That I would bump into, none other than, Jameel and his son (and the rest of the Muqata clan - all armed to the teeth mind you)...
It seems that son number 2 (of 18) from wife # 1 (of 4) was putting on his tefillin for the first time. After some mumbled explanation as to what I was doing at the Tomb of the Patriarchs (I obviously couldn't mention the secret meeting with Baruch Marzel) I was invited to daven with Muqata clan.
With me at the Pow-Wow was one of my extended relatives (who we'll call Aleph).
Aleph's grandmother and great-uncles were prominent members of the Hebron community until 1929, owning homes and property going back to "time immemorial".
During the 1929 Arab massacre of the Jewish community of Hebron the family managed to escape through a series of miracles.
But, the family got separated in the turmoil of the massacre.
Aleph’s grandfather made it to Jerusalem, while Aleph’s grandmother and some of her brothers couldn’t manage to sneak past the marauding Arabs and found themselves trapped.
Suddenly, an Arab neighbor (whom they had good relations with) grabbed them and hid them inside the Maarat Hamachpela. After hours of hiding, some British soldiers extracted them and brought them to Jerusalem.
At that point they learned that one of Aleph’s many uncles (a baby at the time) was left behind in one of their homes!
So a rescue mission was organized by the family and they then snuck back into Hevron during the massacre, got to the house, found the baby and snuck back into Jerusalem –again through another series of miracles.
On the way out we drove by Beit HaShalom – the building recently acquired by the Jewish Hebron Community.
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