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      Blessings from Hebron
      by David Wilder
      Personal Reflections on Hebron, Eretz Yisrael, Friends, Family and anything else that comes to mind.
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      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:
      www.hebron.com (English)
      www.hebron.org.il (Hebrew)
      www.ohrshlomo.org (Hebrew)
      www.ohrshalom.net (Hebrew)
      (others to be added)

      Elul 21, 5768, 9/21/2008

      Miracles and more miracles

      A block landed next to her and literally bounced over her, leaving her unharmed.
      OK, with everything that's going on, let's get off the politics for a minute and talk about bigger and better things.

      Around this time of the year, as we approach the end of one year and the beginning of another, new year,  many thoughts run through your head.  With so many issues facing us, it's easy to forget about all the good, all the positive, and speaking from Hebron, the wondrous miracles that are so much a part of our everyday lives that we almost take them for granted. 

      It was just this time of the year, eight years ago, when the Oslo War started (called by others, the 2nd Intifada). I cannot begin to count the number of bullet holes in people's homes and cars, that 'missed by an inch.' And those could conceivably be measured. But what about people walking down the street who were fired upon - sometimes they never even know just how close those bullets came to hitting them. 

      As so it's been, over the years. Never a dull moment, but also, never a moment without a miracle.

      So too it was today.

      Here, at Beit Hadassah, where I live, there is a big courtyard outside. Part of the area contains a large playground for the kids. On the other side are a couple of swings and benches. On most nice days, in the afternoon, while the kids are playing on their side, the mothers and babies are on the other side, sitting, chatting and enjoying the afternoon weather. 

      Today was no exception. Lots of women and babies were relaxing downstairs, when suddenly stone blocks started raining down on them. The Beit Hadassah building is connected to the street outside by a large stone bridge which stretches above the courtyard. For some unknown reason, huge stone blocks from the side of the bridge broke off and fell, exactly where all the women and babies were. One woman, miraculously, had just taken here six month old son out of his carriage when, boom, a stone block landed where he had been lying, only seconds before. Another woman's six-month old was lying on the ground. A block landed next to her and literally bounced over her, leaving her unharmed. Talk about miracles. Wow!

      Other stones landed on the path to a family's apartment. Fortunately, no one was walking there at the time. 

      This is one small example of what we have to be thankful for, as we approach the new year. Sometimes you see the miracles and sometimes you don't, but they are always with us, and we have much to be thankful for. 

      Perhaps in Hebron these kinds of miracles are more tangible than elsewhere. I know that there is a G-d in heaven who looks down at us wherever we are, watching over and protecting us. And despite all the problems, we must never forget to show gratitude for all the good He does for us, and to take joy that we have the privilege to be here, doing what we're doing, in the holy city of Hebron.