Yom sheni, 11 Av 5772.
If you haven't read Parts One and Two of this tour and feel the need, please click here and here.
From one boutique to another, we now moved on to the town of Psagot, where we would tour the winery. We were to have met with Noam Orr, eighth-generation Jeusalamite and journalist, who is also one of the founders of our previous stop, Barkan. Unfortunately, he had to take care of his elderly parents -- which is about the best excuse a nice Jewish boy can give for not keeping an appointment. (We got to see first hand how challenging is the life of a tour guide, as Eve Harow had to juggle her tour around our hosts' schedules.) So we went straight to the wine tasting. Nobody argued about that.
|Most people I know will never be able to afford to live in villas such as these.|
|A little Palestinian "Gan Eden," courtesy of a relatively free life in Israel.|
They tried to kill us, they didn't succeed... Let's drink. (Okay, in keeping with the actual tradition of "Let's eat," they did serve pretzels, too...)
The staff was friendly and informative. The film about the winery remembered to tell us that this was Biblical territory, recently proved by an authentic coin found in an archaeological dig. Please check out the Wine Musings Blog for details and a more flattering review.
|One of the friendly staff members at Psagot Winery.|
|Nice, clean layout for efficiency and tasting pleasure|
|Belly up to the bar, frum tasters! It was hard to get us downstairs for the movie...|
|Not the best photo of the actual metal replica of the authentic coin found in the area.|
|The Dearly Beloved and I spent most of our time outside, enjoying the scenery.|
We were met by a lovely young woman (who said that she was asked to speak to us because she speaks English fluently, being an Anglo olah vatika, and because she's the yishuv grandmother. Looked pretty young to us). Her name is Aviela Deitch, and if you have questions about Migron from an insider -- including how you can help -- please feel free to contact her.
|Eve Harow, Aviela Deitch, and another sweet member of our tour group.|
|Aviela, speaking with passion and conviction born of the knowledge that she and her community are in the right.|
|These small caravan houses look out on our Jewish Biblical history.|
|Children are the most important "crop" produced in this sweet little village.|
|We had to take over a classroom, as the shul was being used for an educational program for the children.|
|These are the Arab agricultural fields that Peace Now accuses the Migron Jews from stealing from the Palestinians? What were they growing? Where can you sell rocks and brush?|
|More of the alleged "fields" supposedly stolen. Yeah... I can see that. NOT. The building in the background is the community mikveh.|
|Sandwiched between the elegance of the Psagot Winery and an Arab-owned quarry (where rock is legitimately harvested, rather than in the fields of Migron), is the new planned refugee village for the Migron residents.|
At one time, the Israeli government supported and encouraged the settlement enterprise, as did the Magistrate's Court (which should be the only body involved in a property dispute). Migron was no exception. According to the booklet "Migron: All the Lies, All the Truth," Ariel Sharon classified Migron as a "strategic outpost" that would not be evacuated in any scenario. However, recently the Israeli government -- and especially the Supreme Court -- has seemingly turned its back on any communities that might upset their hopes for a two-state solution -- even though many Israelis and other intelligent observers now see this option as an epic fail.Remember the beautiful bracha inadvertently given to the Jewish people by Bilaam? "How lovely are your tents, O Yaacov..." This referred to the modesty of the Jewish people who emplaced their tents so that no window or door faced the window or door of another's tent. No such consideration here. "If we need a cup of sugar," quipped Aviela," we will only have to reach out our window and take it from the table of the dwelling next door."
One of the many precious industries Migron adds to the world is a Horseback Riding Therapy Clinic, devoted to helping young people to overcome psychological and emotional challenges. One of our tour members asked Aviela what would become of the horses. Would the community be given sufficient warning to move them? "There is nowhere to move them. When you see the housing they have planned for us, you will see that there is no place for them," she responded. "What will be done with them?" we asked. Aviela answered as gently as she could: "They will have to be killed."
|The sign outside the stables quotes Pirke Avot: "If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?"|
Photo credit: Ruti and Avi Eastman