Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Where Is "Tell Pioth?"

Tell Pioth (1925) is known as the Jerusalem
neighborhood of Talpiot  today
This pastoral picture from the Library of Congress collection bears the date 1925 and the caption, "Jewish colony of Tell Pioth on the Plain of Rephaim." 

Where's Tell Pioth?

It may take a few seconds for anyone who knows Jerusalem to realize that the picture is of the Talpiot neighborhood  in southern Jerusalem.  The "Plain of Rephaim" is the continuation of the "Emek Refaim" Road in Jerusalem's German Colony. 

The land for Talpiot was purchased in 1911 from German Templers of the German Colony of Jerusalem.  Standing on the land and looking northeast toward Jerusalem's Old City and the Tower of David, the Jewish founders saw themselves as guardians of the Holy City, specifically the "talpiyot (turrets)" as expressed in the Bible's Song of Songs, 4:4 "Thy neck is like the tower of David, built with turrets." 

By 1924 the first 40 homes were built, but the community suffered from deadly Arab attacks in 1929 and again in 1936.
Among the early settlers in Talpiot was the writer S.Y. Agnon who wrote about the neighborhood in his book, The Fire and the Trees.  "I stood among the small trees that surround gardens... and on the path that I love the small houses and the refreshing gardens..." 

Trees, gardens and small houses such as those in this picture.

1 comment:

  1. Yosef Klausner lived there too and his library was destroyed in the 1929 Pogroms (here) and you can see a picture of Agnon's house here.