04 August 2011

Response from Hevron

4 Av 5771

By now, most everyone knows that the blogpost I referred to in my previous post was written by David Wilder, a resident of the second holiest city in the world---Hevron. I have always held the Jews of Hevron in the highest esteem. They've been my heroes since my first visit there in 1994. In fact, I wanted very much to live there, or at least in Kiryat Arba, and made several attempts that just never worked out for one reason or another. Hashem chooses where He wants us.

Ironically, I was just there visiting on Erev Rosh Chodesh and davening with all my heart for the geulah shleimah at the Mearat Hamachpelah. As I read David Wilder's blogpost, it never even occurred to me that the wider community would agree with him and my faith in the holy Jews of Hevron has been justified by an email which I received from Shelli Karzen, who as it turns out is also the cousin of the Rav who oversees this blog.

I have been given permission to publicize it here:

For whatever it's worth after the blog post you mentioned in your post has gone far and wide, I would like to make it clear that the author of the blog in no way represents the views of the Jewish Community of Hebron. Yes, he is the spokesman in English, and has been doing excellent work over the years. But this recent blog post and the actions that preceded it in no way reflect where the community is holding. The community members were unaware of this entire episode until the blog post. We are up in arms about this and Rabbi Lior shlit"a (Chief Rabbi of Kiryat Arba and Hebron) has ordered Mr. Wilder to immediately cease all contact with CUFI and all other xtian organizations.
I hope that this can in some small way rectify the appalling impression that Mr. Wilder's blogpost has made. The community is in the process of taking further action to rectify what we can.

Kol tuv,
Shelli Karzen
Beit Hashisha

I have no doubt that their commendable and swift action has stopped a plague in its tracks. This is a situation which is unfortunately being repeated across Eretz Yisrael in far too many our communities. To warn Jews of the dangers of this insidious heresy is nothing less than pikuach nefesh.

The Jewish community of Hevron should go from strength to strength and continue their tradition of setting an example for us all.