Incorporating the shofar into personal praise of G-d will open the soul to receive the word of G-d.
What exactly is a Shofar?
A shofar is a religious instrument that has been used in Judaism to praise G-d since Biblical times. It is a natural instrument made from animal horn.
There are the long curly horns which come from antelope and short curved horns which come from ram. A shofar can be long and curled or short with just a hint of a curve. The natural and polished finishes give a beautiful patina to each shofar. You will never find two exactly alike.
The shofar is an unusual form of instrument. Although individual notes on a scale cannot be played on it, the combination use of long and short blasts can form a melody of sorts.
What is the Biblical significance of the Shofar?
In Biblical days, the shofar was used in a variety of ways: the first and most important was to announce the onset of the beginning of the Sabbath and holidays. One of the most significant Biblical references occurrences in the Old Testament; this is the welcoming of the Jewish New Year (Leviticus 23:23-25). In Psalms 81:3-4 the shofar is used at the festival of Sukkot or Feast of Tabernacles – this is the Full Moon Festival mentioned in the Psalm. The shofar also played a considerable role in the Fall of Jericho (Joshua 6:15-16).
The shofar is also mentioned in the New Testament and played an integral part in Jesus’ life and ministry. Some of the passages where you can find reference to the shofar are Matthew 24:31, I Corinthians 15:52, and I Thessalonians 4:16:
Matthew 24:31 – “and He will send forth His angels with a great shofar and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.”
I Corinthians 15:52 – “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last shofar; for the shofar will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.”
I Thessalonians 4:16 – “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the shofar Of God.”
There are numerous other occurrences of the shofar in the Bible. It is clearly an object with a rich Biblical history.
Who Needs a Shofar?
Shofars are found in churches to open prayer services. It serves to call all to worship the word of G-d, just as the ancient Hebrews used it to welcome the beginning of the Sabbath. A Shofar can also be integrated in to personal praise of G-d, with each note opening the soul to receive the word of G-d. Shofars also make a wonderful addition to a home or an office. They are beautiful pieces that can be displayed with a table stand (also sold here!) or mounted on a wall. More and more, we find churches incorporating the use of the shofar at the beginning of Sunday services, calling the congregation to prayer. How fitting to use the same instrument with which Jesus was also called to prayer.
I have tried to play the Shofar, but can’t, is it broken?
Playing the Shofar requires practice and persistence. The sound is caused by the air being blown through the lips into the Shofar.
In order to produce a sound, close your lips loosely and place them gently up to the mouthpiece. Concentrating on keeping your lips closed, blow out past the lips. This produces a buzzing sound similar to a hum.
What do I look for when buying a Shofar?
First consider how you want to use the Shofar. If it is for décor, the primary decision is between fully polished, half polished or silver covered. You should choose the look that most appeals to you. If you would like to use it as an instrument, remember that the larger the Shofar, the bigger the sound. So if you plan to use it in a sanctuary or outdoor service, the bigger the better. If you plan to use it in a smaller enclosed area or in your home, a smaller shofar might be a better choice.
The Jesus Boat Store sells only the highest quality Kosher Shofars. This means that the horn has been properly cleaned and is contaminate free. Kosher items are stringently checked and supervised by the Israel Rabbinical Council.
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