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Thousands Expected at Joshua's Gravesite

Thousands of people are expected to pay a midnight visit to Joshua bin Nun's grave on Thursday night, marking the 3,254th anniversary of his death.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 4/7/2010, 11:12 PM / Last Update: 4/7/2010, 11:05 PM

Ezra HaLevi

Many thousands of people are expected to pay a midnight visit to the grave of Joshua bin Nun on Thursday night, marking the 3,254th anniversary of his death.

The mass visit will take place, as it does on a smaller scale 3-4 times a year, under the protection of the IDF, because the gravesite is located in an Arab village in Area B, under administrative control of the Palestinian Authority. The village, Timnat (Kifl) Hares (Joshua 2:9), is just north of the Shomron city of Ariel.

The event is organized by the Shomron Regional Council, the Shechem Echad organization, and the Shomron Religious Council, with help from the Shomron Residents Committee.

Click here to read a photo essay of a previous visit to the site.

The worshipers and visitors will also have a chance to visit the tombs of Joshua's father and Calev ben Yefuneh. The latter, together with Joshua and ten others, served as the Twelve Scouts sent by Moses to investigate the Promised Land; only Calev and Joshua remained true to the Divine promise that Israel would inherit the Land.

The site will be open from 10:30 Thursday night until 4:00 on Friday morning. Every hour, on the hour, the well-known Aleinu prayer – composed by Joshua – will be recited aloud.

Following the handover of the gravesite to PA control, the gravesite was vandalized and desecrated several times by Arabs. However, after the army made it clear that this would not be tolerated, the situation improved.

In past centuries, Torah scholars from Jerusalem were known to visit the gravesite of Joshua bin Nun after the Passover holiday, and study the Zohar (Kabbalah) there over the course of two days.