Hearing and Heeding the Shofar's Call

The High Holidays are always a time of reflection and renewal. This year, perhaps refugees and asylum seekers need even more support as the pandemic continues to change everyone’s lives.

“We are hopeful that people will see this time not only as one of great challenges but also as a critical moment to step up and welcome refugees,” said Rachel Grant Meyer, HIAS’ Rabbi-in Residence. “There is a global crisis and there are nearly 80 million displaced people worldwide. The time to awaken your heart and mind to the world around you is now.”

HIAS has put together a number of resources for the High Holidays, including a video and several suggestions for ways to take action.

In the special prayer written by Rabbi Meyer for 5781, the focus is on the shofar, or the ram’s horn, which is sounded on the holidays. “The shofar’s plaintive wailing and piercing cries ask us to pay attention to those who live at the margins,” the prayer says. “We hear the shofar calling us to our most deeply held values: to compassion, to welcome, to justice...to know the sound of the shofar is to heed its invitation to act on our values.”

We hope people will add their voices to the sound of the shofar calling us to welcome and ensure that the United States continues to be a place of welcome and safety for those in need. Visit www.hias.org/heedthecall to learn more.

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