Tuesday, September 07, 2010

When the British jailed shofar-blowers (video)

Five years ago I wrote about the time period between 1930 and 1947 when the British forbade any Jew from blowing the shofar at the kotel, and how every year some Jews would get arrested for blowing the shofar at the end of Yom Kippur.

This episode been turned into a moving video by Toldot Yisrael and the History Channel.

"Echoes of a Shofar" is the premiere episode in the "Eyewitness 1948" short film series produced by Toldot Yisrael and the History Channel. It is the centerpiece of an educational pilot program being developed with The iCenter and made possible through the generous support of the Jim Joseph Foundation.

Under a British law in Palestine passed in 1930, Jews were forbidden to blow the shofar at the Kotel, pray loudly there, or bring Torah scrolls, so as not to offend the Arab population.

Despite this restriction, for the next seventeen years, the shofar was sounded at the Kotel every Yom Kippur. Shofars were smuggled in to the Kotel where brave teenagers defiantly blew them at the conclusion of the fast. Some managed to get away - others were captured and sent to jail for up to six months.

Six of these men are still alive.

Two weeks ago, these six men returned to the scene of their "crime". Armed with shofars, they recounted their individual stories and blew shofar again at the Kotel.

This is their powerful and inspiring story.
(h/t Cher)