With the Jewish New Year fast approaching, many people are asking how they will hear the shofar if they cannot attend Rosh Hashanah services because of the COVID-19 pandemic. For some, this may mean finding a friend, neighbor or rabbinical student who can blow it for them. But for others, the answer may be to blow the shofar for themselves, their family, and perhaps their neighbors, even if they’ve never done so in the past.

Made from a ram’s horn, the shofar is said to be the world’s oldest musical instrument in continuous use. To empower people on just how to blow one correctly for the holidays, Chabad.org is offering a virtual, three-part course titled “The Sound and the Spirit.” The course, which can be watched on demand, is free; however, a donation is suggested.

Each of the 30-minute workshops are taught by Rabbi Chanoch Kaplan, executive director of Chabad of Northwest Bergen County in Franklin Lakes, N.J., and a sought-after lecturer.

Kaplan will walk participants through all facets of the mitzvah of shofar during the course, which begins with a primer on how to select a shofar. He then explores the do’s and don’ts of shofar-blowing, and offers tips and guidance on correct placement and breathing techniques to ensure proper sounds.

In the second class, the rabbi focused on the three different shofar sounds: tekiah, a long sob-like blast; shevarim, a series of three short wails; and teruah, at least nine piercing staccato bursts. He will also discuss how long each sound should last and will review the proper sequence for blowing the shofar during the Rosh Hashanah service.

In the final class, the rabbi will explore the mystical and spiritual aspects of sounding the shofar. Participants will learn what the shofar represents, what it calls us to do and what the sound accomplishes in the celestial spheres.

Rosh Hashanah begins this year before sundown on Friday, Sept. 18. As the first day of the Jewish New Year is on Shabbat, the shofar should only be blown on the second day, Sunday, Sept. 20.

Register for “The Sound and the Spirit” here.