The central mitzva of Rosh Hashana is hearing the shofar. The sound of the shofar is a catalyst to elevating one’s awareness and turning one’s thoughts and actions to repentance and doing good deeds.

Great concentration must be applied by both the ba’al tokea, the person blowing the shofar, and the listener, to fulfill the mitzva properly. The custom is to begin blowing the shofar during morning prayers for the entire month of Elul, during morning prayers on both days of Rosh Hashana, unless one of the days falls on Shabbat, and then a final time at the end of the day on Yom Kippur.

Shofars have evolved over time and there are today a wide variety of sizes, shapes and sounds produced from different animals considered kosher for making a shofar.  Photographs of a shofar conjure up a lifetime of our personal experience with the Rosh Hashana holiday.

This gallery features some unusual shofars found around the world. May the blasts of the shofar awaken our appreciation for all the blessings that come our way in the new year. Shana Tova.

Please join Yehoshua Halevi for a two-hour Walk and Learn Photography Workshop in Jerusalem  during Chol HaMoed Sukkot on the following dates: Sunday, Sept. 22 at 9 a.m. - Sukkot in Mea She’arim and Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 4:30 p.m. - Sukkot in Yemin Moshe. All tours are 80 nis. For registration and information, please call 054-637-2170.

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