Making the old city young again


Chanukah 5779

Imagine a band of fighters meeting in secret, discussing the way to drive out the Greek armies from Israel and retake Jerusalem and the Holy Temple.
A few hundred or a few thousand ideological fighters, who had the passion, drive, faith and "Emunah" in Hashem, and who weren’t scared of world opinion, pressure or the military threat.
Now jump forward to today.
  • World pressure. UN-UNESCO resolutions against our eternal bond with Jerusalem.
  • Arab pressure to wrench Jerusalem from our hands.
  • Moslem edicts forbidden sales of real estate to Jews.
  • Arab terror, incitement and violence against Jews in neighbourhoods of Jerusalem.
  • Huge foreign money being pumped into Jerusalem to divide out city.
  • Jerusalem is still today being "desecrated" in many ways by our enemies.
Ateret Cohanim is standing in opposition, as todays "shield of Jerusalem" and the modern day Maccabees !
We are not concerned about world resolutions. World power is irrelevant. Arab hatred and violence means nothing.  Moslem extremism with its edicts forbidding sales to Jews, are mere small hurdles.

Numbers don’t hold sway with Am Yisrael.

We have seen the Greek Empire and others become simple bylines in history books. The same fate awaits those world bodies who think that can dictate to Israel or who refuse to accept our 3800 bond with G-d, the Land of Israel and Jerusalem-Yerushalayim.
For the Chashmonaim family, it was totally unacceptable to have an international Jerusalem or a divided capital. They refused to see the Temple Mount in foreign hands. They refused to accept the situation in Jerusalem, which saw more pagan temples and foreign religious activities, than Jewish centres of Torah learning or synagogues. How could they sleep knowing that the Temple (Beit HaMikdash) itself was being desecrated?

And so, regardless of being opposed by enemies from within (Hellenists, left wing groups, apathy) and notwithstanding the power, wealth, and numbers that were stacked against them, the Maccabees, under the wing of G-d, marched forward and ultimately returned Jewish pride, life and sovereignty to Jerusalem.
Today – thank G-d, it is true that there is no Greek Empire breathing down our necks and we do indeed have a sovereign Jewish State with Jerusalem as our capital.
Thank G-d !

BUT – IT IS ALSO TRUE that there are some segments of the Jewish people, who are "asleep', "unaware", or maybe simply "apathetic"  to the reality on the ground and to the vital needs, in order to secure a united Jerusalem, and keep her in Jewish hands for generations.

WE are still witnessing anti-Semitic, irrational, absurd and pathetic resolutions passed at UNESCO and the General Assembly of the UN, "declaring" that we – the Jewish people, have no connection to the Temple Mount or Jerusalem.

The blatant ignorance, hatred, and arrogance in these "hall of the nations", shouts out to the Heavens.

We still have Arabs (WAKF) effectively in control of the Temple Mount. There are more Moslems than Jews inside the Old City, and the Arab world will stop at nothing to take control of the Holy Basin and eastern sector of the city. If we add a few left wing groups backed with European funding, that are constantly supporting “their Arab brethren”, while trying to stop all endeavours of Ateret Cohanim, we are indeed faced with a struggle to retain our sovereign control over a united Jerusalem.

.Arabs are being threatened if they sell out. Arabs are being tortured if they facilitate sales to Jews. Arabs are refused burial in a Moslem cemetery, if they are involved in a sale of a property to Jews.
The “Maccabees of today” – Ateret Cohanim -  will not be deterred by the sheer numbers of surrounding Arabs, we will not be dejected by Jewish apathy, and nor will we be swayed or hindered by the millions of dollars being pumped into Arab neighbourhoods, by Arab nations with a specific agenda, to strengthen Arab roots in order to divide the city.
After nearly 40 years of endeavours and tireless work, Ateret Cohanim, has succeeded in revitalizing Jewish roots in the old Jewish Quarter of the Old City, in Kfar HaTeimanim (Yemenite Village of Shiloach), on the Mt of Olives (Maaleh HaZeitim) and in Kidmat Zion. There is a long way to go before we can truly say that Jewish sovereignty and a flourishing Jewish life exists in “all” sectors and neighbourhoods of united Jerusalem – but we have made a tremendous impact and great inroads.
There is however, another message from Channukah, that each of us can internalize and ponder, every day of Channukah and beyond. And that is, that even a single person can make a difference. The single and lone Chashmonaim family (over 2200 yrs ago) made a difference and changed the face of Jerusalem and Israel.
Every one of you-us, can also make a difference.

One person. One family. One foundation. One amuta (non-profit organization like Ateret Cohanim) can and has made the difference !
The Chashmonaim-Maccabees once called out – מי לה" אלי. Whoever is for G-d and ready to stand up for G-d step forward to us.
I say – whoever is for a united Jerusalem….whoever is ready to stand and be counted for Jerusalem..step forward to us
and be a true ongoing partner of Ateret Cohanim       .מי לירושלים - אלינו
So there is still time !!

This Channukah – please send in some Channukah “gelt-money’ to your "Jerusalem kids and grandchildren" 
And just remember that there is a deeper meaning to Channukah, that there still a struggle for Jerusalem, and that you yourself,can make a difference, for the future
of a united Jewish Jerusalem.
Daniel Luria
Exec. Director Ateret Cohanim      Kislev 5779 – Dec 2018    0546544407
** For those of you who wish to know, how best to use your “Channukah gelt” for Jerusalem – the following is a short list of current needs or projects, …..and that if completed, would make a real difference in the heart of Jerusalem.
Please be in contact with our Jerusalem or New York office if you are ready, willing and able to take on a project, sponsor, help or donate. (Dedications available)
If you want to be a "modern day Maccabee" and step up to "Jerusalem plate" –
then please chose a project(s) and EMAIL.
  • Children's playcentre extension (Beit Wittenberg)
  • Shiloach-Old Yemenite Village and Flowers gate nurseries.
  • Gym room for old Yemenite Village (Beit Yonatan)
  • Subsidize Channukah activities for children.
  • Security cameras (Static and rotatable)
  • Scenic outlook with rooftop playground (Beit HaNof)
  • Flags on our rooftops….and new flag poles
  • Large Menorah or lit up Magen David for rooftops
  • Adopt a family
  • Renovations to ADD Jewish Families
  • Restoration of Beit Knesset (Yemenite Village)
  • Sponsors required for LIBI BAMIZRACH projects (2019)
  • 1/ Zedekiahs cave CONCERT (Sukkot )
  • 2/ Hakafot Shniyot (Old City)
Channukah Sameach – toda raba
(We look forward to hearing back from you and maybe even receiving some of your channukah gelt !!!........Please email me some good news!!!.)