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Voices: Voice with Heart

“I cry aloud to the Lord; I cry to the Lord that He may give ear to me (Psalms 77:2).” All the commentators agree that this Psalm is about the long and tedious exile in which we presently find ourselves, and that the various people who voice their feelings in this Psalm all are doing so because their pleas have not yet been answered. This requires them to prod God.


Since it could be that after a number of unrequited prayers that the petitioner might begin to doubt God, His power or willingness to respond, the Psalmist says that if God did not respond the first time, perhaps it was because all his heart had not been in his prayer. Therefore, “I will cry out,” with all my heart, and then I will be heard. This is in accordance with God’s promise, “If you will seek out God from there, you will find Him, provided you do so with all your heart and all your soul (Deuteronomy 4:29).”

“I cry aloud to the Lord,” would mean when only my voice cried out and not my heart, it was not sufficient. This is why I had to plead with God once more with all my heart and soul. The prophet Hosea makes a similar point when he says, “They did not cry out to Me from their heart (Hosea 7:14).”

I plead that my previous lack of concentration will not be held against me now, and that You will not leave me in my pain but that I will be heard. (Alshich; Romemot El)

The “cry” explained above is actually a Voice. There is a difference between a voice that cries out from the heart and on that cries out only from the throat.

How do we hear the Voice of the Shofar? Do we hear only the sound? Or, are we able to hear the heart of the message expressed in the Voice?

A perfect way to prepare to hear the heart of the voice of the Shofar is to practice listening to people who speak with us, not only to what they voice, but to the message of their hearts to put as expressed through their voice. Use the month of Elul to practice listening to the heart behind the voices that speak to you. You will find that to be the perfect preparation for hearing the full and powerful Voice of the Shofar.

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