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Shofar Sounding at Jewish Weddings

Shofar Sounding at Jewish Weddings

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Published by Finkle Art
The practice of sounding a shofar at Jewish weddings is a resent tradition in some parts of Israel This article tells of an experience in the states.
The practice of sounding a shofar at Jewish weddings is a resent tradition in some parts of Israel This article tells of an experience in the states.

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Published by: Finkle Art on Jun 22, 2011
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06/10/2014

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Shofar Sounding at Jewish Weddings
Arthur L. Finkle
When someone sent an e-mail asking me to sound the shofar at her wedding, I responding, ³Are you serious!´ She was.The facts were that she was an Israeli from Herzliya (suburb of north of Tel Aviv) who was marrying in June 2011. She heard the shofar sound at awedding in the Tel Aviv area, where one-third of Israel¶s population resides.Secular in upbringing, when she heard the low primordial, atavistic tonalityof the Yemenite shofar, she was transfixed. From that point on, she desireda shofar sounding at her own wedding.In the meantime, I visited Israel and asked if shofar sounding at a weddingwas customary. Surprised that it was, I asked exactly what the shofar wasto do and when.With this knowledge gleaned from the Israeli¶s, we met a month before thespecial occasion with her intended husband, an American who practiceslaw in the sites and in Israel. We decided the shofar to be sounded:
y
At the beginning of the ceremony to proclaim the blessed event
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At the aisle procession of the intended bride
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After the glass is broken to end the ritual At the day of the wedding, at a scenic Golf Course, I coordinatedeverything (cues) from the wedding coordinator and the officiating Rabbi. At the beginning, on the Yemenite shofar, I sound a tekiah ± to geteveryone attention that the wedding ritual was to begin. (It worked.)I, myself, shed a tear when the shevarim announced the kallah(bethrothed). After the cup was broken, I sounded a tekiah gedolah (short as requested).
 
 A wedding is a festive occasion. The happy couple was appreciative. Theguests (70 of them) treated me that a rock star. They took my picture withthe majestic shofar (although they did not ask for my signature).
Significance
There is nothing on the Code of Jewish Law, as amended by the MishnahBerurah that mandates a shofar at a wedding. However, music is notforbidden.I have found no mention of shofar sounding at Jewish wedding, after extensive research in Mishnah, Talmud, Rishonim, Acharonim and moderncommentators.However, I can guest what the significance may be, particularly for Israeli¶s.When the Wailing Wall was recurred in 1967, the secular Israeli Armysecured a shofar sounder to proclaim the Western Wall was now in thehands of those who venerated it. Subsequently, other Israeli events havehad the shofar heralding something important.
Why Was the Shofar Historically Sounded?
Biblical references to shofars (Hebrew for trumpets, rams¶ horns, coronets,etc. are extensive throughout the Biblical literature. Although there aremore than 70 times in the Bible mentioning the shofar and scores morementioning trumpets sand horns. I submit a small listing indicating its uses:
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The ram's horn, the shofar, is a reminder of Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac and God's provisionof a ram as a substitute. (Genesis 22:13) Inother words, the shofar is authentically Jewish.
y
The LAW (Torah) was given to Israel with the sound of the shofar from heaven.(Exodus 19:19) Again, the shofar a signal that theJewish people chose to receive the law and are bound by its ethicalprecepts.
y
The shofar was blown at the start of the year of Jubilee on YomTeruah. (Leviticus 25:9-10). One of the very few Holy Temple rites isthe sounding of the shofar on Rosh Hashanah.
y
The trumpet (shofar) was blown to announce the beginning of thefestival. Numbers (10:10). A signal that something special wasoccurring.
 
y
Israel conquered in the battle of Jericho with the blast of the shofars.(Joshua 6:20). The shofar was utilized in war similar to that of abugle to signal differing military TACTICS. It also was used aspsychological warfare (to confuse and this terrify the enemy). Gideonand his army confused and scattered the enemy with the shofar.(Joshua 7:15-22)
y
The shofar was blown to signal the assembly of the Israelites duringwar. (Judges 3:27; 6:34; II Samuel 20:1; Jer. 4:19; 51:27; Neh. 4:20; Amos 3:6).
y
Seven shofars were blown before the ark of God. (1Chr. 15:24,2Sam. 6:15). Signaling awe, relevance and spiritual qualities, theshofar sounding announced the place wherein the Creator resided.Indeed, in Ps 47:5, the shofar serves as a reminder that God issovereign.
y
Shofars were blown as a warning. (Ezekiel 33:3-6, Numbers 10:9,Isaiah 18:3)
y
The shofar was used for the coronation of kings. (I Kings 1:34, 39).
y
The shofar will be blown at the time of Messiah. (Isaiah 27: 13; Isaiah27:13; Zech. 9:14.)
P
ost Biblical Uses of the Shofar 
Rosh Hashana
The Rabbi¶s left the shofar as the focal point of the religious year (RoshHashanah, also known as the Day of the Blast). See Babylonian Talmud,Rosh Hashanah, Code of Jewish Law (Simon 129), and the Mishnah Berurah(20th century) 586:1 et seq. Indeed, a full month before, the shofar is soundedat morning services (except of the Sabbath) to remind parishioners that RoshHashanah is coming soon and it is the time of repentance.
Sounding Shofar on Yom Kippur 
The Mishna Berurah provides in Section 623:12, Neilah Service,
One should blow the Shofar the sounds tekiah, shevarimteruah, tekiah, although there are authorities who say that one

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