Shofar-call from the Western-wall-Jerusalem-Israel
A Shofar an instrument made from the horn of a ram!
A Shofar is an instrument made from the horn of a ram or other "kosher" animal. It was used in ancient Israel to announce the New Moon (Rosh Kodesh) and call people together. It was also blown on Rosh Hashanah, marking the beginning of the (Jewish) New Year, signifying both need to wake up to the call to repentance, and in connection with the portion read on the second day of Rosh Hashanah, the Binding of Isaac (Genesis 22) in which Abraham sacrifices a ram in place of his son, Isaac. (Source: Jewish virtual Library)
The Shofar or ram's horn is mentioned over 100 times in the Scripture as either a ram’s horn or trumpet. The second most commonly used horn is the Yemenite Shofar taken from an African antelope called the Kudu, taking the place of the silver trumpet.
The first time the Shofar is mentioned is in Exodus 19:16-19 when the Israelites had gathered at Mt. Sinai. “The voice of the trumpet (Shofar) sounded exceeding loud” and “waxed louder and louder”. According to the Torah in Exodus 20:18 the sound was so penetrating that the people could actually “see the sounds”!
And kol HaAm saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the sound of the Shofar, and HaHar smoking; and when HaAm saw it, they drew back, and stood afar off. (Exodus 20:18 OJB; SHEMOT 20:18)
Source: THE ORTHODOX JEWISH BIBLE, Third Edition. Copyright © 2002,2003 by Artists For Israel International. All rights reserved. OrthodoxJewishBible.org
There is a great deal of symbolism tied in with the legal requirements for what constitutes a proper Shofar. The Shofar of Rosh Hashanah, whose purpose it is to rouse the Divine in the listener, may not be constructed of an artificial instrument. It must be an instrument in its natural form and naturally hollow, through whom sound is produced by human breath, which G-d breathes into human beings. This pure, and natural sound, symbolizes the lives it calls Jews to lead. What is more, the most desirable Shofar is the bent horn of a ram. The ram reminds one of Abraham's willing sacrifice of that which was most precious to him. The curve in the horn mirrors the contrition of the one who repents. (Source: Jewish virtual Library)
(In the Talmud, we read: Rabbi Abbahu said:) Why do we sound the Shofar? Because the Holy One, blessed be G-d, said: Blow me a ram's horn that I may remember to your credit the binding of Isaac, the son of Abraham, and I shall account it to you as a binding of yourselves before Me. The Torah tells us: And Abraham ( !picture!) lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. (Genesis 22:13)
The ram as an example of substitution!
As the ram was an example of substitution for Isaac, so Yeshua Messiah became a substitute for all men, dying for them that they might go free from eternal death in hell—if they accept Him as their sacrifice! The Old Testament animal sacrifices portrayed the Messiah, the Christ; paying the sin penalty in our stead. That the experience of Abraham with Isaac and the ram prefigured the work of Yeshua Messiah is clear from (Hebrews 11:17-19)
This teaches us that God showed the patriarch Abraham the ram tearing himself free from one thicket and becoming entangled in another. God's declaration to Abraham: Thus are your children destined to be caught in iniquities and entangled in misfortunes, but in the end they will be redeemed by the horns of a ram. Therefore the prophet Zechariah said of the time of redemption: And the Lord shall be seen over them, and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning: and the L-rd G-d shall blow the Shofar, and shall go with whirlwinds of the south. (Zechariah 9:14)
“The bend in the Shofar is supposed to represent how a human heart, in true repentance, bends before the L-rd. The ram's horn serves to remind the pious how Abraham, offering his son Isaac in sacrifice, was reprieved when G-d decided that Abraham could sacrifice a ram instead.
*The Hidden Message
There is a hidden message we are supposed to infer by listening to the Shofar. It suggests saying: 'Sleeping ones! Awaken from your sleep! Slumbering ones! Awaken from your slumber! Examine your deeds. Remember your Creator and return to your G-d!
The call of the Shofar is the call to Teshuva. Teshuva, often poorly translated as "repentance," literally means "return," and refers to "returning" to the path of ethics and spirituality outlined in the Torah. It isn't just proposing that the Shofar beckons us to undertake an external "returning". It is an "our returning" that leads us to "remember our Creator!
Sometimes we can return and repent on particular wrongdoings and not really get to the root of the problem. As long as we attend only the symptoms but neglect the central cause, we will continually find ourselves fixing secondary problems. The Shofar reminds us to address the core: to remember our Creator! Every failing is ultimately a type of forgetting that we live in the presence of G-d. Doing “teshuva” means getting to the root of the problem and deepening our awareness of G-d!
The blow the Shofar for to release the Heavenly sounds; a powerful spiritual force from G-d's Shekinah presence! Because the sound of the Shofar confused and scattered the enemy! Gideon and his army confused and scattered the enemy with the Shofar. (Joshua 7:15-22)
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