Yeshaya Perek 18

The Radak writes (18:3) on the use of the shofar to announce the redemption that ‘When one wants to gather a nation together… one sounds the shofar and the people will hear from far away’. Although this appears simplistic, the Maharal (Rosh Hashana 11b) elucidates the role of the shofar using a passuk later on in Yeshaya (27:13).

The Gemara records the statement of Rabbi Eliezer that the ultimate redemption will occur in the month of Tishrei.[2] Rabbi Eliezer proves this from the common word (gezeirah shava) ‘shofar’ in pesukim in Tehillim and Yeshaya which deal with the month of Tishrei and the redemption. Based on this Gemara, the Maharal notes that the shofar is always mentioned in conjunction with  redemption. We have learned the passuk in Yeshaya which tells us that the shofar will announce the redemption, as well as the ‘redemption’ of slaves at the call of the Yovel shofar. Moreover, in Parashas Beha’alosecha we are told that the shofar saves us from our enemies, and the Gemara Brachos tells us that a person who sees a shofar in his dream can expect redemption. Additionally, three times a day we pray, “May the great shofar be blown to announce our freedom.” What is the link between the shofar and redemption?

The Maharal (Chidushei Agados on Rosh Hashanah 11) reveals the underlying quality of the shofar. The shofar calls for people to leave the dominion of a foreign power and gather together as free people. This is essentially the message of the passuk in Yeshaya. We can now understand the Maharal’s perspective on how the shofar is intrinsically linked to redemption. Just as redemption involves our freedom from the dominion of others, so the shofar is the vehicle which removes the shackles imposed on us by others.

We can now explain the connection between the shofar of Yovel and the shofar of Rosh Hashanah. The Ibn Ezra notes that we are all slaves to the yetzer hara, and Rav Tzvi Kushelevsky explains that the shofar on Rosh Hashanah frees us from our yetzer hara (evil inclination) and allows us to be our real, spiritually glimmering selves. Just as the shofar of Yovel calls for the freedom of slaves, the shofar of Rosh Hashanah calls to free ourselves from the shackles of slavery at the hands of the body and yetzer hara. This is why Chazal inserted the malchuyos, zichronos, and shofaros brachos from the Rosh Hashanah service into that of Yovel. The shofar of Rosh Hashanah calls for the ultimate freedom - the expression of who we really are.