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Shofar: New Year's Wake-Up Call

August 27, 2012

For many people, the shofar blasts are the highlight of the Rosh Hashanah synagogue services. Similar to fireworks set off on New Year's Eve, or banging on pots and blowing noisemakers at the stroke of midnight as we enter January 1st, the shofar blasts grab our attention, shouting, "wake up! The New Year is here!"

Watch this video for a demonstration and explanation of the different shofar blasts — tek'iah, sh'varim and teruah — and you too will be ready for the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah.

Thanks to David Finkelstein, rabbinic intern at The Boston Synagogue, for his help with this video.



Hebrew for "Head of the Year," the Jewish New Year. With Yom Kippur, known as the High Holy Days. Derived from the Greek word for "assembly," a Jewish house of prayer. Synagogue refers to both the room where prayer services are held and the building where it occurs. In Yiddish, "shul." Reform synagogues are often called "temple." Simple musical instrument made from a ram's horn that is blown in synagogue on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, as well as each morning after daily services during the Hebrew month of Elul (the month leading up to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur).

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