Middle East 6:12 AM 3/7/2014
Middle East 3:13 AM 3/7/2014
Middle East 3:45 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)
I must ask all to pray for the full and speedy recovery of former Chief Rabbi, the Rishon L'Tzion, Rav Mordechai Eliyahu
After having taken a break for a couple of weeks, mostly due to lack of time and internet connection, I'm back.
First of all, I must ask all to pray for the full and speedy recovery of former Chief Rabbi, the Rishon L'Tzion, Rav Mordechai Eliyahu, shlita, who is critically ill. His Hebrew name is: Rabbi Mordechai Tzemach ben Mazal Tov.
I spent the past five days in Chicago (and am writing from New York). Together with Noam Arnon and Yossi Baumol, we made the rounds, speaking at various shuls and attending numerous speaking engagements in the Chicago-Skokie area.
I was in Chicago once before, about four years ago, and then, as today, found the Jewish community there to be warm and hospitable. Excepting Shabbat all three of us were together with a wonderful man who lives together with his son in the Chicago suburbs. His hospitality was straight out of the playbook of Avraham Avinu, - our father Abraham – and he made our stay away from home comfortable and enjoyable. Marshall and Nachum- from the pages of Arutz 7 – thanks very very much!!!
Over Shabbat we spread out, speaking in different parts of the city. We also attended three functions, on Saturday, Sunday and Monday night. I won’t try to mention the names of all the people who were instrumental in making our trip a success for fear that I’ll forget someone, but to all of you – a big, hearty wish of gratitude!
It was very heartwarming to know that so many people are interested in what’s happening in Hebron and all of Judea and Samaria. Of course, most people are as concerned as we are at the present government policies. I was also very happy to hear of the many people who are considering Aliyah in the not too distant future.
As a rule I prefer to be in Hebron, rather than wandering around the world. However, I cannot overstate the importance of ‘spreading the word,’ educating whoever is interested, supplying them with facts and dissolving the myths, (usually negative), concerning everything that is happening today in Israel.
Below are some photos from our Saturday evening event. I don’t have the names of everyone pictured, so for the time being I’m not going list any names. When I have them all, I’ll add them. By the way, one of the photos shows five Chicago boys who initiated and raised a sizeable contribution for Hebron/the Hebron Fund. Guys, Yashar Koach!!
Until next time….
This was filmed four years ago in Chicago with Rabbi Doug Zeldon
Joshua said, "it is a very very good Land"
I don't often pat myself on the back - but today I'll make an exception. But I'm not only 'yeah'ing myself. I'm celebrating with about three million others - (yes, I'm in good company) - we all have something in common. We've all made Aliyah to Israel since inception of the state, sixty years ago.
Reading an INN article about international Aliyah day, initiated by my friend Yishai Fleisher, I was thrilled to see how many Jews have decided to make Eretz Yisrael their home. Of course, I'll be even happier when another 3,000,000 come over, and hopefully it won't take another sixty years. It shouldn't take more than five or ten years, at most. Actually, I wouldn't mind if they all came over tomorrow.
Every once in a while visitors here in Hebron, or in the US during speaking engagements, ask me what they can do for Israel. There's a limit how many times you can tell people to contribute or write letters to the editor. So when they push me into a corner I tell them: If you really want to help Israel, come live here. There's nothing more important a Jew can do than to come live in Israel. Another million Jews here, and the Arabs will start to get the message. Another half a million or so in Judea and Samaria and the Arabs will leave, voluntarily. But more importantly, having nothing to do with Arabs, we will be home, letting G-d know that we appreciate the unbelievable gift He gave us - The Land of Israel.
Today was the anniversary of the death of one of the first people to realize this - Joshua. He was one of the two spys Moses sent to Israel to search out the land. Only he, together with Kalev, realized how good the land really is, and tore their clothes when the other 10 spys slandered Eretz Yisrael. He said it is "a very very good land."
Today, for the first time, thanks to Yishai's great idea, Israel recognized all 3,000,000 of us who made the move, because we wanted to - because we WANT to be in Israel, and nowhere else. All of you who are reading this in "Chul" (Chutz l'Aretz - Outside of Israel) are invited to be among the next batch of 3,000,000. Eventually you will all come over, so why not now?! - The more the merrier and the faster the better.
See photos and video below.
(UPDATE: Afternoon Mincha prayers will take place today (Sunday) at 19:00
at the site of the destroyed synagogogue, followed by several
speakers, evening prayers. Following evening prayers, those present
will begin to rebuild the synagogue.)
Last week I blogged in asking if the Chazon David Synagogue would merit another prayer service. That night the synagogue was slated to be destroyed again. It's already been razed over 30 times.
That night there were too many people present; the security forces postponed the
The hangman had arrived, bringing not a rope, rather an IDF-supplied tractor.
execution. But not for too long. After all, in honor of our 60th independence day we must give a worthy present to the visiting president next week.
Last night, or rather early this morning, just before 3:30, the phone rang and the beeper buzzed. The hangman had arrived, bringing not a rope, rather an IDF-supplied tractor. The road was closed, declared a 'closed military zone' until the sentence was fully carried out. By the time I could get through the synagogue was a place of the past. However, the forces remained behind to make sure we didn't get too close, in order to start reconstruction immediately.
A group from Hebron and Kiryat Arba played cat-and-mouse with the police and as soon as daylight approached, an early morning service took place in the street, opposite the ruins of the shul.
Some of the forces were uncomfortable being photographed; after all, the Hebron Arab Shech Ja'abri had saved the site from destruction just over a half a year ago, and last week we marked Holocaust Remembrance Day. Photos of destroyed synagogues were fresh in everyone's memory.
The original synagogue was built over seven years ago and destroyed well over 30 times. However the present structure stood for about three years. Why now? Simply Olmert has to have a gift-wrapped present for Bush to sacrifice on the alter of piece (and another piece and another piece) and it seems that again, we are the victim to be done away with. A synagogue, a place of prayer, in memory of two men killed at and adjacent to this very site.
There are no words: except that the synagogue will be rebuilt and rebuilt and rebuilt until it is recognized as a permanent structure, to stand forever.
People who participated in and cooperated with the destruction:
What will they tell their parents, their wives, their children?
Why not flirt a little at the site of a destroyed synagogue?
Police holding hands at site of destruction
Rabbi Shimon Ben-Tzion being carried out of area
Yehudit Katzover being carried out of area
Yehudit Katzover and Nadia Matar
Police sitting on synagogue furniture
Garbage left on the street
Kiryat Arba Mayor Tzvi Katzover
Synagogue activist Yaakov Eichenstein
Nothing like a bite to eat
Go Away! You're not wanted here!
Prayer and ruins
Good News! - At twelve midnight word was received that the 'authorities' decided to postpone the destruction of Chazon David due to the number of people present at the site, ready to physically protest the razing of the synagogue. Chazon David still stands!
A number of years ago two Jews were killed the same day in Kiryat Arba. In the morning David Cohen, sitting in his car near the western gate leading out of Kiryat Arba to Hebron, was shot and killed by terrorists. Later that night the Kiryat Arba municipal council protested the opening of a checkpoint which had allowed the murder to occur. While gathering outside the Kiryat Arba fence, near the location of the recently opened checkpoint, terrorists opened fire on the group. Several people were hit. Councilman and longtime Kiryat Arba resident Hezzy Mualem was killed.
In memory of the two men Kiryat Arba founded the Chazon David synagogue, on empty land between Kiryat Arba proper and the Givat Avot neighborhood, to the west. The synagogue was recognized by the government as an illegal 'hill-top settlement,' and a few years ago was destroyed a couple of days before Passover. Army tractors bulldozed the synagogue to the ground.
However Kiryat Arba - Hebron residents refused to accept the decree and rebuilt the synagogue. A game of cat and mouse ensued. People would reconstruct the synagogue and every once in a while, in the middle of the night, it was destroyed.
Last Rosh HaShana the Israeli left, together with local Arabs, decided to burn the synagogue down. However the plan became known to Sheikh Jabri, the leader of the largest Arab clan in Hebron, and he forbade the destruction.
According to intelligence reports received by Hebron-Kiryat Arba residents, sometime tonight, or early tomorrow morning, the Israeli army is planning on perpetrating the act forbidden by a Muslim Arab Sheikh from Hebron. They are planning on destroying the synagogue again.
Anyone able to get to Kiryat Arba in the next few hours is asked to do so and to assist in trying to stop this sacrilege.
Earlier tonight I prayed evening prayers at the Chazon David Synagogue and photographed. Below are some of the photos of the synagogue as it is today. Will Chazon David merit another prayer service tomorrow? Will Jews again be able to recite Shema Yisrael at this holy site?