|Our Welcoming Committee & a Few Friends from the IDF!|
This past Shabbat I had the pleasure of being in Hevron, at Me'arat HaMachpela for Parsha Chayei Sarah. What better kavod than to daven right in front of Sarah's kever!
A friend arranged a private van to take us there and back, and rented a beautiful villa in Kiryat Arba. The city had organized all three Shabbat meals in a building next to HaMachpela as well as lectures and tours for those interested (and I was definitely interested!).
Upon arrival I went with two other women to collect our "wrist bands" for entry to venues and meals for our group, as well a programs and maps of the city. As we walked down the street a group of beautiful young Israelis ran over to greet us and give us a "sweet treat" with a welcome letter and street map. Their beautiful smiles and exuberance was proof of Hevron's reputation as the "City of Hospitality". What a great start to Shabbat!
For our safety, the IDF was out in force. As we walked the streets we were rarely out of sight of our awesome boys and girls of the IDF...standing guard, day and night. Of course, in Hevron and Kiryat Arba the people have a special love for those who watch over them. As an example, the road from Kiryat Arba to Me'arat HaMachpela runs through a dodgy area, so it is custom to "tremp" (hitch) a ride down. As we were rather lost, a group of young people flagged down a car for us. All the way to Me'arat HaMachpela the beautiful woman driving was beeping her horn in greeting to every group of soldiers along the way. We joined in by waving and merrily shouting "Shabbat Shalom" all the way down. It was so exciting to see their smiling faces and joy as they waved and shouted back!
All weekend as we strolled around we greeted and were greeted by our boys and girls who were watching over us. The air was alive with excitement and happiness! Every Jew should experience this feeling of love and security~this, in a nutshell is Israel!
Among the other activities we partook of, was a walking tour to the top of the Hevron hills. Simcha, a wonderfully spiritual Rav, was our leader. This is one time that I really wished we could use cameras on Shabbat! What an experience!
We were scheduled to visit the new archaeological digs, but unfortunately a group of anarchists and angry Arabs decided to come out and make a scene. It was really something to see. What other country would put up with foreign agitators coming to stir up the population and drive them to violent actions! The EU and Scandinavian countries should be ashamed! Clean up your own back yard before you try to crap in mine!
All was well, as we were surrounded by the best military in the world. As we prepared to descend, Simcha gave a short thank-you to the group of soldiers who had arrived to stand as a shield in front of us. It was so emotional and our entire group was cheering and clapping and singing for our boys.
This was a blessed weekend and I came away with my head in the clouds. Not only did I have the merit to be in Me'arat HaMachpela, but I was able to witness and feel the love and security that is mine (and that of every Jew) as our IDF watch over us.
To all my Jewish brothers and sisters, the time to make Aliyah is NOW! There is no other place in the world for Jews. You will never be loved and protected as you are here in our Holy Land of Eretz Yisrael, with Hashem watching over us and the IDF standing before us.