Restoration work nearly complete at Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus

September 28, 2010 04:07

Over 300 people to pray at the renovated holy site, destroyed by Palestinians in 2000.

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Chief Rabbis Yona Metzger and Shlomo Amar visit Joseph's Tomb.

311_Amar and Metzger at Joseph's Tomb. (photo credit: Courtesy)

A new tombstone was recently laid at Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus, bringing the renovations of the site that was sacked by a Palestinian mob 10 years ago nearly to their end.

Over 300 Jews from across Israel were set to make the pilgrimage to pray at the holy site overnight Monday.

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“This is a moving, historic movement, a minor amelioration of the disgrace of abandoning Joseph’s Tomb,” Samaria Regional Council chairman Gershon Mesika said early on Sunday morning, after the new five-ton tombstone was carefully placed in the exact location of the stone that was vandalized in October 2000.

The operation was the work of Samaria’s regional and religious councils, the Shechem Echad (One Nablus) organization, the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria and IDF. Brig.- Gen. Yoav Mordechai, the head of the the civil administration, attended the complicated engineering endeavor.

“There is no nation in the world that would allow such a holy, symbolic and historic place to it to be violated like Joseph’s Tomb,” Mesika said. He proceeded to thank the IDF for the aid in the renovation.

Mesika called upon the government to once more enable an ongoing Jewish presence at Joseph’s Tomb. The Oslo Accords give Israel sovereignty over the holy site.

Monthly nocturnal visits to the tomb usually take place at the beginning of Hebrew months, but Monday’s overnight excursion was timed to coincide with the night during which the spirit of Joseph is a guest in everyone’s succa, as David Ha’ivri, executive director of the Shomron Liaison Office, explained.

Seven of the “fathers of the Hebrew nation” are guests – ushpizin in Aramaic – who invited into the succa, one for each night of the festival.

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