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The Sabbatical and Jubilee year represent an even greater fusion of the infinite and finite than the weekly Shabbat.

Breaking the Fetters

Breaking the Fetters

The Sabbatical and Jubilee year represent an even greater fusion of the infinite and finite than the weekly Shabbat.

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For an explanation of the methodology of this series, see the introduction.

"You shall proclaim [with] the shofar blasts, in the seventh month, on the tenth of the month; on the Day of Atonement, you shall sound the shofar throughout your land. " (Lev. 25:9)

Peshat (basic meaning):

Rashi: "You shall proclaim/ha’avarta"
lit., "you shall pass" something from one place to another. But here, [this term] stems from [the similar expression in the verse], "and they proclaimed throughout the camp", (Exod. 36:6) an expression of proclamation.

Siftei Chachamim: 'v’ha’avarta shofar' of this verse [is not literal and] does not mean that we should move the shofar from one place to another.

"[On the tenth of the month] on the Day of Atonement"
But since it says, "on the Day of Atonement," do I not already know that this occurs "on the tenth of the month"? So why does Scripture need to state, "on the tenth of the month"?
However, [it does so] in order to teach you the following: [The obligation] to sound the shofar on the tenth of the month [i.e., on the Yom Kippur of the Jubilee year] overrides the [prohibition of sounding the shofar on the] Sabbath "throughout your entire land," whereas [the obligation] to sound the shofar on Rosh Hashanah does not override the [prohibition of sounding the shofar on] Sabbath "throughout your entire land," except in the court of law [where this prohibition does not apply (see Ramban on our verse)].

Remez (hinted meaning):

Baal HaTurim: "in the seventh month"
...it is a month satisfied with mitzvot. The word 'hashevi’i/the seventh' is spelled defectively, without the median Yud, so it can be read 'Hasevi'i/the satisfied one', as if to say it is a month satisfied with mitzvot.

"You shall sound the shofar throughout your land"
The initial letters of the first three words when rearranged spell Shabbat, meaning that only the blowing of the shofar of the Jubilee year which is done by each person at the time it is done in the court overrides the Shabbat.

Derash (interpretive meaning):

Ramban: Rashi wanted to teach us that the blowing of the shofar on the Day of Atonement is to be done in all places, for the expression: "you shall make proclamation with the horn throughout all your land" is to teach us that each individual is obliged to blow or hear the sound of the shofar and that the blowing is not done only at the court as is the counting of the years.
The verses about the Sabbatical years promise that the heart will be peaceful.
Isbitz: Everywhere it says eretz/land, it also refers to the heart. The verses about the Sabbatical years promise that the heart will be peaceful.

Lubavitcher Rebbe: The purpose of mitzvot is to fuse the infinite G‑dliness with the finite world. Thus a Jew constantly fluctuates between the 6 days of the working in the finite world and the day of Shabbat when he lifts himself above worldly matters and dedicates the day to G‑d.
However the Sabbatical and Jubilee year actually represent a greater fusion of the infinite and finite than the weekly Shabbat. For on Shabbat a person is totally disconnected from worldly matters, but on the Sabbatical year a person can do work except for field labor but that work is done with heightened spiritual awareness of the Sabbatical of Jubilee year. (Likutei Sichot 1:275)

Sod (esoteric, mystical meaning):

Zohar Emor 92:
It is written:
"Then shall you cause the shofar to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month." (Lev. 25:9) Why sound the shofar? The shofar breaks the fetters which breaks the power on all slaves. One should display a simple shofar, not curved, to indicate freedom to all, which that day has brought about. It behooves one always to demonstrate a deed. Hence a shofar is used rather than a horn, to indicate whence it comes, a place called shofar.

BeRahamim LeHayyim:
We read that the shofar can break all binds, all enslavements, and brings freedom to all. As it does in the Jubilee, so too does it do on Rosh Hashanah to the heart that wants to be broken, humbled, ready to return to G‑d.

The mystical intentions of shofar are found in its Hebrew spelling. The letters Pei and Resh of shofar stand for the Par Dinim (280), the feminine/passive judgments that also total the numerical value of the five letters that take also a final form: mem, nun, tzadik, peh, chof. The letters Shin and Vav of shofar total 306, which is Devash/honey as well as 'Av HaRachaman/Merciful Father', said in the second blessing of the Amidah prayer during the 10 Days of Teshuvah. This 306 plus the 14 joints of the hand which holds the shofar total 320, standing for the 320 male/active judgments. All of these judgments are "broken" and sweetened by the shofar on Rosh Hashanah, much in the same way that the chains and fetters of slavery are spiritually broken by the shofar blown at Jubilee, freeing all slaves.
We are all slaves to our sins...
We are all slaves to our sins, to those times we miss the mark, and to the desires that pull us away from the light. The sound of the shofar is more than a wake up call to Teshuva/Return. It represents itself the Supernal Imma/ Mother who is always there with open arms to accept those who want to return to her loving embrace.


Copyright 2003 by KabbalaOnline.org, a project of Ascent of Safed (//ascentofsafed.com). All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this work or portions thereof, in any form, unless with permission, in writing, from Kabbala Online.

Rahmiel-Hayyim Drizin is a devoted student of many of the leading teachers of Kabbala in English in Israel and the USA. He is a criminal defense lawyer who lives in Oak Park, Illinois with his family.
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mike first marion, ohio April 4, 2016

shofar what letters comprise the word shofar ? Reply

Patt Cohen September 11, 2013

Sound of the Shofar Thanks for the great, detailed sharing of what the sounding of the shofar means and is meant to do for the people of G-d. We remember where we are supposed to be if we have been moved elsewhere, or we remember to draw even closer to our Creator. Reply

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