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Study and Theory/
Jerusalem Day

Y. Pinchasi

Pilgrimage to Jerusalem at the 2nd Aliah

In the Rishon Lezion Winery, the Book of the Second Immigration, p. 188

During the Second immigration, a group of workers decided, together with A.D. Gordon, to renew the custom of making a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and arrange a trip on the Festival of Tabernacles. One of the pioneers described it as follows:

The news of the “pilgrimage” spread in the town quickly. On that same day a delegation came to us from Rabbi Shlomo Salent and offered us five Napoleans (a French coin that was used in Israel during the Ottoman government) to be used for the festival. A similar proposal came from the Zionists, however we refused.

On the festival we all went as a group to synagogue. And in the evening, before our very meagre meal, we bought several essential products with our few pennies, we went up on to the roof of the house in which we were staying in the Beit Israel neighbourhood, and we shared the food with Aharon David Gordon, the oldest of the group, who was much older than us, blessing the wine the echoes of which reached from the neighbourhood to Mea Shearim. We then started dancing an exciting Hora, in which all the people of the neighbourhood took part. On the following day we again went to synagogue, and this day also concluded with a Hora. And while we were still dancing with a large audience surrounding us, an old man with a white beard suddenly appeared, called me out of the circle of dancers and with tears in his eyes told me in Yiddish: “Listen, we were told that the Jewish children had made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, will you please drink a toast of Lechaim with me. I immediately stopped the dance and we all drank a Lechaim with the dear old man, who did not stop mumbling with excitement: “the days of the Messiah….the days of the Messiah”

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