Issue 17 | Rosh Hashana | Why Do we Need Cantors?



The Lion’s Den 

Each of us has direct access to G-d on Rosh Hashana. Why then do we need cantors and shofar blowers to lead the way and represent us? Why can’t each of us just quietly in our own corner call out to the Divine King?

A beautiful and powerful analogy from the Baal Shem Tov tells about the fox who was to intercede with the lion, the king of the jungle, on behalf of the other animals. But when he arrived at the lion’s den, he forgot what he was going to say, leaving them to intercede on their own behalf. 

This story is a metaphor for the best efforts of the shofar blowers and the cantors. Their task is only to get us to the “lion’s den” so to speak – to inspire and uplift us so that we have the courage to face and stand vulnerable before the King of Kings, and cry out to Him from our hearts. Their role is only to get us to leave our own self-contained domains, transcend our fears and embark on a journey toward something far deeper and real. 

Each one of us has a unique and distinct voice – the voice of the soul. We are here to use that voice to speak to G-d directly. Each one of us – with our own words, with our own soul.


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