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Is any horn fit to be kosher Shofar?

  

Library » Holidays » Rosh Hashanah » Shofar | Subscribe | What is RSS?


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Rabbi Jacobson: Welcome to askmoses. How can I be of help today?

cdawnr: what makes a Shofar Kosher

cdawnr: I am trying to find the attributes a shofar must have to be considered kosher

Rabbi Jacobson: there are halachik requirements1

cdawnr: I know...but I don't know whaere there is an easy place to find them listed.

cdawnr: web searches got me no where.

cdawnr: Book of our Heritage does not have it either

Rabbi Jacobson: it must be a hollow horn of a ram2, or similar species of kosher animals

Rabbi Jacobson: it cannot be from a cow or ox3

Rabbi Jacobson: it must be a certain length in measurement, not hav any decorations which will affect the natural sound

Rabbi Jacobson: and it is preferable that it bends upwards4

cdawnr: Thank you, I appreciat your time

Rabbi Jacobson: glad to help you

cdawnr: have an ice day

cdawnr: bye

All names, places, and identifying information have been changed or deleted in order to protect the privacy of the questioners. In order to preserve authenticity, the chat sessions have been posted with a minimum of editing. Please excuse typographical errors, missing punctuation, and/or grammatical mistakes which naturally occur in the course of informal chat sessions.

Footnotes

  • 1. Discussed at length in the Talmud tractate Rosh Hashanah 26a and in Shulchan Aruch (and Shulchan Aruch Harav) Orach Chaim chapter 586
  • 2. The horn of a ram is preferable since it reminds G-d and us of the binding of Isaac, when a ram was offered in his place. (ibid).
  • 3. The horn of a cow/ox is never referred to as Shofar in the Torah. (ibid).
  • 4. To remind us to bend - subjugate - our hearts to our father in heaven. (ibid).

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Kosher
Literally means "fit." Commonly used to describe foods which are permitted by Jewish dietary laws, but is also used to describe religious articles (such as a Torah scroll or Sukkah) which meet the requirements of Jewish law.
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.