Nahalat Shiva, A Little Kingdom Outside The Walls


In the 1970’s, when the third Jewish neighborhood outside the Old City was falling apart, the city decided to tear it down. Fortunately Jerusalemites resisted.

When a cholera epidemic swept through the walled city of Jerusalem in the year 1866, much of the population was wiped out. And no wonder: Inside the walls, residents were crowded together like sardines in a can while sewage and debris flowed freely through the streets.

Like everyone else in Jerusalem, Jews suffered badly from the disease. The only group to escape its wrath had moved outside of the walls six years previously, into the little neighborhood called Mishkenot Sha’ananim.

Obviously, it was time to leave the shelter of the walls, and seven families prepared to do just that. They purchased land adjacent to the road leading from Jaffa to Jerusalem in the hopes that relatively frequent traffic would provide some measure of safety from wild animals and robbers.

Their little kingdom, the third Jewish neighborhood to be founded outside the walls of Jerusalem, was called Nahalat Shiva (Estate or Heritage of the Seven). And by 1869 the first houses were ready for occupation.

But now that the time had come, none of the families felt brave enough to move out of the security of the city walls. Finally, one of the men, Yoseph Rivlin, took the bull by the horns and began sleeping in his new home. So worried was his family that they waited at Jaffa Gate each morning to see if he were still alive.

Rivlin was eager for company. It is said that he opened a coffee shop on the roof of his dwelling, keeping guests happily enjoying the ambiance until the city gates were closed and they were forced to spend the night. Eventually, of course, his family joined him. And soon the rest of his neighbors moved in as well.


Read the full article over at The Times of Israel

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to Israel Travels

Follow Latest News and Posts

I feel prompted to write this email to you all and your wonderful company after the tour my daughter and I took with you throughout Israel. From the moment you picked us up, to the time we arrived for our airport departure, I was impressed with the service you delivered. Shmuel is an absolute legend and quite clearly has a real passion for his country and culture and loves to share it with others. His love and knowledge of Israel and the people whom live there is in my mind what made the trip all that it was. Shmuel has left a large impression on me re-igniting a spark inside me that has been slowly smothered by the pressures of living in our fast paced modern society in the United States. During the tour I came to realize the reality of the Bible stories and felt a new connection spiritually. I can’t thank both of you enough for making such a trip so informative to the average person like myself, as I believe it has left me with a new outlook on life and passion to get out there to what is real - our love of Israel, it’s culture and most importantly to have compassion and support for those who care for this great land. Ignorance only comes through a lack of knowledge and people like Aviva and Shmuel makes a big difference. We highly recommend seeing Israel with them, shalom! Yours Gratefully, Christine and Genevieve Ivory

Christine and Genevieve Ivory