web analytics
December 28, 2014 / 6 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Things Are Happening On The Mount Of Olives


Jerusalem-012012

In a city of Jewish symbols, the Mount of Olives is perhaps the most symbolic of all: With a theatrical view of the Temple Mount and the Old City, it was the last stop for the Divine Spirit before the destruction of the First Beit HaMikdash and will be its first stop when Mashiach arrives. During Holy Temple times, the Red Heifer was burned here for Israel’s purification, it was the last station for Jews visiting Jerusalem three times a year, and it was a decisive battle site during the Romans’ capture of Jerusalem 1,900 years ago.

Today, it is the oldest, largest, and most important cemetery in the Jewish world, with an estimated 135,000 Jewish graves. Among the Jews buried there are the prophets Zechariah, Haggai, and Malachi; King David’s son Avshalom; Middle Ages Torah giants Rav Ovadiah of Bartenura and the Ohr HaChaim; Rabbis Avraham Yitzchak Kook, Tzvi Yehuda Kook, Shlomo Goren, and Yisrael Alter; the Sadigora, Gur, and Nadborna Rebbes; and Zionist leaders and figures such as Uri Tzvi Greenberg, Shmuel Yosef Agnon, Eliezer Ben Yehuda, Henrietta Szold, and Menachem Begin.

Unbelievably, during the 19-year Jordanian occupation, nearly half the graves on the Mt. of Olives were vandalized and destroyed – proof that leaving holy sites under Arab control is not quite advisable. Arab vandalism continues even today, decades after Israel liberated the area in the Six-Day War, and many Jews still consider it an unsafe place to visit.

But this is now beginning to change. For one thing, renovation of the destroyed graves and headstones is underway, sponsored in part by official city bodies. Some 15,000 graves or stones have been painstakingly restored – leaving the shocking number of 50,000 or more still to go.

In addition, the City of David organization has established an online mapping system of the myriads of Mt. of Olives gravesites. The project has been described as being of “national and historic importance,” containing information on the location and accessibility of the graves, and of course the names of those buried there. The program is easily downloadable onto home computers, at no charge (www.mountofolives.co.il/map.aspx?CID=293).

Yet another Mt. of Olives program currently underway is the initiative of Jerusalem lands activist Aryeh King, founder of the Israel Land Fund. He is featured on a recent Jewish Press.com video explaining that “for the first time in over 70 years, Jews have returned to this plot of Mt. of Olives land – purchased by Jews, yet forgotten by their descendants – and we are now planting olive trees.… We are not living here yet, but we are working the land – and with God’s help, in four years [after the trees lose their orlah status] we will be able to enjoy their pure olive oil.”

Possibly the most important of the new Mt. of Olives initiatives is the formation of the International Committee for the Preservation of Har HaZeitim (Mt. of Olives). It was founded just over a year ago by Avrohom Lubinsky, a “simple Jew” from Brooklyn who visited his parents’ burial site one day and saw that the nearby graves had been smashed and ruined. The organization aims to put a stop to ongoing Arab desecration of graves by buttressing the slowly improving police efforts to this end.

Due to pressure by the committee, some 80 cameras have been placed around the cemetery, and another 67 are planned, as well as six heat sensors for nighttime supervision. A typical success occurred in November, when an Arab throwing bricks at graves and shattering headstones was apprehended within minutes by private security guards and handed over to the police. Sentenced to three months in prison, he related that he had been paid 1,000 shekels to perpetrate the attack.

The committee truly lives up to its name, having involved high levels of the U.S. State Department in its efforts. Leading member Jeff Daube, director of the Israel Office of the Zionist Organization of America, has met with U.S. Consulate officials in Jerusalem and with State Department representatives in Washington, leading to a mild condemnation of Arab vandalism on the holy site.

The committee has also been working hard to stop the expansion of a large mosque adjacent to the Jewish cemetery – but this is a topic for a future article.

It goes without saying that continued control of the Mt. of Olives is an absolute imperative in the framework of the Jewish people’s campaign to retain a united Yerushalayim under Israeli sovereignty. Israeli governments that consented in the past to “negotiate” arrangements in the holy city with the PA rejected its demand to transfer the Mt. of Olives to PA sovereignty and control – but were prepared to agree to the transfer of neighborhoods that control the access routes to the mount.

“Should any such agreement be implemented in the future,” writes Jerusalem historian Nadav Shragai, “it could endanger freedom of access to [Mt. of Olives] and continued Jewish burial there.”

“In any future arrangements,” Shragai continues, “Israel must guarantee freedom of access to the site by controlling the arteries leading to it, as well as the areas adjacent to it. On the previous occasions that Israel transferred areas that included Jewish holy sites to Palestinian control, the Palestinians severely encumbered or refused to allow Jewish access to these places. Sometimes these sites were even severely damaged.”

For more information on how to help keep Jerusalem Jewish, via updates, bus tours of critical parts of Jerusalem, and more, send an e-mail to tours@keepjerusalem.org or visit Keep Jerusalem-Im Eshkachech’s website at www.keepjerusalem.org.

Chaim Silberstein is president of Keep Jerusalem-Im Eshkachech and the Jerusalem Capital Development Fund. He was formerly a senior adviser to Israel ‘s minister of tourism. Hillel Fendel is past senior editor at Israel National News/Arutz-7 and continues to write and edit. Both have lived in Jerusalem and now reside in Beit El.

About the Author: Chaim Silberstein is president of Keep Jerusalem-Im Eshkachech and the Jerusalem Capital Development Fund. He was formerly a senior adviser to Israel's minister of tourism. Hillel Fendel, past senior editor at Israel National News/Arutz-7, is a veteran writer on Jerusalem affairs. Both have lived in Jerusalem and now reside in Beit El.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Things Are Happening On The Mount Of Olives”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Brandeis University junior Khadijah Lynch who tweeted she has "no sympathy" for slain NYPD officers, shown here on "Wake Up With Tayla Andre, "Dec. 24, 2014.
A War of Words (Some More Accurate Than Others) at Brandeis
Latest Indepth Stories
Middle-East-map

Is not Israel’s policy of “territory for peace” with Arab leaders criminally irresponsible?

Israel Palestine Flag

Israel must develop it’s truthful message to be as clear & simple to comprehend as the Arab’s lies

School of Athens by Raphael (Aristotle on right holding his work, "Ethics")

2 basic aspects of Aristotelian thought remarkably like Jewish thought: “Involvement” & “Purpose”

Ben-Tsvi-122614

“Farming still allows some unique opportunities for mitzvah fulfillment that a city dweller never meets.”

It shakes our sense of justice when allegations against a famed role model are covered up or ignored

Feiglin: Only true liberty will allow us to genuinely connect to our Jewish identity.

The silver lining with early elections is the chance to change the current dysfunctional government.

The Holocaust Educational Trust Ireland informed the host he could not say “Israel or Jewish state”

It’s fascinating how sources attain the status “traditional,” or its equivalent level of kashrus.

The West needs to ensure Russia understands that aggression comes at a significant cost.

What benefit is a learning experience that leaves kids confused,disillusioned&harms self confidence?

Girlfriend and double cop-killer Ismaaiyl Brinsley apparently was influenced by Islamic extremism.

We see pictures of mosques, monuments for terrorists, illegal schools, and hundreds of apartments being built on Jewish land without repercussions. We are losing Jewish property, so it is up to us to protect it.

Thus, despite the increasingly serious problems for the mayor arising out of the current anti-police protests, Mr. de Blasio apparently will be cut no slack by those who seem to be aiming for a significant role in running the city from the streets and who will do whatever they can to prevent their momentum from ebbing.

Also left unsaid was the fact that the menorah and its oil were in the Beit HaMikdash, which of course was located on Har HaBayit – the Temple Mount that present-day Muslims claim as their own.

More Articles from Hillel Fendel and Chaim Silberstein / KeepJerusalem.org
Keeping-Jerusalem

Police play down Arab terrorism as mere “violence” until the truth can no longer be hidden.

Keeping-Jerusalem

Rav Goren: “At the request of the Jews, Omar built the Dome of the Rock as a Jewish house of prayer”

When Islam conquered the Holy Land, it made its capital in Ramle of all places, not in Jerusalem.

The story in a nutshell: The terrorists (Arabs) act, and the victim (Israel) ignores and pretends.

Judea and Samaria (Yesha) have been governed by the IDF and not officially under Israeli sovereignty

“We have succeeded in raising an ideological generation that loves death like our enemies love life”

How many illegal Arab structures are there in the city? Why are they not being destroyed?

“This arbitrary ban is an ugly stain on our democracy, and it also undermines the rule of law.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/keeping-jerusalem/things-are-happening-on-the-mount-of-olives/2012/01/19/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: