Why This Rabbi Continued to Sound the Shofar in NYC Every Night in 2021
Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur prompt the sounding of the shofar. The deep, bellowing sounds fill synagogues, homes and even filled the streets of Melbourne and Sydney this year.
On the other side of the world, in New York City, one rabbi was keeping the tradition of sounding the shofar alive by sounding the shofar at 7 pm because her sister contracted COVID-19 and had to spend months in hospital – according to The Times of Israel. Janise Poticha believes the sounding of the shofar relates to the binding of Isaac that happens when Abraham slaughters a ram so that Isaac can live.
Below, we will look at what the shofar is, the other reasons for sounding it, and why it means so much to the NYC rabbi.
What Is A Shofar?
A shofar is a musical horn linked to Judaism rituals. It’s typically made from a ram’s horn, although some are made from other kosher animal horns. Plus, they’re not always in the standard shape of a ram’s horn. Some designers opt to create unique designs making twizzled horns that add a creative flair to the shofar. However, you can find a traditional Shofar for sale at Judaica Web Store if the creative flair isn’t what you want.
The horn creates a bellowing, powerful sound that resonates in every room it’s played in. The horn only makes a noise when blown into, and the pitch can be altered only by the breath. Before it became a signal for religious festivities, its uses were as a battle horn.
The Most Significant Use Of The Shofar
As with Janise Poticha in NYC – many people have adopted new meanings behind the use of the shofar, connecting it somewhat to repentance and the chance at a new beginning. Essentially, this is the meaning behind her sounding the shofar – she wanted to give her sister a chance at a new life.
It’s, however, Rosh Hashanah that’s the celebration in which sounding the shofar has the most significance. The horn sounds 30 times each day of the religious festival – a celebration which only lasts two days. It calls practicing Jewish people to the synagogue.
The ancient cry of the horn symbolizes the call to repentance and reminds Jewish people that God is their king – with many believing the sounds of the shofar is the voice of God.
What Other Occasions Celebrate Using The Shofar?
The shofar sounds on two other occasions – throughout the month of Elul and at the end of the fasting day of Yom Kippur. The sounds represent an ending in all three meanings – with the month of Elul being the most length of time the shofar sounds. Other religions have adopted the shofar and made it their own – such as practicing Christians following the old testament. For them, it’s a call to prayer.
The shofar is a sound that will be heard around the streets of Israel and indeed many others around the world for years to come. It is a sound consumed with religious influence and one that’s firmly cemented in Jewish history, culture, and religion.