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Israel Through Photographs

By Tamar Yonah
11/15/2007, 12:00 AM

Pictures tell a thousand words.  These photographs below show the Jewish presence in our G-d given land, and what's more important, the lack of Arab presence which puts an end to their claims that Israel is so important to them and their (lack of) historical roots here.

Thank you to all our ancestors who stayed in the land of Israel throughout the centuries under difficult conditions and  foreign forces who came in and ruled here.  They may have had relatives in Europe who told them to come to Spain, Poland or Germany,  writing them that it is much easier and comfortable for Jews in the Exile, with big yeshivot, and a thriving Jewish world (which exists no more). But our ancestors here did not abandon their inheritance of the Land of Israel nor their love of the land and G-d.  Perhaps they wrote them back that they should come here to the land of Israel, and make our nation grow, and be stronger and safer.

Thank you to the pioneers who left their host countries in Europe and Russia and came to the Land of Israel to build, reestablish, and love the Land.  Thank you for the difficult task of leaving your families, knowing that you would probably never see them again.  Thank you for leaving all the 'perks' of a wealthier life that offered business opportunities, universities, good schools, operas, and easy access to purchase the finest goods.  Thank you also for leaving your shtetles and smaller Jewish villages in Europe, leaving everything you know, to come to entwine your lives with your brothers here, at home.  Thank you for establishing your dynasties here, and planting your future generations here.

Thank you for suffering throughout the years to make sure that we living in Israel today, and those of Jews who still live in the Exile have a home to come to if there is ever a need to escape.  Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Photos from the book: "First Photographs of the Holy Land" by Eli Shiller. Click HERE to view many more photos.

Our Jewish Ancestors At The Wailing Wall, 1898 (Under Ottoman Empire Occupation)

The Temple Mount, 1877 -Note overall disrepair and lack of use. 

Jewish Quarter, View From The North-East, in 1870. Behind is our Temple Mount, where the Muslims built their Mosque on top of where the Holy Temple stood.

Jewish Quarter, 1898 -View from the South-East

Jews Praying On The Mount Of Olives, 1893. The Mount of Olives is where King David's son, Avshalom is buried, as well as the Prophet Zacharia, well before Islam ever existed.

A Jewish Wedding In Jaffa, 1899.  Thank you, young Jewish couple, for building your home here in Israel, having Jewish children, and building your and their lives here.

Jewish Workers At Abraham's Vineyard, 1860. Thank you for living here in Israel, with no air conditioning, no chic European cities nearby, no promise for wealth, or even an easy life.  Thank you.

Jewish Pioneers in Gedera, (Israel) 1910.  Thank you Jewish pioneers, for turning the hard and thorny desert into abundant farmland, where today we export to Europe and have our own supermarkets filled with luscious and tasty fruits and vegetables.

Jewish workers and Arab women picking oranges in Jaffa, (Israel) 1915.  Many Arabs immigrated to the Land of Israel looking for work on Jewish farms and with other Jewish enterprises.

Arab Family travelling in the Galilee looking for work.

Jewish Pioneers In Galilee, 1912.  Thank you, beautiful young Jewish men and women, for living a simple life, a sometimes hard life, to build our country, develop our land, and raise Jewish families here.

Jewish Guards In The Galilee 1915.  Thank you brave Jewish men, who guarded Jewish families and property from thieves and marauders. 

Turkish Military Camp, 1911.  What? Foreign occupation of Muslim Turks and Jews still came to Israel on Aliyah to build for the future?

There was no Jewish government to help Jews open businesses, absorb them into the country, teach them Hebrew for free, give them mortgages to buy comfortable homes, or pay them money to have Jewish children like our government does today.  This was a hostile Muslim regime in charge. They were no friends of the Jews, and did not treat them well. Yet we still chose to make our lives here. Were we 'friars' (suckers) or heroes?

Beginnings Of Tel-Aviv, 1919(?)  Missing in this and all the photos are all the Arabs of that quote 'great country of illustrious Arab history', Palestine.  Seems like their claims on history never existed.

 

First Well In Rishon Le-Zion. 1913  Jews bringing LIFE back to the region with water wells, cattle, farms and orchards.

Synagogue Of Abraham Avinu, 1925- Hebron. Thank you Jewish ancestors, for making your lives in Hebron, guarding the holy graves of  Avraham, Yitzchak, Yaakov, Sarah, Rivkah and Leah (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, and Leah). Thank you for living there, working, raising families, praying, and teaching your sons and grandsons our Torah and Jewish ways.

These two Jewish men above, what are they thinking? They are looking at YOU.  They came, they lived, they built.  We are enjoying the fruits of their labor and well-lived lives.  Thank you my dearest, dearest brothers. Thank you to all our Jewish people throughout the centuries who nurtured Israel, never giving up on her, loving her, and loving G-d.

Thank you.