Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Hearing (& Blowing) Shofar

Images of antique shofarsAs you could guess that with a blog called Teruah, I have a soft spot for all things related to shofar blowing. Not that I can do it myself, mind you. So I was delighted to get an email from Michael Chusid, author of the book "Hearing Shofar: The Still Small Voice of the Ram’s Horn" and it's companion website Chusid "blows his shofar in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, California where he is ba’al tekiah – shofar master blaster – at Makom Ohr Shalom Synagogue.... [and] has taught shofar at the American Jewish University, Hebrew Union College, and Limmud in Los Angeles, California." The book, which is free for download (donation's accepted), is a 3 volume text ranging from religious discussion of "Blast, Break, Shatter, Blast: The blessings, the calls, and the code" to technical "Secrets of an Awesome Tekiah Gedolah" to anthropological "Iconography and Iconolatry: The visual symbolism of horns in Judaism" and psychological "Sometimes a Shofar is Just a Shofar: Psychological perspectives" explorations. I haven't had a chance to flip the the book yet, but I'm looking forward to it.

In addition to the text of the book, includes links to other Shofar related resources including Cantor Art Finkle's "Shofar Sounder's Reference Manual" and information on how to start a "Shofar Corps." The only thing missing are instructional videos or audio clips, though those can be found easily enough on YouTube.

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