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Blow your Horn

By: Mrs Michal Porat-Zibman

In the middle of Parshat Behaalotcha, the Torah records the story of the command to Moshe to construct the 'chatzotzrot', the trumpets. The point of these trumpets was to blow them at assigned times. For example, in Psukim 8-9 of Perek 10, the Torah tells us as follows:"If you are going to war against the enemy in your should blow the trumpets and you will be remembered before G-d.....On days of joy and should blow the trumpets...and it will be a reminder for G-d".

Although we obviously no longer have these trumpets, and we are no longer commanded to blow them on these occasions, I still think that there is an eternal message that the Torah is giving over to us through this story and command.

The question that arises is how could it be that we have the same commandment, the same Mitzvah, as a response to two very different emotional states of mind? When one goes to war, the mind and heart are clearly in a very different place than they are when one is preparing for a joyous day whether personally or nationally. It seems that the Torah commands us to have the same reaction, even though the scenarios could not be more different.

One option is that each of these types of experiences are so profound and so intense, that words are not enough. It is an expression of emotion that is far beyond words, and only the sound of music, the sounds coming from the instrument, are adequately enough to fit the mood. Any other attempt at a sound- like speech- would diminish the intensity of an experience that words itself cannot capture.

Another option to consider might be that we are meant to be aware of the fact, that "Hakol Mishamayim"- everything comes from Hashem. As a result, we then turn to G-d in our greatest moments as well as in our weakest ones. The same action we were called upon to take then, 'to blow the trumpets before the Lord', we can translate today to the language of calling out to G-d; be it in prayer, in song, or in speech. We often blame G-d when things go wrong, but do we remember to thank G-d when things go right? We are called upon to join in saying Tehillim when someone is unfortunately going through a difficult time, but do we join in saying Tehillim when someone is celebrating a simcha? This weeks Parsha teaches us an eternal message through a temporary means. Be it trumpets, a kumzitz, a personal Tefillah, or any other means. When one confronts either a dangerous situation G-d Forbid, or an exciting one, one should turn to G-d and pray that He guide us through this time period, whatever it may be.

Shabbat Shalom




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