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During the first few days of Elul, I will be away in a city with no minyan. I have a shofar, but was wondering whether a yachid blows a shofar if possible.

On the one hand, the reasoning exists, but perhaps the minhag is similar to the primordial shofar blowing which was public (in the machane).

Since writing this question, I was able to access a Shearim Metzuyanim who quotes shu"t Tzitz Eliezer that Elul Shofar is only b'tzibur for "multiple reasons". Because of my circumstance, I was unable to get the Mare Makom. This question is still open for anyone who can access the reasons or share a different approach.

  • Actually I am voting to delete my above answer on account of the fact that I realized that I misread your question. For some reason I thought it was dealing the Rosh HaShannah. As far as Elul considering what the majority of the poskim say about it being simply a minhag, and considering the words of the Ari(see the Selichot question), I don't really see it being a problem. – Rabbi Michael Tzadok Aug 16 '10 at 16:27
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Per the Shaalos U'tshuvos Tzitz Eliezer Chelek 12 Siman 48 the whole Takana of blowing Shofar was only when it is done Btzibur. He gives 2 reasons.

1: The reason we blow Shofar starting Rosh Chodesh Elul, is since when Moshe Rabeinu went up on the mountain on Rosh Chodesh Elul the Posuk says "He'eviru Shofar B'Machane" - and Machane means B'tzibur and not B'Yochud.

2: The Posuk says "Im Yitoka Shofar B'Ir V'hoam Lo Yecherodu" and B'Ir means Btzibur and not B'Yochud.

  • Does anyone know of any opinions that disagree with this and say it can be done by an individual? – Menachem Sep 2 '11 at 22:57
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    When was there ever a Takkanah to blow shofar in Elul? It's a minhag. – Double AA Mar 7 '13 at 0:48
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R' Ephraim Greenblatt writes (1:394) that there a few reasons for why we blow the Shofar.

1) Tur and Rosh quoting Pirkei Deraabi Eliezer - it was blown in the desert when Moshe went up Mt Sinai to get the 2nd luchos

2) Tur - to confuse the Satan

3) Rav Kook - Just as we need to start learning the Halachos of Pesach 30 days earlier, so too we need to practise blowing the Shofar 30 days in advance.

He then brings opinions on both sides of the debate as to whether, because of these reasons, one would even blow the Shofar without a Minyan before concluding that one only blows the Shofar when davening with a Minyan.

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