The shofar sounds - Learn how to blow the shofar

Ahava | Jewisheart - The Number 1 Israeli store over the net

Order Center Toll-Free 1-800-705-1948

Ahava | Jewisheart

How to choose a shofar

Buy a genuine Israeli Shofar

The shofar has traditionally been used in various Jewish religious ceremonies. Most traditional and religious shofars have been made out of ram’s horns. The ram’s horn shofar is considered sacred as it is made from the horns of a kosher animal. It also satisfies the requirement that the horn be made of cartilage as opposed to solid bone.

Types of shofar sounds

If you thought the shofar only produced one kind of sound, then think again! There are four types of calls or shofar sounds. Surprised? Do not be because these are variations, which only an experienced and expert shofar blower can make. The four kinds of shofar calls are namely:

- Tekiah: This type of sound resembles a blasting noise. It has a distinct and clear tone to it and is made at a stretch.
- Shevarim: This is a broken shofar noise and comprises three calls, each with a very short duration. The sound emanating in this kind of shofar sound resembles a sigh.
- Teruah: This shofar sound is almost like an alarm of sorts. It comprises short notes, of extremely small duration. By making nine or more such sounds, a Teruah shofar sound is made.
- Tekiah Gedolah: This is a variation of the Tekiah and is a blasting noise, of a very long duration. In fact, as long as the shofar blower can, he continues to blow the shofar making this blasting noise.

How the sounds are made

A proper succession of shofar sounds would be as follows:
1. Tekiah
2. Shevarim
3. Teruah and finally
4. Tekiah Gedolah

Tips to blow shofar correctly

There are many years needed before you can master the art of blowing the shofar correctly. Here are some tips to master the technique:

- Short shofars: Many amateurs make the mistake of getting a long shofar to start their practice blowing it. It is always better to get a short shofar that has a quarter of it twisted.
- Proper form of mouth: The shofar is played just like any horn. However, the lips may need to be tightened more to ensure a proper fit on the mouthpiece.
- Air movement: The air should not move from the sides when blowing the shofar. Whether you use a ram’s horn shofar or some other material, you need to ensure the air comes straight into your mouth.
- Blowing of air: You need to blow out the air from the mouth vigorously. This way, your lips will vibrate and it is the correct technique of playing the shofar.
- Correct placement: The shofar should be placed at the point where your lips are vibrating while blowing air. Most people find it is at the center of the mouth while more experienced shofar players find it can be anywhere where the lips are vibrating.
- Getting the shriek: Once you practice more, you should be able to get the distinct sound that is intrinsic to the shofar. Then, you can gradually master the four different sound types.

Buy a genuine Israeli Shofar