Seventy seven years after the British made the Yemenite Jews of Kfar Shiloah (Silwan) in east Jerusalem leave for their own safety, a historic synagogue once again echoed to the sound of Jewish prayers, music and singing. Arutz Sheva reports: For the first time in 77 years, festive Jewish prayers were held on Monday in one of modern Jerusalem's oldest synagogues: The long-hidden and inaccessible Hechal Shlomo of the Yemenite village.
Dozens of people took part in the joyous festivities, which marked
the full circle of Jewish settlement in eastern Jerusalem. Minister of
Agriculture Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) – amidst traditional Yemenite Jewish
prayers, music and foods, and some Ashkenazim and Sepharadim as well –
took part in the re-dedication of the synagogue. Affixing the mezuzah to
the doorpost, he recited the traditional blessings, including "Blessed
is He Who restores the borders of the widow."
It was back in 1885 that Yisrael Dov Frumkin founded the village,
built the synagogue, and paved the way for some 65 Yemenite Jewish
families to live on the slopes of the Mt. of Olives. Most of the land
land had been contributed by a Zionist philanthropist known as
The settlement thrived, but in the 1930's, the Arab riots that
engulfed the Land of Israel did not pass over the Yemenite Village. The
British rulers told the Jews that they could not protect them and that
they must leave, but promised to look after their property and that they
could later return.
Daniel Luria of the Ateret Cohanim Association, which oversaw the
modern return to the synagogue, explained what happened next: "A year
later, Shlomo Ze'evi – father of the famous Rehavam (Gandi) Ze'evi –
stood in this very synagogue, and was shocked and angered at the
destruction that the Arabs had
wrought here." There was also great bitterness at the British and their
promises; the Jews were not allowed to return to their homes.
Now, years later, Ateret Cohanim and many happy Jews were able to
return and celebrate another milestone in the national return of the
Jewish People to their sacred homeland. This followed great efforts in
re-purchasing the Jewish owned properties, resettling Jewish families in
various buildings around the neighborhood, and carefully identifying
Read article in full
Yemenite Jews were first in Silwan