Parsha Mitzvot: BeHalotecha: Mezretcher Maggid: Mitzvah 382 – Concept 121
“1 And God spoke to Moses, saying: 2 ‘Make for yourself two trumpets of silver; of beaten work shall you make them; and they shall be yours for the calling of the congregation, and for causing the camps to set forward. 3 And when they shall blow with them, all the congregation shall gather themselves to to at the door of the Tent of Meeting. 4 And if they blow but with one, then the princes, the heads of the thousands of Israel, shall gather themselves to you. 5 And when you blow an alarm, the camps that lie on the east side shall take their journey. 6 And when you blow an alarm the second time, the camps that lie on the south side shall set forward; they shall blow an alarm for their journeys. 7 But when the assembly is to be gathered together, you shall blow, but you shall not sound an alarm. 8 And the sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow with the trumpets; and they shall be to you for a statute for ever throughout your generations. 9 And when you go to war in your land against the adversary that oppresses you, then you shall sound an alarm with the trumpets; and you shall be remembered before God your Lord, and you shall be saved from your enemies. 10 Also in the day of your gladness, and in your appointed seasons, and in your new moons, you shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt-offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace-offerings; and they shall be to you for a memorial before your Lord: I am God your Lord.”
The Chinuch teaches that the Mitzvah is to, “Blast the trumpets in the Temple every day when making offerings, and also during times of trouble.
The Rambam teaches that the Mitzvah is part of the Mitzvah of fasting: To afflict and cry out before the Almighty in times of catastrophe. (Hilchot Ta’aniot – The Laws of Fasts)
Chatzotzrot can be read as, Chatza’ei Tzurut,” half of a complete image. The Holy One, Blessed is He, and Israel, are each only “half” of a relationship. When we have broken that relationship and begin to suffer, we must bring the two halves of the relationship back together by blowing the Chatzotzrot. (Rabbi Dov Ber of Mezritch – Avodat Yisrael)