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Yom Teru‘ah - Shouting/Trumpeting


We find the word Teru‘ah [shouting/trumpeting] used in the sense of uttering a loud sound. We find it used of a loud sound expressing joy, as in “for the people were uttering a loud trumpeting” (‘Ezra 3:13), i.e., in praise of God, as an expression of joy; also to the contrary, to express grief, as in “Now, why do you utter a trumpeting?” (Mikhah [Micah] 4:9). Again, it is written, “And when Yehoshu’a‘ [Joshua] heard the noise of the people in their trumpeting... And he said, it is not the voice of shouting of power, nor the voice of shouting of weakness, for I hear only the voice of shouting.” (Shemot [Exodus]32:17 - 18), meaning that it was an indefinite sound, which might signify either alternative.

As for the Rabbanite doubts as to the kind of sighing or wailing which trumpeting expresses, does not the Miqra’ [scripture], on the contrary, define this Yom Teru‘ah [Day of Shouting/Trumpeting] as one of joy, as it is written of it, “...mourn not, nor weep...for this day is holy” (Nehemyah [Nehemiah] 8:9)? Furthermore, it is well known that the Miqra’ does not indicate that this trumpeting signifies the sound of a horn. We know rather that in all places where the Miqra’ mentions trumpeting along with trumpets and the sound of the horn -- like “With trumpets and the sound of the horn trumpet before the King, YHWH” (Tehilim [Psalms] 98:6), “God is gone up amidst trumpeting, YHWH amidst the sound of the horn” (Tehilim [Psalms] 47:6), and probably in all similar passages - this trumpeting is not identical with the sound of the horn, but signifies trumpeting produced by the voice issuing from the mouths of the people, joined with the sound of a trumpet or a horn.

The proof of this is the fact that in many places, we find trumpeting clearly used solely for the raising of the voice in song and chanting as in, “Come, let us sing unto YHWH, let us trumpet to the rock of our salvation, let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, with songs of praise let us trumpet unto him” (Tehilim [Psalms] 95:1); “Trumpet unto YHWH, all the earth, break forth and sing for joy” (Tehilim [Psalm] 98:4); “Sing, heavens, for YHWH has done it; unto God, our strength; trumpet unto the God of Ya‘aqov [Jacob]" (Tehilim [Psalms] 81:2). Where we find trumpeting joined with horns or trumpets, it does not signify that the sound of trumpets or horns is identical with trumpeting - the proper term for the former is Teqi‘ah [‘blowing’] -- rather that trumpeting is the raising of the human voice, joined with the blowing of horns or trumpets...