Feast of Rosh Ha Shanah

The pilgrimage festivals are concentrated on seeing, the feasts of Rosh Hashanah and Kippur on listening. In fact there was and there is still much to see, to feel, to touch, on the occasion of each one of those festivals, Pesah, Shavuot and above all Sukkot. Not only the vision but all the senses are mobilized in order to live them as actively as possible. Rosh Ha Shanah and Kippur are feasts of listening. Listening demands a great concentration, an extreme interiority. To listen deep inside oneself to the Lord’s voice inviting to conversion. In the book of Leviticus (23, 24) Rosh Ha Shanah is not yet so named. This festival occurs on the first of the seventh month and is called zik ‘ron teruah, « memory of the acclamation ». Memory of the acclamation: What should be remembered? The acclamation? The tradition has made of this first day of the seventh month, the feast of the Creation of the world. It is then the Creation of the world which should be remembered, or more exactly according to the liturgical formula which follows each sounding of the shofar, the gestation of the world. Nobody knows when and how the world has been created. Like for the conception and the gestation of a child which occurs in secret and are beyond our reach, Rosh Ha Shanah invites us to remain silent in front of the mystery of the creation of the world. What must be remembered is the immemorial and listen to what does not make noise. Memory of the acclamation. What is this acclamation? The acclamation became the blowing of the shofar. And the blessing preceding the sounding of the shofar does not talk about blowing it but listening to it. One is blowing, all are listening. And what are they listening to? To the voice of God calling each one to be attentive to one’s own mystery, to retrace in front of the Lord his or her personal evolution, to return definitely to the Lord and let him recreate each one at his own image according to his eternal design: Create in me a pure heart, O God, renew deep within me a right spirit (Ps 51,10)

Sr. Anne Catherine Avril, NDS