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Will Jews Merit another Shema Yisrael at Chazon David?

By David Wilder
4/28/2008, 12:00 AM

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?