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Olifants and Triceratops
As with every year at this time, I would like to announce that my monograph "Exotic Shofars - Halachic Aspects" is freely available. Each year I add some new material to it. This year's addition is to the section discussing a shofar made from a non-kosher animal. The halachic status of such a shofar is the subject of considerable discussion amongst Rishonim and Acharonim. But does this dispute have any practical relevance? Is there such thing as a shofar from a non-kosher animal?
In this latest version of the monograph, I discuss two new potential candidates. One is the olifant, which is the name given to a horn made out of the tusk of an elephant. But while an interesting candidate, it seems to be halachically invalidated for separate reasons that I discuss in the monograph. Another candidate which, it seems, would indeed potentially be a viable shofar, and would be the sole case of a shofar from a non-kosher animal, is a triceratops (pictured below). However, the keratin sheath from which the shofar is made would only be found on a living specimen. Thus, short of radical advances in cloning technology, à la Jurassic Park, this would not appear to present a practical situation for the halachic discussion.
Meanwhile, in the previous edition of the monograph, I noted that the largest shofar in the world would come from a Marco Polo argali sheep. I just noticed a head of such a sheep appear on eBay - if you want a pair of the largest shofars in the world, they can be yours for just a quarter of a million dollars!
You can download the monograph at this link. Please spread the word!