The Tabernacle Times
September 2018 ......................... Elul 5778 - Tishrei 5779 ......................... Volume 13 Issue 9

Sounding the Shofar

Angela Kunkel
Angela Renee Kunkel
“Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment,
in a twinkling of an eye,
at the last trumpet (shofar): for the trumpet (shofar) shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”
1 Corinthians 15:51

Rosh Hashanah (literally the “head of the year) is celebrated as the beginning of the Jewish new year. Rosh Hashanah is referred to as the festival of
additional times in the Torah (Leviticus 23:24, 25:9, and Numbers 29:1). The short staccato sounds of the Teruah resemble a giant alarm clock reminding us to complete our mission. Teruah brings clarity and focus to each small step we take toward self improvement. The Shevarim and the Teruah are sounded consecutively to indicate that after troubles and tragedy, resilience and positive action is required.

The long concluding note, the Tekiah Gedolah, or great blast, opens our ears to not only hear it, but to feel it. The purpose of the Tekiah Gedolah is to help us regain stability and discipline for us to realize and realign ourselves to our commitment to the Holy One.
the seventh month (Numbers 29:1), a sacred occasion commemorated with the blast of the horns. The holiday is observed on the first two days of the Hebrew month of Tishri, which usually falls in September or October, and marks the beginning of a ten-day period of prayer, self examination and repentance, which is carried through until Yom Kippur.

Tradition states that the the universe was created by The Holy One on Rosh Hashanah. Other opinions believe that this day marks the sixth day of creation and the creation of Adam and Eve. Rosh Hashanah is also known as “Yom Teruah” (“The Feast of Trumpets”) or “Yom ha Zikaron” (the “Day of Rememberance”).

Amongst all the customs of Rosh Hashanah, the most recognizable symbol of the holiday is the sounding of the shofar. The Book of Leviticus marks The Holy One instructing the Children of Israel that in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you are to have a day of complete rest, a memorial of blowing (the shofar). This is a time that is appointed by Our Creator for us to meet with Him! (Lev. 23:24)

According to the Talmud, the commandment to hear the sound of the shofar on Rosh Hashanah can be fulfilled using a shofar made from an antelope, gazelle, goat, mountain goat, or a ram. The shofar must be hollow, since it is derived from the word shefoferet meaning “tube”. A cow’s horn is forbidden for it is a reminder of the sin of the Golden Calf. The Rabbi’s recommend the use of the ram’s horn as a shofar because of it’s association to the story of the binding of Isaac. The curve of the ram’s horn is symbolic of our bowing in submission to The Holy One’s will.

The long straight sound or “long blast” is known as the Tekiah. The Tekiah is mentioned in the Torah in Numbers 10:5-8. The Tekiah is to precede and succeed all shofar notes sounded for it is said to be the bookends of all life. The long blast indicates stability, discipline, and consistency in life. It is the sound of a King’s coronation, to awaken and prepare us for what is coming next.

The Shevarim consists of three shofar blasts of intermediate length. Shevarim comes from the word shever which means fracture, or something that is cracked or broken. This sound represents the times of trouble, the cry of the human heart when failure and tragedy have befallen us. The Shevarim calls us to look beyond ourselves and the pain of this world, knowing that we can reconnect, grow, and achieve a better future.

The Teruah is a call for accomplishment. In addition to Numbers 10:5-8, the word teruah is mentioned three
            (Continued at top of next column)
  Sounding the Shofar

The pattern of blowing the shofar that persists today is:

Tekiah, shevarim, teruah, tekiah
Tekiah, shevarim, tekiah
Tekiah, teruah, tekiah

The Torah Portion for the first day of Rosh Hashanah (Genesis 21:1-34) we read about the birth of Isaac. The second day we read about the Akedah, the binding of Isaac (Genesis 22:1-22:24). Jewish tradition states that HaShem told Abraham that the ram’s horn should be blown on Rosh Hashanah to remind the people of the sacrifice provided by The Holy One, Himself. As believers, how much greater does that make the sacrifice of Yeshua as our Lamb of G-d.

As the most mentioned instrument in the Scriptures, the Rabbi’s decided there should be 100 blasts during the Rosh Hashanah service. This 100 blasts is said to symbolize the number of sobs of Sisera’s mother or the number of letters in her lament for her son as recorded in the Song of Deborah (Judges 5:28). In other words, the sound of the shofar is meant to stir the heart to fear and to inspire repentance.

Rosh Hashanah is a blessed reminder of The Holy One’s creative authority in our lives. The month of Elul, our time of preparation for Rosh Hashanah reminds us to be ready for the soon appearance of our Bridegroom King Yeshua. Our Messiah proclaimed, “Now is the fullness of time…turn away from your sins and believe in the Good News!” (Mark 1:15) The sound of the shofar on Rosh Hashanah is meant to awaken our hearts, to prepare for the coming judgement, to cast off our sins and give us comfort for a new beginning. Finding The Holy One is our greatest joy according to King David, “Blessed are the people who know the teruah (the shofar blast)..” (Psalm 89:16).

L’ Shanah Tovah Tikatevu!
May you be inscribed (in the Book of Life)
for a good year!

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