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      Op-Ed: Echoes of a Shofar

      Published: Monday, September 24, 2012 9:37 AM
      Blowing the shofar required courage and idealism, not so long ago.


      Toldot Yisrael 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.

      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.

      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 developed with The iCenter and made possible through the generous support of the Jim Joseph Foundation and others