The shofer in the Bible and rabbinic literature
The shofar is mentioned frequently in the Hebrew Bible, the Talmud and rabbinic literature. The blast of a shofar emanating from the thick cloud on Mount Sinai made the Israelites tremble in awe (Exodus 19:16).
The shofar was used to announce holidays (Ps. lxxxi. 4), and the Jubilee year (Lev. 25:9). The first day of the seventh month (Tishri) is termed “a memorial of blowing” (Lev. 23:24), or “a day of blowing” (Num. 29:1), the shofar. They were for signifying the start of a war (Josh. 6:4; Judges 3:27; 7:16, 20; I Sam. 8:3). Later, it was also employed in processions (II Sam. 6:15; I Chron. 15:28), as musical accompaniment (Ps. 98:6; comp. ib. 47:5) and eventually it was inserted into the temple orchestra by David (Ps. 150:3). Note that the ‘trumpets’ described in Numbers 10 are a different instrument, described by the Hebrew word ‘trumpet’ (Hebrew: חצוצרה; ḥaṣoṣrah), not the word for shofar (Hebrew: שופר).
The Torah describes the first day of the seventh month (1st of Tishri = Rosh ha-Shanah) as a zikron teruˁah (Hebrew: זכרון תרועה; memorial of blowing; Lev. xxiii) and as a yom teruˁah (Hebrew: יום תרועה; day of blowing; Num. 29). This was interpreted by the Jewish sages as referring to the sounding of the shofar.
In the Temple in Jerusalem, the shofar was sometimes used together with the trumpet. On New Year’s Day the principal ceremony was conducted with the shofar, which instrument was placed in the center with a trumpet on either side; it was the horn of a wild goat and straight in shape, being ornamented with gold at the mouthpiece. On fast days the principal ceremony was conducted with the trumpets in the center and with a shofar on either side. On those occasions the shofarot were rams’ horns curved in shape and ornamented with silver at the mouthpieces. On Yom Kippur of the jubilee year the ceremony was performed with the shofar as on New Year’s Day.
On Rosh Hashanah and other full holidays (Day of Atonement, Ingathering of the harvest (Sukkot), Passover and the Feast of Weeks – Pentecost) a single Priest perfected two sacrifices in honor of the full holiday, (Note that festivals such as Hanukah and Purim, are not considered full holidays requiring an extra sacrifice). On Rosh Hashanah, something special occurred during the special sacrifice. Arguably two Shofar Sounders played the long notes and one Trumpet player played the short note. Accordingly, Rosh HaShanah is called Yom Teruah (the day of the blast) Otherwise, the Trumpets had “top billing.” Rosh Hashanah27a, supports this claim: “Said Raba or it may have been R. Joshua B. Levi: What is the scriptural warrant for this? – Because it is written, “With trumpets and the sound of the Shofar shout ye before the King in the Temple, we require trumpets and the sound of the Shofar; elsewhere not.”
Indeed, on Yom Kippur, the Shofar was sounded to announce the Jubilee Year (every 50 years, Jews were granted forgiveness, debts were forgiven, indentured Israelites were granted freedom, and the fields “shall become owned by the priests.” Shofar first indicated in Yovel (Jubilee Year – Lev. 25:8-13). Indeed, in Rosh Hashanah 33b, the sages ask why the Shofar sounded in Jubilee year. Further support is found in Rosh Hashanah 29a, where the Talmud talks of trumpets for sacrifices but Shofar in the Jubilee Year does not apply to priests who are exempt from the obligations of the jubilee. Perhaps, we have the first mention of Shofar Sounding by non-Priests. Perhaps the first distancing away from the Sacrificial Cult.
Otherwise, for all other special days, the Shofar is sounded shorter and two special silver Trumpets announced the sacrifice. When the trumpets sound the signal, all the people who were within the sacrifice prostrate themselves, stretching out flat, face down and on the ground.
The shofar was blown in the times of Joshua to help him capture Jericho. As they surrounded the walls, the shofar was blown and the Jews were able to capture the city. The shofar was commonly taken out to war so the troops would know when a battle would begin. The person who would blow the shofar would call out to the troops from atop a hill. All of the troops were able to hear the call of the shofar from their position because of its distinct sound.
Jewish Rabbis On The Resurrection.
“When you bury me, put shoes on my feet, and give me a staff in my hand, and lay me on one side, that when the Messiah comes I may be ready.” quote by Rabbi Jerekiah.
Rabbi Abbu says, “A day of rain is greater than the resurrection of the dead; because the rain is for all, while the resurrection is only for the just. ‘Sodom and Gomorrah shall not rise in the resurrection of the dead.’”
“The patriarchs so vehemently desired to be buried in the land of Isreal, because those who are dead in that land shall be first to revive and shall devour his years, (the years of the Messiah.) But for those just who are interred beyond the holy land, it is to be understood that God will make passage in the earth, through which they will be rolled until they reach the land of Isreal.”quote by Rabrichebeo.
“Carefulness leads us to innocence, innocence to purity, purity to sanctity, sanctity to humility, humility to fear of sins, fear of sins to piety, piety to the holy spirit, the holy spirit to the ressurection of the dead; the resurrection of the dead to the prophet Elias.” quote by Rabbi Pinchas.
“The very nerves and sinews of religion is hope of Immortality. The destruction of such high powers is something which can never, and under no circumstances, even come into question.”quote by Goethe.
The Torah (/ˈtɔːrə/; Hebrew: תּוֹרָה, “Instruction”, “Teaching”) is the Jewish name for the first five books of the Jewish Bible. In Hebrew the five books are named by the first phrase in the text: Bereshit (“In [the] beginning”, Genesis), Shemot (“Names”, Exodus), Vayikra (“He called”, Leviticus), Bamidbar (“In the desert”, Numbers) and Devarim (“Words”, Deuteronomy).
In rabbinic literature the word Torah denotes both these five books, Torah Shebichtav (תורה שבכתב, “Torah that is written”), and an Oral Torah, Torah Shebe’al Peh (תורה שבעל פה, “Torah that is spoken”). The Oral Torah consists of the traditional interpretations and amplifications handed down by word of mouth from generation to generation and now embodied in the Talmud (תַּלְמוּד) and Midrash (מדרש). The words of the Torah are written on a scroll by a sofer on parchment in Hebrew. A Torah portion must be read publicly at least once every three days, in the halachically prescribed tune, in the presence of a congregation, which is the basis for Jewish communal life.
According to religious tradition, all of the laws found in the Torah, both written and oral, were given by God to Moses, some of them at Mount Sinai and others at the Tabernacle, and all the teachings were written down by Moses, which resulted in the Torah we have today. According to a Midrash, the Torah was created prior to the creation of the world, and was used as the blueprint for Creation. Most modern biblical scholars believe that the written books were a product of the Babylonian exilic period (c. 600 BCE) and that it was completed by the Persian period (c. 400 BCE).
A hamantash (or hamentasch, see: Other names; Yiddish המן־טאַש) is a filled-pocket cookie or pastry in Ashkenazi Jewish cuisine recognizable for its three-cornered shape. The shape is achieved by folding in the sides of a circular piece of dough, with a filling placed in the center. It is traditionally eaten during the Jewish holiday of Purim. Hamantashen are made with many different fillings, including poppy seed (the oldest and most traditional variety), prunes, nut, date, apricot, apple, fruit preserves, cherry, chocolate, dulce de leche, halva, or even caramel or cheese. Their formation varies from hard pastry to soft doughy casings.
Hamantash is also known as hamentasch, homentash, homentasch, or even (h)umentash. The name “hamantash” (Yiddish: המן־טאַש), is commonly known as a reference to Haman, the villain of Purim, as described in the Book of Esther. The pastries are supposed to symbolize the defeated enemy of the Jewish people, and thus resemble the “ears of Haman”. “Naked Archaeologist” documentarian Simcha Jacobovici has shown the resemblance of hamantaschen to dice from the ancient Babylonian Royal Game of Ur, thus suggesting that the pastries are meant to symbolize the pyramidal shape of the dice cast by Haman in determining the day of destruction for the Jews. Another possible source of the name is a folk etymology: the original Yiddish word מאָן־טאַשן (montashn) or German word mohntaschen, both meaning poppyseed-filled pouches, was transformed to Hamantaschen, likely by association with Haman. In Israel, they are called Oznei Haman (Hebrew: אוזני המן), Hebrew for “Haman’s ears” in reference to their defeated enemy’s ears. Another folk story is that Haman wore a three-cornered hat —thus the shape.
According to Jewish tradition, the three Sabbath meals (Friday night, Saturday lunch, and Saturday late afternoon) and two holiday meals (one at night and lunch the following day) each begin with two complete loaves of bread. This “double loaf” (in Hebrew: lechem mishneh) commemorates the manna that fell from the heavens when the Israelites wandered in the desert for forty years after the Exodus from Egypt. The manna did not fall on Sabbath or holidays; instead, a double portion would fall the day before the holiday or sabbath. Each single loaf is woven with six strands. Together, both loaves have twelve which represent each tribe of Israel.
Torah reading (Hebrew: קריאת התורה, K’riat HaTorah ; “Reading [of] the Torah”) is a Jewish religious ritual that involves the public reading of a set of passages from a Torah scroll. The term often refers to the entire ceremony of removing the Torah scroll (or scrolls) from the ark, chanting the appropriate excerpt with special cantillation, and returning the scroll(s) to the ark. It is distinct from academic Torah study.
Regular public reading of the Torah was introduced by Ezra the Scribe after the return of the Jewish people from the Babylonian captivity (c. 537 BCE), as described in the Book of Nehemiah. In the modern era, adherents of Orthodox Judaism practice Torah reading according to a set procedure they believe has remained unchanged in the two thousand years since the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem (70 CE). In the 19th and 20th centuries CE, new movements such as Reform Judaism and Conservative Judaism have made adaptations to the practice of Torah reading, but the basic pattern of Torah reading has usually remained the same:
As a part of the morning or afternoon prayer services on certain days of the week or holidays, a section of the Pentateuch is read from a Torah scroll. On Shabbat (Saturday) mornings, a weekly section (“parasha”) is read, selected so that the entire Pentateuch is read consecutively each year. On Saturday afternoons, Mondays, and Thursdays, the beginning of the following Saturday’s portion is read. On Jewish holidays, the beginnings of each month, and fast days, special sections connected to the day are read.
Jews observe an annual holiday, Simchat Torah, to celebrate the completion and new start of the year’s cycle of readings.
Torah scrolls are often dressed with a sash, a special Torah cover, various ornaments and a Keter (crown), although such customs vary among synagogues. Congregants traditionally stand when the Torah is brought out of the ark to be read, while it is being carried, and lifted, and likewise while it is returned to the ark, although they sit during the reading itself.