News

New Mezuzah Beautifies Tomb After Robbery

Spokesperson Yishai Fleisher vows to increase Jewish presence. Vandalism discovered as Israeli medics rescue unconscious non-Jewish girl.

28.6.16, 15:35
Rabbi Dov Lior, chief rabbi of Hebron and Kiryat Arba led a ceremony to replace a mezuzah that went missing from the doorpost of the Tomb of Machpela, burial site of the Biblical Matriarchs and Patriarchs.
 
Since the 1990s, a rotation agreement stipulates that ten days out of the year the entire Tomb of Machpela complex will be closed for private non-Jewish services. In exchange, there are ten days out of the year in which the complex is exclusively used for Jewish services. On regular days, the complex is divided into Jewish and non-Jewish sections.
 

 
This past Friday, when the Tomb complex was closed to Jews, is when the mezuzah went missing.
 
A storage shed used by the Tomb’s maintenance staff was also broken into, with thousands of shekels worth of equipment stolen.
 
 
Similar incidents occurred in the summer of 2013, also during the Tomb's rotation agreement.
 
Yishai Fleisher, Hebron's international spokesperson spoke to Israel National News about the incident stating, "we have vowed to beautify the Cave of the Matriarchs and Patriarchs and replace the stolen mezuzah with a much more beautiful mezuzah and more Jewish presence,."
 
 
The vandalism, noted Fleisher, was discovered the same day Jewish paramedics were assisting an unconscious non-Jewish girl.
 
"“That’'s our interest -- –to make sure that human beings around here are treated fairly and equally. We were ‘repaid’ with this jihadist incident of taking away our mezuzah, –our connection to this place,"” he said.
 
The medical incident occurred on Saturday morning near the Beit Hadassah building. IDF medics and Israeli emergency medical service personnel assisted the child and worked in coordination with the Red Crescent service to evacuate her to a hospital in the PA controlled part of the city. 
 
 
Noam Arnon, Hebron's Hebrew-language spokesperson, was quoted by Breaking Israel News as stating,
 
“"The Jewish Community of Hebron demands that the full access agreement be cancelled in the Tomb of Machpela until the mezuzah is returned, and that severe measures be taken against the thieves. We cannot have vandals taking advantage of a holiday during which the State of Israel gives them exclusive access to the first Jewish holy site in order to commit crimes against Jewish holy objects,”" he said.
 
 
The beautiful large silver mezuzah, with decorative carvings was donated by Lt. Col. Amnon Cohen, who was head of the IDF's Hebron liaison office with Palestinian Authority security forces. He dedicated it in memory of his father Baruch Cohen who was murdered in a terrorist attack on March, 19, 2001.
 
 
Cohen was ambushed in a driveby shooting while driving from his home in Efrat to work at the Frenkel Elementary School in Jerusalem. 
 
 Students drew pictures and wrote letters to the Cohen family. School principal Barbara Levin said, "Baruch was really part of the family here." He was closely involved in all school activities, helping both teachers and pupils, taking part, for example, in the preparation of costumes and decorations for the annual school play," as reported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
 
 
Baruch Cohen was born in Tunisia, one of 12 children, grew up in Beersheba and lived in Efrat for 16 years. 
 
This week, a new mezuzah made of stone and adorned with the words "Abraham and Sarah" was dedicated at the eastern entrance to the Tomb of Machpela. 
 
 
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