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Tisha B’Av pilgrimage to villages that have suffered destruction, or are in danger
Tisha B’Av pilgrimage to Khan Al Akhmar, and additional villages that have
suffered destruction, or are in danger (Al Araqib, Umm Al Hiran, Susya)
Leaving the Liberty Bell Garden parking lot in Jerusalem at 14:45. Torat
Tzedek will try to organize transportation from other locations, if
requested. Those with cars can choose to participate in one or more
segments, without participating in the entire pilgrimage.
On Tisha B’Av we remember the two Temples that once stood in Jerusalem.
Until today we mourn this national tragedy. There are those for whom our
national pain makes them incapable of feeling the pain of non-Jews. However,
the Torah commands us not to do to oppress others as we were oppressed.
Anybody whose heart has not become deadened must feel the agony of others,
and work to prevent it. The destruction of every home that we demolish on
either side of the Green Line is as painful for that family as what we feel
on a national level.
It is “eifah v’eifah” (a prohibited and discriminatory double standard) when
the Jewish State doesn’t give that family a fair and equal chance to build
legally, even as “The state views the development of Jewish settlement as a
national value and will act to encourage and promote its establishment and
It is an injustice and a crime when the destruction intentionally serves the
Jewish State’s goal to dispossess non-Jews.
Now, the Jewish State is poised to destroy entire villages. El-Araqib has
been destroyed 130 times, and counting. The State is waiting to destroy Khan
Al Ahmar as soon as it is allowed. Umm Al Hiran is to be destroyed by the
end of August. Susya is in the cross hairs. And, there are others….
In the minkha (afternoon) Tisha B’Av prayers (Because Shabbat postpones the
fast, it will actually be the 10th of Av), our mourning begins to be eased
by a ray of hope and comfort. The words of the Tisha B’Av morning haftarah
rings in our ears, `Zion will be redeemed through justice, and they that
return to her through righteousness` (Isaiah 1:27) Still mourning the
destruction of our values, determined to stop the injustice and make amends,
and with hope that justice will prevail, in spite of everything, we will set
out on a pilgrimage. We will look into the eyes of the residents of the
endangered villages, and commit to doing whatever we can to stop the
injustice and the destruction:
14:45 Departure from the Liberty Bell Garden parking lot in Jerusalem (And
from other locations, if there is sufficient demand.)
15:30-16:15 Khan Al Akhmar
18:00-18:30- Al Araqib
19:00-19:39 Umm Al Hiran
20:20:45 Susya, and breaking the fast.
22:00 Return to Jerusalem.
Those with cars can join us in one or more villages, without participating
in the entire pilgrimage. We can drop off people in French Hill on the way
from Khan Al Akhmar to Al Araqib.
Please register at email@example.com. You can call Yaakov Manor at 050-
5733276. On Friday until Shabbat, and on Saturday after Shabbat, you can
call Rabbi Arik Ascherman at 050-5607034.
If we are mentschen, how can we not empathize with and take responsibility
for the terrible sense of loss and destruction in each of the hundreds of
Occupied Territories Palestinian families per ?year whose homes are
demolished, and the over 1,000 Israeli Bedouin families per year in the
Shouldn`t we be overwhelmed by the sense of impending doom in entire
communities that may be wiped off the map, such as Susya, Um El Khiran, Wadi
El-Na`am and El-Araqib? i
By the way, the pain felt by settlers who lose their homes is the same pain.
However, they are an influential part of the majority in the polis, the
democratic body that allowed them to settle, and has decided to move them. i
Palestinians are entirely disenfranchised, while the Bedouin are a minority
that will be `democratically` outvoted every time. This disenfranchisement
was sadly perpetuated by Israeli High Court Justices Rubinstein, Hendel and
Sohlberg in their ruling on RHR`s petition to remedy one aspect of this
patently unjust situation. i
Continuing with my reflections of 20 years with RHR, I recall rebuilding the
Shawamre home in Anata on the three days leading up to Tisha B`Av in
1997/5757, and the redemolition two days after Tisha B`Av. I have always
wondered what Jeremiah, the prophet so associated with Tisha B`Av, would
have said about the injustice being perpetrated in his home town. i
On Tisha B`Av 2005/5765 it was incredibly difficult and incredibly
meaningful to both fast and engage in the hard physical labor of rebuilding
the village of Khirbat Tana, that had recently been almost entirely razed. i
So yes, I will be in Susya at the demonstration on the even of Tisha B`Av
tomorrow (Friday) and I will sit in the dirt of Susya on Tisha B`Av itself.
I will participate in the weekly vigil of the 85 times demolished El-Araqib
at the Lehavim junction on Tisha B`Av afternoon. I also to volunteer at the
13th annual ICAHD rebuilding camp in Anata. i
I will pray that in the coming years we will not be mourning Susya with the
words of the Book of Lamentations we read on Tisha B`Av, and the words
`Jerusalem as greatly sinned. Therefore she is become a mockery. All who
admired her despise her, for they have seen her disgraced.` (Lamentations
As I put on tefillin Tisha B`Av afternoon, symbolizing that we turn from
despair to hope, I will pray that our actions will prevent the destruction
of Susya [RAA1] , of Um El Khiran and of the other threatened Palestinian
and Bedouin villages. I will pray that El-Araqib will be rebuilt and
Reading the second chance given us in the Tisha B`Av afternoon Torah reading
and the words of the Tisha B`Av afternoon Haftarah, `Observe what is right
and to what is just for son My salvation shall come` Isaiah 56 1_ I will
know that it is our obligation to make real the prophecy we read the Shabbat
preceding Tisha B`Av `Zion will be redeemed through justice, and they that
return to her through righteousness` (Isaiah 1:27).
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