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I know the shofar is not to be blown on rosh hashana except when performing it for a mitzva, but is a shofer permitted to be blown when it is not shabbos or a chag for recreational (not mitzva or mitzva preparation) purposes?

  • I'm reminded of a performance of "contemporary shofar music" that I heard about a while ago. I doubt that it was very good, but I wonder whether it was permissible. – Malper Jan 1 '14 at 4:29
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    Is the shofar one that has been used for mitzvah purposes in the past? – Malper Jan 1 '14 at 6:28
  • yes............. – Clint Eastwood Jan 1 '14 at 10:21
  • Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/2565/3 – WAF Jan 1 '14 at 15:17
  • Yes but night time might be a diff story – sam Jan 1 '14 at 17:26
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Assuming the Shofar was not previously blown for a mitzvah:

Yes, as explicitly written in Psalms 150:3, where the shofar is listed among other musical instruments:

הַלְלוּהוּ, בְּתֵקַע שׁוֹפָר; הַלְלוּהוּ, בְּנֵבֶל וְכִנּוֹר.

(See also Ps 81:4, 98:6)

In addition, the Gemara (Rosh haShana 33b) includes a discussion about whether one fulfills his mitzvah obligation if he blew "to make musical sounds" on Rosh haShana, implying that one is allowed to use a shofar to make music.

Finally, there are many cases in Tanach where a shofar was blown for non-mitzvah purposes, (mostly involving wars and coronations; Shoftim 3:27, 2 Samuel 2:28, 1 Kings 1:34, 2 Kings 9:13, Amos 3:6, among others), and the Gemara (Shabbat 35b) mentions that a Shofar is blown on Friday to tell people to prepare for Shabbat.

  • Have anything on when the shofar was previously used for a mitzva? ...OP in a comment on the question mentions that the shofar was used for a mitzva... – Shokhet May 16 '14 at 4:51
  • That's a different question - about whether you can use an "mitzvah object" for secular purposes, and isn't shofar specific. – Shmuel May 16 '14 at 5:00
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If the cantor used his voice to sing Kol Nidre, is it permissible for him to sing in the shower? What is different is the kavanah. On Rosh Hashanah, both the sounder and the hearer must have the intention of fulfilling the mitzvah. The rest is just blowing in the wind.

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    If I use wear Tefillin as a Mitzva, then can I use them as paperweights?? – Double AA Jan 7 '14 at 5:01
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Unless its to practice it would be degrading to the mitzva.

the answer was provided by a rabbi on www.pocketrabbi.com a user friendly system for a quick response to halachic or any torah questions that a Jew might have.

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    If you can edit in anything about the reasoning or sources behind the responsum you cite (or indeed a link to the responsum), this answer will be much more valuable. – Isaac Moses Jan 2 '14 at 15:36
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    You eat Matza all year, it is not degrading the Matza you eat Pesach. Why is it degrading? – C. Ben Yosef Jan 2 '14 at 18:06
  • any sources available for this? – termsofservice Feb 6 '14 at 6:22

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