Thursday, March 31, 2011

Twin Peaks: Itamar’s Mayor Knows The Blessing And Curse

Fogels’ friend comes to the U.S. to explain the beleaguered town.

The (New York) Jewish Week  Tuesday March 29, 2011
Article by Jonathan Mark - Associate Editor

From the highest elevation in Itamar you can see everything but the future. On a clear day, says Rabbi Moshe Goldsmith, Itamar’s mayor, “We can see the three seas”: the Dead Sea, the Mediterranean and the Kinneret (Galilee). To the west, “We can see Gerezim and Ebal,” the twin mountains linked in the Bible to “the Blessing and the Curse,” but untrained eyes can’t tell one from the other.

To be the mayor of Itamar is to be the mayor of a yishuv, a settlement of about 160 homes deep in the rocky Samarian highlands, where more Jews have died from Palestinian bullets, knives and bombs than have died of old age; 22 murdered Jews in the last 10 years, including five members of the Fogel family on March 11.

Three weeks ago, Goldsmith was in shul on a Thursday night, studying Gemara, when he looked to his right and saw his friend, Rav Udi, a teacher in the local hesder yeshiva. Rav Udi had some 24 hours left to live.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Thousands Gather on Purim to Bless Itamar

Thousands gathered in Itamar for Purim Celebrations exactly one week aftter the attack on the Fogel Family, to show support and love for the family and the Itamar community.

Am Yisrael Chai!  The People of Israel Live!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Itamar Israel, the heartland of G-d!

The real Israel - the real Itamar. It is a WONDERFUL world!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Joy amidst the Mourning - A Special Wedding at Joseph's Tomb

Miri Tzachi,
Shomron Regional Council

Itamar Residents Celebrate Wedding at Joseph's Tomb! 
by Hillel Fendel   Israel National News

The army periodically allows and enables Israelis to enter the holy site of Joseph’s Tomb in Shechem (Nablus) – but no previous visit was ever as moving as the wedding there last night.

Hundreds of residents of Itamar, still reeling from the Palestinian terror  massacre of the Fogel family five days earlier, arrived for a special prayer service – highlighted by the wedding ceremony of a resident of an Itamar  hilltop, Moshe Orlinsky, and his betrothed, Natalya Zucher.

The two had planned to get married in Itamar, but decided to hold the joyous ceremony at the holy site of Joseph’s Tomb instead – the first wedding known to have ever taken place there. The intensity of emotion left no eye dry.  Click on the video below!  

The officiating rabbi was Itamar’s rabbi, Rabbi Natan Chai, and wedding blessings were recited by Breslov leader Rabbi Shalom Arush, Rabbi Yaakov Yosef (son of Shas leader Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef), Shomron Region Chief Rabbi Elyakim Levanon, Yitzhar Rabbi David Dudkevitch, and the Kabbalist Rabbi Yaakov Deutsch.

The ketubah (marriage contract) was read aloud by IDF Shomron Brigade Rabbi Capt. David Feig.

The local IDF commander, Shomron Brigade Commander Col. Nimrod Aloni, wished the young couple “Jewish home full of joy, faith, and warmth.” Shomron Regional Council head Gershon Mesika noted the residents’ emotional roller-coaster of late, and said: “The prophet says, ‘With your blood you shall live – unfortunately, we had to go through five ‘bloods’ [the five murdered Fogel family members – ed.], but in the merit of this exalted occasion, it will strengthen all of us – the people of Itamar, the residents of the entire Shomron, and all of Israel; we will gather the broken pieces together and we will become stronger.”
Yosef's Pursuit of Unity Supports the Jewish Nation
Rabbi Chai said, "We thank G-d for giving us the fortitude to carry on… and we thank IDF Commander Nimrod Aloni, who made great efforts to enable us to hold this chupah here … It was near this spot that Yosef said, ‘I seek my brothers,’ and this pursuit of unity and love for Israel is what unites us and gives us the strength; Yosef had a coat of many colors – symbolizing that there are many aspects to the Jewish People, and each tribe has its place, but they are all unified.”

Other blessings were offered by Yesha Council head Danny Dayan, Rabbi Dudkevitch, and IDF Commander Maki Siboni. Musician and actor Golan Azulai provided the music, at no charge.

IDF and West Bank Residents save Arab baby

 IDF Corporal Levin and Palestinian baby, Jude

It felt amazing to hold girl in my arms,
know we did something good

Saving life after massacre
IDF troops and paramedics save life of Palestinian woman giving birth in settlement where Fogel relatives sitting Shiva.

See Full Story:  By Yair Altman

Just take a moment to ponder this event.  This happened
in the town where the Fogel family was sitting shiva for their butchered family.  IDF forces guarding the area and local paramedics who would be grieving along with the family, didn't give a second thought to saving the lives of a baby being born to a Palestinian woman - perhaps a sworn enemy.

How does this make sense?  While the response to the murder of 3 month old Hamas Fogel in the Arab village below Itamar was fireworks, the response of the IDF and Jewish paramedics to the need of a Palestinian mother in trouble was mercy and I might add, joy.  The very "human" expression of joy of witnessing and participating in the miracle of new life.  The paramedics and IDF shared the joy with the Palestinians from the nearby village of Nabi Salah along with the new grandmother.  How can some in the same community find joy in the death of another beautiful baby of another mother and another grandmother?  How is this "humanly" possible?  I don't understand this darkness of heart and this "un-human" evil.

Rabbi Yakov Cohen interview - Itamar neighbor of the Fogel

The neighbor of Udi and Ruth Fogel family, Rabbi Yakov Cohen describes his entrance to Fogel home and helping Tamar Fogel enter her home to discover gruesome murders.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Letter From Mayor Moshe and Leah Goldsmith

Source: A letter to our Face Book friends, from  Moshe and Leah Goldsmith  By FB Itamar Israel Support Group

Dearest Friends of Itamar,  First of all we want to thank you from the depths of our hearts for all your support and encouragement to the Fogel family and to all the residents of Itamar in the last few days. 

Itamar has been our home for 27 years. It is also the home to over 100 jewish families. Itamar is the heart of Israel, our identity and our roots. After 2,000 years of being exiled from our land, the remnant of the Jewish people has come together and returned. It is God's work, a war for the Jewish people's survival. We see hatred all around us. I ask you; what hasn't Israel given for peace? We are a people of peace. And all we've got back is bloodshed. The world need to know this is our home. We are here to stay and the world is going to have to live with that

Friday's horror has made Itamar stronger and more determined to live and grow.  The Israeli government's announcement on Sunday that it would permit the construction of more than 400 new homes in West Bank settlements. This does not honor the dead. It is an insult to us and to the dead. Expansion of Itamar is an unassailable right, not a payment for these terrible murders

Dear friends, Exodus 1, which states that the more Pharaoh caused the Jews in Egypt to suffer, the more they increased and became stronger. We have now had 20 victims of terror attacks here in Itamar, a much higher number relative to our population than nearly anywhere else in Israel. With the devastating murders of the Fogel family which include 3 precious children, Itamar is more committed than ever to grow and prosper. We thank you for standing with us during this most tragic time. May G-d bless you and your families as you bless us!   Moshe and Leah Goldsmith

"I Will Be Their Mother" Says 12 Year Old Tamar Fogel

Photo: Flash 90
"I Will Be Their Mother" Says 12 Year Old Tamar Fogel

by Uzi Baruch  Israel National News

The eldest daughter of the Fogel family, 12 year old Tamar, promised her relatives: "I will be strong and succeed in overcoming this. I understand the task that stands before me, and I will be a mother to my siblings". The orphaned youngster's words were quoted in the Hebrew daily Yisrael Hayom.

In their home in the town of Neve Tsuf in Samaria, Tsila and Chaim Fogel, parents of Udi, are sitting on low benches for the traditional “shiva” week of mourning alongside his three brothers and sister. There is a constant stream of comforters going in and out of the house, VIP's and ordinary citizens from all over Israel, whose hearts go out to the bereft family that lost son, daughter-in-law, and three young grandchildren in a barbaric terrorist slaughter on Friday night.  See Full Story:  Fogel Family Tragedy

Monday, March 14, 2011

Mourning Father of Fogel Massacre Victim ‘Strengthens Israel’

Israel news photo: Flash 90

In a radio interview on radio Monday, Rabbi Yehuda Ben-Yishai, the mourning father of Ruth Fogel, one of the five victims of the Itamar massacre, taught a lesson of faith and strengthened the People of Israel.

His inspiring remarks on Voice of Israel government radio stunned the interviewer into near silence and brought tears to her eyes.
See Full Article ...

by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu  Israel National News

Sunday, March 13, 2011

An Amazing Response to the Tragedy

I think that of all the things that I have read about the tragedy in Itamar, this is what touchs me the most.  It is a quotation from a neighbor of the Fogels in Itamar - Rachel Gordon.  She wrote a description of the night and how it unfolded for her family.  The following quotation from her tale just ASTOUNDS me. 

The people in Itamar have been branded by the world as "West Bank Settlers", as perpretartors of evil and as the ones who are standing in the way of "peace in the Middle East".  On the contray, they have been called by God to come home to their land and make it florish.  They desire to live G-dly lives following His instructions in Torah.  Apparently they have learned their Torah lesson well.  This quote says it all...

"For every Jew murdered, more orchards, more fields, more greenhouses will be planted; another house, another neighborhood, another village will be built, with the compassion and benevolence that we learn from the Torah and will continue to teach to our children"      Rachel Gordon - Neighbor of The Fogels

Stay strong in your purpose Rachel and citzens of Itamar. You are not alone. You have MANY friends.

Read her entire story at Chabad Israel

Netanyahu Visits Mourning Relatives of the Slain Family

Article By: by Maayana Miskin & Yoni Kempinski  Israel National News

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu visited the mourning relatives of the slain members of the Fogel family on Sunday evening.  See Video Link of the Visit.

Netanyahu told the family, “They shoot, and we build.” Referring to Jewish tradition, he said, “They say the land of Israel is built with hardship. But we did not realize the suffering would be this great.”

“This evil act has caused all of us to say, 'Enough.' The security forces will do everything they can to find the murderers, and we will find them.”

Mayor of Itamar: 'Strong Backbone of Love' Holds Us Up

Article by David Lev Israel National News  For Leah Goldsmith, a long-time resident of Itamar and the wife of the town's mayor, Rabbi Moshe Goldsmith, the horrible tragedy of last Friday carries with it one bittersweet consolation: In a reaction to the murders of five members of the Fogel family, she has no doubt that Itamar will grow and prosper.

“We have now had 20 victims of terror attacks here in Itamar, a much higher number relative to our population than nearly anywhere else,” Goldsmith tells Arutz 7. “In 2002, three boys from the Yeshivar Hitzim high school in Itamar were killed by a terrorist, and we thought that was the end of the school. What parent would want to send their children to study here? But soon after, the school expanded – quadrupled – its student body. And we've had similar stories after all the terror attacks on our town.” With the murders of the five members of the family - Rabbi Udi Fogel, 36, mother Ruth, 35, and children Yoav, 11, Elad, 4 and three month old Hadas - she is sure that the town will continue to grow.

Her words evoke the verse in Exodus 1, which states that the more Pharaoh caused the Jews in Egypt to suffer, the more they increased and became stronger.   Read More...

Fogel Family Funeral - 2 Large Coffins and 3 Small

20,000 attend Itamar massacre victims' funeral

Udi, Ruth Fogel, three of their children – Yoav, Elad and Hadas who were killed Friday night in terror attack, laid to rest at Jerusalem cemetery. Senior government, religious officials attending. 'Barbaric act that only animals are capable of,' says childhood friend. Chief rabbi: Make Itamar major city.   By Ronen Medzini  Israel News
See full article...

Israel distributing Itamar massacre photos

Images of gruesome murders in West Bank settlement being released online by unofficial sources. PR expert: We must show the world what kind of animals Israel is dealing with. Analyst: It won’t change people's opinion of Jewish state.
See Full Article...

Aviel Magnezi
Published: 03.13.11, 14:09 / Israel News

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Fogel Family Condolence Page

Dear Friends of Itamar.  I see that there is much traffic from all over the world wanting to know more about the tragegy in Itamar.  Please stop and take a moment to post your messages to the people of Itamar and to the Fogel Family.  

Just Click on The Fogel Family Photo you will see on the Right side of the blog or Click HERE

Thank YOU!

News From Itamar's Web Site

Arab Terrorists Murder Family in Samaria; 3 Children Flee Alive

Adar Bet 6, 5771, 12 March 11 08:02 by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

( Arab terrorists executed their own ”price tag” policy for the elimination and relaxation of security checkpoints and murdered five people in a family in the Jewish community of Itamar, in northeast Samaria, around 11p.m. Friday night.

The only survivors were a 12-year-old girl, who returned from a Bnei Akiva event to discover her parents and three of her brothers and sisters dead in pools of blood, and two younger brothers, who were sleeping a separate room.

The victims of the brutal murders at Itamar, in Samaria, Friday night are Rabbi Udi Fogel, his wife Ruth, 11-year-old Yoav, four-year-old Elad and three-month-old Hadas. Rabbi Fogel taught at the Itamar post-high school yeshiva, whose senior rabbi is former IDF Chief Rabbi Avi Ronsky.

The brutal murders followed dozens of warnings from nationalists and leaders in Judea and Samaria that the constant easing of security procedures, implemented by Defense Minister Ehud Barak, would be the prelude to terrorist attacks.

The army is investigating the attack, but it already is known that the security fence did not include cameras and other equipment requested by Itamar, according to Shomron (Samaria) regional Council chairman Gershon Mesika.

An electronic warning system at the fence did not function.

The United States, which has pressured Israel to ease security procedures, condemned the attacks and offered its condolences to the survivors and “to the Israeli people.” It urged the Palestinian Authority to "unequivocally" condemn the murders.

Itamar Masscare: The Fogel Family was butchered while sleeping in their home

3 Month Old Hadas

4 Year Old Elad



Rabbi Ude Fogel

11 Year Old Yoav

Ruth Fogel

The names of Itamar attack victims were cleared for publication Saturday evening:
Udi Fogel, 36
Ruth Fogel, 35
Their children Yoav, 11
Elad, 4
and three-month-old Hadas were stabbed to death.
The surviving kids are staying with grandparents

Friday, March 11, 2011

Please Pray For Our Friends In Itamar

Horror in Samaria:
Terrorist murders family of 5
Terrorist stabs five family members to death in settlement of Itamar early Saturday; three children, including baby girl, among victims. Paramedic describes horrific sight, toys next to pools of blood....
Yair Altman 
For more details, see the full article at (Israel News)

Also see the article from (Haaretz).
IDF troops near Itamar (Photo: Ido Erez)


Friday, March 4, 2011

Spring is Coming to Itamar!

Enjoy the picture of the Itamar almonds in blossom!

Our free range organic chickens went out on an early March stroll in the sun!

Lucky (or should I say - Blessed) chicks! 
They get to live in Israel!