A SOUND TO REMEMBER by Sonia Levitin


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Some balm for the spirit, here, and a rustling, tingling evocation of the Jewish High Holy Days. ""Long ago, in the distant land of our fathers"" . . . the rabbi, incomprehensibly, chooses slow, clumsy Jacov for the singular honor of blowing the shofar, the ram's horn, on Rosh Hashanah. Villagers intercede: ""Wouldn't the rabbi reconsider? No, thank you. Jacov was going to blow the shofar."" He has practiced; but on Rosh Hashanah only a tiny crackling sound comes out the first time, then some weak trembling notes, then nothing. Jacov is ""too miserable even to weep."" That evening, however, the rabbi comes and confides a secret to Jacov; and on Yom Kippur, after the rabbi's devout reference to Jacov's earlier ""moment of silence"" (""Love for each other and for God is more important than ritual""), the two hold shofars to their lips . . . ""and none could say which shofar it was that gave the call so clearly."" Told with dignity and quiet animation, and illustrated--as is this artist's wont--with tender amusement.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1979
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich