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      Yom Kippur Marked in Homesh

      The town of Homesh continues its unofficial rebuilding with Yom Kippur prayers including rabbis, academics and more.
      By Maayana Miskin
      First Publish: 10/8/2011, 11:31 PM

      Yom Kippur in Homesh
      Yom Kippur in Homesh
      Homesh First

      The northern Shomron (Samaria) town of Homesh, destroyed in the 2005 “Disengagement,” continues to be rebuilt despite repeated efforts to shut it down. On Yom Kippur, the town was the site of prayer services that drew a wide variety of people from across the country.

      Among those present were rabbis, academics, and members of Galilee settlement movements.

      Also present were residents of the town, who have managed to make Homesh their primary home for more than four years despite frequent Border Police raids in the area. The residents are members of “Homesh First,” an activist group that aims to rebuild all the cities and towns demolished in 2005 – beginning with Homesh.

      Some are among the roughly 100 families that lived in the town of Homesh, and its neighbor Sa-Nur, before both were destroyed.

      One worshiper described the Yom Kippur experience to Arutz Sheva. “There was an uplifting atmosphere. I don’t remember seeing such emotional prayers for many years. We prayed for the people and for the country, that the Holy One, Blessed is He should open the leaders’ eyes, and that we will merit to return this year to the rebuilt towns of Homesh and Sa-Nur.”

      Homesh First organizers noted that the Yom Kippur events followed the holding of the traditional pre-Yom Kippur selichot prayers in Sa-Nur. Hundreds came for the selichot recitation, including the chief rabbi of Tzfat, Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu.

      Following the traditional prayers, Rabbi Eliyahu offered his own, personal prayer:

      “Master of the Universe, we want our righteous Messiah. Remember your covenant, do not forget… We ask, we pray, we beg of you, the yeshiva students who learn in Homesh through great personal sacrifice are holding on to Homesh. They throw us out of Homesh and we return, they throw us out another time, we return again. We came here out of pain for the destruction and ruination of a town, and we are here to sanctify Your name in this world.”

      In addition to the visitors from across the country, four ministers are among those who have expressed support for the reconstruction of Homesh. Homesh First organizers said Saturday night, “We trust and have faith that in the merit of our efforts, the colossal efforts of the young and not-so-young activists working constantly and determinedly, the glory of Israel will rise and we will merit that this year, the desecration of G-d’s name in the expulsion will be fixed with the sanctification of G-d through the full return to the four demolished northern Samaria towns, Homesh first.”