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December 22, 2014 / 30 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Ma’arat HaMachpelah’

Hibur: Yes, We Are Our Brothers’ Keepers

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

“They kidnapped me.”

On June 12, those words, those horrible words, were whispered by Gilad Shaar into his cell phone. He had been hitchhiking in Gush Etzion with Naftali Frankel and Eyal Yifrah. Three teenagers. Youngsters. Children. Our children. Hiking in our Judean Hills on their way home from yeshiva when Palestinian terrorists, members of Hamas, abducted them.

The IDF’s Nahal Brigade conducted a vigorous, relentless, and determined search as the Jewish world held its breath together with these three young men’s families. We hoped against all odds they would be found alive.

On June 30, despite our fervent and desperate prayers, search teams found the bodies of the three missing teenagers in a field northwest of Hebron, apparently killed shortly after their abduction nearly three weeks earlier.

Hebron! Once again, you hold our beloved dead!

“Avraham then requested that Ephron the Hittite, the son of Zohar, give him the cave of Machpelah, in the end of his field, ‘for as much money as it is worth’ ” (Genesis 23:9).

After Ephron confirmed he would give the cave (verse 11), Avraham further requested (verse 13) that he give him the field for money. Ephron agreed and named a price.

We are taught that, despite God’s promise of the Holy Land to Avraham and his descendants, Avraham’s purchase of the first property to be his, a funeral cave for Sarah, further cements our ancient and eternal claim to this land.

Our land.

When I approach Me’arat HaMachpelah, it is never lightly. With each visit I carry the awareness of its power and significance. With each step I take, I feel the echo of our patriarchs and matriarchs. I hear their voices in my ear. And, as if geography were not powerful enough, the time of my visit imbues me with an overwhelming sense of urgency and sanctity. For when my wife and I approach Me’arat HaMachpelah it is always during the Yamim Noraim. Between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, I return. Chazarah.

Each visit unique, each filled with its own emotion. It was only last year when, soon after our visit, we learned that one of our IDF soldiers safeguarding this most holy place was murdered by an Arab sniper. I hurried to study the photographs I had taken, looking closely at each face. Was he the brave young man beside me, smiling into the camera so that I would have a reminder to look at throughout the year until my next return? Was it he, my beloved IDF brother, who with the other chayalim make it possible for all of us to come cry and plead with God at this holy site?

R’ Yudan bar Simon states in the midrash that there are three places about which the nations of the world cannot taunt Israel with the claim that these are stolen lands: the Cave of the Machpelah, the Temple, and the burial place of Joseph [Shechem]. (Not that one does not feel the “taunt” of the world as one drives through the narrow Hebron streets with piercing, murderous eyes marking each kilometer of the journey.)

Each year. Each step. Each prayer. Always so heavy with emotion, with hope, with sanctity. But this year the weight was heavier, the hope more distant, the prayers more tearful. For this year, as we cried to God, experiencing the eternal fear and trembling in these halls, the resting place of our Avos and Imahos, we carried with us the knowledge of our three young men brutally murdered and dumped unceremoniously in the fields of Hebron.

As I lingered close by the Ohel Yitzchak, open to Jews on one of the ten days so we can pray at Yitzchak’s kever, I could hear them; I could hear their cries, I could hear their parents’ anguished cries, I could hear the cries of Klal Yisrael.

‘Observer’ Vehicle Used as Cover in Hebron Stone Throwing

Sunday, January 5th, 2014

This report was compiled with information from Tazpit News Agency and Tzipi Shlisel.

Jews driving through Hebron on Sunday morning were surprised to be hit by a barrage of rocks. Many private cars as well as a bus were hit at the Erez junction, near the Tomb of the Patriarchs.

One of the vehicles had its windshield shattered. No one was injured, thank God.

The drivers were surprised to realize the rocks were being thrown at them from behind a TIPH vehicle, which was being used for cover.

TIPH monitors in Hebron.

TIPH monitors in Hebron.

Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH) is an international civilian observer mission stationed in the city of Hebron. It was first established in Hebron in 1994, and then shut down a few months later. After multiple attempts, the temporary presence was more permanently reestablished  in 1997 and continues operating until today, with a temporary break in 2006 during the Palestinian riots and attack on TIPH headquarters.

The stated mandate of the mission is “to promote by their presence a feeling of security to the Palestinians of Hebron and to help to promote stability in the city.”

It appears that TIPH is doing their job very well, as these Palestinian Authority citizens felt very secure in using a TIPH vehicle as cover for attacking Jews.

Following the attack, a number of the Jewish citizens began to chase after the stone throwers, but the latter managed to escape into Palestinian Authority controlled Hebron (H1) which makes up more than 80% of this ancient Jewish city, and where Jews are forbidden to enter under Palestinian Authority Apartheid laws.

According to its mission statement, TIPH monitors the situation in Hebron and reports on breaches of the agreements on Hebron between the Israeli and the Palestinian side, as well as international humanitarian law and international recognized human rights standards.

Please inquire at +970-2-222-4445 for general information, and to report this incident (24/7) try +970-1-800-100 600. Their email is info@tiph.org.

Arab Sniper Kills IDF Soldier in Hebron

Sunday, September 22nd, 2013

IDF Staff Sergeant Gabriel Kobi (20), from Tirat Carmel, was killed on Sunday after being shot by an Arab sniper in Hebron.

Kobi was standing in the same general area where a few years ago another Arab sniper shot and killed a Jewish baby, Shalhevet Pass.

The city of Hebron is currently under lockdown as the IDF searches for his killer.

Kobi is the second IDf soldier killed in 3 days by Palestinian Authority Arabs.

On Friday, another Arab lured an off-duty Air Force soldier to an area near his village, where he then killed the him, and dumped the soldier’s body into a well.

Hebron Packed with Jews On Tuesday for Tours and Prayers

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

It’s estimated that 13,000 Jews visited Ma’arat HaMachpelah (the Tomb of the Patriachs) today for tours and the evening Selichot prayers ahead of Yom Kippur.

Among those that will be at this evening’s Selichot prayers are the Chief Rabbis of Israel, city rabbis, MKs and government ministers.

There have been reports of Arabs stoning buses transporting Jews to and from Hebron.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/hebron-packed-with-jews-on-monday/2013/09/10/

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