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Why do we blow the shofar at the end of the Yom Kippur service?

by Rabbi Yossi Marcus

  

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Bunch of answers—here’s three:

1. At the end of the Yom Kippur service, the Divine presence starts to make its way back “up” to the higher realms. The sounding of one Shofar blast is the signal of Divine departure. [After the revelation at Sinai, the shofar blast was the signal that the people could now walk upon the mountain.]1

2. To let people know that the fast is over and that it is permitted to eat and prepare for the festive meal that is eaten on the night after Yom Kippur.2

3. It commemorates the shofar blast of Yom Kippur of the Jubilee year.3

[Perhaps it is also a triumphant toot, since we are confident that our prayers have been accepted.]

Footnotes

  • 1. Taz Orach Chaim 623:2.
  • 2. Tosafot, Shabbat 114b s.v. V’amai.
  • 3. Kol Bo.
TAGS: shofar

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Yom Kippur
Day of Atonement. This late-autumn high-holiday is the holiest day of the year. We devote this day to repentance and all healthy adults are required to fast.
Shofar
The horn of a Kosher animal. The Shofar is sounded on the holiday of Rosh Hashanah, and is intended to awaken us to repentance. Also blown to signify the conclusion of the Yom Kippur holiday.