Just three weeks ago, Saturday night, a van arrived on our hilltop. From it emerged five happy children along with their father and mother. The Ozeri family had come to visit. Immediately, Mordechai and his brother-in-law, who had been busy searching for one of our ducks, ran to honor these wonderful guests. One week after that, Livant Ozeri and her children lost what was dearest to them, husband and father, Nati Ozeri (HY”D) when he was shot to death by Arab terrorists. Not only do they suffer from his absence, so many of the pioneers on the hilltops of Yesha as well as in many communities, followed his example both spiritually and physically.
When looking back at the ever-so-long list of our brethren murdered by Arabs, one cannot help but notice that the best are being taken from us. One after the other we have seen some of our dearest leaders and friends murdered in cold blood. We are left behind to fill the void – to continue their fight for freedom and justice. Here on our hilltop we are trying to continue their legacy.
At one of our little community meetings last night, in addition to discussing the acceptance of two new couples to our hilltop, several important resolutions were made. The most important of them, in my eyes, is the agreement that work building a synagogue must begin immediately. Now, the men attend prayers in the community Kfar Tapuach. Every Shabbat they trek down one and a half kilometers to the synagogue and then back again. On the high holidays half a year ago prayers were held in our home. We have postponed erecting our synagogue till now due to financial difficulties, and with the hopes of receiving aid. However, the decision was made to act with what little means we have. Each of the men will physically help in the building of the synagogue, and all six families will pay a certain sum of money to cover the expenses of materials needed. I hope that our efforts will prove fruitful, and the sounds of joyous prayer will rise up from our humble yet holy house of prayer.
In addition to finally erecting a synagogue, we are continuing to beautify our hilltop. A charity organization donated close to twenty trees to each family, in honor of Tu-B-Shvat (New Year for Trees). Several different types of trees were offered, among them; olive, apple and grape. Mordechai and his brother-in-law decided to start a vineyard, with the help of this donation in addition to independently purchasing more. Another of our neighbors will be planting an apple orchard. For a long time Mordechai has been dreaming of starting a vineyard, which will give us organic grapes to enjoy and maybe even sell. The vineyard will be situated on the terrace adjoining our back yard. I am excited to think that we will be living somewhat like our ancestors did, thousands of years before us, surrounded by lush fields full of our holy land’s fruit. I can’t help but sing happily in my heart “…and the children will return to their borders.” We are the children and we are coming home! In a few minutes Chana will be awaking from her afternoon nap. After fueling up on some wholesome, whole wheat noodles with tomato sauce we will prepare to set out on a long journey down south, back to our old home – Gush Katif. There is Neve-Dekalim’s party hall, we will attend the wedding of Chava-Lea (eldest of Kfar Darom’s youth) to Yoseph (a son of the city of our fore-fathers – Hebron). It must be an extraordinary feeling for the residents of Kfar Darom to dance and rejoice at the wedding of the first of the children that they helped raise – a true product of Kfar Darom. So too, the realization that hopefully soon the first grandchildren of Kfar Darom will be coming around to visit. As for Hebron, our ancestors will rejoice in the return of their children and continuation of their legacy. But after all, who will benefit the most from this young, beautiful couple? We will of course! They will be building their first home on one of the mesmerizing hilltops of the Shomron, not far from the ancient city of Shechem and Joseph’s Tomb. During these days of hardship and sorrow, it is sometimes hard to be optimistic and see that truly our children are returning home.