Some 3,000 Israeli worshippers entered the Tomb of Joseph in Shechem Wednesday night, in honor of the new Hebrew month of Iyar. The worshippers were of all religious backgrounds – haredi, Religious Zionist, and secular.
The visit was organized by the Judea and Samaria Council. Over the past five years, the Council has brought over 2500,000 people to pray at Joseph's Tomb.
Security for the visit was provided by the IDF, and many of the soldiers under the command of IDF officer, Samaria Division head Yoav Yarom, participated in the prayers and reading of Psalms that took place at the Tomb throughout Wednesday night. Yarom himself participated in prayers as well. Special prayers were held for the freedom of Jonathan Pollard.
Joining in the prayers were officials ofr the Haifa Municipality, including city council member Shai Blumenthal, as well as Beitar Ilit Mayor Rabbi Meir Rubinstein. Rubinstein said that “all Israelis who visit this site strengthen our connection to it and enhance Jewish life in Judea and Samaria.” Other senior IDF officials also participated in the prayers as well.
Also joining in the prayers was Rabbi Ezra Scheinberg, head of the Yeshiva of Tzfat. He was accompanied by hundreds of residents of the northern city, along with Deputy Tzfat Mayor Gadi Malka.
Samaria Council Head Gershon Mesika said that after much effort, “visiting the Tomb is nowadays a matter of course, and that is very good. Joining us are rabbis and leaders of the army, all of whom have come to pray at this holy site. The Jewish people have not given up on Joseph, and will never surrender its historic heritage in the Land of Israel,” he said.
Mesika thanked the soldiers and security forces for their efforts.