Why is this Jew different from all other Jews? A front-line view of the struggle for Jerusalem

All other Jews must leave a part of their house unfinished to remind them of the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple (Shulchan Aruch OC 560:1).

But this Jew, Arieh King, has received a heter (rabbinic exemption) from this mitzvah.

How so?

Arieh needs no such reminder. He lives on the Mount of Olives. Any time of the day or night he can gaze westwards from his house onto the Temple Mount, Har HaBayit, and see if for himself.

In 2007 Arieh founded a community which recovered Jewish land on the Mount of Olives. Further inspired to find a way for any Jew to actively redeem the land of Israel, Arieh established the Israel Land Fund (ILF). The ILF endeavors to acquire land of strategic national importance as well as areas of historical and religious value to the Jewish people, especially in Jerusalem. These properties offer unique opportunities for any Jew to acquire land or a building in Israel.

Through Israel’s legal system, the ILF identifies and restores Jewish-owned ‘abandoned’ (usually either from 1948 or 1967) properties to their rightful owners, Arieh is credited with having redeemed entire neighborhoods of Jerusalem, such as Beit Hanina, as well as helping to repopulate Jewish communities in cities such as Akko (Acre) and Jaffa, and in agricultural areas of the Galil.

In 2013, Arieh was elected to the Jerusalem City Council, where he works tirelessly for the rights of Jews to live and travel equally in every part of the holy city. He is the chairman of the Environment, Community Administration and Heritage committees and serves on the Finance Committee.

Arieh has a uniquely intimate knowledge of Jerusalem and sensitivity to its pulse. The moment he opens his front door, Arieh must check for evidence of yet another attack on his home. Wending his way to work, Arieh spots out of the corner of his eye a misplaced brick, a freshly erected scaffold or tire marks from heavy equipment. Something is wrong. Another illegal Arab construction project is underway. Arieh springs into action and plans a defense, on behalf of us all, in this brick by brick struggle for Jerusalem.

Arieh’s municipal efforts have included increasing security, adding bus lines to ease transportation for Jews, and finding a solution to limit the raucous prayer call of the muezzin by providing devout Muslims with radios to receive the call in their homes. Arieh enjoys support from a large number of Muchtars (clan leaders) in various Arab neighborhoods. They know Arieh will work to improve services, security, sanitation for them too.

Please join us in welcoming Arieh to Dallas on February 16th when you can learn how simple it is to participate in the mitzvah of redeeming land in Israel.

For those who are financially and organizationally able, the ILF has a portfolio of properties available for purchase. An exciting new project involves the construction of about 60 apartments in a new community about 15 minutes’ drive north of the Old City.

There are also initiatives to allow those with a more modest financial taste as well as organizational means to acquire partial ownership in property-owning partnerships.

Encroachment onto State-owned land, especially in Gush Etzion (the region of Judea, south of Jerusalem) and the Galilee, threatens de facto property rights. Planting trees will put Jewish farmers on the land who can derive an income while protecting the land from encroachment. Each tree is only $30.

Please come to hear about how YOU can participate in Arieh’s important and exciting work, this Sunday, February 16th 2020 at 11:00am at the Jewish Learning Center 7130 Campbell Rd, #204, Dallas, Texas.

Kosher brunch will be served. Please click here to register.

Sponsored by Texans for a Safe Israel, Dallas Jewish Conservatives, and the Jewish Learning Center.

For more information, please visit www.israellandfund.com.