A horrible terror attack took place at a bus stop right outside the Ofra settlement.  A car drove by the bus stop, slowed down and shot into a crowd of people waiting at the bus stop.  The terrorists wounded 7 people.  One of the severely wounded is a young mother who was in advanced stages of pregnancy.  A few hours after the attack, the doctors delivered her baby through an emergency C-section.  But as of the day after the attack, both the mother and the baby are still in critical condition.

Ofra

The settlement Ofra is the first settlement in the Binyamin region of the Land of Israel – established in the mid -70’s.  Today, Ofra has around 500-600 families and is a short 25 minute drive to Jerusalem.  In many ways, Ofra is a hub of Jewish settlement in Samaria.  When the Jewish people came back to resettle their indigenous lands, there were some small Arab villages that dotted the mountains.  But, the vast majority of the mountains were bare.

Today, there are around 50 Jewish towns and villages in the Binyamin regions with hundreds of thousands of Jews living there.  It is one of the fastest growing areas in the Land of Israel.  Since it sits on strategic heights and is close to the major city centers in Israel – both Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv, many families choose to set up their life in the Binyamin Region.

Hannukah

Today is the last day of the holiday of Hannukah.  It was in this exact area – the mountains that surround Ofra that the Maccabees hid out in the mountains.  From the high points in the mountain ranges in this area, the Maccabees swept down on the masses of Greek occupiers.   A few hundred brave fighters defeated entire Greek armies.  Around 2,000 years ago, the Greeks were the dominant rulers of the world and had oppressed the Jewish people in the Land of Israel.  The 2nd Temple was standing, but the Greeks defiled it.  The miracle of God’s deliverance of the Jewish people from the hands of the Greeks is celebrated worldwide.