The Ohr Samayach yeshiva, widely known as a magnet for English speakers who want to come closer to Judaism, won approval from Jerusalem on Wednesday to build a 12-story yeshiva in the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Shimon HaTzaddik (Simon the Just), known to Arabs as Sheikh Jarrah.
The Jerusalem Planning and Building Committee approved the plan by a narrow 4-3 vote, with the expected strong opposition from the left-wing Meretz members of the City Council. The Planning Department reportedly objected to the project because of its proximity to the city’s light rail line and to hotels as well as Muslim character of the predominantly Arab neighborhood.
The building will not displace any Arabs and will be built on an empty plot near Ohr Samayach’s existing yeshiva. Three of the floors will be underground.
The idea of Jews living in areas of Jerusalem that the Palestinian Authority claims is “theirs” because it was once occupied illegally by Jordan scratches the international community’s skin, but the notion of allowing a yeshiva to expand to teach Torah there undoubtedly will bare the true blood of anti-Semitism.
The world’s diplomatic offices are wallpapered with the 1947 Partition Plan as if that should be the basis for Israel’s future borders because that was the map, if the Arabs had not rejected it, that would have put Israel in the most defenseless position.
World ambassadors and the media establishment have a problem with Jews living there not because it is supposedly Arab land but rather because they cannot accept Jews acting as Jews and learning and teaching Torah.
The headlines on Thursday will speak of “fanatic Jews” planning to teach their radical views on Palestinian land.
Teaching Torah in Shimon HaTzaddik or Sheikh Jarrah, call it what you will, is a death threat to the Big Lie that the anti-Semitic world promotes.
That is why the Palestinian Authority and the entire Arab world are in a panic every time a Jew goes up on the Temple Mount and scream that the Jews have “stormed the Temple Mount” to destroy the Al Aqsa Mosque and build the Third Temple.
That is why Muslim clerics have to deny that the Holy Jewish Temple ever existed.
Jews? In Eastern Jerusalem? Maybe, but so long as they are good little Jews who are not fanatics who teach the foundations of Western civilization.
About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.
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