Shofar: The Movie

What is a shofar? What do its calls — tekiah, shevarim, teruah — mean? Why does it send a chill down our spines and a shiver in our hearts?

Jeremiah Lockwood, lead singer and guitarist for The Sway Machinery, has a few answers.

‘Tis the season — the season, that is, to think about our year, our lives, and everything we’ve done right or wrong. (In a bizarre twist, it isn’t that different from the Santa Claus take on Christmas…we’re just not as materialistic about it.)

That, Jeremiah says, is why we have the shofar. It’s not like praying or speaking or giving a sermon — it’s just a single, sustained, wordless blast. The shofar doesn’t have any notes or volume control. Any time you blow into it, you’re getting it 100%. It’s beyond apologies, beyond words — it’s just supposed to grip you.

Discover More

10 Things the Shofar Symbolizes

Here's how the shofar sounds were interpreted in a classic text more than 1,000 years ago.

The Shofar’s Question

The sound of the ram's horn asks: "What are you doing here?"

The Shofar Blasts

The ram's horn is blown on the High Holidays in three specific ways.