Ram's horn shofar is the most predominant shofar used in European countries amongst Jews. There are classical and rare versions of such Rams horn shofars as well as more modern looking ones. You can take your pick based on your convenience and preferences.
Ram's Horn Shofars
Most ram's horn shofars range in size between just 11 inches to as much as 20 inches. It all depends on what size of Ram's horn shofar you want for yourself. There are also extra large shofars measuring as much as 24 or even 49 inches. Many shofars have their mouthpieces customized to facilitate easier playing and more tones.
The primary material used in making Ram's horn shofar is a ram’s horn. The horn needs to be from a kosher animal such as mountain goats or sheep.
First the ram’s horn is boiled for a very long time, many hours at a time. Then, the rams horn shofar maker carves out the inside to remove all cartilage and inside tissues. Once this is removed, the horn can be made into a Ram's horn shofar easily. A portion of the shofar horn is shaped into a curvilinear structure. The mouthpiece is also shaped to help the Shofar Man play easily. Often, the number of tones and notes a rams horn shofar can play will depend on the way the mouthpiece is shaped.
Since the Ram's horn shofar is made from the rams horn, there is lot of blood and flesh inside it before it can be made into an instrument of worship. This is why a lot of treatments need to be used to remove all the smell and residue of blood or flesh. Substances like vinegar, water and chlorine, alcohol, borax soap, various kinds of harsh soaps as well as myriad ranges of odor eliminators are also used. These help to rid the shofar horn of its original smell and stains.
The smell of the rams horn shofar can be quite strong, if it is not sealed before it is made into a shofar. Various sealing agents are used for this purpose. These sealing solutions help to remove all decaying flesh inside and the addition of the solution helps to remove all residual smell as well.
There are lots of shofars for sale on the internet. However, how do you decide on the best one? The first thing to beware of is false claims. Many sites make claims that their rams horn shofar has no smell. This is a false claim. Most Yemenite shofar pieces continue to have the distinct smell even after several years of use. If any website makes such a claim, it means you are not getting a genuine Yemenite shofar for your money! If the shofar horn has cracks or splits it does not mean it is of inferior quality. It will also not affect the sound or tone in any manner. Most Yemenite shofar pieces will have some amount of splits on them, especially near the mouthpiece. In fact, these rams horn shofar pieces play exceptionally well!