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Shabbos in Chevron with Kedushas Tzion

A friend of Operation Home Again sent us an impassioned description of his experience at the Kedushas Tzion Shabbaton in Chevron last Shabbos. The email, below, reminds us how the legacy of the Avos and Imahaos lives on through today's generation.

A few dozen of the 140 guests from the Kedushas Tzion program in Chevron make Havdalah after an uplifting Shabbos together. (Me'aras HaMachpelah is in the background)

Most of the 140 guests who joined together for Shabbos in Chevron were yeshiva bachurim from various yeshivos across Eretz Yisrael, including Mir, Brisk, Chevron, Ponevezh, and Slabodka. There were also a number of sephardim and chassidim. While the vast majority of guests were Israeli, I met a number of bachurim from America, England, France and even an oleh chadash from Argentina. On Friday night we davened in Me’aras HaMachpelah. We were joined inside by a number of resident Chevroners, bachurim and Rabbanim from the local yeshiva Shavei Chevron, Breslovers, and soldiers. The Kabbalas Shabbos was especially powerful, with the minyan breaking out in singing and dancing every few minutes. If you can imagine the scene, black-hatted bachurim holding hands with Breslovers dressed in all white, singing together; “כל מקום שאני הולך, אני הולך לארץ ישראל “Every place that I walk, I am walking to Eretz Yisrael” And Chassidim in shtreimels holding hands with bachurim in knitted kippahs singing; אתה תקום תרחם ציון כי עת לחננה כי בא מועד״” ”You will arise and show Tzion mercy, for [there will come] the time to favor her, for the appointed time will have come” The sense of Ahavas Yisrael and Ahavas Eretz Yisrael was palpable. There were moments I felt that Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov were going to get up and dance with us. And while they did not physically join us, we all felt their presence. As a recent Oleh who was also visiting the Me'aras Hamachpeila for my first time, I was very moved to meet so many young lomdei Torah who appreciate the tremendous zechus of living in Eretz Yisrael and are excited to be taking an active part in what’s happening here. After Shabbos, on my way to Yerushalayim, I gave a ride to a few of the bachurim and was impressed that the topic of conversation amongst these 18-year-olds was about different challenges facing the nation in Eretz Yisrael. Their earnest discussion demonstrated a deep connection and care for Am Yisrael and the future of our nation. In Yerushalayim, I had the zechus to stop by Kever Dovid and was there for the weekly Melava Malkah. Every Motzai Shabbos, a volunteer band and food caterer set themselves up in the open area near Kever Dovid to host hundreds of guests who come to join. Guests unite over food, song, and dance. Hard not to be moved by the tremendous achdus and simchah in the air. Here are a few short clips of the dancing:

Kever Dovid Melava Malkah: Video 1 Kever Dovid Melava Malkah: Video 2 Kever Dovid Melava Malkah: Video 3 I came away from the last two days with a greater appreciation for what it means to be part of Am Yisrael. I arrived here two months ago and am incredibly grateful and humbled to be here and to be a part of the renewal of our nation in our land. Here one can feel that we are, slowly but surely, on our way to becoming a ממלכת כהנים וגוי קדוש.

The path is bumpy but there is a reason the dancing on Friday night at Me’aras HaMachpelah and on Motzai Shabbos at Kever Dovid was with such bren and simchah. People feel the zechus of being part of the process that is taking place here. The singing and dancing comes from a place of deep gratitude for how far we have come, and yearning for what is still to come.

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