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The Great Shofar To Be Blown At The End Of Yom Kippur


Also known as the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year.

This year, it begins at sundown on Friday, Oct. 3, 2014.

Yom Kippur is the culmination of the High Holy Days, a 10-day period (Days of Awe) that begins with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.

After attending services in the evening on Oct 3, most Jews will begin fasting.

Fasting is a spiritual journey and evaluation wherein we put aside our physical needs to spend the day concentrating on our inner lives and our relationship to God. On this day, we are facing our own mortality but touching His infinite and eternal nature, as we renew our own hearts and lives.

The fast ends the next evening. It is only then that the shofar (ram’s horn) is blown once at the conclusion of the last service.

It's only proper to blow the shofar at the end of Yom Kippur, not at the beginning nor during the day but at the end of the holiest day of the year.

The custom of blowing shofar at the end of Yom Kippur comes from the a Jewish midrash saying that at the end of Yom Kippur, a heavenly voice goes forth saying "Go eat your bread in joy."

The shofar is blown once after the breaking of the Yom Kippur Fast. In the evening of Saturday, Oct 4.

Why only once? Because it is called the Great Shofar or the Great Trump.

There are three primary shofarim (trumpets) to be blown at specific Feasts of the Lord:
(a) "The First Trump" in Shavuot (Pentecost);
(b) "The Last Trump" in Rosh Hashanah (Feast of Trumpets); and
(c) "The Great Trump" in Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement).

It is on Yom Kippur when the Great Trump (Shofar HaGadol) is blown.

Isaiah 27:13
So it shall be in that day:
The great trumpet will be blown;
They will come, who are about to perish in the land of Assyria,
And they who are outcasts in the land of Egypt,
And shall worship the Lord in the holy mount at Jerusalem.

Matthew 24:31
And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet,
and they will gather together His elect from the four winds,
from one end of heaven to the other.


Sources:
https://www.rabbinicalassembly.org/sites/default/files/public/halakhah/teshuvot/19861990/pollak_shofar.pdf
http://www.post-gazette.com/life/food/2014/10/02/Breaking-the-Yom-Kippur-fast/stories/201410020077
http://www.mayimhayim.org/Festivals/Feast8.htm

Written on 3 October 2014