Jerusalem, Israel

The Jaffa Gate

By Gork, independent tour guide in Israel

The completion of the walls around Jerusalem in 1538 and the 8 gates was cause for great celebration for the inhabitants of the city, who had lived here in great fear of murder and plunder by Bedouin from the nearby Judean Desert.

For the first time, since the Crusaders, in the 12th century, Jerusalem’s inhabitants had a wall to protect them. The safety of living in Jerusalem became known far and wide and, naturally, Jews came from Turkey and Europe to re-establish their communities in Jerusalem.

They came in boats to the harbor of Jaffa and so called the gate by which they entered Jerusalem becam known as the Jaffa Gate.

The original name of the gate, still called that name by the Arabs, was the Gate of the Friend (Bab el Halil) , in honor of Abraham, the forefather of the Jews and the Arabs and the friend, famous for his hospitality, whose tomb is in Hebron and is visited by many Arabs as a holy place.

Naturally as they started their journey from this gate they called it the Gate of the Friend, Bab el Halil. The Jews, however still like to call it the Jaffa Gate, in memory of the harbor where they arrived when they came to Israel.



About Gork, independent tour guide in IsraelProfile image of tour guide Gork
Autobiography. I was born in a little town in S. Africa by the name of Krugersdorp where I did all the wonderful things that go to developing a child into an adult. I attended primary school, high school and like all Jewish children, Heder (an afternoon school where I learnt the basics of the Jewish Religion, Hebrew and Jewish History), I loved all of this, but constantly felt that there was more to know than the teachers taught me. My curiosity lead me to delve deeply into the history o
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