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A Cry For Mercy
We blow the Shofar during the
month of Elul- which consists of 29 days- as well as the two days of Rosh
Hashana. This gives us a total of 31. However, the Shofar is not blown on
and Erev Rosh Hashana.
Subtracting these five days (the four Shabbosim in Elul and Erev Rosh Hashana),
we have 26 days where it is blown. 26 is the numerical value of י-ה-ו-ה, the name of Hashem that represents רחמים; mercy.
This is what we especially desire during this time of year.
Blowing the Shofar arouses
Hashem’s mercy. This is shown in the beginning of the Torah. Counting 26
letters from the ש of השמים in the first Pasuk in
the Torah we have a ו (of ובהו). 26 letters later is a פ (of מרחפת) followed by a ר (of אור) in another 26 letters.
These letters comprise the word שופר.
says תקעו בחדש שופר בכסה ליום חגנו; blow the Shofar…
The letters that precede
חדש spell גזר. That is, before a ח is ז, before a ד is ג and before ש is ר. Let us do the same with
שפר. Before ש is ר, before פ is ע and before ר is ק. These letters spell קרע. Lastly, let us do the
same to כסה. Before a כ is י, before ס is נ and before ה is ד. That spells דין. So, we have קרע גזר דין which is alluding to that through the Shofar, a decree can be
The Panim Yafos
tells us that during these days we say לדוד ה'
because it says Hashem’s name in it 13 times, corresponding to the 13
attributes of mercy.
During these days, we want רחמים.
As a result, we say י-ה-ו-ה, the name of Hashem that represents רחמים, in לדוד ה' אורי 13 times. Since we recite it twice daily,
we mention the name י-ה-ו-ה 26 times! 26, the sum of י-ה-ו-ה!
The Bnei Yissaschar explains
the idea of dipping the Challa in honey: דבש has an equivalent of
306, the same as אב הרחמים and like we say during עשרת ימי תשובה in the second Bracha of Shemoneh Esrei- אב הרחמים.
R’ Alt merited to learn under the tutelage of R’
Mordechai Friedlander Ztz”l for close to five years. He received Semicha from
R’ Zalman Nechemia Goldberg. R’ Alt has written on numerous topics for various
websites and publications. He lives with his wife and family in a suburb of
Yerushalayim where he studies, writes and teaches. The author is passionate
about teaching Jews of all levels of observance.
Rosh Hashana 29b. Indeed, שבת is
an acronym for שבת במקום תרועה.
According to those who say אב הרחמן, it
also fits, as that too has a sum of 306.