Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tooting My Own Horn

It's shofar season, so if you haven't read my illustrated essay on exotic shofars and how they shed light on hilchos shofar, you might want to download it (free) at http://zootorah.com/essays. It has lots of unusual insights on everything from oliphaunts to jackalopes! If you are interested in purchasing any exotic shofars, I will have some for sale at the Biblical Natural History Experience next to Beit Shemesh; you will also be able to see my entire (and ever-growing) collection, which I'm pretty sure is the largest in the world, on display. During my recent globe-trotting, I acquired another artifact from the animal kingdom that makes the same sound as a shofar, but is not kosher to use as a shofar - can you guess what it is? Hint: There is a second-degree connection to the Mishkan.

On a different note: If anyone would like to volunteer to quickly put together an extremely basic website for the Biblical Natural History Experience, that would be greatly appreciated. And if anyone is making a shipment to Israel from the US and can put a flat-pack heavy animal cage in it, that would also be great! You can reach me at zoorabbi@zootorah.com.

16 comments:

  1. In the Reform congregation where I grew up, the musician who was first trumpet in the symphony orchestra blew the shofar, and it sounded like Gabriel himself. Then one day I followed him out of the Temple and saw him take his trumpet mouthpiece out of the shofar...

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  2. Just use Wix Weebly or Google Sites to create a quick website.

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    Replies
    1. Wix is great but I don't think it lets me export HTML to my own domain.

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    2. They all let you add a custom domain name, but I don't know if any of them let you use the HTML you create with their app elsewhere.

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  3. I believe that some classic Reform temples actually did use a trumpet instead of a shofar.
    As for the identity of the Mishkan-connected, unkosher shofar artifact, my guess is tachash horn.

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  4. A little bit off topic, but does anyone know where you can get a Rambam shofar, preferably in the US?

    Shmooli

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    Replies
    1. In Israel you can get one from Kol Shofar - Shimon Kenan, in Moshav Givat Yoav.

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    2. Forgive my ignorance but what is a Rambam shofar?

      I Gnu.

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  5. I'm guessing narwhal tooth ("horn") and the connection is to tachash.

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    Replies
    1. Nope, you can't blow a narwhal tooth.

      The connection is to techeles.

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  6. Conch horn?
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conch_(instrument)

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    Replies
    1. Who ever heard of making dye from conches? That seems a real stretch.

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    2. As my prize I'd like you to directly address the findings of Higher Criticism through the lens of your Rationalist Judaism program.

      I know, I'm more likely to find a unicorn shofar.

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  7. Thank you rabbi slifkin for a beautiful and enlightening piece. A couple points though, how can the medrash be referring to the oryx as the re"em if it explaining the verse in vezos habrachah? also if I'm not mistaken the oryx does not have a solid horn like deer, so how can tosafos and ramban talk about the re'em being pasul because it is solid if they believed the re"em was the oryx?

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