Rabbi Aba was sitting before Rabbi Shimon. He said to him, I have asked many times about the purpose [and the secrets] of the shofar, but never felt that I understood properly. He replied to him, surely this is its clear meaning. Israel need [to blow] a shofar (a Ram’s horn) rather than a horn (from a cow or bull) on the day of judgment, for the secret of the horn is known [to originate from malchut, the attribute of judgment], and we should not arouse judgment [on Rosh Hashanah, rather we blow a shofar which is bina, to arouse mercy to sweeten the judgment]. Indeed we learned that we need to arouse higher levels hidden Above through words [of prayer and confession] and action [of blowing the shofar].

Come and see, when the supernal shofar
[netzach, hod and yesod of bina], which includes all [four levels of consciousness of Zeir Anpin, chochmah-bina and da'at, made up of the chasadim and gevurot]rises Above and doesn’t shine on the children [the lower sefirot: chesed-gevura-tiferet-nezach and hod, and Zeir Anpin falls into a sleeplike state], then judgment is aroused and the seats are prepared for the heavenly court [to judge the world. This judgment that is pending while in a sleep- like state of lack of shining consciousness is hinted at the in the verse: “Blow the shofar at the time of the new moon, at the time it is hidden, on our festival day.” (Psalms 81:4)]

That [supernal] shofar [netzach, hod and yesod of Imma] is called Isaac's Ram [representing] Isaac's strength [gevura; 'ayil' means both ram and strength], the praise of the Fathers[who represent the three sefirot of chesed-gevura and tiferet that receive their consciousness from the shofar/bina that arouses mercy. Isaac represents the strength to constrict the breath to cause “broken” sounds from the ram's horn]. When that Big Shofar [bina-consciousness] rises Above, not giving abundance over to the children [[not providing consciousness to the lower partzufim of Zeir Anpin and Nukva] then the aspect of Isaac/gevura gains strength and is prepared to judge the world. [Judgment without mercy is very dangerous and action is required to arouse the higher level of mercy.]

Then, when the [higher] shofar is awakened [by Israel blowing the shofar below in the physical world] and people repent their sins [for one must confess his sins quietly at that time] then it is necessary to draw out these shofar blasts in this world below. The blasts of that lower shofar rise up Above and arouse an even higher shofar [bina] that in turn arouses mercy and banishes judgment. [The blasts (and the purity of our vessels cleansed of sin by the confessions) cause the consciousness of Zeir Anpin to be infused with mercy and return back to their proper place as chochmah-bina-da'at.]

We have to be seen to perform a physical act of blowing the shofar, in order to awaken another shofar (in the spiritual realms) and to blow those sounds in the shofar in this world so they appear Above [and connect] with the higher shofar causing its "sounds" to be aroused and go out [and descend to their proper place].

By those sounds [of shofar blowing in the orders of the different blasts of Tekia, Shevarim, and Terua] below, Israel give strength Above. Hence we must prepare a shofar on that day, and to arrange the sounds and meditate properly on the blasts in order to awaken another shofar [the netzach, hod, and yesod of Imma] in which is contained all the supernal sounds [([that are drawn down to the consciousness – chochma, bina, and da'at of Zeir Anpin and from there passed on to Nukva/malchut].

In the first segment
[of shofar blasts], the [tekia] sound reverberates and is crowned Above. [The highest level of consciousness is the Super-conscious – this is the will/desire of the Creator in its purest form. The first blast, adorned with this crown then transcends all barriers until it reaches its goal]. It rises through all the firmaments [passing forcefully past all the external forces that try to block its ascent] and emerges from between the high mountains [the aspects of chesed-gevura-tiferet of the Patriarchs, who are also called mountains and [the tekia sound] reaches Abraham [the vessel of chesed of da'at and awakens it] to dwell over the head [of Zeir Anpin] He is crowned by it [and this new power awakens Nukva – the feminine aspect] and is aroused and the throne is prepared. [The 4 mentalities of Abba and Imma - Behind and Front - are prepared and made into a Throne which has 4 legs.]

In a book of Aggadah we learned that when the first sound
[oftekia] rises, Abraham [chesed] awakens [as Feminine Waters are elevated]. He is adorned and prepares the throne [by taking bina and gevura out of malchut which ascend out to the Feminine Waters, drawing down all mentalities, new and old on the head of Zeir Anpin. Then the lights of] Abba and Imma visit/reach down to him [for Abba and Imma are united by means of this tekia].

In the meantime, the second sound
[of shevarim] resonates. It has the strength to break harsh judgments [i.e. Shevarim means 'breaking']. This is the second segment, a sound with its strength in broken form. [Chesed is represented by one long blast but it takes more strength and control (gevura) to blow many short blasts.] It [the Shevarim] rises and all judgments [of the kelipot] that it meets are broken before it, until they rise to where Isaac is [the crown of gevura at the head of Zeir Anpin]. When he is roused [being freshly adorned with the mentalities of bina, gevura, and hod of Zeir Anpin] and sees Abraham [on the right side of the mentalities of Zeir Anpin] preparing the throne to stand before it, he is subdued [because he sees that he is secondary to the side of chesed that is aroused before him] and harsh judgment is dissipated. [All the power of judgment is sweetened and broken.]

And this is the proper intention that the one who blows the shofar should have in his heart and mind in order to break that power and strength of the harsh judgment. This is the meaning of, "Happy is the people that understand the 'terua
' blast" (Ps. 89:16) They certainly understand [how to properly meditate while the shofar is blown].

BeRahamim LeHayyim:
The sound/voice of the shofar, its piercing cries and soulful wails, must pierce the shell around our heart, resound in our soul, and sweeten any harsh judgment we have brought upon ourselves through mistakes in deed, word, and thought. The patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as well as King David, lend us their energies to help make this all happen.

Whenever we hear the sound/voice, we open ourselves to flow from Above to Below, from our Supernal Mother who calls down to us. According to Sephardic custom, the shofar is held so that the opening is facing down: It is our Supernal Mother calling down to us, saying "open up, break your hearts, let me in, etc...."

To prepare ourselves thoroughly for the shofar blowing in less than 10 days requires intention. Begin today.

What does the above mean to your Rosh Hashanah, and why is it being revealed to you right now?

Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries
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