Yaakov Aharoni Obituary, Death – Yaakov Sika Aharoni, a member of the EZL who fought there during the Shofar Rebellion at the Western Wall Plaza, passed away yesterday. Today, we mourn his passing. The blowing of the shofar at the Western Wall is widely regarded as one of the most emotionally impactful parts of the penitential prayers known as selichot. The piercing sound of the shofar causes a change in each and every one of us as thousands of people watch in silence.
This one-of-a-kind opportunity is not one that should be squandered in any way. A little more than seventy years ago, when the British Mandate was still in effect in the Land of Israel, blowing the shofar was made illegal at the Western Wall. The Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur were observed in complete silence, with the only audible sound being the murmuring of worshippers. At the Western Wall, a group of young people, including members of youth movements and underground fighters, decided to blow shofars and make noise.
They sneaked into the Western Wall Plaza while the British were watching, and as Yom Kippur came to an end, they blew their shofars while the British were keeping an eye on them. This was done despite the fact that they put themselves in danger and were aware that this act is punishable by imprisonment and exile. They were taken into custody right away, but even during that brief moment, when they were surrounded by a foreign ruler and enemies, they were able to give the holy day some additional significance. From Yom Kippur, after the riots in 1929, until the Jewish Quarter was conquered during the War of Independence in 1948, the shofar rebellion was ongoing.
When we returned to Jerusalem in the Six Day War of 1967, the sounds of blowing shofars also returned to the Western Wall Plaza. These sounds served as a signal that we had regained our independence and sovereignty.
Yaakov Sika Aharoni, who fought for the right to hear shofar blowing at the Western Wall, was granted the honor of seeing Jerusalem being rebuilt during his lifetime.
The remembrance of him be a blessing.