Keith Miller (Hazzan) - Director of Education
One year Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berdichev spent a long time in search of a man who would be worthy of blowing the shofar in his synagogue. Rosh Hashanah was fast approaching, and though many righteous folk sought the privilege, vying with each other in demonstrating their expertise in the mystical kabbalistic secrets associated with the shofar, none of them were to his taste.
One day a new applicant came along, and Rabbi Levi Yitzchak asked him on what deep mysteries he meditated while he was performing the awesome mitzvah.
Rebbe, said the newcomer, I'm only a simple Jew; I don't understand too much about the hidden things of the Torah.
But I have four daughters of marriageable age, and when I blow the shofar, this is what I have in mind:
Master of the universe! Right now I am carrying out Your will. Im doing Your mitzvah and blowing the shofar. Now supposing You, too, do what I want, and help me marry off my daughters!
My friend, said Rabbi Levi Yitzchak, you will blow the shofar in my synagogue.
What do you think of when you hear the blast of the Shofar? Do you meditate on spiritual matters? Do you pray for your ailing mother? A sick friend? Do you ask God to help you heal your broken heart? Is your marriage troubled? Is your job in jeopardy; are you begging God to intervene?
Do you pray for the welfare of the State of Israel, or ask for God's countenance to shine upon our President and elected leaders who are leading us in a war?
We all have matters that concern us, and we all cry out to God, albeit in different ways and for different reasons.
May the blast of the shofar, the sound that echoes in our souls, resonate in the Heavens. May God show us mercy this year, 5763, and help our brothers and sisters in Eretz Yisrael see peace this year. May your year be one of sweetness, goodness, and prosperity, filled with happiness, health, and reward.