Friday, December 9, 2005

The Mitzvah of the Shofar

The Mitzvah: Rosh HaShanah is called Yom Teruah, "the day of shofar blasts" (Numbers 29:1). Every Jewish male is obligated to hear at least nine sounds from a shofar, the horn of a kosher animal, usually that of a ram. Although a time-bound commandment for which women are generally exempted, it has become customary for them to also hear the shofar. There are three types of sounds: tekiah (the long blast), shevarim (three short bursts) and teruah (nine short bursts). The shofar is not blown on the Sabbath due to a rabbinical decree.