“Raising the <i>Shekhinah</i> from the Dust” by Rebuilding Jerusalem

Arie Morgenstern

in Hastening Redemption

Published in print July 2006 | ISBN: 9780195305784
Published online May 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199784820 | DOI:
 “Raising the Shekhinah from the Dust” by Rebuilding Jerusalem

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After coming to Jerusalem in 1815, the Perushim led by Menahem Mendel of Shklov, directed their principal efforts to rebuilding and resettling the Judah Hasid ruins (the Hurvah), thereby showing their intention to reestablish themselves in the city. In accord with the doctrine of “awakening below”, rebuilding one of Jerusalem’s ruins would represent the first step in the rebuilding of the entire city. This chapter recounts in detail the lengthy legal, political, and financial dealings that culminated with the beginning of the actual project in 1836 (under the reign of the enlightened Muhammad Ali); the new study hall in the Hurvah courtyard (named “Menahem Ziyyon”) was dedicated in January 1837. The project continued to be opposed by Israel of Shklov, the leader of the Safed Perushim who objected to the independence of the Jerusalem Perushim (now led by Zalman Zoref [Salamon]); matters were complicated by competition for funding by Zevi Hirsch Lehren and his family and continued intra-Jewish rivalries. But the success of the project was seen by the Jerusalem Perushim as evidence that the redemption was underway in earnest, a sense confirmed by the tragic earthquake that destroyed most of the Safed community in 1837.

Keywords: Hurvah; Judah Hasid; Menahem Mendel of Shklov; Israel of Shklov; Zevi Hirsch Lehren; Menahem Ziyyon study hall; Zalman Zoref; Perushim; building Jerusalem ruins

Chapter.  12213 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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