Mea Shearim

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Mea Shearim ( lit. Hundred Gates) is one of the oldest Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem, Israel populated mainly by Haredi Jews and was built by the original settlers of Yishuv haYashan.


The name "Mea Shearim" is derived from a verse in the Bible - Genesis 26:12. Isaac sowed in that land, and in that year he reaped "מאה שערים - a hundredfold"; God had blessed him.


Mea Shearim was established in 1874 as the second settlement outside the walls of the Old City by a building society of 100 shareholders. Pooling their resources, the society members purchased a tract of land outside the Old City, which was severely overcrowded and plagued by poor sanitation, and built a new neighborhood with the goal of improving their standards of living.Conrad Schick, a German Christian architect and missionary, drew up a plan for Mea Shearim in 1846. Joseph Rivlin, one of the heads of the Jewish community in Jerusalem, and a Christian Arab from Bethlehem, were the contractors. The work was carried out by both Jewish and non-Jewish workers.

The quarter was surrounded by a wall, with gates that were locked every evening. By October 1880, 100 apartments were...
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