One would think that in the nation of Israel, a Jew would be free to visit the holy places of Judaism. One would also think that given that access to holy sites is guaranteed in the Olso, Wye, and Roadmap agreements, that access would be available. Unfortunately, Hashem Yerachim (G-d have mercy), this is not the case. Many sites are inaccessible, and others are accessible only very rarely.
One of these inaccessible sites is the kever, the holy resting place, of the biblical Yehoshua bin Nun, author of the Book of Joshua. The 10th night of the Omer each year is the Yaretzheit of Yehoshua bin Nun, the student of Moshe Rebbenu and the leader of the Jews as we conquered the Land. He is buried outside of the Jewish city of Ariel in the hills of the Shomron, in what is now the Arab settlement of Hares.
Access is provided only once a year, on the holy prophet and leader's yaretzheit, and even then, only literally in the middle of the night. I was fortunate to be able to go.
With army and police protection, and of course only truly with the protection of Hashem, we were able to walk freely in this village which over the years has produced many suicide bombers. What a feeling, to be free to access our holy site.
We prayed and sang through the night. Thousands came, as the government provided buses and security for all of us. Children came to read sefer Yehoshua, and of course we all said Tehillim (Psalms).
Within the same area is also the holy resting places of Calev ben Yefuna (the biblical Calev, who went with Yehoshua to spy out the land and brought back a good report), and also the kever of Yehoshua's father, Nun.
As we prepare to leave, we always pray, "please, our holy fathers, pray before the holy throne, the kesay hakoved, that your children should be able to return freely."
Posted at Mystical Paths. Read it elsewhere? Stop by the source.
Monday, April 16, 2007
// 4/16/2007 //