Barbados, located south of Miami in the Caribbean Sea, is more than 9,500 kilometers (6,000 miles) from Israel. Despite the physical distance between them, the power of the shofar connected a Jewish man in Israel named Robert Weinger with a Christian Bajan named Omar Gill.
Weinger, who runs a shofar business called Shofar So Great from his home in Beit Hogla, a moshav near Jericho, has an uncanny ability to blow shofar. He’s so gifted that he can blow two shofarot at the same time, in perfect harmony. He can play taps and also the Israel national anthem on a shofar.
Gill, who has been studying Hebrew with the help of The Israel Bible, told Breaking Israel News, “In recent months, I had been getting frequent visions of shofars – first thing when I get up, when I am out on the road or when I am in a quiet place. Most times, as I would look up in the sky, the shofar would appear to me very large in size.
“Also, what really motivated me was the sound. The sound of the shofar is distinct from other sounds. I began to hear it in a way I never heard it before. It was a call drawing me closer to it.”
Moved by these visions, Gill did some research online and discovered Weinger’s shofar-blowing videos on YouTube. He contacted Weinger asking about buying a Jacob’s Sheep shofar.
Weinger sells shofarot in a wide range of prices, from a few dollars to many thousands of dollars. Gill had his eye on one of the more expensive shofarot in Weinger’s inventory but didn’t have the resources to make the purchase immediately.
Weinger shared, “While he was waiting for the time he could afford a shofar, he asked if I had any suggestions. So I did teaching over WhatsApp and suggested he find some PVC pipe with 1/2 inch diameter to practice.
“He said for many days it was useless until he called me very excited. He told me that when he went into his secret place of intercession and prayer that the Holy Spirit fell upon him and before he knew it he was sounding a double portion PVC shofar!” Gill sent Weinger a video of himself sitting in a car and blowing on one, then two lengths of PVC pipe.
Gill explained, “The day before the video was done, during my prayer time I was holding the two pieces of PVC, one in each hand. I blew the one in my right hand first and then the other one in my left. Though I was blowing them individually as hard as I could, it wasn’t producing the sound I was anticipating.
“So, I decided to blow both at the same time. It forced me to blow harder, but it also caused my technique to improve. Using both was producing the sound I was looking for and more. It was packing a heavier punch, causing a little bit more pain in my diaphragm in the process. I didn’t mind at all, since I am still learning the art and really enjoy doing it.”
Gill was not only able to coax sound from a length of PVC pipe, the sounds he blew from the PVC pipe were exactly the ones blown in the synagogue on Rosh Hashana. When Weinger saw the video, he confirmed for Gill that he had somehow mastered the exact notes customarily blown by Jews, calling it a “heavenly download”.
“I was ecstatic, yet humbled at the same time, to receive such a comment from him. He is a master at what he does, so I don’t take it likely. Nothing like this was in my thoughts at that time. It was a time of prayer,” Gill reacted.
“In this journey thus far, it is amazing to see something so simple as two pieces of PVC creating such an impact. What you may think of as insignificant can be the key to open major doors for you,” he said.
Understanding Gill’s potential, Weinger shared the story with some of his Christian donors who stepped up to purchase a kosher shofar for Gill.
When Fran Hoover of North Carolina heard about Gill through Weinger, she told Breaking Israel News, “the Spirit of God surrounded me with a supernatural love and compassion for this man. Since God has given me the financial means to help provide a shofar for Omar, I wanted to bless him with one from Shofar So Great.
“I myself have been blessed with the ability to sound the shofar and that is how I met Robert. I have learned that sounding the shofar is an important weapon, when used in spiritual warfare. In this season of Elul, it is a call to repentance.”
Hoover, who is a Christian, added that her, “love and relationship with God is the motivational force behind many of my decisions and outreaches, from treating the people in Haiti sick with cholera, to helping with the Aliyah Return Center, to helping buy a shofar for Omar.”
Asked how he felt about receiving a kosher shofar from total strangers, he replied, “I am very happy about it. When God favours you, he really does. This is answered prayer. For me, these generous persons are simply my brothers and sisters that I have not met in person as yet.”
Gill’s kosher shofar has already been mailed and should arrive in Barbados before Rosh Hashana.