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Thousands at Joseph’s Tomb in Kabbalistic Celebration

Thousands visited Joseph’s Tomb in celebration of kabbalistic meaning of Omer count. IDF war hero, bereaved family among the visitors.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 5/18/2012, 9:58 AM

Prayers at Joseph's Tomb (archive)
Prayers at Joseph's Tomb (archive)
Flash 90

More than 3,000 worshipers were allowed to visit Joseph’s Tomb (Kever Yosef) in Samaria on Thursday night to mark the 41st day of the counting of the Omer. According to Jewish mystical tradition as recorded in the kabbalah, the forty-first day is characterized by a double dose of “yesod,” meaning “foundation” or “bonding.”

Jewish tradition states that the “yesod” energy was personified in the biblical Joseph.

Among the visitors were several Members of Knesset, a Chassidic rebbe, rabbis from around the country, and IDF soldiers. War hero Aharon Karov was there, as was Shmuel Rein.

Karov fought in the Cast Lead counterterror operation in Gaza, which began the day after his wedding, was critically wounded and experienced a miraculous recovery. Rein lost his son Benaya in the Second Lebanon War.

The visitor who inspired the most emotion, however, was a young boy. The three-year-old son of Ben Yosef Livnat, who was murdered by Palestinian Authority armed forces after visiting Joseph’s Tomb, was at the tomb Thursday night for his first haircut. Many Jews have the custom of not cutting a boy’s hair before the age of three; at three, the hair is cut in a festive ceremony called a halake.

The IDF provided security during the late-night prayers. New Samaria region commander Colonel Yoav Yarom, who was sworn in just hours earlier, was at the scene and was welcomed by residents of the region.

Palestinian Authority terrorists threw two firebombs over the course of the night, but neither attack resulted in injury.

“I hope that this moving and uplifting visit by thousands will be another stage in restoring full Israeli sovereignty over Joseph’s Tomb,” said Samaria regional council head Gershon Mesika. “I call to all government ministers to join in and come here to Shechem, to Joseph’s Tomb, and to push for  a full return to the Tomb, to this so holy place, one of the three places about which it is said that the other nations of the world cannot claim that we stole it.”