|The religious tradition of the Yemenite Jews is unique and quite different from that of Sephardi, Ashkenazi and other Jewish ethnic groups. This is also true when it comes to the shofar. In the Talmud, this sacred instrument may be constructed from the horn of any animal (except a cow), though the ram is preferred. Since the Yemenites had no access to rams’ horns, they instead used the horns of the Kudu, an African antelope. These exquisitely designed, 100% natural Kudu shofars are hand carved and silver plated, using traditional family techniques. They’re made in Tel Aviv, Israel and shipped directly from the factory. The intricately carved designs on the silver plating are symbols of Judaism, such as the holy city of Jerusalem, grapes, a menorah, an olive leaf, a palm, a lion and the star of David.|
|The soundings from the shofar are frequently mentioned in the Torah and Talmud. There is the tekiah (also “t’kiah”), a deep bass sound that abruptly ends. The teruah (“t’ruah”) is a treble trill sound that is played between two of the longer tekiah sounds. It has several important meanings, such as to commemorate God’s creation of the world and, traditionally, to coronate a king. This shofar is played at the start of the Ten Days of Repentance (in Hebrew, Aseret Yemei Teshuva), which begins with Rosh Hashanah and ends with Yom Kippur. The sound of the shofar is a mitzvah, a commandment from God, to take responsibility for our actions.|
|Specifically, on Rosh Hashanah the shofar is blown before, during and after the Musaf prayer. During the prayer, its sound is accompanied by selections from the Bible and a benediction, though the exact timing and number of shofar blasts can vary according to the synagogue and location. Other times when you might hear the mournful yet hopeful sounds of the shofar are during rituals of atonement such as Yom Kippur Katan and special prayer services that are called at times of distress in the community.|
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