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Shofar: The Three Sounds of Renewal

“‘On the first day of the seventh month hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work. It is a day for you to sound the trumpets.’” — Numbers 29:1

In just a few weeks, on September 14–15, Jews around the world will celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. The focal point of this holiday, also known as the Day of Judgment, is the sounding of the shofar, a trumpet-like instrument created from a ram’s horn. However, 30 days before the holiday begins, we sound the shofar daily in preparation for the High Holy Days, which begins with Rosh Hashanah and ends with Yom Kippur. The shofar is not just an integral part of these sacred days, but is essential in our preparation for them.

In this month’s Limmud, we will explore the multifaceted shofar. We will learn how this ancient instrument has served in Jewish worship throughout history. The shofar was sounded at Mt. Sinai, blasted as the children of Israel set out to capture the land of Israel, and used later in the Temple service. For thousands of years, the shofar has been sounded on every Jewish New Year, and it is destined to herald in the messianic era.

Join us as we explore the symbolism and messages of the shofar and how we can hear its sound reverberate in our lives today.