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WORD OF THE DAY: SHOFAR
noun | SHOH-far
What It Means
A shofar is the horn of an animal (usually a ram) blown as a trumpet by the ancient Hebrews in battle and during religious observances. It is used in modern Judaism especially during Rosh Hashanah and at the end of Yom Kippur.
// As a child, Eli’s favorite part of the High Holidays was the sounding of the shofar.
Examples of SHOFAR
“Synagogues will also blow a shofar, a curved ram’s horn, during Rosh Hashanah. There are many interpretations of the shofar’s meaning. One is that it represents the biblical story told in Genesis, in which Abraham sacrifices a ram instead of his son, Isaac. Rabbis have also interpreted the loud blast of the shofar as a wake-up call for the new year. [Rabbi Charlie] Schwartz called the sounding of the shofar ‘the pinnacle of the Rosh Hashanah service in synagogues.'” — Marina Pitofsky, USA Today, 2 Sept. 2021
Did You Know?
One of the shofar’s original uses was to proclaim the Jubilee year (a year of emancipation of enslaved Jews and restoration of alienated lands to their former owners). Today, it is mainly used in synagogues during the High Holidays. It is blown daily, except on Shabbat, during the month of Elul (the 12th month of the civil year or the 6th month of the ecclesiastical year in the Jewish calendar), and is sounded a number of times during the Rosh Hashanah services, and again at the end of the last service (known as neilah) on Yom Kippur. The custom is to sound the shofar in several series that alternate shorter notes resembling sobbing and wailing with longer unbroken blasts.
Merriam Webster Dictionary