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Should I drive to hear the shofar if I don't live in walking distance from Shul?

by Mrs. Dinka Kumer

  

Library » Holidays » Rosh Hashanah » Shofar | Subscribe | What is RSS?


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If you’re asking this question, then you already know that driving on Rosh Hashanah (as on Shabbat and other holidays) is forbidden. You also know that hearing the sounds of the Shofar is the key Mitzvah of Rosh Hashanah.

Jewish law rules that a person may not sin even if it will enable him to fulfill a mitzvah. For example, a person may not rob a museum, sell the paintings, and donate the profits to the poor—even if this would seem benevolent, it is forbidden (Robin Hood wouldn’t have stood a chance in a Jewish court!).Likewise, it is prohibited to violate the holiday by driving in order to hear the shofar blown. (Only when a life is in danger is it permitted to violate the Shabbat or holiday.)

Here are some suggestions how to hear the shofar without driving to synagogue: 1. Spend the holiday with someone who lives within walking distance of the synagogue. I’m sure your local Chabad rabbi will help you find accommodations. 2. Ask the Rabbi if it is possible for someone walk to your home to blow the shofar for you (this really can be done depending on how far away you live). 3. Buy or borrow a shofar and have a Rabbi teach you the pertaining laws; and blow the shofar yourself.

If none of the above are options for you, then take pride in the fact that you are fulfilling G-d's commandment of maintaining the sanctity of Rosh Hashanah, despite the challenges. Observing the holiday by not driving will help guarantee you a “good and sweet” year.


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Mitzvah
(pl. Mitzvot). A commandment from G-d. Mitzvah also means a connection, for a Jew connects with G–d through fulfilling His commandments.
Shabbat
(pl: Shabbatot). Hebrew word meaning "rest." It is a Biblical commandment to sanctify and rest on Saturday, the seventh day of the week. This commemorates the fact that after creating the world in six days, G-d rested on the seventh.
Rosh Hashanah
The Jewish New Year. An early autumn two day holiday marking the creation of Adam and Eve. On this day we hear the blasts of the ram's horn and accept G-d's sovereignty upon ourselves and the world. On Rosh Hashanah we pray that G-d should grant us all a sweet New Year.
Shofar
The horn of a Kosher animal. The Shofar is sounded on the holiday of Rosh Hashanah, and is intended to awaken us to repentance. Also blown to signify the conclusion of the Yom Kippur holiday.
G-d
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.