Hebron, Moshe Shamir and Other Memories

The "settlement movement" began in Hebron.

Batya Medad,

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Yes, memories; memories of Hebron, Pesach (Passover) and Moshe Shamir, z.l. Yes, all that mixed together.

What is known as the "settlement movement" began in Hebron, when a few dozen Jews went there with their families before Pesach 5738 (1968). When the holiday ended,
Moshe Shamir differed from most of the other Eretz Yisrael activists.
they refused to leave. Finally, they were taken out of the hotel and housed in the
memshal, the police compound, in downtown Hebron.

There are many stories about that first, post-Six Day War seder (ritual meal). Moshe Burt posted one that mentions the late Moshe Shamir. Moshe Shamir differed from most of the other Eretz Yisrael activists in that his background and life-style were left-wing and secular. His politics evolved and later he was a Knesset member for the Techiya party, along with Geula Cohen and Rabbi Chanan Porat, but he didn't embrace formal religion.

From my observations, he was more religious, though maybe not observant of the mitzvot, than most. The last time I saw him was at an evening dedicated to the republishing of Benzion Netanyahu's book, The Five Fathers of Zionism (in Hebrew). Shamir spoke at that gathering. His comments were different from anyone else's. Shamir complained that the choice of Zionist leaders in the book was completely unbalanced; there were no religious Zionist leaders included. He made it clear that in the revised edition, religious Zionist leaders should have been added. For me, his words were totally unforgettable. Moshe Shamir was a very great man, and he shouldn't be ignored or forgotten.

On a personal note, our very first Passover seder in Israel (1971) was in the memshal in Hebron, as well, as guests of the late Chaim Mageni, z.l., and his wife Shoshana. Recently, hitchhiking home, I caught a ride with their son, who lives in Shvut Rachel, just to the east of our home in Shiloh. I told him of that first seder, a couple of years before he was born. There are customs we keep to this day because we learned them from Chaim and Shoshana.

The memshal, in the middle of Hebron, was an amazing place to be. By following Chaim around outside, we saw signs of former Jewish life all over Hebron. Many, many buildings had indentations in the doorposts for mezuzot, proving that Jews had lived there before they were expelled.

Every time "Peace Now" lies about Jews, they should be taken to court.

And lastly, yes, the Hebron Jewish Community should take the "Peace Now" organization to court to sue for slander. But they shouldn't be the only ones. Every time "Peace Now" lies about Jews, they should be taken to court. Let them prove their allegations, their lies and slander.

Every soldier who is disturbed by the MachsomWatch organization must sue that group, too.

Every word of incitement against the Jews of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, or against religious Jews, by the media, public personalities and politicians must go to court. We don't have to "take it" silently. We mustn't. Remember, there's no "turning the other cheek" in Judaism. In Judaism, every word has power.