Thursday, May 28, 2015

  • Thursday, May 28, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon

From Arutz-7:
For the first time in 77 years, festive Jewish prayers were held on Monday in one of modern Jerusalem's oldest synagogues: The long-hidden and inaccessible Hechal Shlomo of the Yemenite village.

Dozens of people took part in the joyous festivities, which marked the full circle of Jewish settlement in eastern Jerusalem. Minister of Agriculture Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) – amidst traditional Yemenite Jewish prayers, music and foods, and some Ashkenazim and Sepharadim as well – took part in the re-dedication of the synagogue. Affixing the mezuzah to the doorpost, he recited the traditional blessings, including "Blessed is He Who restores the borders of the widow."

It was back in 1885 that Yisrael Dov Frumkin founded the village, built the synagogue, and paved the way for some 65 Yemenite Jewish families to live on the slopes of the Mt. of Olives. Most of the land land had been contributed by a Zionist philanthropist known as Boaz HaBavli.

The settlement thrived, but in the 1930's, the Arab riots that engulfed the Land of Israel did not pass over the Yemenite Village. The British rulers told the Jews that they could not protect them and that they must leave, but promised to look after their property and that they could later return.

Daniel Luria of the Ateret Cohanim Association, which oversaw the modern return to the synagogue, explained what happened next: "A year later, Shlomo Ze'evi – father of the famous Rehavam (Gandi) Ze'evi – stood in this very synagogue, and was shocked and angered at the destruction that the Arabs had wrought here." There was also great bitterness at the British and their promises; the Jews were not allowed to return to their homes.

Now, years later, Ateret Cohanim and many happy Jews were able to return and celebrate another milestone in the national return of the Jewish People to their sacred homeland. This followed great efforts in re-purchasing the Jewish owned properties, resettling Jewish families in various buildings around the neighborhood, and carefully identifying each structure.

Luria emphasized very clearly: "People must understand that this neighborhood was built by Yemenite Jews 130 years ago - way before any Arabs ever lived here." He pointed to a photograph taken at the time: "This shows the Jewish houses, and the synagogue itself in which we are standing now – and nothing else around them." Now, of course, the houses are surrounded by dense Arab construction, much of it illegal.
I had a small part in bringing that photograph to light.

When researching an article about Kfar Hashiloach in 2010, I saw mention of this photograph, showing that only Jewish-owned houses were on that hillside, in a Wikipedia entry, but could not find the book that had it. I did see that five years earlier, Robert Avrech of Seraphic Secret had checked the book with the photo out of his local library. I asked him if he could scan it for me, and I published it along with an article about how the world considers Arabs the native residents of an area that was built wholly by Jews.


While the current "Arab Silwan" was built on top of a Biblical-era Jewish settlement and a large number of ancient Jewish graves, this specific area was first populated in the 1880s by Yemenite Jews.

 Video report from Arutz-7:






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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون



This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

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