Internationally renowned singer Yaakov Shwekey came with his extended family on a tour arranged for him by Binyamin Regional Council, and visited the scene of a terror attack.
At Hummus Eliyahu, near the Eli Junction, the restaurant owner told the family about the horrific terror attack there in June, in which four Jews were murdered. A particularly emotional point during the visit was when Shwekey was introduced to one of the employees, who had been injured in the attack and had come back to his job. The visit ended with everyone present singing, “Vehi she’amda," and, “Al rosh shimchati,” with all the other guests joining the Shwekey family for an emotional musical moment.
Next, Shwekey visited the IDF base in the Gush Shiloh area, chatted with the soldiers and told them, “This amazing part of the country that you are guarding day and night is the land of the Bible. This is where our roots are and is an inseparable part of the Jewish People. Right here is the heart of Eretz Yisrael (the Land of Israel).”
The visit to the soldiers was held jointly with representatives from Tzalash, an organization headed by Nachshon Popovich, that provides moral support for religious soldiers. Shwekey also visited the village of Esh Kodesh, where he was impressed by the pioneering farmers building their homes in Binyamin. He honored them by singing “Rachem.”
The tour ended with a meeting with Binyamin Regional Council head Israel Ganz at the Council offices in Sha'ar Binyamin. Shwekey heard about the development of the largest regional council in Israel and congratulated Ganz on his second term in office, culminating the visit by singing, “Yisrael betach bashem.”
“My wish for you and the residents of Binyamin is that Jews will make aliyah (immigrate) to here and will help you to continue developing this country. Continue building and protecting the Jews who live here. You are emissaries for the entire Jewish people.”
Eliana Passentin, director of the Binyamin international desk, who led the tour, thanked the Shwekey and Mevorach families for coming and told them that their visit greatly encourages the residents of Binyamin. She also welcomed them into the family of ambassadors who are advocating around the world for Binyamin, the Judea and Samaria towns, and Eretz Yisrael.