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Is That Shofar Kosher?

Rabbi Yirmiyohu Kaganoff

Shofars come in many different sizes and prices, and they can be bought in many different places. But is that shofar on sale at Amazon.com fit for use on Rosh HaShanah? And if a shofar does need a hechsher, what should that kashrus certificate cover?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

shofar
 
Yossi had always hoped to follow the
family tradition of becoming a baal tokei’ah. But even though he had
spent many hours during the summer months practicing on his grandfather’s
shofar, he couldn’t manage to produce anything more than a weak sound. Then one
day he was walking through the Arab shuk in Yerushalayim and his eye was caught
by a beautiful shofar.
 
“Try it,” said the
Arab shopkeeper, thrusting the shofar into Yossi’s hands.

Yossi did try it,
and to his amazement the tkiyos not only sounded loud and clear but they
didn’t cost him any effort at all. After some haggling, the shofar didn’t cost
him much either. Yossi was so excited by his purchase that when he got home he
immediately called his family to listen to a recital.

“I’m sure it’s a very beautiful shofar,” said his brother, “but are you sure that it’s
kosher?” 
 
“A shofar has to be kosher? What could be the problem?”
 
Soon enough, Yossi learned that the potential for problems is far from negligible. And although we
can’t repeat every detail of such a discussion in a magazine article, we can
look at a few key factors that go into making a shofar not only beautiful but
kosher too. 

 

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