Why The Shofar is Cool
Did you know that the shofar is over 4000 years old? It was used by the Ancient Hebrews for ceremonial purposes. Because it was not considered a musical instrument, its design has remained unchanged. The shofar is the only instrument from the time of the Temple that is still used in Jewish ritual today.
Making a shofar is a very ancient art. The craftsmanship and methods have not changed much in thousands of years. It is permitted to make a shofar from any member of the Bovidae family except for cattle. It is forbidden by Jewish law to make a shofar out of a bull. While the bull is a kosher animal, its horn is avoided so that G-d is not reminded of the sin of the golden calf. Shofarot are usually made from the horns of a ram, a kudu, an oryx, and or a goat.
Hearing the shofar is a special experience for many reasons. As it articulates its notes, you may feel that your heart and soul are opening in preparation for repentance. Whether it has any spiritual significance for you or not, you are experiencing millennia of history at that instant!
Photo credit © User:Olve Utne, processing by User:MathKnight.