Parshat Ki Tavo
By: Rabbi Moshe Goodman, Kollel Ohr Shlomo, Hebron
Inviting the Holy Presence in Our Holy Land
When You Come to the Land
“Blast a great shofar for our freedom… Blessed are You Hashem Who gathers the dispersions of His People Israel.”
Which blast of the shofar, the tekia sound or the terua/shevarim sound, is associated with the ingathering of exiles? On the one hand, the tekia sound is associated with in-gathering the People in the Torah’s words: “when you gather the People you shall sound a tekia and not a terua.” On the other hand, the Torah also teaches us that “a terua shall be sounded for the movement of the encampments.” These encampments moved toward the Land of Israel.
This question is compounded when we contemplate the difference between the tekia sound and the terua/shevarim sound. The word tekia literally means to “fasten into” as the verse says (Isaiah 22, 23), “and I will fasten him – “utkaativ” – as a nail in a sure place,” a matter that implies an encouraging call that is unified with and “fastened” to the listener’s previous consciousness. Indeed, the tekia sound is one long blast, a matter which expresses this unified and “fastened” encouraging call. This matter also explains why the “unified” tekia sound in-gathers the People, for by in-gathering the People the People are also “unified” together. In contrast, the words shevarim and terua literally mean “broken” as in the word “shavur” and “hitroa’a” which means “shaken” or “broken.” Indeed, these sounds are broken sounds which allude, according to our Sages, to the sounds of crying or sighing, sounds which arouse fear or awe, and are far from encouraging. Instead of encouraging or strengthening the listener’s previous state as in the tekia, the terua and shevarim sounds call for change. This matter also explains why the terua/shevarim sounds called the People to move toward the Land of Israel, for these sounds call for change and movement to a new place/consciousness.
Nevertheless, these two types of sounds are actually two elements of one central theme. The Torah teaches that the ingathering of the People by the tekia sound is to occur at Moshe Rabeinu’s encampment next to the Mishkan, called the “Tent of Assembly.” The Talmud Hulin 92a equates the entirety of the Land of Israel with the “House of Hashem,” i.e the Mishkan or Beit HaMikdash. Simply explained, the similarity between the Holy Land and the Temple lies with the Holy Presence which rests in both locales. In other words, both the tekia and the shevarim/terua sounds call us to come closer to the location of the Holy Presence. This of course fits perfectly with the emphasis on Hashem’s Majesty on Rosh Hashana and the mitzvah of hearing the shofar on this day. It is Hashem’s Majesty which is the expression of His Presence upon earth. All this said, the tekia encourages the connection we already have with His Presence, while the shevarim/terua calls us to make greater effort to this connection. For example, when hearing the tekia we can remember our experience of closeness to the Holy Presence in our prayers and in our assembly of people in our synagogues, which are called “mini-sanctuaries.” Yet still, the shevarim/terua can awaken us to make strides toward a greater connection with this Presence in our Holy Land and Temple, and in turn this Holy Presence too will leave Its “exile,” called by the Kabbalists “the exile of the Holy Presence”. Then comes the tekia once again, encouraging us on the strides we have just made, and then we are strengthened to make yet further strides in the shevarim call, and so on and so forth, thus developing our consciousness in a continuous process.
These sounds are deeply rooted to Hebron, the City of Unity (“hibur”) with Holy Presence. This is also the City of the Patriarchs which allude, according to the Zohar, to the sounds of the shofar: tekia – Avraham, Shevarim – Yitzhak, Terua – Yakov. “At that time (the “end of days”) the three Patriarchs will adjoin with might, and Truah, Shvarim, Tkiah will be sounded, and with them the “the earth shall shake”, and this will be in the “end of days”, and all these miracles will be in the Land of Israel, for there is located Hebron where the Patriarchs are buried.”(Tikunei Zohar 13, 28b)
Rabbi Avraham Yitzhaki was born in Hebron in 5421 (1661) where he also married Rabbi Avraham Zeei’s daughter. He studied under the tutelage of Rabb Moshe Galanti in Jerusalem, where he also moved to becoming the Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem in 5478 (1718). He passed away in 5489 (1729) and was the first to be buried next to Zecharia the Prophet’s tomb on the Mount of Olives. On his tombstone is written: “Our master and teacher, our glory and grandeur, the miracle of the generation, the holy lamp”.
Real Stories from the Holy Land #278
“There was a friend of mine who I felt I had offended this last Purim. This Rosh Hashanna I resolved to go ask forgiveness from her. Just as I was thinking these thoughts, this friend “happened”to meet me on the street, and I apologized, and we made amends.”
Sources: Sefer Hebron p. 131
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