Rabbi Moshe Segal
Editor’s Note: The Holy Temple in Jerusalem was twice destroyed—by the Romans in the year 69 CE, and by the Babylonians on the same date in 423 BCE. One wall remains standing as a living symbol of the Jewish people’s ownership over the Land of Israel and the city of Jerusalem—the Kotel HaMaaravi or “Western Wall.”
What follows is an excerpt (translated from the Hebrew) from the memoir of Rabbi Moshe Segal (1904-1985), a Lubavitcher Chassid who was active in the struggle to free the Holy Land from British rule.
In those years, the area in front of the Kotel did not look as it does today. Only a narrow alley separated the Kotel and the Arab houses on its other side. The British Government forbade us to place an Ark, tables or benches in the alley; even a small stool could not be brought to the Kotel. The British also instituted the following ordinances, designed to humble the Jews at the holiest place of their faith: it is forbidden to pray out loud, lest one upset the Arab residents; it is forbidden to read from the Torah (those praying at the Kotel had to go to one of the synagogues in the Jewish quarter to conduct the Torah reading); it is forbidden to sound the shofar on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The British Government placed policemen at the Kotel to enforce these rules.
On Yom Kippur of that year  I was praying at the Kotel. During the brief intermission between the musaf and minchah prayers, I overheard people whispering to each other: “Where will we go to hear the shofar? It’ll be impossible to blow here. There are as many policemen as people praying. . . . “ The Police Commander himself was there, to make sure that the Jews will not, G‑d forbid, sound the single blast that closes the fast.
I listened to these whisperings, and thought to myself: Can we possibly forgo the sounding of the shofar that accompanies our proclamation of the sovereignty of G‑d? Can we possibly forgo the sounding of the shofar, which symbolizes the redemption of Israel? True, the sounding of the shofar at the close of Yom Kippur is only a custom, but “A Jewish custom is Torah!” I approached Rabbi Yitzchak Horenstein, who served as the Rabbi of our “congregation,” and said to him: “Give me a shofar.”
“What are you talking about? Don’t you see the police?”
The rabbi abruptly turned away from me, but not before he cast a glance at the prayer stand at the left end of the alley. I understood: the shofar was in the stand. When the hour of the blowing approached, I walked over to the stand and leaned against it.
Continue reading here: http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/2246/jewish/The-Shofar-and-the-Wall.htm
Reprinted with permission from the publisher.