Shofar Information
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Beginning Kabbalah > Shofars > Shofar Information

The Shofar
The Shofar is a primitive blowing instrument that is made mostly primarly from a rams horn. It is considered to be the oldest music instrument on the world.

What is the Shofar used for?
When a king was appointed, the Shofars applauded him. The Shofar was also used from Shepherds.
The beginning of Shabat was announced by the Shofar.
During the accompanying of the dead the Shofar was blown to call others to join.
Kidush ha Chodesh- when the Bet Din sanctified the month it was published with the sound of the Shofar.

It is needed to mention that on every occasion different tunes were used.

Origin of the name
The name Shofar comes from the Ktuvim according to what was written there-"Shaperu Maaseiem". Via Shofar blowing people wake up to repent, and this awakening brings improvement and repair of bad deeds.

Why do we blow shofar?
Rabbi Saadyia Gaon (Sage of Israel living in the Middle Age, born in 882 BCE) gave reasons in his book for blowing the Shofar.
1. As known, blowing the Shofar constituted a way to accept the yoke of kingdom.
2. The Blowing of the Shofar constitutes a type of warning signal, and therefore was blown before an important message or new decree was announced. Also we blow shofar to warn people and awake them to repent.
3. The Sound of the Shofar makes the heart tremble and the sad sound and touches the cords of the Soul as it is written:" if the Shofar will be blown in the City and the people do not tremble".And this Sound awakens the People to make a self examination.

There are more reasons but we can not explain further at this point.

The Shofar in the Past
In History there were a few incidents in which the Shofar took a prominent part.
For example about the Sinai as it is written: "And the Sound of Shofar is very strong". Also when the Walls of Jericho fell upon conquering the City, Shofars were blewn.

The Shofar in the Future
It is brought that in the Future very important events will occur in which the Shofar will take an insignificant part. For instance the resurrection of the Dead as it is written in Jeshayahu: "Kol joshvei tevel ve shochveini arez- All the inhabitants of the world and dwellers on the earth see when he lifeth up and ensign on the mountains and when he bloweth a trumpet hear".
The ingathering of the Exiles when all come together to Israel, will be happening from the blow of a big Shofar as written in Jeshayahu: "It will be the day when the big Shofar is blown and all will come to Israel".
We say three times a day: "..and blow the big Shofar to our redemption", marking a new aspect-the coming of the Mashiach.

The Shofar in Kabbalah and Hasidut
In the Books of Hasidut and Kabbalah is explained that the Shofar shows the exit from the narrow to the wide because the one blowing it blows from its narrowest part. The sound comes out of the wide part. Therefore man , when the era of the Shofar starts ( in the hebrew month Elul) he will repent and upon repenting he comes out clean and pure on the wide part.

Shofar Info
The origin can be found in the Bible. It may be created from the horn of any kosher male animal from the Bovidae family except for cattle, which is specifically excluded. Two species are generally used: the ashkenazi shofar is a domestic ram while the Sefardi shofar is a kudu.

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