Ever since the education minister announced his plan to send high school students on class trips to Hebron, and received our support, there have been a number of interesting developments.
People in the Education Ministry don’t just make statements − they take action right away; a steering committee has already drafted its initial proposal, and we are publishing it here for the first time.
Some invisible party sent it to us for perusal.
The panel decided to concentrate on three major (Biblical) chapters that have left a mark on the city of Hebron. It met with the heroes involved in order to understand the essence of their speeches, and hear what they plan to tell the students of Israel.
We shall not waste any time here on the obvious. It is clear that meetings will be held with local rabbis, who will relate their strategies for setting up a town in the form of a giant settlement, and how they manage to act contrary to government decisions and bring about our redemption. They will also explain why a state based on halakha (Jewish law) exempts teachers of that law from being punished by state law, and when it is permissible to kill gentiles − and even Jews − who deny the existence of God.
When the activity featuring Torah and rabbinical precepts is concluded, and before the storytelling festival begins, a recess will be declared. The students will leave the hall of the settlers’ restaurant, which is already recognized as the symbol of the revolt, and make a pilgrimage to the tomb of the holy man who returned the Tomb of the Patriarchs to its previous glory: Baruch (in Hebrew, also “the blessed”) Goldstein. According to the draft proposal, visitors will not be obligated to lay a wreath since the minister opposes compulsion in this case.
So far, we’ve been talking about the routine course of events in Hebron, which takes us along a path running through the road of the sealed windows. After this, the unique part of the visit begins, aimed at getting students to become fond of the place and the stories from the Bible.
The first to appear, according to the plan, will be a veteran of the intelligence service, one of the people sent to search out the land.
He will relate how, because he and some of his friends were to blame for defaming the land, the return home was almost thwarted; but within a very short time the spies came to their senses, shook off their shame, and beheaded all the giants who had previously melted their hearts with fear. Since then, there are no more giants in Hebron; we are now the giants. The spokesperson will call on the young people to not repeat the mistakes of the past, and not succumb to timidity.
The second to appear will be a middle-aged man with a thick beard, who wishes to remain anonymous; the team has given him the pseudonym of Menahem. He relates how he arrived there after unintentionally beating someone to death; as a fugitive from justice, he remembered that Hebron is a refuge for murderers − one of three. To this day he is afraid of a blood vengeance, but there he feels safe. Just to be on the safe side, though, he joined the Jewish Underground, which has already murdered with permission and authority. Menahem will call on the students not to take the law into their hands since anyway the law is in their hands, as long as they do the right thing.
And now − now is the moment everyone present has been waiting for. An elderly man will enter the hall, immediately capturing the hearts of those present because of his impressive appearance, just as he captured the hearts of the committee members, who made a note of this in their draft. He has been attacked for years − why did he find it suitable to pay so much money for a tomb when it could have been taken over by force? In this way, he created a dangerous precedent for future generations.
The elderly man will explain, now that he has the opportunity, that one cannot look at what happened then and what happens now in the same way. In those days, it was not accepted practice to deprive people of their private land if an understanding could be reached; there was someone to talk to. At that time, too, the question of whether it was worthwhile to sacrifice living people for the dead was asked. That was once upon a time, but today things have changed.
The program may be extremely packed, but it can be assumed that the satisfied students will not feel tired. Nevertheless, they are entitled to an entertaining conclusion. According to the proposal, a local rock artist will be invited to close the proceedings with an authentic Hebronite rock performance, part of her “Happy Purim” program. The steering committee saw an excerpt of her show and was impressed, and there was not a dry eye in the room.
Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? Subscribe todaySubscribe now