A TorahTutors student explored the question of what attitudes a bent or straight posture might convey and which would be more conducive to getting into the mood of Rosh Hashanah.
The Shulchan Aruch (siman 586) rules that a shofar used on Rosh Hashana should be from a ram and should be bent. Under extenuating circumstances, all shofars are kosher, whether straight or bent; however, the mitzva is better fulfilled with a bent one rather than a straight one.
The Mishna Berurah explains: from a ram – as a memorial to Akeidat Yitzchak; bent – as a symbol of “bending” our hearts to Hashem.
While halacha ultimately prefers the symbolism of a bent ram’s horn, the Gemara records different opinions about when to use which type of shofar – offering us something to learn from each.
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