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Shofar—Call to Action

Shofar—Call to Action


What: A shofar is a horn of a kosher animal with the marrow removed. Blow into a shofar, and you get a shofar blast. Blow the right sequence of blasts at the right time of year, and you’ve got a great mitzvah.

When: In the Bible, Rosh Hashanah is called “The Day of the Shofar Blast.” That’s the mitzvah of the day: to hear the blasts of the shofar. Since Rosh Hashanah is two days long, we need to hear the shofar blown during the daytime hours of both of those days—unless the first day falls on Shabbat, in which case we blow the shofar only on the second day. This year, 2015, we blow the shofar on September 14th and 15th.

Why: Basically, because it’s a mitzvah. But the blasts of the shofar are also wake-up calls. Rosh Hashanah is the time to shake out of our spiritual slumber, reconnect to our source, and recommit to our divine mission in this world.

Who: All Jewish men, women and children. All of us need to reconnect.

Where: Venue of preference is your local synagogue. There, the shofar is blown after the Torah reading. Click here to find a synagogue closest to you. No way you can make it? Contact your local Chabad rabbi. He’ll do his best to arrange for a shofar-blower to pay you a personal visit.

How: It may look simple, but you’ve got to play by the rules. Unless you know all the rules, leave it to your rabbi or another professional. Here are the basics:

The shofar-blower recites two blessings, and then blows a set sequence of three kinds of blasts: 1) Tekiah—an uninterrupted blast lasting for several seconds. 2) Shevarim—three medium-length blasts. 3) Teruah—a minimum of nine very short blasts.

Do it right, and you end up with thirty such blasts on the shofar. That’s the minimum requirement. In the synagogue, we blow a total of one hundred blasts, with the additional blasts distributed over the course of the prayers that follow the Torah reading.

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Discussion (21)
September 24, 2014
The sound of the sofar = Sound of heaven a Call for action
Peter Sonne
September 15, 2014
Spiritual meaning
What is the spiritual meaning if someone passes away during the blowing of the shofar on Rosh Hashannah? As this has occurred to 2 of my cherished aunts
Jason A.
richmond hill, canada
September 3, 2013
kosher shofar
A shofar is required to be either made from a ram (ashkenaz- rambam) or kudu (yemenite). no other animals are halachicly permitted. Check this site and the orthodox union's guides for further detail.
Benyamin Gerard
August 8, 2013
To Anon from Roslyn Heights
During the month of ellul (but not Rosh Hashanah) we blow the following sequence:
Long blast, three medium blasts, nine short blasts, long blast
Long blast, three medium blasts, long blast
Long blast, nine short blasts, long blast
Menachem Posner
August 6, 2013
Is there any specific number or types of shofar blasts that should be heard each morning except on shabbat during the month of Elul
Roslyn Heights, NY
August 6, 2013
Re Shofar
On Rosh Hashanah the Shofar is blown at various intervals during the morning prayers.

The final blast you are mentioning may be the one that is blown at the conclusion of the Yom Kippur-Day of Atonement fast.
Mrs. Chana Benjaminson
August 5, 2013
Can you tell me when the final shofar blast is made during Rosh Hashanah?
Killen, Alabama, USA
July 4, 2013
are there specific times of the day to blow a shofar?
September 19, 2012
Folks Blasting a Shofar
How do we know that the person(s) walking around blasting shofars aren't inspired by the Creator to do so duriing these last days...didn't the prophets have "weird" things to be done by the Father's instructions also? Who are we to question a shofar blast - it seems timely to me - at least it raises interest in this one aspect of being Hebrew that may lead to inspiring others to take a closer look and may open their eyes to seek their Maker!
Theresa B.
Duluth, Georgia
September 17, 2012
"is it right...?"
The red hoodie seems a bit odd, but who are we to judge whether his intentions are good or bad by blowing the shofar around the city? I often remind myself that I am not to judge others by their actions or words, only the Father can do this. Whatever the red hoodie man's reasoning, that is between him and his belief.
Don B
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