Man blowing shofar after rehabilitation.
A 57-year-old man who used to blow the shofar in his synagogue until he was 17 years old, when he suffered serious lung damage in a prank played on him, succeeded this week to blow the ram's horn again for the first time.
It was made possible after rehabilitation at the Rabin Medical Center-Beilinson campus in Petah Tikva, where a new lung disease center was dedicated recently.
Meir Tzan'ani suffered serious damage to his respiratory system when someone threw sulphur into fire near him and his lungs were severely burnt from inside. He underwent a lung transplant at Beilinson eight years ago as his health declined, but his lungs weren't strong enough to blow air into the shofar.
After rehabilitation at the new center, headed by Prof. Mordechai Kramer, he was able to blow the shofar in the hospital for the first time in 40 years.
"My brother and two of my uncles blow the shofar. It's in my genes," said Tzan'ani.
"Until the transplant, I had to be connected to a respiratory 24 hours a day, so I am very glad now to do this."
Kramer noted that blowing a ram's horn involves a major respiratory effort, with large lung capacity and strong muscles in the chest
A special interfaith mission to Israel, of Jews and Christians from New Jersey and across the USA, was launched in November 2006 under the leadership of Mr. William Sutter, head of Friends of Israel and Alan Respler, head of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Southern New Jersey.