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Use of the shofar

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Rabbi Ari Shvat

Adar I 16, 5776
Question
The use of the Shofar is connected to the coming of Messiah, can you tell me if there is any kind of differences in use of this instrument back in the time of the Temple and today when there is no Temple. Is there any kind of changes to notice throughout history in the use of blowing this old instrument? How can I in so case find out?
Answer
The Talmud (Rosh HaShana 34a) details the exact way of blowing the shofar, the ram’s horn, which can be seen, acquired or at least ordered in most stores which sell Judaic religious articles. Originally 9 blasts were blown annually on the Jewish New Year, and later in history it was raised to 30 (in order to alleviate even the slightest doubt as to how to arrange the 3 types of blasts), and today, we do “extra credit” and blow 100 blasts. The 3 exact types of blasts are also detailed there in the Talmud, as are when and why the extra blasts were added in Ceaseria in the time of R. Avahu (about 1,700 years ago). They can be demonstrated for you by any Jew who attends synagogue and hears them every year on the Jewish New Year. This is the same shofar which will be used with the coming of the Mashiach (Messiah), although then, probably only the happy festive Tekiah sound will be blasted and probably not the Tru’ah (crying sound), unless we may still have to, in the first stage, “finish up” some wars with the attackers of Israel (see Bamidbar 10, 1-10).
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