Zev Radovan

The shofar, or ram’s horn, is depicted alongside a menorah on this mosaic floor from the fifth-century A.D. synagogue at Beth-Shean. Originally used to signal danger or war, the shofar also was—and still is—used as a call to worship. In particular, it is blown on the holiest days of the Jewish calendar, the New Year (Rosh Hashanah) and the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), to symbolize the bond between God and the Jewish people. Author Mitchell suggests that Nebuchadnezzar’s orchestra may have included a similar horn. The term qeren used in Daniel, translated as cornet in the King James Version, is occasionally used interchangeably in the Bible with shofar.