This post came our way courtesy of Alan Jay Sufrin, singer/guitarist/bassist/keyboardist for the band Stereo Sinai. He’s also the official shofar blower at Skokie Valley Agudath Jacob Synagogue this year (and is tremendously excited about it). Here he is with his newest instrument in the recording booth.
So, here we go.
It’s the Hebrew month of Elul, during which it’s a custom to sound the shofar every day. The blog HearingShofar (which, amazingly, is a year-round blog about shofars) just reprinted a page from the comic Teen Titans #45, from 1976, in which Malcom “Mal” Duncan, DC Comics’ first black superhero, is attacked by a shadowy figure who promises to kill him. Then, randomly, he receives a magical ram’s horn from the angel Gabriel.
According to HearingShofar:
[T]he tale seems kind of goyish. But hey, Superman was invented by several Jews and much has been written postulating how Jewish legends and archetypes influenced the creation of his character. And we are instructed to sound shofar in times of crisis, just like Mal is.
Pronounced: sho-FAR or SHO-far, Origin: Hebrew, a ram’s horn that is sounded during the month of Elul, on Rosh Hashanah, and on Yom Kippur. It is mentioned numerous times in the Bible, in reference to its ceremonial use in the Temple and to its function as a signal-horn of war.