“…it shall be declared a holiday for you, a day of sounding a teruah for you”
Teruah is the word for one of the sounds of the shofar.
- The shofar is made from the horn of a ram. A special person to serve as the Shofar blower is designated for the holiday. This person has studied the various laws of the shofar service and is trained to properly maintain strong consistent sounds.
- The shofar is not sounded on Shabbat.
- It is a Torah obligation to hear the shofar during the Rosh Hashana Mussaf service (the additional service). If one is unable to attend services, during the daytime one may:
Find out what time the shofar will be blown and go specifically to hear the shofar blown and then return home.
Check with the local synagogue if there will be a special shofar sounding for people who miss it in the morning.
Have someone blow the shofar for him/her privately.
There are three types of shofar blasts:
Tekiah – the long, solid blast.
- The tekiah sound is like the blast of the trumpet at a king’s coronation, reminding us that G-d is the King of Kings.
- The tekiah is a strong note of joyous happiness, to remind us that we are standing before G-d, our Maker, who loves us and judges us with mercy.
Shevarim – the three medium-length blasts
- The shevarim is reminiscent of deep sighs or soft crying, (where one is gasping for breath).
- The shevarim is the beginning of the recognition of all that G-d does for us, and all that we could be doing, thus the sighing sound.
Teruah – the 9 quick blasts
- The teruah evokes the feeling of short piercing cries of wailing.
- The teruah is the recognition that the year is closing and that the time for teshuva will soon pass.
The elongated, solid note that is blown as the last blast of the shofar service. The regular tekiah is a note of joy – the tekiah gedolah is a triumphant shout that reaches out to the hearts of all to assure them that their prayers have been heard.