Coming Home: The Shofar Calls us to Release and Belong

Shoshana Friedman

About Shoshana Friedman

Rabbi Shoshana Meira Friedman is a writer, mother, activist and song-leader in Boston. She serves as the Director of Professional Development at Hebrew College, and as a rabbinic adviser and ambassador for Dayenu: A Jewish Call to Climate Action. Her song The Tide Is Rising, which she co-wrote with her husband Yotam Schachter, has spread as an anthem in the climate movement. Her writing has been published in various venues including The New York Times, YES! Magazine, and Rooted & Rising: Voices of Courage in a Time of Climate Crisis (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019). Rabbi Shoshana is an alumna of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship, JOIN For Justice, and Oberlin College of Arts & Sciences where she was also a Henry David Thoreau Scholar. She was ordained by Hebrew College in Newton, MA. She lives in Boston with her husband and son.

About Coming Home: The Shofar Calls us to Release and Belong

I wrote this poem first for Rabbi Katy Allen’s Elul Etudes for the New Year of 5781. The poem describes how learning tree identification and teaching the skill to my son brings us both into a sense of belonging and communion with the more-than-human world – what you might call a Shmita consciousness. The poem is structured around the calls of the Shofar, as Rosh Hashanah heralds in Shmita. The underlying message is to release the paradigm of human exceptionalism, and embrace a kinship with the trees as a spiritual practice of belonging to the natural world – one of the main themes of Shmita.