The Old Yishuv

The Old Yishuv (Hebrew: הישוב הישן) Is a term used to describe the Jewish community that lived in Eretz Israel prior to the onset of Zionist immigration .


Some of the Jews lived in the Land Of Israel since Roman times, others for hundreds of years.

The Old Yishuv perceived themselves as an elite group representing the entire Jewish population in the Holy Land.


Most of them settled in the four holy cities of Judaism: Jerusalem, Hebron, Tiberias and Safed. Apart from the four holy cities, smaller communities also settled in Jaffa, Haifa, Peki’in, Acre, Shechem and Shfaram .

The Old Yishuv was composed primarily of three elements: the Musta’arabim (Jews who had never left the land), the Sephardim (Jews from Spain) and the Ashkenazim (Jews from Germany).

In 1700, a group of over 1,500 Ashkenazi Jews set out for Eretz Yisrael to settle in Jerusalem.In the 18th century, groups of Hasidim settled in Eretz Yisrael. In 1764 Rabbi Nachman of Horodenka, a disciple of the Baal Shem Tov ,settled in Tiberias.

In 1837 , the Galilee earthquake destroyed Safed and killed thousands. The earthquake contributed to the reconstitution of Jerusalem as the main center of the Old Yishuv.


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