שבת ט' בכסלו תשפ"ג 03/12/2022
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  • The Mission Continues

    As in the past so it remains today - we were and still are under the selfsame commitment to adhere to the directions of the Gedolei Yisrael, who stand guard against breaches of purity threatening our camp. When we were required to ask – we asked. When we were instructed to depart – we left. The moment we are summoned back to raise the flag, every other consideration is pushed to the side and we answer: We are ready!

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בראי היום

  • Harav Yisrael Friedman zy”a, the Rebbe of Husyatin

    מוטי, ויקיפדיה העברית

    The ancestral chain of Harav Yisrael Friedman, the founder of the Husyatin chassidic court, originates with the holy Baal Shem Tov. The Husyatin chassidus has its roots in Galicia and eventually came to Tel Aviv, during the turbulent years between the two World Wars.

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  • Maccabi'im Gravesite

    In honour of Chanukah, we will discuss a fascinating, ongoing investigation attempting to establish the place of burial of Mattisyahu Kohen Gadol and his family.

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In Jewish Sites

Built with Sweat and Tears: Nes Tziona

In the central region of our small country, between Rishon l’Zion and Rechovot, lies a town that is the essence of all Jewish yearning for the Holy Land – the city of Nes Tziona.

M. Shorrick 08/09/2009 13:00
Nes Tziona came into existence in the year 1878 (5638). It was during this year that a gentile by the name of Gustav Reisler, who was a member of the ‘Temple Movement’ (a Christian-Protestant group established in Germany whose goal was to pave the way for what they called ‘the final redemption and return of J-sus’), purchased plots of land in ‘Wadi Hanin’ - the area that is Nes Tziona today. He planted an orchard and even lived there himself for some time, but the hostile Arab environment and humid climate made it difficult for him.

A few years later, in 1882 (5642) Reisler visited Odessa and whilst there, he met a Jew by the name of Reuven Lehrer, a Lubavitcher Chassid. They began conversing, and eventually the discussion turned to matters concerning the Holy Land. Reisler began praising the land and told him – “…any time you would want, you could go to the Western Wall – a distance of fifteen minutes by donkey, and pray to your heart’s content!” The Chassid, whose heart longed for the Land of his forefathers, made a deal with the gentile that in exchange for the plot of land in Eretz Yisrael that he spoke of, he would give him his spacious house in Odessa.

Yechiel
Founders


So it was that in the year 1883 (5643) Reuven Lehrer, his wife Leah and their children arrived in Eretz Yisrael with the document of sale, and much hope and prayer.

Their first disappointment was to meet them immediately on their arrival. They found an abandoned building, a dilapidated well and severely neglected orchard. But Reuven Lehrer was not one to give up easily. Within half a year he transformed the place, repairing and fixing what he could. Afterwards he set about recruiting additional Jews to come and settle there too, and even sold parts of his land for puny amounts in order to create a framework for Jewish life in the settlement, such as a Minyan (quorum) for prayer, and a school for the children.

Finally in the year 1888 (5648) Reuven Lehrer acquired his first ‘Minyan’, and thereupon named the settlement he had founded: “Nachlas Reuven”.

Yechiel
Family Tree צלם



The travails of the Lehrer family were far from over, though. They suffered from theft from the Arabs of the surrounding villages, and in 1888 (5648) one of the settlers was brutally murdered - the blacksmith Avraham Yulovsky hy’d. On the site where Yulovsky’s house used to stand, a large plaza can be found today bearing his name, with a monument in the center erected in his memory.

Aside from this, a number of the children became sick over the years and died. The heartrending story is told of the righteous Leah Lehrer, who walked the entire distance to Rishon L’Zion with the body of her dead child on her shoulders, in order to bring him to a proper Jewish burial.

Despite it all, the courageous Lehrer family clung to their small outpost with all their might.

In the year 1891 (5651), Michoel Halperin – a member of the first Aliyah - built a settlement to the north of Nachlas Reuven. It was a worker’s village, and he named it ‘Nes Tziona’. A few years later (1905 – 5665), the area between the two settlements was purchased too, and thus Nes Tziona became one big settlement as all the smaller settlements merged into one.

It is important to point out here that many of the pioneering settlements over the last few hundreds of years were spearheaded by Torah-observant Jews, and not members of Zionist movements and such. The secular Zionists made all effort to keep this fact out of the school text books and history books. So it is that whilst even the smallest irreligious movements, such as Bilu (Beis Yaakov Lechu V’nelcha, an immigrant organisation comprised of no more than fifty members), is mentioned numerous times in many books, there is almost no mention of the brave, religious pioneers of yesteryear.
Yechiel
Shul in Nes Tziona