About 4,000 people arrived at Kever Yosef Thursday night to daven and say Tehillim. Among the visitors were Harav Chaim Abergel, Bnei Brak Mayor Rabbi Chanoch Zeibert and MK Shuli Muallem (Jewish Home). The visit was arranged in honor of the sefirah of Yesod ShebaYesod, which alludes to Yosef Hatzaddik.
The visit went smoothly, with no security incidents reported. The visitors were accompanied by several hundred IDF troops.
Shomron Council head Yossi Dagan said that he was “happy that thousands of people from all backgrounds have a connection with Kever Yosef. The Jewish presence here is very important, and the large numbers of visitors here is just one more indication to the government of Israel that it is time to impose Israeli sovereignty on this site.”
This was the second time in a week that Jews came to daven at the site. On Tuesday night, Interior Minister Rabbi Aryeh Deri, along with Shas MK Rabbi Yoav Ben-Tzur and a number of associates visited the site. In a statement, Rabbi Deri’s office said that he “was very emotional at the visit, remembering back to over two decades ago when he was director general of the Interior Ministry and inaugurated the Od Yosef Chai Yeshivah at the site.”
Arabs have vandalized and set fire to Kever Yosef numerous times since the signing of the Oslo Accords, most notably in 2000, 2003, 2008, and 2014. Between 2003 and 2009, the site remained desolate, until Israel and the PA reached an accord on refurbishing the site in 2010. Currently, Jews are allowed to visit Kever Yosef once a month – on Erev Rosh Chodesh – to daven.