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Israeli History Photo of the Week: The shofar

September 13, 2012 11:56

JPost feature: Collection of photographs that document Israel before the creation of the state.

Rabbi blowing shofar

Rabbi blowing shofar. (photo credit:American Colony-Jerusalem-Photo Dept.)

The Library of Congress has recently digitalized a collection of over 10,000 photographs, taken by the "American Colony" in Jerusalem, a group of Christian utopians who lived in Jerusalem between 1881 and the 1940s. The photographers returned to the US, and bequeathed their massive collection to the Library of Congress in 1978. The collection includes Winston Churchill's visit to Jerusalem, Jewis expulsions from the Old City during Arab riots, and the building of Tel Aviv.

"Blow the Shofar at the New Moon...Because It Is a Decree for Israel, a Judgment Day for the God of Jacob"  - Psalms 81

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Jews around the world prepare for Rosh Hashana next week, the festive New Year holiday when the shofar -- ram's horn -- is blown in synagogues. 

The American Colony photographers recorded a dozen pictures of Jewish elders blowing the shofar in Jerusalem some 80 years ago.  The horn was also blown in Jerusalem to announce the commencement of the Sabbath.  During the month prior to Rosh Hashana, the shofar was blown at daily morning prayers to encourage piety before the High Holidays.   

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