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The Deeper Meaning of Shofar Blowing

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Another shofar by Chadica / Chad Rosenthal

Another shofar by Chadica via Flickr

By Jewisheart

The shofar is a special instrument used during significant Jewish religious events. The practice of shofar blowing is an essential part of the synagogue services during the Yum Kippur. Shofar blowing on Rosh Hasahna is also observed by modern Jewish communities.

The blowing of the shofar is mentioned in numerous instances in the Hebrew Bible and in many other Hebrew literatures indicating that it is an age-old religious tradition of the Israelites.

In the present setting, the shofar blow signifies the observance of religious holidays such as the Jubilee Year. The Tisri or the seventh month is ushered in with a “memorial” blowing of the shofar which is commonly referred to as the day of blowing. The practice of making shofar sounds is also observed during processions and to signal the start of a war.

The shofar should be made out of the horn of an African antelope or a ram and not just of any other ordinary horned animal. In the ancient Hebrew societies, the shofar blowing is an integral part of special religious rituals. It is also practiced to usher in major armed undertakings of the Israelites.

Shofar blowing is an integral part of the curriculum as it is taught by educators to their students to impart the importance and significance of these ancient tradition in their history and present day living. Even Christians are now using the shofar for important religious events. A shofar is also considered as an appropriate present during bar mitzah, birthday, marriage and other significant milestones. The shofar and the practice of shofar blowing are essential in reinforcing Jewish heritage and tradition and Judaism. It is not uncommon to find a shofar on display in a typical Jewish home.

Shofars when measured along its curve shape reaches 7” to 52”. The sound is controlled by its length along the curve, the mouthpiece and curve size, its thickness as well as the person blowing the instrument. Generally, the larger shofars are the easier ones to blow and produce deeper sounds. These larger shofars can also produce more tones than the smaller ones. Once an individual learns how to blow a shofar, he can produce distinctive sounds even without the additional mouthpiece.

Most prefer of not using an additional mouthpiece when blowing the shofar because the instrument is made out of natural material and the distinctive sound that one produces is what makes it a unique instrument.

If you decide of buying your own shofar, it is important that you buy from reputable shofar sources and outlets. The company must be capable of providing personalized and customized service to clients who buy their shofars. The company must be able to make provisions in the customization of the shofar whether it will be primarily used for display or a regular instrument for the synagogue. Of course, a shofar that will be used more as a display must be well-polished and injected with the requisite features needed for aesthetic purposes. The shofar should also be specially designed to produce more tones and the highest volume if it is intended for the synagogue.

When you decide to purchase a shofar, make sure you buy it from a company that’s willing to provide customized service. For instance, you may want a very large, fully polished shofar that will be used primarily as a display, or you may want one that gives the most number of tones and/or highest volume for a synagogue. You may want the shofar for a young child, so it must be easy to blow and produce sound, or you may want one for yourself that has a specific tone to it.

A good shofar seller will work with their customers individually to find the perfect shofar for each person, and will even encourage them to call or email if they have any questions at all about their shofar purchase. Not all shofars are created equal and come from quality manufacturers, so don’t be shy to ask questions before you buy!

About the Author:

Jewisheart is an online store selling Tallit, Shofar and other jewish related accessories at special prices over the internet.

Article Source: ArticlesBase.comThe Deeper Meaning of Shofar Blowing

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7 thoughts on “The Deeper Meaning of Shofar Blowing

  1. For full explanation of the Shofar and its sacred uses and history, go to

    Shofar Sounders WebPage

    http://shofar221.com/

    Shofar WebPage

    http://shofar-sounders.com

    Art Finkle

  2. In addition to the references above, there is a comprehensive study of shofar at http://www.HearingShofar.com, including a three-volume book about shofar called, Hearing Shofar: The Still Small Voice of the Shofar.

  3. Can a born again christian gentile blow the shofar, and what is the purpose of blowing the shofar, in other words what does it achieve?

  4. “Can a born again christian gentile blow a shofar?”

    Good question. From a practical standpoint, most people, regardless of faith, politics, sexual orientation, nationality, gender, or talent can blow a shofar. But perhaps you mean, “is it allowed or permitted?”

    In Orthodox Judaism, the question would be stated as, “If, on Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) an adult Jewish man hears a shofar blown by anyone besides an adult Jewish man, does it satisfy the listener’s obligation to hear shofar on that day?” The answer, under Jewish Law, is NO. But there are many Jews who are not Orthodox, and rules vary. For example, I used to belong to a Reform synagogue where the Kol Nidre prayer was sung on Yom Kippur by a talented Christian vocalist. Some might argue that it is better for a Jew to hear a shofar blown by a Christian than to not hear shofar at all.

    Besides, there are many occasions besides Rosh Hashanah when a shofar can be blown.

    As for the “purpose” or what it achieves, I suggest you visit http://www.hearingshofar.com.

  5. Thanks a lot of good information.

    • I find the shofar interesting as a born again Christian. It is not the instrument, or the sound that comes from this beauty. It is the meaning GOD gave it for. The sound, to speak a message from GOD to the very hearts and souls, to bring us to HIM, for repentance, for warnings of danger, for instructions, for remembering HIM in all things, HE is the Creator and Savior, It is mercy calling out, it is like a two edged sword cutting away the flesh or worldly things to harm us. It is GOD’s WORD sounding HIS VOICE. HIS NAME IS CALLED THE WORD OF GOD! HE HAS SOUNDING SINCE THE BEGINNING TO ALL GENERATIONS AND ALL NATIONS. WHO IS LISTENING TO THE SOUND OF HIS TRUMPET-VOICE? LOVE OF GOD! LAMB THAT WAS SLAIN FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE EARTH. WHOSOEVER WILL LET THEM COME.

  6. Pingback: The call of the shofar | Hebrew Hutong

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