: the horn of an animal (usually a ram) blown as a trumpet by the ancient Hebrews in battle and during religious observances and used in modern Judaism especially during Rosh Hashanah and at the end of Yom Kippur
Did You Know?
One of the shofar's original uses was to proclaim the Jubilee year (a year of emancipation of Hebrew slaves and restoration of alienated lands to their former owners). Today, it is mainly used in synagogues during the High Holy Days. It is blown daily, except on Shabbat, during the month of Elul (the 12th month of the civil year or the 6th month of the ecclesiastical year in the Jewish calendar), and is sounded a number of times during the Rosh Hashanah services, and again at the end of the last service (known as neilah) on Yom Kippur. The custom is to sound the shofar in several series that alternate shorter notes resembling sobbing and wailing with longer unbroken blasts.
"A collection of local artists will be selling their artwork, crafts, jewelry and Judaica, and gift booths will offer T-shirts, books and traditional Jewish and Israeli items, from mezuzahs to shofars." — Jennifer Nixon, The Arkansas (Little Rock) Democrat-Gazette, 27 Apr. 2017
"So I sat as still as possible, letting the melodic intonations of Hebrew roll through me, letting the haunting sound of the shofar fill my chest." — Robyn K. Schneider, Silent Running, 2015
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Test Your Vocabulary
Fill in the blanks to complete a word for the blare of a trumpet or horn: t _ n _ _ ra.VIEW THE ANSWER
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP