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Can someone blow a Shofar during the Omer at times when playing instruments is prohibited (i.e. after Passover and before Lag b'Omer, according the predominant custom)?

  • When are playing instruments prohibited? Like on Shabbat? I'm not aware of such a custom otherwise. – Double AA May 3 '15 at 22:17
  • Is a shofar considered an "instrument", halachically? (I know that Wikipedia classifies it as an instrument, but that's for orchestral purposes in a Bernstein piece, or something like that.) – DanF May 4 '15 at 15:20
  • Are you playing a song with it, or simply sounding the "Shofar blasts" as on Rosh Hashana? – Danny Schoemann May 5 '15 at 6:46
  • You could ask whether you can start practising Shofar in Av. After all we start blowing in Ellul so the 9 days is within 30 days of when you are going to blow it for real. My guess is that it would be permitted (probably avoid it on Tisha B'Av itself otherwise I can't see any reason why not). – CashCow May 5 '15 at 14:49
  • @DannySchoemann "Shofar Blasts" – warz3 May 5 '15 at 19:53
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Even though a Shofar is considered a musical instrument, and thus is forbidden to blow in Shabes (not allowed from Derabanan to prevent the situation where a person will fix the intrument), but there is no ground to deny blowing during Sfiras HaOmer sihce it is not "an act of joy" and like sad melodies are not forbidden in the three Bein ha-Metzarim weeks, so is the Shofar blowing not forbidden then, all the more so in Sfiras HaOmer.

  • Very nicely put! Can you provide a link to a source (or at least a reference)? – Isaac Kotlicky Jul 7 '15 at 17:44
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Based on the answer to the question Live Vs. Recorded Music during the Omer it seems that simply practicing to blow shofar would be permitted.

If you plan on making lively music with a shofar then the Halacha may be more stringent, as the basis for no-music during the Omer comes from the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch and Aruch Hashulchan that forbids dancing even at engagement parties:

אַךְ רִקּוּדִין וּמְחוֹלוֹת, אֲסוּרִין

(Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 120:9, Aruch Hashulchan סימן תצג - דינים הנוהגים בימי העומר)

  • The Shulchan Arukh never forbids dancing at engagement parties – Double AA May 6 '15 at 14:59
  • Fascinating. Where did the Kitzur get this from? Will try do some research when I get home. – Danny Schoemann May 7 '15 at 7:25
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    IIRC the Magen Avraham is the culprit. – Double AA May 7 '15 at 13:48

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