By Rabbi Shmuli Nachlas – Toronto, Ontario
Growing up as a Lubavitcher kid, hearing the Shofar on Rosh Hashanah was an absolute given, and clearly the most important component of this exalted holiday. Every Jew had to hear the Shofar, no matter their location or circumstance. So much so, that at the Rebbe’s directive, young bochurim such as myself—armed with Shofar in hand — would make it a priority to seek out those who couldn’t or didn’t go to Shul to ensure they would partake in this most primal yet extraordinary mitzvah. But we also understood that these Yidden were the exception, not the rule.
Today’s COVID climate has changed all that. No longer can it be taken for granted that Yidden will summarily flock to Shul to hear the holy sounds that will carry their tefillos heavenwards in a once-yearly ritual of awakening and acceptance of Hashem’s Kingship.
Over the last couple of weeks, I have been surveying countless teens and alumni and have heard the same unfortunate declaration time and time again. “Rabbi, I really feel bad to skip Shul this year, but there’s nothing I can do about it. It’s just not safe!”
Drawing on the strength and timeless directives of the Rebbe, we learn to adapt and overcome. If the people can’t go to Shul to hear Shofar on Rosh Hashana, we will bring the Shofar to them.
shofaronthecorner.com is an online platform that connects Jews with volunteer Shofar-blowers in their respective neighborhoods to inform them of a designated corner and time that the Shofar will be blown, in an outdoor, safe and socially distant manner. All they need to do is register. No one needs to be put at risk. No one needs to be left out.
This platform can work anywhere in the world. It can be as small or large as we wish. Encourage your friends and neighbors to register at shofaronthecorner.com and let’s ensure that this Rosh Hashanah, more than ever, every single Jew will hear the holy call of the Shofar.
This initiative is Dedicated by Denise & Eliezer Robbins in honour of Holocaust survivor Lea Hochman עמו״ש, who is the ultimate role model of Emunah in the face of diversity. We wish you continued good health and Yiddishe Nachas.