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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Video: Nightime visit to Joseph's tomb

Four days before Ben Yosef Livnat HY"D (May God avenge his blood) was murdered outside of Joseph's tomb in Shchem (Nablus), he led a group of 30 Breslov Hasidim to the tomb. Tagging along was YNet reporter Akiva Novick, who filed this report.
The fear kicked in a few moments after crossing Hawara checkpoint. The dogs barking behind you and the green lights of the mosques ahead indicated we were on our way to Nablus, the so-called "terror capital."

Everything in this city makes you feel unwelcomed. The graffiti on the walls, Shahid ("martyr") posters hanging in the streets. You are frightened even when driving with five other people in a small car, singing aloud.


Around 30 Breslov Hasidim met in a spring located south of Nablus, in the West Bank. This is their semi-secret meeting place where they gather to bathe before the journey begins.

It was nearly 2 am on Thursday. The group's last visit to Nablus before the fatal shooting incident which claimed Livnat's life – and I was along for the ride. We stood by the spring with our six vehicles. In the valley below us we spotted an IDF force at Hawara checkpoint, in charge of preventing worshipers from entering the holy city.

Our group leaders, including Livnat, huddled around and came up with a plan to mislead the soldiers. It was decided that one car would attempt to pass the checkpoint with its lights turned off, to see whether the IDF actually blocked off the entrance. It was now 2:55 am.


Livnat broke the law when he entered Joseph's Tomb without authorization, but that is not the reason he was killed. It is deeper than that. Joseph's Tomb is a sensitive subject in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Livnat was killed because he was part of the battle to control the holy site. Everybody wants to renovate it, preserve it – but those who try the hardest are the Breslov Hasidim, and Livnat was one of their most vigorous standouts.

On our way to Jerusalem we passed by the Palestinian town of Awarta, where the Fogel family killers came from. We entered. It turned out this is where Aaron's sons, Ithamar and Eleazar, are buried as well as the seventy Elders.
Let's go to the videotape.

Read the whole thing.

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