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A 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: While only men over Bar Mitzvah are obligated to hear shofar, the custom is that both women and children hear the shofar as well.

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:

Illustrations by Yehuda Lang. To view more artwork by this artist, click here.
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Discussion (22)
July 18, 2015
My name is Fred Missel, I live in Arizona. And I am a Ba' Al Tekkiah, I teach men how to sound the Shofar. While I am a Conservative ,, I teach my students based on the Chabad format. And, I teach my students about the great responsibility to sound the Shofar correctly, keeping a clean life. Following the commandments. And remember, people have spent the entire year yearning to hear the sound. I have witnessed miracles that have occurred to my students while they follow their studies. Or, students that have a physical impediment that should prohibit them from making a sound. I believe that Hashem communicates with all human beings, in a sill l small voice. Blessings to al who teach sounding the Shofar.
Fred Missel
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
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