Monday, February 15, 2010

Bells of Redemption

The Bells of Redemption Are Revealed in Jerusalem
Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar
February 14, 2010

Yesterday, Sunday, Rosh Hodesh Adar, Women in Green (Women for Israel's Tomorrow) conducted a tour throughout Jerusalem - to see, to gain an impression, and to strengthen, hands on, the so devoted activity by the redeemers of Jerusalem.

The tour began in Abu Tor, in a house in which six Jewish families live. From the roof of their house we looked out at the Temple Mount, Beit Yehonatan, the King's Gardens, the infamous separation wall, and the building in Abu Dis that was supposed to become the Arab parliament but, thank G-d, did not come to pass. We received explanations from Daniel Luria, the director of Ateret Cohanim, that were both learned and extremely moving.

From there we drove to Beit Yehonatan, located in "Kfar Hateimanim" (the Yemenite village also known as Silwan).It was very emotional. To go back in time 140 years. when the first Yemenite Jews arrived in Silwan and settled, initially in caves and afterwards in houses. They prayed in four synagogues. During the Arab riots they were expelled, and today Jews are returning and redeeming the area, despite all the legal and political difficulties. Beit Yehonatan is named in honor of Jonathan Pollard. We were told that Jonathan has asked that everyone visiting the house take the time to pray and learn Torah, so one of the yeshiva men who learn in Beit Yehonatan gave our group a twenty minute shiur (lesson).

Then we went to the King's Gardens. We await the serious removal of all the illegal Arab construction, so they will once more be gardens befitting the royal city.

The "Maaleh ha-Zetim" neighborhood, that was constructed against all odds, strengthens our hope and security. The Jews are returning and taking control of the city. This is the case in Kidmat Zion too, for which a magnificent neighborhood is planned, that will afford a panoramic view of Jerusalem, from the other side, to the Temple Mount.

From there we went to Beit Orot, the first neighborhood to be established following the Six Day War, that is being developed now, and from there we passed next to the Shepherd Hotel, a large building that used to belong to Haj-Ammin Al Husseini, the mufti of Jerusalem, collaborator with the Nazis and responsible for the murder of
thousands of Jews. The knowledge that the house where once this enemy of the Jewish people lived now returned to Jewish hands was very comforting. From there we drove to the Shimon ha-Tzaddik compound.

The excitement was great, simply tremendous.

In Shimon Hatzaddik (also known as Sheikh Jarrah), the Arabs, who benefit from Israeli democracy and the support of the left, are insolent, curse, and shout, but a group like ours isn't deterred.

After an enlightening explanation by Yehonatan Yosef, the grandson of Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef, telling us the story of how the Arabs had squatted in houses belonging to Jews after the Jews had been expelled from the area in 1948,and how it was only historical justice to finally redeem these Jewish houses from the Arab thieves and return them to their rightful owners, the entire group began singing a tremendous "Am Yisrael Hai" - the Jewish People Lives! in front of the amazed Arabs. Here, there are Jews who are not scared nor impressed by their shouts.

The charged encounter at the Shimon ha-Tzaddik compound undoubtedly left a tremendous impression on all the tour participants.

We were all accompanied by a sense of involvement. Much has been done, but there is a long way to go. The general feeling was that the reality is changing, thank G-d. The Jews, with G-d's help, are returning, taking control, and drawing nearer to the very heart of holiness.

Jerusalem is being re-acquired and is returning to its true sons. We were moved to tears at the sight of the devotion, the faith, and the activity.

Thank you to our devoted photographers Gemma Blech and Abigail Browning for taking pictures and eternalizing our activities

For pictures by Gemma Blech from our tour please click on:
Link to Abigail Brownings website;

Thank you to our dear and loyal Renee Margolis and Elisheva Ginzburg who helped organize the tour by making so many phone calls.

Thank you to Sharon Katz, editor of Voices magazine, who came along with us and surely will write a wonderful article about this special day on her new website:

Thank you to all participants of the tour, to each and one of you, who took a day out of your busy schedule to be a partner in the struggle for Jerusalem, the struggle for Erets Israel. We all came to strengthen but, as usual, came back strengthened.

Lastly, thank you and yashar koach to our wonderful tour guide Daniel Luria from Ateret Cohanim who made this tour so incredibly meaningful.

We strongly recommend others to organize a similar tour and ask Daniel to be your guide. His cellphone number is 054-654-4407

Join the next tour of Women in Green, on Wednesday, Rosh Hodesh Nissan, March 17. The route will be: Negohot-Amatziah-Yad Binyamin. In Negohot we will give our support to the Ben-David family, whose home has already been destroyed twice, and rebuilt a third time, with aid including that of the Yibaneh Fund founded by Women in Green. From there, to Amatziah, to meet our expelled brothers and the new construction, and to Yad Binyamin, to support the expellees by making purchases in their shopping center.

Hazak, hazak, ve-nithazek - Let us be strong and resolute!

Nadia Matar and Yehudit Katsover
Women in Green

Women For Israel's Tomorrow (Women in Green)
POB 7352, Jerusalem 91072, Israel
Tel: 972-2-624-9887 Fax: 972-2-624-5380

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