Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Happy New Year!
Jews Will Blow the Shofar in Synagogues Next Week

Yemenite Jew blowing the shofar (circa 1935, all photographs are from the Library of Congress archives)

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

Jews around the world prepare for Rosh Hashanna this 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 Hashanna, the shofar was blown at daily morning prayers to encourage piety before the High Holidays.   

Ashkenazi Jew in Jerusalem blowing the shofar to announce the Sabbath

Yemenite Rabbi Avram, donning tfillin for his
daily prayers, blowing the shofar
Man blowing the shofar in Mandelkern, NY, 1901

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