• The shofar (pronounced "show-fur"), made from the horn of a kosher animal, usually a ram, is an ancient musical instrument that was and still is part of Jewish culture and religious practice.

    Important Events

    Traditionally, shofar blasts signaled important events such as Moses receiving the Torah, Joshua's conquering Jericho and the inauguration of Jewish kings.

    High Holy Days

    Today the shofar is played on the High Holy Days--Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur--and during the month of Elul.

    Why It's Blown

    The shofar's blast is a call to self-reflection during Elul, to commemorate God as King of the Universe on Rosh Hashana, and to close Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

    The Calls

    The shofar is blown to produce three distinct three-second series of sounds, the tekiah, shevarim and teruah, and one nine-second sound, the tekiah gedolah. The shevarim and teruah represent pain and suffering. The tekiah represents triumph and joy.

    The Messiah

    According to tradition, sounds of the shofar will accompany the arrival of the Messiah.


    National Museum of American History: Shofar

    Ask Moses: What is A Shofar? The sounds of the Shofar

  • A ram's horn. These days it is blown as part of the religious services on the celebration of the New Year (Rosh Hashana) -- 100 calls (made up of a variety of combinations of tekiah, a single blast, shevarim, 3 medium blasts and truah, 9 staccato blasts. It is also blown at the end of the Day of Atonement (yom kippur). There is a practice of blowing it every morning of the month of Elul (which precedes rosh hashana), not including the day when R"H starts at that night. It was also used, biblically at other points.
  • the shofar is made from the horn of ram in Palestine (Israel). It was used in worship services as well as various signals in the field. I used to play the shofar in my church. It isn't too hard to play if you have a good lip for a trumpet.

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