The Saddest Village in Israel

Plans to build more than 250 luxury homes on the ruins of the Palestinian village of Lifta are coming to fruition. A tour among the homes of the stunning village with one of its last living refugees

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail

This is the saddest village in Israel and probably the most beautiful, too. There’s nothing else like it: a ghost village, many of whose homes are still standing, with a hole in the roof, courtesy of Israel, to prevent them for being reused. The 60 or so homes that remain, of two and sometimes three stories, are planted on the slope of the hill and blend masterfully into the natural landscape. Each floor of the buildings, fashioned from stone and graced with arches, tells the story of a different period and a different style of construction. Lifta is a rare architectural gem, a monument to what was once here in this country, mute testimony to a way of life that was abruptly cut off. A mosque, olive presses and a flour mill, remains of picturesque balconies, a tiled path leading to the spring, which was one the village’s throbbing heart and whose waters are now in use by yeshiva students and “hilltop youth” in the “between the times” vacation that follows Tisha B’Av.

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Crowds at Israel's Ben-Gurion International Airport, in April.

U.S. Official: West Bank Entry for Palestinian Americans Unrelated to Israeli Visa Waivers

Haaretz spoke with several people who said they had fled Ukraine, arrived in Israel,  and were asked to undergo DNA tests in order to establish paternity.

'My Jewish Grandmother Has a Number on Her Arm, Why Does Israel Greet Me This Way?'

FILE PHOTO: A Star of David hangs from a fence outside the dormant landmark Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood in 2021.

American Judaism Is in Decline. That's Great News for American Jews

People taking part in the annual "March of the Living" to commemorate the Holocaust, between the former death camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau in Oswiecim, Poland, four years ago.

It’s Not Just the Holocaust. Israel Is Failing to Teach the History of the Jews

 A Jewish cemetery in Warsaw, Poland.

Israel and Poland Fight Over History, Truth - and Israeli Students

A collage of the Bentwich family throughout the generations.

Unique Burial Plot in Jerusalem Tells Story of Extraordinary Jewish Dynasty