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By Jonathan Levy
(story as quoted in Yehuda Avner A”H ‘The Prime Ministers’ purchase here)
The story really began on the Yom Kippur of 1928, when a mechitza, an improvised, collapsible screen to separate male and female worshippers, was set up in front of the Western Wall for prayers. This, to the Arabs, was an act of provocation, and they went wild. ‘Jihad! Jihad!’ flashed through the bazaars. ‘The Jews are trying to rebuild their Temple and destroy our al-Aksa Mosque.’
Eyewitness accounts told of a white-bearded Chasid in a black caftan running for his life, chased by a mob through an alleyway leading to the Western Wall. The pursuers brandished clubs, sabers, and daggers, and howled: ‘Save our holy places from the Jews!’ and, ‘Death to the Jewish dogs!’ and, ‘Allahu Akhbar! God is great!’ The fleeing Chasid, his bony face chalk white, stumbling through the narrow tunnel passages….
Echoes of a Shofar
Uploaded on Sep 2, 2010 by ToldotYisrael
Toldot Yisrael (http://www.toldotyisrael.org) presents the story of six Jewish heroes who defiantly blew the shofar at the Kotel (Western Wall) over sixty years ago, when it was illegal to do so in British Mandatory Palestine. The British passed a law in 1930 forbidding Jews 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…..
To all observing Yom Kippur, “Gamar hatimah tovah.”
Image: Jews praying in the Synagogue on Yom Kippur. (1878 painting by Maurycy Gottlieb), Wikimedia Commons, public domain.