Home Self-Guided Exploration Judgment and Mercy
Sacred Text, Shofar

Judgment and Mercy

High Holy Days 2023

Ramban’s Commentary on Psalm 47:6

עָלָה אֱלֹהִים בִּתְרוּעָה יְהֹוָה בְּקוֹל שׁוֹפָר

God ascends amidst blasting; YHWH, to the voice of the Shofar.

The medieval sage Nachmanides draws attention to the two names of God used within this verse. In the first half of the phrase, Elohim connotes justice or judgement. The second half refers to YHWH, often associated with the attribute of mercy. Elohim/judgment connects to the t’ruah call of the Shofar.

When the shofar is blown, the tekiah call both precedes and follows the t’ruah call. It is as a reminder that God’s judgment, on this Day of Judgment, is nonetheless enveloped in mercy.