Shofars - Printable Version

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Shofars - sonworshiper - 07-15-2006

Hey Dean,

Tell me about your shofars, how'd you get into playing them?

How many do you have? (and why?)

What got you into shofars?

and. . .lower brass eh? Tuba's?? Fill me in! ;-)



Shofars - DeanZF - 07-15-2006


My Shofarot

by Dean Thomas

(feels a little like a 4th grade summer report!) <EMOJI seq="1f607">:innocent:</EMOJI>

We've been doing worship events and worship "stuff" with attention to its roots in the Jewishness of our Lord for lots and lots of years. One of the women in our little group had a shofar but could not play it. It was a nasty, cantankerous horn that needed help that I could not provide. Little teeny mouthpiece with a tiny aperture. Hard to sound, harder to control. Like playing a trumpet as a tuba player, but without a mouthpiece! I practiced long and hard to make the thing sound like anything. It came to a point where I could blow the thing loud enough to call our kid to dinner and annoy the neighbors all at once. Good that we lived in a rural neighborhood and most of the annoyed neighbors were related to Helena! We also found out that the horn could be heard five miles away!!! :o

My first conscious memory (current conscious memory) of the power behind the shofar was an event we were part of in Olympia, Washington, called "Washington State for Jesus". This was a march (parade, or very long processional, depending on how you view it! Big Grin ) and a prayer event on the capitol steps. At the head of the march was a Messianic congregation from Seattle, Congregation Beth Shofar--House of the Shofar. They marched with prayer shawls and kippot and something like 8 or 10 shofarot, mostly of medium length, all loud, all pretty well played. After we prayed, the parade was kicked off with a fanfare by all of them blaring. I was impressed, not at their prowess, but at the effect on my spirit and soul. We marched up the hill to the capitol steps where we prayed and praised and worshipped and danced and celebrated Jesus. During one of the worship times, a single shofar sounded its mournful, single tekiah (good representations of the sound on a small ram's horn shofar can be heard at <URL url="http://www.piney.com/Shofar.html">ShofarSounds&More). On a long horn, it's actually two notes, not just a scoop up as heard on the site quoted, and the notes are a fifth apart. That tekiah was repeated a couple of times. That was very powerful. Stirred me, stirred the crowd. Then one of the prophetic types took a microphone and sang the same two pitches in the same style, but added a single syllable: "A-WAAAAAAAAAAKE!" It was aMAZing! The hush over the crowd and the incredible power of the notes sounded and then sung burned themselves into my being and into the spirits of the hundreds of folks gathered there. That started my pursuit.

I've used lots of shofars from lots of sources. Until somewhere around 1995, I did not have my own. We purchased a large 3-twist Yemenite that blew freely. I think we were at a conference in Florida. We were exhibitors and were in the hall before the public. Our setup was a breeze, so I wandered the booths, tried the horns, and found this one, excellent instrument. I blew it, the couple sensed an anointing and gave me a deal. It is still an excellent horn, and among the best I've ever blown. The other two were purchased at a factory in Tel Aviv, produced by a wonderful Jewish man, normally for sale in Israel to Jews and Jewish congregations. And, of course, the occasional crazy Christian. He was amazed that I had taken the time to actually find the shop and talk with him personally. He heard what I wanted and searched through his current inventory and pulled out a couple and modified them both for me. One is a mini-Yemenite that easily wakes children and might blow out windows if I tried, and the other is a medium sized ram's horn, again that really blows well.

Why? Partly because of convenience. The big one not only blows well and is a very mellow, wooing sound, but visually, it makes a heck of a statement visually. Because a lot of what we do as ZionFire is visual ministry, that's important. The mini is really a war horn. It's a full-bodies sound, but bright and penetrating without being shrill. It can get unbearably loud when I am allowed to put full support to it. The ram's horn is very, very portable, packs into little space and travels safely, easily. Carries in a pocket or tucked into my belt for short walks.

I started out high school as a tuba player and evolved into baritone/euphonium. Added trombone because of non-school musical activities. Also played cello in HS Orchestra. Joined the USAirForce as a band member. That was my way to serve country without facing Viet Nam at the time. Graduated college with a bachelor's degree in music education, majoring on bass trombone. Also played some tuba and rarely baritone horn in college. My last semester, I played trumpet in the band, more to punish an arrogant trumpet player than because of my abilities. I was not as good, but more reliable. Tongue

That's me! :trumpet: :tuba:

Shofars - sonworshiper - 07-15-2006


That's so funny! We played mostly the same brass--although I more the euphonium and trombone. . .. I had thought about joining the military as well, just so I could play! :-) Never learned the cello--but it is my fave. :-)

Where would you suggest purchasing a shofar? Is there a type that you would recommend??

Is it okay to post replies here all the time, or would it be better to email you?

I'm such a forum-novice. ;-)



Shofars - HelenaZF - 07-15-2006

Moe darlin', PLEASE post your replies on the forum....you never know when something that gets asked or answered is just the information that someone else is looking for!

Shofars - DeanZF - 07-15-2006

sonworshiper,Jul 15 2006, 05:25 PM Wrote:Where would you suggest purchasing a shofar?  Is there a type that you would recommend??
Hello again!

While there are lots of ways to buy a shofar, the best way is to buy one after you've played it and like it. If you get one out of a catalog somewhere, you don't know what you're getting. If you're after something for the mantle, that's fine, as pretty will do just peachy for that. If you want one that plays well and sounds good, you have to try one, just like buying horns.

Second choice is to buy from someone you know and trust, who can provide a horn by listening to what you want. That is essentially asking someone who knows horns and has access to horns to test 'em out for you. In a different life, I've done that for trombone players while I was playing actively. I know such a man, but I don't think I have current contact information for him. If you're interested, I'll look around for his info.

Is there a problem getting such things into Canada from either the US or from Israel? Don't know how that works. :think:

Then there's what type. Personal taste and budget. What do you want and why? Going to war or wooing souls? Travelling? Visual impact? All of 'em are authentic, just have to decide what you personally want.

Quote:Is it okay to post replies here all the time, or would it be better to email you?

I'm such a forum-novice.  ;-)

Not to worry, m'dear. Replies and questions here are just fine. As Helena said, there are others who do or will want to know the answers to the same questions. Public records are good things! Big Grin

Shofars - flaglady - 07-16-2006

Interesting topic here, folks! I got my shofar over the internet as I knew NOTHing about wind instruments and what you've said, Dean, makes me realise I really wasn't buying wisely! However, I got a ram's horn and have manged to make a half decent sound on it and am still practicing. I saved the sounds from your lick and will endeavour to do better!! Just wish I had opportunity to play it where it matters!! I think it's an awesome sound.

The first time I heard one was on one of Steve Hill's recorded sessions from Brownsville Pensecola. He was preaching on the rapture and what will(might) happen. His talk got more and more intense then suddenly the lights went out and this incredible sound!! It chilled you right through to to your bones. What it must have been like to be there, I shudder to think! And to think this is likely to be what we hear when Jesus returns!

Shofars - sonworshiper - 07-17-2006

Hello again. . .

Okay, I totally understand the concept of wanting/needing/hoping to try the shofar out before you buy. . . .but here in Quebec I don't think it's much of a possibility. I do not know of anyone in our area that uses a shofar. . . only across the border in New Hampshire at a friend's church. I would be that picky with guitars as well--then again, my hubby bought me a get well guitar last summer when I was away at camp and had pneumonia. . . .he got it at a steal on ebay and it's awesome!

So, all that to say--should I just take a chance? I've been sensing I should get into shofars for a long while now, I spoke with my pastor yesterday before church. . .got the go ahead. . .

Ah, I just have SO much to learn! :wink:



(hey Dean, I was talking with my hubby the other day, trying to figure out how long we've known each other . . . it's been a while, eh?) (sorry. . . I am Canadian.) hehe