A king went hunting in the forest. Chasing after a deer, he went deep into the woods, and when he looked around, he found himself alone. He began to look for a way out of the woods, and for the road which would lead him back to his city and palace.

In his search he met some country folk, but nobody recognized him, or wanted to have anything to do with him. When he began to speak to them, they did not even understand what he was saying, nor did they care.

Wandering about in the woods for a long time, the king heard a fine melody that someone was playing on a flute. Following the sound, the king came across a man and engaged him in conversation. The man recognized the king at once, and spoke to him with humility and respect.

The king saw that here was a man after his heart, and liked him at once. When he told the man that he was hoping to meet someone who would be able to lead him out of the woods and back to his palace and throne, the man was happy to do it and the king felt grateful to him. He invited him to his palace and gave him a place of honor among his royal counselors and advisers. Then he ordered costly garments for his friend, befitting his rank.

Some time later, the king's friend disobeyed the king. The king became very angry, and ordered him to appear before the royal court for trial.When the day of trial came, the king's friend took off his robes, and put on the simple clothes he wore on the day when he first met the king. He also took his flute with him, and appeared before the royal court very humble and repentant. Before passing judgment the king asked him if he had any request to make.

"Permit me, Your Majesty, to play a melody on my flute," the defendant asked, and his request was granted.

He played the beautiful melody that he had played on that day when he had met the king for the first time. The king remembered it well. At once that happy meeting came to his mind, when the stranger had made the king so happy, and led him out of the forest back to his palace. The king thereupon pardoned his friend and took him back into his grace and favor.

This story will help us understand a little better the meaning of the blowing of the shofar. For what happened to us is very similar to the story.

When G‑d was about to give the Torah, he turned to various peoples, but no people on earth wanted to accept it. In the end G‑d turned to our people, and we accepted Him and the Torah with the beautiful words of "naaseh v'nishma"-­we will Do and Obey-a promise to fulfill G‑d’s commands without question. We took upon ourselves the Divine rule, and proclaimed G‑d as the King of the whole world. This pleased G‑d very much.

When Rosh Hashanah comes, and all our actions come before G‑d and are weighed on the scale, the good deeds against the bad deeds during the whole year, we may rightly be worried what the outcome may be, if we were judged according to our merits.

We want G‑d to be merciful to us and forgive us no matter what our record may have been in the past. Therefore we appear before G‑d in the way we appeared before Him on that great day at Sinai. On that day the sound of the shofar was heard, and we sang the beautiful melody of "naase v'nishma."

Then G‑d remembers that day and turns towards us with mercy and forgiveness, and our love for G‑d and G‑d’s love for us becomes as strong as ever. Then we may be sure that we will be inscribed unto a New Year of good health and happiness.