Thursday, September 17, 1998

A New Year in Hebron

A New Year in Hebron
September 17, 1998

This New Year is going to be very special for me and my family. For the last
17 years we lived in Kiryat Arba. Moving to Kiryat Arba was one of the best
decisions my wife and I ever made. Arriving 2 weeks before the birth of our
second child, we never regretted bringing up our family in this wonderful
town, only five minutes from Ma'arat HaMachpela and the center of Hebron. In
spite of the negative image portrayed by the media, Kiryat Arba is a
fabulous place to raise children. The atmosphere is generally relaxed, the
educational facilities excellent, and the people second to none.
However, a few weeks ago, we decided to move. There was a vacancy in Hebron.
One of the families, due to a job opportunity, had to leave. My wife and I
talked about possibly moving in. We discussed it for a while and hadn't yet
made up our minds. But then the unthinkable happened: an Arab terrorist
climbed into the bedroom window of Rabbi Shlomo Ra'anan in Tel Rumeida and
murdered him. The day after his funeral I said to my wife, "That's it - we
have to move in, and the sooner the better." Actually I wanted to make the
move during the shiva, but for technical reasons that wasn't possible. But
soon after that we were setting up house in our new apartment in Beit
A few of our friends looked at us as if we were crazy. A gentile
correspondent who interviewed me a few days ago commented, "either you are a
little crazy, or very, very spiritual."
Why make such a move? The answer is very simple. This is the only answer to
Arab terrorism. Their goal is to push us out of Hebron, and not only Hebron.
Also, out of Haifa, Tel Aviv, and of course, Jerusalem. They will use all
means at their disposal, including political and psychological pressure,
violence, and even murder. In 1929 the massacre which left 67 dead led to
the swift removal of the surviving Jewish residents by the British. They
want us out again. So we have to do the opposite, which is, to move in. Of
course one family is not enough. We must bring in hundreds and thousands
more people to live in the City of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs. And
eventually we will. At the moment we have a slight problem with space.
Unfortunately we haven't been able to build in years and all our apartments
are full. But soon this will change. Beit Nahum v'Yehuda will be finished
within a year. A new building, Beit HaShisha should also be ready for
occupancy during the next 12 months. And the Prime Minister himself promised
us real houses, to replace the caravans in the Admot Yishai-Tel Rumeida
neighborhood, including a doubling of the population there. With G-d's help
and a lot of hard work, we should soon see a real growth of Hebron's Jewish
So, for our family, it is this year in Hebron. This is our way of
memorializing the memory of Rabbi Ra'anan. This is the true Zionist solution
to Arab terrorism. And I have no doubt that living here, only minutes from
the 2nd holiest site to the Jewish people, is a truly spiritual experience.
I invite you to be my personal guest in Hebron the next time you visit Eretz
Yisrael. You too can be a part of the Zionist response to those who wish to
eradicate a Jewish presence in Hebron, and in all of Israel.
On behalf of myself, Judy Grossman, Noam Arnon Rabbi Yitzhak Pechman, Dr.
Dov Stern, and the entire Jewish Community of Hebron, please accept our
blessings for a happy, healthy, sweet and truly peaceful New Year from

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