Blow Shofar Sparingly And Outside, Dutch Rabbis Warn Worshippers

Hazon CEO Nigel Savage practices blowing his shofar. (Courtesy of Hazon)

THE NETHERLANDS (JTA) – The shofar should only be blown sparingly and outside this year because of the coronavirus, Dutch rabbis said.

Join our WhatsApp group

Subscribe to our Daily Roundup Email

The advisory on the blowing of the ram’s horn ahead, a core practice associated with the upcoming celebration of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, came Friday from the Dutch Conference of Rabbis, or NCRZ, the country’s highest Orthodox rabbinical body.

Rabbis “should consider inviting congregations to go out to the synagogue’s yard and blow the shofar there, outside the actual building,” the advisory read. It also recommends blowing the shofar outside people’s homes if they cannot attend synagogue services, which are limited to a few dozen people because of the virus.

The Organization of Jewish Communities in the Netherlands, or NIK, asked the Conference of Rabbis to consider the issue ahead of the start of the Hebrew month of Elul, which begins on Aug. 21 this year. It is customary to blow the shofar daily throughout Elul, though this is “by no means required,” the advisory said. Hearing the shofar blown on Rosh Hashanah itself, which begins this year on Sept. 19, is considered a religious obligation.

Listen to the VINnews podcast on:

iTunes | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | Podbean | Amazon

Follow VINnews for Breaking News Updates

Connect with VINnews

Join our WhatsApp group

Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
3 years ago

This makes all the sense in the world. Protecting lives are more important than the majority of Torah Commandments.

3 years ago

Is this a joke?