In it he discusses why even when the shofar is not blown (when Rosh Hashanah falls on Shabbat) that it still holds a foundational place for the day and in fact helps define and set up the approach to the rest of the year.
In this shiur he writes:
Finally, the piercing sound of the shofar is a catalyst for introspection and renewed halachic commitment. The Rambam eloquently captures this theme in Hilchot Teshuvah (3:4) with his stirring depiction of the shofar’s message of “uru yesheinim mi-shinatchem” (awaken from your spiritual slumber) galvanizing man to combat and overcome insidious spiritual complacency. When Klal Yisrael’s zichronot are imparted by the shofar, they provide an ambitious framework for halachic renewal and maximalismWhat always strikes me about Rav Rosensweig's shiur is how often he can bring back a topic to the notion of a maximalist halachic lifestyle. I have written about it before here. I love this sense that we are all challenged to live such a life -- a life of maximal care and affection for our neighbor, for God and the world around us.
Yet, I never hear in his words of encouragement any sense of ridicule or blame for those who may slip up and do not live up to the challenge. Instead, what I hear is a constant and regular drum beat of reminders and words of persuasion.
In fact, if you want to listen Rav Rosensweig present his ideas on this same topic you have two opportunities:
Rosh Hashana 5770 - Given at: Young Israel of Jamaica Estates on Monday September 14, 2009
Gizeirah Dirabah and its Impact on Shofar - given at: RIETS on Thursday September 17, 2009
If you listen to both, as I did, you may notice that Rav Rosensweig perhaps was able to tighten his message over the week. It is interesting to note that the first shiur is 1:15 while the second is 52 minutes (this of course also had to do with the time slot he was working in). What I did notice once I read the Torahweb shiur is that in the shiur at RIETS, Rav Rosensweig seemed to be able to more clearly and effectively emphasize the connection between the blast of the shofar/Rosh Hashanah and how it is a tone setter for the entire year. As he says, "I like to say that Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are the most unusual days of the year, particularly Yom Kippur. But also the most relevant days of the year." And as he closed that shiur he encourages his listeners to use these days to recommit to a wholistic halachic life.
Clearly, I know I need to be constantly awakened from my spiritual slumber and I am glad Rav Rosensweig is here to help.