In ancient times, a shofar was blown as an alert, a battle cry, and as a part of ceremonial rituals. What is the connection between the ancient functions of the shofar and its purpose on Rosh Hashanah? In this resource learners will study a number of biblical texts that record different occasions when the shofar was blown, and then discuss why it is fitting for the shofar to be blown on Rosh Hashanah as well. In addition, students will articulate what they think and feel when they hear the shofar on Rosh Hashanah. Video clips demonstrating shofar and horn blowing in Jewish and ritualistic contexts are included as well, enhancing the learner’s understanding of when these instruments are used and for what purposes.

The learner will:

  1. Understand how the sensory experience of hearing the shofar elicits a variety of  emotions and thoughts 

  2. know some of the different contexts in which the shofar was blown in biblical times

  3. be able to articulate how widening the context for occasions that the shofar is blown impacts what they think of and feel when hearing the shofar on Rosh Hashanah

When you click on the Jewish Education by Design resource link featured above, you will find the following educational building blocks for the creation of a lesson plan:

  1. Essential questions that get to the “heart” of the learning

  2. A hook/s to open the lesson in an engaging fashion and spark the learners’ curiosity

  3. In depth discussion questions that are designed to elicit conceptual thinking and personal reflections about the featured source/s

  4. Suggested activities that enable the students to both process and apply what was learned in a thought provoking and creative fashion

  5. A further study option/s to related materials on the JEBD site or to external links

  6. A How to do it link/s that demonstrate blowing the shofar 

Student handout, computer,projector, shofar

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