Q. A high risk elderly patient was strongly recommended by his doctors to avoid going to shul on Rosh Hashana to avoid the danger of contamination and also because of his weakness and many health issues. The shul is willing to send a baal tokea to blow the shofar for him, however he has been a baal tokea himself for many years. Although he may have to exert himself a bit, he can definitely blow the shofar well himself. Is it better that he should blow or have someone else do it?
A. Chashukei Chemed (Rosh Hashana 29a) presents a similar shailah and quotes Mateh Efraim (585: 10), that even when one knows how to blow well, there is no more mitzva to do so himself. (The opinion of the Chazon Ish – O.H. 29: 4, is similar). However, he mentions, that Shoel Umeshiv (5: 45) asserts that if one knows hot to blow, he definitely do so, since it is better to do a mitzva yourself, rather than by your agent.
In essence, although the brocho we recite before tekias shofar, reflects that the mitzva of blowing shofar on Rosh Hashana is just the hearing of the voice of the shofar, our question depends on whether there is also a mitzva to blow the shofar or not.
Poskim disagree on the above. Minchas Chinuch (Mitzva 405: 1), Yom Teruah (R.H. 29a) and others maintain that the mitzva is not only the hearing of the shofar, but also the blowing is part of it.
Mori Verabi Horav Ruderman zt’l quoted on Mas’as Levi, that Horav Yisroel Salanter zt’ would announce before the beginning of tekiaa shofar, that one should have in mind to comply also with the mitzva of blowing the Shofar.
Horav Shlomo Miller’s Shlit’a opinion is that the high risk elderly patient, does not need to blow the shofar himself.
Rabbi A. Bartfeld as advised by Horav Shlomo Miller and Horav Aharon Miller Shlit’a