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I've seen several arrangements for the 100 shofar blasts done on Rosh Hashanna

  • Both Nusach Ashkenaz and Sefard agree on doing 30 before Musaph

Nusach Ashkenaz:

  • 3 groups of 10 each during the Amidah repetition
  • Either 40 done after Musaf, before Titkabel of the Full Kadish OR
    • 30 during the Kaddish after Musaph and
    • 10 before Aleinu or at the end of the service

Nusach Sefard:

  • 3 groups of 10 each after Malchuyot, Zichronot and Shofarot of the silent Amidah
  • 3 groups of 10 each after Malchuyot, Zichronot and Shofarot of the Chazan's repetition of the Amidah
  • 10 after Musaf, either during Full Kaddish or before Aleinu

What's the reasoning for the different breakups?
Most notably, why does Nusach Sefard include blasts during the silent Amidah while Nusach Ashkenaz doesn't?

  • Several of these are addressed in the ArtScroll Machzor, IIRC. – DonielF Sep 5 '18 at 16:42
  • @DonielF I have it at home. Maybe I can view it, tonight. – DanF Sep 5 '18 at 16:43
  • @DanF Be careful while handling, you wouldn't want the pages to fall out :) – ezra Sep 5 '18 at 16:44
  • "why does Nusach Sefard include blasts during the silent Amidah while Nusach Ashkenaz doesn't?" Instead of as an afterthought, that should be your whole question. No need to discuss all the similarities. Just you've seen both ways regarding silent Amida blasts and you want to know why some do during the silent and some don't. – Double AA Sep 5 '18 at 17:12
  • Notably, there used to be (still are?) other customs including only blowing a total of 10 or 12 (i.e. 3 groups of TaSHRaT) during chazarat hashatz rather than 30. See SA here – Joel K Sep 6 '18 at 8:21
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Focusing on the question of blowing during the silent amidah of musaf, R. E. Melamed has an in-depth article available here (Hebrew). I will summarize some of his key points in my answer here.

The original custom seems to have been not to blow during the silent amidah. This was certainly the case among the majority of the geonim, where the custom was that the silent amidah contained only seven (rather than nine) blessings.

Rambam (Hilchot Shofar, 3:10), Tur (Orach Chayyim 592) and Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayyim 592:1) all describe the blowing as taking place during chazarat hashatz, and make no mention of blowing during the silent amidah.

However, Tur (loc.cit) does quote from Aruch:

והני דמחמירין תוקעין ל' כדיתבין ול' בלחש ול' על הסדר

Those that are stringent blow thirty when they sit [i.e. before musaf], thirty in the silent amidah and thirty with the order [of the blessings in chazarat hashatz].

The practice of blowing during the silent amidah was also adopted by those of a kabbalistic bent, notably Ari and his students. For instance, R. Chayyim Vital wrote in Sha'ar HaKavannot, Inyan Rosh HaShanah, D'rush 7

ול' תקיעות מעומד, במוסף בלחש, במלכויות זכרונות ושופרות.‏

And thirty blasts while standing, during the silent musaf, in malchuyot, zichronot and shofarot.

As with many kabbalistic practices, this was widely adopted by edot hamizrach and chassidim, which is why it is widespread in nusach sefard synagogues.

Nusach ashkenaz synagogues have by and large retained the traditional custom not to blow during the silent amidah. To quote Mishnah Berurah 592:1

יש מקומות שנוהגין לתקוע כשמתפללין בלחש אבל אין לנהוג כן לכתחלה שלא לבלבל המתפללים

There are those place that have the custom to blow when they pray silently, but ideally one should not do this, in order not to disturb those praying.

(For a different angle on the topic, R. M. Sternbuch in Mo'adim uZemanim I 7 has a nice presentation where he discusses the halachic pros and cons of each custom.)

  • A variety of sources that I have to sift through, here. Thanks. I wonder if torach tzibbur wasn't a factor in this. I think people have to wait until the rav arrives at the end of each section before the toke'ah can blow. – DanF Sep 7 '18 at 14:02

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