web analytics
April 21, 2014 / 21 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Home » Sections » Books »

Title: For The Sake Of Jerusalem


Share Button

        This year we are celebrating 40 years since the reunification of Jerusalem, so it is the perfect time for a documentation of the history of the Old City during the 19th and 20th centuries until the present time. Not only is this book a comprehensive textual record of how Jewish life developed there, but it contains historical photographs, many taken by the author, which have never before been published.

 

         The book is based on the Hebrew writings of the late Aharon Bier. He was a writer, photographer, historian and tour guide who died in 1987 and who had actively participated in rebuilding the city for two decades. The book is a translation and an expansion of two Hebrew pamphlets he wrote for the Israeli Ministry of Education on the Jewish Quarter, the Old City walls and gates and the Moslem Quarter.

 

         Additional material comes from a Hebrew article he wrote on “Torah and Prayer Institutions Within the Walls” that was edited by Mordechai Naor for the Company for the Restoration and Development of the Jewish Quarter, in 1987.

 

         The book opens with a chronology of Jerusalem, which is an invaluable reference guide, giving both Hebrew and English dates of all the important milestones from 1350 B.C.E. when Joshua conquered the land and Jerusalem was a Jebusite city, until 2006 C.E. when excavations and construction of a new Jewish neighborhood begins near Herod’s Gate.

 

         The typeface is easy to read and the photographs, many in color and adorning almost every page, are fascinating. From the beginning of the book, we can go back 100 years and discover who lived in the Old City, how they lived, what happened to the Jewish institutions they founded, what their lives were like under Ottoman and British rule, what occurred during the Jordanian occupation, culminating in 1967 with the return to Israeli sovereignty. It is a rich mosaic of a place that is, after all, only one mile square!

 

         The book is divided into eight chapters: The Temple Mount and the Western Wall; the Old City; the Walls of Jerusalem; the Gates of Jerusalem; the Jewish Quarter; the Armenian Quarter; the Christian Quarter and the Moslem Quarter. There are many anecdotes including the one involving the Emperor Napoleon who, on passing a ghetto synagogue on Tisha B’Av, where Jews were mourning the destruction of the Temple 1,600 years earlier, is said to have remarked: “If these Jews can still cry over their Temple which was destroyed so long ago, I am certain that they will return to rebuild it.”

 

         The book reminds us that until the 1860′s, the city of Jerusalem did not exist outside of the Old City walls and yet, in that small space lived Jews, Christians and Moslems of every possible denomination and ethnicity, co-existing for the most part in peace. At the beginning of the 19th century, the total population of Jerusalem was only 9,000 – 2,000 Jews, 4,000 Moslems and 3,000 Christians. It took only 40 years for Jews to become the majority, numbering 5,000. They were also the most vibrant community, managing 52% of the 875 shops in the market, and establishing the first hospitals, orphanages, schools for girls and trade schools, newspapers and printing presses, as well as flourishing yeshivot and synagogues.

 

         The down-side was the lack of sanitation during World War I that caused deadly epidemics, and terrible poverty due to the disruption of European financial support. It was during the British Mandate period with its pro-Arab stance, that the horrific Arab riots of 1920, 1921, 1929, 1930 and 1936, took place, driving the Jews out of the city.

 

         Among the many magnificent photos taken by the author is one of the ceiling mural, which no longer exists, at the Torat Chaim Yeshiva, and a touching one of the library that was protected from 1948-1967 by the Arab watchman, Mahmud Abdul Re’eni, in which you can also see the sefer Torah resting on a shelf.

 

         The book concludes with a comprehensive glossary and a detailed index. The editor and translator, Bracha Slae, who has resided in the Old City for nearly 30 years and is herself a guide, portrays her deep love for the city in the way she has brought the book to life. The 40th anniversary of the reunification of Old and New Jerusalem makes this a most timely acquisition for everyone who cherishes Jerusalem and its history.

Share Button

About the Author:


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.

No Responses to “Title: For The Sake Of Jerusalem”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
BDS targets Zabar's; Carole Zabar promotes BDS proponents.
All in the Family: BDS Protests Zabars; Carole Zabar Promotes BDS
Latest Sections Stories
Schonfeld-logo1

Regardless of age, parents play an important role in their children’s lives.

Marriage-Relationship-logo

We peel away one layer after the next, our eyes tear up and it becomes harder and harder to see as we get closer to our innermost insecurities and fears.

Gorsky-041814-Torah

Some Mountain Jews believe they are descendents of the Ten Lost Tribes and were exiled to Azerbaijan and Dagestan by Sancheriv.

Baim-041814-Piggy

Yom Tov is about spending time with your family. And while for some families the big once-in-a-lifetime experience is great, for others something low key is the way to go.

A fascinating glimpse into the rich complexity of medieval Jewish life and its contemporary relevance had intriguingly emerged.

Dear Dr. Yael:

My heart is breaking; my husband’s friend has gotten divorced. While this type of situation is always sad, here I do believe it could have been avoided.

The plan’s goal is to provide supportive housing to 200 individuals with disabilities by the year 2020.

Despite being one of the fastest-growing Jewish communities in the U.S. – the estimated Jewish population is 70-80,000 – Las Vegas has long been overlooked by much of the Torah world.

She was followed by the shadows of the Six Million, by the ever so subtle awareness of their vanished presence.

Pesach is so liberating (if you excuse the expression). It’s the only time I can eat anywhere in the house, guilt free! Matzah in bed!

Now all the pain, fear and struggle were over and they were home. Yuli was safe and free, a hero returned to his land and people.

While it would seem from his question that he is being chuzpadik and dismissive, I wonder if its possible, if just maybe, he is a struggling, confused neshama who actually wants to come back to the fold.

I agree with the letter writer that a shadchan should respectfully and graciously accept a negative response to a shidduch offer.

Alternative assessments are an extremely important part of understanding what students know beyond the scope of tests and quizzes.

More Articles from Dvora Waysman
Overall view of garden model

Just imagine you are walking through a beautiful garden. Feast your eyes on the colors of the flowers, the grass at your feet, the leaves of the trees in shades from green to silver. Listen to the birds. Let the sunshine caress your face. Smell the perfume.

Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak HaKohen Kook, zt”l

His dream was to reach out to every Jew, even the most secular.

This is a remarkable book to assist those of us – and that means everyone – who are trying to find our way in life, with all its setbacks and pain, as well as for people who want to help people.

Forty-six years ago, in the first week of June, Israel stunned the world when it wasn’t looking. Four years later, Israel stunned me when I wasn’t looking.

Jerusalem was never real to me. It was a name I came across in books of Bible stories as a child. If I’d ever tried to imagine it, it would have been like places in my books of fairy stories. I knew it was a city with crenellated walls, with domes and towers and minarets. In my mind, I saw it peopled with old men with long beards and flowing robes, and women with clay jugs precariously balanced on their heads.

Jews all over the world celebrate Israel’s Independence Day – even those who have no intention of ever coming on aliyah, and many of whom have never even visited Israel. “It’s a kind of insurance policy” one overseas friend told me. “By supporting Israel financially and emotionally, I know that its sanctuary is available to me or my children or grandchildren should the need ever arise.”

As we get older, nostalgia takes over many areas of our life and we often yearn for things from the past.

One of the most popular of our chaggim is Simchat Torah, which falls on the last day of Sukkot. As its name suggests, Simchat Torah celebrates the joy of the Torah. There is no record of this holiday before the 11th century, and its origin may have been in Spain.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/books/title-for-the-sake-of-jerusalem/2007/03/28/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: