of 'teruah' (A blast of the ram's horn)"
way of the Truth, [the mystic teachings of the Kabbala], teruah
is that which has stood by our fathers and us, as it is said, Happy is
the people that know the teruah, similar in meaning to that which it is
written, teruah, (the alarm of) ear; for The Eternal is a man of war.
If so, it shall be a day of teruah unto you means that the day that is
set aside for teruah [i.e., when the world is judged according to the
attribute of justice], will be to our succor [for we will be remembered
in mercy]. Similarly, a memorial of teruah, 'a holy convocation' means
that there will be a remembrance [of mercy] in the teruah [the quavering
sound which alludes to the attribute of justice], and therefore it is
a holy convocation.
It was not necessary for Scripture
to mention the shofar [i.e., that "it shall be a day of shofar
unto you"], for the shofar is already alluded to in the word "day,"
(since the word shofar [the ram's horn] is symbolic of mercy, it is already
hinted at in the word "day" which likewise symbolizes mercy)
and the teruah is on [that "day"], and thus it is a day of judgment
in mercy, not a teruah (alarm) of war.
It is for this reason that
Scripture mentioned only the teruah [but did not mention the tekiot,
the accompanying plain sounds], because it is already a tradition received
by our Rabbis which all Israel have seen [done] as far back as Moses our
teacher, that each teruah (quavering sound) has one plain accompanying
sound before it and one after it. And why should Scripture mention the
teruah, and not mention the tekiot at all, neither in connection with
the New Year nor the Day of Atonement [of the Jubilee year]? But it is
because the tekiah [the plain accompanying sound] is the memorial, and
it is the shofar [all alluding to the attribute of mercy], and the teruah
is as its name indicates [i.e., a reference to the attribute of judgment].
And because it [the teruah] is wholly surrounded by mercy - an accompanying
plain sound before it and one after it - therefore He said of those who
know the teruah that through righteousness they will be exalted, for You
are the glory of their strength.
Thus it is clear that everything
depends upon repentance, but on the New Year He is concerned entirely
with the attribute of justice and conducts His world [by that attribute],
and on the Day of Atonement He is concerned entirely with the attribute
of mercy. It is this that is expressed in the saying of the Rabbis [with
reference to these solemn days]: "The King sits upon the throne of
judgment etc." Thus the New Year is a day of judgment in mercy, and
the Day of Atonement is a day of mercy in judgment.
(This passage is adapted
from the 13th century classic by the illustrious scholar, philosopher
and defender of the faith, Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman--known as 'Ramban'
or 'Nachmanides', a master kabbalist in his own right and a major link
in the transmission of Jewish mysticism--based on the excellent annotated
English translation by Rabbi Dr. Charles B. Chavel)