How many blasts is one obligated to hear on Rosh Hashanah? Nine blasts. Since it is stated, "teruah," with regards to the jubilee year and to Rosh Hashanah three times. And every teruah requires a simple blast (tekiah) before it and a simple blast after it. And from the oral tradition, they learned that all of the teruahs of the seventh month are the same: Whether on Rosh Hashanah, or whether on Yom Kippur of the Jubilee year, we blow nine blasts on both of them — tekiah, teruah, tekiah; tekiah, teruah, tekiah; tekiah, teruah, tekiah.
Due to the length of the years and the great [burdens] of exile, we have a doubt about this teruah that is mentioned in the Torah, and we do not know how it is. It may be the wail that women wail amongst themselves at the time that they weep. Or it may be the sigh that one sighs, time after time, whilst his heart is worried about a big thing. Or both of them together — the sigh and the wail, as it is the way [of a wail] to come after it — may be called teruah. For this is the way of a worrier, to first sigh, and then wail. Hence we do all [three possibilities].
The wail is what we [today] call teruah (even though it is only one possibility of what the Torah meant by the word). And the sighing — this after that — is what we call three shevarim. It comes out that the order of shofar blasts is like this: One recites the blessing and blows — a tekiah, three shevarim after it, a teruah after that and a tekiah after [the teruah]. And he goes over this order three times. Then he blows — a tekiah, three shevarim after it and a tekiah after that. And he goes over this order three times. Then he blows — a tekiah, a teruah after it and a tekiah after that. And he goes over this order three times. It comes out that the number of blasts is thirty — in order to avoid a doubt.
The [requisite] measure of a teruah is like two tekiahs. The [requisite] measure of three shevarim is like a teruah. See that if one sounded a tekiah and a teruah and sounded a long tekiah like two of the first, we do not say [that] it is considered like two tekiahs and that he can [continue the order and] sound a teruah after it and then a tekiah. Rather even if he dragged out the sound of the tekiah the whole day, it is only one tekiah; so he must go back and sound [another] tekiah [before] he sounds a teruah and a tekiah [to complete the] three times.
[If] one heard a tekiah at one time and a second one at a second time — even if he waited the whole entire day — they surely combine, and he has fulfilled his obligation. And that is so long as he heard each of the three series of them in its order. Not that he heard a teruah and two tekiahs after it, or two tekiahs and a teruah after them, or that which is similar to them.
[If] one heard nine blows from nine men at once (together), he has not fulfilled even one. [But if it was] a tekiah from this one, a teruah from that one and a tekiah from the third one, one after the other, he has fulfilled [his obligation] — and even if was interrupted and even if it was [over] the entire day. However, he does not fulfill his obligation until he hears all nine blows, since they are all one commandment. Hence they impede one another.
The community is obligated to hear the tekiahs according to the order of the blessings (of the silent amidah prayer). How is that? The prayer leader says [the three standard introductory blessings known as], avot (forefathers), gevurot, (strengths) and kedushat Hashem (sanctity of the name); malkhiot (kingships); and blows three blows. He then says, zikhronot (remembrances) and blows three. Then he says shofarot (shofar blows) and blows three. And he [concludes with the concluding sections known as] avodah (service), hodiyah; (thanksgiving) and the blessing of the priests.
These three middle blessings of Rosh Hashanah (every year) and Yom Kippur on the Jubilee year — which are malkhiot, zikhronot and shofarot impede one another. And in each of these blessings, one must say ten verses [that are] like the essence of the blessing — three verses from the Torah, three from the Book of Psalms, three from the Prophets, and one [more] from the Torah. But if he concludes with [a verse] from a Prophet, he has fulfilled [his obligation]. And if he [only] said one verse from the Torah, one from the Writings and one from the Prophets, he has fulfilled [it]. And even if [all he] said was, "And in Your Torah, Lord, our God, it is written, stating" — and he says a verse from the Torah, and stopped — he no longer needs anything [else to fulfill the obligation].
We may not mention malkhiot, zikhronot and shofarot of punishment — such as [in] zikhronot, "And all flesh shall remember that, etc." (Psalms 78:39); [in] malkhiot, "with outpoured anger shall I rule over you" (Ezekiel 20:33); [and in] shofarot, "Blow the shofar on the mountain, etc." (Hosea 5:8). Nor [may we mention] the remembrance of an individual — even if it was for good — such as "Remember me, O Lord, in the desire of Your people" (Psalms 106:4); and "Remember me, my God, for the good" (Nehemiah 13:31). And recollections (pikdonot) — such as "I have surely recalled you" (Exodus 3:16) — are not the same as remembrances. But one may mention the punishment of idolatrous nations, such as "The Lord reigned, nations tremble" (Psalms 99:1); "Remember the day of Jerusalem to the Children of Edom" (Psalms 137:7); [and] "the Lord, God, will blow with the shofar, and go in the storms of the south" (Zechariah 9:14). All of these verses: "Hear Israel, the Lord, our God, the Lord is one" (Deuteronomy 6:4); "You have been shown to know" (Deuteronomy 4:35); "And you shall know today and place upon your hearts, etc." (Deuteronomy 4:39) — their content is kingship. Even though there is no mention of kingship [in them], it is surely like, "The Lord will reign forever and ever" (Exodus 15:18); [and] "And then He became King in Jeshurun, etc." (Deuteronomy 33:5).
The widespread custom about the order of the public [shofar] blows on Rosh Hashanah is like this: After we read from the Torah and return the Torah scroll to its place, all of the people sit; and one [of them] stands and recites the blessing, "Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us to listen to the sound of the shofar," and all the people answer, "Amen." And he then recites the blessing, "who has kept us alive;" and all the people answer, "Amen," after him. And he blows the thirty blows that we mentioned [were] on account of the doubt, according to [their] order. And we say, Kaddish, and stand and pray the additional (Musaf) prayer. And after the prayer leader finishes the fourth blessing — which is malkhiot — he blows a tekiah, three shevarim, a teruah and a tekiah one time. And he recites the fifth blessing — which is zikhronot. And after he finishes it, he blows a tekiah, three shevarim and a tekiah. And he [then] recites the sixth blessing — which is shofarot. And after he finishes it, he blows a tekiah, a teruah and a tekiah one time, and he finishes the prayer.
The one that blows when they are sitting is the one that blows [afterwards] according to the order of the blessings (of the silent amidah prayer) when they are standing. And he does not speak between the blows of [when they are] seated and the blows of [when they are] standing. But if he did speak between them — even though he transgressed — he does not recite the blessing again.
It would have been appropriate that they would blow all of the sets for each blessing, in the way that they blew [them] when they were sitting. However, since they have already [covered] the doubt with the blows of [when they were] seated, we do not burden the community to repeat them all during the order of the blessings. Rather one set in each blessing is enough for them [just] so that they hear [shofar] blows during the order of the blessings. And all of these things are in public. But [regarding] an individual — whether he heard [the blows] according to the order of the blessings, or did not hear according to the order of the blessings; whether standing or sitting — there is no custom about it.
The [shofar] blows do not impede the blessings [of the Musaf prayer on Rosh Hashanah]. Nor do the blessings impede the [shofar] blows. [In a case of] two cities — in one, one knows that there is certainly someone there who will recite the nine blessings for [the community], but there is no one to blow; and in the second, there is a doubt if there is someone to blow or there is not someone to blow (but there is no one to recite the blessings): One should go to the second. For blowing is from the words of the Torah, whereas the blessings are from the words of the Scribes (rabbinic).