GIVAT ONAN, West Bank—On this windblown outpost in the hills north of Jerusalem, a small group of Israeli settlers strives to bring the day of redemption promised, as they believe, in the Bible.
A controversial sect shunned by nearby Israeli settlements, the Brothers of Onan believe that by “spilling their seed” on the land of the ancient biblical Jewish homeland, they will hasten the coming of the Messiah. With the Israeli communities of the West Bank considered illegal under international law, the Onanists are the outcasts among outcasts. But they’re unperturbed.
“We can never give up this land,” says the group’s leader, Rabbi Meir Gedalia Kaplowitz. “You can ejaculate all you want in Tel Aviv or New York, but the Holy One, blessed be He, wants us to perform the miracle here.”