Meir Panim delivers warmth, special care to families in need.
Last week I felt the whisper of a “close call” on my skin.
Four Jews – two men and two women, one of whom was nine months pregnant – were shot to death in a terrorist attack on Highway 60, just as darkness fell upon the junction near the village of Bani Nayim.
For those who don’t know it, the road there is at its widest; it is beautifully paved, wonderfully illuminated, one of the finest pieces of roadway along the entire route.
A somewhat isolated stretch, the Bani Nayim junction is located between Kiryat Arba/Hebron, and the small Jewish community of Penei Hever. The village of Bani Nayim is home to the tomb of Lot, ancestor of both Jews and Muslims.
The road to the village also connects through to the back roads that lead down to the Dead Sea, and then far beyond eventually to Jericho, today controlled by the Palestinian Authority.
With the advent of “goodwill gestures” and “security concessions” in order to bolster the regime of Fatah leader and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, roadblocks that otherwise might have stymied the terrorists last week have long since been removed, vastly increasing the road’s accessibility to all, including murderers of Jews.
Highway 60 is a main artery to the heartbeat of Israel, Jerusalem – winding through Judea connecting Israel’s south with the central region and the north. It is a connecting highway between Route 31, which leads to Arad and Be’er Sheva, and the capital region, passing through more than a dozen Jewish communities along the way, among them the holy city of Hebron.
For residents of Arad, tucked into the northeasternmost corner of the Negev, especially, it is an essential route to Jerusalem, cutting travel time to the capital nearly in half, a mere 90 minutes on most days.
Arad residents who choose to drive the “safe” route via Latrun often face a mammoth traffic snarl on Route 1, and a drive of two and a half to three hours. The approach to Jerusalem is from the opposite end of the city, further complicating matters.
For those who decide to take the “scenic” route, and drive along the Dead Sea, it is just as long, albeit not as frustrating, and far more beautiful. But that route, too, is not without its dangers: the road is equally isolated in parts, and passes at least one junction leading to Jericho. As with the Latrun route, the approach to Jerusalem is from a completely different direction than that taken with Highway 60.
For me, a person who drives regularly on Highway 60, last week’s attack refreshes a dilemma: should I, a wife and mother of children, now take the “safe” route when I get into the car to drive to Jerusalem?
This is not a new question.
I faced the same struggle in June, when an Israeli police officer was murdered on Highway 60, along the same stretch of road I had hurriedly zoomed along, unawares, a scant few hours later. When I reached my destination and heard the news that day my blood ran cold, realizing how narrowly I had missed the encounter.
Several months prior, I had not been as lucky, although my prayer book protected me on that day: a rock the size of a grapefruit was hurled at the car as I drove past Beit Omar, an Arab village near Hebron.
The sharp-edged missile bounced off the windshield as if it had been repelled by an unseen force: it had struck the glass directly opposite the spot where my chitas (Chumash, Tanya, Tehillim, Siddur) stood sentinel. A faint scratch was the only evidence that remained.
Still, the experience shook me, and it took several days to recover. Reciting the gomel blessing at synagogue helped restore my equilibrium, and my resolve to continue to drive on the road.
And now this.
“Change your route,” my husband urged. “You’re not driving that road anymore.” I know plenty of Jews – and Bedouin friends, for that matter – who have already come to that conclusion.
But it’s not that simple for me, and we talked late into the night about whether in fact that should be the response, because I believe giving up one road does not ensure the security of another.
About the Author: Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
In November 2014, Islamic Relief Worldwide was classified as a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates.
Too rarely appreciated for its symbolic weight; it can represent freedom and independence.
Erica Pelman is a spiritually-driven woman. She is founder and director of “In Shifra’s Arms” (ISA), an organization that offers aid to pregnant Jewish women of all religious backgrounds practically, financially and emotionally. Its arms are open to any pregnant woman in need whether single, divorced, separated, or from a financially-strapped family. “Presently, we are […]
Israeli history now has its version of “Dewey Defeats Truman” with headlines from 2 anti-Bibi papers
In God’s plan why was it necessary that Moses be raised by Pharaoh, away from his own family&people?
In their zechus may we all come to appreciate that life is a fleeting gift and resolve to spend every precious moment of it as if it were the last.
In any event, Mr. Netanyahu after the election sought to soften his statement on Palestinian statehood and apologized for what he conceded were remarks that “offended some Israeli citizens and offended members of the Israeli Arab community.”
There is something quite distinctive about the biblical approach to time.
The Waqf kept control of the Temple Mount due to Dayan’s “magnanimity in victory” after 6 Day war
The event promotes “1 state” solution (end of Israel as a Jewish State), BDS, lawfare against Israel
I rescued you?! You’re doing me a favor letting me help you!
in a new report, Amnesty International charges “Gaza armed groups’ with war crimes in last summer’s Operation Protective Edge.
The Pentagon has just revealed a stunning amount of information on some of Israel’s the most closely guarded secrets, including details of its nuclear program.
Passengers on the Jerusalem Light Rail were forced to duck when the line came under attack by Arabs in Shuafat again this morning.
Two NY Jews were attacked in Williamsburg on Sunday in a bias incident; a Jew was shot to death in Midwood, motive unclear.
Four IDF soldiers were hurt Wednesday when their Hummer overturned while traveling near the Gaza border.
The city of Jerusalem will open Gazelle Valley — its unique Middle Eastern version of Central Park — next Monday, just in time for Passover vacation.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/putting-my-body-where-my-mouth-is/2010/09/07/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: