How to Buy a Shofar?
Which Shofar is right for me?
Q: What’s the most important thing to look for when purchasing a shofar?
A: Some are surprised when told, that the shofar you buy must be certified kosher, with a label from a reliable rabbinic organization. Unfortunately, authentic-looking shofars from synthetic material or covering over significant blemishes,which that render the shofar unkosher to fulfill the Mitzvah, are offered online and stores. Just like you must ascertain your Mezuzah scroll is kosher, same with your Shofar.
After the store made sure to stock the kosher shofar, you want to make sure it is still is kosher and that the sound to be produced by air is coming in through the narrow end and blowing out the wider end. If there are cracks and holes, keep on testing the various shofars until you find the one that’s right for you..
You also want to make sure it is at least a handbreadth long, which is the minimal requirement by Jewish law.
Q: There are still so many shofars to choose from. How do I fine the one best for me?
A: The most important thing to check is the mouthpiece. Make sure that there are no rough or sharp edges since you will be pressing it to your lips. Also make sure that it has a nice shape that fits right to your lips, enabling a smooth and comfortable blow. The shofar is not blown like a trumpet from the center of the mouth, but from the right side.
The shofar wide part should face upward when you’re in blowing position. Usually, a bigger shofar is easier to blow with less strain on your lips, which can go numb after too much blowing. It will probably produce a deeper sound too. But for some, the higher pitch is the way to go, so get what works best for you…
Those really big Yemenite shofars are made from a kudu’s horns. Although to some Kudu’s horn’s are Kosher, most would buy it just as beautiful Judaic decor to their home.
It’s better you get a shofar from a ram’s horn, which serves to recall how G‑d provided Abraham with a ram to sacrifice instead of his son Isaac.
Q: Does the color matter?
A: No. It is simply a result of the color of the ram. Black, brown, white or any combination is equally kosher.
Q: How much do you think I should be paying?
A: A decent shofar may cost $45 to $100, with larger ones costing more. You only buy a shofar once, so it is probably best to ignore the price tag, if you can, and focus on buying one that you can blow easily, year after year.