Daily Israel Report

Baby Enters Covenant – in Jericho

For the first time in many years, a Jewish baby boy has been circumcised in the ancient city of Jericho.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 4/1/2011, 9:18 AM / Last Update: 4/1/2011, 10:24 AM

Jericho Group

For the first time in many years, a Jewish baby boy entered the Biblical covenant in a brit milah (circumcision) ceremony in the ancient city of Jericho. The ceremony took place in the Shalom Al Yisrael synagogue.

No Jewish events such as circumcisions or weddings have taken place in the synagogue for one decade, due to terrorism originating in Palestinian Authority-controlled regions of Judea and Samaria. The PA controls Jericho, and the city has become known as a refuge for terrorists.

Members of the Jericho Group, a Jewish group dedicated to settlement in and around Jericho, said they welcome the groundbreaking event. However, they said, “We will not rest until the Jewish people are able to return fully to the city of Jericho.”

The Jericho Group is involved in Jewish communities near Jericho, and leads tours of the historic region. Its members take part in prayers in Jericho and also lend their support to initiatives for Jewish return to Jewish holy sites elsewhere, such as the return to Joseph's Tomb.

The Shalom Al Yisrael synagogue is an ancient synagogue that was discovered in modern times in 1936. It is thought to have been built in the seventh century. The synagogue features a large mosaic floor, which includes the phrase Shalom Al Yisrael (Peace to Israel) from which it draws its name.

Jewish prayer resumed at the site in 2009 after an interruption of several years due to the PA's terrorist war.