||Prayers for Rosh Ha-Shanah and Yom Kippur in an unusual newspaper style format, published by the Agudas Israel Organization. The text is in three columns, beginning with the amidah for Arvit, Shahris, and Minhah for Rosh Ha-Shanah, followed by Avinu Malkenu, the order of taking out the Sefer Torah, blowing the shofar, mussaf for Rosh Ha-Shanah, and the repetition of mussaf for Rosh Ha-Shanah. Next are the services for Yom Kippur, beginning with Kol Nidre.
The essential ritual of Rosh Ha-Shanah is the sounding of the shofar. The Mishnah (RH 3:2) rules that the horn of any animal (e.g. sheep, goat, antelope), except the cow, may be used as a shofar on Rosh Ha-Shanah. One of the reasons why the horn of a cow is not used is its reference to the golden calf and "a prosecuting counsel cannot act for the defense" (RH 26a). At a later period, the ram's horn was preferred in order to recall the binding of Isaac for whom a ram was substituted (RH 16a; see Gen. 22:13). It is considered meritorious to use a curved shofar, symbolic of man bowing in submission to God's will (RH 26b). The silence of the Scriptures as to why the horn is blown on this day left room for a wide variety of interpretations among later teachers. There are ten frequently-quoted reasons, which scholars have attributed to Saadiah Gaon (1) Trumpets are sounded at a coronation and God is hailed as King on this day. (2) The shofar heralds the beginning of the penitential season (from Rosh Ha-Shanah to the Day of Atonement). (3) The Torah was given on Sinai accompanied by blasts of the shofar. (4) The prophets compare their message to the sound of the shofar. (5) The conquering armies that destroyed the Temple sounded trumpet blasts. (6) The ram was substituted for Isaac. (7) The prophet asks: "Shall the horn be blown in a city, and the people not tremble?" (Amos 3:6). (8) The prophet Zephaniah speaks of the great "day of the Lord" (Judgment Day) as a "day of the horn and alarm" (Zeph. 1:14, 16). (9) The prophet Isaiah speaks of the great shofar which will herald the messianic age (Isa. 27:13). (10) The shofar will be sounded at the resurrection.
The particular shofar sounds blown on Rosh Ha-Shanah have an extended development. "A day of blowing the horn" (Num. 29:1) is, in Hebrew, called yom teru'ah, and is rendered by the Targum as yom yabbava. The phrase concerning the mother of Sisera who is said to have "looked through the window" (va-teyabbev; Judg. 5:28) is interpreted by the Rabbis as "and she wept." Hence the shofar blast is said to be a weeping sound. According to rabbinic tradition, however, the teru'ah-yabbava sound must always be followed and preceded by an extended, unbroken note, teki'ah. Since there are three references to the teru'ah-yabbava sound (Lev. 23:24; 25:9; Num. 29:1), it follows that three teru'ah-yabbava sounds are required, each preceded and followed by a teki'ah (RH 33b, 34a). There are doubts as to whether the weeping sound means three groaning notes (shevarim) or a series of nine very short wailing notes (teru'ah). Is the biblical teru'ah-yabbava, then, a shevarim note, or a teru'ah note, or both together? In order to eliminate all doubt, the practice arose, and is still followed, of sounding all three notes. The order became:
teki'ah shevarim teru'ah teki'ah (3 times)
teki'ah shevarim teki'ah (3 times)
teki'ah teru'ah teki'ah (3 times).
The final teki'ah is especially long and drawnout, and is known as teki'ah gedolah, "the great teki'ah." This series of 30 notes, first sounded after the reading of the Torah, is again sounded during the repetition of the Musaf Amidah (in some rites in the silent Amidah), and in many congregations also at the end of the service with an additional ten notes, so as to make a total of 100. The sounding of the shofar in the synagogue is an occasion of great solemnity at which God is entreated to show mercy to His creatures. The Midrash remarks: "R. Josiah said: It is written: 'Happy is the people that know the sound of the trumpet' (Ps. 89:16). Do not the nations of the world know how to sound the trumpet? They have numerous horns, sirens and trumpets, and yet it is said: 'Happy is the people that know the sound of the trumpet.' This means that Israel is the people which knows how to win over their Creator with the blasts of the shofar so that He rises from His throne of judgment to His throne of mercy and is filled with compassion for them and turns His quality of judgment into the quality of compassion" (Lev. R. 29:4).