed to the covenant we received at Sinai.

Rabbi Boruch M Boudilovsky serves Young Israel of North Netanya

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