Shimon HaTzadik

According to Hillel Fender “20,000 people took part in the commemorations of the “yahrtzeit” (anniversary of death) of Simon the Just in the Shimon HaTzadik neighborhood of Jerusalem on Wednesday night. The prayers and festivities  are continuing today.   Despite the tensions in the area between Jewish and Arab residents, a record number of people showed up to take part.

Simon the Just (Shimon HaTzadik), of the early Tannaitic period, is possibly most famous for having taught, “The world exists through three things: Torah, service of G-d, and acts of kindness” – as well as for having appeared to Alexander the Great in a dream just before the latter bowed before him upon arriving in Jerusalem.

His burial site and nearby plots in Jerusalem was purchased in 1876 by the Jewish community, and by 1948, 20 Jewish families were living there.  After the War of Independence, however, in 1948, the area fell into Jordanian hands; the holy site was used as a stable, and Jordanian Arabs moved into the Jewish-owned homes.  Over a decade ago, former Tourism Minister Rabbi Benny Elon and others began a push to reclaim the land, and in a two-front effort – by re-purchasing the homes and via the courts – many of the properties have been returned to Jewish hands.” .. (amid controversy)

More about Shimon HaTzadik here 




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