The shofar, one of the earliest known musical instruments, is usually made from a ram's horn. Used in biblical times to signal important events, it is also blown on High Holy Days (10 days in the fall of the year). It is sounded many times during the services of Rosh ha-Shanah (the Jewish New Year) and once to conclude Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement).

The blasts of the instrument are meant to wake slumbering souls to review their actions of the past year, to make amends, and to renew their devotion to work for the social and communal good in the coming year. This shofar is of a form typical of central European instruments, with a straightened shaft and flattened mouthpiece. It belonged to Curator Cyrus Adler's grandfather, Leopold Sulzberger, who was born in Germany. Sulzberger arrived in the United States in 1838, and died in 1881.

Date Made: before 1838

User: Sulzberger, LeopoldCotton States Exposition

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: Germany

Related Event: Cotton States and International Exposition

Subject: Judaism, Immigration, Expositions and Fairs, Family

See more items in: Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments, Religion


Exhibition Location:

Related Publication: Grossman, Grace Cohen, with Richard Eighme Ahlborn. Judaica at the Smithsonian: Cultural Politics as Cultural Model

Credit Line: Gift of David Sulzberger, 1889

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: MI.095142Accession Number: 22131Catalog Number: 95142Accession Number: 25947

Object Name: shofar

Physical Description: horn, ram (overall material)Measurements: overall: 3 1/2 in x 11 1/2 in x 1 in; 8.89 cm x 29.21 cm x 2.54 cm


Record Id: nmah_1160973

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