Apr 13, 2007
my spontaneous middle of the night trip to an Arab village
I am not someone who does things spontaneously. I do not like surprises and like to stick to my general plans. Last night I did what is definitely one of the most spontaneous things I have done in a very long time.
At about 2:30 AM I get an sms text message from my friend Elchonon. I do not know why I saw it, but the message said that he had to beat up 50 people to get on the bus. I asked back "the bus to where?" and he tells me he is at the grave of Yehoshua Bin Nun. I told him I had been there a few years ago and had he told me about the trip I wold have like to go with him. He told me there are buses all night and I can go to Geula in jerusalem and get on the last bus still.
I got dressed and I was out of the house by 2:40 am and on my way to Jerusalem. I found the bus location and fought my way on to the last bus. I slept most of the way there and when I woke up we were already in the middle of the Arab village called Timnas Harsa, a.k.a. Timnas Heres as it is called in the navi Yehoshua described as the burial place of Yehoshua Bin Nun.
This shabbos is the yahrtzeit of Yehoshua Bin Nun and every year the army opens up his grave site for access to Jews on his yahrtzeit. It is the one day a year Jews can go there to pray.
Along with Yehoshua Bin Nun, in the same village is also buried Calev Ben Yefune. The grave with the blue marker is that of Calev, while the white-walled gravesite is that of Yehoshua. They are covered with graffitti as you can see from the following pictures.
as you can see from this picture below, someone had painted a swastika on the wall of the gravesite of Yehoshua and it was whitewashed over just before our visit to the grave
I got back at about 9 am, just a few minutes late for my weekly Friday morning chavrusa. Definitely a worthwhile trip, even though I lost a night of sleep.
It was a special experience to be able to go to Yehoshua's gravesite. He was one of our early leaders. He brought our nation into Israel and administered the division of the land among the Tribes. Yehoshua was the student and assistant of Moshe Rabeinu. We study the book he wrote as the first book of the Neviim. This was an experience of connecting with our past. An experience that is rare, and the opportunity must be jumped at.
I just found out that this night at Kever Yehoshua seems to have been sponsored by the jblog society. Every shift that was at the kever last night had a jblogger, which is pretty amazing considering 90% of the attendees are Breslaver Chassidim. I just got off the phone with Jameel - he was there on the first shift from 12:00 am to 1:30 am. Elchonon was there from about 1:30 until about 3:30. I was there from about 4:15 until 6:45.