How to Blow the Shofar, A “Toot”orial
Rabbi Moshe Silver / September 2, 2020
Blowing the Shofar is simple – but not easy. Rabbi Silver will go over the basic concepts of proper lip position, posture, and breath control. Unless you are a trumpet player, the technique may seem unnatural at first. The real secret to mastering the Shofar is – that there’s no secret. It takes hours of dedicated practice. Rabbi Silver shares his own story of his road from utter failure to relative triumph the first year he blew Shofar at what was to later become the Drisha Minyan. In addition to teaching the basics of technique, Rabbi Silver offers enthusiastic encouragement for everyone hoping to participate in this important Mitzvah. “If I can do this,” says Rabbi Silver, “you can do it too. I guarantee it!”
Session 1: Rabbi Silver shares his personal story of trying to blow the Shofar, and of ultimately B”H “getting it.” The biggest challenge most first-time Shofar blowers must overcome is their own sense of awkwardness. Rabbi Silver will lead a mass “Shofar-Out,” encouraging everyone to experience for themselves the feel of their own Shofar. Then we will work on basics of technique: embouchure (lip position), stance, and breathing.
Session 2: In this session we will learn the basic halakhot of the sounds (Ashkenazic style, as was done at the Drisha Minyan). Timing and counting, and when one is required to repeat. The session will end with another “Shofar-Out” and everyone will be encouraged to continue their progress as Shofar blowers. Bringing Mashiach is hard work!
Rabbi Moshe Silver
Moshe Silver is a founding member of the Drisha Rosh Hashana / Yom Kippur minyan and has been a Baal Tokeiya (Shofar blower) for 45 years. Moshe and his wife Reza Green, likewise a core member of the Drisha Minyan, made Aliyah in 2018 and live in Jerusalem. Rabbi Silver has run a “Drisha alumni” Minyan in Jerusalem the past two years. This year, because of the coronavirus, he has launched an initiative to send shofar blowers throughout the city of Jerusalem to make sure no one will miss out on this important Mitzvah. He teaches at Yeshivat Hashiveinu, on Mt. Zion, and he continues to write both fiction and Torah commentary. His forthcoming book The Weight of Gold is a unique approach to studying the weekly Torah portions for lessons of personal growth and social justice.