An attempt is made to share the truth regarding issues concerning Israel and her right to exist as a Jewish nation. This blog has expanded to present information about radical Islam and its potential impact upon Israel and the West. Yes, I do mix in a bit of opinion from time to time.
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Some of Norway's Clerics Apologize, Iran's Nucs
ISRAEL LIVESNorwegian clerics apologize, excellent recap of AFSI Chizuk Mission
2 THEATER PERFORMANCES NOT TO BE MISSED
"Witnessed by the World" before it closes next Sunday, Dec. 15, at 59E.59. Besides being a creatively staged, perfectly acted suspense thriller about Jack Ruby/mafia connection, it exposes what we all know to be the war on truth in journalism. 90 mins with no intermission races by. May be on tdf, but prices cheap at this theater anyway.
Also closing Dec 15th, Superb musical presented by the Yiddish Theater at Baruch College, NYC.
Lies My Father Told Me, a new coming-of-age musical based on the Academy-Award-nominated, Golden-Globe-winning film musical based on the works of Ted Allan, brilliantly directed by Bryna Wasserman, and produced by the National Yiddish Theatre - Folksbiene atBaruchPerforming Arts-CenterArtistic Director Salmon M'lotek,
Fiddler came immediately to mind - but Ted Allan's script is 1920's, 1920's Montreal - not the folklore of the nostalgic past of Sholem Aleichem - ; though it looks like it stepped out of the distant past.A disciplined, exquisitely flawless production with 17 engaging, enthralling songs - production numbers and ensembles.
TO PURCHASE TICKETS Check this link for both ticket information and a brief film clip if you need further persuasion. 646 312 5073
1- WHO WILL FOLLOW IN THEIR FOOTSTEPS? Norwegian clerics hand deliver an apologia to the Knesset. It was handed to Knesset speaker Gila Gamliel along with 120 copies to be handed to each Knesset member. May this OMG moment resonate loudly throughout the EU and all the world. We pray that it is not too late to bring the world to its senses and see the world reject Iran's phoney charade as a peace loving nation wishing only to develop nuclear power for 'peaceful' means.
2-HELEN FREEDMAN RECAPS AFSI FALL CHIZUK MISSION 2013
1<WHO WILL FOLLOW IN THEIR FOOTSTEPS?
Yesterday a group of more than 20 Christian leaders from Norway presented in Israel's Parliament 'the Knesset' to Deputy Knesset speaker Gila Gamliel the following statement "Forgive us, Israel" with copies for all the 120 Knesset members. I was privileged to speak to the entire group the evening before and felt the anointing and holy presence of God during that meeting. May their humble words and courageous actions be an example to all those who love Israel I pray.
Jan Willem van der Hoeven, Director
International Christian Zionist Center
Forgive us, Israel!
D E C L A R A T I O N
FROM PASTORS AND
CHURCH LEADERS IN NORWAY
E SPEAK AS CHRISTIAN LEADERS IN NORWAY. WE SPEAK AS LEADERS OF CHURCHES, MINISTRIES, MISSIONS, CHRISTIAN TV AND NEWSPAPERS IN NORWAY. WE REPRESENT THE DIFFERENT REGIONS IN NORTH, SOUTH, EAST AND WEST. WE REPRESENT THE TWO ORIGINAL ETHNIC GROUPS OF NORWAY: THE NORWEGIAN AND THE SAMI.
AS CHRISTIAN LEADERS IN NORWAY, WE REPENT AND ASK FOR FORGIVENESS FOR NORWAY'S ATTITUDE BOTH IN CHURCH AFFILIATIONS AND ELSEWHERE IN OTHER SPHERES OF THE NORWEGIAN SOCIETY.
WE AS LEADERS FROM THE NORWEGIAN PEOPLE AND THE CHURCH IN NORWAY, AS WE REPENT WE ALSO PROCLAIM THAT WE WILL DO OUR BEST TO LEAD OUR NATION INTO CHANGE. IN GRATITUDE TO GOD AND TO THE ISRAELI NATION WE WANT TO SEE A CHANGE IN NORWAY.
Forgive us Israel, as a Nation:
×FOR THE OSLO AGREEMENT, DIVIDING UP ERETZ ISRAEL.
×FOR THE MONEY FROM NORWAY ENDING UP SUPPORTING TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS.
×FOR NOT MOVING OUR EMBASSY FROM TEL AVIV TO ISRAEL'S ETERNAL UNDIVIDED CAPITAL CITY, JERUSALEM.
×FOR NOT STANDING UP TO DEFEND ISRAEL IN A WORLD WITH INCREASING HOSTILITY.
×FOR THE ANTI-SEMITIC AND ANTI-ZIONISTIC ATTITUDE FROM POLITICIANS AND MEDIA IN NORWAY.
Forgive us Israel, as a Church:
×FOR NOT STANDING UP MORE CLEARLY TO STOP THE NORWEGIAN ANTI-ISRALI POLITICAL ATTITUDE.
×FOR THE FACT THAT GREAT PARTS OF THE CHURCH HAS REJECTED ISRAEL'S ROLE IN GOD'S PLAN.
×FOR OUR LUKEWARMNESS TOWARDS THE PERSECUTION THAT YOU HAVE SUFFERED.
×FOR THE INDIFFERENCE TOWARDS YOU AS GOD'S CHOSEN PEOPLE.
×FOR CHURCH LEADERS ANTI-ISRAELI AND ANTI-ZIONISTIC STATEMENTS AND OUR FEAR OF TAKING A STAND AGAINST THIS.
×FOR ALLOWING REPLACEMENT THEOLOGY TO SPREAD IN THE CHURCHES.
E, AS A NATION, HAVE A CALLING TO BE AMONG ISRAEL'S STRONGEST ALLIES! WE BELIEVE AND WILL PRAY, WORK FOR AND CALL FOR NORWAY TO STAND AS A STRONG FRIEND AND SUPPORTER OF ISRAEL THROUGH GENERATIONS TO COME!
We want to acknowledge that:
×ISRAEL IS THE SPIRITUAL MOTHER OF THE CHURCH AND HAS GIVEN US THE HOLY SCRIPTURE, THE PROPHETS, THE APOSTLES AND EVEN THE MESSIAH HIMSELF, THAT HAS BROUGHT SALVATION TO THE WORLD.
×THE SPIRITUAL REJECTION OF ISRAEL HAS LED TO AN EXTENSIVE REPLACEMENT THEOLOGY BOTH IN THE NORWEGIAN LUTHERAN CHURCH AND SPREADING IN THE FREE CHURCHES.
×GOD HAS CONFIRMED HIS PROMISES TO ISRAEL. WE ARE CONFIDENT THAT GOD WILL KEEP HIS PROMISES TO BOTH ISRAEL AND THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH.
×THE CULTURE AND TRADITION OF OUR NATION IS BASICALLY BUILT ON A FOUNDATION OF JUDEO-CHRISTIAN VALUE WITH CLEAR JEWISH ROOTS.
×FORGIVE EVEN THE GREAT NUMBER OF FRIENDS OF ISRAEL AND GENERALLY THE CHURCH IN NORWAY THAT WE HAVE UP TILL NOW NOT VOICED OUR SUPPORT OF ISRAEL CLEARLY IN OUR NATION.
Forgive us Israel, as a Nation:
×FOR THE STRONG FORCES AND LOUD VOICES THAT DEMANDS A BOYCOTT OF ISRAEL ON ALL LEVELS EVEN INTO TRADE.
×FOR THE MONEY TRANSFERRED FROM THE NORWEGIAN STATE WHICH INDIRECTLY HAS BEEN USED TOWARDS THE SUPPORT OF TERRORISTS.
×FOR THE MANY POLITICAL LEADERS THAT REPEATEDLY HAVE ANTI-ISRAELI COMMENTS AND OUR PASSIVITY NOT SPEAKING OUT AGAINST THEM.
×FOR THE WIDESPREAD ANTI-ZIONISM IN MEDIA, TV, NEWSPAPERS, RADIO AND INTERNET.
×FOR OUR CONSTITUTION THAT HINDERED JEWS TO ENTER THE KINGDOM UP TO 1851.
×FOR SENDING JEWS OUT OF NORWAY INTO NAZI DEATH CAMPS DURING WWII.
×FOR REJECTING JEWS TO COME TO NORWAY AFTER WWII.
×FOR NEGLECTING TO GIVE ISRAEL CREDIT / HONOR FOR THE COUNTRY'S SUBSTANTIAL CONTRIBUTION TOWARDS THE BENEFIT OF HUMANITY. WITHOUT ISRAEL'S EFFORT, OUR HOSPITALS WOULD NOT FUNCTION AS THEY DO TODAY, NEITHER WOULD OUR COMPUTERS OR CELLPHONES.
×FOR MAKING ALLIANCES WITH FORCES SEEKING TO DESTROY THE NATION OF ISRAEL. AS A NATION WE HAVE MADE ALLIANCES WITH FORCES THAT WANT TO DESTROY THE NATION OF ISRAEL. WE WANT, AS SPIRITUAL LEADERS IN NORWAY, TO BREAK THESE ALLIANCES.
×THE OSLO AGREEMENT SEEKING TO DIVIDE THE LAND. THE AGREEMENT HAS LED TO A SUBSTANTIAL AMOUNT OF FUNDS TRANSFERRED FROM THE NORWEGIAN STATE TO PALESTINIAN GROUPS WHICH HAVE BEEN ENGAGED IN TERROR. FOR OPEN FALSIFICATION OF HISTORIC FACTS AND SLANDERING OF ISRAEL.
We acknowledge that:
×ISRAEL IS A GREAT BLESSING TO THE WORLD!
×THE REVELATION OF GOD CAME THROUGH/FROM ISRAEL.
×THE WORD OF GOD CAME THROUGH/FROM ISRAEL.
×MESSIAH, OUR SAVIOR WAS BORN AS A JEW IN ISRAEL.
×NORWEGIAN MEDIA HAS FOR YEARS GIVEN A BIASED/UNBALANCED COVERING OF THE CONFLICT IN THE MIDDLE EAST WITH A NOTICEABLE BIAS AGAINST ISRAEL.
×THE ORGANIZATION OF SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE (OSCE) HAS REQUESTED THAT STEPS WILL BE TAKEN WHICH PREVENT THE DEMONIZATION OF ISRAEL IN THE NORWEGIAN MIDDLE EAST DEBATE.
×ISRAEL ALSO TODAY IS A BLESSING TO AND FOR THE WORLD. ISRAEL IS A BLESSING IN THE SPIRITUAL, FINANCIAL, CULTURAL AND TECHNOLOGICAL AREAS, ALONG WITH MANY OTHER AREAS.
As leaders of the different churches in Norway we want in addition to proclaim:
×NORWAY AS A NATION HAS A CALLING TO BLESS ISRAEL.
×NORWAY AS A NATION HAS A CALLING TO HELP ISRAEL IN SECURING HER BORDERS.
×NORWAY AS A NATION ACKNOWLEDGES THE JEWS' RIGHT OF OWNERSHIP TO ERETZ ISRAEL.
×WE, AS A NATION, HAVE A CALLING TO BE AMONG ISRAEL'S STRONGEST ALLIES.
×WE BELIEVE AND WILL PRAY FOR, WORK FOR, AND CALL FOR NORWAY TO STAND AS A STRONG FRIEND AND SUPPORTER OF ISRAEL THROUGH GENERATIONS TO COME.
S HENRIK WERGELAND, TRYGVE LIE, KÅRE KRISTIANSEN AND MANY OTHER FATHERS OF OUR NATION, WE WISH TO SEE A NATION AND A PEOPLE WHO BLESS THE NATION OF ISRAEL AND THE JEWS AS A PEOPLE.
"Those that bless Israel shall be blessed and those that curse Israel shall be cursed."
WE PRAY WITH ALL OF OUR HEARTS: "LORD, BLESS ISRAEL!"
2<THE TITANIC - A METAPHOR FOR ISRAEL TODAY - AFSI CHIZUK, OCT. 2013
In one portrayal of the Titanic, the mighty and majestic ship that hit an iceberg in the North Atlantic on April 14, 1912 and sank in a little over two hours, we see the captain, the owner, the senior officers, pushing the ship to speed through the waters so as to break all previous records. Since it was the ship's maiden voyage, traveling from Southampton to Queenstown, England, to New York, the crew of stokers, greasers, and firemen who worked in the engine room far below the luxury decks, understood that the ship should not exceed its abilities on its first time out. Their superiors had different ideas and went so far as to ignore all warnings of icebergs in the sea as they urged the ship on. The result was the loss of the ship, 1500 lives, many injured, and much suffering amongst the survivors. It is easy to see the comparison to Israel today.
SHEEP HERDING HAS ITS REWARDS - 3000 DUNHAMS OF LAND GIVEN BY THE STATE
to the family willing to endure very modest comforts, periodic raids on their herd.
On this past AFSI Chizuk Mission Fall 2013, we met with 3 such families.In typical, spunky Israeli style, one family has opened a school for SHEEPHERDING.
As the AFSI Chizuk group traveled around Israel on this Oct. 20-28, 2013 mission, it was apparent that the "little guys" understood the need to hold onto the land, and to fight for a "whole Israel", while the "captain" and his "officers" played horrific games with Israel's safety. What we saw was Arab arrogance, audacity, and terror that was completely out of control, while Israel's Jews were being discriminated against, imprisoned, and treated like second class citizens. The "captains" were busy releasing prisoners and talking "peace" and the "two-state solution" with the Arabs, while the "little guys" were putting the facts on the ground, regardless of the personal sacrifice required. Picture the Titanic crew in the belly of the ship working desperately to keep the ship moving, while the captain and his henchmen dined in the elegant dining rooms, ignoring warnings of disaster and pushing forward recklessly until the tragic collision with the iceberg that would sink the ship. That is the story of Israel today which we witnessed firsthand on our Chizuk mission.
Once again the AFSI Chizuk group gathered at Ben Gurion airport - our 36th time, traveling to the disputed areas of Israel, to give encouragement and support - Chizuk!
Hasmonean, Modiin Illit, and Kiryat Sefer were our first stops, with David Jacobs acting as our host and guide. Israel Danziger of Mishmeret Yesha joined us. David pointed out that the population of these communities, 57,000, was the largest in Judea and Samaria. Being 'over the green line' they were 'on the table' in the 'peace talk' negotiations.
The Arab sprawl became apparent as Danziger led us to Charasha, a non-authorized community. Standing on Mt. Choresh, and looking out over the area, all we saw were Arab villages. As we drove through N'ariya we passed the Arab University of Bir Zeit on the outskirts of Ramalla, a breeding ground for terrorism. We realized we were driving on a road which was in Area C, but we were surrounded by A/Arab areas which are all self-governing.
The brand new PA city of Rawabi, for which Israel gave the land, now boasts a huge PA flag. Being close to Ramallah, this city becomes another encroachment on Jerusalem.
Along the road, Arab cars were parked everywhere, their owners busy picking olives. We passed near Migron, a community that we had visited many times while it was threatened with being destroyed and transplanted. The threats were realized. We drove past Kochav Ya/akov and Tel Tzion, constantly viewing the Arab villages, identified by their Minarets and lack of fences. Our destination was Psagot, a Jewish community of 200 families. When the settlers first arrived, Ramallah was far in the distance. Now there are new homes abutting the Psagot fence. The recent infiltration by Arabs who shot young Noam Glick at her home in Psagot is clarified when one sees how close the Arab homes are to the community.
After lunching in Ofra, we tried to take the usual road to Amona. It had been destroyed by the Israelis. We were forced into a new, unpaved road, but thanks to our wonderful bus driver, Ami Dadon, we reached our destination. The sad sight of the caravans and the plots where destroyed homes once stood, underlined the absurdity of the Israeli government policy of destroying Jewish homes, but allowing illegal Arab buildings to flourish.
We completed the viewing of the Ramallah encroachment while visiting Bet-El. There, Baruch Gordon greeted us and explained the progression that took place with Arutz Sheva, now a very important internet news provider.
ASHEL HaSHOMON HOTEL IN ARIEL HAS A REMARKABLE BIBLICAL GARDEN.
MOSES VIEWING THE PROMISED LAND IS THE FIRST OF A DOZEN WONDERFUL BIBLICAL SCULPTURES
The Ashel HaShomron hotel in Ariel, where only AFSI Chizuk groups fear to tread, along with Christian Evangelicals, became our base for the first two nights. Lenny Goldberg, long-time resident of Tapuach and close friend to Binyamin & Talia Kahane, z"l, spoke to us about the many judicial issues in Israel, with the young people, especially, feeling the brunt of anti-Jewish discrimination.
Renee and Teddy Pollak Holding the trophy #5 size toilet seat, one of the many products of Yehuda Cohen's Plastics Factory
Tuesday began with Avi Zimmerman of the Ariel Community guiding us to the Barkan Industrial Center where Jews and Arabs work side by side in 140 factories, earning the same salary and enjoying the same benefits as their Jewish co-workers. Still, the businesses endure PA and EU boycotting, even though the industrial center represents the best bridge to peace.
At Ariel University, home to 15,000 students, with approximately 500-700 Arabs and 500 Ethiopians, we met Prof. Alex Bligh of the Middle East Studies Department. He explained that the biggest problem was that Ariel U is under official boycott by all Israeli universities, except for Bar Ilan. The situation seems ludicrous. Israel boycotts its own people, professors, PHD candidates because the UN, U.S., and EU talk about a green line. This is shameful and self destructive. By doing so, they strengthen the Arab claim to the land and make cooperation between Ariel U. and U.S. universities much more difficult. In order to get academic recognition, they need an exchange of professors. We promised to do what we could to have this boycott ignored and encourage U.S. universities to partner with Ariel U. This is the path to peace, NOT the pretend promises of the PA.
Nothing glamorous about living beyond the pale
BUT, these Israelis, their children and their children's children are here to stay
Being in the Shomron, Samaria, we had to visit Chavat Gilad, home of forty families forgotten by the Israeli government, except to harass them. Our dear friend, Ileana Shimoni, greeted us, full of excitement over the new mikvah for women they had begun to build. Living without Israeli supplied water and fuel has placed a huge financial burden on the community. We always wonder why there would be a world-wide outcry over Arabs being deprived of these necessities by Israel, but Israel's own citizens earn no consideration. The discrimination against Jews cries out for correction!
Little Guys include, Little Women
CHAVAT GILAD-The construction site above will house the areas first MIKVAH
Yitzhar - the home of Ayelet and Akiva HaCohen and their many young children, is a favorite stop. AFSI has "adopted" the family, helping them when Akiva was placed under administrative detention and put in prison for absurd reasons .The community, home also to Boaz Albert, who was tasered by the Israeli police, now needs a synagogue. We promised to help raise funds for that project. Although Boaz was in prison, his family was still trying to run the winery. We bought some wine and enjoyed it thoroughly.
ARIEL: Arie Zimmerman, in front of the New Housing for Netzarim, a Gush Katif Community. Netzarim was a community destroyed by the State of Israel in 2005.
Few of Gush Katif's 8500 residents have yet to find permanent housing
We ended the day with a night-time tour of the biblical garden at the Ashel HaShomron hotel. Tuvia was our guide - the night was beautiful - the camaraderie was warm and inclusive, and as we walked through our biblical history we were able to forget, briefly, the threat of the Arab encroachment and takeover of Israeli land.
Ari Briggs of Regavim joined us on Wednesday, Oct. 23 to drive north. He pointed out that we had to drive west before driving north because Israelis can't drive through Arab villages, so the by-pass roads need new by-passes. We reached Mitzpe Ilan, the first yishuv in the northern Shomron, named after Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon. We noted the many Bedouin encampments along the way. The community was surrounded by Arab villages. The forty families living there hope to increase to 100, but there is one serious problem, that of "environmental terrorism." The Arabs burn charcoal and by 6 PM every day, the air is so thick, the residents must stay locked up in their homes. There have been many cases of asthma and a few cases of cancer in the community. The Arab communities of Hadera and Pardeis are affected also, but the Arabs don't seem to care. Regavim has taken them to court and succeeded in getting the burnings moved to Areas A & B, but the wind brings the carcinogenics to Chavat Ilan and its surroundings. If the situation isn't remedied, the Jews will move out, rather than expand. The Arabs will have won again, forcing another Jewish land retreat.
Nazareth Illit was our next stop where we met Aharon Pulver of the Israel Independence Fund, and his colleague Doug Altabef, an Israel Independence Fund Board Member,. The story repeats itself. Upper Nazareth is supposed to be Jewish as opposed to Muslim Nazareth; however it now has a majority of Arabs controlling the community as of the last elections. The wonderful Mayor, Shimon Gabso, was re-elected, but is under attack. If his enemies are successful, he might lose his position. It seems to be up to the Hesder Yeshivot to strengthen the city, and the one at Nazareth Illit is one that AFSI and the IIF support whole-heartedly. They are literally the "finger in the dike." May they persevere.
DOTHAN VALLEY: HOME OF the 2d of 3 SHEEP FARMs we visited.
AMID DENSE ARAB POPULATION ISRAELIS RISK THEIR LIVES AND THE LIVES OF THEIR CHILDREN TO RETAIN ISRAEL AS A JEWISH STATE
This view is of the surrounding Arab sprawl with their flourishing orchards, from the site of our Sheepherder home site
Chavat Emek Dotan, the Dotan Valley Farm, was established twelve years ago to create a presence in the northern Shomron. David Bitzer gave us an extensive talk on the care the six families on the farm must give to their 600 sheep who graze on thousands of dunams of land, thereby preventing Arab takeover. As it is, Umal Farham is a huge Arab village with homes built to both sides of Road 65, controlling the area.
-KIBBUTZ LEVI IS A 5 STAR HOTEL-
CAN YOU SEE THE 4 GUARDIAN RAPTOR HAWKS ON HOTEL LAVI'S MENORAH?
That night, at Kibbutz Lavi, where so much of the beautiful synagogue furniture is created, Mendy Neeman spoke to us on Israeli Advocacy. Using many Arab sources, he was giving us facts to counter the false Arab claims to land ownership. Unfortunately, people seem unwilling to be confused by the facts, but Mendy's arguments are valid to those willing to listen.
Ari Briggs continued to guide us on Thursday, Oct. 24, as we began our descent in the Jordan Valley. B'rosh HaBiker, home to the recently murdered Sraya Ofer, was our first stop. Marc Prowisor of One Israel Fund, greeted us there and explained how efforts were in progress to increase security there against the non-stop incitement of hatred and killing in the Arab world. A Hesder Yeshiva group had already moved in to establish a presence in this remote, failed, Jewish community.
LIFE ON A SHEEP FARM
DOTHAN VALLEY, WATCH TOWER
The importance of Jewish shepherding was reinforced again in our visit to Rotem. Shira Amussai once again captivated the group with her description of the origins of the community and her courageous one-woman effort to establish it. Shira and her husband now graze their sheep on 3000 dunams and are hoping to bring in 4 caravans to lure other couples to shepherding. After a wonderful lunch at 'Café' Rotem, and some purchasing of fabulous herbal creams and oils, we drove on with Aharon Pulver and Doug Altabef to meet the Shomrim - guards - of Judea and Samaria in Yeshuv Adaat, near Shilo.
The Yishuv has 200 sheep on 8,000 dunam of land. Meir, the Director of the Shomrim of Judea and Samaria, explained that the Shomrim are prepared to guard the flocks from being stolen by Arabs. Theft is rampant and the Shomrim are necessary to enable the farmers to get some respite from their watch. The small community, led by Avichai and Eli Weiss, is planning for 150 homes. If they make it, it will help to prove the success story of shepherding.
It is always wonderful to return to Jerusalem, and that night, after checking into the King Solomon hotel, and enjoying a hearty dinner, many of the group went to Heichal David to participate in the Kahane Memorial Program. It was exciting to meet so many AFSI friends there, and to hear the crowd roar at the introduction of Arieh King, newly elected to the Jerusalem City Council. The elections had taken place Oct. 22, and we were thrilled that in addition to Arieh King winning his seat, our good friend, Alon Davidi, was elected Mayor of Sderot. We wish them every success.
SHEDEMA - PLANTING A TREE IS MORE THAN A SYMBOL
HELEN FREEDMAN, AFSI
Friday, Oct. 25, began with an exciting visit to Shdema where Nadia Matar of Women in Green was waiting for us with a huge welcome sign, and trees ready for planting.We then heard the remarkable Sarah Nachshon from Hebron tell her amazing stories about returningthe Jewish community to Hebron. Her personal contribution is immeasurable.
WIG and the people of Tekoa in a demonstration against Arab terrorism.
HELEN AND JAN holding AFSI BANNER
We then joined with WIG and the people of Tekoa in a demonstration against Arab terrorism on the roads, where residents were stoned and terrorized daily.
Racing along because it was Friday, and the day always becomes too short, we drove to Kever Rachel where Chaim Silberstein of Keep Jerusalem met us. The small roadside grave, which is now a fortress, is another Jewish holy site threatened by Arab takeover. The Arab presence in Bethlehem, once a Christian city, makes it Judenrein. However, study and celebration continues at the Kever. We were pleased to see the beautiful K ibbutz Lavi furniture in the building. It takes some of the sting from the pain of losing our freedom there.
Driving south to Hebron, we passed the entrance to Kiryat Arba and continued further south into the Hebron Hills to visit the outpost of Avigail, near Sussia, where the families of Avner Segal, Elisha Medan, and 30- other families have created an outpost. Their purpose is to create a presence that will break any Arab continuity of land in the area. We wished them great success and promised a more leisurely return visit.
Then it was back to Kiryat Arba to get our room assignments in Yeshivat Nir and prepare for Shabbat Chaye Sarah. The group walked down to the Maarat HaMachpelah, joining the throngs of white-shirted men and festively dressed women. We wished "Shabbat Shalom" to the many soldiers guarding the route down to Hebron, and enjoyed a beautiful and soulful Kabbalat Shabbat in the Isaac Hall, open to Jews only on rare occasions.
A joyful dinner took place back at the Yeshiva with Rav Waldman greeting us graciously, as he always does. After dinner we walked the short distance to the home of Yehudit Katzover, another Hebron heroine, who now chairs WIG with Nadia Matar. Yehudit always hosts MK's and VIP's at her home. She always graciously invites us to join them for dessert - and we always accept and enjoy a special experience.