Shofar Buying Guide, Types Of Shofars
A shofar, usually a hollowed ram's horn, is blown for Jewish religious purposes and has been used as an ancient instrument since Biblical times. As referenced throughout the Bible, the simple horn was used to herald in the New Month (rosh chodesh), to declare war, and celebrate victories. During the times of the Temple, Levites were musicians during services and would often use a shofar as one of their instruments, making it one of the oldest unchanged instruments used in modern times.
Today, the shofar is best known for its crucial role in our Rosh Hashanah celebrations. It's so important to the holiday's services that the Torah's name for Rosh Hashanah is Yom Teruah - a Day of Blowing.
Different Jewish sects have different shofar preferences. Mainstream Ashkenazi and Sephardi traditions stipulate short, curved goat or ram horn shofars; Moroccans favor flatter, untwisted horns with carved mouthpieces; the Yemenite shofar is the long, spiraled horn of a kudu (a large breed of antelope native to southern and western Africa).
Shofars can be made from almost any type of horn - except bull's horns due to its resemblance of the Golden Calf. Antlers are also not an acceptable option because they are solid bone and shofars must be hollow. Horns undergo a complicated cleaning and preparation process before they are ready for use.
The "classic" model comes from a genuine ram's horn shofar, which has been cleaned and prepared to meet the exacting standards required for a "kosher" shofar (kosher in this context means suitable for ritual use on Rosh Hashanah). We offer a range of sizes from extra-small to jumbo in a variety of colors, some even hand painted creating incredibly unique options. You can also choose between a natural and polished finish; both allow the horn's natural coloration and patterning to shine through beautifully!
For hundreds of years, Yemenite Jews imported kudu horns from Africa and used them to create long, twisted shofarot with a distinct sound. A Yemenite shofar will make your Rosh Hashanah services even more spectacular. Available in a range of colors and finishes, these shofars will make awe-inspiring centerpieces for any Rosh Hashanah celebration!
Renowned Israeli artists have created a new way to blow this New Year: decorated shofars featuring delicately painted designs and impressive silver plating. These majestic shofars will add a breathtaking new element to your Rosh Hashanah celebrations; they'll also look fantastic on display all year round.
If you wish to display your beautiful new purchase, consider one of our distinctive Israeli shofar stands, some of which have been created by celebrated artist Yair Emanuel. If you prefer something more simple to help flaunt your astounding shofar, there are also transparent acrylic stands available. Any one you choose will be a great way to ensure your shofar can take pride of place all year round!
On Rosh Hashanah, the shofar's iconic sound is meant to drive us to shake off our complacent existence, and instead, start to really live our best life. Blowing your very own shofar is a great way to feel a connection to our rich heritage, and inspire you to move forward into the New Year in the best way possible.
Shana Tova U'Metuka!