Where Do the Names of the Shofar Calls Come From?

At least one of them might stem from the days when Jews ululated.

Afghanistan’s only known Jew, Zebulon Simantov, blowing a shofar in his home in Kabul. Getty Images.

Afghanistan’s only known Jew, Zebulon Simantov, blowing a shofar in his home in Kabul. Getty Images.

Observation
Sept. 5 2018
About the author

Philologos, the renowned Jewish-language columnist, appears twice a month in Mosaic. Questions for him may be sent to his email address by clicking here.


The words for Rosh Hashanah’s three shofar calls—the t’ki’ah, the sh’varim, and the tru’ah—are all ancient. Where do they and the sounds denoted by them come from?

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More about: High Holidays, Religion & Holidays, Shofar