Shofar

June 21, 2006

[pl. Shofarot]; the ram’s horn; blown on Rosh HaShanah, accounting for the name of that Holiday, “Yom Teruah,” the Day of Blowing the ram’s Horn. The Shofar arouses thoughts of “Teshuvah”, or Repentance, in the human being, and also commemorates two fundamental events in Jewish History. The first was “Akeidat Yitzchak,” the Binding of Isaac, where Avraham, at the command of G-d, displayed willingness to sacrifice his son, Yitzchak, but was prevented from doing so by an Angel of the L-rd, and a ram was substituted for the son. (Bereshit 22: 1-19) The second was the Giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai, where Hashem revealed Himself to the Jewish People, amid thunder and lightning and the Call of the Shofar. (Shemot 19: 16-19)