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April 28, 2015 / 9 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Shomron’

Immanuel: G-d is With Us!

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

Life for Israel is definitely heating up of late: The northern boundary with Lebanon is suddenly the “hot” border which is to say that we are getting along about as well with Hezbollah as we are with President Obama, and the election season is increasing in intensity with voting fewer than 4 weeks away.

Political campaigns bring not only promises but criticism and condemnations of the competition and of the “other” in society as well. It is sadly ironic that in Israel when the real enemy lurks just beyond every border and sits in the Knesset under a unifying Arab bloc, groups within the country still find fault with other Jews. Divides amongst the population are sharply delineated and discussed during campaigns: Left-Right; Arab-Jew; Religious-Secular; Hareidi-Religious Zionist; Settler-Non-Settler. Seemingly, each party represents merely a microcosm of the country generally in direct competition with another group.

Of this demographic breadth, amazingly the group in which I had the fewest acquaintances was the Hareidim. I mentioned this to a good buddy of mine, Elie Pieprz, Director of External Affairs for the Yesha Council, and he told me not far from where he lives in the Shomron is the only Hareidi community in the Shomron, a community that almost single-handedly dispels the preconceived negative stereotypes of Hareidi Jews held by many Israelis. This community has both large and small industry, a top-notch furniture maker with prices the best prices around, and even some Hareidi soldiers. Intrigued, I asked the name-Immanuel-and decided to learn more about the community. So I spoke with Rabbi Moshe Zinger, the Chief Executive Officer of Friends of Immanuel, an organization dedicated to getting the word out about his beloved community.

Immanuel is located in the Shomron region of “YESHA,” an acronym representing 3 areas: ‘YE-huda,’ ‘SH-omron’ and ‘A-za’ (Gaza). Despite the Israeli government’s shameful retreat from Aza in 2005, the ‘A’ remains. YESHA is a ridge of land retaken by Israel in the miraculous 6-Day War, stretching from the southern Hebron Hills to the northern Shomron. YESHA is where most of the Tanakh occurred and is an integral part of our historic identity as Jews.

Most of the communities of YESHA, are “Religious-Zionist,” with several exceptions of mixed or non-religious settlements. Fewer still are the “Hareidi” communities, most notably Beitar, in Judea, Modiin Ilit in the Binyamin region, and Immanuel, located in the Shomron. Immanuel sits on the seam of land separating the territories given to the tribes of Efraim and Menashe, located in a natural and rustically beautiful area of the rugged Shomron hills under an hour’s drive from each of Israel’s celebrated Hareidi centers, Bnei Brak and Jerusalem.

Immanuel is a town of approximately 3500 Hareidi Jews, covering the spectrum of the Hareidi world: various sects of Hassidim (Slonim being the largest); a minority of Litvish; and a good balance between Sephardi and Ashkenazi. The community was founded and incorporated in the early 1980s and intended to be an alternative to the densely populated Hareidi enclaves throughout Jerusalem and of Bnei Brak, without sacrificing the intensity or quality of Torah existence. Immanuel, set in the beautiful Shomron countryside, offered the one thing neither Jerusalem nor Bnei Brak could: space. The intention was to attract young couples who could not afford housing in established Hareidi areas and provide them with attractive, large apartments for their growing families without sacrificing or compromising commitment to Torah and mitzvot. The Slonimer Rebbe (z”l) was so impressed by the community he encouraged his followers to move there, which they did.

Soon after the beginning of the Second Intifada, Immanuel was devastated by 2 horrific terror attacks on buses occurring just outside Immanuel’s gates. Relative to its size, no community in Israel suffered more at the hands of terror during the Intifada than Immanuel. As a result, many residents left Immanuel. But due to the Slonimer Rebbe’s belief and confidence in Immanuel its values, and quality of life, he encouraged his followers to remain there. Immanuel not only survives, it thrives. Recently, more than 120 families moved into Immanuel continuing the trend of a sharply increasing population and a sharper increase in housing values resulting in a growing number of kollels and shuls; schools for every age; a breadth of shiurim; and any and every facility needed for a vibrant Torah life.

There is another, unique, component to life in Immanuel beyond its dynamic Torah existence. Through the efforts and initiative of Friends of Immanuel and its engaging CEO, Rabbi Moshe Zinger, several respected professional training centers opened, offering training in electrical engineering, computers, accounting, and architecture preparing residents who wish to enter the professional world to have the skills to do so. Numerous cottage industries (i.e. sheitlach), the previously mentioned furniture maker, and a thriving Judaica and Silverworks factory provide employment and commerce for much of Immanuel.

Though Immanuel is unique in the region as the only Hareidi settlement in the Shomron, its neighboring communities greatly value its presence assisting and benefiting from its proximity. Immanuel shares and contributes to the very fabric of the existence of the Jews of the area. Its singularity is not based on an insular approach to life but rather the desire to interact with neighboring communities and to be a partner in life in Israel. Examples: A Slonimer Hassid from Immanuel travels daily to give a Daf Yomi shiur at my friend’s knitted-kippah community and the men in the shiur are devoted talmidim to him; several young men in Immanuel serve as members of the Israel Defense Force and while enlistment is not encouraged in Immanuel, the community is supportive of their decision. Even the Slonimer Rebbe gave psak that soldiers may wear their uniforms in Immanuel’s Beis Medrash when on duty; the community is built around an uncompromising dedication to Torah but attempt to “fund” their Torah learning through the training and jobs mentioned above.

So what have I learned about Immanuel? Most notably, it is a community which defies stereotyping. It is a Hareidi/Hassidic community which in many ways resembles my Religious Zionist community: 3500 or so people, parents working, trying to support themselves and their families; nestled in the beautiful countryside of YESHA; learning and living Torah; some men serving in the army. Bottom line: Though their clothes and kipot may be different than in my community the values and love of Torah are the same. Isn’t that what ultimately matters?

Despite the travails of its past, everyone who knows anything about Immanuel is optimistic about its future. The reason is simple; the name Immanuel says it all: “G-d is with us.”

‘Settlers’ Committee Launches Idiotic Anti-EU Video [video]

Sunday, February 15th, 2015

A home-grown committee in Samaria (Shomron) has launched a new video that describes the European Union and leftist Jews as anti-Zionists but is in such poor taste that it is an embarrassment to “settlers” and Jews anywhere in the world.

The content is accurate, but the medium is the message, and this one flunks.

The video, as seen below, shows a negative caricature of a European leader reading a newspaper with a design similar to the left-wing Haaretz and giving money to leftist Jews in return for dispatching propaganda against the IDF. When the European leader finally has achieved his aim, he tells the Jew to get lost, and the video then shows him being hanged.

The caricatures in the clip include suggestive references to Nazi Germany and a comparison of Haaretz with the former Nazi newspaper.

The clip concludes with a clear message comparing the European Union to Nazis, and it states, “The Europeans perhaps appear to use today as being different, but you appear to them the same as before.”
Haaretz’ Hebrew edition reported a reply to the clip from the Shomron committee chairman Benny Katzover, who explained:

In the past several years, there has been increasing support by groups and foreign governments for extreme left-wing groups in Israel. The objective of the groups is to ruin the lives of Jews in Israel, especially those in Judea and Samaria, with funding of millions of Euros.
The objective of the video clip is to make it clear that at best, leftist organizations in Israel like idiots on behalf of modern anti-Semites, and at worst, act to destroy Israel as the national home of the Jewish People.

Katzover is absolutely correct, but the video is in such poor taste that settlers should be embarrassed. It is a continuation of tactics of old-guard leaders in Judea and Samaria who justify all means to justify their campaign, no matter how much their childish stunts damage the image of all settlers and those who support them.
Haaretz challenged Naftali Bennett, chairman of the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home), to repudiate the clip.

Here is the video. Judge for yourself.

Firebomb Thrown at Car in the Shomron

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015

Arabs threw a firebomb at a car in the Shomron on Saturday evening between Tapuach Junction and Migdalim.

There were no injuries or damage in the attack.

‘Slight Improvement’ in Life-threatening Condition of Firebomb Victim

Friday, December 26th, 2014

Doctors at Sheba Hospital in Tel Aviv said Friday morning that there is a “slight improvement” in the condition of 11-year-old Ayala Shapira, who still is fighting for her life after a Palestinian Authority terrorist set on fire the car in which she and her father were riding last night.

They live in the El Matan outpost, adjacent to Maaleh Shomron, which is part of the Maaleh-Ginot-Karnei Shomron communities between Kfar Saba and Kedumim.

Her father escaped the burning vehicle with light burn wounds. Ayala suffered burns over 30-40 percent of her body, mostly in the upper parts and in the face.

Last month, Ayala’s mother Ruth was targeted in a similar Molotov cocktail attack in the same spot of last night’s attack. Her car was destroyed but she was not injured.

The girl’s father Avner told Yediot Acharonot that he saw the terrorists lighting the firebomb and throwing it.

“I shouted to my daughter to get out and she was able to do so,” he said. “We were able by the grace of God to get out of the car, but she was much more seriously wounded than I was. We hope that the hospital staff will be able to return her to her previous state.”

Ruth Shapira told the Israeli newspaper, “Ayala is a very special girl. She is an exceptionally smart child, who was on her way home from a program for youth gifted in mathematics at the Bar-Ilan University. “

Police said that Ayala almost certainly would have been dead if she had not rolled herself on the ground to extinguish the flames on her burning body.

As usual after a terrorist attack, the army sent a large number of soldiers to search for the attacker, who still is at large.

The nearby highway 55, the only direct road connecting Kfar Saba with Jewish communities in the area, has been the scene of hundreds of attempts to kill Jews with rocks, firebombs and guns. The army occasionally deploys several patrols simultaneously on the road.

And how does the pro-Palestinian Authority crowd understand the attack.

The Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency told its English-speaking readers, who include foreign media, a blanket lie.

“Maaleh Shomron is part of a larger settlement bloc…surrounding a number of Palestinian villages on at least three sides and preventing Palestinians from freely moving in the area,” it wrote.

As usual, the opposite is true.

There are far more Arab villages than there are Jewish communities, and the only ”preventing” to moving freely comes from Palestinian Authority terrorists who constantly try to murder Jews.

 

Arabs Imitate Ancient Greeks and Vandalize Joseph’s Tomb

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

More than 1,000 Jews visiting Joseph’s Tomb (Kever Yosef) in Shechem Sunday night discovered that Palestinian Authority Arabs vandalized the holy site for the umpteenth time.

The vandals destroyed the electric system, but the Jews, under IDF protection, lit a menorah on the sixth night of Hanukkah, which commemorates the victory of the Maccabeans over the Greek conquerors who desecrated the Holy Temple nearly 2000 years ago.

Israel surrendered open access to Joseph’s Tomb in 2001 after a terrorist attack, allowing a violation of the Oslo Accords protecting the rights of all religions to visit holy sites to become an accepted principle.

Leftists and plain President Obama-Arabs read the news differently.

The “Alternative News. Org” website reported, “1,000 Israelis raided the northern West Bank area of Nablus [Shechem] Sunday night to pray at Joseph’s Tomb, located on the outskirts of the city….

“Joseph’s Tomb is located in Area A of the West Bank, under full security and administrative control of the Palestinian Authority (PA). Although entry into Joseph’s Tomb requires permission and coordination with the PA, the Israeli civilians and troops entered without either.”

Every time a Jew visits the Temple Mount or Joseph’s Tomb, and soon the Dead Sea can be added to the list, it is a “raid.”

As for the report that they entered without permission, the IDF told The Jewish Press Monday morning that simply is not true. “There was coordination,” a spokeswoman said.

Alternative News also conveniently omitted the wording of the Oslo Accords that specifically reserves the rights of Jews to visit Joseph’s Tomb, among others, and requires “both sides shall respect and protect the listed below religious rights of Jews, Christians, Moslems and Samaritans.”

Hit and Run in the Shomron, Possible Terror Attack

Monday, December 1st, 2014

A 60 year old Jewish man was hit by a car in a hit and run on Monday afternoon near Migdalim (Tzomet Alon) in the Shomron. The victim was evacuated from the scene by helicopter to Beilinson hospital with a serious head injury. He is currently on a respirator.

Police suspect it may have been a run-over terror attack.

IDF Foils Samaria Terror Attack in West Bank

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

IDF soldiers prevented a would-be Arab terrorist from carrying out a terror attack Thursday in the Samaria region.

The Arab, a resident of the Palestinian Authority, was traveling from Shechem (Nablus) to Huwara when he caught the notice of IDF soldiers operating in the area.

The soldiers stopped the suspect for a routine search, having seen that he was carrying what appeared to be a suspicious object.

They discovered the object was, in fact, a pipe bomb. Sappers were summoned to the scene to defuse the explosive, which they did successfully.

No injuries or damage were reported from the incident. Security personnel took the suspect into custody for further questioning.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/idf-foils-samaria-terror-attack-in-west-bank/2014/11/06/

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