BLOG SNIPPETS

FEINSTEIN AND BARAZANI AND THEIR IMPENDING DEATHS

The decision of Feinstein and Barazani to perish à la Samson from the Biblical story together with the British may have been made, but that does not mean that it is easy to implement. There are quite a few practical problems that need to be solved very quickly. They don’t have much time left. Everything seems to go according to plan when only hours before their execution things change dramatically by people with good intentions. For them, there is only one option left: to end their lives with a big bang. Together.

 

click here for BLOG in Dutch

 

____________________________________________________________________

FEINSTEIN AND BARAZANI AND THE LONG SHADOW OF OCTOBER 7

There are moments when it just doesn’t feel fine to continue blogging about the past while horrible things happen in the present: the Hamas massacre of October is such a moment. However, as the cliche says: life goes on. So, the blog continues and the clock turns back to 1947. With the British Mandate trying to suppress Jewish resistance, inside the Central Prison of Jerusalem, a tragedy of epic proportions starts to unfold. Meir Feinstein and Moshe Barazani are making plans to humiliate the British.

 

click here for BLOG in Dutch

 

____________________________________________________________________

FEINSTEIN AND BARZANI: TWO YOUNG FUTURE LEGENDS

The central prison in Jerusalem, located in the impenetrable Russian Compound. A place where you could not go in easily during the British Mandate in the mid-1940s. And once you got in there, the question was whether you would ever get out alive. A blog about two young Irgun and Lehi fighters and their path to prison and, eventually, mythical immortality. 

 

click here for BLOG in Dutch

 

____________________________________________________________________

A PEACEFUL RABBI IN THE SYNAGOGUE OF THE ARMED RESISTANCE

The stories from the Achdut Yisrael Synagogue about the British Mandate keep on flowing. About a bible that left its owner shortly before his execution in 1947 and its return to Jerusalem in 2007. And then there is a tiny corner inside the synagogue always reserved for one of the most legendary Jerusalemites of his era: Rav Aryeh Levin. 

 

click here for BLOG in Dutch

 

____________________________________________________________________

BLOODY RESISTANCE AND THE WORLD TOUR OF A TORAH SCROLL

A visit to a synagogue during Shabbat in Even Yisrael can be a slightly different affair than you would expect. A two-hour-long journey through the final years of the British Mandate with fierce Jewish resistance against Arabs, Brits, and fellow Jews. All this against the background of two Lehi fighters ending their lives at the gallows in Cairo and the travel of a unique Torah scroll from Cairo to Montreal and finally to the Achdut Yisrael Synagogue in Jerusalem.

 

click here for BLOG in Dutch

 

____________________________________________________________________

IRON, LION, ZION IN EVEN ISRAEL

 

Shabbat in Even Yisrael: Ethiopian Jews use this day of rest to relax and do whatever they want, more or less. A walk through the streets and alleys on our way to a special synagogue. After going through the blue gate expectations are mountain high. Unfortunately, they turn out to be too high. The central square is empty. The synagogue seems closed. That’s all. Just before leaving with a feeling of disappointment, a figure appears from behind. In the end, this figure manages to save our day. However, at that moment we don’t know what the future has in store for us. He takes us upstairs to the Achdut Yisrael Synagogue: A call to arms.

click here for BLOG in Dutch

 

____________________________________________________________________

SCANDAL: HERESY IN THE NEW JERUSALEM!

 

Even Yisrael: The first neighborhood of the Nachlaot welcomes a new resident: A prominent Torah scholar, held in high esteem by both secular and ultra-orthodox Jews. However, this person has some revolutionary thoughts and concrete plans about education. For him, life is more than the study of the Torah. This idea alone infuriates the old rabbis in the Old City. They decide to go on a collision course with this heretic. Get him out of town!

click here for BLOG in Dutch

 

____________________________________________________________________

JERUSALEM: A LITTLE HEART IN THE SKY

 

It all starts as an ordinary day at shuk Mahane Yehuda. Then, at the top of the hour, the air raids signal starts wailing. Suddenly life comes to a literary standstill. For two minutes Jerusalemites are united in their thoughts with all the victims of war and terror since the birth of the State of Israel. In sharp emotional contrast, its 75th birthday is celebrated that same evening. The next day the real party starts in Sacher Park and in the skies over Jerusalem.

click here for BLOG in Dutch

________________________________________________________________________

 

HOW TO START YOUR FIRST DAY IN JERUSALEM?

 

A classic start on our first day in Jerusalem: drinking a cup of coffee at the intersection of Agrippas and Kiach Streets. Enjoying the crowds and the traffic in their daily struggle with each other. And then, back home, sirens, a terrifying lot of sirens: Terror has struck Jerusalem. A Palestinian terrorist plows his car into the public at our ‘coffee intersection’. Chaos and despair. A few hours later Yom Hazikron, the day to remember all the war and terror victims since ’48, starts. What better place to remember than at the same crossing?

click here for BLOG in dutch

________________________________________________________________________

 

INSIDE THE HOME OF A LEGEND: RAV ARYEH LEVIN

 

Ask someone in Jerusalem about rabbi Aryeh Levin and a smile will appear on his or her face. Rav’ Aryeh was the tzaddik of Jerusalem and his golden heart and personal way of dealing with each and everyone, no matter their background, status or how they practice their religion, remains an example for many. His modest home is in the heart of the Nachlaot and is visited by thousands each year to have a look at it. From the outside. We were offered a unique look inside. Welcome to the home of the legendary rabbi of prisoners and leppars. Only for Friends of the Yeshive.

click here for BLOG in dutch

________________________________________________________________________

 

REUNION IN THE NACHLA’OT

 

After two years of Corona travel bans, we finally can return to Jerusalem. After a long stroll through the rainy, chilly, and deserted streets of the Nachlaot we arrive for our traditional first stop at the yeshiva of ‘our’ rabbi. The one who years earlier introduced to the real Nachlaot. The reunion feels like no empty years have passed, however, personal disaster has struck Mordechai. Before he tells his tragic story, he takes us down underground, inside a former cistern turned into a canteen.

click here for BLOG in Dutch

________________________________________________________________________

 

NO BULLETS WILL STOP NAHALAT SHIVA

 

For many decades Nahalat Shiva had a negative image of poverty, crime, neglect, and so on. For the local authorities and developers the perfect excuse to demolish the neighborhood and replace it with a modern, thus faceless new one. However, protests in the sixties put an end to this dreadful idea. Later the new neighborhood reinvented itself as a modern, trendy, hipster quarter within an authentic environment. All this attracts young, financially independent youths looking for evening relaxation. Ingredients that are contrary to the ‘beliefs’ of terror group Hamas. One evening they decide to pay Nahalat Shiva a final visit.

click here for BLOG in dutch

________________________________________________________________________

 

SISTERS OF NAHALAT SHIVA ARE DOING IT FOR THEMSELVES

 

The First World War leaves deep wounds in Jerusalem, and Nahalat Shiva in particular. Especially young women are hard hit, mainly from the orthodox communities. They see no other way than earn a living in prostitution. The hypocritical British don’t want to see all this in ‘their’ Old City. They send them to Nahalat Shiva, out of sight for the foreign visitor. After a while, women won’t langer wait until men come up with a solution for their plight. They decide to fight themselves out of their misery. Hardcore girl power long avant la lettre.

click here for BLOG in dutch

________________________________________________________________________

 

THE TWIN SYNAGOGUES OF NAHALAT SHIVA

 

In 1873 the first synagogue outside the Old City is built: For Nahalat Shiva an important element in order to attract more potential residents. The shul is of Ashkenazi origin. In 1888 it gets a new neighbor across the street: a Sefardic synagogue. The so-called Twin Synagogues are born. They were both saved from the ball and chain and are alive and kicking over 150 years later. The perfect place to find some peace and quiet when you become tired of the hectic Jaffa Road, only a few minutes walk away from the twins.

click here for BLOG in dutch

________________________________________________________________________

 

YOEL & YOSEF: MEN WITH A MISSION

 

The struggle of men like Yoel Moshe Salomon and Yosef Rivlin to make living outside the walls a success proves to be a difficult process: Convincing the Old City-residents to make the dangerous step proves problematic. Fortunately, money is a proven way to convince people. Not much later the opposition of the Azkenazi leadership proves futile, as one by one even the old rabbis only see advantages. They become silent supporters of the two forerunners. After his adventure in Nahalat Shiva Salomon goes a step further and tries his luck in founding Petah Tikva. Yosef-the-Shtetlmacher remains in Jerusalem, his mission here is far from over.

click here for BLOG in dutch

________________________________________________________________________

 

YOSEF RIVLIN: TOUGH LIFE OF A HERO

 

Founding a neighborhood may sound like fun, but for Yosef Rivlin is an act of redemption. Rivlin literary risks his life in building Nahalat Shiva, located in an empty area full of murderous Bedouin tribes and wild animals. Once he thinks living is safe enough inside the courtyard, disaster strikes when his wife is savagely attacked by a knife-wielding Arab. She manages to kill him and she survives, but not for long… For Yosef life goes on. There is no time lose when you want to build as many neighborhoods as possible. Aren’t setbacks just part of any life?

click here for BLOG in dutch

________________________________________________________________________

 

FRIENDS OF ZION

 

Yosef Rivlin: The story of the 18-year-old who manages to impress the old Sir Moses Montefiore and rejects his golden offer for a job in London. Contrary to the British millionaire Rivlin is penniless, but he manages to get in contact with the ones high in office. He assembles a group of like-minded adventurers and buys land from the Arabs, A story of creative thinking and how to remain focused no matter what others say or think. The Shtetlmacher is born. How nice it would be to end our story at the Friends of Zion Museum near Rivlin Street? That turns out to be a misconception as they are not interested at all in Rivlin, Nahalat Shiva, or even Jerusalem. This a perfect example of where a nice exterior fails to match an ugly interior.

 

click here for BLOG in dutch

________________________________________________________________________