Rabbi Aba said [that it is not enough to sweeten gevura with chesed, rather it is necessary also to use the attribute of tiferet, the secret of the final tekia of the shofar blowing] as is written, "But G‑d is the judge: He puts one down, and lifts up another". (Ps. 75:8) "But Elokim [representing gevura] is the shofet [i.e. judge with the mercy of tiferet called mishpat]". If the judgment [and severity] of Isaac were not removed [and sweetened] from the place of Jacob's [mercy of tiferet] and were not mitigated there, woe to the world who meets His judgment. This is the secret of the words: "For by fire will Havaya execute judgment" (Isaiah 66:16) [for on Rosh Hashanah the world is judged by the fire of G‑d, in gevura sweetened by the Name Havayah, the attribute of mercy].This is how the world is sweetened [for the judgment is with mercy]

Were it not that he seized and overpowered me, there would be killing in the world.

Since it [the judgment of Isaac] enters the place of [the mercy of] Jacob and Jacob holds on to it [and sweetens it], the fire [of judgment] is appeased and its coals cool [for its powers are sweetened in mercy]. [This is] like an angered man who girded weapons and left to kill people. A wise man stood by his door, seized him [and prevented him from leaving]. He said to him: Were it not that he seized and overpowered me, there would be killing in the world. As they wrestled with each other and seized each other, his anger and urge to kill cooled off. [That wise man] went to prove who endured and appeased that man's rage; he who is wise to stand by the door [to prevent him from leaving].

Thus spoke the Holy One, blessed be He to Israel: My children, do not be afraid [of the arousal of judgment in anger] for I stand by the door [and prevent the judgment from emerging]. Hurry up on this day and give me strength. And with what means? By means of blowing the shofar. If the shofar is blown properly and people focus on it below, that [shofar]sound rises and the forefathers are adorned with it and they stand in Jacob's residence [meaning that all are included in mercy]. One should therefore be careful with the shofar[-blowing], to know [the secret of] that sound and focus on it.

And [he also said that] there is no sound of the shofar which does not ascend one firmament [for each sound ascends to a different firmament] and all the [angels] populating that firmament gives room to that sound. And what do they say? "And G‑d utters His voice before His army...[for His camp is great, for he who performs His word is mighty", meaning that He brings the shofar sounds before His multitudes of angelic hosts to elevate the sound of His voice]" (Joel 2:11) That sound [of His voice] stands in that firmament until another sound [of the shofar blowing below] comes and they assemble and rise, joined to another firmament. We therefore learned that there is a sound that raises a sound. What is it? It is the sound of Israel blowing below.

When the sounds below are joined, they rise to the highest firmament in which the Holy King abides. They are all adorned before the King. Then the thrones [of judgment] are overthrown and another throne of Jacob [i.e. of mercy] is prepared and readied [to nullify the judgments].

When the sounds below are joined, they rise to the highest firmament...

We found that Rav Hamnuna Saba said in his book, in the section of the prayers of Rosh Hashanah, about the prayer and the sound of the shofar that a tzadik emits [from his mouth], that [sound] ascends from his spirit and soul with that shofar. On that day, prosecutors stand ready above. But when the sound of the shofar [of that tzadik] rises, they are all pushed aside by it and cannot prevail.

Happy is the portion of the righteous who know how to concentrate their will before their Master, and who know how to mend the world on that day by the sound of the shofar. It is therefore written, "Fortunate is the people that know the sound of terua". (Ps. 89:16)

BeRahamim LeHayyim: There are many intentions for the blowing of the shofar — "Fortunate is the people that know the Teruah!" The main mystical reason we blow is to sweeten harsh and soft judgments against us. So it is so, so , so, so ,so, important to listen to the sound of the shofar and feel it in one's body, one's emotions, one's thought, and one's spirit. The listening is the main mitzvah here, as evidenced by the blessing said.

We need to be different — changed — from having heard the shofar. Whatever one can do to prepare for this moment will be tremendously beneficial. Remember we want the King to move from the Throne of Judgment to that of Mercy. Keep this intention before you always, but most importantly during the shofar blowing on Rosh Hashanah.

Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries
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