By Nurit Greenger
The government of Israel’s wrongness policy is being rejected by incessant Jewish-Zionism. Once again Jewish-Israeli pioneers turned on the permanent lights of the Israeli Jewish Community, Chomesh, in the Shomron, and this time for always.
This story could be seen as the continuation of the March 1, 1920, famed Tel Hai battle, a story from the past, unknown to most that probably has an unbelievable impact on the present in Israel.
The Tel Hai, in northern Israel, bloody events were part of the 1919 riots, a series of Arab and Bedouin gangs’ harassment and assaults that began in the fall of 1919 on Jews and others, caused by the British mandate forces withdrawal from the area. The attacks took place on four Jewish communities, Metula, the group in Tel Hai, Kibbutz Kfar Giladi, and on the Hamara village’s founding group; also on the Christian villages in the area, the French army units in northern Galilee and the British army unit.
The Battle of Maysalun, on July 24, 1920, fought between the Arab Kingdom of Syria and the French mandate forces, some 20 kilometers west of Damascus, was part of the French effort to overthrow the nationalist government, declared by Hashem al-Atassi under the rule of King Faisal. The Syrians were defeated and subsequently Syria’s independence was delayed for a quarter of a century. However, the Battle of Maysalun, turned a contemporary myth at the same time the Tel Hai battle became a myth, and both are parallel in content.
The Battle of Tel Hai became a national symbol. It ended with the death of eight Jews, among them the hero Joseph Trumpeldor and caused the four communities temporary abandonment, until the fall of 1920. Tel Hai and Kfar Giladi were united into one community and the original location of Tel Hai was abandoned.
Yehuda Efrati, a man from Kfar Giladi, could not bear to see that the Jewish-Hebrews settlement’s lights had gone out. He therefore, at the end of each working day, arrived with his dog at Tel Hai’s abandoned location, lit a light and went to sleep there. Efrati created a reality which every evening the whole neighborhood saw. Tel Hai lights are on as if it was not forsaken. Efrati continued his phenomenal act for 11 years, without a break till Jewish people returned to live there. Tel Hai became the organizing camp for new Jewish settlements established in the area.
Some 18 years ago, the Israeli establishment, as part of its plan to destroy them, turned off the lights of 25 Jewish settlements: 21 settlements in the Gaza Strip and 4 in northern Samaria. The outrageous act has become known as the “Gush Katif and Northern Samaria Disengagement.”
The new Jewish-Israeli settlement Chomesh was proudly built, in the form of a communal-secular community of the Beitar youth movement on the Samaria Regional Council jurisdiction, which in 2005 and until the disengagement implementation plan numbered approximately 70 families. After the evacuation, since 2009, the “Renewable Yeshiva Chomesh” nestled on the state lands of the Chomesh community.
Until 2023, setting residence in Chomesh was considered in violation of the secession law. In 2023 the Knesset, with the approval of the Minister of Defense, repealed the secession law. The ban was lifted and the Yeshiva of Chomesh became authorized.
We are speaking about Chomesh Yeshiva, a place of Jewish learning.
In 2002, Rabbi Mordechai Ganiram founded in Chomesh the Har Shalom Yeshiva, an offshoot of the Birkat Yosef Yeshiva. The Yeshiva operated until the 2005 disengagement. After the Chomesh evacuation the yeshiva was replaced by the renewed Chomesh Yeshiva, headed by Rabbi Elishma Cohen. Following the 2023 law of secession from Northern Samaria cancellation, the upheaval caused to the yeshiva students, who, for years, studied in an open space under the sky ended. The yeshiva moved to a permanent structure, the first one built in northern Shomron since the disengagement.
Zionist determination is Chomesh’s story
Zionism, the national liberation movement of the Jewish people, born out of the heartbreak of the Jewish people. Like all people, the Jewish people’s focus is to be responsible for their destiny and not depend on anyone for anything. Zionism came about so Jews no longer live tentatively and tenuously, hoping against hope that the warm welcome of the country where they resided did not change, as it did so very often. There was never a guarantee it would not happen again.
In the past 2,000 years, after they were exiled from their ancestral homeland, Israel, in 70 AD, Jews have lived in the diaspora. Since the 19th century, they have returned to their homeland, Israel, to rebuild it.
Chomesh yeshiva is the superhuman persistence great story of a group of many “Yehuda Efrati. Not only that for years their daily routine was constantly disrupted by the authorities, they also risked their lives, were persecuted, arrested, deported and returned to Chomesh, again and again and again. And because of all their troubles their number only increased all the time. It’s called dedication to the righteous cause.
Once again Jewish pioneers turn on the lights in the Jewish settlement, Chomesh, and the bright light will illuminate near and far.
Israel’s Jewish-Israeli residents have taken into their own hands the right of settlement in the Judea and Samaria matter.
Boaz Haetzni is a Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, in southern Israel, mechanical engineer graduate, in charge of VIP tours in the Shomron Regional Council and one of the leaders of the ‘return to Chomesh’ movement, the Jewish-Israeli settlement in Samaria, in the Samaria Regional Council. Boaz regards himself privileged to take part in this movement, a journey that began at the end of 2006 and is now gaining historic Zionist momentum.
Boaz and his associates began to fulfill their goal, to stop the institutions’ retreating concessions and turning it back in the right direction.
Every cliché fits here: “blessing and praise,” “how joyful is this day,” “we were like dreamers.”
All is fine and dandy but it is also necessary to speak about and get to the bottom of permanently settling Jewish land.
Chomesh’s effort to remain on Jewish ancestral land costs a great deal of money. The Chomesh Yeshiva, now being built in an impromptu manner, is funded by the public’s generous donations. The cost is in the millions, shekels or dollars.
As part of a large crowdfunding, Boaz took on the task of raising a share of the cost.
Those who want to see the continued redemption of the Jewish people in the State of Israel, without a trace of anti-Israel and antisemitic propaganda, please look into your bank account and pull out a donation. Every dollar counts.
To donate, visit: https://givechak.co.il/chomesh?ref=nwc
Boaz Haetzni: +972-54-311-1686 | firstname.lastname@example.org