Thursday, December 21, 2017

Jerusalem celebrates 100 years since General Allenby's entrance to Jerusalem

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Yehuda Lave, Spiritual Advisor and Counselor

Life helps you Empathize

Empathy is when you actually feel the pain or pleasure of another person.

View your own distressful and painful experiences as a means of being able to empathize with others when they experience something similar.

Love Yehuda Lave


  • 12 Dec 2017

(Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

Actors take part in a festive reenactment yesterday of Gen. Edmund Allenby's entry into Jerusalem's Old City at Jaffa Gate, just as it occurred exactly 100 years ago on December 11, after the Ottomans surrendered to the British in World War I. In 1917 it was the first day of Chanakah and a beautiful gift to the poor people of Jerusalem

The festive mood in Jerusalem's Old City on Monday belied the fact that there had been a terrorist attack in the capital less than 24 hours earlier. As your eye on the ground I was there. Pictures below

Thousands of people – Jews, Christians, Muslims, locals and tourists from all across the strata of society – crowded the plaza outside the Jaffa Gate and the road bordering the Tower of David to watch the reenactment of Gen. Edmund Henry Hynman Allenby's entry into Jerusalem 100 years ago.

There was a brass band. People were waving flags and the attire of a considerable number of those present was far from current vogue.

Faces were wreathed in smiles and the air of anticipation was almost tangible.

Allenby's entry into Jerusalem on December 11, 1917, was celebrated by a crowd that reached back in time to grasp that same feeling of hope that had permeated through the old city with his proclamation of martial law in Jerusalem, thereby freeing the city from four centuries of Turkish rule.

It was the beginning of a new era. The Jews during that time saw it as a Hanukka miracle, which heralded the possibility that Zionist aspirations would be realized.

The Christians saw it as Christmas present for civilization and the Muslims regarded it as a message from the Prophet Mohammed.

Allenby, who assured the population that it was his desire that every person should pursue his profession, way of life, his traditions and his religion without fear, had the proclamation read out in seven languages by six representatives of communities living in the old city in the languages most familiar to them, and the original English version was read by Allenby himself.

On Monday, this was reenacted from the very spot where Allenby stood a century ago.

This time the English was read by the present Viscount Henry J.H. Allenby of Megiddo and Felixstowe who is in Israel for the first time, and the proclamations in other languages were read by and large by representatives of the various religious denominations – with one addition. The first time around, the proclamation was not read in Armenian. That lacuna was amended on Monday.

Moderator Avshalom Kor, who is an expert on Hebrew language, noted that when the proclamation was read out in Hebrew in 1917, it was the first time since the Second Temple period that Hebrew been officially recognized as a language.

Kor also underscored the sharp contrast between Allenby's humble entry into the city on foot and that of Kaiser Wilhelm II's haughty entry on horseback in 1898.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who was out of the country, sent a videotaped message in which he said that at this time Israel recognizes not only the Commander who led the British Army to the gates of Jerusalem but also those brave soldiers from the British, Australian and New Zealand forces who fell in battle as well as those of the Jewish Brigade. All of them were part of a historic mission, he said.

For Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, this was not just another noblesse oblige ceremony. Barkat spent the first ten years of his life in Mahaneh Allenby, a somewhat downtrodden neighborhood in the capital's East Talpiot, which these days is a luxury neighborhood known as Armon HaNatziv. So for him honoring Allenby's memory carried a certain degree of personal nostalgia.

Barkat credited Allenby with knowing that Jerusalem was a uniting force for the whole world. "He was an essential part of the city's history," said Barkat. "He understood the role of Jerusalem and that religious tolerance and mutual respect were the highest values.

Jerusalem was a small impoverished city when Allenby arrived, he said, but it had begun to change even in Allenby's lifetime and is currently going through a major, unprecedented renaissance in education, culture, high tech, science, tourism, business and innovation.

When the actor playing Allenby asked Barkat to join him at the microphone, Barkat who spent six years in the IDF completing his service with the rank of Major in the paratroops, saluted him.

The pseudo-Allenby said to him: "A hundred years ago, I received a key to this wonderful city, and I think that after a hundred years, it's time that I returned it." He acknowledged that it was a little rusty now, but cautioned the mayor to guard it as it was the only copy.

In actual fact, according to Dr. Nirit Shalev Khalifa, the co-curator of the exhibition 'A General and a Gentleman – Allenby at the Gates of Jerusalem,' Allenby was never given the key to the city although reports to the contrary are part of urban legend. Another urban legend relates to the Turkish surrender by Mayor Hussein al Husseini to a couple of British cooks who had gone out to look for eggs.

The British War Cabinet wanted the common man to be a part of the story of British conquest over the Turks. General Sir John Stuart Mackenzie Shea, whose great-grandson John Benson also came from England for the occasion as did the Viscount's mother Sara, Lady Allenby, gave instructions to Lars Larsson, the photographer from the American Colony, to destroy certain photos because they would not conform with the story.

When the American Colony curator later went to Sweden to explore Larsson's archives she discovered that the surrender had actually been made to army officers with the rank of major, but that didn't gel with the British narrative.

Taking journalists around the exhibition before the ceremony Khalifa said: "You can win a war, but it means nothing if you lose the historical memory."

She acknowledged that the historical memory and its narrative can mean different things to different people. The aftermath of a war can, for instance, be perceived as conquest, occupation or liberation, she said.

What made her particularly excited about this exhibition was that for the first time, the venue itself was part of the artifacts in that the historic proclamation had taken place on the steps of the Tower of David.

Eilat Lieber, director and chief curator of the Tower of David Museum said that sometimes it is very frustrating for curators and scholars to find information about the past, "but when we talk about a hundred years in Jerusalem, it's like yesterday."

Although Lady Allenby had visited Israel many times with her late husband, this was an initial adventure both for her son and for John Benson who each confessed to being excited and overwhelmed by the warmth of the hospitality they had received.

Though neither makes a big deal of being related to people who turned the tide of history, they are proud to be members of their respective families.

A New Way to View Jerusalem's Old City - Dec. 10, 2017

The shoe repair store

Ira Kaplan, hadn't returned to the old neighborhood since he went off to fight in Vietnam.  During a business trip to New York he visits his old neighborhood on Kotler Avenue in the Bronx.


Everything has changed over the years.  Where once there was Edelstein's Delicatessen, there is now a McDonald's; where Fleischman's Dry Cleaning (One-Hour Martinizing) used to be, a Korean nail salon and spa now is; where Ginsberg's Department Store was, there is now a Gap. 



Nothing is the same, except for the narrow storefront of Klonsky's Shoe Repair, which, dimly lit as ever, is still in business.

As Kaplan passes the shop, he recalls (such are the quirks of memory that he does not know how) that just before he was drafted to go off to Vietnam, he had left a pair of shoes with Mr. Klonsky that he never picked up.  Could they, he wonders, possibly still be there?

A small bell tinkles as he enters the dark shop.

Mr. Klonsky, who seemed old 40 years ago, shuffles out from the back. He is hunched over, wearing a leather apron, one eye all but closed.

"Excuse me, Mr. Klonsky," Kaplan says, "but I used to live in this neighborhood, and 40 years ago I left a pair of shoes with you for repair that I never picked up. Is there any chance you might still have them?"

Klonsky stares at him and, in his strong Eastern European accent, asks, "Vas dey black vingtips?"
"They were indeed," Kaplan only now recalls.
"And you vanted a halv sole, mit rubber heels?"
"Yes," says Kaplan. "That's exactly what I wanted."
"And you vanted taps on the heels only?"
"Yes, yes," says Kaplan. "Amazing! Do you still have them?"

Mr. Klonsky looks up at him, his good eye squint, and says, "Dey'll be ready Vendsday.

The rabbis' letter to Trump

"You are fulfilling the vision of the prophets"About 250 rabbis, led by Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, sent a letter of thanks and congratulations to Donald Trump for Washington's courageous step to establish Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem. "We are certain that the history of the Jewish people will be remembered forever.


 US President announced the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and is recognized with the religious leaders in the country: 250 rabbis from Israel, led by Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, sent a letter of thanks and blessing Donald Trump on the courageous step of Washington to establish Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem. Read the letter - press Here .


 In a letter sent to the White House by the head of the Shomron Regional Council, Yossi Dagan, the rabbis wrote: "It is a rare privilege to be the first president to lead the recognition of Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the State of Israel." 


"We are privileged to be in a generation where prophets' prophecies are being fulfilled one by one," the rabbis noted, "Jews come to Israel from all corners of the world, and Israel keeps defeating its enemies time and time again.


"Remember the history of the people of Israel"

"We are fortunate to see the building of Jerusalem," the rabbis wrote, "Children play in its streets and we are confident that all the other prophecies will prevail." The United States of America was one of the first to support the establishment of the State of Israel. The prophets on the return to Zion and the building of the State of Israel.

" They added: "We are sure that the history of the people of Israel will be remembered forever as one who stands at the front and is not a soldier.


 The letter was signed by hundreds of city rabbis, communities and communities, dayanim, yeshiva heads and educators. Among the prominent names are Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, Rabbi Chaim Druckman, a leader of religious Zionism, Rabbi of Safed and member of the Council of Chief Rabbinate Shmuel Eliyahu and Rabbi of Samaria, Elyakim Levanon.


The head of the Shomron Regional Council, Yossi Dagan, said: "Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Israel, and the American people understand it, and everyone understands this, and we support the president's decision, but remember that the State of Israel is an independent state, Get by herself. "



Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu added: "We consider this recognition further step in implementing the prophecy of Isaiah about the recognition of the Gentiles in downtown Jerusalem. 'For the sake of Zion shall not Ahsh and Lman Iroslm not Askot until Itza Cngh Tzdkh and Isoath Clfid Ibar. And Rao Goim Tzdkc and Cl Mlcim Cbodc. We hope that other nations Enlightened and believers will follow the United States. "


Satmar against Trump, but secretly

On the other hand, the rabbis of the Netrona organization, which is affiliated with the anti-Zionist Satmar Hasidim in the United States, called on President Trump not to transfer the American embassy to Jerusalem because it could endanger Jews in Israel and the world "who will pay the price for Zionist misdeeds."



"Jerusalem is the holy city, religiously and spiritually, not politically," the rabbis claimed, recalling that even after the United Nations declaration of the establishment of the State of Israel, the rabbis of the Eda Haredit community in Jerusalem wanted to keep the Holy City under international sovereignty.



In the ads published by "Netroana" in the American media, it was further stated that the State of Israel can not declare Jerusalem as the capital of the Jews. According to them, the capital of American Jews is Washington, the capital of Russian Jewry. Moscow is the capital of French Jewry. Paris is the capital of the Jews of England. London is the capital of the Jews of Iran, and Jerusalem is "the holy city and not a political city."



The official Satmar is debating how to relate to Trump's move. On the one hand, they are of course opposed to Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem. On the other hand, the reason for this opposition to Zionism is in the Diaspora view that there is a religious prohibition against provoking the nations of the world and maintaining a controversial Jewish state, and if so, criticizing the White House is a provocation to the government under which they live as Diaspora Jews. This is why the publications on this matter are led by a community-based organization rather than the Satmar Rebbe, the leader of Hasidism.

See you tomorrow

Love Yehuda Lave

Rabbi Yehuda Lave

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