Imagine “Dancin in the Street” but with Shofars!
The catchy, upbeat song, first sung by Martha and the Vandellas in 1964, has been performed by the Grateful Dead (some versions are 16 minutes long!), the Mamas and the Papas, Van Halen—even David Bowie and Mick Jagger! The song brings people together, and they can’t help but dance!
The Upper East Side of Manhattan will come together on the 2nd day of Rosh Hashanah (4 pm on Sunday Sept 20) for “Shofar in the Streets.” As the flyer says, “Hear the shofar on the second day of Rosh HaShanah from your windows and balconies, or, meet us on the streets! WEAR YOUR MASKS AND MAINTAIN SOCIAL DISTANCE as shofars are sounded by East Side Jewish synagogues.” For safety reasons, it is probably best not to dance this year!
There are many reasons for blowing the shofar, nicely spelled out in the My Jewish Learning article, “10 Things the Shofar Symbolizes.” Many of us are familiar with the shofar “waking us up” at this time of year, reminding us it is Judgement Day, and recalling both the Revelation at Sinai, and the Binding of Isaac. Perhaps a lesser known reason is that the shofar foreshadows the coming of the Messiah.
When 15 shuls from all the various movements get together to enable whole Jewish world to experience and fulfill the mitzvah of hearing the shofar—especially in a year when so many will venture in to a synagogue, then the coming of the Messiah is surely a bit closer!
Nice job, Upper East Side! May you be an inspiration for Jewish communities around the world!