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The Shofar (I)

"Then you shall transmit a blast on the horn; in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, the day of Yom Kippur, you shall have the horn sounded throughout the land...And proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof." (Leviticus 25)

The Shofar, a well known symbol of Rosh Hashanah, is one of the earliest instruments used in Jewish music. Usually made from a rams horn, a shofar can also be made from the horns of other animals, including those of a goat or sheep. It is the one musical instrument that has not changed in over 5,000 years.

In Biblical times the shofar was blown to announce an important event, such as the alarm of war or the coming of peace. The Great shofar is said to have been sounded during the greatest event in all Jewish history, the giving of the ten commandments to Moses at Mount Sinai (see Shavuot).

The blowing of the Shofar is the only specific commandment for Rosh Hashanah. Just as trumpeters announced the presence of their mortal king, the Shofar is used by Jews to proclaim the coronation of the King of King.

The rams horn is blown 100 times. It is an appropriate symbol as it reminds Jews everywhere of the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac, to fulfill G-d's command. At the last moment G-d ordered Abraham to exchange Isaac with a sacrificial lamb.

Come Blow our Horn!
Welcome in the High Holy Days by blowing our shofar!

The blowing of the shofar on Rosh Hashanah consists of four sounds sounded in a specific order: tekiah (pronounced t-KEE-uh), shvarim (pronounced (sh-VAW-reem) teruah (pronounced t-ROO-uh) and tekiah gedolah (pronounced geh-DOH-luh). Each lasts approximately three seconds except tekiah gedolah. Tekiah is a straight, unbroken blast, shevarim (which means "broken ones") is a tekiah broken into three one-second segments, teruah is a staccato division of the tekiah into nine rapid-fire notes, while tekiah gedolah is a triple tekiah, lasting a minimum of three consecutive tekiot, or nine seconds.
(Source: Ask
Tekiah Gedolah

Video: The Four Traditional Shofar Blasts

More Shofar and other High Holy Day Videos

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Add Comment
Sherry from Florida, US
01:54 08/26/2011
This is really amazing. The Tekiah Gedolah is the same sound that I heard in a dream. As it sounded the church was raptured out. It is symbolic of the Last Trump of God. It could take place during Rosh Hashana. This is the time to watch and pray that we may be counted worthy to escape the things to come. Israel, The Lord Loves You very much. He will seal 144,000 and you will be safe from the judgements that wil come upon the face of the earth. Then He will come back to rule and reign in Jerusalem. As King of King and Lord of Lords. Amen
Tom Powers from Pennsylvania, US
11:25 08/11/2011
Thank you for the demonstration of the traditional sounds. I would like to use the Shofar in the worship of God [ the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob]and The Messiah who came once and is coming again. Hallelujah!
Rachel Gaines from North Carolina, US
00:52 06/24/2011
Shalom The four blasts of the Shofar are awesome! I hope to have one and be able to play it well. This is a great site. I have enjoyed learning about and hearing the Shofar. God's blessings
Rev. Richard J. Ronaldo from New York, US
03:44 06/11/2011
I have been playing the Shofar for about 3 years now and have gotten more serious with it since I have leared that it is a spiritual weapon against the our unseen enemies in the spirit world....
trey from Kentucky, US
18:38 03/17/2011
was the shofar sounded before daily sacrifices?
Belinda Markin from Arkansas, US
17:36 02/13/2011
I enjoyed hearing the distinct sounds from the shofar. I have had one for a couple weeks and have tried to make a joyful noise unto the LORD with it. I really want to understand more about the shofar. This site was inspiring.
noah from United Kingdom (Great Britain)
19:34 01/10/2011
Shalom !! God richly bless you, plz i have one and would like to learn how to blow it and also want to know if i could use it to anoint my self with oil ?
Nancy-Dr Flowers from Texas, US
18:45 09/13/2010
Thank you so much and G-d Bless you! We just celebrated Rosh Hashanah with the blowing of all of these signals, and what they shared is exactly what you provided here!
Joel diaz
18:59 06/26/2010
Hi im a christian beliver in the church I attemp they blow shofar I want to know the meaning of blowing the shofars I want one in the future ?
Great sound from Alaska, US
00:02 05/03/2010
great sound of Shofar

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