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.
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.
is needed to mention that on every occasion different tunes were used.
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.
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.
known, blowing the Shofar constituted a way to accept the yoke of kingdom.
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.
are more reasons but we can not explain further at this point.
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
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".
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.
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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