This may be a first for us.

This year, due to Covid, we had all the big room windows and back doors open wide during the prayers and our Shofar blower stood a distance from others and blew the Shofar out the window. 

Our neighbor’s dog named Sprinkles heard the call! She stood attentively at the fence and barked right back, and she did so at each set! She barked back at every Shofar interval during the silent Amidah and at every Shofar interval during the repetition. While no one said anything during the prayers, we spoke about it in the tent over lunch and it was something that everyone noticed. Some students even said they thought she was mimicing the various Shofar sounds. Either way, you couldn’t miss it. 

So what’s the message from the dog barking in response to the Shofar? 

She felt it was intended for her, and that it needed & elicited a response. These two aspects are laudable for human Shofar listening.

We should feel it is addressing each of us individually and that #Shofar’s goal isn’t merely merely for us to be passive listeners but to elicit a reaction, a response, to effect change & transformation. As Rambam (Maimonides) sees Shofar to be an alarm clock, to awaken, to get us going, to shake our complacency. It has to get us to do something.