Inside Israel 2:43 AM
Middle East 6:42 AM 6/18/2013
Middle East 12:14 AM 6/19/2013
Israel Beat Jewish Music Podcast
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 33 years. They lived in Kiryat Arba for 17 years and have resided at Beit Hadassah in Hebron for the past 14 years. They have seven children and many grandchildren.
Links to sites David recommends:
(others to be added)
Kislev 23, 5773, 12/7/2012
Kislev 20, 5773, 12/4/2012
The cards seem to be falling, almost as planned. Our Arab neighbors asked the international anti-Israel organization, otherwise known as the United Nations, for recognition in their efforts to delete Israel from the world map. They approached the number one warrior, General Assembly, who consulted with his Defense cabinet, the Security council, which vetoed the idea, realizing the negative consequences. So the General decided to go it alone. As such, palestine was created by General Assembly and his friends.
The key word in that last sentence is, of course, created. From scratch. Because it never really existed. At least, not as an Arab entity. So, we’re going back to the days of ‘Creation’ when G-d created the heavens, the earth, and of course, now, palestine.
Israel did as expected. The UN’s greatest nemesis declared parts of ‘palestine’ to actually be part of Israel.
Actually, everyone already knew that the four and a half mile area labeled E1 is as much of Israel as is Tel Aviv. The land, on the outskirts of Jerusalem, extending to Ma’aleh Adumim, is as Jewish as Rye bread. Well, almost everyone. Jodi Rudoren, in the NY Times, labels the area ‘contentious.’ Others call this ‘illegal Israeli settlement.’
Then again, what is considered ‘Israeli settlement’ in ‘conquered’ ‘palestinian’ land? Again, Ms. Rudoren serves as a faithful messenger of world opinion. Writing about ‘East Jerusalem,’ she mentions neighborhoods such as French Hill, Ramot. Also, Har Homa, Givat HaMatos, and Pisgat Zeev.
Not too long ago, when VP Biden visited Israel, the White House flipped over when it was announced that some 1,500 new apartments would be built in Ramat Shlomo, also classified a ‘settlement.’ The plan was quickly scrapped. Until yesterday.
Of course, anyone who has ever visited Jerusalem knows that these are all normal neighborhoods in Israel’s capitol city. Any thought of ‘withdrawal’ from Ramot or French Hill or Ramat Shlomo is about as far-fetched as whatever your head can come with.
The resulting uproar, from Israel’s front and backyard, was expected. After all, who cares that just north of us, a desperate Arab mass murderer is arming chemical weapons for use on ‘rebels.’ If the wind’s blowing in the right direction, maybe some of the gas will float over (G-d forbid) into ‘enemy territory.’
But that takes back seat to Jewish imperialism and expansionism. Ambassadors are being recalled. Israeli envoys are being scolded. And Israeli political leftists are decrying Netanyahu’s outrageous move. Ha’aretz newspaper: “Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says he was dismayed by Israel’s “offending” response to the “extraordinary courage” shown by President Obama’s Administration in their defense of Israel at the United Nations. “I was utterly surprised,” he said.”
Ok, so what’s next? It seems that the whole world is against us. Again. There are those who suggest that Obama and the Europeans will ‘use this’ against our attempts to end Iran’s nuclear threat.
What should Israel do next? Buckle under to world pressure or tell them all to jump in the lake?
In a few days we begin celebrating Hanukkah, the festival of lights. During the days of the Maccabees, there was tremendous pressure on the Jews to fold to Greek pressure, and assimilate into Hellenistic culture. The Maccabees refused, declaring war on this attempt to spiritually destroy Judaism. Then too, the few fought the many. And they won. As such, we celebrate Hanukkah, marking eight days with candles lit every evening. There were many miracles. A tiny drop of pure olive oil lasted for eight days. And the military victory was no less a Divine phenomenon.
As we approach these festive days of wonder, again finding ourselves being oppressed by the ‘Greeks’ of today, once more, we should show our independence. Every day during Hanukkah, another seed should be planted. For example, the first night, we should be given permits allowing us to move back into Beit HaMachpela in Hebron. The second night, permits should be issued returning the ‘Shalhevet neighborhood’ – the area of the old Arab market, to Hebron’s Jewish community. Etc. Etc.
Not only in Hebron, but throughout Judea and Samaria. And in Jerusalem. Three thousand new apartments should be transformed into 30,000 new apartment buildings. And let’s not forget: Netanyahu should announce plans to rebuild Gush Katif, thereby ending, once and for all, rocket attacks into Israel.
This will put an end to the figment of world imagination, called ‘palestine.’
Everyone will get upset? So what! Almost 2,200 years ago many were upset at Judah Maccabee, his father and brothers. Yet they did what they did. Thank G-d.
And if anyone has any doubts about our Creator’s tangible presence today, as in the days of the Maccabees, just remember that a couple of weeks ago, a ‘giant hand’ was swooping rockets, launched at Israel, out of the sky. What more could we ask for?
Therefore, the present issues are easily solved: do what you’ve gotta do and then just get out the candles!
Kislev 13, 5773, 11/27/2012
Exactly four years ago, a few days prior to the Likud primaries I posted a blog called: The Time is Now! - Moshe Feiglin & Manhigut Yehudit, I wrote: "…It is quite clear: should Netanyahu be again elected Prime Minister with a parve Likud list, he will continue in the footsteps of one of his predecessors, namely one Bibi Netanyahu, who signed away 80% of Hebron to Arafat terrorists, and continued by agreeing to the infamous Wye Accords…Moshe Feiglin represents the paradigm Jewish leader: a man of faith and conviction, with a proven track record…this man, together with others, will be a true Kiddush HaShem, bringing to Israeli leadership what has long been so lacking: a belief and understanding of the ‘holy triangle’ of Am Yisrael – the Jewish people, Eretz Yisrael – the Land of Israel, and Torah…and will be living proof that it is possible to utilize the existing framework of the State of Israel within the boundaries of Kedusha – holiness, thereby bringing about a major ‘tikkun’ – rectification of the current failings of leaderless leadership."
Four years ago I used the words, 'should Netanyahu be elected with a parve Likud list…" – parve meaning, a weak group of centrists, sometimes leaning right, sometimes leaning left, who are more afraid of Obama, Abu Mazen and the EU than anything else, excepting perhaps their own shadows.
In yesterday's Likud primary, a large, or better put, huge group of strong, idealistic, right-wing political activists with proven track-records were elected to represent Israel's ruling party in the next Knesset. I can happily say that all of the twelve people I voted for are in the top twenty, all of whom have an extremely good chance to be in the Knesset.
Ah, you ask, why would I vote in the Likud primaries?! What's with a Hebronite and the Likud?
The answer: Moshe Feiglin.
Moshe Feiglin is, I believe, directly responsible for the list elected yesterday. Almost all of those elected, with very few exceptions, are right-wing superstars, who fully back Hebron, and all other Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, who oppose any type of withdrawal from anywhere in Eretz Yisrael, and who will combat, with all their hearts and souls, creation of a so-called palestinian state.
The reason that these people were elected is because of Feiglin. He enlisted the electorate who voted overwhelmingly for them in the Likud primaries.
I won't try to explain the all the conceptual ideas behind Feiglin's ideology. He can do that much better than me. But simply put, his original initiative, challenging Netanyahu for the Likud premiership, while attracting a massive ideological political power base into the Likud, was a brilliant stroke of genius which began paying off four years ago, and has presently culminated with the current excellent Likud list.
The Psalmist writes: (34:15), "Depart from evil, and do good."
These politicians can put the brakes on Bibi, preventing him from pulling left, and doing 'evil,' while at the same time, they will 'do much good.' Gideon Saar is sending Israeli school kids to Hebron. Yisrael Katz renovated and modernized miles and miles of roads in Judea and Samaria. Zeev Elkin co-chaired the Eretz Yisrael lobby in the Knesset, etc. etc. etc. Many of them can attribute their victory to Moshe Feiglin's army of people, who, like me, joined the Likud to ensure, not only Feiglin's place in the Knesset, but also to guarantee a list such as was elected yesterday. And their triumph is our triumph.
The above-quoted verse in Psalm concludes: "seek peace, and pursue it." The peace sought and pursued by these words' author, relates not to Camp David, Oslo, or any other future farce. Rather, to real peace, the fulfillment of a Divine promise which includes the right and obligation of the Jewish people to live in their land, all their land, Israel. Only then will the entire world reap the rewards of tranquility and serenity, for ever after.
We cannot live under an illusion that all will proceed exactly as we would desire, that we are 'home free.' Not yet. But we're on the way. Each step in the right direction is a sign from Above that we've done something right. And in this case, we must give thanks where thanks are deserved. That's why we must thank Moshe Feiglin.
Kislev 5, 5773, 11/19/2012
Cheshvan 26, 5773, 11/11/2012
When I invite people to Hebron for Shabbat, I sometimes hear the response, “I’ve been – I was for Shabbat Chaye Sarah.” But in fact, Shabbat Chaye Sarah in Hebron isn’t a normal Shabbat. It’s an experience.
Yesterday, according to conservative estimates, over 20,000 people visited this holy city.
Here in our offices, this event began weeks ago; planning for the multitudes. Many man hours, and much money is invested to ensure that the day will be a success. And as much as we want, and need rain, we sort of hope that this day will remain dry.
My Chaye Sarah began on Friday, wandering around, hoping to get some good photos. Being that the main events are on Shabbat, I have no way to photograph the occasion. (That’s really my only regret about this wonderful day.)
Toward early mid-afternoon the tents start popping up on the lawn in the park across from Machpela. Men, women, kids of all ages, can be found camping out. I spoke to people who’d come from Netanya and Akko to sleep in a tent on the ground because ‘this is the city of the Patriarchs. It’s ours.’ On Friday night, walking back from amazing evening prayers at Machpela, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Families pitched tents on the road, between parked cars and opened up small tables from which to enjoy their Shabbat meal. Young children, swathed in winter jackets, sat around such tables, eating, singing and enjoying the festivity.
Evening prayers are unbelievable. Various minions – prayer services – spring up on the lawn outside, in the courtyard, and inside the building. Thousands upon thousands descend on Herod’s 2,000 year old structure to offer Shabbat prayers. These worship services include song and dance, true joy. More than one group includes dozens of people who have flown into Israel from the United States and Europe, for 48 hours, to participate in this massive celebration. It is indescribable.
During meals, huge tents were filled to capacity. People hosted, some more, some less. In my apartment, aside from filling our bedrooms (in one, three older married women slept together), our living room floor contained four guys and the couch bedded my friend Moshe Goldshmid, whose family has been coming to us for about 14 years for this Shabbat. Moshe’s grandfather, Rabbi Moshe Goldshmid, was murdered in Hebron during the 1929 riots. For meals, another visiting family joined us.
Others hosted literally dozens, eating in shifts (and maybe sleeping in shifts too).
After evening meals many participated in political panel discussions, including numerous Israeli MKs, ministers and Rabbis. Visitors toured all day and all night. Saturday afternoon my friend Noam Arnon led a huge tour in the Casba. Simcha Hochbaum guided a huge group throughout the Jewish neighborhoods. I had two tours of the Tel Rumeida neighborhood, showing the uninitiated the wonders of ancient-new Hebron.
I must also mention: Friday afternoon we dedicated a memorial room to our dear friend, Herb Zweibon, founder and director of AFSI, Americans for a Safe Israel. Herb was a genuine friend of Israel, and especially of Hebron’s Jewish community. AFSI’s executive director, Helen Freedman led a group of about 25 friends from the US for a week-long visit in Israel, and to Hebron for this Shabbat. We all gathered at the new “Zweibon Hall,” at the entrance to the ‘Hezkiah neighborhood,” here in Hebron to dedicate this room in Herb’s memory.
Late Saturday afternoon I participated in the ‘3rd meal’ with our friends attending via Hebron’s US branch, the Hebron Fund. The fund’s new director, Rabbi Dan Rosenstein, asked me to speak with the group for a few minutes. I asked them to take their “Hebron Shabbat High’ back home, to convey it to others, and to be ambassadors for Hebron’s Jewish community, getting the word out, letting other know what Hebron is really all about. They are all, as much as we are, ‘keepers of the keys,’ insuring Hebron’s Jewish future forever.
By the time Shabbat ended, everyone was exhausted, but the day hadn’t yet concluded. I sat with my AFSI friend in our Beit Hadassah apartment, answering questions and discussing various issues common to all of us for about an hour. Only later did I have the luxury to collapse.
Actually there was another important event Saturday night. In Kiryat Arba, a group of people met with Education Minister Gideon Saar, expressing gratitude for the time and effort he has put in to assist the communities in Hebron and Kiryat Arba. I wanted to attend but my legs rebelled.
How can I best sum up this day? Actually I’d prefer to quote a friend of mine, Barak Arusi, the police officer in charge of the Hebron station. Barak began his position here a number of months ago, and this was his first Shabbat Chaye Sarah in Hebron. Speaking to him, he told me, “As far as I’m concerned every Shabbat should be like this in Hebron. It’s a lot of work, but for me, it was a lot of fun, a real happening.”
Coming from a police officer, who worked around the clock this past Shabbat, well, I couldn’t express it better. ‘A lot of fun, and a real happening.’
Twenty thousand isn’t bad. In fact, it’s pretty good. Considering that the forecast was for rain. These 20,000, in my eyes, represent tens and hundreds of thousands who couldn’t celebrate here with us in Hebron, but did so, at their homes and in their synagogues, around the world.
I think Abraham and Sarah would be proud.