THE SOUND OF THE SHOFAR

The Torah refers to Rosh Hashanah as the “day of the [ shofar] blast.” Since Biblical times, the central focus of Rosh Hashanah has been listening to the sounding of the shofar blasts.

This year the Shofar is blown on Sunday, September 17

 

Art by Zalman Kleinman | Courtesy Rosa Kleinman | Via Zev Markowitz / Chai Art Gallery

What Is a Shofar Horn?

shofar is a trumpet made from the horn of a kosher animal with the marrow removed. The central mitzvah of Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) is to hear the shofar being blown—often in synagogue, ideally as part of the prayer service. This year, listen to the blowing of the shofar on Sept. 26, 2022 and Sept. 27, 2022.

The Torah does not specify why we are to blow the shofar on Rosh Hashanah. However, Rabbi Saadia Gaon compiled a list of 10 reasons for this special mitzvah:

  1. On Rosh Hashanah we coronate G‑d as King of the world. The shofar’s trumpeting call heralds this exciting event.
  2. Its piercing wail serves to awaken slumbering souls that have grown complacent.
  3. It evokes the shofar blasts that were heard when G‑d descended on Mount Sinai and gave us the Torah.
  4. It echoes the cries of the prophets who urged Israel to mend their ways and return to G‑d and His commandments.
  5. It reminds us of the war cries of our enemies as they broke into the Temple in Jerusalem and destroyed it.
  6. Made of a ram’s horn, the shofar recalls the near-sacrifice of Isaac, who was saved when G‑d showed Abraham a ram to bring as an offering in his stead.
  7. Its loud piercing sound humbles us and fills us with awe before G‑d.
  8. It foreshadows the day of judgment at the end of days, which the prophet describes as “a day of shofar and alarm against the fortified cities and against the high towers.”
  9. It gives us hope, mirroring the sound of the “great shofar” that will call together the Jewish people who are scattered to the corners of the earth at the time of the coming of Mashiach.
  10. It reminds us of the Revival of the Dead, about which we read, “dwellers of the earth ... a shofar is sounded you shall hear.”

Hear the Shofar in Shul on Sunday, Septemeber 17 

or at any of our outdoor Shofar blowings