An Arab and a Jew talking outside a shop near the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. (Gershon Elinson/Flash90) Gershon Elinson/Flash90
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Rami Yihya was hired by synagogue members in the village of Einav to build an outdoor corona-era prayer space, but insisted on donating the materials and labor since the structure is for worship.

By Aryeh Savir, TPS

An Arab contractor who paved an open space that will serve the worshippers at the Israeli community in Samaria decided to donate it.

The contractor, Rami Yihya from Teibeh, was hired by the members of the Yemenite synagogue in Einav to prepare a proper area at which they could pray during Corona times, when the synagogues are closed.

Hearing that the construction was meant for prayer, Yihya donated the materials and work time.

“This is a holy place,” he explained while speaking at a ceremony held this week after the conclusion of the construction at which he was the guest of honor, “God will pay me”, he added.

He further shared that after the murder of Rabbi Achiad Ettinger in a terrorist attack in March 2019, he came to pay his respects to the family and saw that the family’s 12 children were sleeping on mattresses on the floor. He built beds for them and repainted the house.

He visits the family on a weekly basis.

“We are all human beings,” he stressed.

His gesture was warmly welcomed by Israelis on social media.

“I shed a tear. May there be more people like him,” one Israeli tweeted.

“Tears. I have heard moving stories in my life, but I have never experienced such a story about a (seemingly) simple person with a sensitive mind and a well-developed sense of grace,” wrote another.

“People like Rami are the real hope for a better world. If there is a narrow crack through which coexistence can pass, it is thanks to Rami the contractor,” he added.

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