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What is Shofar?

A shofar is made from a hollow animal horn, typically a ramÕs horn. Blowing into a hole at the narrow end of the horn produces a loud, sometimes musical sound at the large end of the horn. For tens of thousands of years, horns have been blown for signaling and spiritual rituals, and shofarot are referenced more than seventy times in Torah (Old Testament). Hearing shofar is the central ritual of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and the call of the ramÕs horn and its symbolism are woven into the fabric of Jewish tribal and religious life and legends. There is renewed interest in shofar as people from many paths rediscover its potential to sound a spiritual wake-up call.

Hearing Shofar: The Still Small Voice of the RamÕs Horn

Whatever you want to know about shofar, you will probably find it in Hearing Shofar: The Still Small Voice of the RamÕs Horn, by Michael T. Chusid. This three volume compendium explores the rich and diverse meaning, history, and practices of shofar. While a donation is requested, the work is available as a free download.

Book 1 – The Call of the High Holy Days will help you prepare for and get the most out of the Jewish New Year.

Book 2 – For the Shofar Blower is the essential guide to owning and sounding shofar.

Book 3 –The People of the Ram digs into anthropology, mythology, legends, mysticism, psychology, and so much more to uncover the secrets of shofar.

Shofar SounderÕs Reference Manual

Art Finkle, cantor and Jewish educator, is author of Easy Guide to Shofar Sounding. He has assembled additional writings about shofar into the Shofar SounderÕs Reference Manual on this site. Shofar sounding is an arcane skill, and there generally is no formal training because sounding is a once a year occurrence. Usually, someone who has played a brass instrument is selected (conned?) to sound the shofar on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. To address this concern, Cantor Finkle presents shofar sounding in a scientific and respectfully religious manner.

Shofar Corps

It is both a tradition and a mitzvah (commandment) to hear shofar on Rosh Hashanah. Yet every year, many individuals are unable hear shofar because they are confined by illness, family or work responsibilities, or incarceration. In many communities, volunteers have organized into Shofar Corps that visit and blow shofar for those who cannot attend Rosh Hashanah services.  This site contains resources to help you organize a Shofar Corps for your community. MoreÉ

Study with Michael Chusid, the Shofar Master Blaster

Michael ChusidÕs lectures, seminars, and workshops on shofar have been enthusiastically received internationally by congregations, schools, and other audiences. He has taught thousands of people the secrets of sounding shofar (its easier than you think).  To learn how you can bring the Master Blaster to your group, click hereÉ

 

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