When blowing the shofar at the Western Wall was a crime

by Leah Rosenberg

Blowing the shofar is a religious ritual done on certain Jewish holidays. During the Biblical era, it was also blown at times of war as well as other times.

Blowing the Shofar

Although blowing the shofar is not done as often as it was thousands of years ago, there are various times where it is crucial to hear the blowing of the ram’s horn. It is a commandment from G-d to hear the shofar on Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year.

It is customary to blow the shofar at the end of Yom Kipper, the holiest day of the year.

But in British Mandatory Palestine, the British did not allow Jews to do many religious things at the Western Wall. They made it illegal. No Torah scrolls, no shofar blowing, and no praying loudly. The British did not want to “offend” the Arabs. Of course, they did not care about the fact that Jerusalem belongs to the Jews, not the Arabs.

The Heroic Men

But for 17 years, the Jews continued to think of ways to blow the shofar at the Western Wall while it was “illegal.” The men who blew the shofar, despite the threat of being caught and going to prison, are heroes. They wanted to blow the shofar at the end of the Yom Kipper service after a day of fasting and praying. They wanted to complete the spiritual work. When someone wants to serve G-d so badly that they are willing to do so no matter what, it is truly inspiring. It is inspirational what Jews will do for their people, their religion, and their land.

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