Rav Kook explains that there are indeed different types of shofar of redemption, corresponding to the different types of shofar distinguished in the halacha. The Shulchan Arukh explains that there are three different levels of fitness for a shofar:
1. Whenever possible we should use a shofar which comes from a ram.
2. When this is not possible, we may use any shofar (which comes from a kosher species and is the kind of horn which is called a shofar).
3. A shofar from a non-kosher animal, or from one which is dedicated to idol worship is unfit to use; but if we hear its call we have fulfilled our obligation. If there is no other shofar available, we avail ourselves of such a shofar, but we do not make a blessing on it (See Shulchan Arukh OC 586 and Mishna Berura).
Rav Kook explains that just as there are three different kinds of shofar calls on Rosh HaShana, there are three different kinds of calls to redemption - three different "shofars of redemption".
1. Ideally, the redemption and the ingathering of the exiles will take place because the Jewish people are alert to the great call of holiness, the desire to fully fulfill our destiny as a holy people which can only be done in the holy Land of Israel. This corresponds to the shofar of a ram. (Presumably because the ram recalls the binding of Yitzchak and therefore connects us to the heritage of the Avot and the covenant that their offspring will be G-d's people in the Land of Israel.) This is the great shofar, the ideal redemption which we pray for.
2. If we are not attentive to this call, then there is another call to the ingathering of the exiles: a person with ordinary, natural and healthy human nature longs to live with his or her own people in a free and orderly state in a national homeland. This is not the redemption we pray for, but it is a perfectly kosher redemption and worthy of blessing if this happens to be our national circumstance. This corre- sponds to an ordinary shofar, which has no particular disqualification and is used with a blessing if the need arises.
3. If the Jewish people are not inspired to gather in Eretz Yisrael due to their desire for holiness, and are not drawn even by the normal, healthy human desire for natural sovereignty, there is a third kind of shofar of redemption: the horn of an unkosher animal is trans- formed into the shofar of the Moshiach! Our wicked enemies (Rav Kook mentioned in particular the name of Hitler ym"s) awaken us to redemption.
One who did not hear the first call of holiness, and whose ears were sealed even to the second call, will be compelled to hear the call of the defiled and unfit shofar. Furthermore, even if he comes to Eretz Yisrael because of this shofar he has fulfilled his obligation; but we do not pray for this kind of redemption and we don't even make a blessing on it.
Our prayer is that we shouldn't have to be driven to the land of Israel by the wrath of tyrants, nor even attracted to it by lukewarm secular nationalistic sentiments. We pray to be inspired to Eretz Yisrael by the great shofar of redemption, the call which comes from the depths of holiness of the Jewish soul.
(Rav Kook's drasha was given seventy years ago on Rosh HaShana 5694, only a few months after Hitler ym"s rose to power in Germany and has not lost a bit of relevance.)
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