Chaim

Lives in the settlement of Efrat in the West Bank.

My name’s Chaim. I was born and raised in Switzerland and at age 18 I came to Israel. I’ve been living in Israel now for over 20 years.

We live in a place called Efrat, which is mentioned several times in the Old Testament, first in the book of Genesis. The place itself is surrounded by biblical events. When Rachel, Jacob’s wife dies, he buries her on the way to Efrat.

If I look out of my window, I can see a lovely valley where we know that the Patriarchs of the bible would walk. When it says again in Genesis that Abraham took his son Isaac and walked to Mount Moriah where he was meant to sacrifice him – and in the story of the bible it says that he saw that place from far – he walked right through that valley and probably at the place of Efrat is the first place from which you can see the Mount of Moriah (which, today, is the Temple Mount in Jerusalem).

The book of Ruth plays in the fields of Bethlehem that we see outside our window. King David was born in Bethlehem which is about five minutes to our north, and started his rule in Hebron which is 15 minutes to our south. Slowly but surely he moved up and became the King of Jerusalem and Israel.

The story of the Maccabean battles against the Greeks happened right on the hill opposite us in a place called Elazar.

So the place is full of ancient history and I think it’s ancient history that brought us back – us in general as the Jewish people who came back to Israel, and us in particular as a family that came from Europe for many generations, both my wife from England and 10 generations of my family from Switzerland. It brought us back to an area where we can really feel and touch history and make history, and where we feel we belong.

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