The Tolner Rebbe asks – which Jew walks by a shul on Rosh Hashanna and hears the sounds of Tekiah Teruah Tekiah, etc. and thinks to himself “hmm – must be a donkey braying?” The first case of the Mishna is someone passing by outside a shul and he hears the shofar blowing. Fine. This is the case of a regular person. But the second case – “or his house is next door to the shul.” So, the question is – if his house is right next to the synagogue, why is he not coming to shul on Rosh Hashanah? What is he doing listening to the shofar from his house? The answer is that we are speaking about someone who has no interest in going to shul. This person is so far removed from Rosh Hashanah that when he hears the shofar blast, he thinks it might be a donkey braying. What kind of a Jew can think such a thing? The answer is we are speaking of a Jew who is that far away from proper behavior and thoughts on this holy day. Nevertheless, the Mishna is teaching us that “No!” If in one minute, he says “Hey! That is a shofar” then that recognition can lift him out of the dungeon. In that one minute, he can experience “from the trash heaps, He lifts up the destitute.” [Tehllim 113:7]
Does anyone know where this teaching comes from and where I can find the original? Thanks!