Sunday, August 06, 2006

Did the NY Times ever say Jews shave with a ram's horn?

There is a discussion in an email list about an urban legend that the New York Times once reported that Orthodox Jews shave with a ram's horn. (Need I say they don't?) Someone conjectured that this happened because a reporter asked an Orthodox Jew with an accent how he shaved and he answer "Wit ah shafer." The reporter, not realizing that he was told "with a shaver" asked someone else "Do you have any idea what a Jewish ritual item that sounds something like "shafer" is?" and of course the person told him that it's a ram's horn. (Get it? Shafer = shofer. Who knows, maybe the reporter asked a Litvak.)

Anyway, this is an urban legend since no one seems to have actually seen the ram's horn story. But there is the following from December 24, 1922 which might have been the source of it. Note "removed with bone knife":

Here is the entire article.

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