If, as the Talmud tells us, the blasts of the shofar are meant to remind us of crying, (Babylonian Talmud, Rosh Hashanah 33A – specifically of Sisera’s mother – but that is another subject!), then I would offer the following.
The Lord, the Lord is gracious and compassionate, patient, and abounding in kindness and faithfulness, assuring love for a thousand generations, forgiving iniquity, transgression and sin, and granting pardon. -Exodus 34:6-7
When the words of liturgy are taken too literally, the sacred power of prayer is often lost. In his latest book, Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman offers a way worshipers can transcend the limitations imposed by language.
In Pirkei Avot, the rabbis wrote, “Mitzvah goreret mitzvah, averah goreret averah,” one mitzvah (commandment/good deed) leads to another mitzvah, and one transgression leads to another transgression.
We cannot walk into the gym for just a few days a year and expect to be in shape. Students cannot step into school without reviewing the material and expect to ace the test, nor can lawyers walk into a courtroom without preparing arguments and wow the jury.