Number of Daily Shofar Blasts
Blasting Horn 21-48 Times a Day
Arthur L. Finkle
During Daf Yomi shiur, I came across the blasting of a trumpet, which could be interpreted as a shofar. 21 to 48 times a Day. See Arakhin 11a-b. This is also cited in the Mish Shabbos 35.
Succah 31b (Palestinian) gives a social history of the role of the shofar in the Holy Temple, with particular emphasis on Succot.
Indeed, the shofar was sounded in the Temple every day from 21 to 48 times: three times to accompany the opening of the Temple Courtyard Gates; 9-blasts to accompany the morning offering; another 9-blasts to accompany the afternoon sacrifice; 9 for the musaf offering.
On days when there was an additional sacrifice (Musaf), commemorating New Moons, festivals, and other special days, another 9-blasts were added.
Prior to the Sabbath, on Friday, the shofar sounded 6-blasts. The first three blasts for cessation of labor to prepare for the Sabbath. The latter three sounds to separate the sacred from the profane in order to officially begin the Sabbath.
If a Friday fell during the Succot festival, there were a total of 48 blasts.
3=opening of the Courtyard Gates
3=for the filling of water from the spring of Siloam
3=when the water willow branches were placed by the altar
9=morning tamid offering
9=additional offering for special days
3=to tell people to cease labor
3= distinguish between the Sacred and profane.
Notes in the Talmud tell us that blowing the trumpets at a sacrificial services is derived from Num. 10:10
And a day of your joy and on your festivals and on your Rosh Chodesh (New Moon) days, you shall sound the trumpets over your olah (burnt sacrifice) offerings and over your shelamim (peace sacrifices) offerings, etc.
After the procession marched to the Lower Gate, it drew water for the libation from the well spring of Siloam. See Rashi. The Rabbi’s interpret this verse to include the daily sacrifice (Zevech Todah to Tamid, Ch 7; Minchas Chimnuch 384:7)
The Rabbi’s also point out that 3-blasts were omitted, when climbing down the steps to the Woman’s Courtyard.
In the next Gemora, the Rabbi’s explain that the writer of the prior Mishnah was different from the writer of the second Mishnah. Accordingly there is an unresolved dispute. It turns out that one Tanna cites three blasts on the tenth step in Mishnah; the second, the three blasts are at the side of the altar. Nevertheless, they agreed on the 48 blasts. (Succah, Yersush. 31a)