Elul Confounding Satan

Day 4 and 5 of Teshuvah: Rosh Chodesh (first Shabbat of the month)

Elul Confounding the Satan

During this Biblical month of Elul there is spiritual war taking place. It is not taking place in some heavenly realm; it is a battle for our hearts.

The shofar truly is a beautiful symbol, and it has many deep spiritual lessons for us. And it is effective in spiritual warfare, although not the way that charismatic Christianity envisions it. That by blowing the Shofar in every service it defeats the enemy. By setting the shofar in its proper context, we are able to perceive its powerful biblical messages.

In its context, the talmudic statement about “confounding the Satan”[1] does not mean that the sound of the shofar magically paralyzes all demonic forces whenever it is blown. The statement is preceded by the question (and I paraphrase), “Why do we blast the shofar on Rosh HaShanah so many times in different ways?”

The reason that this confounds the Satan—the Accuser, that is—is because it shows our great love for the mitzvot(commandment), our trust in God’s forgiveness, and our confidence in a judgment in our favor. Because of our repentance, which is hailed by the shofar blast, the Satan has no opportunity to accuse us and make any case for a negative judgment.

There truly is a spiritual war taking place. It is important for us to realize, however, that it is not taking place in some heavenly realm; it is a battle for our hearts.

Exhaling through the antler of an expired antelope may be effective if we were fighting against “flesh and blood,” but as we know, “though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.” [2]

The list of spiritual armor that we find in Ephesians 6:10-18 makes no mention of the ram’s horn (or anything else actually visible to human eyes, for that matter). The shofar call of Rosh HaShanah is different in that the sound is a message for our own human ears—not the angelic, demonic, or divine. The voice of the shofar brings victory in our hearts by provoking us to repent. It is the act of repentance that “confounds the Satan.”

Copied from First Fruits of Zion

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