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Beit Midrash Jewish Laws and Thoughts The Coronavirus Pandemic

Chapter 14

How many shofar blasts must we hear on Rosh Hashana?

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Question: How many shofar blasts must we hear on Rosh Hashana?
The Coronavirus Pandemic (16)
Rabbi Yirmiyohu Kaganoff
13 - Be Silent and Listen
14 - How many shofar blasts must we hear on Rosh Hashana?
15 - Shut questions on Corona
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Answer: It is a Torah mitzvah to hear the shofar on Rosh Hashana (though not on Shabbat), consisting of 3 teru’ot, with an added sound before & after each teru’ah (a simple tekiya). In all, this would be a total of 9 shofar blasts. But since there are 3 types of terua – shevarim, akin to sighing, teruah, akin to crying, & shevarim-teruah, a combination of both – our custom is to add these sounds and hear at least thirty shofar blasts (shevarim-teruah are considered two blasts). An enhancement of the mitzva (for a total of 60 blasts) is to sound the shofar during the chazan’s repetition of Mussaf. Some rabbis went further, increasing the mitzva to 100 blasts (or 101 for Sefardim), including during the silent Amida. It was the Ari HaKadosh who spread this minhag to most Jewish communities

This year, due to the Corona, crisis, many venues are "streamlining" the tefilot, in order to minimize gatherings and accommodate outdoor minyanim. Sounding 30, or 60 shofar blasts would be Halachically proper and absolutely fulfill the Mitzva.
Rabbi Stewart Weiss
Was ordained at the Hebrew Theological College in Skokie, Illinois, and led congregations in Chicago and Dallas prior to making Aliyah in 1992. He directs the Jewish Outreach Center in Ra'anana, helping to facilitate the spiritual absorption of new olim.
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