A Succot celebration with a political twist

2,000 people attended the Succot party at the Beit Orot Yeshiva; first time so many Jews have congregated on Mount of Olives since destruction of 2nd Temple.

beit orot succot 311 (photo credit: Courtesy Yeshivat Beit Orot)
beit orot succot 311
(photo credit: Courtesy Yeshivat Beit Orot)
More than 10,000 people attended the first two days of the Succot celebrations at the Beit Orot Yeshiva on the Mount of Olives.
The yeshiva, funded by Jewish-American businessman Irving Moskowitz on Tuesday, staged three days of events and activities during the festival’s intermediate days, attracting more than 10,000 visitors.
“It is very exciting to see the masses of Jewish pilgrims coming to Jerusalem to celebrate Succot and to strengthen Jewish settlement in a united Jerusalem,” said Rabbi Danny Isaac, head of the Beit Orot yeshiva, or to give it its full name, the Irving Moskowitz Yeshiva & Campus – Yeshivat Beit Orot.
“Thousands of visitors have come and created a celebratory atmosphere in what has been the cradle of our civilization and culture for thousands of years.”
The revelry included arts and crafts workshops, coordinated with the help of the Temple Institute and relating to the historic ascent of Jewish pilgrims to the Temple Mount on the holiday, as well as rappeling, rock climbing and Segway rides from Mount Scopus, along the Mount of Olives ridge and down to the City of David archeological excavations.
“The purpose of our Succot extravaganza is to have people connect with the Mount of Olives and this historic part of the eastern section of our city,” said Shlomo Tzvikler, director of the Beit Orot yeshiva.
“We hope that through the events and activities we’re putting on, we will be able to reinforce the sense of belonging that all Israelis should have towards Jerusalem, so that they can understand that Jerusalem is our home, and get connected to the Jewish heritage of this city and the historic areas of Jewish Jerusalem.”
More than 2,000 people attended the central event of the Beit Orot Succot program on Monday night, the Simhat Beit Hashoeva, which, according to Tzvikler, is the first time that so many Jews have congregated on the Mount of Olives since the destruction of the Second Temple.
Approximately 120 students attend the Beit Orot hesder yeshiva on the northern ridge of the Mount of Olives in east Jerusalem.
Construction has recently begun on 24 residential apartments as part of a plan to develop a Jewish neighborhood in the area.