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      20 Buses from All of Israel to Converge on Hevron Sunday night

      Selichot community prayer event in Hevron aims at uniting Jewish people from all over the country
      By Annie Lubin
      First Publish: 9/23/2012, 11:15 AM

      A unique gathering for Jews all across Israel will take place tonight as 20 buses converge on Hebron
      A unique gathering for Jews all across Israel will take place tonight as 20 buses converge on Hebron
      Reuters

      Around 20 buses, sponsored by the Torah center Shaalei Torah, will arrive in Hevron Sunday night for a special community prayer of Selichot, uniting people from cities all across the country – as far reaching as Dimona and Yerucham in the Negev, Kiryat Malachi, Modi'in and Ramla in Central Israel and Haifa in the north.  

      For many of those involved in Sunday night's event, it will be their first time in Hevron and is thus expected to be a very emotional experience.

      Rav Nasimi, the founder of Shaalei Torah, who declared his candidacy in the primaries of Habayit Hayehudi (Jewish Home) party last week, sees the arrival of this group to the holy city of Hevron as a successful way of connecting the Jewish people to their heritage.

      "The arrival of the traditional [masorti, ed.]  population to the city of our fathers in such large numbers, especially during the Ten Days of Repentance, shows the thirst that the general public has for a kind of Judaism that embraces and supports and represents the realization and success of the vision of the Torah through growth all throughout the country," said Rav Nasimi.

      During the evening, the participants will enjoy a class given by Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu in honor of the Ten Days of Repentance. Participants will also get the chance to tour Hevron, will be hosted by Jewish families in the city and will then pray at Ma'arat HaMachpela, the Cave of the Patriarchs. The prayers will be led by chief rabbis of Israel - Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu and Rabbi Dov Lior - and additional rabbis and public figures.

      In light of the success of the work done by the Rabbinical community of Shaalei Torah, Rabbi Nasimi is expected to use the night to address the need to appoint additional local rabbis, saying, "The need to connect the public with a rabbi who constitutes a moral religious address is a vital need for both the individual and the national religious community."

      Rabbi Nasimi added, "Twenty years ago, when the country's population was about half of what it is today, there were around 1200 local rabbis, yet today there are only around 600 rabbis, which can fulfill only about a quarter of the demand  of the Jewish population in Israel."