Friday, August 27, 2010

Elul, a Shofer, and the Air Conditioning

I live in a building that is attached to a shul (synagogue). This has some disadvantages (mostly due to bored boys who exit the building without supervision), but there are several advantages as well.
For years, I especially enjoyed living over the shul during the Jewish month of “Elul”. During Elul, in preparation for the days of repentance, there is a custom to blow a shofer immediately after the morning services. (A “shofer” if a trumpet-horn-like instrument made from the horn of an animal (often a Ram). The distinctive trumpting of the shofer-horn rose from the windows of the synagogue, I am knew that the days of introspection were here.
But now Elul is more than half over, and it could be a different month, or so I feel. Why? Because the shul now has air conditioning, the windows are closed, and I don’t hear the shofer at all. I don’t begrudge them their air conditioning; it is so hot that it would be callous to begrudge them that comfort. But I miss the shofer. So in an effort to get into a mood for introspection I am substituting with Rabinical lectures on my MP3 player, but it just doesn’t effect me the way the shofer used to…..


G6 said...

I know just how you feel.
Though I don't live adjacent to a shul, I grew up the daughter of a baal tokeah and am now the wife of a baal tefilla.
Listening to their preparations always help(s/ed) me get in the right frame of mind.

L'shana Tova Tikoseivi

Becca said...

Oh, I love that sound. I'm not a practicing anything anymore, but when I was a child I went to synagogue on all of the holidays. I don't think I appreciated any of the sights and sounds then (or the fact that it was a historical building), but remember it all fondly. It is now a museum, so I did get to visit recently.