Thursday, June 22, 2006

Amazing Midnight Visit to Kever Yehoshua bin Nun

Travel Advisory: Long post, lots of pictures, but definitely worth it!

Dateline: The Muqata.
Time: Thursday evening, June 15, 9:25 PM. (last Thursday night)

Jameel in front of Kever "Nun" -- the father of Yehoshua bin Nun.



I'm about to leave my house and walk to the nightly shiur I try to attend, when I received a message on my IDF beeper:

"Good Evening. Tonight there will be special access to kivrei tzaddikim in Chares between the hours of 00:00 and 04:00"

In civilianese, this means the following:

"Good Evening. Tonight is one of those rare occasions when the IDF will be allowing access to the Arab village "Kifal Chares" -- so that people can visit/daven at the graves of Yehoshua bin Nun, Calev ben Yifuneh, and Nun (the father of Yehoshua, but we don't know what Nun's father's name was). Park your car in Ariel and walk 15 minutes into the village. We only sent out this beeper message at the last minute to prevent terrorists from knowing exactly when we were planning this incursion. From midnight to 4 AM only, to keep the interaction between Jews and Palestinians to a minimum. See you there! Love, IDF Operations"

Woohoo!

This is definitely not something that happens every day -- in fact, it's open maybe 3-4 times a year. In honor of the week's parashat hashavua, "Shlach", where Yehoshua and Calev are prominently featured, it's customary that during this week (if possible), the IDF coordinates access to the village.

From Parashat Shlach:

The Land is very, very good [Numbers 14:7]," the two Jewish heroes reported back to the Jewish nation, which had been waiting for the report of the twelve spies sent to scout out the fortifications and specifications of the local inhabitants' defenses. "You should not fear the people of the land, for they are our bread," declared Calev.

Where is this place anyway? Let's have google maps give us a bird's eye view.

Fine, you can't see much from this satellite image, but it's still totally cool to click on this and zoom out. The concept is awesome!

I'm sure some of you must be thinking, "Yeah, right. This couldn't possibly be the grave of Yehoshua." Let's take a closer look at this village. Note: this is an excellent educational opportunity to print this out and share it over shabbat with your friends in Chutz La'aretz...since for you Parashat Shlach is read this week.

The description of Yehoshua's burial site in Sefer Shoftim (chapter 2: pesukim 8-9) reads as follows:

ח וַיָּמָת יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בִּן-נוּן, עֶבֶד ה' בֶּן-מֵאָה וָעֶשֶׂר שָׁנִים.
ט וַיִּקְבְּרוּ אוֹתוֹ בִּגְבוּל נַחֲלָתוֹ, בְּתִמְנַת-חֶרֶס בְּהַר אֶפְרָיִם, מִצְּפוֹן, לְהַר-גָּעַשׁ.

Yehoshua was buried at the edge of his tribe's section of land, in Timnat Cheres on Mount Efrayim, North of Har-Gaash (the modern translation of Har Ga'ash in a volcano, but we don't know of any active volcanoes in Eretz Yisrael...not even 3000 years ago)

The boundary of Efrayim's section was "Nachal Kana" as mentioned in Yehoshua (chapter 15, pesukim 5-8)


ה וַיְהִי גְּבוּל בְּנֵי-אֶפְרַיִם, לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָם; וַיְהִי גְּבוּל נַחֲלָתָם, מִזְרָחָה, עַטְרוֹת אַדָּר, עַד-בֵּית חוֹרֹן עֶלְיוֹן.
ו וְיָצָא הַגְּבוּל הַיָּמָּה, הַמִּכְמְתָת מִצָּפוֹן, וְנָסַב הַגְּבוּל מִזְרָחָה, תַּאֲנַת שִׁלֹה; וְעָבַר אוֹתוֹ, מִמִּזְרַח יָנוֹחָה.
ז וְיָרַד מִיָּנוֹחָה, עֲטָרוֹת וְנַעֲרָתָה; וּפָגַע, בִּירִיחוֹ, וְיָצָא, הַיַּרְדֵּן.
ח מִתַּפּוּחַ יֵלֵךְ הַגְּבוּל יָמָּה, נַחַל קָנָה, וְהָיוּ תֹצְאֹתָיו, הַיָּמָּה; זֹאת, נַחֲלַת מַטֵּה בְנֵי-אֶפְרַיִם--לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָם


Nachal (Wadi) Kana is a known landmark, the village Timnat Chares is very similar to the Arabic name of Kifel Chares, and the Arabs themselves have the mesora that these 3 graves are those of Yehoshua, Calev and Nun.

Fine. Enough background for now -- let's continue on:

I call up our local security officer and ask him where exactly we park our cars for this excursion and he said he'd call me back in a few minutes. I go off to shiur, and then get a message from the IDF: We want you to come with your yishuv's 4x4 security vehicle and bring the emergency (generator-based) lighting system. Other yishuvim are sending their lighting system and we want to borrow yours as well.

OK...

If they ask, and I'm going anyway, it's fine with me. The good news is that I get to drive right into the village and don't have to park far away/wait/walk/etc.



The security vehicle we drove with emergency lighting u-haul.


I informed a friend from the yishuv about this opportunity and he jumps at it. We leave at 11:30 PM, and drive through the winding, dark mountain roads of the Shomron. Arriving at 12:15 at the entrance to the village of Kifel Chares, the IDF sentry radios ahead that we've arrived. A high ranking officer runs over and can't stop thanking us for bringing the emergency lighting...(when it was really our pleasure all along.) Giving us the VIP treatment (or actually giving homage to the emergency lighting vehicle U-Haul connected to our 4x4), we are escorted by a jeep in front of us and behind, to lead us through the village. Our emergency strobe lights are flashing yellow around and round giving the landscape a very eerie look.

What a friendly place this is!

Green Hamas flags are flying everywhere and posters from the recent PA elections adorn almost every building.



I will admit, this was very surrealistic -- something out of a scene from a movie, as we snake through the narrow streets of the village. Every 20 feet is another solider or two standing alert...and the walls are covered in Arabic graffiti.

I recognized this artwork as that of the PFLP terror group:


Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the terrorist group responsible for the murder of Tourism Minister Rechavam Ze'evi.


Finally, we park our 4x4 across from Kever Nun, set up the emegency lighting, and take some pictures.





The edge of the Kever is covered with grape vines, and someone comes up to me and says I should take some, since it's a segula for children. I politely declined...but thanked him in any event, since he was just tring to be helpful.



I recited tehillim there for about 15 minutes -- mentioning the names of different individuals who need help from above to overcome different illnesses, names of those who wanted shidduchim (can't hurt, can it?) and for the general welfare of the Jewish people, specifically those of us living in Yehuda, Shomron and Israel.

There were 3 types of people milling around (not including soldiers):

Chareidim/Chassidim who came on 3 bulletproofed buses from Jerusalem (this was the majority of the people there).

Carlebach-type/Noar Hagvaot Settler-type (hippi-ish with guitars, bongo drums and huge wool crocheted kippot)

Modern Religious and blend-into-society-settler types (less than 20 of those).

We started walking to Kever Yehoshua bin Nun through the dark streets, illuminated by green stick-lights every 20 feet. Some soldiers were standing on the street, others atop strategic positions overlooking the street.

A group of kids came up behind me singing very loudly and I yelled at them to shut up. I told them it's the middle of the night and people are sleeping...and if that didn't appeal to them, they should know that if they cause problems the IDF won't let anyone visit here for a long time. They lowered their noise a bit and decided I must be police/shabak or something, because of my civilian clothes and counter-terror M16.

We arrived at Kever Yehoshua, and repeated the same as we did by the grave of his father.

Pictures. Tehillim. Davening.



And then on to Kever Calev ben Yefuneh...we were doing alot of walking! And the time was flying by. I couldn't believe how fast the time passed. It was already 2:30 PM.


Kids sitting along the square outside of Kever Yehoshua. They wanted to know why I was taking their picture. I assured them I wasn't police/shabak.

Two guys outside the Kever of Calev Ben Yifuneh

The entrance to Kever Calev ben Yefuneh.


Scouting around the building, we entered the building which houses the Kever.






Kever Calev ben Yefuneh was definitely the most impressive of all 3 graves we visited. There was a green cloth cover over the matzeva, which reminded me of the one from Kever Yosef where I had been privileged to visit just 3 days before the current Intifada war broke out 5 years ago.

Spent a while here as well.

It was close to 3:00 AM, so we decided to start walking back to the Kever of Nun (that's where our 4x4 was).

Took a picture of this sign...which declared that a Palestinian Authority infrastructure project was underway, funded by the Belgian government. Unfortunately for the residents of this village, all I saw was the sign...and no indication of any projects going on anywhere.



Continuing down the dark street, we found a bag on the floor near a house. Surprise -- it was from Tiffany's! I didn't realize that in the midst of this rather tired and bombed out looking village, there was a Tiffany's branch. Five Towns and Teaneck Residents -- make sure you stop here on your next trip to Israel!


Tiffany's in Kifel Chares


When we reached the Kever of Nun, there were alot more people there than a few hours earlier. Lots of soldiers were coming up say tehillim and daven. These weren't religious soldiers at all...but felt it was important to say some tehillim at this place which was rarely opened to the public. I saw female combat soldiers come over as well, go to the section cordoned off for women, and daven. One female soldier arrived wearing a standard-IDF-uniform-issue (but rarely seen) olive-colored skirt. She went over and quietly swayed back and forth as she poured out her heart in davening.

Senior officers praying with Visitors.

It was now 3:30...and we were supposed to start packing up to head home. I looked around and took one last picture -- a sabras tree. In the middle of this village, alongside the grave of Nun, was a huge tree, heavily laden with the sabra prickly fruit.




I arrived home close to 4:30 AM, exhausted, but elated that I was privileged to daven at the burial site of these historic individuals. It's events like this that remind me how privledged I am to live in Israel, despite the occasional difficulties. Experiencing the historic connection to the land of Israel on such a physical level of being able to actually visit these places, is one of the most profound Biblical realizations of our return home as a people, to our homeland.

Shabbat Shalom!

Jameel

The Muqata.



Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

75 comments:

Joe Settler said...

Wow. Now I'm sorry I missed it.

Shtender said...

I gotta move to Israel already.

Thanks for sharing this story and pics.

Scraps said...

1) This post brought tears to my eyes.
2) I'm jealous.

Chai18 said...

wish i could have been there

chardal said...

Wow

kasamba said...

What a zchuss to have gone there!

May your tefilot there be answered for you and the whole of Klall Yisrael!

Emah S said...

What an amazing experience for you and those who were there. Under the cover of night.....it sure did seem like a movie. glad it all went well!

KACH 613 said...

wish i was there i was at Kever Yosef last year (found out abot the bus 5 min before it left)Jameel let us know before. You think there is Hamas on your blog?

David Linn said...

Great stuff! What a zechus. BTW, are you related to :) You kind of look like him in that pic of you.

I'm Haaretz, Ph.D. said...

WOW! That's just unbelievable. It makes all the hardship you go through living in constant danger worth it!

gw said...

Absolutely amazing. Awe inspiring events. Jewish Army securing arab village for Jews to pray at the grave of biblical figures. I have one question for you Jameel. Wouldn't you assume that these charedi youth, after experiencing this, would want to join the IDF?

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Joe: My fault - I will call you next time.

Shtender: Hopefully soon...

Scraps: Glad you liked the post!

Chai: So? Email me, I'll let you know the next time we do something like this.

Chardal: I'll call you too!

K613: Could be. I'm not going to publicize it here in advance. (except for the chanuka tiyul this past year to mizbeach yehoshua which I blogged about...)

David: Don't out me on my own blog! Yes, second cousin.

Kasamba: AMEN!

Emah S: You'll be in Israel soon enough...Chol hamoed Sukkot is a great time to go to places like this as well. (Mearat HaMachpela for exmaple)

IH, PhD: First of all, I don't think our lives are in constant danger... Our quality of life in our yishuv is excellent! Where else do you know can a 5 year old walk a 3 year old to gan every morning? (my kids do!) I'll have to blog about this next week...

GW: Yes. But it's not up to them though...lots of external pressure from the community.

safranit said...

Just out of curiousity, are these men only trips? I'm not a big kever visitor, but I think it would be interesting.

Rafi G said...

I went last year. I do not remember the date, but I think it was the yahrtzeit of Yehoshua.. I found your description very much resembling what it was like when I went.. except I do not remember seeing the Tiffanys branch! The economy must be doing better if they found it worthwhile to open one...

How do you get sent these notices? I have not been there or to kever yosef in a while because I have not been able to find out when they are open...

Bagel Blogger said...

Jameel, Thank you so much for sharing your visit with us. truly inspirational, I can see the trouble you have gone to so as to share it with us.

Shalom Aaron

holy hyrax said...

Some questions:

Kever Nun seems to be totally outside, due the natives of the village respect this site that they probably walk by all the time?

Do the village people know you guys are coming? Do you face any problems with them?

I love seeing the pics with the soldiers and the charedis. Whats the relationship like between the two groups?

These were great pics, and you look exactly like I always pictured you.

Wait... whats.. that? I'm hearing.. music in my head. "Eretz, Eretz, Eretz...." NO, NO, GET OUT OF MY HEAD

Rafi G said...

I always wondered why they keep Kalev's gravesite so nice and clean.. I never figured that out..

Irina Tsukerman said...

That's incredible! Shame I wasn't there...

StepIma said...

what an amazing post - thanks for sharing it

socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Wow great pics. Looks like an awesome trip. Next time take the darn smiley off of your face hehe.

Mississippi Fred MacDowell said...

Wonderful post, amazing pics.

Out of curiosity, what is your opinion--if any--on the historicity of these kevarim or others? I don't think it was clear even from your description of how it relates to Tanakh and Arab tradition.

Elster said...

What a post. I admit to not reading the entire thing but i DID skim it. Amazing.

Oleh Yahshan said...

Jameel, I love the picture of you.. Great Smile. (Nice rifle as well... איזה יאסח!!)

Other than that.. Nice pictures.. and I would love to go and visit it sometime... and I know that we have every right to go and see the sites, But why do people feel the need to pray at Graves?? I apoligize in advanced if this get's an old argument going again... but I see these people, and just ask my self, What does one pray for at these places, that he can't pray for in other places (Say... Jerusalem??)

A Frum Idealist said...

whoa. sounds amazing. I concur with shtender, it does make me yearn for our aretz.

Also, your writing sounded familiar, now that I see your picture, I am quite sure. We went to college together, didn't we?

Thanks for the virtual tour

the sabra said...

yo jameel, that was long?
(i was so "into it" that i nearly shut the lights n went to bed, myself.) that was an incredible account and i do thank you for postin it. it reminds me of my kever yosef trip last year.
im happy that people are 'jealous'. they should be.

(o and i loved the sabra tree :) )

Sharvul said...

I don't think I've ever seen so many "wow" comments for one post, so I hate to be a killjoy. But a man's got to do what a man's got to do...

Do you seriously believe these are the graves of Yehoshua and Calev?

I mean, I guess it's OK to get excited over a nightly adventure (funded by my tax money, but let's not go there). After all, boys will be boys, even if they're not strictly boys any longer. But trying to argue that we know for sure the location of graves from over 3,000 years ago is downright childish.

At least the people who put up the sign were honest with facts: ציון and not קבר... It's nothing but a place (probably some sheik's final resting place) that grave fetishists decided to worship. Much like the so-called "Kever Yossef", "Kever Rachel", and so on and so forth.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Sharvul is upset for a few reasons:

1. When I asked to discuss a left/right issue with him in a civil manner last week, his response was basically that he's too tired. Much easier to bash right-wingers than debate in a civil manner.

2. I guess my tax money is irrelavent...only his counts.

3. Grave fetish? Midrash clearly quotes from parashat shlach that Yehoshua and Calev went to daven at Mearat HaMachpela.

4. Ziyun kever is a signmarker for a resting place. The grave could be nearby or directly underneath. Its the exact same thing (and signs) in Meerat HaMachpela.

5. The secular IDF officers, from the Machat (division commander) downwards who came didn't have a problem saying tehillim there. I'm sorry you do.

5. Don't like it? Go somewhere else. At least I tried to dialogue with you honestly and politely.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Safranit: There were women there as well (in addition to the women soldiers). Open to the public.

Rafi G: I get these messages from the IDF as a volunteer in our yishuv's security apparatus. If you want, I can let you know by email the next time something like this is announced.

Aaron: Glad I could share them. I had some time this morning to type this up, since I was driven to work today instead of me driving :)

Holy Hyrax:
1. Unfortunately, if you google in hebrew for descration and "kever nun" you'll find a whole slew of articles about Palestinians desecrating the site.

2. The village people had no idea we were coming as the operations is kept secret to prevent friction from both sides. We didn't see any Arabs the whole time (then again, at midnight, everyone should be sleeping. Its not like this village has lots of nightlife.)

3. The relationship between the soldiers and the chareidim was something very special. They davened out of the same siddurim and tehillim books. Even had their arms around each other's shoulders at some point.

5. Glad you liked the pics. I might have looked different if I were wearing my sunglasses...

Mississippi Fred MacDowell: Yes, that is an interesting question. My own opinion is that these could be the the correct places historically. There's a fantastic book, "מקומןת קדושים וקברי צדיקים בארץ ישראל" by Michelson, Salomon and Milner, (1997) published by the Israeli Ministry of Defence that includes all 3 of these locations, including background information and previous historical references to these sites which re-enforce the possibility that these are in fact, the correct locations.

StepIma: you're very welcome!

Irina: Maybe you can go on your next visit.

Elster: Print it out and read it over shabbat ;)

socialworker: It doesn't come off!

Oleh Yashan: As I wrote above, there's an ancient tradition to daven at places like this. Besides, praying here and in Yerushalayim isn't mutually exclusive!

Frum Idealist: was it the smile you recognized or the writing which gave me away...?

Sabra: Youre lucky to have gone to kever yosef last year. Its getting harder and harder to go. Twice so far Ive gone to Itamar only to be told that it's been cancelled that evening because of intelligence warnings.

Klovs said...

Very interesting

Rafi G said...

definitely do. The past couple of years I went to Kever Yosef nearly a dozen times, kever yehoshua and kalev and others.. Recently I have had a hard time finding out in a timely fahsion about these trips, and they are happening less frequently as it is..
If you could let me know whenever possible I would appreciate it. Thanks.

Last time I went to kever Yehoshua I wrote something up for my shul bulletin (it was in my pre-blogging days). I now feel like seeing if I ever saved a copy and comparing notes..

Yonah said...

Kol Hakavod - inspiring post. But where were the mini-Jameels?

Our Yishuv is wimpy - no beepers like yours with those info-flashes - would have enjoyed going.

tafka PP said...

Sounds very meaningful and special.

Just a shame that all the Chares residents were under curfew for you to be able to go there. (But good for you for quietening down the rowdy kids.)

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Yonah: Guess you gotta move on over to the muqata-land :) Mini-Jameels didn't feel like going this time...I usually drag them everywhere, so I need to let them decide for themselves.

tafka pp: Curfer from midnight to 4 AM isn't unreasonable...yet the desecration of the sites by them from time to time is inexcusable. And rowdy kids should just shut up, regardless of where they are at 3 AM.

~ Sarah ~ said...

wow... thank you for sharing.

Shabbat Shalom :)

jim said...

Jameel, your post is magnificent, all else pales in comparison, the privilege to see and read your words, a touch of the physical connection you experienced, my heart opened and hung suspended until the female soldier in skirt davening, then tears of joy and sadness mixed, and I felt so deeply the need to return, my heart now stirs restless within me so wonderful.

Thanks for the absolute best post ever yet, Jameel.

socialworker/frustrated mom said...

That's too bad!

bec said...

jameel,
awesome post, but i must say, you look awfully jaundiced in that first picture, or is it merely the lighting? :)

Jack's Shack said...

That sounds very cool.

Bari said...

Super inspiring post.

(BTW, Nun's father was Elishama: Divrei HaYamim I 7:27)

Ari Kinsberg said...

Wow, great post!

I visited Kever Yosef in 1992, but I did not appreciate it as much as you did Kever Yehoshua, et al. Perhaps this is because back it was not necessary to sneak in during the middle of the night accompanied by a midnight military escort. (I even tremped home from there.)

I must admit that I have my doubts about some (many? most?) of these kevarim. Especially when two different locales claim to be the home of a particular kever. In any case, when I was in Israel three years ago I bought Vilnai's "Matzevot Kodesh be-Eretz Yisra'el." I knew I would probably never use it, but I could not resist the price. Well thanks for giving me a reason to use it (see vol. 1, pp. 249-61, with pics), as well as an excuse to dust off my Otzar ha-Masa'ot (by JD Eisenstein, pp. 345-6). Apparently in Vilnai's time it was also dangerous to visit Yehoshua's kever. He writes: "After the war [WWI] they stopped visiting, because the region around Shekhem, which was drecnched with hatred for the Jews, instilled great fear in them. When I visited Kefar Heres in Elul 1932, the Arabs looked at us with hatred and suspicion. They almost did not let us approach the graves, and they would not permit us to photograph them."

Stam said...

Wow, thanks for that!

trn said...

An awesome, adventurous, and enviable excursion.

Anonymous said...

"...Yehuda, Shomron AND Israel."

Jameel, what are you trying to say?

Yellow Boy

Anonymous said...

Fantastic post. The Tiffany bag was the icing on the cake though...

and to tafka - why doesn't it bother you that Jews have to have an army escort in the middle of the night in order to pray at a Jewish grave?

Pragmatician said...

What an amazing adventure.
Personally I'm not sure I think it's a great idea to take such risks but nevertheless it's a big Zechus indeed.

Mike Miller said...

I suppose I'm joining this party a little late.. but wow (then again, I said that to you the day afterwards).

My question was going to be the same as Rafi G's: how do you (well, how does a non-IDF involved citizen) find out about these sort of things -- I guess the answer is from you!

Of course, the next question is how do I get there from RBS at midnight without a car, but I suppose that's a slightly easier one to solve...

Anonymous said...

Awesome! Beats a Friday-morning unveiling anytime! ;-)

Shoshana said...

Wow, I get shivers just reading your account.

FrumGirl said...

Thank you so much for sharing this experience with us... I am so jealous! Good shabbos!

Chana said...

Really stunning, Jameel. I read every word. And you look nothing like what I envisioned - very Ashkenaz. ;)

Chana said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
AMSHINOVER said...

you still da man
send me regards

Sweettooth120 said...

Wow...I never pictured you looking like that. So you're the real heir to Walmart.

David Linn said...

My bad, next time I'll be more discrete.

the sabra said...

we got to kever yosef by callin up the yeshiva od yosef chai and they put us on their 'list'. then i got a call similar to yours.
who would we have to call that we want to be informed of the kevarim in the other areas?

Rebecca said...

wow what an amazing experience. The arab pictures make me sick but the holiness of the rest of it makes me forget for just a moment. When I am living here in Galus it is so hard to appreciate judaism and the torah as much as you folks in Israel do. Everywhere you walk is a piece of tanach, it is amazing. I miss Israel so much and I sometimes feel like a coward for not living there.

YMedad said...

With your accent they thought you Shabak?
I'm impressed.

rockofgalilee said...

The galil is just one big tzaddik graveyard and we never get messages saying we can go visit in the middle of the night.
Of course that might have something to do with the fact that you can go visit them during the day (or night) without getting shot at, pelted with rocks or lynched.

I've only been grave hopping once, though. I joined my daughter's first grade class during the aseres yimei tshuva as they went from place to place saying tehillim (or soemthing).

Lady-Light said...

Very moving post...I felt as if I was there. When I make Aliyah (for my 2nd time)in a few years I want to look you up to find out how to get to all these batei kevarot.
BTW, nice pic of you; didn't know you were so good-looking.
In other tech matters, you seem to be pretty hi-tech in your html knowledge; I saw the Israel time clock on your blog and tried to 'install' it on mine, but when I previewed it, the time was wrong! How far off GMT is Israel, anyway - and in which direction, plus or minus?
confusedly,
lady-light

tafka PP said...

Anonymous who asked me why it "doesn't bother" me that Jews have to visit a Jewish grave under armed guard- You've clearly no idea what does or doesn't "bother" me!

Jameel- this has nothing to do with desecration of graves. You are welcome to make a personal judgement call that a 4-hour curfew isn't "unreasonable" for the sake of you and others going to pray at holy Kever, but don't present that as fact, please.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Tafka PP: OK, its just as unreasonable as Jews having to go into Shechem under the cover of darnkness to pray at Kever Yosef, just as unreasonable that Jews can't pray at Mearat HaMachpela in Hevron, and actually - its alot less unreasonable that Jews have such a difficult time being able to pray on Har HaBayit.

LadyLight: Israel is +2 hours ahead of GMT. When you say the time was wrong - wrong for your local time, or wrong for Israel time? Email me for the technical details of how to get it to work.

YMedad: Their accents were worse than mine!

Pragmat: Its still a bigger risk to get in a car and drive in Israel than it is to go on this night-time operation.

YB: Actually - you are correct; what I meant to write was "Yehuda, SHomron and the REST of Israel."

Amshinover: Still waiting for you to come back and visit again...

Rock: There are places you can't visit either. Like next to Har Dov...Kever Rav Ashi is in "chavat sha'aba" which is under a constant Hizbolla shelling threat.

Mike: I can keep you apprised of such events if you wish.

And to all - I apologize for my jaundiced appearance in the picture...must be monitor-glare-burn.

blueenclave said...

Also very moving post. Why is Kalev not buried in Hebron? He would not necessarily have to be buried at Maaras haMachpelah, but he could have a tomb in the area.

RR said...

Awesome post, Jameel!

"Love, IDF Operations"

LOVE? LOL

Darn it, I was going to make a "you look jaundiced" remark. :-(

Aliza said...

I'm so jealous

Anonymous said...

What happend that you came home alone? Did you leave your friend in the Arab village?

Milhouse said...

Assuming that this is the same Timnat Heres, which seems reasonable, then Yehoshua would be buried, if not directly under that stone, then somewhere in the immediate area. Nun? I'd have thought he'd have died in Egypt or in the desert, but if he was over 60 when they left Egypt I guess it's possible that he survived to be buried on his family's land. But Kalev? What on earth is he doing buried in Har Efrayim? Surely he must be buried somewhere in Hevron, mustn't he?

Milhouse said...

Follow-up: So, we have a grave in Harres, supposedly that of Kalev, who is surely buried in Hevron. Meanwhile in Hevron, we have the supposed grave of Yishai, whose actual remains must be somewherein Amman. All we need now is an equally suspicious grave in Amman, preferably of some notable person who by all logic and evidence ought to be buried in Harres. Any suggestions?

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Jerry Haber said...

Hi Jameel,

I am new to your blog, but hats off for the pictures, and the number of responses.

What is your response to the accuracy of the reports that Arab graves were desecrated by the folks that went to the kever? Did you see anything? Here is some of the Haaretz editorial.

Best
Jerry


Desecrating graves and morality

By Haaretz Editorial

The vandals who entered the cemetery in Kifel Hares during the night between Thursday and Friday and smashed tombstones, threw garbage and scrawled graffiti not only desecrated graves, they pulled the moral basis for protesting disrespect for the dead out from under all of Israeli society. Israel will have difficulty from now on garnering support for its justified complaints against the desecration of Jewish graves in Europe.

The rabbis who distanced themselves from these acts, as well as those who tried weakly to justify them, said, as they always do in such cases, that the tombs' desecrators are extremists who do not represent the bulk of those who pray at the graves of holy men. This is a wretched argument, based on the fact that most of the public does not understand what a group of fanatic Bratslav Hasidim and extremist "hilltop youth" (along with a few settlers and ultra-Orthodox who wander from one Jewish tomb to another) were even doing there, and wrongly believes that nobody in the settlement leadership encourages nationalist-racist acts. Those who teach that Bible stories have an immediate connection to daily life in the occupied territories cannot absolve themselves of responsibility for enthusiastic disciples who seek to turn the eradication of the Canaanite nations into a brutal current event.

Anonymous said...

Nachal Kana as the border for aphraim is Joshua Chapter 16 not 15. keep up the good work

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Eliyahoo William Dwek said...

Parasha of Beshalach: 17:13

'Vayachalosh Yehoshua et amalek ve'et amo lefi charev.'

'And Yehoshua weakened amalek and his people by the sword.'

Eliyahoo William Dwek said...

Parasha of Beshalach: 17:14

'Vayomer Hashem el Moshe:
Ketov zot zikaron BaSefer, vesim beoznei Yehoshua, Ki Macho Emcheh et zecher amalek mitachat Hashamayim.'

"And Hashem said to Moshe:
Write this for a remembrance in the Book, and put it in the ears of Yehoshua: for I will utterly wipe out the memory of amalek from under the Heaven."

Kamagra said...

Those who teach that Bible stories have an immediate connection to daily life in the occupied territories cannot absolve themselves of responsibility for enthusiastic disciples who seek to turn the eradication of the Canaanite nations into a brutal current event.

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