By Larry Gordon –
The original idea was to light the Chanukah Menorah on the second night of the Chag inside the confines of Kever Yosef, the tomb of Joseph of the biblical Technicolor Dream Coat fame that we read over these last few weeks. Then the plan was to continue the celebration with the men and women of the IDF on the military base in Shechem.
Most of the plan worked out extremely well. But the government of Israel would not cooperate. And though there were appeals made to members of Knesset for weeks, including Deputy Defense Minister Danny Dannon, the answer was the usual double standard and discriminatory no, it cannot be done.
Dannon told those who reached out to him that the policy is that Jews only go to Kever Yosef after midnight and then usually only on Thursday nights (which this was) and only with close coordination with the IDF, which this was too. So what was the problem? Well maybe it was that we were just a group of a hundred or so Americans and former US citizens residing mostly in Bet Shemesh who were not going to protest or raise hell because we were being denied what we were anticipating for weeks, visiting and lighting our Chanukah Menorahs in Kever Yosef.
Forget about the fact that under the stale but still mostly workable Oslo Accords signed in 1993, Israel and Israeli’s are allowed unrestricted access to Kever Yosef just we are have unfettered access to the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Kever Rachel in Bethlehem. Obviously that’s where the comparisons kind of end. So in all fairness to Mr. Dannon and the Israeli government in retrospect the decision which disappointing is also probably a prudent one. You see unlike Rachel’s Tomb and the Patriarchs Cave, the burial site of Yosef is smack dab in the middle of downtown Shechem, a potentially volatile and dangerous place for Jews in particular at anytime of the day or night. more in this weeks 5TJT