Shofar Blowers: Don’t Skip This Note

Illustration photo: Chabad.org

As shluchim and Anash brush up on their shofar-blowing skills, Rabbi Yisroel Shmotkin, founder and executive director of Lubavitch of Wisconsin, points out a common error to avoid.

By Anash.org staff

As shluchim and Anash prepare for Rosh Hashana by brushing up on their shofar-blowing skills, Rabbi Yisroel Shmotkin, founder and executive director of Lubavitch of Wisconsin, points out a common error to avoid.

“A few of us, fellow friends and shluchim ‘שי, have observed that a number of those who present the laws of t’kias shofar, followed by an actual demonstration of blowing the shofar, miss an essential point which is, in fact, contrary to their very own presentation of the halochos.

“I am referring to the law of the length of the sh’vorim, which is supposed to be the length of 3 t’ruos. However, there is a common error made by many that after properly blowing the first two sh’vorim they blow two very short sounds, which are actually two t’ruah-like sounds – totally missing the third shever.

“(This is done with the intent to add the additional sound after the third shever, mentioned in the Shulchan Aruch. However, it’s יצא שכרו בהפסדו, because without paying special attention to the appropriate length of the third shever, the very basic requirement is missed).

“Following is a sample of the way the shofar should be sounded.”

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Discussion
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  1. Could you please explain the way the shevarim are blown here. There are 5 sounds, a shorter one at the beginning but definitely much longer than one truah, 3 longer sounds much longer than 3 truahs, the minimum length of one shever, and concluding with a short truah length sound. Where does the number of 5 sounds for shevarim come from, and why is a short sound blown at the beginning?

  2. Yes definately sounds like 4 shevorim then a small sound???? Especially in the first tashrat? This should maybe be revised…

  3. Even if you want to say there is a concept of doing 2 short teruos after the 3rd shever, this sounds like he is doing 4 shevorim then the short teruah. (In general because of these mix ups might be best to only attempt 1 short teruah after the 3rd shever not 2…,)

  4. It depends what you consider the start and finish, it sounds like the 3 shvarim are as follows:
    Tu-uh-tu, uh-uh-tu, uh-uh-tu, uh-tu.
    Each shever is a drawn out up and down sound, not the broken sounds of Teruah, and similar to the type of shvarim the Rebbe would blow. There is a 2 part sound at the end, a partial shever, not 2 teruah’s
    Attempting just 1 teruah at the end would be a hefsek between the the last shever and the following sound, be it the teruah in Tashrat or the concluding tekiah of Tashat. If one isn’t able to do the partial shever at the end, it would be better that they not blow any sound at all.

  5. The Ramban says that shevarim should be a broken sound (not just a shorterone), therefor we make each shever have at least 2 kind of sounds to it. i.e. a “ooh” sound and a “too” sound. but the first of the 3 shevarim starts and ends with the “too” sound. so this is how the shevarim are devided:
    “too-ooh-too, ooh-too, ooh-too, too”
    so true there are 5 “too” sounds, but its only 3 shevarim and a “too” at the end.

  6. its not only a problem to not have 3 full shevarim, but having 2 truahs or even 1 truah sound after the shevarim before the second tkiah is considered a hefsek and makes the tekios posul. The “short” sound after the 3 shevarim must be longer than your truos, so although its shorter than your average shevarim but at least its not a truah.

  7. זכות אלפי אלפים בנ”י לקיים מצות שופר ע”י שישמעו התקיעות מאלפי שלוחים יעמוד לרבני אנ”ש להוציא דבר הוי’ – פסק הלכה ברורה איך עושים ה -שברים בוודאות גמורה [ובפרט שאנו כ”כ שבורים מהגלות והחושך כפול ומכופל ] ונזכה תיכף ומיד לה”תקע בשופר גדול כו’ אמן

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