The Beth Jacob V’Anshei Drildz Congregation




29 of Elul 5780 / September 18, 2020

Shabbat Shalom Candle Lighting: 7:03PM

Saturday 1 of Tishrei 5781 September 19, 2020
Shabbat Rosh Hashana
Candle Lighting – After 8:02PM
using Eish to EishShavuah Tov


Shofar in the Year of Corona

by Buxbaum

Most of us take breathing for granted. It’s something that just happens on its own. But as we approach Rosh Hashanah and look back at some of the takeaways from the Jewish year 5780, there has been a focus on breathing.

This year will be remembered as a year of Covid-19 ventilators and masks that inhibit our breathing. This year will be remembered as the year that we were forced to slow down from the rapid pace of our daily lives and just breathe.

For the many who suffered losses, trauma, or disappointments, 5780 will be remembered as a year of challenges and pain. But many will remember this year as one that snapped them out of the trance of daily repetitive living, giving them a chance to learn how to focus on what matters, to get to know their families and themselves a little better, a year that taught them how to truly breathe.

On Rosh Hashanah there is a commandment to blow the shofar, a unique mitzvah in that it is fulfilled by using our breath. The shofar blasts mark the birthday of mankind when God “blew” into man’s nostrils his soul, giving him the “breath of life” (Genesis, 2:7). Breath is symbolic for the soul, as the two share a common Hebrew root. The word for soul, “neshama”, is almost identical to the Hebrew word “neshima”, breathe. It’s no wonder that one can become more aware of the higher levels of their soul by slowing down and focusing on their breathing.

As the virus first began to spread, many took note of its name corona, which means crown, pointing out how this virus would wake up the world to realize how dependent we are on the King of Kings to protect us and to keep world order. Jewish tradition teaches us that the shofar is the very instrument that we use to coronate God as King, proclaiming that everything we have is dependent on God Who is constantly breathing life and sustaining us with His Divine energy.