The primary, and unique, observance of Rosh Hashanah is the blowing of the shofar. There are various reasons offered as to the meaning and message of this mitzvah. Perhaps most famously, Rambam suggests that the shofar is an alarm clock of sorts, waking us from the spiritual slumber that we fall into during the year. Another explanation is that the shofar we blow on Rosh Hashanah is supposed to recall another time when the shofar was sounded: as we stood around Har Sinai awaiting the giving of the Torah.
Why do we want to remember the giving of the Torah on Rosh Hashanah? Many propose, in line with Rambam’s meaning of shofar, that when we are awoken from the spiritual slumber and apathy generated by our travels through the year, we need to be reminded for what we are waking up. The shofar’s blasts guide us back to the foot of Sinai, when the rendezvous with the Almighty gave us our national directives and aspirations.
I would like to suggest another possibility as to why it’s so vital to remember the Sinai experience on Rosh Hashanah. Our Sages teach us that at the foot of Har Sinai something truly amazing happened. The Jewish People were united as one. “K’ish echad b’lev echad – As one person with one heart.” Maybe as we approach G-d in judgment on Rosh Hashanah we have to focus on the source of our greatest merit: Jewish Unity.
Good Shabbos and Shanah tovah to all!!