Today, after more than 150 years, the afternoon wind was again
turning the blades of the Montefiore Windmill in Jerusalem.
The Windmill, initiated by Sir Moses Montefiore to aid
the “Suffering Jews in the Holy Land” was completed in 1857
and operated for around twenty years.
Montefiore’s goal was to help the poor of the Jewish community
grind their grain for bread and support themselves.
It was the first project built outside the Walls of the Old City
in the Mishkenot Sha’ananim-Yemin Moshe Jewish neighborhood.
The Old City Walls in the distance are easy to see from the plaza,
where a few name cards from the reserved seats were the only sign today of
the Montefiore Windmill rededication and ribbon cutting ceremony
that took place in the evening of August 28, 2012.
A restored Montefiore carriage is now on display behind protective glass
after it was vandalized and burned in 1986.
During the reception the door was open and I was able to go inside.
After months of construction and delays
Jerusalem Foundation president Mark Sofer had plenty to smile about.
The Windmill is not exactly the same as the original though,
as it has an electric motor and security systems.
Maybe it was the crepes,
the ice cream,
or the wine and fruit at the reception,
but everyone seemed to be smiling on Tuesday.
When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks,
there is extra security all around
and extra cameras.
A short video showed the barren area in the 19th century.
What a contrast to the Jerusalem of today.
Christians for Israel from the Netherlands worked hard on this project.
There were Christian representatives from Holland,
as well as the Dutch Chief Rabbi, Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs present.
Jerusalem, Israel Mayor Nir Barkat, like the Prime Minister,
spoke about his childhood experiences playing in the area.
The blades of the windmill started to turn again,
but they are not just there to look at
as an important National Heritage Site,
the plan is to grind grain and sell the bread made from it to the public.
Of course, there were speeches,
it would really be too long to list all the officials present,
however, for a short video click here.
The Prime Minister spoke of the symbol of ruach,
which can be translated as wind or spirit:
there was wind and a beautiful spirit as the Windmill returned.
For more photos see The Real Jerusalem Streets Facebook Page.