Friday, July 20, 2012

The spring of creation

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Wednesday’s terror attack on Ron, from Kiryat Arba, was an example of a true miracle. The boulder hurled at his head, as he prepared to bathe in the Abraham Spring, here in Hebron, was intended to crush his skull. It did leave him with a serious injury, but he is still alive. Only inches from the water, had he fallen in, unconscious, the results would most likely have been tragic.
Since that  near-deadly assault, the site of the attack has become a focal point of attention. In truth, the spring is much more important than publicly known.
Researchers, attempting to document ancient communities, can frequently locate such sites via wells, or springs. Or inversely, discovering what might be a tel, one of the ways to identify the area is to locate its water source. For people cannot exist without water. That being the case, where there is water, there may very well have been an early population. And wherever there were people, there had to be a water source.
Tel Hebron, site of the Biblical home of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebeccah and Leah was no different. So it is that a short distance, north-east of the walled city,  is that very water source.  Due to its proximity to the tel, (today known as Tel Rumeida – or Admot Yishai) the spring is known as Abraham’s Spring. Legend speaks of Abraham and Sarah purifying themselves here, almost 4,000 years ago.
According to Hebron resident and researcher, Aryeh Klein, this spring is referred to in the Bible, at 2 Samuel 4. Here the scripture tells how King David, then ruling in Hebron, hanged two men ‘at the pool in Hebron.’ It is also written about by Mujar a’ Din, in 1496, calling it “Ayn Jadida” – the ‘new spring.’  This name resulted from renovations done, at that time, at the spring.  According to several examinations, the spring is 3.7 meters (12 feet) deep . Archeologist Avi Ofer, who also investigated this site, reported that a massive thick wall, inside the spring, may have closed off an underground aqueducts, leading from the pit to the upper level of Tel Hebron.
In recent years, since renewal of the Jewish community in Hebron, this spring is frequently visited. On hot, summer days, such as we’ve experienced this week, Hebron’s children play and swim in its cold waters. Other visitors, from around Israel, bathe and purify themselves in the spring, utilizing it as a “mikva,” a ritual purifying bath. So it was that our friend Ron happened to be there on Wednesday afternoon. That day, and the days preceding, witnessed dozens of people arriving at the spring.
For several days, Hebron youth, working under the supervision of adults, and with permission from Israeli security forces, worked in the area around the spring, trying to clean up the rubbish and renew the area, making it a bit more attractive for people frequenting the place.
Perhaps, as a result of their work, an Arab terrorist decided to ‘take revenge’ for this Jewish chutzpah, - cleaning up an ancient spring – and tried to kill a Jewish man there.
Actually, however, this site is much more significant than has been yet mentioned. Almost one thousand years ago, a Jewish traveler named Rabbi Ya’akov ben Netanel HaCohen, visited the Holy Land and wrote about his experiences. Amongst other places visited was Hebron. One of Israel’s greatest historical researchers, Prof. Ze’ev Vilnai, published Rabbi Ya’akov’s account: “And there (adjacent to the spring) is the place where G-d created the first man, and for that reason people take earth, to use for building or for medicine…”. This place is called ‘the Field of Adam HaRishon,’ – ‘the field of the first man.’
This beautiful legend is quite fitting, as according to very holy Jewish literature, Adam and Eve when trying to discover the way back to the Garden of Eden, dug a cave within a cave, until a voice from the heavens commanded them to stop, saying that they’d dug far enough. Known as the entrance to paradise, or the entrance to the Garden of Eden, this is where the first man and woman were later buried. That site remained hidden until the days of Abraham, who discovered this sacred cave-tomb. That site is today known as Ma’arat HaMachpela – the ‘double cave of Machpela, where later, the Patriarchs and Matriarchs were buried.
Therefore, it seems that not only was the first man buried in Hebron. Here too, he was created, not more than two kilometers from Machpela.  I’m sure, if the first man really was created at this spot, he undoubtedly bathed in the waters of the nearby spring.  
That being the case, these waters, which purified Adam, and maybe too Eve, as well as Abraham and Sarah, and most likely King David also, are a direct link from the beginning of time, through this very day. Water symbolizes life, for without water there is no life. This spring represents our life, as a people, as a nation, continuing to flow, without stopping, for thousands of years. That is our essence: life, purity and an uninterrupted flow of holiness.  This is Hebron, from the Hebrew root ‘lechaber’ – to join together, to unify – bonding us from conception of our world, to the present.
As such, it’s no wonder that Ron’s life was saved by a miracle at this wondrous place: the spring of Creation 

Photos and video: David Wilder

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Authentic G-d Particle

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This morning we were greeted with headlines explaining discovery of what is called the 'God particle.' Decades of research and millions of dollars were invested in this project, which according to an article in Fox explains that this particle 'gives things mass.'  As elucidated, ""all elementary particles get their masses from their interactions with the [Higgs] field, kind of like being 'slowed down' by passing through a thick syrup,""

In other words, if I understand correctly, this syrup-particle is sort of like the glue of existence.

Interesting, significant and amusing. Why amusing? Because even a simpleton as myself, with almost no scientific background at all, could have come to the same conclusion and revealed it to the world without spending all that money. The glue of humanity, the precursor of the world as we know it, came into existence over 5772 years ago. As our Sages have taught, G-d looked into the Torah, and then created the world. The Bible, the word of G-d, is the syrup that all creation must pass through in order to have any kind of mass. For without the Torah, as is written in the above-mentioned article, "Without it, they — we — would zip around frantically at the speed of light, too foot-loose to form atoms." In other words, humanity would be lost, running around, chasing its shadow, so to speak, without being able to take any real, relevant, substantial form. That is what Torah, the Bible, the word of G-d, gives us.
But of course, that's not enough. The now discovered particle, in order to be discerned, needed, in the words of the Fox article, a 'playing field' where it could be visualized. Here too, the Good L-rd, preceded Prof. Higgs, who hypothesized existence of this particle over 50 years ago. About 3,800 years ago, the Creator set out the field, by which His particle could be distinguished. He called that field by the name Abraham, who, over the centuries, developed from a family field to a national field, by way of the Jewish people. That's our role in the world: to be a 'thick syrupy mass,' which when interacted with other, fast-flying objects, will give them form and purpose, and ultimately, bring them closer to their Maker.
But it doesn't end there. Again referring back to Fox, ""You have to get enough energy to excite the field so that it looks like a particle to us. Otherwise we don't know the field is there."

Here too, we arrived before the good professor.  In order for us, the Jewish people, together with our Torah, to be 'seen,' in order to know that the 'field is there,' the Diety provided us with a place to put it all together. That being, of course, Eretz Yisrael, the Land of Israel.  As the article concluded, "But because the Higgs particle is extremely high-energy (or, equivalently, very heavy), it's tough to excite the Higgs field enough to create one. That's where the Large Hadron Collider comes in: by smashing together high-speed protons, it generates enough juice to slosh the syrupy Higgs field around now and again, producing Higgs bosons."

So too with us Jews. We also were processed via a Collider. But back then it had different names: the exile in Egypt, ten plagues, the exodus, the parting of the Sea, receiving the Torah, the dwelling of G-d in the 'tent of meeting' in the desert, entering into the land of Israel, leading to revelation, the Temple, in Jerusalem.

That collider hasn't stopped working. Again we experienced exile, again we experienced aches and pains, the inquisition, the holocaust, again we came back to our land. And the particles keep flying around.

There are such specks that might prefer not to take form, to be 'free,' without any purpose for being.  They would hope, and even work, to keep the G-d particle from doing its job. But they cannot succeed.

Today we are witness to an additional G-d particle disclosure. That being, for anyone who still didn't know, that Jews really can live in their land, in Eretz Yisrael, the third leg of the G-d particle. We have permission, not only from G-d, but also according to international law. For years, we, those of us living in Judea and Samaria, individually and collectively, have been accused of 'occupying conquered land,' and thereby being in violation of international law. Today the Israeli press published the findings of an 'official committee,' headed up by former Supreme Court justice Edmond Levy which concludes " that there is no “occupation” and international law allows Jews to live in Judea and Samaria." They concluded that from a historical and legal prospective, and considering agreements with the Palestinian Authority, the international law against ”occupation" does not apply to Judea and Samaria.

Holy Cow!  No, holy G-d particle!  Finally, 3,500 years after the Israelites entered the Land of Israel, we have an official OK to live here…..anywhere. Not just in Tel-Aviv, Haifa, and Beersheva. But also in Hebron, Jerusalem, and Shilo.

Actually, Hebron, Jerusalem, and Shilo, with the rest of Judea and Samaria, are the glue which gives Tel-Aviv and Haifa their form, their existence. Hebron and Jerusalem are the syrupy G-d particle via which the others received their mass, their being.

Several articles, dealing with today's news, point out that this discovery and announcement may lead to Dr Higgs receiving the Nobel Prize in physics. We'd be happy to bypass the Nobel Prize in anything. But it would be nice if the peoples of the world would finally recognize, after all these years and all those colliders, that we, the Jewish people, really do have a legitimate right to live in our land, in all of it, as Jews, the way were created, thousands of years ago.  For this is the authentic G-d particle.