The horn story
This story about a horn was told by a rabbi who was visiting our community from Israel. I embellished some of the details.
Once upon a time a man from Chelm visited China. There he saw a man get up on a wall, blow a horn, and, as if by magic, a fire in the distance would disappear. The Chelm citizen thought to himself, wow, what a wonderful object, if you blow it, it will put out a fire! He finds out where he can buy the horn and brings it back to Chelm.
Back in Chelm, he tells the other villagers of the magical horn that puts out fires. Everyone is excited to learn of this special horn. A few weeks later a fire erupts, and the Chelm citizen who visited China jumps up on the nearest wall and blows the horn. The fire continues to rage. He blows a little harder. Still the fire grows. The villagers are disillusioned – the horn doesn’t work. He got a bum horn. They hurriedly put out the fire.
Later a visitor from another town volunteers a reason why the horn did not work. He says: I have been to China. When the man blows the horn on the wall, the villagers use it as a sign to come and put out the fire. It just a way to wake up the villagers.
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The shofar story
This past week we listened to the shofar being blown in the synagogue. On Yom Kippur we will listen to one final blowing of the shofar at the end of the day. Are we waiting for the magic of the shofar? Or should we wake up like the villagers and put out the flames – what are the flames?