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Introduction | Purchase | Shofar Basics | Shofar History

Shofar Basics

“With trumpets and shofar sound, call out before the King, YHWH.”
Psalm 98:6

A child blowing a shofar: 9607433

Did You Know?

Jews from Central and Eastern Europe use shofars which have a very high, thin and weeping-like sound. There rams horn shofars are also bent. The Jewish people in these communities believe this symbolises the human heart, which should be bent before the Lord.

Blowing a large shofar: 2120105

Did You Know?

For many years, Jews were not permitted to play the shofar at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. However, after the Six Day War, when Jerusalem was finally united and under Israeli control, Rabbi Shlomo Goren was permitted to approach to the Wall and play the Jewish shofar there once more.

Caring for your Shofar

With proper care and attention, your shofar will last a lifetime (and potentially several!). To keep it clean, simply dust and polish your instrument with a dry, soft cloth. Do not use water. Your shofar horn is made of keratin (like your hair and nails) so store out of direct sunlight and at room temperature. All of our shofars have been specially treated to minimise odour.

Playing your Shofar

A shofar is played in a similar fashion to a horn, using the vibrations of the lips. Each shofar has a unique sound, depending on its size, length and the diameter of the mouthpiece. Learning to play the shofar can be hard work. But it's easy once you know how!

  1. First, tighten your lips to fit the hole of the shofar. You should only be able to blow and suck in air from a small central hole in your lips, not from the sides.
  2. Next, blow out air as hard as you can, making your lips vibrate. At this point you will begin to sound like a trumpet yourself! Moistening your lips may help.
  3. Now you've practiced blowing, put the shofar to your mouth on the point where your lips vibrate most, usually in the centre. Give a sharp, hard blast of air through your mouth until you hear shofar sounds. The secret to blowing the shofar is not a lot of air, but vibrations. You can make higher sounds by tightening your lips, causing faster vibrations.

Traditional Shofar Sounds

The Jewish people developed a traditional pattern of sounds for the shofar. However, these patterns are not the only way to sound the shofar. Experiment with different sounds and patterns as you are led in your worship.

Tekiah is the first sound, one long blast on a single note.

The second, Shevarim, is made up of three short blasts, starting low and moving to the next note up.

The third sound is called the Teruah, nine very fast, high blasts played in succession.

The Tekiah-Gedolah is usually the final pattern. It is a very long blast, with the player holding the sound for as long as he or she can.

The following YouTube videos provide excellent demonstrations of these Shofar patterns.

Using a Ram's Horn Shofar

Using a Yemenite Shofar

We offer a range of shofar instruments and tools including Ram's Horn Shofars, Yemenite Kudu Shofars, Oryx Shofars and Rams Anointing Horns.

Introduction | Purchase | Shofar Basics | Shofar History

Banderas de adoracion

Banners in the Bible

Numbers 21:8,9
The LORD said to Moses, 'Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.' So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, he lived.

Isaiah 11:10-12
In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to Him, and His place of rest will be glorious. In that day the Lord will reach out His hand a second time to reclaim the remnant that is left of His people from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt, from Cush, from Elam, from Babylonia, from Hamath and from the islands of the sea. He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; He will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth.

Jeremiah 51:12
Lift up a banner against the walls of Babylon! Reinforce the guard, station the watchmen, prepare an ambush! The LORD will carry out His purpose, His decree against the people of Babylon.

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