Shofar

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A shofar (Hebrew: שופר‎) is a horn, traditionally that of a ram, used for Jewish religious purposes. Shofar-blowing is incorporated in synagogue services on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

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In the Bible and rabbinic literature

The shofar is mentioned frequently in the Hebrew Bible, the Talmud and rabbinic literature. The blast of a shofar emanating from the thick cloud on Mount Sinai made the Israelites tremble in awe (Exodus 18, 20).

The shofar was used in to announce holidays (Ps. lxxxi. 4), and the Jubilee year (Lev. 25. 9). The first day of the seventh month (Tishri) is termed "a memorial of blowing" (Lev. 23. 24), or "a day of blowing" (Num. xxix. 1), the shofar. It was also employed in processions (II Sam. 6. 15; I Chron. 15. 28), as a musical accompaniment (Ps. 98. 6; comp. ib. xlvii. 5) and to signify the start of a war (Josh. 6. 4; Judges 3. 27; 7. 16, 20; I Sam. 8. 3). Note that the 'trumpets' described in Numbers 10 are a different instrument, described by the Hebrew word 'trumpet' (Hebrew: חצוצרה‎; ḥaẓoẓrah) not the word for shofar (Hebrew: שופר‎).

The Torah describes the first day of the seventh month (1st of Tishri = Rosh ha-Shanah) as a zikron teruˁah (Hebrew: זכרון תרועה‎; memorial of blowing; Lev. xxiii) and as a yom teruˁah (Hebrew: יום תרועה‎; day of blowing; Num. 29). This was interpreted by the Jewish sages as referring to the sounding of the shofar.

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