Global Agenda 8:22 AM 3/7/2014
Music 8:48 AM 3/7/2014
Middle East 4:15 AM 3/7/2014
Life Lessons with Judy Simon
David Wilder was born in New Jersey in the USA in 1954, and graduated from Case Western Reserve University with a BA in History and teacher certification in 1976. He spent 1974-75 in Jerusalem at the Hebrew University and returned to Israel upon graduation.
For over eighteen years David Wilder has worked with the Jewish Community of Hebron. He is the English spokesman for the community, granting newspaper, television and radio interviews internationally. He initiated the Hebron internet project, including email lists of over 15,000 subscribers who receive regular news and commentaries from Hebron in English and Hebrew. David is responsible and continues to update the Hebron web sites, portraying various facets of Hebron, utilizing text, audio, video and pictures. He conducts tours of Hebron's Jewish Community and occasionally travels abroad, speaking at Hebron functions.
David Wilder is married to Ora, a 'Sabra,' for 35 years. They lived in Kiryat Arba for 17 years and have resided at Beit Hadassah in Hebron for the past 15 years. They have seven children and many grandchildren.
Links to sites David recommends:
(others to be added)
There’s a person I know with serious medical issues. He’s undergoing various treatments, which may, or may not succeed in healing him. The therapy is exceedingly difficult, and the doctors, despite their continuing efforts, are not optimistic. A few days ago a senior medical staff member at the hospital had a meeting with the patient’s family. The conversation went something like this:
Professor: Your loved one isn’t in very good shape. We’ll continue to treat him, but chances of recovery are very small. In cases like this we have a standard procedure which can help to lessen your pain.
Family member: We certainly expect that you haven’t given up hope. The medication may still prove to be effective, we continue to pray, and miracles do happen.
Professor: True, but in this profession one learns to expect the worst. Therefore we have conducted major research projects attempting to discover ways to ease your suffering.
Family member: Our suffering? Shouldn’t you be concentrating on the patient?
Professer: Yes, umm, well, we work in several different directions simultaneously.
Family member: OK, I’m not sure that this is really necessary, but what do you suggest? Tranquilizers?
Professor: No, just this.
With that, the professor removed a document from an envelope he’d been gripping and handed it to the family member.
Reminiscent of a college diploma, the paper was titled, ‘Provisional Death Certificate,’ and showed the ill person’s full name, date of birth and an date of death. It was signed by the chief doctor, the Professor and the hospital CEO.
Reading the document, the family member sunk into a nearby chair, paled, and began shaking and crying.
Professor: Ah ha, you see, this is exactly the reaction we expect. All the signs of initial grief. Having already gone through this now, it will be much easier for you when the event actually happens. You will then receive the same certificate, only then it will not be titled ‘provisional,’ and the date will, of course, be changed. You understand that this way, later on, it won’t hurt so much.
Family member: (gasping and stuttering) You aren’t trying to heal him; you’re preparing him for death! That’s not your job. You are supposed to emanate life, not discharge death!
The Prime Minister: We are providing life; a world-to-come, a new life for us and our neighbors. We are creating life, a new state, with provisional borders.
The Jewish people: But these provisional borders are nothing less than a death trap, perpetrated to ensnare us unaware, and then bury the Jewish state of Israel.
PM: I am doing what is provisionally best for the state.
Jewish people: So said your predecessor prior to abandonment of Gush Katif. Since then, hundreds still unemployed, without permanent housing, and thousands of rockets blasted into Israel from the very land we gave them! Again, you will repeat that same mistake again?!
(The Prime Minister glancing behind him, where he sees Olmert, Livni, and Obama cheering him on.)
PM: (taking a deep breath) Ah, well, Gush Katif was an excellent practice session in preparation for the next stage, provisional borders of a new Arab state. And these temporary boundaries are the concluding plans prior to the final solution; just think, following these experiences, perhaps it won’t hurt so much…..
Professor: Easy now, just fill in the blanks – Provisional Death Certificate Name- The State of Israel; Born- May, 1948; Provisional death- Creation of the provisional palestinian state bordering Israel. (Final date to be filled in upon absolute ceasing to exist). ROP (Ruins of Provisionality)
Over the past month, what I would consider to be three miracles have occurred in Hebron. I’d like to relate them.
The first happened on the last night of Hanukkah. Every night, at Ma’arat HaMachpela, someone was honored to
This is the aura of Hebron, the spirit of Machpela, the Divine essence of this holy city.
light the Menorah. On the first night, the special guest was Knesset speaker Rubi Rueven Rivlin. On the last night, one of the army units serving in Hebron for five months was asked to attend the ceremony and have one of the officers do the honors.
After the group arrived and received a short introductory tour inside, one of the officers, a company commander with the rank of captain, stepped forward and said that he wished to light the candles. He told the people there that this was the first time he had ever visited Ma’arat HaMachpela. In addition, he said, coming from a secular background, he’d never before lit Hanukkah candles. Therefore, on this very special occasion, marking his first time at Machpela, he requested the honor and privilege of lighting the candles.
With genuine joy radiating from his face, he lit the eight candles and repeated three blessings. The first two are recited every night, for the mitzvah (commandment) of the lighting, and for the miracle that had occurred. But the third blessing was extraordinary: thanking G-d for have kept him alive, for sustaining him, and for having brought him to this special moment.
It was a moment of tremendous spiritual uplifting.
The second miracle happened a couple of weeks later. By way of introduction: Hebron is plagued by numerous foreign organizations who flock to the city to help the Arabs, while simultaneously inciting against the Jewish community.
One afternoon two people visited my office, a male photographer and an older woman with him. She introduced herself as a research student at a university in Sweden, and was looking for information about Hebron. I queried as to exactly what she was researching and she replied that she needed facts about the pre-1929 Hebron Jewish community.
I decided to introduce her to my colleague Noam Arnon, who is more of an expert on this subject than I. They made an appointment to meet and a few days later she showed up at the office and sat with him for a couple of hours. After she had left I asked him how the session had gone. His answer was astounding.
Noam told me that actually this woman belonged to one of the foreign organizations in Hebron, caring for the Arab population. She had a feeling that perhaps it would be beneficial to speak also with the Jews in the city, but her superiors refused. So she decided to take matters into her own hands and made an appointment with us. After questioning Noam and hearing his responses, she literally had tears in her eyes. She said that there was, somewhere in her family, Jewish blood, and that his answers supported her inner feelings that in Hebron, the conflict between the Jews and Arabs contains more than meets the eye. She left our office telling him how important it had been for them to speak.
A few days later I met this woman at Ma’arat HaMachpela. It was difficult for her to speak, her voice choked and she seemed to fight tears. She thanked me so much for introducing her to Noam and for taking the time to speak with her. When I offered to sit with her again she said that, unfortunately, she was leaving Israel that night, but was so happy that she had had the opportunity to meet with us and hear the other side of the story. When we parted she returned to offer a few more prayers near the memorial for Abraham and Sarah.
The third event occurred about a week ago. An American producer came in to interview me for a new movie. He was accompanied by three Israelis: a videographer, an audio man, and a third, younger person, driving and helping out. He seemed to be extremely tense. While driving into Hebron, calling me for instructions, he exclaimed, “I don’t believe I’m really here.” Later he declared that the group had to be out of the area before nightfall because, ‘Life is good to me, I like my life.’ In other words, ‘it’s much too dangerous to be here.’
The group had arrived late and the interview and tour lasted for a couple of hours, more that they’d intended. At about four thirty, outside Machpela, I told them that I had to go pray afternoon and evening prayers. When they asked if they could join me, I agreed and they followed me upstairs. Arriving, this younger man, never having been in Hebron or Machpela, searched out the Abraham room, and literally fell on the grating of the Abraham memorial, as if pasting himself to it. I had trouble believing that this was the same individual who was so uptight only a few hours ago. Also, it should be kept in mind that he is not religiously observant. But inside Machpela, he seemed to be in a trance.
Later, as they were leaving, he told me that, ‘I have to start coming here to Hebron.’ The next day, calling me, he told me that he wanted to bring a busload of friends into Hebron too.
This is the aura of Hebron, the spirit of Machpela, the Divine essence of this holy city. A couple of hours, a short tour, a conversation or two can and has changed people’s lives. We witness such occurrences all the time. Jews, non-Jews, people from all over the world. Literally, Machpela miracles.