Monday, April 25, 2011

Kever Joseph and the death of Ben - Yosef Livnat

Culture and Sport Minister Limor Livnat (Likud)

The tragic death of Ben – Yosef Livnat, the 24 year old nephew of our Culture and Sport Minister  Limor Livnat, was a shock. Not only because Palestinians don't only kill any ordinary Jew but also Jewish "celebrities" but because, once again, praying Jews have become the target of Palestinian killers.

Yesterday's deadly incident was caused by the so - called Palestinian police whose members in Shechem (Nablus) started yelling “Allah Akbar” and started shooting around into a Jewish prayer crowd. The Breslover Chassid Ben - Yosef Livnat was killed and three further Chassidim were injured.

Background & Facts:

As we all know from the Torah, Joseph was one of the sons of the Jewish forefather Yaakov. Joseph dreamt that, in the future, his brothers would bow down to him. The result was that the brothers became jealous and even before, they had been convinced that Joseph was the black sheep of the family. Just like Ishmael and Esav. The brothers saw in Joseph the "favourite" son of his father and therefore as arrogant. 

The Torah teaches us the famous incident of the brothers selling Joseph. Joseph ended up in Egypt, spent several years in jail and, later on, rose to the second man in power behind Paraoh. During a famine in Israel (Canaan), some family members came down to Egypt in order to buy food and, in the end, Joseph revealed his true identity to his brothers who then brought the entire family down to Egypt. Joseph died and was buried in the Land of Israel, in Shechem (the Arabs call it "Nablus").

In our times, Nablus has become the home town of many suicide bombers. Until October 2000, Shechem had a Yeshiva located right next to the famous "Kever Joseph - the Grave of Joseph". 

At the grave of Joseph. Our Jewish tradition teaches that Joseph's two sons Ephraim and Menashe are also buried there.

During the Six - Day - War in 1967, Israel conquered the area and turned it, as it should be, into a regular part of the State of Israel. In 1995, however, the Israeli government gave Shechem to the Palestinian Authorities. Shechem now was officially "Arab Palestine". Nevertheless, Jews were allowed to visit Kever Joseph protected by the Israeli army. If the army hadn't protected the grave, the Arabs would have destroyed it instantly, as they have done many times to other Jewish sites. 

In October 2000, a Palestinian mob started rioting outside Kever Joseph. Muslims don't believe that Joseph is buried at the site but a famous Sheikh. According to them, Joseph is buried in Hebron near the Ma'arat HaMachpelah

The procedure of trying to make the world believe that Jewish sites don't actually exist is nothing new. For years, Palestinians have been claiming that there has never been any Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. The strange thing is that many years before, including the Middle Ages, no Muslim has doubted the existence of Jewish sites in Israel. Even Mark Twain in 1869, when he was traveling through the Holy Land, praised Kever Joseph. 
Due to the Arab riots around Kever Joseph, the Israeli government gave up the Kever in early October 2000. The result was that the Arab mob took over and widely destroyed Joseph's grave. Even burnt certain parts. Later on, it was used as a garbage dump.  

With permission from the army or without, the Breslover Chassidim have been sneaking into Joseph's grave for years. Many times being escorted by the Israeli army and many times without. Going to Shechem means endangering one's life as a Jew but the Breslovers wanted to make a point: We must not forget our Jewish heritage !

In 2007, the grave was returned to the Jews who restored its former condition. The site was cleaned up and fixed after the Arabs had vandalized the grave. Yesterday, 24th April 2011, the Breslovers came again. This time without any coordination from the army or the Palestinian police. Palestinian officers started yelling "Allah Akbar" and shot into the praying Breslov crowd. Ben - Yosef Livnat from Elon Moreh and father of four was killed and three other Breslover Chassidim were wounded.

Yesterday's funeral of Ben - Yosef Livnat

October 2000 – A Palestinian mob is storming Kever Joseph in Shechem (Nablus) and destroying parts of it.

April 2011: "KEVER JOSEPH - The Grave of Joseph" in flames

Further Details:

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