Wednesday, June 07, 2006
Posted by Daniel Greenfield 3 Comments
In these restored photos we can see the Maarat HaMachpelah from its days under Turkish and British rule. Jews were not allowed to ascend higher than the seventh step. The future Chief Rabbi of the IDF and Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi and Brigadier General Rabbi Shlomo Goren was a student at the Hevron Yeshiva during the abortive Arab pogrom of 1936. At 17 he wrote a commentatry on the Rambam's Mishna Torah. At 18 he joined the Haganah to fight for independence.
During the war of 1967 Rabbi Goren followed behind the troops to bury and take care of the dead putting himself at great risk. He blew the shofar at the Western Wall of the former temple and proclaimed "We Have Liberated the City of God." After the liberation of Jerusalem, Rabbi Goren had demanded to be brought along to Hevron but he was nevertheless left behind.
Rabbi Goren proceeded on his own and mistakenly arrived in Hevron, a town of 80,000 Arabs that had driven out the Jews in bloody pogroms, on his own. A single short older man bearing a sefer torah liberating an ancient Jewish town. No one dared lay a hand on him. Rabbi Goren shot out the lock on the Maaret Hamachpelah and blew the Shofar as he had at the wall and after praying at the tomb of the forefathers he proclaimed that Hevron was and will be Jewish forever.
After the war Rabbi Goren championed prayers on the temple mount, called for the rebuilding of a synagogue on the Temple Mount that had existed before the 16th century, the removal of the mosque of omar, the so-called dome of the rock, and issued a psak din stating that soldiers were obligated to refuse any orders to evacuate Jewish towns and settlements.
May we merit to have men like Rabbi Goren leading us again in these dark times.
Photos taken from the Library of Congress by David