web analytics
January 20, 2017 / 22 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Nadia Matar’

Join the Crowd Funding Campaign to Strengthen Oz veGaon [video]

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

At the Oz veGaon nature preserve we are preparing for the challenges of winter and the strengthening of this strategic point overlooking the Gush Etzion Junction with a special fundraising campaign   These days, the Women in green movement is starting a broad-based fundraising campaign to finance preparations for the stormy winter days at Oz veGaon and to reinforce its security arrangements.

Women in Green Final from CauseMatch on Vimeo.   The heads of the movement, Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar explain the matching campaign that will take place during a period of thirty hours, beginning this coming Tuesday December 20th 2016. It is a mass fundraising drive to finance the reinforcement and strengthening of the preserve that was established more than 2 years ago in memory of the three youths that were abducted and murdered (Gil-Ad , Eyal and Naftali, hy”d) on the night that it was discovered that they had been murdered.

The Three Boys   “With the help of thousands of youths and volunteers, the preserve has become an active educational-tourist site and a thriving and flourishing cultural center. On the night that the bodies of the youths were found, we went up to the place and found it abandoned and neglected, used for criminal activity and drugs by the youths from the Arab villages in the surrounding area, and a place where people from these villages had used as a trash heap”, say the two women. “Since then, thousands of volunteers have rolled up their sleeves for the work of preparing the place to become a nature preserve.

Children at Oz veGaon   Garbage was removed, paths were paved, tourist and recreational equipment were set up at the place, the Forester’s House in the center of the preserve was cleaned, improved and designated as a synagogue.  The volunteers and youths who came from all areas of Israel, and even from abroad, showed their love for the Land of Israel with their hands and feet, and the place became a center to visit and enjoy the accommodations for tourists, visitors and soldiers that serve in the Gush Etzion area”.

Children at Oz veGaon   Along with cultural events, a Torah study house for women, family events, large holiday events and lectures and speeches that have been held at the place, one can also find among those who have come to the preserve over the past two years, public figures and spiritual leaders, politicians and statesmen, among whom are Ministers Naftali Bennett, Yariv Levin, Miri Regev, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein and many others.   Click Here to Explore this Campaign.   People who pass through Gush Etzion Junction on their way to the communities of the Gush and South Hevron Hills testify to the dramatic change that has taken place since the preserve was established. “The obvious Jewish presence at the place radiates security. The residents of the communities of the area go on foot to the place feeling safe, also because of the expanded Jewish area of contiguity”, say Katsover and Matar and note the involvement of Gush Etzion Council and its acting head in assisting Women in Green with the preparation and realization of the preserve.   With the approach of winter, Women in Green invites members of the general public to mobilize themselves for the project of strengthening the preserve and to join in funding the acquisition of essential means to defend the place and continue its activity.

Oz veGaon in the Snow   As we were making plans for the fundraising campaign, it was reported in the media that a gang of terrorists was captured from Beit Fajjar, the Arab village next to the preserve. As was ascertained in their investigation, both were involved in preparing Molotov cocktails and improvised weapons in preparation for carrying out terror attacks. This would have entailed throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at Oz veGaon and the Migdal Oz community. “The security apparatus at Oz veGaon requires a serious upgrade; additional security lighting and security cameras are necessary to ensure the safety of the many visitors” state Katsover and Matar.   LINK to the Campaign: https://www.causematch.com/en/projects/wig/?ref=269   “We call on the public at large to come to our aid and to join in the project of strengthening the preserve. Winter conditions on the hills of Judea combine bitter cold with frequent power outages that make it difficult to keep the paths lit and to provide adequate heating at the preserve. Against all of this and the hostile Arab villages in the area, as well as the threat of terror arson, we will not weaken and we will not surrender. This is precisely the time when we need your help in maintaining and strengthening the place”, say Katsover and Matar.   The two women enumerate the objectives that they have set for the fundraising campaign:

  1. “Acquiring  a generator that will boost the lighting at the place and enable much stronger security and defense at the preserve,
  2. Acquiring security cameras at strategic points around the preserve,
  3. Renovating and strengthening the peripheral security lighting; organizing security arrangements at the preserve compound,
  4. Repaving the paths around the preserve in such a manner that will enable passage for security vehicles to arrive in case of need,
  5. Acquiring fire extinguishing equipment to cope with the threat of  arson”.

As noted, because of the offer of special matching that the movement has received – all money that is donated toward these objectives will be doubled by donors who wish to remain anonymous. However, the campaign is “all or nothing” – only if the target amount is reached by the end of the thirty hour period of the campaign will the donations be doubled, but if the amount is not reached then even that will not be donated, and we at Women in Green prefer not even to think about this possibility.   Children at Oz veGaon

Every donation will have a strengthening effect, and now, every effect will have double the influence. Don’t minimize the benefit of any donation – even some tens of shekels. Every shekel will be doubled and bring us another step closer to the goal of the campaign”, say Katsover and Matar and emphasize: “the fortification of the preserve and strengthening of the communities in general is the appropriate and Zionist response to the wave of terror that the Jewish People has been contending with in recent times. We call upon you to join us in this campaign for Oz veGaon”.

Click Here to Donate.

Jewish Press Staff

American Legislator Predicts Rosy Israeli Future During Trump Era

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

Ardently pro-Israel American politician Alan D. Clemmons, Republican Representative in the South Carolina House of Representatives, was in Israel last week.  He was there with a number of Texas state legislators whom he is helping draft and work on passing anti-BDS legislation, just as he did in South Carolina.

Clemmons took time out of his trip to meet in Gush Etzion with American and Israeli leaders to discuss work he and others are currently doing to support the state of Israel and to find areas of future collaborations.

Clemmons was brought to Gush Etzion by the Yes! Israel Project for an event at the home of Project leader Ruth Jaffe Lieberman.

In addition to his recent work promoting anti-BDS legislation in state legislatures throughout the United States, the South Carolina legislator was instrumental in crafting the intensely pro-Israel plank for the Republican party’s platform last summer. Clemmons had tried to get similar language included in the 2012 platform but had not been successful.

The language of the plank which Clemmons helped to craft compares Israel’s vision to that of America’s, rejects dictating terms of any peace agreement by those not living in the region and calls for the termination of funding for any entity which attempts to do so. Clemmons introduced the language and shepherded it through the subcommittee and then the full committee. When the language was formally approved, the members present rose to give it a standing ovation.

Clemmons also introduced legislation into the South Carolina legislature to allow its states drivers to purchase special license plates emblazoned with the message: “South Carolina Stands With Israel,” and which contains entwined flags of South Carolina and Israel. That legislation was enacted in 2011.

Although not a member of President-Elect Trump’s transition team, Clemmons is well-connected and spoke plainly to those present about the rosy future he sees for Israel during the Trump administration.

The last many years of living under the thumb of the State Department mentality which treated peaceful Israelis and recalcitrant Arabs as equally culpable was over. During the Trump administration, Israel’s view about itself and its own sovereignty will be what sets the agenda.

Also present at the gathering was Caroline Glick, author, journalist and analyst. Glick also spoke expansively and enthusiastically about the incoming Trump administration.

The president-elect is an iconoclast, according to Glick, and she means that in the best possible way. Boldly tearing up old, dysfunctional plans and replacing them with exciting, untried new ones is a mark of leadership Glick respects, nowhere more so than with Trump’s Israel outlook. Glick elaborated on what she told the group in an article she published the next day.

Clemmons  also gave a pep talk about the importance of American, Israeli, and European Jews to “stand up and speak up!”

Clemmons told Avi Abelow of Yes! Israel that Jews need to “speak words of truth to push back on the lies of the world.” He continued: “There is a lie of ‘Occupation’ being taught in universities across the nation, and across the world.”  It is Clemmons’ hope that Jews will “push back on those lies of occupation and replace them with the truth regarding Israel.” He concluded: “Israel is not an occupier of anyone’s land other than the land that God gave to Israel, as eternally hers.”

Abelow understood that Clemmons was saying to Jews that Christian supporters of Israel are eager and waiting for Jews to stand up for Israel so that, together, they can extinguish the malevolent efforts against the Jewish State.

Other important olim present at the event included Nadia Matar of Women in Green along with several board members, the media personality and activist Josh Hasten, and Marc Zell, co-chair of Republicans Overseas Israel.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Remembering Ezra Schwartz, hy’d, By Creating a Garden at Oz veGaon

Thursday, December 8th, 2016

Wednesday was the first-year anniversary of the murder of Ezra Schwartz hy”d, who arrived in Israel as part of a special program by yeshivat “Ashreinu” for a year of learning, in order to contribute to the Land of Israel.

“One of the strong motives that motivated Ezra to come to Israel was the abduction and murder of the three boys Gil-Ad, Eyal and Naftali hy”d. Ezra was shaken by this event to the bottom of his soul and subsequently came to Israel,” explained Women in Green organizers Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar.

“Every week the Ashreinu Yeshiva organized transportation and brought the boys to Oz veGaon to work the land. Ezra was among them and they all connected deeply to the place.”

Exactly a year ago (on the Hebrew calendar) Ezra and his friends from the Ashreinu Yeshiva were traveling on a bus when Arab terrorists arrived and shot at different cars standing in traffic. Three were killed: Ezra Schwartz hy”d, a teacher, R. Yaakov Don hy”d and an Arab driver.

Commemoration ceremony at Oz veGaon to mark one-year anniversary of the murder of Ezra Schwartz, hy'd.

Commemoration ceremony at Oz veGaon to mark one-year anniversary of the murder of Ezra Schwartz, hy’d.

To commemorate the event in memory of Ezra hy”d this week, several events took place at Oz veGaon.

In the morning the Ashreinu Yeshiva headed by Rabbi Yudin came to pray, sing, and remember — and then rolled up their sleeves to work the land under the guidance of Elyashiv Kimche and Tsuri Botosh.

In the afternoon, “Rocky Brody, (a friend of the Schwartz family) organized a beautiful and meaningful ceremony in memory of Ezra hy”d and a dedication of the Oz Ezra Garden.” Speakers included family members, friends and Gush Etzion acting Mayor Moshe Savil.

“Once again, after the speeches, the youth rolled up their sleeves and inaugurated the Oz Ezra Garden in Oz veGaon,” the women said. Under a crystal blue sky, surrounded by green life, Ezra’s friends and family renewed their commitment to the memory of the departed, and to the Land.

Hana Levi Julian

After Family Escapes Drive-By Slaughter, Gush Etzion Jews Demand No more ‘Containment’

Monday, July 11th, 2016

On Sunday afternoon residents of the communities of Eastern Gush Etzion along with members from Women in Green met at the ‘T’ intersection east of the Gush Etzion cluster, between Mezad and Ma’ale Amos on one side and Tekoa and Nokdim on the other, for a vigil following the shooting by Arab terrorists at a resident’s car the night before.

The organizers of the protest, Women in Green’s Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar, together with Michael Luria of the Pnei Kedem community, noted that last night’s shooting incident ended miraculously, since only the driver’s leg was injured when terrorists shot at his car, while his wife and their six children, including a one-week-old infant, were also in the vehicle.

Deputy Head of the Gush Etzion Council Moshe Savil called for an end to the policy of “containing” terror incidents and for the implementation of full security for the residents of the area in all of the main roads.

Brigade commander of the area, Col. (Res.) Roman Gofman, also came to the site and heard from representatives of Women in Green that it was exactly in that place, about two years ago, there had been a protest vigil for several weeks, which ended after protesters were promised cellular reception in the area to assure the security forces’ quick and effective response, a regular transport station and a manned pillbox, all of which were supposed to offer a message of security to travelers in the area.

The protesters complained to the brigade commander that since that promise was made, there has been no actual change. There still is no cellular reception, a transportation station has not been set up and there is no pillbox. Their demand, they explained to the brigade commander, is now even sharper and more emphatic because of the recurring terror attacks in the area and in the traffic routes around the intersection.

JNi.Media

Thousands Mark Anniversary of Hamas Kidnapped Jewish Boys in Nature Preserve Created in their Memory

Sunday, July 3rd, 2016

With a stirring ceremony in the presence of family members of the abducted three youths taken by Hamas murderers in July 2014, the Head of Gush Etzion Council Davidi Perl and thousands of local residents celebrated their memory at the Oz v’Gaon Nature Preserve on the hill above Gush Etzion Junction in Judea. The nature preserve was established in the memory of the three youths.

The event, conducted by Women in Green, which launched the preserve project and has been running it as a site for education, tourism and camping, was opened by Yehudit Katsover, one of the heads of the movement, with the story of how the decision was made to go up to the preserve on the very night in which the bodies of the abducted youths were found. Katsover told the audience that this is the way of Zionism: development and growth emerge out of pain. But she added that “it could also be otherwise; we could and should cut off the enemy’s hope by applying Israeli sovereignty” in Area C of Judea and Samaria (to start, at least).

Oz v'Gaon

Oz v’Gaon

“Without the backing of the people, the parents, the council, the IDF and the various other bodies this would not have succeeded, and this is why we came to say Thank you,” said Nadia Matar, Katsover’s partner in leading the movement. Matar listed the activists and donors who contributed to the event as well as to the two-year-old nature preserve.

Katsover gave the family members of the youths a memento, symbolizing the preserve – a small JNF bench with a dedication.

Uri Yifrach, father of Eyal, Hy”d, read aloud words that Eyal wrote just a few days before he was abducted and murdered, in which he related to the value of having difficulties and pain on the way to achieving a goal. “The path is the value, and without the path, you will not arrive at the destination,” Eyal wrote. “We would be glad to do without the path, and get to the goal, but God put us on the path. We must understand that if the path takes time, this is the will of God. The path will exact casualties, it is difficult and grueling but it takes us closer to the goal. Every step on the path creates life, and when you are on the path, give it your all, take advantage of every moment of your life as if it were your last.”

Bat Galim Shaer, mother of Gil-Ad, spoke of the poem “My life is in your blood” that was heard at the event, and “became for us a daily reality, from the pain and bereavement we strive to grow towards life and activity, and Yehudit and Nadia are examples for us.”

She went on, emphasizing the uniqueness of Oz v’Gaon as a place of daily and continued activity and not a one-time memory or event, “a living, growing and breathing place every single day.”

Oz v'Gaon

Oz v’Gaon

Raheli Frenkel, mother of Naftali, Hy”d, drew a parallel with the murder of Hallel Ariel, Hy”d, on Thursday in Kiryat Arba. “We woke up in the morning and the only thing we wanted to do was to embrace the Ariel family and the memory of Hallel, our lost princess. I heard Rina cry, ‘My life is in your blood,’ and this morning became a song in praise of life for those who choose to live here, of the joy that fills this place with energy, with wonderful youth and with visitors who come from all over the world.”

Frenkel expressed the hope that the Jewish youths of the area and throughout Israel will continue to stream to the preserve, to be joyful and complete the dreams for summer vacation that Hallel Ariel, Hy”d, had, dreams that were not fulfilled.

Davidi Perl drew a connection between the weekly Torah portion of Korah, and the growth and renewal that are apparent to all those who come to the preserve. Perl mentioned the saying about the prophet Samuel, who was a descendant of Korah’s offspring who did not die. “From the pit arose the flowering of prophecy, renewal and the prayer of [Samuel’s mother] Hanna,” he said.

Oz v'Gaon

Oz v’Gaon

“Two years ago, a deep chasm opened with the murder of the three youths and we all fell together into the abyss,” Perl said, adding that “with the spirit of Oz v’Gaon this place was born anew. A call went out from here for a renewal of growth, a flowering of life with great depth on the crossroads between Jerusalem and Hebron. In the place that symbolizes this connection we have put down deep roots, two years of yearning and challenges in which we have lost other victims, two years in which the junction became a symbol of heroism and determination, of the people saying that we will stand for our rights and for our demand for full sovereignty over all of the Land of Israel, as our right and not as a gift of kindness.”

The event concluded with a walk to the observation point overlooking Gush Etzion Junction, which had undergone renovation and new artistic decoration in recent weeks. In the presence of the Head of the Local Council, the recently improved path connecting the junction to the nature preserve was dedicated. After words of blessing and thanks, the ribbon at the path was cut and hundreds of blue balloons were released into the air.

JNi.Media

Dangerous Gush Etzion Junction Receives Tender Loving Care from Locals

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

The members of Women in Green, together with residents of the Gush Etzion settlements block, have set out, as part of the “Revitalizing Gush Etzion Junction” project, to renovate and restore the Gush Etzion Junction. The junction has been marked by violent incidents in recent months, as a focal point for terror attacks, and marred by attempts to secure pedestrians against ramming attacks by Arab terrorists. Now Jewish activists have begun to apply a new, more inviting look to the place.

Welcome to Gush Etzion sign. Photo credit: Gershon Ellinson

Welcome to Gush Etzion sign. Photo credit: Gershon Ellinson

The activists and residents together with youth from the surrounding area decorated the path that goes up to Oz veGaon, overlooking the Junction, with decorative plants and natural rocks from the area; a “Welcome to Gush Etzion” sign was placed on the slope toward the nearby nature preserve; and the Gush Etzion Council planted an oak tree of about a hundred years in the center of the circle.

Photo credit: Women in Green

Photo credit: Women in Green

The project has won warm support from the military commanders of the area.

“We took on this initiative with the understanding that normal life, which is what we aspire for here, cannot exist if we feel that we are living in a bunker and in an atmosphere of having to defend ourselves. The square at the Junction is actually the calling card that welcomes those who come to the entrance of Gush Etzion, Israelis as well as tourists, and the appearance of the concrete barriers is not a welcoming sight,” said the heads of Women in Green, Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar.

Photo credit: Women in Green

Photo credit: Women in Green

Katsover and Matar praised the youths from the communities of the Gush and Judean Hills who joined the activists in dedicating long work days renovating and improving the face of the Gush Etzion Junction. The two women also noted the artistic contribution of the students and teachers from the Art Department of Neve Hanah and Oriah Schools, who painted the concrete protection barriers scattered throughout the bus stops, hitchhiking spots and guard posts at the junction. “We were able to do all of this thanks to donations from Jews in Israel and abroad, and among them our friends, the members of AFSI,” the two women added.

Photo credit: Women in Green

Photo credit: Women in Green

This Friday, July 1, will mark two years since the founding of Oz veGaon, the nature preserve established in memory of three youths who were abducted by Hamas terrorists, an attack that resulted in the 2014 Gaza war. The date will be commemorated with a family happening, a musical appearance and attractions, attended by the head of Gush Etzion Council Davidi Perl and members of the abducted youths’ families.

Photo credit: Women in Green

Photo credit: Women in Green

“At the event we will salute the residents, our wonderful youth, IDF soldiers and their commanders, businesses at Gush Etzion Junction, the many visitors who make Oz veGaon a bustling, lively place and the hitchhikers who maintain the blessed routine of life,” Katsover and Matar said.

JNi.Media

The Walk Around the Walls

Sunday, July 26th, 2015

Photos by Gershon Ellinson / Women in Green

By Women in Green

On Saturday night, the evening of the fast of Tisha b’Av, thousands of participants carrying Israeli flags walked around the walls of Jerusalem calling for application and enforcement of sovereignty as a rectification for the historical sin of the spies, the sin that caused the destruction of the Temple and a series of disasters over the generations.

Thousands of people, from all areas throughout the land, took part tonight, the evening of the fast of Tisha b‘Av, in the walk around the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem, organized by Women in Green, for the 21st consecutive year.

The event began with a reading of the Scroll of Lamentations in Gan Ha’Atzma’ut (Independence Park), which is in the center of the capital, and the walk around the walls of the Old City began immediately afterward, with the many participants holding Israeli flags. The historian Aryeh Klein accompanied the walk with words of historical explanation about the events from the Crusader era until the Six Day War that were by passed during the walk.

9th Av March 2015 2

At the Lion’s Gate the participants gathered for concluding words and speeches by Deputy Minister of Defense Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan, MK Bezalel Smotrich, Prof. Aryeh Eldad and Rabbi Yosef Mendelevich. Before the speeches by these public figures, the heads of Women in Green, Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar, spoke, calling for making a rectification of the sin of the spies by application and enforcement of sovereignty over the entire Land of Israel: “The principal sin that we must rectify is the sin of the spies – contempt for the goodly Land. We must not only lie on the floor and and lament tearfully, but rectify the root of the reason for the destruction in a practical way, to settle the good Land, to cling to it, to apply our sovereignty, to enforce our sovereignty and to have faith in the Almighty who gave us the power to conquer the Land.”

“Realization of sovereignty by the government of Israel with a continuous push for consciousness has its results. The prime minister acted correctly in the Iranian matter. He should act with the same determination and persistence in the matters of building, development, flourishing in all areas of the Land of Israel. To present a vision. Neither Obama nor the High Court, which is pushing these days for the destruction of dozens of homes in Beit El, will dictate the borders to the People of Israel and therefore we strongly protest and encourage all of our friends who are organizing for the determined and uncompromising battle in the sector.

“It is the Bible that will dictate to the People of Israel, the promise that the Almighty gave to our fathers, and we must fast for this and connect with all of the generations. Remembering the past and building the future. ‘Let us go up and take possession of the Land, for we are well able to overcome it’.”

After these words, Deputy Minister of Defense, MK Rav Eli Ben Dahan spoke, mentioning the sin of the spies, about which we read in the weekly Torah portion as the sin that caused the weeping and grief of generations, of the destruction of the two Temples, a grieving whose root is contempt for the good Land.

“The spies thought that it was better to remain in an ideal world, a world of inaction, where manna waited at the tent opening and water from Miriam’s well came to you. Without any effort. But in order to enter the Land of Israel it would be necessary to labor and to be connected to every clod of land. We do not live by miracles, but by deeds and activity. The more we build in all areas of the Land of Israel, the more we will connect and commune with the Land”, said Rabbi Ben Dahan.

Later, he mentioned that while he was Deputy Minister of Religions, regulations were prepared for Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount. “Particularly on this day we demand that these regulations be approved. We expect the prime minister and the government to approve organized Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount. I cannot be that every people can pray at this place and only the Jews are not permitted to pray there.”

Ben Dahan further noted that recently he was informed that from an investigation of the findings from the waste out of the antiquities that the Muslims throw into the Zurim Valley after they were taken from the Temple Mount, it arose that among the antiquities there are also bones of pure beasts that had been sacrificed on the Mount, but also bones of foxes and this testifies that the legend of Rabbi Akiva and the sages who went and saw a fox coming out of the Holy Temple is not a random legend, but actual reality. Now, the deputy minister of defense expresses the hope that just as we see the visions of Rabbi Akiva, “we will also be privileged to see the Holy Temple being rebuilt, and next year we will no longer grieve and these days will become days of much happiness and joy.”

After Rabbi Ben Dahan’s words, former MK Prof. Aryeh Eldad spoke, noting that it seems that apparently, we have not made much progress during the past year, “we did not expel the rioting Arabs from the Mount, we did not establish the communities that we destroyed ten years ago.”

“The State of Israel surrenders its sovereignty on the Temple Mount and abandons it to a foreign state”, said Eldad and mentioned that the State of Israel also did not complete the access bridge to the Temple Mount, since it had granted to Jordan the privilege to decide what will be built on the Mount and what will not be built there. According to him, while the Temple Mount Faithful are searching for a red heifer in Texas ranches for the rites of purification, we must remember that it is more important to purify hearts, and when the Mount does not represent the source of life to the People and when the leaders of Israel deny and suppress the importance of the Temple Mount to the People’s consciousness, the ashes from a red heifer will be to no avail.

During his speech, Prof. Eldad noted the historical findings in which national figureheads who had persecuted Israel have stated as absolute fact that there was no longer a People of Israel, but today, while nothing remains of them but historical remnants, the People of Israel lives on. Eldad stated that just as these predictions were disproved, other, early predictions will also be disproved – the People of Israel will establish settlements that it himself destroyed a decade ago, and this is also how the Third Temple will be built, and sooner than we think. “We demand that the government of Israel allow Jews to pray and to lay the cornerstone of the Third Temple”, concluded Prof. Eldad.

The third person to speak at the gathering was MK Bezalel Smotrich, who raised the apparent difficulty to experience the pain of the destruction in the generation of revival, when it is possible “to walk around the walls of Jerusalem en masse with Israeli flags, accompanied by our police, in our state, in our Land, and on the other hand, to look upon the walls and inside to the Temple Mount and remember what is happening there.”

 MK Bezalel Smotrich

MK Bezalel Smotrich

“It would be easier to experience the sorrow of this day in the diaspora”, said Smotrich, and clarified that if the day of Tisha b’Av was commemorated as it is in the diaspora, without thinking of the return of Israel to its Land, it would be an enormous lack of gratitude toward the Almighty, who brings us, slowly but surely to our Land. We must be ready to include this complexity of thanks to the Almighty for the great kindness with which he deals with us, and despite this, we feel the great lack of that which we do not have.”

According to him, “from a certain point of view, perhaps it is easier for us today to feel the pain of this day, because we are closer and therefore feel the lack. A Jew in the diaspora could not have imagined what we have now. It is difficult to imagine something that one does is not familiar with. When one is close, one feels the lack.”

Smotrich also mentioned the sin of the spies and noted that in the words of Moses’ summary, the words of the spies are described as praising the goodness of the Land. Rashi explains that Moses is quoting Joshua and Caleb and not the ten other spies. According to Smotrich, there is a significant lesson here, which is the question of “who is written in the pages of history”: “that which is written in the pages of history and are spoken about in the future are Joshua and Caleb, the People of Truth, heroism, security and their faith in the Almighty. The weakness of the spies leads to ramifications and the basis for every Tisha b’Av is those spies, but that which remains in existence forever is the minority. The masses sometimes go astray after weak leadership”, says Smotrich, and adds that sometimes the leaders of the minority of believers do not win applause from the media and from the masses, but in the result in history is that they are the winners who are etched into eternity.

“I call on the prime minister: you can decide whether to be among those leaders who perhaps now are a majority but in the end, nothing will be remembered of them, or you can be among the leaders of the minority, who raise the banner to the top of the flag post, and who are among those who are remembered. Prayer in the Temple Mount is the minimum. We have a commandment to build the Temple. The Almighty has done his part and has liberated for us the place with tremendous miracles. Now it is in our hands. And as everyone aspires to fulfill the 613 commandments, we must also fulfill this commandment”, concluded Smotrich.

The gathering was concluded with the words of Rabbi Yosef Mendelevich, a former prisoner of Zion and one of the lead activists for the liberation of Jonathan Pollard. As in every year, Rabbi Mendelevich read the special prayer written by Rabbi Mordechai Eliahu, obm, for the liberation of Pollard and stated that if indeed Pollard will be freed in the coming days and weeks, then Israeli society must beg his pardon for not doing enough to free him. “We did not do what we had to do. We went astray in the battle for Jonathan because all of the efforts were in beseeching the government of Israel to speak with the government of the United States. The battle should have been waged in the United States. As the People of Israel we must fight and understand from experience of the past that only demonstrations that are bothersome, and not comfortable, for the government, have an effect”.

Rabbi Mendelevich concluded his words with a call to the Jews of the United States: “We will get by, but the call is to you. Go out into the streets in your thousands, in tens of thousands, to defend our People, our Land and yourselves. This is your duty”.

At the end of the speeches the marchers continued to the Dung Gate and the Kotel where the Walk ended.

The Kotel on Tisha B'Av night

The Kotel on Tisha B’Av night. Photo by: JewishPress.com

The tail end of the marchers were attacked by stone throwing Arabs.

Photo of the Day

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/photos/the-walk-around-the-walls/2015/07/26/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: