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Sound Bites: Back To The Garden

When we refer to the sound of the shofar, we are speaking not just of the sound itself but also of the organs, which produce the sound, particularly the trachea (windpipe). Unlike the esophagus, which serves as a conduit for food matter, the trachea contains only air and thus is always void of foreign substances.

Symbolically, those two adjacent tubes correspond to two “vital organs” in Gan Eden, the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. When Adam sinned by partaking from the latter tree, he blurred the distinction between good and evil, as indicated by the tree’s very name, The Tree of Good and Evil. This corresponds to the esophagus which contains foreign food substances as well as the flesh of the organ itself. On Rosh Hashanah, by devoting our concentration to the sound of the shofar, whose origins is the uncontaminated trachea, which is also free of impurities, we invoke the merit of the Tree of Life as it was before Adam’s sin tainted it. (Sefat Emet 5662)

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