Remembering Terror Victim with Ancient Celebration

Elhanan Attali renewed Beit HaShoeivah ceremony to original site at the Pool of Shiloach a few years before being killed in terror attack.

Yoni Kempinski , | updated: 10:28

Beit HaShoeivah celebration
Beit HaShoeivah celebration
Courtesy of the family

Six hundred people attended the Beit HaShoeivah celebration at the Pool of Shiloach in the City of David on Wednesday night.

The water libation celebration, held on the intermediate days of Sukkot throughout the country, dates back to the Temple Period. 

During the year, many of the sacrifices offered at the Temple altar were brought with a libation of wine. On Sukkot, however, both wine and water were used, with the water being drawn from the Pool of Shiloach and carried up the Jerusalem pilgrim road to the Temple.

At night, after the water drawing ceremony performed by the High Priest, tens of thousands of spectators would gather in the outer Temple courtyard to watch pious community member dance and sings songs. 

 Nearly thirty years ago, Elhanan Attali, a resident of the Jewish Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem, renewed the Beit HaShoeivah celebration at the site of the original water drawing. 

Attali was stabbed to death 24 years ago as he made his way to the Ateret Cohanim Yeshiva, but his friends and family have continued, in his memory, to hold the Beit HaShoeivah ceremony near the Pool of Shiloach. 

Beit HaShoeivah celebration Courtesy of the family

Hundreds gathered on Wednesday to rejoice and dance to the music of violinist Yechiel Frank. Also speaking at the event was Rabbi Eran Tamir, Attali's brother-in-law. 

"Elhanat was very active in campaigning for the Pool of Shiloach," Tamir noted. "He was a visionary, but also a man of action."

"He was not content with dreams, but with preparing little things for the tasks at hand," Tamir said. "He guarded the houses in which Jews might one day live. He prepared books for a yeshiva which ultimately bears his name - 'Elhanan's Vision,' when no one else dreamed of  a Jewish presence in this region."