By Jaime Noriega | 2015
Shofar is a Hebrew word that comes from a root word meaning beauty. The word shofar, however, through tradition came to mean almost solely "ram's horn". The shofar was used in biblical times for various occasions ranging from calling the armies together to signaling death. Which brings up the curious point that shofar is also literally translated as a "sense of incising". Incising means to cut or burn into. Obviously the sound of the shofar was more than a mere horn blast to the ancient Hebrews, to earn a name that signified a cutting or burning into the heart and soul of the people.
The most important modern use of the shofar in religious ceremonies takes place on Rosh HaShanah or Yom Teruah, when it is sounded in the synagogue to call the Jewish people to a spiritual reawakening as the religious New Year begins on Tishri. The Shofar can be made to produce sobbing, wailing and sustained sounds in sequences that are varied strictly according to Halacha. The shofar is also sounded on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, as a call for repentance and sacrifice and for love of the Torah.
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