(Rosh HaShana begins Sunday night, September 13, 2015)
"And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a holy convocation: you shall do no manner of servile work; it is a day of blowing the horn unto you. And you shall prepare a burnt-offering for a sweet savor unto HaShem: one young bullock, one ram, seven he-lambs of the first year without blemish; and their meal-offering, fine flour mingled with oil, three tenth parts for the bullock, two tenth part for the ram, and one tenth part for every lamb of the seven lambs; and one he-goat for a sin-offering, to make atonement for you; beside the burnt-offering of the new moon, and the meal-offering thereof, and the continual burnt-offering and the meal-offering thereof, and their drink-offerings, according unto their ordinance, for a sweet savor, an offering made by fire unto HaShem." (Numbers 29:1-6)
Our sages teach us that Rosh HaShana marks the sixth day of creation, the day that Adam harishon - the first man - was created. The particular place was none other than what would come to be known as Mount Moriah. We further learn that it was on this very spot that Adam first sinned and repented. Here he built an altar and presented an offering. Some twenty generations later it was here that the angel stayed the hand of Avraham at the binding of Yitzchak. It was here that the ram appeared, providing Avraham with the means through which to express his love for God.
Rosh HaShana is the day that we recognize the sovereignty of God the King, Creator of the universe and Judge of all mankind. The day on which "all beings pass before Him like tender sheep," Rosh HaShana's message is truly universal: it is incumbent upon all mankind to accept upon ourselves God's sovereignty, and to take account of our thoughts and actions, in light of this awesome recognition.
The trumpets sounded before the entrance to the Kodesh - the Sanctuary - of the Holy Temple on Rosh HaShana are reminders of God's dominion. The sound of the shofar - likewise blown on the Sanctuary steps, emanates from breath itself, the breath that comes from deep within us, where it was placed, for the first time, by God, in Adam, on the sixth day.