Project Genesis

The Tekiah Gedolah Shofar Blast

Question: I have read that the sequence of the trumpet sounds on the Feast of Trumpets was first made about 300 CE in Rosh Hashanah 34. It does give a certain sequence of the shofar sounds, but the tekiah Gedolah is not mentioned in that reference…Do you know when the Tekiah Gedolah was added and where it is it written in any Jewish writings?

Answer: You are asking about the origin of the sequencing and not the beginning of the blowing. The blowing began at least as far back as Mount Sinai. The sequencing however is a little tougher. The Jewish sages, particularly around the time of the 2nd Temple, arranged precise orders on many things. The Jews were under barbaric threats and attacks, normal life was disrupted, and so the sages ordered things, to make it easier to remember.

I can’t tell you when the tekiah gedolah was ADDED. It seems to me that a lengthier and more powerful final blast would always have been the order of the day. Think of any firworks display. They always end it with the grand finale, do they not? I think it would be similar here.

Just my thoughts.

Good question, Eliahu Levenson

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