Blowing Shofar on Rosh Hashanah-Summary of laws

Chapter 5: The laws of Shofar

  1. Introduction:
  • The Biblical command: The Torah commands a Jew to blow the Shofar on the first of Tishreiy. The verse states “And G-d spoke to Moshe to tell the Jewish people. Speak to the Jewish people that on the seventh month on the first of the month you shall have a day of rest, a remembrance of Teruah Mikra Kodesh. You shall not do any work and you shall bring offerings to G-d”.
  • Rebbe Avahu stated: Why do we blow with the horn of a ram? Hashem said, “Blow before me the horn of a ram in order so I remember the Akeida of Yitzchak the son of Avraham and consider it as if you also sacrificed yourselves by the Akeida.”
  • Rebbe Yitzchak stated: Every year that we do not blow the Shofar on R”H we end up receiving suffering in the end. The word Shofar stands for the words “Ein Satan Viein Pega Ra” which means that when there is a Shofar blown then there isn’t any damage.
  • The use of the Shofar for the Mitzvah affects a spiritual elevation [Beirurim] throughout the entire animal kingdom.
  1. The laws of a Kosher Shofar
    • The Rav of the town is responsible for checking prior to R”H that the Shofar is valid without any question or doubts of cracks and chips and the like.
  • All matters which invalidate a Shofar on the first day of Rosh Hashanah apply likewise on the second day of Rosh Hashanah even though it is a merely Rabbinical holiday. 
  • Which animal horns may be used for blowing Shofar on Rosh Hashanah? Initially one must use a curved horn of a ram for blowing Shofar.
  • Must one purchase a Shofar that contains a Hashgacha [Rabbinical supervision]? Yes, as one must verify that the horn comes from a Kosher animal and has fulfilled the above-mentioned requirements.
  • A damaged Shofar: A Shofar that has a hole on its side may only be used if there is no other Shofar available. Even then it is only valid if the hole does not cover majority of the length of the Shofar, and if the hole covers majority of the circumference of that area then there must be 8 cm. from the narrow end of the Shofar until the hole.
  • A crack: If there is a crack in the Shofar’s length it may not be used unless there is no other Shofar available or one tied a string strongly around the area of the crack. [Bedieved if one used such a Shofar he is to repeat the blows if a valid Shofar becomes available.] If the crack extends through the majority of the Shofar’s length, it is invalid and may not be used even if no other Shofar is available. If there is a crack in the width of a Shofar then if from the crack until the mouth of the Shofar [in which one places his lips] there remains 8 cm, the Shofar remains Kosher. If there remains less than 8 cm then if the crack extends through the majority of the circumference of that area of the Shofar, it is invalid. The crack can be fixed by gluing or welding it together. This applies even if the crack extends to majority of the length of the Shofar, although not to a case that the crack extends throughout the entire length of one side of the Shofar. Likewise, glue is only valid if it is not recognizable within the crack.
  • Shortened: If a Shofar had part of its length cut off, it remains valid so long as there is a Shiur Tefach [8 cm] that remains.
  • A thin Shofar: If the Shofar was sanded down, whether on its inside or outside, until it became very thin similar to the thinness of a scab, nevertheless it remains valid.
  • Cartilage: A Kosher Shofar contains removable cartilage. It is not required to remove this cartilage and even initially it suffices to puncture a hole through the cartilage rather than remove it.
  • A plated Shofar: The Shofar is invalid if the plating covers the area of the Shofar that the lips of the blower rests, or if one notices that the coating has changed the sound of the Shofar. If the sound has not changed and the coating is not within the area that the lips rest, it remains valid.
  • A Shofar with engravings and drawings: One is not to draw pictures on a Shofar [even if done] in order to beautify the Shofar. However, it is permitted to engrave drawings within the body of Shofar in order to beautify it. This allowance applies even if the engraving will alter its sound. Nevertheless, the custom is to avoid engraving anything on a Shofar.]
  • One is initially to avoid placing a sticker on the Shofar. One is thus initially to remove the manufacture sticker label from the Shofar.
  • Placing one’s lips on the Shofar while blowing: If one slightly distanced the Shofar from his mouth and blew from it, he has not fulfilled his obligation.
  • One who blew from the wide end of the Shofar? If one blew from the wide end of the Shofar he does not fulfill his obligation.
  • Borrowing someone’s Shofar without permission: It is permitted to use someone’s Shofar without permission in order to blow it to fulfill the Mitzvah. One is to say a blessing over the blowing in such a case. [However, it is forbidden to remove the Shofar from the room if one did not receive permission to do so, and the above allowance is only to use the Shofar in the same room that it was left. If the owner explicitly states that he does not give permission for his Shofar to be used, then it is forbidden to use it.] One may blow the 100 sounds that are accustomed to be heard even though one fulfills his obligation with 30 sounds. One may not borrow a Shofar without permission for the sake of practicing.
  1. The Blowing of the Shofar
  • Who is obligated to hear Shofar? Men over the age of thirteen are obligated to hear Shofar. The hearing of Shofar is a Biblical command and differs the Mitzvah of Davening on Rosh Hashanah in a case that the two conflict. Women are not obligated to hear Shofar. Nevertheless, if they desire to blow Shofar they may do so with a blessing. Practically women today have accepted the hearing of Shofar as an obligation and hence they must do so due to this custom. A mute which is able to hear is considered like a normal person and is obligated to hear Shofar. A deaf person is exempt from blowing Shofar. He also may not blow on behalf of others as since he cannot hear he is exempt from the Mitzvah. A blind man is obligated in blowing Shofar and is able to blow for others to fulfill their obligation.
  • May a man blow Shofar for women? It is permitted for a man to blow Shofar for women even if he has already fulfilled his obligation. It is even permitted for him to carry a Shofar through a public domain for the sake of women hearing Shofar. However if the man has already fulfilled his obligation of hearing Shofar [or plans to do so with a later blowing] then he may not say the blessing for a woman, and rather the blessing is to be said by one of the women. If a man desires to blow with a blessing for women then he is to blow for them before hearing Shofar in Shul and hence fulfill his obligation with this blowing. Alternatively, he can intend not to fulfill his obligation with the blowing in Shul [of Meyushav] and then blow for women with a blessing [between Meyushav and Meumad] having intent to fulfill his obligation with this blowing.
  • Children: Children are [Biblically] exempt from hearing Shofar. However, children who have reached the age of Chinuch are Rabbinically obligated to hear Shofar. It is thus a Mitzvah to bring them to Shul and educate them to hear Shofar. Due to the necessity for quiet during the blowing, children which are below the age of Chinuch are not to be brought to the [men’s side of] Shul for Shofar blowing in order so they do not disturb the listeners. However, the women may have the children by their side as in any event they are not obligated in the Mitzvah. The age of education for positive commands depends on the sharpness and knowledge of that individual child in each particular Mitzvah, whether a Biblical or Rabbinical command. [Thus, when the child understands the idea of the Mitzvah of Shofar he is obligated to hear Shofar. Some write that this is after age 6 or 7.]
  • May one who is exempt from hearing Shofar blow for others? Although the main Mitzvah of hearing Shofar is merely to hear the sound nevertheless if the blower is exempt from the Mitzvah then he cannot fulfill the obligation on behalf of others through blowing for them. Even a child who has reached the age of Chinuch is unable to blow and fulfill the obligation of an adult which is Biblically obligated in the command.
  • Who should be appointed to blow the Shofar? It is proper to appoint a righteous and upright individual to blow the Shofar [for the congregation], as long as there is no quarrel [amongst the community] regarding his selection. One may not remove the annual Shofar blower [i.e. Baal Tokeia] from his position without a valid reason.
  • Seder for the Baal Tokeia:
  • Must be expert in the laws of the Tekios.
  • Learn the Mamar “Lehavin Inyan Tekias Shofar”
  • Avoid any matters of impurity for three days before Rosh Hashanah.
  • Review the Nusach of the Davening before and after the Tekios
  • Verify the Kashrus of the Shofar.
  • Announce that everyone is to have intent to fulfill the Mitzvah and the Brachos, and that one is not to talk until after the Tekios of Musaf. One does not answer Baruch Hu Uvaruch Shemo.
  • Review the Seder of the Musaf Tekios.
  • Confess between sets.
  • Buy new clothing for Shehechiyanu.
  • Spiritual preparation of the Baal Tokeia: Three days prior to Rosh Hashanah the Baal Tokeia must remove himself from all matters of impurity and he must add in all matters of holiness. [The Baal Tokeia should study the Kavanos of the Tekios from the Zohar.] The בעל התוקע should study the Chassidic Discourse titled “להבין ענין תקיעת שופר”, in addition to being expertise in the laws of the blowing. A general Kavana of the meaning and effect of Shofar must be studied by every individual listener as one does not fulfill his obligation of the “Kavanos” with the Kavanos of the Baal Tokeia.
  • Kavanah-Having intent to fulfill the Mitzvah: All Mitzvos require Kavana in order to fulfill the obligation. This means that one must have in mind when fulfilling the action of the Mitzvah that he is doing so for the sake of fulfilling G-d’s command. Thus, before blowing Shofar or hearing the blows one must have in mind to fulfill the Mitzvah of hearing Shofar. [This applies equally to the second day of Rosh Hashanah as even Rabbinical commands require intent.] Both the blower and listener must have in mind to fulfill the Mitzvah in order for the listener to fulfill his obligation. It does not suffice for the blower to have in mind to fulfill his personal Mitzvah and he must also have in mind to fulfill the Mitzvah for the listener. However it is not necessary for the blower to have in mind the identity of the listener and rather it suffices for him to have intent to include in the Mitzvah whoever desires to hear it and fulfill their obligation. Thus, anyone who hears the blowing of the Minyan fulfills his obligation even if he is hearing it while walking outside the Shul or while in his house, so long as he intends to fulfill his Mitzvah. [It is proper for the Baal Tokeia to quietly verbalize prior to the blessings that he has in mind with the blessings and the blows to fulfill the obligation of all the listeners.]
  • When is the Shofar to be blown? The Shofar may only be blown during the daytime of Rosh Hashanah. The entire day is valid for blowing Shofar. One may blow Shofar beginning from sunrise. If one blew before sunrise but after the beginning of dawn [Alos Hashachar] he has nevertheless fulfilled his obligation and is not required to hear Shofar a second time. [Furthermore, in a time of need one may even initially be lenient.]
  • One may blow Shofar [without a blessing] from after sunset until nightfall. After nightfall it is forbidden to blow. Seemingly this applies likewise on the 2nd day of Rosh Hashanah, that one may blow until nightfall.
  • If one is blowing Shofar on Rosh Hashanah without a Minyan in order to fulfill the Mitzvah, he is to beware to delay the blowing of the Shofar until three hours have passed from the beginning of the day.
  • Standing: The blessing is recited in a standing position. The Baal Tokeia must stand while blowing the Shofar. The custom today is that also the congregation stands for the blowing.
  • From where in a Shul should the Shofar be blown: It is customary to blow the Shofar from the Bima of the shul on which the Torah scroll is read. The Tekios of Musaf do not have to be sounded from the Bima. Rather the Baal Tokeia can stay in his place and blow.
  • The Makri: It is customary to have a person direct the Baal Tokeia as to which sound to blow. The Chabad custom is that the makri does not utter a word, and instead he merely points one by one to the names of the sounds as listed in the It is not the Chabad custom to have a Makri point at the sounds by the blows in Musaf [both silent and repetition] or after Musaf. The Makri is to spiritually prepare for the blowing just like the Baal Tokeia. He is thus to separate from impurity for three days prior to R”H.
  • Covering the Shofaros: It is customary to cover the Shofaros prior to saying the blessings. [Some write that the mouth of the Shofar however remains revealed. The Chabad Rebbe’s had a special order with regards to the coverings used.] The Shofar remains covered until after the blessings have been completed. One is to hold [with his right hand] the covered Shofar while the blessings are recited. [Some write that the Shofar is to remain covered throughout the time that it is not being blown after Tekios Meyushav, such as the intervals of before and during Musaf.]
  • It is accustomed to set up many Shofros at the time of the blessing, and have them all in mind during the blessing, just in case he needs to switch Shofros during the blows. The Rebbe Rashab had three Shofros set up, one being of the Maharal of Prague. Likewise, the Rebbe had three Shofros, one black and two white. There was a special “Seder” in the setup of the Shofros before the Mitzvah.
  • The Blessings: Prior to blowing the Shofar one recites the following blessing while standing: “ברוך ….אקב”ו לשמוע קול שופר” [“Baruch… Leshmoa Kol Shofar”]. After reciting the blessing of “Lishmoa Kol Shofar” one is to recite the blessing of Shehechiyanu [“בא”ה אמ”ה שהחיינו וקימנו והגיענו לזמן הזה]. The blessing of Shehechiyanu is recited on both the first and second day of Rosh Hashanah. After reciting these two blessings [of Leshmoa and Shehechiyanu] the blower is to blow “תשר”ת תש”ת תר”ת” three times each set.
  • Wearing a new garment on the second day: By the Shofar blowing of the second day the Baal Tokeia should initially wear a new garment and have it on him while reciting the blessing of Shehechiyanu, intending to exempt it with the blessing of Shehechiyanu. [Upon saying Shehechiyanu one is not to intend only on the new garment and is to mainly intend that the Shehechiyanu is being said over the Mitzvah of Shofar.] When the first day of Rosh Hashanah falls on Shabbos, in which case the Shofar was not blown on the first day, there is no need to wear a new garment during the blows of the second day. If one does not have a new garment available, he is nevertheless to say the blessing of Shehechiyanu over Shofar on the second day.
  • The listeners: The listeners are not to say Baruch Hu Uvarach Shemo upon hearing Hashem’s name said in the blessing. In the event one said Baruch Hu Uvaruch Shemo it is possible that one has not fulfilled his obligation of the blessing. For this reason, it is imperative to warn the public of this matter, as many are unaware of this. The congregation answers Amen after each of the two blessings that are recited. However, some say that those which follow the Sefaradic custom are not to answer Amen after the blessing of Shehechiyanu which is said by the second day. If one listened to the blessing but did not answer Amen he nevertheless fulfills his obligation.
  • Talking between the blessing and the blowing: One may not speak between the blessing said over the Shofar [by Tekios Meyushav] and the start of the blowing even of matters that relate to the blowing or prayer. If one transgressed and spoke of matters [not relating to the blowing, even if he spoke of] matters relating to the prayer, he must repeat the blessing. If, however, he spoke of matters that relate to the blowing then he is not required to repeat the blessing. Nevertheless, initially he may not speak of even matters that relate to the blowing prior to doing the Mitzvah unless it is not possible for him to begin the Mitzvah unless he speaks. [This law applies equally to the listener and not just to the Baal Tokeia. Hence if a listener spoke of irrelevant matters between the blessing and the commencing of the blows then he must repeat the blessing quietly to himself.]
  • Blowing Shofar for the sake of others if one is not currently fulfilling his obligation: If one who has already fulfilled his obligation of hearing Shofar is blowing Shofar for a man who has not yet fulfilled his obligation, then if the man knows how to recite the blessings, he is to recite them rather than hear the blessings from the blower who already fulfilled his obligation. [This law likewise applies if the blower did not yet fulfill his obligation, but plans to only do so with a later blowing. Bedieved if the blower recited the blessings rather than the listener, nevertheless the listener fulfills his obligation of reciting the blessings.] If however the listener is unable to recite the blessings then the blower is to recite both blessings [i.e. Leshmoa and Shehechiyanu] for the listener.
  • Saying the blessing when blowing for only Women: If one already fulfilled his obligation of hearing Shofar, or plans to do so with a later blowing, then if he is blowing for only women, [if the women follow the Ashkenazi custom], she is to say the blessings herself. If she cannot say the blessing herself one may not say the blessings for her, and one is hence to blow without a blessing.
  • The positioning of the Shofar on the mouth: The Shofar needs to be placed on one’s lips when he blows. If feasible, it is proper to blow the Shofar from the right side of one’s mouth. It is proper to position the mouth of the Shofar facing upwards as opposed to having its mouth point towards the side.
  • From which side of the mouth should a lefty blow from? Some Poskim rule he is to blow from the left side of his mouth. Others however rule it is to be placed on the right side of his mouth, and so is the ruling of Admur. Nevertheless, in a case of difficulty one is to hold it from whichever side is most comfortable.
  • With which hand should the Shofar be held? The Shofar is to be held in one’s right hand during the blows. A lefty is to hold the Shofar with his right hand.
  • Silence: During the actual blowing of the Shofar, whether of Meyushav [i.e. before Musaf] or Meumad [i.e. during Musaf], it is forbidden for one to [make any noise even to] spit, as one must hear the entire sound from beginning to end, even if the blow is very long. [It goes without saying that one may not cough, burp or make any other noise with his mouth during the blows as this causes others to become disturbed. If one feels the need to spit then he should let it get absorbed in his clothing.] Even if there were trumpets blowing during the Shofar blowing nevertheless [if one concentrated on the Shofar sounds] he fulfills his obligation. This applies by all forms of noise. Due to the above [necessity for quiet during the blowing] children which are below the age of Chinuch are not to be brought to the [men’s side of] Shul for Shofar blowing in order so they do not disturb the listeners. However, the women may have the children by their side as in any event they are not obligated in the Mitzvah.
  • One is obligated to hear the entire blow even if it is very long.
  • One must focus his attention on the sounds during the blows. If one did not do so it is questionable whether he fulfills his obligation of that specific blow in which his mind was drifting. Thus, it is proper for one to look inside the Machzor and follow along by each sound. One is to think by each sound how he is fulfilling the will of G-d and giving Him pleasure above. Doing so will help him concentrate and prevent him from allowing his mind to drift. Accordingly, one is to beware not to think too deeply while hearing the sounds even of matters that pertain to the Shofar, such as its laws and Kabalistic intents.
  • Receive payment for blowing the Shofar: One may not receive payment for blowing Shofar on R”H although he may receive payment for practicing before R”H and this single lump sum may include also the payment for blowing on R”H.
  • Having someone take over the blower: One may have another person substitute him in middle of a set if he is unable to complete the blows. If the substitute did not hear the blessing from the first blower then he is to repeat the blessing if he intends to fulfill his obligation with this blowing.
  • Rosh Hashanah that falls on Shabbos: The sages decreed against blowing the Shofar on Shabbos Rosh Hashanah. The Shofar is categorized as Muktzah Machmas Issur and thus may only be moved if one needs its space, or if one wants to make a use of it.
  • Blowing Shofar on R”H not for the purpose of fulfilling the Mitzvah: On Rosh Hashanah one is only allowed to blow the Shofar in order to fulfill the Mitzvah or for practice for that day. It is forbidden to blow it casually or for practice for the next day. It is however permitted for children to practice blowing the Shofar on Rosh Hashanah even for no need at all.
  • May one blow the Shofar on behalf of children below the age of Chinuch? It is implied from the Poskim that it is forbidden to do so unless the child is learning how to blow in the process. Practically this matter requires further analysis.
  • May one carry his Shofar back home after having used it for the Mitzvah? It is forbidden to carry the Shofar on R”H for no need in any area that does not have an Eiruv and is hence forbidden to carry on Shabbos. If however one originally carried the Shofar to Shul on Yom Tov then if he suspects the Shofar may get lost or stolen if he leaves it in Shul, he may return it home on Yom Tov even if he has no more need to blow it that day.
  1. The Blows and Sounds:
  • How many blows: From the letter of the law one is Biblically required to blow a total of thirty blows which include three sets each of Tashrat, Tashat, Tarat. The Sages added an institution to blow a certain number of blows also in the Musaf prayer. The Chabad custom is to blow a total of 130 blows throughout the Davening. The following is the list of amounts and their areas of sounding:
    • Thirty after Kerias Hatorah [to fulfill the Biblical command].
    • Thirty during the silent Shemoneh Esrei of Musaf [to fulfill the Rabbinical command].
    • Thirty by Chazan’s repetition of Musaf [to fulfill the Rabbinical command].
    • Ten in the middle of the Kaddish recited directly after Musaf, prior to Tiskabel [to complete the 100 blows].
    • Thirty after Davening [to be Yotzei anyone who did not yet hear the sounds, and to confuse the Satan].
  • If one is Davening without a Minyan, when is he to blow the Shofar, before or after Musaf? He is to blow the Shofar before Musaf.
  • If one is Davening without a Minyan how many sounds is he to blow? The custom is to blow a total of 100 sounds. The additional sounds [beyond the thirty sounds blown before Musaf] are to be sounded after Musaf.
  • How many sounds must one blow when blowing for others, such as on Mivtzaim? Initially one is to blow 30 sounds for each and every individual group, consisting of Tashrat 3x, Tarat 3x and Tashat 3x. Some Rabbanim of Anash rule it is permitted for one to blow three sets of only Tashrat for the sake of meriting other Jews, so long as he makes the following stipulation prior to the blowing: The blower is to have in mind prior to commencing the blows that the validity of the Shevarim-Teruah is dependent on the identity of the correct blow, as is revealed before G-d, and whatever sound is not the correct blow is considered like the voice of an animal, and is not being done for the sake of a Mitzvah. In this way it is considered as if he heard three sets of each Tashrat, Tashat and Tarat.
  • The identity of the musical sounds of a Tekiah/Shivarim/Teruah: The Tekiah is a single long blow which sounds like this: “Tuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu”. The Shevarim is made up of three medium blows. A number of customs exist in regards to how to sound these medium blows. Some are accustomed to sound it as follows: “Tuuu-Tuuu-Tuuu”. Others are accustomed to sound it as follows: Teuto-Teuto-Teuto. Others are accustomed to sound it as follows: Teuto-Uto-Uto. The widespread Chabad custom is like the 3rd custom mentioned here. The Teruah is a number of very short blows blown consecutively and sounds like this: “Tu-Tu-Tu-Tu-Tu-Tu-Tu-Tu-Tu-Tu-Tu-Tu-Tu-Tu”
  • The form of the sounds: All forms of sounds which come out of the Shofar are valid. Hence whether the sound was very strong or very light [or sounded hoarse or dry] it is valid. [This applies even if the Shofar itself is able to sound strong sounds and the blower simply is not successful in sounding a strong sound.]
  • Even if a single blow contains different pitches of sound, the blow is valid.
  • It is very common that when one is unsuccessful in sounding a real blow one hears the sound of air going through the Shofar. This sound is invalid.
  • The required length of the Tekiah, Shevarim, Teruah: The Tekiah of Tashrat is to be at least 18 Terumatin long. The Tekiah of Tashat and Tarat is to be at least nine Terumatin long. Each Shever is to be exactly three Terumatin long. One is to blow at least nine Terumatin in the Teruah. One may lengthen the Tekiah as much as he desires. One may blow as many Terumatin as he desires within the Teruah blow. One is not to blow more than three Shevarim although some are accustomed to adding a small sound after the three Shevarim and so is the Chabad custom.
  • Some say that based on measurements they did, the Tekiah of Tashrat is a minimum of four seconds each.
  • The previous Chabad Rebbe’s were accustomed that the last Tekiah of each particular set be the length of the first Tekiah and middle blow of that set. [Thus, the last Tekiah of the set of Tashrat is to be at least 36 Terumatin long. The last Tekiah of the set of Tarat and Tashat is to be at least 18 Terumatin long.]
  • The Rebbe Rayatz stated that the Teruah of Tarat is to contain 12 Terumatin while the Teruah of Tashrat is to contain 24 Terumatin. The Rebbe Mahrash was accustomed to blow 42 Terumatin in the Teruah. At times he blew 72 Terumatin. At other times he blew 53 Terumatin.
  • The Tekiah Gedola: It is customary after the prayer to blow an extra-long Tekiah. [The Chabad custom is to blow this long Tekiah at the last Tekiah of the thirty blows sounded after Tehillim. We however do not sound a Tekiah Gedola by the last Tekiah of the ten blows sounded within Kaddish of after Musaf.] It is likewise customary to sound an extra-long Tekiah by the concluding blow of the Tekios Meyushav. The reason this is done is in order so the congregation knows that the blows have ended, and they should begin saying Ashrei Haam.          
  • Taking breaths: One must take a breath between each blow. Each individual blow must be done in one breath. The Shevarim-Teruah of Tashrat is to be done in one breath, although making a small break between the Shevarim and Teruah. In Musaf the Shevarim-Teruah of Tashrat is to be done in two breaths although one is not to delay more than the amount of a single breath between the two blows.
  • Intervals between blows: It is initially forbidden to speak or make an interval until one has heard the blows in Musaf [or if one is without a Minyan until he has heard the thirty Biblical sounds.] If one made an interval between sounds, the previous sounds nevertheless remains valid, and he may continue from the sound that he is holding by. This applies even if one is in the middle of a particular set, such as after the Shevarim of Tashat but prior to the Tekiah. This however only applies if one did not hear a blow for the sake of the Mitzvah that does not belong in the set that he is holding in, otherwise he must repeat from the beginning of that particular set.
  • Must one hear all the sounds from the same blower? One is not required to hear all the blows from the same person. Hence even if one heard a Tekiah from one person and a Teruah from another and a Tekiah from another it is valid. This applies even if every sound was sounded by a different blower.
  • The law if one blew the wrong sound or blew an extra sound? In all cases that one was supposed to blow a Teruah or Shevarim and instead he blew a Shevarim or Teruah [i.e. one blew a Shevarim inתר”ת instead of a Teruah, or a Teruah in תש”ת instead of a Shevarim] he must start again from the Tekiah of that particular set. [Each of the three groupings in תשר”ת/תש”ת/תר”ת  is considered a set for a total of 9 sets] This applies even if one only began the wrong blow, and then remembered right away.
  • If in תשר”ת one began blowing the Teruah before blowing the Shevarim: If one began blowing the Teruah prior to finishing blowing the 3 blows of the Shevarim, then if it was all done in one breath he does not need to re-blow the Tekiah of that set. Rather he is to simply reblow the Shevarim-Teruah. If, however, one took a breath in between the Shevarim and Teruah, or began blowing a Teruah before even beginning the Shevarim, he must start again from the Tekiah of that particular set.
  • Blew an extra set of Teruah or Shevarim: In all cases that one is supposed to blow a Shevarim or Teruah and he blew a second set. Then if the first set was Halachicly valid he must repeat from the first Tekiah of that set, if he took a breath between the two sets. This applies even if he did not complete the second set, such as he only blew one Shevarim or one Terumatin. If however one did not take a breath in between the two sets, or if the previous set was not Halachicly valid, then he may continue with the last Tekiah of that set.
  • If one recognized a mistake only later on: If one recognized while blowing that he made a mistake in a previous grouping of blows [i.e. realized made mistake in תשר”ת while blowing תש”ת] he should finish that grouping and then blow the set which contained the mistake.
  • One blew an ill sounding blow: If the ill sounding blow was Halachicly valid [i.e. contained the minimum required length according to even one opinion] and he then took a breath and blew a second time, he must repeat from the first Tekiah of that set. If, however, one did not take a breath in between the two sounds, or if the previous sound was not Halachically valid then he may continue with the last Tekiah of that set. Thus, practically speaking, if one for example blew at least three Terumatin of a Teruah and it wasn’t blowing well and he took a breath and started again, then he is to begin again from the Tekiah of that set.
  • If one tried blowing and a mere sound of air came out and not an actual blow it is not considered like a Halachicly valid sound and hence one may continue from whichever blow he is currently holding by.
  • In all cases that it was explained that one must repeat from the first Tekiah of that particular set in which the mistake occurred there is no difference between whether this occurred during the Tekios Meumad [during Musaf] or the Tekios Meyushav [of before Musaf after Kerias Hatorah]. In either order of blows, one must repeat [the mistaken set] according to the laws explained above. If, however, one made a mistake in the blows of after Davening this has no relevance being that it is a mere custom.
  • The law if one did not blow the sets in order: Blowing the wrong sound is only problematic when one is in the midst of a particular set as explained in the previous Halacha. However, blowing the wrong set never invalidates the previous or later sets and even the current set remains valid. Thus, in all the above examples, as long as there was a total of 30 sounds blown, three times the set of Tashrat, three times the set of Tashat and three times the set of Tarat one fulfills his obligation.
  • The Shofar blowing in the Musaf Prayer: The custom of Chassidim is to blow Shofar both within the silent prayer and the Chazan’s repetition. Various customs exist regarding the amount and the type of sounds blown during Musaf. The best custom to follow is to blow תשר”ת/תש”ת/תר”ת by each one of the three blessings and so is the Chabad custom. One who is Davening Musaf in private [i.e. without a Minyan] is not to make an interval to blow the Shofar in between the blessings. This applies even if he has another person available to blow for him, nevertheless he may not stop to hear it. Both the Baal Tokeia and the listeners must stand while the Shofar is being blown during the Chazan’s repetition of Musaf. The Tekios of Musaf do not have to be sounded from the Bima. Rather the Baal Tokeia can stay in his place and blow. It is not the Chabad custom to have a Makri point at the sounds by the blows in Musaf [both in the silent and repetition] or after Musaf.
  • The custom is to recite the paragraph of “Hayom Haras Olam etc Areshes Sifaseinu etc” each time the Shofar is sounded during Musaf. [Some have the custom to slightly bow upon reciting this paragraph in order to show their subjugation and arouse mercy in their judgment.] The Chabad custom is not to recite Hayom Haras Olam in the silent prayer of Musaf even though Tekios are sounded.
  • Talking: One may not talk of irrelevant matters from the time he hears the beginning of Shofar blowing after Kerias Hatorah until after Musaf. However, one may speak of matters relating to the Shofar and Davening. It is forbidden for one to learn Torah verbally until after Musaf. This applies even prior to Chazaras Hashatz. However, it is permitted to think Torah in one’s mind. One may however even verbally learn matters of Torah that relate to the Tekios. Some also permit one to say Tehillim during this time. One may say Asher Yatzar after using the bathroom. It is proper to refrain from talking unrelated speech until after the final blows are sounded after Davening. Hence one is to refrain from talking until after the 30 blows are sounded after Tehillim. However, from the letter of the law one is permitted to talk of even unrelated matters once the blows of Musaf have been sounded.
  • Blowing after Musaf: The Chabad custom is to blow ten blows after Musaf and another thirty at the conclusion of Davening, after Tehillim. The last Tekiah of the thirty is sounded as a Tekiah Gedola.

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