Love of the Land

For the week ending 3 March 2007 / 13 Adar I 5767

The "Chosh" For a Sack of Rice

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll
If Manhattan has its legend that it was purchased from the Indians for $24 worth of trinkets, so too does Jerusalem have its tale of a great bargain.

A Hungarian Jew named Zadok Kraus reportedly approached the Arab owner of a plot of land in what eventually became known as the Armenian Quarter. The plot did not have much value in those days and was apparently used as an animal pen — "chosh" in Arabic. What did have great value was food, so Kraus offered the Arab a sack of rice, which was considered a fair exchange.

"Reb Zadok's Chosh", as it was known for a long time, became the site of Jewish homes and synagogues.

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