Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Shofar To Shake Us To Our Soul

Rosh Hashannah is Yom Zikaron, Yom Teru'ah...

Zikaron is Memory and Teru'ah is a very special sound.  It's supposed to shake us to the core, dislodge every memory, good and bad.  Rosh Hashannah comes after Elul, the month of Teshuva, Repentance. 

The Bible Lands Museum has opened its most Jewish and Zionist exhibit to date:

I was one of the lucky journalists to have been invited to a special tour by its curator, who was visibly moved by some of the special exhibits.

Former IDF Chief Rabbi Goren's family even lent the museum the shofar that Rav Goren had blown on visiting the Kotel for the first time after its liberation during the 1967 Six Days War.  This is the first time the shofar has been on public display.

Some of the images were much more ancient, like this one. 

It's the oldest statue of shofar blowing.  The shofar is a biological material like a "fingernail" and is biodegradable, can't last for very long.  That's why ancient shofrot can't be found.  They disintegrate.

For me, personally, it was very moving to see that a section of the museum was dedicated to those brave Jews who defied the British and blew the shofar after  Yom Kippur.  Our former neighbor, Rabbi Moshe Tzvi Segal, HaLevi, from when we lived on Rechov Plugat HaKotel in the Old City of Jerusalem, was the first to do it.  The exhibit includes a movie in which the surviving shofar blowers are interviewed.

The exhibit is a must-see for the entire family, even if you don't agree with the "approach" of the museum itself.  Yes, it's called the Bible Lands Museum.  Some of us would expect it to tell the story of the Jewish People in the Land of the Bible, but it doesn't.  It's "multi-cultural" in that it tries to tell the stories of the various peoples who lived in the Land of the Bible.  I'd rather not go into critical details in this post.

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