Torah Tidbits

Being Present in the Moment
Shabbat Parashat Shof’tim
August 10, 2013 – 4 Elul 5773

Being Present in the Moment

There is nothing like the sound of the shofar to wake us up to the fact that another year is drawing to a close. Time is passing. There is no turning back. And, there is no moment like the present.

During the month of Elul we sound the shofar at each weekday morning minyan toward the end of the service. When I hear the sound of the shofar, I feel “present in the moment.” I am reminded of our ancestors, among them Adam and Abraham, who answered God’s call with the single and uniquely distinct word: Hineni [I am here/present].

This week, the sound of the shofar connected in my mind with the opening of our weekly Torah portion of Shof’tim [Judges]. The Torah portion opens with the words: “You shall appoint for yourself judges and officials…and they shall govern the people with due justice.”

Our Sages note that the Torah says: “appoint for yourself.” They teach us that the Torah emphasized “for yourself” in order to remind us that for a system of justice to be effective, each of us must be “present in the moment” – each of us must consider ourselves a part of our system of justice. We must be personally invested in creating and in maintaining a just and a fair society.

A Jewish year is drawing to a close. A new year is soon to begin. May the sound of the shofar awaken in us the power of being present in the moment so that we may all be instruments of blessing in the coming year.

Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Gilah Dror