Kafr Bir'im Kefr Berem, was a Palestinian Arab village in Mandatory Palestine, located in modern-day northern Israel, 4 kilometers south of the Lebanese border and 11.5 kilometers northwest of Safed. The village was situated 750 meters above sea level, with a church overlooking it at an elevation of 752 meters; the church was built on the ruins of an older church destroyed in the earthquake of 1837. In 1945, 710 people lived in Kafr Bir ` most of them Christians. By 1992, the only standing structure was the belltower. Kafr Bir'im is built on the site of the ancient Jewish village of Kfar Bar'am, from which the name is derived; the remains of the a 3rd-century Synagogue of Kfar Bar'am are still visible. A visitor in the thirteenth century described an Arab village containing the remains of two ancient synagogues. In 1596, Kafr Bir'im appeared in Ottoman tax registers as being in the Nahiya of Jira, part of Sanjak Safad, it had a population of 22 bachelors. The villagers paid taxes on wheat, barley and beehives, but most of the taxes were paid as a fixed sum.
Kafr Bir'im was badly damaged in the Galilee earthquake of 1837. The local church and a row of columns from the ancient synagogue collapsed. In 1838 it was noted as a Maronite village in the Safad region. In 1852 it was estimated that the village had a population of all Maronites and Melkites. During the 1860 civil war in Lebanon and Druzes attacked the Christian village. In 1881, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine described the village as being built of stone, surrounded by gardens, olive trees and vineyards, with a population of between 300 and 500. A population list from about 1887 showed Kefr Bir' im to have all Christian. In the 1922 census of Palestine, conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Kufr Berim had a population of 469. By the 1931 census there were 554 people in the village. In the 1945 statistics, Kafr Bir'im had a population of 710, consisting of 10 Muslims and 700 Christians, with 12,250 dunams of land, according to an official land and population survey.
Of this, 1,101 dunams were irrigated or used for plantations, 3,718 for cereals, while 96 dunams were classified as urban land. The village population in 1948 was estimated as 1,050 inhabitants. Kafr Bir ` im was captured by the Haganah on October 1948 during Operation Hiram. In November 1948 most of the inhabitants were expelled until the military operation was complete, none were subsequently permitted to return. Today the villagers and their descendants number about 2,000 people in Israel. In addition, there are descendants in Lebanon and in western countries. In 1949, with cross-border infiltration a frequent occurrence, Israel did not allow the villagers to return to Bir'im on the grounds that Jewish settlement at the place would deter infiltration. Kibbutz Bar'am was established by demobilized soldiers on the lands of the village. In 1953, the residents of former Kafr Bir'im appealed to the Supreme Court of Israel to return to their village; the court ruled. On September 16, 1953 the village was razed and 1,170 hectares of land were expropriated by the state.
The leader of Melkite Greek Catholics in Israel, Archbishop Georgios Hakim, alerted the Vatican and other church authorities, the Israeli government offered the villagers compensation. Archbishop Hakim accepted compensation for the land belonging to the village church. In the summer of 1972, the villagers of Kafr Bir'im and Iqrit went back to repair their churches and refused to leave, their action was supported by Archbishop Joseph Raya. The police removed them by force; the government barred the return of the villagers. In August 1972, a large group of Israeli Jews went to Kafr Bir'im and Iqrit to show solidarity with the villagers. Several thousand turned out for a demonstration in Jerusalem; the Israeli authorities said most of the inhabitants of the village had received compensation for their losses, but the villagers said they had only been compensated for small portions of their holdings. In 1972, the government rescinded all "closed regions" laws in the country, but reinstated these laws for the two villages Kafr Bir'im and Iqrit.
This was met with criticism by the opposition parties. In the 1977 election campaign Menachem Begin leader of the right-wing Likud party, promised the villagers that they could return home if he was elected; this promise became a great embarrassment to him after he had won, a decision on the issue was postponed as long as possible. It was left to his agriculture minister to reveal to the public that a special cabinet committee had decided that the villagers of Kafr Bir'im and Iqrit would not be allowed to return; the operational name of the Munich massacre of Israeli athletes in 1972 was named after this village and Iqrit. On the occasion of official visits to Israel by popes John Paul II in 2000 and Benedict XVI in 2009, the villagers made public appeals to the Vatican for help in their endeavour to return to Kafr Bir'im, but have so far remained unsuccessful. Correcting a Mistake: Jews and Arabs in Palestine/Israel, 1936-1956 Present absentee List of Arab towns and villages depopulated during the 1948 Palestinian exodus Kufr Birim, from Electronic Intifada Welcome To Kafr Bir'im Kafr Bir'im, Zochrot Survey of Western Palestine, Map 4: IAA, Wikimedia commons Kafr Bir'im, from the Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center Kufr Bir3em, from Dr. Moslih Kanaane
Bar'am National Park
Bar'am National Park is a national park in Israel, between kibbutz Sasa and moshav Dovev, near the Lebanese border. On the grounds of the park is a synagogue from the Talmudic period; the original name of the village in which the synagogue was found is unknown, but it is indicative of the existence of an established Jewish community in the area it was found. Kfar Bar'am Bar'am National Park - official site
Shimon bar Yochai
Simeon bar Yochai known by his acronym Rashbi, was a 2nd-century tannaitic sage in ancient Judea, said to be active after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE. He was one of the most eminent disciples of Rabbi Akiva, attributed by many Orthodox Jews with the authorship of the Zohar, the chief work of Kabbalah. In addition, the important legal works called Mekhilta are attributed to him. In the Mishnah, in which he is the fourth-most mentioned sage, he is referred to as "Rabbi Shimon". In the baraita and gemara his name occurs either as R. Simeon or as R. Simeon ben Yochai, but in the Mishnah he is always quoted as R. Simeon. According to popular legend, he and his son, Eleazar b. Simeon, were noted Kabbalists. Both figures are held in unique reverence by kabbalistic tradition, they were buried in the same tomb in Meron, visited by thousands year round. He was born in Galilee, he was one of the principal pupils of Rabbi Akiva, under whom he studied thirteen years at Beneberak. It would seem that Simeon had studied at Jabneh, under Gamaliel II and Joshua ben Hananiah, that he was the cause of the quarrel that broke out between these two leaders.
But considering that about forty-five years when Akiba was thrown into prison, Simeon's father was still alive, that Simeon insisted upon Akiba's teaching him in prison, Frankel thinks Berachot 28a is spurious. Simeon's acuteness was recognized by Akiba when he first came to him. Conscious of his own merit, Simeon felt hurt at being ranked after Meir, Akiba was compelled to soothe him with soft words. During Akiba's lifetime Simeon was found at Sidon, where he seems to have shown great independence in his halakic decisions; the following incident is recorded, illustrating both his wit and his piety, A man and his wife, childless despite ten years of marriage, appeared before Simeon at Sidon to secure a divorce. Observing that they loved each other, not being able to refuse a request, in agreement with rabbinical law, Simeon told them that as their wedding was marked by a feast they should mark their separation in the same way; the result was that both changed their minds, owing to Simeon's prayer, God granted them a child.
Simeon returned to Akiba, once he conveyed a message to him from his fellow pupil Hanina ben Hakinai. Simeon's love for his great teacher was profound; when Akiba was thrown into prison by Hadrian, Simeon found a way to enter the prison. He still insisted upon Akiba's teaching him, when the latter refused, Simeon jestingly threatened to tell his father, who would cause Akiba to be punished more severely. After Akiba's death Simeon was again ordained, by Judah ben Baba; the persecution of the Jews under Hadrian inspired Simeon with a different opinion of the Romans than that held by his father. Simeon demonstrated his anti-Roman feeling. When, at a meeting between Simeon and his former fellow pupils at Usha about a year and a half after Akiba's death, Judah ben Ilai spoke in praise of the Roman government, Simeon replied that the institutions which seemed so praiseworthy to Judah were for the benefit of the Romans only, to facilitate the carrying out of their wicked designs. Simeon's words were carried by Judah b.
Gerim to the Roman governor, who sentenced Simeon to death. Simeon was compelled to seek refuge in a cavern, where he remained thirteen years, till the emperor Hadrian, died. Two different accounts of Simeon's stay in the cavern and of his movements after leaving it are given in Shabbat and in the five other sources just mentioned; the latter five sources relate, with some variations, that Simeon, accompanied by his son Eleazar, hid himself in a cavern near Gadara, where they stayed thirteen years, living on dates and carob fruit, their whole bodies thus becoming covered with eruptions. One day, seeing that a bird had escaped the net set for it by a hunter and his son were encouraged to leave the cavern, taking the escape of the bird as an omen that God would not forsake them; when outside the cavern, they heard a bat kol say, "You are free". Simeon bathed in the warm springs of Tiberias, which rid him of the disease contracted in the cavern, he showed his gratitude to the town in the following manner: Tiberias had been built by Herod Antipas on a site where there were many tombs the exact locations of, lost.
The town therefore had been regarded as unclean. Resolving to remove the cause of the uncleanness, Simeon planted lupines in all suspected places; the bodies were exhumed and removed, the town pronounced clean. To annoy and discredit Simeon, a certain Samaritan secretly replaced one of the bodies, but Simeon learned through the power of the Holy Spirit what the Samaritan had done, said, "Let what is above go down, what is below come up." The Samaritan was entombed. According to the version in Shabbat 33b, Simeon and Eleazar hid in a cavern, whereupon a ca
Israel Defense Forces
The Israel Defense Forces known in Israel by the Hebrew acronym Tzahal, are the military forces of the State of Israel. They consist of the ground forces, air force, navy, it is the sole military wing of the Israeli security forces, has no civilian jurisdiction within Israel. The IDF is headed by its Chief of General Staff, the Ramatkal, subordinate to the Defense Minister of Israel. An order from Defense Minister David Ben-Gurion on 26 May 1948 set up the Israel Defense Forces as a conscript army formed out of the paramilitary group Haganah, incorporating the militant groups Irgun and Lehi; the IDF served as Israel's armed forces in all the country's major military operations—including the 1948 War of Independence, 1951–1956 Retribution operations, 1956 Sinai War, 1964–1967 War over Water, 1967 Six-Day War, 1967–1970 War of Attrition, 1968 Battle of Karameh, 1973 Operation Spring of Youth, 1973 Yom Kippur War, 1976 Operation Entebbe, 1978 Operation Litani, 1982 Lebanon War, 1982–2000 South Lebanon conflict, 1987–1993 First Intifada, 2000–2005 Second Intifada, 2002 Operation Defensive Shield, 2006 Lebanon War, 2008–2009 Operation Cast Lead, 2012 Operation Pillar of Defense, 2014 Operation Protective Edge.
According to GlobalSecurity.org, the number of wars and border conflicts in which the IDF has been involved in its short history makes it one of the most battle-trained armed forces in the world. While the IDF operated on three fronts—against Lebanon and Syria in the north and Iraq in the east, Egypt in the south—after the 1979 Egyptian–Israeli Peace Treaty, it has concentrated its activities in southern Lebanon and the Palestinian Territories, including the First and the Second Intifada; the Israel Defense Forces is somewhat unique in its inclusion of mandatory conscription of women and its structure, which emphasizes close relations between the army and air force. Since its founding, the IDF has been designed to match Israel's unique security situation; the IDF is one of Israeli society's most prominent institutions, influencing the country's economy and political scene. In 1965, the Israel Defense Forces was awarded the Israel Prize for its contribution to education; the IDF uses several technologies developed in Israel, many of them made to match the IDF's needs, such as the Merkava main battle tank, Achzarit armoured personnel carrier, high tech weapons systems, the Iron Dome missile defense system, Trophy active protection system for vehicles, the Galil and Tavor assault rifles.
The Uzi submachine gun was invented in Israel and used by the IDF until December 2003, ending a service that began in 1954. Since 1967, the IDF has had close military relations with the United States, including development cooperation, such as on the F-15I jet, THEL laser defense system, the Arrow missile defense system; the Israel Defense Forces are believed to have had an operational nuclear weapons capability since 1967 possessing between 80 and 400 nuclear weapons, with delivery systems forming a nuclear triad, of plane launched-missiles, Jericho III intercontinental ballistic missiles and submarine launched cruise missiles. The Israeli cabinet ratified the name "Israel Defense Forces", Tzva HaHagana LeYisra'el "army for the defense of Israel," on 26 May 1948; the other main contender was Tzva Yisra'el. The name was chosen because it conveyed the idea that the army's role was defense, because it incorporated the name Haganah, the pre-state defensive organization upon which the new army was based.
Among the primary opponents of the name were Minister Haim-Moshe Shapira and the Hatzohar party, both in favor of Tzva Yisra'el. The IDF traces its roots to Jewish paramilitary organizations in the New Yishuv, starting with the Second Aliyah; the first such organization was Bar-Giora, founded in September 1907. Bar-Giora was transformed into Hashomer in April 1909, which operated until the British Mandate of Palestine came into being in 1920. Hashomer was an elitist organization with narrow scope, was created to protect against criminal gangs seeking to steal property; the Zion Mule Corps and the Jewish Legion, both part of the British Army of World War I, would further bolster the Yishuv with military experience and manpower, forming the basis for paramilitary forces. After the 1920 Palestine riots against Jews in April 1920, the Yishuv leadership realised the need for a nationwide underground defense organization, the Haganah was founded in June of the same year; the Haganah became a full-scale defense force after the 1936–1939 Arab revolt in Palestine with an organized structure, consisting of three main units—the Field Corps, Guard Corps, the Palmach.
During World War II, the Yishuv participated in the British war effort, culminating in the formation of the Jewish Brigade. These would form the backbone of the Israel Defense Forces, provide it with its initial manpower and doctrine. Following Israel's Declaration of Independence, Prime Minister and Defense Minister David Ben-Gurion issued an order for the formation of the Israel Defense Forces on 26 May 1948. Although Ben-Gurion had no legal authority to issue such an order, the order was made legal by the cabinet on 31 May; the same order called for the disbandment of all other Jewish armed forces. The two other Jewish underground organizations and Lehi, agreed to join the IDF if they would be able to form independent units and agreed not to make independent arms purchase