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To Blow or Not to Blow: The Debate Between Kotzk and Chabad

In the Ultimate Experience of Judaism, We Don’t Give Our Souls to G-d

1 hr 24 min

Class Summary:

Rabbi YY Jacobson presented this class on Monday, 25 Elul, 5783, September 11, 2023, at Bais Medrash Ohr Chaim in Monsey, NY.

This is part one of a text-based class in a Sicha, a public address by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, presented on Shabbos Parshas Nitzavim-Vayeilech, 23 Elul, 5749 (September 23, 1989), published in Sefer Hasichos 5749 vol. 2, exploring the true meaning of not blowing shofar when Rosh Hashanah coincides with Shabbos.
 
How is it possible that we don’t coronate G-d as King when Rosh Hashanah is Shabbos?
 
The Rebbe explores three states of Bitul—of alignment with the Divine oneness.  The first is the way it can be experienced on Rosh Hashanah during the weekdays; the second is the experience of Shabbos Rosh Hashanah, and finally, the experience in the Beis Hamikdash, where they blew shofar even on Shabbos.

The first level is about surrender of self; the second, deeper level, is the complete fusion of self with Divine oneness, without any act of surrender, thus not blowing the shofar is far deeper than blowing the shofar. Then there is the third state, when nothing needs to be negated, not even a sense of identity and self. That is why in the Beis Hamikdash we did blow shofar on Shabbos Rosh Hashanah.

There is you. There is not you. And there is the space where “you” need not be negated, so that you can be you. Transcendence and infinity can also be a trap, and don’t capture the ultimate reality. Whenever we negate something, “He is not finite,” “I am not my ego,” we are still defined by it, albeit in a negative way. In the ultimate truth, the self is not a contradiction to oneness.

Please leave your comment below!

  • Anonymous -9 months ago

    I came across this piece from a Vietnamese Monk - Thich Nhat Hanh.
    We are a wave appearing on the surface of the ocean. The body of a wave does not last very long – perhaps only ten to twenty seconds. The wave is subject to beginning and ending, to going up and coming down. The wave may be caught in the idea that ‘I am here now and I won’t be here later.’ And the wave may feel afraid or even angry. But the wave also has her ocean body. She has come from the ocean, and she will go back to the ocean. She has both her wave body and her ocean body. She is not only a wave; she is also the ocean. The wave does not need to look for a separate ocean body, because she is in this very moment both her wave body and her ocean body. As soon as the wave can go back to herself and touch her true nature, which is water, then all fear and anxiety disappear. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
    כתיבה וחתימה טובה

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  • C

    Chaim. -9 months ago

     Killing an EVED KENAANI is not punished by capital punishment.

    There is just a payment penalty of 30 Shekalim

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  • Anonymous -9 months ago

    The pianist feels best when he's lost in the

    music. But, he doesn't need an audience for that. He can lose himself in the music also when he's alone! 

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  • Anonymous -9 months ago

    We use a Shofar from an animal because

    an animal is bittul. BUT a musical trumpet is even MORE bittul and always does what the master dictates! 

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  • Anonymous -9 months ago

    We don't blow Shofar on Shabbos because

    someone might carry it outside to the Rabbi to see how to blow. 

    BUT such a person might be so ignorant that he could not realize that on Shabbos we don't blow Shofar and so nevertheless EVEN on Shabbos he might carry the Shofar outside to see how to blow!!

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  • Anonymous -9 months ago

    Perek Shira shows how all the animals and

    and all other creations praise and sing to Hashem. They also "coronate" Him.

    Yet, we say that Rosh Hashana does not commemorate the beginning of creation. 25 Elul, but the creation of Man.

    But....all of creation was already praising and singing to, i.e..coronating Hashem BEFORE man was created. 

    Could it be that creation has no free choice abd their praises are not what He wants cuz its automatic? But Man DOES have free choice and CHOOSES to coronate, abd so perhaps that is what Hashem desires, i.e. the coronation that comes about by free choice abs not automatically? 

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  • K

    Kj -9 months ago

    G-D blows the shofar for the world every Shabbos.

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  • S

    Sara -9 months ago

    If there is an eruv

    Why can't a person carry?

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  • Anonymous -9 months ago

    We DID blow Shofar in the Beis Hamigdah

    on Shabbos.  The reason for NOT blowing Shofar on Shabbos is cuz one might carry, etc. But the Beis Hamigdash has walls all around, i.e. an erev. Is that a reason for allowing blowing shofar on Shabbos in the Beis Hamigdash? 

    Or......is it cuz the Beis Hamigdash higher than time and space? We light fires there on Shabbos.  We shecht there on Shabbos.  We have keruvim there which are not allowed elsewhere..Etc. 

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  • Anonymous -9 months ago

    We don't blow Shofar Shabbos because

    someone might carry.  But if Pesach (abd there's ONLY ONE day Pesach) comes out on Shabbos and the same guy who might carry the Shofar MIGHT carry his matza in a rishus haranbim to see if the matza is kosher, do we cancel matza cuz he might carry? (and the only day for matza is wiped out)? 

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  • Anonymous -9 months ago

    Did Avraham Avinu blow shofar?

    It says Avraham Avinu kept all the mitzvos. We have the mitzvah of Shofar from the Torah. It is reminiscent of the Shofar at the Akeida. 

    Did Avraham Avinu then blow Shofar BEFORE it was reminiscent of anything? 

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Chassidus: Likkutei Sichos Rosh Hashanah #1

Rabbi YY Jacobson

  • September 11, 2023
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  • 25 Elul 5783
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  • 2502 views

Dedicated by Phyllis Toback in memory of her dear husband, Dr. Fredrick Gary Toback, Efraim Gershom ben Yisroel, z"l.

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