A 6064 . 4 "191 " 011 1 1
Marc Lindy holds his
High Holiday handiwork.
odoriferous when it arrived.
There are two basic steps in
_ processing a shofar (or three, if the
instrument is decorated). The first
involves the removal of the long
inner bone from the outer horn. It
sounds a little complicated, and
often is complicated, especially if
you've never done it before.
In order to perform this task,
the craftsman can't just grab a chisel
and start hacking. The inner bone
must be made flexible enough and
soft enough to be pulled from the
horn. To accomplish this softening,
the horn is simply put into a pot and
When processing his first shofar
last June, Lindy reasoned that a
trash can would serve as an excel-
lent "pot," in which to do the boiling.
Buying a new one for the occasion,
he filled it up with water, placed it
on a Coleman stove in the backyard
of his home in Birmingham, turned
up the burners, and promptly dis-
covered that trash cans don't make
good boiling pots at all — they
aren't sealed and don't hold water,
So it was back to the drawing
board and the hardware store, where
Lindy finally opted for an old-
fashioned, galvanized washtub. Sure
enough, it didn't leak — but the
burners on the little Coleman stove
simply could not generate enough
heat to bring all that water to a boil.
Eventually, Lindy decided to
haul the washtub into the kitchen,
and start over. This time, turning all
four burners on the gas range up to
"high," he finally met with success,
although the success was distinctly
slow in coming.
"I boiled it. Boiled it. Boiled it.
Boiled it. Boiled it some more," says
. The peculiar "stew" cooked for
more than five hours before the
hard, inner bone gave way and sof-
tened enough so that Lindy, • using
chisel, pliers, and a good amount of
• elbow grease, could finally twist the
After the hollowed-out horn
dried thoroughly ("a day, or over-
night"), Lindy then set to work on
the second step of processing: mak-
ing a mouthpiece for the instrument.
You saw off the narrow tip of
the shofar, and then drill down the
center through that tip, being very
careful that you don't drill through
and out the sides," he said.
Usually working in his garage,
Lindy may apply some heat to the
tip of the shofar so it can be softened
then, and the mouthpiece widened.
Taking special care not to make a
wrong move and split the shofar, he
then painstakingly scraps the inside
of the mouthpiece with a chisel until
the natural hollow of the shofar is
Finally, the mouthpiece is rub-
bed smooth. To do the smoothing,
Lindy uses everything from files and
sandpaper, to drills from the office
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