Happy Rosh Hashanah
Friday 7th September 2018 @ 11:24 am
I vividly remember the first time I listened to a Rabbi blowing the Shofar (A rams horn) for the first time.
A haunting calling, like nothing I had ever heard.
A durge? An alarm? A creeping awareness of a danger?
All of these things went through my mind. The Rabbi asked the students present what it sounded like to them? There was similar reaction … a discomfort at something unfamiliar yet instinctive.
During these days of the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) the Shofar will be blown many times (I am led to believe over 100 times?) When it is heard, the people will respond with words inspired from the Genesis creation account, ‘Today the world is at birth.’ A new year means a celebration, a shouting, a newness and freshness … a reminder that humanity has been created – and therefore can be re–created.
What has been imagined, can be re–imagined.
What has been birthed, can be re–birthed.
What has been produced, can be re–produced.
That is the key in the biblical account of creation – where the traditional translation of Gen 2:3 is that God ‘rested from all the work he had done’ – a more correct Hebrew translation is God rested from all his work. The Hebrew has no past tense in the sentence. Creation is not finished. It’s not over.
It is constant, and vital. It is on–going – always going on.
And so the shofar blasts – and Jews are reminded they are on–going. The celebration of a New Year is not a memorial of what has been, it is a call to constant re–creating. A call to continue the work of God. We are all, now, God’s hands and mind of creation – seeking to re–build, re–form, re–new. This world. Together.
But there is more … there is a deeper space to sit in at this time.
The Shofar sound for the Jews is reminiscent of one of the most striking and brutal Hebrew texts we have … the looking and gazing and waiting and wailing of Sisera’s mother as she watched for his return home from battle. Sisera was an enemy of the Jews – and the female hero Jael stuck his head to the ground with a tent–peg.
Sisera was not coming home.
And yet his mother waited.
‘And at the foot of the cross stood Mary, his mother.’
At the feet of many crosses, many mothers have stood.
And waited, and wailed, and hoped and prayed for miracles of healing, or response, or safety, or … or … or …
In the midst of the blowing of the rams horn, and the utterance, ‘Today the world is at birth’ hangs the memory of the mother of my enemy. Her tears. Her suffering. Her pain.
And so, vitally, in the re–creation we are all called to biblically, the tears and suffering of my enemy are invited to enter me and call me toward participation in the re–creation of the world. This Jewish new year, we are all invited toward partnership with God & fellow humanity in the constant restoring of the promise of creation. That all may be one. That all may be peace. That all may be Shalom
So Happy Rosh Hashanah to my Jewish friends – may your light shine as you continuously re–create the world through entering the tears of your enemies.
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