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Sound Bites: Beautiful Music

“Portions have fallen to me in pleasant places, even the inheritance is beautiful to me.” (Psalms 16:6) The Hebrew for “beautiful to me” is – Shafra aliy. Shafra shares the same root as Shofar.

The Maharsha (Sanhedrin 24a) explains that the scholars of Bavel and those of Israel used different approaches when arguing the law. The Babylonian scholars would do battle with each other. The Scholars in Israel would always speak softly and kindly.  When Ezra moved from Babylon to Israel he changed his approach from the Babylonian toughness to the Jerusalem kindness.

“Portions have fallen to me”, describes “Chavalim” – the Babylonian approach. “In pleasant places” describes Ezra’s change from a Mechabail – fighter – to a Na-im – a sweet approach. (Responsa Beit Yisrael, Introduction) This inheritance of the ability to totally change one’s approach is that which is Shafra – Beautiful –  to me.

The Shofar celebrates our ability to completely change. The Shofar blast announces our intention to experience such a total transformation.

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