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September 21, 2014 / 26 Elul, 5774
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‘Because It’s Ours’ – Tent City Rises in Hebron on Shabbat Chaye Sarah (Video)

Men, women, kids of all ages, can be found camping out.

Hebron Tent City on Shabbat Chaye Sarah

Hebron Tent City on Shabbat Chaye Sarah
Photo Credit: David Wilder

Actually there was another important event Saturday night. In Kiryat Arba, a group of people met with Education Minister Gideon Saar, expressing gratitude for the time and effort he has put in to assist the communities in Hebron and Kiryat Arba. I wanted to attend but my legs rebelled.

How can I best sum up this day? Actually I’d prefer to quote a friend of mine, Barak Arusi, the police officer in charge of the Hebron station. Barak began his position here a number of months ago, and this was his first Shabbat Chaye Sarah in Hebron. Speaking to him, he told me, “As far as I’m concerned every Shabbat should be like this in Hebron. It’s a lot of work, but for me, it was a lot of fun, a real happening.”

Coming from a police officer, who worked around the clock this past Shabbat, well, I couldn’t express it better. ‘A lot of fun, and a real happening.’

Twenty thousand isn’t bad. In fact, it’s pretty good. Considering that the forecast was for rain. These 20,000, in my eyes, represent tens and hundreds of thousands who couldn’t celebrate here with us in Hebron, but did so, at their homes and in their synagogues, around the world.

I think Abraham and Sarah would be proud.

About the Author: David Wilder is the spokesperson for the Hebron Community and a regular contributor to Tazpit News Agency.


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4 Responses to “‘Because It’s Ours’ – Tent City Rises in Hebron on Shabbat Chaye Sarah (Video)”

  1. The Hebron Jewish community needs to seriously consider what it would take to promote a good image so that they could insure Hebron's Jewish future forever.

    This community does not enjoy a good reputation in the world or even in Israel.

    Other than an indirect reference that mentions one of the victims of the 1929 Arab massacre of Jews in Hebron, your article does not mention the Arab residents of Hebron at all.

    In an other article about Hebron a reader suggested a memorial for the Arabs that hid and saved the lives of Jews during that massacre.

    I think this would be a good idea.

    But I also think that those in the Hebron Jewish community that praise instead of condemn Dr. Baruch Goldstein need to reconsider. At least 97% of Israeli Jews strongly disagree with his fans.

    I don't expect that gestures to the Arab majority of Hebron will make them your allies. I expect that those who throw stones at you would still continue, and I think you need to be able to defend yourselves from any violence.

    But even those who are delighted with the existence of your community, and who venerate the thousands year old Jewish Holy Tomb of the Patriarchs, such as myself, are truly ashamed at Dr. Baruch Goldstein and need to be able to say he is not the voice of Jewish Hebron.

    There is no magic wand to change the hostility of Arab residents of Hebron. You can not magically persuade them to move to Chile or Australia.

    If two state solution proponents had been, or G-d forbid will be, more persuasive and successful it is almost certain that Hebron would not or will not be included in Israel.

    As unlikely as this seems now, a case needs to be made to demand that your community be allowed to remain in such a scenario. The non-repudiation of Goldstein makes that unlikely concession almost impossible.

    Some of the other scenarios are a one state solution or the continuation of the status quo.

    In either of these cases the Hebron Jewish community needs to have continued support from the Israeli Jewish majority.

    Attacks on Israeli soldiers and support for price tag fanatics among other acts that have repelled public opinion need to be repudiated in a clear voice.

  2. I think that we forget the miracle in our lifetime – the rebirth of the State of Israel. It is when you read the torah portion you realize the significance of Hebron. We visited Hebron a couple of years ago and met with David Wilder. He and his courageous followers are protecting this Jewish heritage for all of us. It is hard to imagine people who would be prepared to give this to the Palestinians and not have access for Jews.

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Hebron Tent City on Shabbat Chaye Sarah

Toward early mid-afternoon the tents start popping up on the lawn in the park across from the Cave of Machpela.

The present Jewish community of Hebron tries to continue walking in the footsteps of our illustrious Forefathers, learning from their deeds, and acting accordingly. Therefore, when Rabbi Shalom Alkobi, then director of the Machpela authority, realized he had an opportunity to seek a blessing from one of our generation’s most righteous people, he did so, without thinking twice.

Last year Minister Saar initiated a new program whereby Israeli schoolchildren would visit Hebron and Ma’arat HaMachpela, the roots of the Jewish people. Since the inception of this program, hundreds of children have visited Hebron.

Muhammad Abu Shahala, a former intelligence agent for the Palestinian Authority, has been sentenced to death, following a hurried trial. His crime: selling property to Jews in Hebron. What would be the reaction to a law in the United States, England, France, or Switzerland, forbidding property sales to Jews?

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USAID continues to offer funding to Arab ‘development and humanitarian projects’ in Hebron despite Abu Mazen’s attempt to unilaterally declare a ‘Palestinian state’ at the UN in September 2011.

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