From Hebrew Yom Teruah translates as Day of the Sounding or Day of the Awakening Blasts. The sound in question coming from shofars (Vayikra 23:23). For this reason Yom Teruah is also referred to as the Feast of Trumpets.
What is a shofar? It's a musical instrument that is made out of ram's horn. They come in many sizes and, when played by someone who knows what they're doing (read: not me), they make a lovely sound. While they aren't heard or seen much outside of Hebrew circles, occasionally they are used in movie soundtracks; including Lord of the Rings.
When we hear a sound that denotes something in particular we associate those things. Just hearing the music of an ice cream truck can make us hungry. Police sirens can cause our pulse to quicken as we remember the bill for our last speeding ticket. Hearing the tornado siren test brings to mind memories of a bad storm a few years ago. We associate sounds.
Today, sadly, the significance of the sound of the shofar is lost on most of us. It's something that most of us don't have a lot to associate with. However, I don't believe that YHWH desires for it to stay this way! I was reading Eddie Chumney's The Seven Festivals of the Messiah and came across a list of places in Scripture where shofars are used. I did some more research and added a few more to the list.
Shofar Uses in Scripture:
1. The shofar is used when YHWH appears. -Zechariah 9:14
2. The Torah was given to Israel with the sound of the shofar. -Exodus 19:19
3. The shofar was blown to announce the beginning of the festivals. -Numbers 10:10
4. Shofars are used during the Rosh Chodesh celebration. -Psalm 81:4
5. The shofar was blown at the start of the Shmita year. -Vayikra 25:9
6. The blowing of the shofar was a signal for the call to repentance. -Isaiah 58:1
7. When the exiles are regathered into the Promised Land the shofar will be blown. -Isaiah 27:13
8. The blowing of the shofar ushers in the day of YHWH. -Joel 2:1
9. Shofars were used for the coronation of kings. -1 Kings 1:34
10. The sound Israel made after marching around Jericho was blasting shofars. -Joshua 6:20
11. The shofar was blown to signal to the Israelites during war. -Judges 3:27
12. The watchmen who stood upon Jerusalem's walls blew the shofar. -Ezekiel 33:3-6
13. The shofar is a reminder of YHWH providing a ram for Abraham to use as a burnt offering. -Beresheet 22:13
14. During the rebuilding of the Jerusalem wall shofars were used to call for help. -Nehemiah 4:14
15. John was taken up to Heaven in the book of Revelation by the sound of the shofar. -Revelation 4:1
16. At the resurrection of the dead the shofar will sound. -1 Thessalonians 4:16
17. Seven shofars will be sounded when YHWH judges the earth during the tribulation. -Revelation 8
18. Shofars are used to praise YHWH. -Psalm 150:3
19. Shofars are used in joyful celebration before YHWH. -Psalm 98:6
20. The shofar is a reminder that YHWH is sovereign. - Psalm 47:5
21. An angel sounds a shofar to proclaim that the kingdom of the world now belongs to YHWH and Yeshua. -Revelation 11:15
As you can see there is a lot of significance with this instrument! This list isn't exhaustive (shofars are mentioned over 80 times in Scripture) but I think we should have an idea that this instrument has much meaning to YHWH. It is more important than the trumpets we associate with high school band. :)
So what are some things we can associate with the Day of Shofar Blasts from this list? The presence of YHWH, repentance, worshiping YHWH, the Torah, Yeshua being crowned as king, that YHWH will regather his scattered people, YHWH will judge the earth, and that this world will belong to him all come to mind. What else are you thinking about as we come up to Yom Teruah?