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The Sound of the Shofar in Paris

Friday, 30 August, 2013 - 1:30 pm

Two years ago, Alex and Inna Smolov, great friends and members of the community, planned to spend the High Holidays in Paris - they didn't imagine in their wildest dream what would take place outside their hotel window...

When they told me where they planned to be for the Days of Awe - I contacted my colleague Rabbi Binyamin Applebaum from Paris, who said he'll send them an invitation to celebrate with his community. I gave him their contact information and the Smolovs were excited and looking forward to receiving the invitation.

Rosh Hashana came and Alex and Inna heard nothing. "The Rabbi must have been too busy" they thought. They knew that they had to make arrangements in advance in order to attend Services in a Paris Synagogue. Rosh Hashana morning the Smolovs were in their hotel room in the Luxembourg Garden and all of a sudden they heard the sound of a Shofar, Alex jumped to the window, to see a Rabbi blowing the shofar for Jewish passers by.

Alex ran outside to get a closer look, there he met Rabbi Binyamin Appelbaum! Alex was blown away, in the metropolitan Paris, the Rabbi we were looking to celebrate Rosh Hashana with - came to blow the Shofar in our backyard? Just then Rabbi Applebaum realized who he was talking to: "Didn't you get my email about our Services?!" Turns out that the Rabbi had Inna's email that she wasn't checking while traveling...  For Yom Kippur Alex and Inna had prominent seats in the large Synagogue...

When I heard the story from the Smolovs I thought that the sound of the Shofar can be heard anywhere - if we just care enough to hear it...

Comments on: The Sound of the Shofar in Paris

Inna & Alex wrote...

Dear Rabbi, Alex and I had an unforgettable encounter in Paris.
Because of your connections worldwide, and, more so, because of your complete dedication to the lives of the Jewish people, were we able to be with the Jewish community in the center of Paris, opposite the French Senate.
We will never forget Yom Kippur 2011 in Paris.
May you always enjoy the fruits of your labours.
Shana Tovah !