The Shofar: The Three Sounds of Renewal

No words can completely describe the sound of the shofar, the trumpet made of a ram’s horn that is blown hundreds of times on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. It is a primal cry, a royal declaration, and a jarring, piercing, awakening sound all at the same time.

In Hebrew, shofar is nearly identical to shiper, which means “improve.” This is the season of introspection, and Rosh Hashanah is the holiday of judgment. The shofar beckons us to improve ourselves, to repent, and to return to our God.

In this month’s Limmud, we will learn that there are many facets to the shofar and multiple layers of meaning; however, it all comes down to one message: the shofar beckons us to improve ourselves, to repent, and to return to our God.