||The Kerem Shelomo Community account book for Jerusalem vicinity residences in the late nineteenth century. The title page states that it is for thirty three dwellings outside of the Jaffa gate, by the stream by the north side towards Jaffa, next to the Haveret Sh’arei Shamayim, seven on the road to Jaffa, twenty six within, with the help of a twelve year loan. According to rules explained inside. Founded in Iyyar, 5691. The title page is dated that same year. The verso of the title page has the following verse, “Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-Hamon; he let out the vineyard to keepers; every one for his fruit was to bring one thousand pieces of silver” (Song of Songs 8:11). Next are the rules, of which there are twelve, which specifies such things as the thickness of walls, chests, and floors, that there be a well for every four residences, prices for sales, payments, etc., followed by the names and signatures of Nissim Eliasher and Solomon Mosayov. The remainder of the book is a payment schedule, twelve lines to a page, each line stating “we have received one and a half Napoleons for the month of Adar 1893,” etc. As payments were made lines and or pages were lined out. A rare and insightful document into the resettlement of Jerusalem by Jews at the end of the nineteenth century.
Jaffa Gate is the main western entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem. Jaffa Gate is the only gate on the western side of the Old City. It was built by Suleiman the Magnificent, and is called Jaffa Gate because it leads toward Jaffa, an important sea port. The Arabic name for Jaffa Gate is Bab el-Khalil, meaning “Beloved Friend.” This is a nickname for Abraham, who is holy to both Jews and Muslims. The Crusaders called it David’s Gate, because David’s Tower stands nearby. During the 1800s, Jaffa Gate was the main gate between the Old and New Cities. The gate on the western side of the Old City marked the end of the highway leading from the Jaffa coast and now leads into the Muslim and Armenian quarters. A road allows cars to enter the Old City through a wide gap in the wall between Jaffa Gate and the Citadel. Foreign dignitaries almost always entered the city through this gate, including German Kaiser Wilhelm and British General Allenby. This passage was originally built in 1898 when Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany visited Jerusalem. The ruling Ottoman Turks opened it so the German Emperor would not have to dismount his carriage to enter the city. The gate was closed by the Jordanians when they occupied the city 1948-1967, then reopened by the Israelis after 1967.