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An Early Embedded Image

Think of a seed.  A single seed can grow into a mighty tree, and so the seed, which may be invisible to the naked eye and appears entirely passive and uninteresting, holds enormous transformative energy. This image is poetic; the idea that each fruit contains the little seed, potential for new life, for reproduction and continuity.

The location of that seed is indicated by a single word in the Torah: “in it,” or bo. This word is also found in a verse having to do with the power of an idea in each person: “Their King’s teruos are bo.” This verse is found in a blessing by the prophet Bilaam, much later, describing the Jewish people.

A teruo is a horn blast, connected to national assembling, marching and war and – in this case – coronation. Tonight starts Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, described in the Torah as primarily a day of teruos, a day of shofar blasts.

The Torah, through this description from Bilaam, connects the blasts into the yearly coronation of G-d. The blasts of the King are in the people – the teruos of the King are bo —  just as the seed which can transform into a massive tree is embedded in the fruit, ready, when the time is right, to burst forth.

This is part of what shofar blasts are supposed to mean to us: they should embed into our souls just as a seed is buried in the fruit. And once we have received them, the blasts should contain the power to transform us, and the world around us, to issue forth in a pageant of life and blessing and growth.

Comments are welcome!