Apr 20, 2009

Kever Yehoshua with Google Earth on Steroids

Last night was the annual entry to Kifl Harith, or by its biblical name "Timnas Heres" to celebrate the yahrtzeit of Yehoshua bin Nun and daven by his gravesite. Buried nearby is his father Nun, and Calev ben Yefuneh.

The arrangements were slightly different than in the past. They changed some of the road in the immediate area, and paved the entrance to the village. So what used to be used as the staging area for the army and a parking lot for the visitors no longer exists in a usable fashion, for the most part. So the police and army with a cadre of "sadranim" direct visitors to parking nearby across the street.

Another difference was the time of entry. I remember in the past it was open from 12 until about 5 or so. This time they opened up relatively early - they scheduled entry from 10pm. The actual entry was not approved until about 10:45, but it is still better than only starting at 12.

this is Google Earth on steroids. It was in the main army tent at the entrance and was an extremely detailed map of the area and village.

After parking and finally being allowed in, we walked from the entrance of the village all the way to the graves, first encountering the gravesite of Calev. I saw no sign of the shuttles that were advertised. That being the first site, it was packed as everyone crammed in there right away.

While in the room with the grave of Calev, in walked Baruch Marzel escorting Rav Yaakov Yosef (the son of Rav Ovadia Yosef).

Later, outside the grave of Yehoshua, I saw Ichud Leumi MK Michael Ben-Ari.

By Yehoshua, he is supposedly buried under the wall of the room. It is not a proper grave-headstone. So many were just davening outside. the room inside is very small and cramped. With tens of people packed in at the same time davening, the air gets very scarce. The davening was intense, and of course there was the Breslav wail every few minutes. If you see a picture on other sites of Rav Yaakov Yosef in Joshua's Tomb, you might see me as well. Inside the tomb of Joshua I was standing right next to him davening as we entered at about the same time.

Most of the buzz int he area was outside of Joshua's Tomb. there was a class of 5 year olds who arrived with rebbes and were dancing. I think there was an upsherin as well. The tables of refreshments were there. This was the central area.

I did not see any cholent this time, but they had plenty of Yerushalmi Kugel.

There were thousands of jews of all types, affiliations and styles who came out to daven. It seemed much busier than I remember it from the past. While I initially thought we would be in and out quickly because of the early start, I was wrong. The large crowds, the dark and the long distances to walk made it take much longer than expected. We got out at about 1am and got home a bit before 2am. needless to say, my boys slept in this morning and went to school late.


  1. I saw Ariel and said hello - he is very recognizable. But I did not get a photo of him there...


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