The Shofar: Symbol of Tishrei, Symbol of Judaism
Tishrei 5772 begins at Sundown on Wednesday, September 28, 2011
The shofar is not only a symbol we all associate with Tishrei, but it’s also a symbol of Judaism. Many of us only think about the shofar at the High Holy days, but in ancient times it was used regularly in religious rites.
Blow the shofar at the new moon, at the full moon for our feast-day.
In Psalms, we see the order to blow the shofar at both the new moon, Rosh Chodesh, and the full moon feast days. Historically the shofar would have been used to call us to prayer and attention for a myriad of reasons and events
. The shofar was also the sound of G-d/dess’ voice we hear at Sinai.
Is it any wonder that this ancient relic is one we still treasure today? When considering the shofar, also remember that it is a sign of our history as a nation of shepherds. I’m exploring purchasing my first shofar, and finding that I not only want one that is beautiful and playable — but also that I know comes from an animal that is not just kosher, but was also raised with respect and given a good life. I also want it to be local. Why should I import a shofar from a foreign country, when there are so many sheep right here? I would like to learn to play the shofar, but I also want to incorporate it into my fall altar
, or spiritual focal point if you prefer. If you are unfamiliar with the idea of having a Jewish personal altar
, here’s a post
about the practice.
This Tishrei, consider the Shofar as more than something you just hear at synagogue. Explore the history, symbolism, elemental aspects, and potential spiritual uses. Like Torah, the shofar can be understood on four (and probably more levels). Consider the shofar at it’s literal level, the alluded to meanings, the “drash” or hidden story, and the mystical meaning.Here are some great resources for exploring the Shofar:
- Hearing Shofar - Michael Chusid’s compendium of the Shofar, which is his core spiritual practice.
- PeelaPom: Explore the shofar in relation to the elements
- Telshemesh: The Ram, The Goat, and the Shofar
Share your shofar story!
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