Afinkle221's Blog

What Part of the Lips Sound the Shofar?

Posted in Uncategorized by afinkle221 on August 8, 2013

What Part of the Lips Sound the Shofar


What Part of the Lips Sound the Shofar?

Arthur L. Finkle

Someone asked me a simple but often overlooked question regarding the function of the reciter of the notes voiced for the Shofar Sounder. In Hebrew, the reader is called the ‘Makri’; the Shofar Sounder the ‘Baal Tekiah’.

The obvious questions are why does the Shofar Sounder just play the note. Why does the Shofar Sounder need a reciter?

The Code of Jewish Law, written in 1565, cites the Makri at 585:4. Its reasoning is, in order to lift the burden and not to confuse Baal Tekiah as to the sequence of the notes; the Reader makes sure that the Shofar Sounder plays the correct notes in the correct sequence.

Now for the practical part. The Reader usually is the Cantor. It is imperative for the Shofar Sounder and the Reader to rehearse so that they can get a sense of the cadence to be used on the service, itself. There is nothing more annoying for the Shofar Sounder to be ahead or behind the Reader.


The calling of the note before the Shofar Sounder plays also brings a solemnity to the shofar experience.


May all have a blessed happy and healthy New Year!

rosh ha


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