Easy to blow shofars


The Shofar serves in Jewish ceremonies during the high holidays. In Rosh Hashana prayers the shofar is blown in several segments of the prayer, right after the reading of the Torah, then during the Amidah prayer and on repetition of the Amidah prayer by the shaliaḥ tzibbur. Altogether 90 sounds. On yom Kippur the blowing of the shofar announces the end of the fast.

Blowing the shofar is not trivial, but can be learnt rather quickly. Since there are three different sounds – Teki’ah, Shvarim and Teru’a – the skills involve musical sense, especially in the production of the Shevarim sound. For the common the production of the Shevarim is short broken sounds, while the more strict will modulate the shofar to sound like a heart breaking wailing. The ability to sound the Tru’a ivolves other skills. The Teru’a is an array of 11 quick and brief sounds. Consequently the shofar blower has to, simultaneously, produce the fast array while making sure that exactly 11 repeats and emitted. From personal experience this is quite challenging.

And what determines the degree of difficulty in blowing the shofar? It is all in the mouthpiece. The mouthpiece is the section at the narrow end of the horn that is drilled to provide the bore through which the air is pressured. And more that the actual bore, the design of the mouthpiece at the very tip is the most crucial factor in the difficulty of producing the sound. The art of the mouthpiece is a trade secret that is passed from father to son, as is the case for the current partners of “Shofarot Israel” – Zvika Bar sheshet, 14th generation to shofar makers from Spain and Morroco and Eli Ribak 3rd generation to shofar makers from Poland.

A visit to “shofarot Israel” shop on Nahalat Biyamin 131, Tel Aviv will provide the option to purchase shofars or even raw horns and also to have a glimpse at the actual making of shofars.

The company can be contacted:
0523701160 by telephone