History hub

Despite its short length, Hahavatzelet Street was once home to the first hospital outside the Old City Walls, the first Institute for the Blind and several newspaper offices.

September 20, 2012 15:49
The corner of Jaffa Road and Hahavatzelet Street

Jaffa Road 521. (photo credit: Shmuel Bar-Am)


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At 16, Leah Abushdid was the most sought-after bride in Jerusalem. Her Sephardi father was wealthy and well-known, and Leah was a full-bodied, raving beauty, with ravishing dark hair.

In stark contrast, Itamar Ben-Avi was Ashkenazi, the son of controversial educator Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, 10 years older, and although he was quite striking, very poor. Thus when Itamar fell madly in love with Leah, her family objected. And after he published passionate (and rather suicidal) love poems on the front page of the newspaper he had founded, her family forbade any contact between them.


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