A shofar is a wind instrument blown during Jewish High Holidays. It is created by hollowing a ram’s horn, shaping it, then polishing it. The horn can be heard during the Jewish New Year or Rosh Hashanah.
Shofar, ram’s horn
Jewish holidays have equivalent symbols associated with each event. For example, in Passover, a lamb and unleavened bread are present. During Sukkot, it is the booth or Sukkah along with the lulav and etrog. So, in Rosh Hashanah, it is the shofar’s sound that is heard.
The blowing of the horn is based on the command found in Leviticus 23:24. It says, “In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall observe complete rest, a sacred occasion commemorated with loud blasts.” And on Numbers 29:1, “You shall observe it as a day when the horn is sounded.”
The sound it produces is, admittedly, not pleasing to the ears. According to My Jewish Learning, “to listen to this shrill blast disturbs our senses so that we might respond to deeply felt realities of admonition and warning.” Hearing the shofar’s cry calls for all listeners to reflect inwardly and repent for all the wrongdoings committed in the previous year.
Over the years, modern Christians have incorporated the use of shofar in their worship services. They refer to passages in the Bible as sounding the trumpet for victory like Gideon and his army (Judges 7), a call for repentance (Isaiah 58:1), or for proclamation and praise (Psalms).
According to Jewish theologian Daniel Juster, Christians blow the shofar in support of the fulfillment of God’s prophecy in Israel. He said, “As Israel is fulfilling prophecy, the shofar announces God’s intervention and fulfillment; so the shofar shows support for Israel with the idea that God is fulfilling prophetic events.”
But for the Jews, the shofar is an alarm for repentance and a call for arms.
Reference: My Jewish Learning