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Zev Wallack

Rabbi Ovadia Bartenura Arrives in Jerusalem

October 17, 2007, by

Land of My Birth – Rabbi Bartenura, the famous commentator of the Mishna, decided to move to Jerusalem, even though this meant he would be leaving behind a settled and prosperous land in order to live in a remote and poor place. He left his rich family behind in Italy and began a long and

The First Shemitta, at the Time of the First Aliyah

September 6, 2007, by

Land of My Birth – Six years had passed since the beginning of the “First Aliyah” in the year 5642 (1882). And indeed a revolution had begun in the land, with the sudden appearance of several new agricultural settlements, this time belonging to Jews. The life of the first settlers was harsh and wearying, and

The First President as a Child

August 24, 2007, by

Land of My Birth – Chaim Weizmann was born in 5634 (1874) in the town of Motol in Belarus, the third son in a family of twelve children. As a child he studied in “cheder,” where he was very interested in everything connected to Eretz Yisrael. At the age of twelve he joined the “Chibat

When the Yemenite Pioneers Arrived in Jerusalem

August 22, 2007, by

Land of My Birth – The exiled people in Yemen never forgot Jerusalem. Throughout history, small numbers of people kept coming to Eretz Yisrael, with the goal of living in the holy city. But the first significant Aliyah, about two hundred people, arrived during the year 5642 (1882). Afterwards, groups of people from Yemen came

The Wanderings of Imbar, the Author of Hatikvah

August 8, 2007, by

Land of My Birth – Even before Naftali Imbar knew how to read and write, the young boy composed rhymes and asked his friend to write them down. As a youth, he amazed all the other people with his detailed knowledge of the Tanach, the Talmud, and the Zohar. He was also known for his

The First Ambassador of the State of Israel

July 25, 2007, by

Land of My Birth – When Israel was established, it was necessary to set up a diplomatic organization including ambassadors who would represent the new country all over the world. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs had its doubts about how the newly opened Israeli embassies should conduct themselves in contacts with the local Jewish populations.

The Battle of the “Exodus” Against the British Army

July 11, 2007, by

Land of My Birth – Sixty years ago, on the eve of Rosh Chodesh Av 5707 (1947), an immigration ship by the name of “Leaving Europe 5707” (also known as “Exodus 1947”) arrived in Eretz Yisrael. This was a fairly small ship that the Haganah had bought from US Navy surplus, and 4,500 refugees from

Moshe Montefiore in Chevron

June 28, 2007, by

Land of My Birth – Sir Moshe Montefiore was an extremely wealthy Jewish banker who lived a respectable life in London. But when he reached the age of 40, he decided to dedicate his life to Jews in general and to the settlement of Eretz Yisrael in particular. Montefiore visited the land seven times. The

Bnei Akiva in Cairo

June 13, 2007, by

Land of My Birth – During the year 1944 (5704-5), some soldiers from the “Jewish Brigade” were stationed in Egypt. This was a Jewish fighting force that was part of the British army. These soldiers contributed not only to the war against the Nazis but also to the people of the Diaspora whom they met

If There Is No Flour…

May 31, 2007, by

Land of My Birth – The main link between Eretz Yisrael and the Diaspora during the time of exile was through a “Shadar” – a messenger sent to collect donations for the yeshiva students and for other needs in the land. The emissary was usually a prominent Torah scholar who knew how to impress his