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Why don’t we blow Shofar Erev Rosh Hashana?

26.09.19

Question

Dear Rabbi,

Why don't we blow Shofar on the day before Rosh Hashanah?

Is it to confuse Satan and make him think that Rosh Hashanah is over?

The answer obviously needs some clarification. Does Satan lack a calendar?

May we all have a good new Year.

 

Answer


To the Questioner, 

"To confuse the satan" are the words used in halacha (Darchei Moshe, Orach Chaim 581). "...and make him think that Rosh Hashanah is over" - we have not heard of this addition. You would have to check where you heard it from.  

The meaning of "to confuse the satan" in a way that we can understand, is that the approach of anything which is antagonistic to kedusha and holiness, is to fight it and to try and prove that it is not holy. The best way to overcome the antagonistic approach is to get him "to take his gaurd's down" - and not to try and fight him "heads on". 

When Jewish people hear the shofar throughout Elul it is a very holy act. They feel aroused to start to think about their actions and to repair any broken connection they might have had with the Creator of the world. When the satan, or the "yetzer harah" within a person, sees the direction the soul is beginning to take, he comes up with many intellectual proofs and reasons to show why is not a good and holy act to regret now everything of the past. So if we continue to blow the shofar up until the day of Rosh Hashana, the yetzer harah within us will be "right there", in a spiritual way, to try and "turn off" any interest we may feel on Rosh Hashana to come closer to Hashem. 

The best way to deal with this situation,  is to stop blowing the shofar on Erev Rosh Hashana. This sends a psychological sub-conscious message to a person's psyche as if to say: "ok, it's not so  serious. You see now that you don't have to work so hard to break out of  old patterns." This "confuses" the implanted "yetzer harah" in us, making him think that there is not a strong offense to "fight against"; and so he "lets his defenses down" - and slows or stops his constant torrent of proofs in a person's mind, to show the person that he doesn't have to change old patterns and that he's fine the way he is. 

This stopping of the yetzer harah's "defensive" thoughts, which are aimed to keep a soul stagnant and not change its ways, actually allow a soul to be even more truly present on the day of Rosh Hashana and to feel the natural desire on that day to make amends with and to seek the closeness of his Creator. 

With blessings, 
Rav Nachum 

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