Chabad rabbis were granted a visit to Kever Yosef on the outskirts of West Bank’s Nablus under heavy IDF protection.
By COLlive reporter
A group of rabbis were granted a special visit to Kever Yosef on the outskirts of the West Bank city of Nablus, near the site of biblical Shechem.
They arrived at the tomb in bullet-proof vehicles under heavy IDF protection as a curfew was imposed on the area.
They found the tomb of the favorite son of the third patriarch of the Jewish people in a disgraceful state.
Ever since the Arab pogrom that took place there in February 2003, leaving a smashed headstone and swastikas painted on the walls, the tomb has not been repaired.
Later, in February 2008, vandals set burning tires inside the tomb and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas declared it a Muslim holy site.
Anonymous donors have funded the painting of the blackened walls and re-built the shattered stone marker covering the grave, but it remains in poor condition.
The delegation included Chabad rabbis Chaim Yehuda Rabinowitz (Jerusalem Dayan), Shmuel Rabinowitz (Kotel rabbi), and Pinchas Althaus (from Holon, Israel).
They were joined by Alexander Boroda, president of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia and Kiev Rabbi Moshe Azman.
“It was a very emotional visit,” said COL photographer Berele Sheiner, who was permitted to document the event.
The visitors spent the time “saying Tehillim and asking for his blessings, and prayed for him and the kever’s condition,” he said.
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This article was originally posted on collive.com on Jan. 5th 2010