The Chabad of the South Hills–Jewish Center For Living and Learning Center recently held a Shofar Factory.
“It was an amazing event,” said Mussie Rosenblum, who coordinated activities for the Sept. 18 program.
Participants watched a demonstration on the history of the shofar and how it is made. Each had the opportunity to sand and shellac their own authentic shofar and take it home.
A shofar is a ram’s horn that is blown like a trumpet during Rosh Hashanah services every day except Shabbat during the preceding month of Elul, and at the end of Yom Kippur. The four sounds of the shofar – tekiah, shevarim, teruah, and tekiah gedolah – remind many people of a crying voice. Hearing the shofar’s call is a reminder to look inward and repent.
A shofar is created by hollowing out a ram’s horn, shaping it, and polishing it. It’s a tricky (and occasionally smelly) feat that doesn’t always end up the way you think it will. But it’s a rewarding task, nonetheless.
The shofar is evocative of the Torah portion that is read on Rosh Hashanah, the story of the binding of Isaac. It calls to mind the image of the ram stuck in the bush that Abraham ultimately sacrificed instead of his son.
During the Chabad’s event, participants braided Challahs and decorated them with toppings while their shofars were drying. There was a zone for infants and toddlers to play with toys and read holiday books.