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31/08/2005
Come blow your own horn by: Leslie Bunder
FILED UNDER DAILY JEWS >> Shopping
The source of a shofar
The source of a shofar
If you thought only those who were rabbinical or full of hot air could blow a shofar, think again. Gone are the days when it was a closely guarded secret where to buy a shofar and even learn how to make sounds with it.
 
Thanks to the internet, there's a plethora of online vendors and websites who will sell you the rams horn and even provide some handy hints and tips to teach you how to make not only sounds, but also music.
 
After all, the shofar was one of the first musical instruments.
 
With Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur fast approaching, now is the perfect time to consider buying your own shofar and showing others at synagogue, that you can blow your own horn as good if not better than the guy who comes in year after year to give his Tekiah Gedolah rendition.
 
Now, you can be a ba'al tokea - the person who blows the shofar.
 
Over at the likes of AJudiaca.com, Studioshofar.com, Shofarshop.com and Israelshofar.com you can choose from a wide range of shofars which come in all shapes and sizes. You can choose from Yeminite ones which are made from Gemsbok (from the antelope family) or Rams Horns which are pretty much the standard used in many communities.
 
Of course, not only do they come in all shapes and sizes, you can even get them engraved with a message or add some silver to them and make them into something even more special.
 
One useful tip for anyone considering buying a shofar is that brand new ones generally have a foul odour due to bone remaining in the horn being blown.  Over time, this smell does go away but it can take up to three years to do so.
 
Some enterprising shofar sellers will offer you a shofar without a smell due to their manufacturing process. The scentless shofars generally come in whatever variety you want, but it is best to ask if the shofar you are buying has been treated to remove any smells.
 
Expect to pay anything from $20 up to $200 for a shofar.
 
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