RESOURCE:

Shofar

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Artifacts
Date Posted: 9/24/2009

The shofar, one of the earliest known musical instruments, is usually made from a ram's horn. Used in biblical times to signal important events, it is also blown on High Holy Days (10 days in the fall of the year). It is sounded many times during the services of Rosh ha-Shanah (the Jewish New Year) and once to conclude Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement).

The blasts of the instrument are meant to wake slumbering souls to review their actions of the past year, to make amends, and to renew their devotion to work for the social and communal good in the coming year. This shofar is of a form typical of central European instruments, with a straightened shaft and flattened mouthpiece. It belonged to Curator Cyrus Adler's grandfather, Leopold Sulzberger, who was born in Germany. Sulzberger arrived in the United States in 1838, and died in 1881.

Use this Investigation Sheet to guide students through describing the object and analyzing its meaning.


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