Home Near Lions Gate Now Fully Returned to Its Jewish Owners


The downstairs courtyard of the lone Jewish property near the Lions Gate has now been fully restored to Jewish hands. Over the past year the Jewish residents there had to share a courtyard with an Arab family.  This made everyone in the building very uncomfortable.  The Arabs in the building suffered every time n explosive was thrown at the compound. More than that, the elderly Arab woman was constantly threatened for living with Jews.

Today, the Arab family moved out and activists from the Heritage House entered to clean up.

Rabbi Ben Packer of the Heritage House said the following: “When the entire Jewish world is looking for an appropriate way to respond to the horrific terror attack of this past Shabbat night, we are privileged to have the merit to give them just that – another Jewish residence reclaimed near the Lions Gate, near the site of the terror attack. In response to violence and terror, we will only further strengthen the Jewish Presence.”


The Lions Gate property has been one of the most important properties in securing the neighborhood known as the Gypsy Quarter, considered one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the Old City of Jerusalem.  The residents of the compound suffer near daily threats from the Arab gangs in the area. With the Arab family now fully evacuated and duly compensated, real renovations can continue in order for more residents to move in.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”5223″ img_size=”medium” add_caption=”yes”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”5222″ img_size=”medium” add_caption=”yes”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”5221″ img_size=”medium” add_caption=”yes”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

[WATCH] Newest Jewish Owned Store in Jerusalem Brings Israel to the Foot of the Temple Mount

In a short and poignant ceremony David Wiseman, spoke about his connection to the Land of Israel the desire to make a real difference in Israel’s struggle to build in Jerusalem that led him to buy a small storefront steps from the Temple Mount.  With a small group of activists on hand, including Rav Aviner and City Council Member and head of the Israel Land Fund, Aryeh King, the storefront felt alive.

“Everyone is supposed to own a piece of Israel,” Wiseman said. “So I decided to buy this small place to make a real difference here.”

The strategic importance of the storefront, while small in size is vital as it provides a Jewish presence on a major thoroughfare to the Kotel and the Temple Mount.  The South side of Shalshelet Street known as the “Arab Shuk” was traditionally Jewish.  Most of the stores while currently occupied by Arabs had been fully owned and operated by Jews until the final expulsion by Jordanian forces in 1948.  The reclamation of this area and return of these properties to Jewish hands is part of a larger struggle to ensure a Jewish Jerusalem. Although Wiseman bought the storefront from a Jewish educational institute, it had been previously unused due to the location.

Rabbi Ben packer of the Heritage House, who has been an integral part in preparing the property for use said the following:

“Today at the dedication of another Jewish store in the “arab shuk” of the Old City we strengthened the Jewish Presence both physically and spiritually. This is the correct formula for total victory, may it come soon.”

The Heritage House has been increasing its role in the past two years by providing young Land of Israel activists a platform to help secure and renovate returned Jewish property in Jerusalem and Hebron.

Watch the event below:

David Wiseman leads a group including Rav Aviner and Aryeh King to his store, just steps from the Temple Mount.


David Wiseman, owner of the store with Rav Aviner


Gershon, the manager of the new store next to Rabbi Ben Packer of the Heritage House.

ON THE FRONTLINES: After 70 Years, Jews Have Returned to the Old City Shuk

In what is considered the “Arab” Shuk, which runs from the Jaffa Gate down to the Western Wall, a new Jewish store has opened.  In most cities this would go unnoticed, but in Jerusalem where thousands of Jews were expelled in 1948 by the Jordanian Legions, reclaiming stolen Jewish property especially in areas perceived to be Arab is extremely important.

The new store is owned by a Texas man who bought it from the Moriah School by way of City Council Member Arieh King. The school had reclaimed the store along with it’s current location, but without a use for the students it decided to sell. Despite the purchase, the owner couldn’t find a dedicated manager, willing to sit in the middle of thousands of hostile Arabs.  That changed after Rabbi Ben Packer of the Heritage House introduced the owner to Shaul Gheblikian an Armenian Jew.

“The store is located on the way to the Western Wall.  Where is it more important to strengthen than the Jewish presence on the way to the Western Wall,” Rabbi Packer says.

Shaul Gheblikian has spent the last month cleaning up the small store front and making a presence there on a daily basis while he awaits proper permits to sell food.  Asked if the neighbors have been antagonistic he responds on the affirmative. “Most repeated phrase in the Torah is do not be afraid.” The animosity has not deterred Shaul.  He is fearless and stands guard over the property.  Very often tourists and Yeshiva students join him to learn and schmooze.

In the near future the store will be used to attract tourists in hopes they will  buy Israeli food products like wine, honey, and cold pressed juice.  For now Shaul and others are making sure the Arab squatters in the area do not vandalize and harm the store or those managing it.

Shaul Gheblikian standing in the newly reclaimed store
Shaul Gheblikian standing in the newly reclaimed store
Shaul will spend hours learning Torah with visitors
Shaul will spend hours learning Torah at this table with visitors
New Mezuzah covering the same spot where it was once fastened
New Mezuzah covering the same spot where it was once fastened


Reclaiming Jerusalem’s Old City

At around 7:30 p.m. on Saturday evening (October 3, 2015), a knife-wielding Arab attacked Aharon Bennett, his wife Odel, their 2-year-old son and infant who were on their way to pray at the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City. Hearing the screams of help from Odel Bennett, from his apartment window, Rabbi Nehemia Lavi, an Old City resident and IDF reserve officer, didn’t hesitate, and went downstairs from his apartment in Beit Wittenberg (HaGai Street), with his gun, to try and save those wounded by the Arab terrorist in the attack, but the terrorist stabbed him and seized his weapon. Lavi and Bennett, who were stabbed in the upper body and were unconscious when paramedics arrived at the scene, died in hospital shortly afterwards.

Now, over 7 months later, another Jewish acquisition in Jerusalem’s Old City, facilitated by the Ateret Cohanim organization has been approved by legal authorities.

“Arab terror and ongoing Arab incitement and violence, has an aim of  trying to drive Jews out of Jerusalem, to keep Jews away from the Old City, the Temple Mount and even the Kotel, and also intends to weaken the resolve of the Jewish people, especially of the families and students in and around the Old City,” says Daniel Luria, Executive Director of Ateret Cohanim. “However the Arab are mistaken on all fronts. We will not be driven out of “our Jerusalem” and such acts of violence has only strengthened our resolve, strength of conviction, faith and fortitude.”

The building will be home to 3 or 4 Jewish families and some Yeshiva students. There are today over 1000 Jewish residents, including many Yeshiva students, of the old Jewish Quarter,(renamed the Moslem Quarter) in addition to the 4000 Jewish residents of the Jewish Quarter.

The newest acquisition is only a few minutes walk from the site of the murder of Rabbi Lavi and Bennett.  Building and buying in the Old City in areas where Jews were driven out in 1929, 1936-37, and 1948 is not only a powerful and lasting response to ongoing Arab terror, it is the best way to honor the memory of the fallen residents, especially the week of Israeli Memorial Day and Independence Day.

“It’s a spectacular accomplishment and it will hopefully lead to many more in the near future,” adds Rabbi Packer head of the Heritage House. “The Arabs are ready to leave. The question is: Are the Jews ready to take possession of the Land.”


The Arabs Have Understood We Are the Sovereign

I spent time today with Rabbi Ben Packer of the Heritage House, based in the Old City. We covered security, politics, settlements, and more. Ben is one of the few people I know that is unstoppable on the front lines in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria.

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