with Shechem down below.
This past weekend, the NY Times rather accurately portrayed the state of affairs of the difficulties for Jews to pray at the site.
Crammed into a dozen buses and escorted by the Israeli military, the Jewish pilgrims slid quietly along deserted streets throughout the early hours of a recent morning while the residents of this Palestinian city, a militant stronghold ruled until recently by armed gangs, slept in their beds.
The destination was the holy place known as Joseph’s Tomb, a tiny half-derelict stone compound in the heart of a residential district that many Jews believe is the final burial place of the son of Jacob, the biblical patriarch.
The first group arrived around midnight. Rushing through the darkness into the tomb, they crowded around the rough mound of the grave and started reciting Psalms by the glow of their cellphones, not waiting for the portable generator to power up a crude fluorescent light.
They were praying to be infused with some of the righteousness of Joseph, as well as to be able to return. A gaping hole in the domed, charred roof of the tomb left it partly open to the sky, a reminder of the turmoil of the recent past.
Read it all here.
Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד