Shofar in Elul #3


Excerpt from Upcoming Sefer “The Laws and Customs of Rosh Hashanah”

Erev Rosh Hashanah:[1] One does not blow the Shofar on Erev Rosh Hashanah.[2] This applies beginning from the night of Erev Rosh Hashanah [the night of the 29th of Elul].[3] This applies even when Rosh Hashanah falls on Shabbos.[4] It is forbidden to blow the Shofar, even for practice, in an open area.[5] One is however allowed to practice blowing the Shofar in a closed room.[6] [This applies whether one is learning how to blow or is trying to get used to blowing from a new Shofar.[7] However one may not blow the Shofar for no reason even in a closed room.[8]]



May one blow Shofar at night?[9]

Some Poskim[10] rule one is not to blow the Shofar at night, even for practice, being the Tekios arouse the supernal attributes which is not to be done during the night. From other Poskim[11] however it is evident that one may do so even at night.


Must one stand when hearing the blows?[12]

There is no source for such an obligation although practically the custom is to do so.


May one stop in middle of Shemoneh Esrei in order to hear the Tekios?[13]



Does one fulfill the above custom of hearing Shofar in Elul through hearing the recording of a Shofar blowing?[14]

No. One is required to hear the live sound of a person blowing a physical Shofar in order to fulfill this custom.[15]


[1] Rama 581/3 in name of Minhagim; Hashlama of Reb Nechemia 581/2

[2] The reasons:

  1. To make a separation between the Tekios of the custom and those Biblically required on Rosh Hashanah. [Levush 581/1; Taz 581/4; M”A 581/14; Hashlama of Reb Nechemia 581/2]
  2. To confuse the Satan so he think that R”H has already passed. [M”A ibid in name of Minhagim; Elya Raba 581; Hashlama of Reb Nechemia 581/2]
  3. To be able to say Shehechiyanu on the Shofar on Rosh Hashanah. [Chochmas Shlomo 581; Ashel Avraham 581]
  4. To show that the next day is Rosh Hashanah. [Chochmas Shlomo 581]

The practical ramification-Blowing at home: The M”A ibid writes that according to the first reason one may blow the Shofar for practice in the privacy of his home. However according to the second reason of the Minhagim one must completely avoid blowing the Shofar at all. 

[3] M”A 581/14

[4] M”B 581/24; Kaf Hachaim 581/77

The reason: As by reciting the words “Zichron Teruah” on Shabbos it is considered as if the Shofar was blown. This especially applies due to the fact that in the Mikdash the Shofar was blown. [ibid]

[5] M”A ibid; P”M 581 A”A 14

[6] Elya Raba 581/4 in name of Amrakel; First opinion in M”A 581/14; P”M 581 A”A 14; M”B 581/24; Ben Ish Chaiy Netzavim 2 [“One who needs to practice is to do so in a closed room or in a pit”]; Hashlama of Reb Nechemia 581/2

Other opinions: The M”A ibid writes that according to the reason that this custom is done in order to confuse the Satan, then one may not blow at all. This implies that one may not blow even for practice and even in a closed room. However from the P”M ibid and M”B ibid it implies that even according to this reason in a closed room it is permitted to blow for practice.

[7] Kaf Hachaim 581/76

[8] So is implied from Poskim ibid to suspect for the second reason of the Minhagim as rules the M”A ibid.

[9] Piskeiy Teshuvos 581/3

[10] Aruch Hashulchan 581/12, Igros Moshe 4/21 explains that this does not contradict the Rama which says that some would blow after “Arevis” as here it refers to an early arvis, which is prayed while it is still day.

[11] Kaf Hachaim 581/13, and Mateh Efraim 581/7

[12] Piskeiy Teshuvos 581/3

[13] Piskeiy Teshuvos 581 footnote 27

[14] Sichas Balak 7th Tammuz 1984

[15] The reason: “Even the sounding of the Shofar in Elul, which is only to arouse Teshuvah, is not to be heard from a recorder as since it needs to arouse ones feelings of Teshuvah therefore it has to be done through a person, as words that come from the heart enter the heart”

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