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Hearing Shofar: The Still Small Voice of the RamÕs Horn

By Michael T. Chusid

 

There has never been a book-length exploration into shofarÕs many meanings, until now. This 3-volume work provides enough depth to satisfy serious students of religion while remaining accessible to curious lay reader of all faiths.

 

Respectful of diverse Jewish traditions, the book also advances original discoveries about shofar that add to our understanding of its call.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Front Material

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Title Page

Table of Contents

About the Author

Endorsements

Notices

Acknowledgements

Forward – by Rabbi Dr. Zalman M. Schachter-Shalomi

Book 1 – The Call of the High Holy Days

Hear what shofar says about Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Elul – the month of spiritual preparation before the High Holy Days.

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Prelude

PART ONE – The Call of Shofar

1-1      An Awakening: A personal account of how shofar awakens spirituality.

1-2      Five Translation Challenges: Biblical and rabbinic basis for shofar.

PART TWO – The Shofar of Elul

1-3      My Shofar is My BelovedÕs: Teshuvah and preparation for the Days of Awe.

1-4      Meditations for each Day of Elul: Warm-up exercises for the spirit.

PART THREE – The Shofar of Rosh Hashanah

1-5      Blast, Break, Shatter, Blast: The blessings, the calls, and the code.

1-6      The RamÕs Midrash: What the Akedah teaches about listening to shofar.

1-7      The EweÕs Horn: Shofar speaks in both masculine and feminine voices.

1-8      Our Father, Our King: Stories about kings, children and shofarot.

1-9      Remembering Shofar: To blow, or not to blow, that is the Shabbat question.

PART FOUR – The Shofar of Yom Kippur

1-10   The Dinner Bell and One Last Blast: An encore and a separation.

1-11   Azazel and the Goat that is Set Free: Two goats and two paths.

1-12   The Jubilee and the ProphetÕs Words: The call for justice.

1-13   From the Belly of a Wail: Jonah revisited.

Epilogue – Elul Story

 

Book 2 – For the Shofar Blower

For individuals who want to blow shofar for religious and creative rituals, this is the hornÕs essential ownerÕs manual.

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Introduction

2-1      Why Shofar: Overview of shofar and the High Holy Days

2-2      Kavanah for Sounding Shofar: Whatever moves you.

2-3      Buying, Making, and Caring for a Shofar: A horn of oneÕs own.

2-4      Hearing Shofar: The reason for blowing.

2-5      Preliminary Exercises: First, make funny sounds.

2-6      Getting Sound from a Shofar: Giving lip service to the horn.

2-7      Sounding the Four Blasts: Uniting heaven and earth.

2-8      Tips for Common Problems: IÕm sure you wonÕt need this, butÉ

2-9      Staging Shofar: Tooting al tutti or alone.

2-10   Blowing Shofar for the Sick and Confined: A double mitzvah.

2-11   Secrets of an Awesome Tekiah Gedolah: How to get to Carnegie Hall.

Appendix: Quick Reference Sheet

 

Book 3 – The People of the Ram

Delve into the legacy of shofar as it is woven into the history, mythology, anthropology, and culture of the Jewish people.

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3-1      Shepherd Nation: Shofar is a legacy of our ancestorÕs vocation.

3-2      The Still Small Voice: Shofar as a call to silence.

3-3      Sometimes a Shofar is Just a Shofar: Psychological perspectives.

3-4      The ShamanÕs Shofar: Tikkun olam and the healing of our souls and world.

3-5      Beyond the Days of Awe: Shofar for other holidays and rituals.

3-6      The RamÕs Horn of Passover: A proposal for a shofar on a seder table.

3-7      The Silent Shofar: Including the deaf in shofar.

3-8      Iconography and Iconolatry: The visual symbolism of horns in Judaism.

3-9      More Teachings from the Ram: Grazing among the writings of the Sages.

3-10   Shalshelet and Shofar: A trope and the chain of tradition.

3-11   After Jericho, Shevarim: Shofar insight from The Book of Joshua.

3-12   Would a Shofar by Any Other Name Smell So Sweet?: Insights from etymology.

3-13   Spirituality and ŌSpiralityĶ: ShofarÕs spiral shape as a map for spiritual growth.

3-14   Blow it as it Grows: Can a side-blown horn be a shofar?

3-15   Shofar, So Good: Teachings too good to ignore.

Appendices:

3-16   Scriptural References to Shofar

3-17   Bibliography

 

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