Blowing the shofar, heralding the Jewish new year

Blowing the shofar
Fifth-grader Zach Glaser blows the shofar at Talmud Torah of St. Paul in St. Paul, Minn. Friday, Sept. 14, 2012. The shofar, which is a hollowed out horn of a kosher animal, is blown on the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah. Sara Lynn Newberger, head of Talmud Torah of St. Paul, said, "Some people compare it to an alarm clock; Wake up to the fact that you have gone to sleep and aren't paying attention to how you are living your life. Pay attention and make different choices... an evaluation, a judgment, a correction if you feel a need to do that in your life."
MPR Photo/Jeffrey Thompson

The two-day Rosh Hashana holiday, which began at sundown on Sunday, commemorates the creation of the world in the Jewish calendar. It's ushered in with prayers and the blowing of a shofar, a horn carved from a kosher animal. The holiday also begins a 10-day period of introspection culminating with Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement.

"We're talking 3,500-4,000 years for this custom, this tradition," Sara Lynn Newberger, head of the Talmud Torah school of St. Paul, told Minnesota Sounds and Vices reporter Dan Olson. He visited the school to learn how the tradition is being passed to a new generation. Click on the audio link to hear his report.

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