The Talmud (Rosh HaShanah 16a) asks, “Why do we blow the shofar on Rosh HaShanah?” The gemara answers, “Because the Torah has commanded us to sound the shofar!” In fact the Torah states, “In the seventh month, on the first of the month, you shall hold a holy gathering, you shall do no work, it shall be a day of sounding the shofar. (Bamidbar 29:1)” Despite the chok or biblical decree for blowing the shofar, the Rambam (Hilchos Teshuvah 3:4) famously teaches us the lesson and importance of the shofar:

Although the blowing of the shofar on Rosh HaShanah is a Scriptural decree, there is a hint to its [performance] which means to say: “Awake you sleepers from your sleep and you slumberers from your dozing, inspect your actions, return in repentance, and remember your Creator.” These are the people who forgot the truth…

Understanding how the halachos of tekias shofar are derived and codified from the gemara, rishonim and achronim is essential for rabbanim to ensure they are properly fulfilling the mitzvah on Rosh Hashanah. Below, are two essays published by Rabbi Tzvi Moshe Schultz that can be helpful:


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