Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mitzpe Yericho

Full Article Found on Arutz 7 (But also reprinted here):

Construction has begun on affordable apartments for young families in the Judean community of Mitzpe Yericho. The project was launched this week by contracting firm Hotam Handasa in a ceremony held at the site.

Laying the cornerstone were community leaders who included Bruria Francis, head of the Mitzpe Yericho Community Council, Avi Ro'eh, head of the Binyamin Regional Council, Rabbi Yehuda Kroizer, Chief Rabbi of the community, and others.

During the first phase, 100 apartments will be built as part of a development that is expected to eventually include close to 1,000 units, according to real estate agent Shelley Levine.

Home to more than 450 families, Mitzpe Yericho is located in the Judean desert, about 20 minutes east of Jerusalem along the Dead Sea, overlooking the Jordan Rift Valley and the ancient city of Jericho. The community is comprised of Jewish Torah-observant families, approximately 15 percent of whom are English speakers.

The city is also home to the Jewish Temple School, where a full-size replica of the Holy Temple is under construction. Jewish men who are Kohanim -- descendants of the priesthood order with ancestry in the tribe of Levi -- will be able to learn the laws pertaining to the rites of sacrifice at the facility.

As of late, I have been day dreaming about Aliyah (as I often do, but recently even more so). I have been doing a lot of research on different communities within Israel. I, more often than not, get sidetracked by staring at beautiful pictures of the scenery and the budding communities. I could seriously stare at the pictures all day.

Something does bother me quite a bit, however. I see pictures from beautiful communities like Mitzpe Yericho, and I see open buildings. Buildings that are worthy of the shanty towns that are built in third world countries. Is this what being an "idealistic" Jew means? Why is there not a more solid infrastructure in these towns and villages? If we are trying to populate and settle Israel, what draw is there for an American, European, Australian, etc., if they move from a nice house or apartment to a shanty?

Please note, this is by no means a bashing of these idealistic people, this is a warning and a wake up call to all Pro-Israel, Zionistic supporter world wide. It doesn't matter if the community is on the Left or Right Side of the Green Line, the West Bank (FYI: The West Bank was termed the West Bank because it was seen as the West Bank of the Jordan as an extension of th country of Jordan. They are not the sovereign rulers over Israel and this term should really cease to be used, but I use it because its what everyone knows) or Karmiel or Eilat or Jerusalem. Israel is under attack from both its neighbors, but also from the inside. Apologetic Israelis feel it necessary to discuss a "Two State Solution" and to "Make Peace" with people who would rather die than make friends with Israel. They feel it necessary that, when a Jew is killed praying at a Jewish Holy Site, they must point out that the Jew didn't coordinate and didn't make the proper plans (which is true and realizing the reality on the ground n Shechem, should have. In fact, people should be making a mad rush to make these plans to Shechem to overload the bureaucracy and begin to allow more travelers to the Tomb of Yosef.)

It is a very disheartening scene to see settlement of Israel become a third world endeavor. Then, I read articles like the one above. 1,000 Units in Mitzpe Yericho?! Are you kidding me?! Do you know what that could do to the community? It would make it blossom! With housing units would come more electricity, water, waste removal, schools, transportation, economy! A desert blossom! Imagine, if you will, a city developed where many of our ancestors thrived.

Like many cities in Israel, I hope that the development incorporates any antiquities found there. There is nothing more awe-inspiring than to walk down a beautiful Israeli city street and see where my ancestors one lived their everyday lives.

Please go to the Jericho Website. Donate, visit, relocate, establish Parnassah (a livelihood) for the members of this amazing community by opening businesses there and hiring locally. If you visit, make sure to attend one of their planned trips to the Shalom Al Yisrael synagogue, which I will hopefully be attending on one of my next visits to Israel.

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