Over 3,000 people from all over the country entered Joseph's Tomb in Shechem (Nablus) last night (between Wednesday and Thursday) to pray in honor of Joseph's 'Ushpizin' day, which is celebrated today. Among those who entered were Yossi Dagan, the head of the Samaria Regional Council, his deputy Davidi Ben Zion, as well as the parents of the brothers Hillel and Yagel Yaniv, who were murdered in a shooting attack in Hawara less than a year ago.
The parents of Hillel and Yagel Yaniv returned 19 years after the chalakeh they did in this place for their son Hillel. Their cry at this difficult hour was for the unity of the people: 'Nineteen years ago, we came here in the middle of the night to celebrate the chalakeh for Hillel, and since then, we have come here a few more times like thieves in the night. We pray that the next time we enter in broad daylight, it is our natural right in the Land of Israel. Joseph said: "I seek my brothers," and in the end, we are all brothers, all one people, especially in this period: "We are brothers."
Their father, Rabbi Shalom Yaniv, added: "When we are here, we are specifically at the tomb of Joseph, who turned to his brothers:
אַתֶּ֕ם חֲשַׁבְתֶּ֥ם עָלַ֖י רָעָ֑ה אֱלֹהִים֙ חֲשָׁבָ֣הּ לְטֹבָ֔ה.
"'You intended evil against me, but God intended it for good.' We are here in this place precisely in the image of Joseph, the one who responds to his brothers and tells them: You may have thought evil thoughts, but God will think good thoughts for us.
"With God's help, we will pray that precisely on the day of Yosef's Ushpizin, that free love will break out and all the thoughts about the settlement, about the people of Israel, and about the Land of Israel, all the thoughts that are bad thoughts, will all be good thoughts because God will transfer them to good thoughts."
"We expect the government to provide an answer"
The head of the Samaria Regional Council, Yossi Dagan, called for unity and settlement: "We come here first and foremost to connect with the deepest roots of our people and to preserve this place. We have a demand from the Israeli government to assert strength and courage in the region and to bring back the Yeshiva of Od Yosef Chai (Joseph is Still Alive) here. This is the historical and moral justice, something that even according to the cursed Oslo Accords should be the case."
"We connect during Joseph's 'Ushpizin.' Joseph was the unifier; he knew how to overcome the greatest resentments against his brothers and reconcile with them. We learn unity from him. Joseph was dedicated to the Land of Israel, and what mattered to him was not to be buried in Egypt. The settlement in Samaria is going through a complex period of terror and attacks. We draw strength from the exemplary figures of our nation who acted here, from Jacob to Joseph the Righteous, from Joshua bin Nun, and from their strength, we build the Land of Israel and Samaria. We expect the government to provide a strong and resolute national response to terrorism, and we expect the government to respond with building and settlement in the face of terrorism."