Yom Hautzma'ot 5762 - Beit Shemesh
Tiyul to Yishuv Elon Moreh.
By Moshe Burt
At 10:30 AM, a full bus of Beit Shemesh/Ramat Beit Shemesh
residents set out for a Yom Hautzma'ot Tiyul to Yishuv Elon Moreh.
The Community of Elon Moreh commemorated Independence Day by breaking
ground for a new cultural center.
I know about Elon Moreh from reading about the many marches of Gush
Emunim in the late 1970s under the leadership of Rabbi Moshe Levinger.
Many times, in those days, I would see the captions under the pictures in
the Jerusalem Post Overseas Edition indicating that Rabbi Levinger was leading a
long procession of marchers in a walk to Elon Moreh.
Elon Moreh is mentioned a number of times in Chumash. The
most prominent mention of Elon Moreh is that regarding Avram's initial entry
into Eretz Yisrael. He
entered and camped at Elon Moreh and continued on until Shechem.
Elon Moreh is one of theYishivim in the block which includes
Kedumim, Shavei Shomron, Homesh, Ithamar, Har Bracha, etc.
It is in the area where we find Har Grizzim and Har Eival where the
Brachot and Klalot were pronounced to
B'nai Yisrael upon their entry into Eretz Yisrael.
I remembered the stories which I had heard while residing in Shavei
Shomron for Ulpan. I was told
that they made numerous attempts to establish a Yishuv at the Sebastia Train
Station. Each time, they were
rebuffed by the Government. Finally,
they were given a different tract of land where they established Yishuv Shavei
Shomron. The residents of Shavei
Shomron are still spiritually connected to Sebastia and travel there to
celebrate in good times and to pray there in trying times.
While I resided in Shavei Shomron, we went there to celebrate Yom
Hautzma'ot and davened Ma'ariv, say Hallel, dance and wave the flag.
Most recently, this year on Motzi Pesach Rishon (the first night of
Chol HaMo'ed), Arabs invaded a home in Elon Moreh killing 4 members of Mishpocha
Gavish and leaving 6 others wounded.
We traveled to Rosh Ha Ayin where we picked up the Trans-Shomron
Highway toward the town of Ariel. We
stopped at a gas station on the outskirts of Ariel where one of the autos in our
procession gassed up.
We left Ariel and proceeded along the Shomron autobus route passing the
Tapuach Junction Tapuach Junction has also been the scene of many
pigu'im (terrorist attacks) over the past 18 months.
As we proceeded through the Shomron, we stopped at an IDF
encampment established during the current hostilities.
This camp had a number of lines of tanks.
I'm guessing that there were approximately 30 tanks at that location.
Some people left the bus to dispense cookies to the soldiers.
We also stopped at a checkpoint just outside Elon Moreh near Har
Eival. A number of us popped out of
the bus to greet and shake hands with soldiers.
Here we saw more taanks and bulldozers.
We arrived at Elon Moreh at 12:30 PM and proceeded to the Matnas (Mercaz
Peace Kehilloti -- Community Center) where there was a recreation area with many
children's activities outside including an electronic bucking, wild bull (Anyone
seen "Slim Pickens" lately??) and a scenic view.
While in the recreation area in front of the Community Center, I
viewed the various levels on which Elon Moreh was built on a number of
mountains. Looking out over a hill
to the right of the Community Center, one can see Shechem in the hills before
Har Eival. Straight ahead and below
the Community Center, one can see a park of Caravanim.
Inside the Community Center, there were exhibits which included Od
Yosef Chai and residents who died at the hands of terrorists or in action in the
IDF. Included in the exhibit
of terror victims were pictures of Mishpocha Gavish mentioned above.
Above the level of the Community Center is the Beit Knesset.
Across from the Beit Knesset at a distance of 50 -70 feet, chairs and a
bandstand were set up for the ground-breaking.
I'm told that the Cultural Center is dedicated in memory of Mishpocha
Gavish, the recent victims of terror.
Below the Community Center is a small playground area with a few
horses providing rides for children.
As I walked through Elon Moreh, I greeted numerous soldiers as well
as Menachem Felix who was the secretary in Gush Emunim under Rabbi Levinger.
I also shook hands and spoke briefly with MK Tzvi Hendel.
While Chaver Knesset Hendel and I spoke, he dropped his spent
cigarette to the ground. When I
asked him to please pick it up and put it in the trash, he half bent over and
arrogantly stomped on the cigarette leaving it on the ground.
I showed him my Ne'emani Nikayon Volunteer Card but to no avail.
Even though he and I are both Nationalist Right-Wingers, I will have to
report him for littering. As I once
said, I'd run after and mussar the Prime Minister if he dropped a cigarette on
At a little after 3 PM, the ceremonies and political hot air began.
Among the speakers were Rabbi Yitzchak Levi, MK Tzvi Hendel, Rabbi Dov
Lior, the Chief Rabbi of Haifa and Menachem Felix.
Somehow, no special or extraordinary messages or revelations ever
come from these type of political speeches at this type of event.
We invariably hear the same old rhetoric -- albeit nationalistic.
We will truly be in the days of redemption if the tough rhetoric to a
nationalistic audience ever got transmitted into Action.
The Chief Rabbi of Haifa repeatedly made reference to
"Bush" this and "Bush" that. And Tzvi Hendel
made repeated reference to the 6 Day War while indicating that Arafat and the
Arabs were "no problem." Oh,
that Memshelet Yisrael (the Government of Israel) would only act as Hendel spoke
and allow Zahal to take care of business the way that we know that it can be
done and eradicate the cancer -- the terror machine within us.
Eradicate the cancer within us even it means weaning ourselves from the
annual addiction to $2 Billion in American Foreign aid.
The festivities drew to a close shortly after 5PM and we were on
the way back to Beit Shemesh by 5:30PM.
We arrived home in Beit Shemesh some 2 hours later.
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