For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
Once upon a time in the winter of 1967-68, we were visited by some aunts and uncles from America. For whatever reason they were staying at the Intercontinental Hotel on the Mount of Olives, in East Jerusalem (these days it's called something else), where we went to visit them. I guess we joined them in the dining room. There must have been issues of kashrut, but I was a kid and don't remember how they were resolved. At one point an uncle asked the waiter to bring him a shrimp fork. The waiter, a respectable looking middle aged man, looked him in the eye and sincerely informed him that during the recent war the Israeli soldiers had stolen all the shrimp forks. The uncle found this amusing, and wondered how come they hadn't stolen any of the other utensils as well; if I'm not mistaken the answer had something to do with shrimp forks being a novelty for Israeli soldiers so they had stolen only them - but I can't swear to that part of the story.
The moral of the story: you don't have to believe everything folks tell you merely because they look you in the eye and seem sincere.
Late last year as I was reading the Goldstone Report I occasionally commented on its more outlandish tall tales. One of these was about the IDF troops who parachuted out of helicopters onto Palestinian roofs, the proof of which was the small parachutes left behind and presented to the Commission by the locals.
I visited Hevron in November 2000 after the outbreak of the Rosh Hashanah War to see what could be done to assist in the face of the growing daily attacks on the community. After returning to work for the community in the summer of 2001, a bond and a love was forged that grows to this day. My wife Melody and I merited to be married at Ma'arat HaMachpela and now host visitors from throughout the world every Shabbat as well as during the week. Our goal, "Time to come Home!"