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Tuesday, December 4, 2001
Shofars - Use in modern times
In modern times, the shofar is used only at Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. It is blown in synagogues to mark the end of the fast at Yom Kippur, and blown at four particular places at Rosh Hashanah. Because of its inherent ties to the Days of Repentance and the inspiration that comes along with hearing its piercing clasts, the shofar is also blown after morning services for the entire month of Elul (excluding Shabbos), which is the last month of the year. It is not blown on the last day of month, however, to mark the difference between the voluntary blasts of the month and the mandatory blasts of the holiday. The exact modes of sounding can vary from location to location.
The shofar is now almost never used outside these times, though has been seen in western classical music on a limited number of occasions. The best known example is to be found in Edward Elgar's oratorio The Apostles, although an instrument such as the flugelhorn usually plays the part instead of an actual shofar.
Israeli Oriental metal band Salem used Shofar in their metal adaptation for "Al Taster" psalm.
A shofar is a ram's horn