Following In the Steps of Joshua

This tale is by Phil Shaw . It is one of several of his in our collection.

There was a rather talented jazz trumpeter who had an old, respectable Jewish uncle. The elder gentleman was very straitlaced and orthodox, and quite adept in the honing of ceremonial ram’s horns. He also appreciated and admired his nephew’s musical skill, although he did not think it proper for a man of his position to admit such.

Of course, part of the process of finishing the horns is to sound them, to ensure they have been thoroughly hollowed and have the required resonance. However, the uncle’s advancing age had rendered him frequently short of breath, and unable to muster the exhalation strength necessary to test the horns. He therefore requested that his nephew pay him a visit to help him complete his work.

The nephew dutifully attended his uncle’s invitation, and set to the task before him with some vigor. His uncle was apparently satisfied with their progress, but the nephew soon became a bit restless and began puckishly scatting on the horns. This earned him a quizzical but not disapproving look from the old man. Unabashed, the nephew gamely asked, “So, what do you think of that, dear uncle?”

*With a glint and a suppressed grin, his uncle replied, “Shofar, so good, my boy.”

*If you need a hint, go to .

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