Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Shofar

Blowing the Shofar is an integral part of the Jewish high holiday rituals, Rather than repeat what's already been written about it, and much more authoritatively than I could ever hope to do, you can read all about it here. It's a ritual that captivated me as a kid.

Basically, it's a ram's horn (or a goat's, or any other kosher animal - except a deer, their horns are  bone) that has all the internal cartilage removed and a hole drilled in the narrow end. That's the easy part. The hard part is making a sound come out. Kind of like blowing into a trumpet, but more difficult because there's no mouthpiece for a shofar.

There's three specific sounds or signals that are used, each of different length. More about it all on that website.

Drilling the end-hole after the cartilage is removed:



Trying to make a sound by blowing into the hole: