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The Sounds of the Shofar on Rosh HaShanah

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The Sounds of the Shofar on Rosh HaShanah

The shofar (שופר‎) is a Jewish instrument most often made from a ram’s horn. It makes a trumpet-like sound and is traditionally blown on Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year. In fact, the shofar is such an important part of Rosh HaShanah that it is also known by another name, "Yom Teruah," which means "day of the shofar blast" in Hebrew.

Shofar Sounds on Rosh HaShanah

The shofar is blown one hundred times on each of the two days of Rosh HaShanah. There are four specific shofar blasts associated with this holiday:

  • 1. Teki’ah – An unbroken blast lasting about three seconds
  • 2. Shva’rim – A teki’ah broken into three segments
  • 3. Teruah – Nine rapid fire blasts
  • 4. Tekiah Gedolah – A triple teki’ah lasting at least nine seconds, though many shofar blowers will attempt to go significantly longer, which the audience loves.

The person who blows the shofar is called a Tokea (which literally means “blaster”) and it is no easy task to perform each of these sounds. You can hear each of the shofar blasts on YouTube by watching this video.

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