Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Yitzhar, a Jewish Village in Samaria

by Nadene Goldfoot

What was once called Samaria and Judea is referred to today by outsiders as "The West Bank". In the Samarian Mountains near the town of Nablus and Shechem, just off Rt 60 north of the Tapuach Junction, lies the village or settlement, as outsiders want to call these places, of Yitzhar. It lies on the top of a mountain from where you can see from Ashkelon to Hadera, and started as a historic pioneer Nahal military outpost.

130 orthodox Jewish families live here comprising about 500 people. Yitzhar means "olive oil" and that's a crop they grow. Also, they grow grapes. Their grape-growing achievement was so successful that they won two gold medals and one silver medal in a recent wine competition.

They had followed the rules of Shmita, which means something established in biblical days. It's to allow the fields to be fallow every 7th year. Besides that, they had built a synagogue and a Yeshiva in their village. During the Shmita period they had the opportunity to study there and pray there.

Now the government has announced that they must tear down these two buildings. I feel it is because of the pressure of Obama wanting the Arab's Palestine to be there, and not wanting any Jewish presence at all. The land still is a part of Israel. Somehow the Arabs have been building throughout Samaria and Judea without permission. They just built without the involvement of permits which these Jews had.

It's funny that the Arabs had 2,000 years to build and use the land, but didn't. Now that we are back in force, they want the land because we need it. This is sure an example of coveting. They covet something that belongs to someone else. Only now does it have worth to them. It'll mean that they will be expected to work the land, though, if they take over everything. I wonder if they will.

I notice that usually only the orthodox Jews dare to live in Judea and Samaria. More secular Jews live in Tel Aviv and the more populated areas. The history of Judea and Samaria are very important in our religion, and the orthodox are trying to honor that memory. Besides that, we have a horrible history of being locked up every night in ghettos and living in crowded conditions in shtetles in Eastern Europe. It's nice to be out in the country and see the stars at night and be able to own land and grow things, something denied to us for 2,000 years. It's too bad our own government has to be so compliant of Obama in order to protect its citizens. They feel this is just like Kristolnight-a horrible memory in Germany.


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