One of the most beautiful sounds of the season and of the Rosh Hashanah holiday: the sounding of the shofar.
Shofars are most typically the horns of domestic rams from the Greater Kudu of eastern and southern Africa. There are four sounds, performed in succession:
- 1 long sound
- 3 broken notes
- At least 8 short staccato notes
- The sequence ends with one extremely long note (it’s length depends upon the breath support of the musician)
The meaning behind these sounds is multi-fold:
- The long sound invites the New Year, and reminds us to give gratitude for all our blessings, our family/friends and the love that surrounds us.
- The broken notes signify our imperfections and flaws – the ways we may have hurt others, albeit unintentionally.
- The staccato notes represent the process of analyzing one’s own behavior and faults and in asking for forgiveness from others & to forgive ourselves. The staccato notes can also signify the excitement of unburdening the soul and beginning anew.
- The very long note represents the relief of complete self reflection and the commitment to be a better person, and to engage in emotional and spiritual growth within the year ahead.
It is a new beginning, a clean slate.
Regardless of religion, race or background – the sounding of the shofar has a spiritual and positive meaning for all who are fortunate to hear it.
The growing family at New York Speech & Hearing wishes a meaningful and peaceful holiday for all those who celebrate and a positive, reflective and spiritual year ahead for all – even if you don’t celebrate.