By Vardah Littmann
As the different neighborhoods of Jerusalem were being constructed, the land not yet been built upon was put to good use. Wheat was planted for the baking of rnatzah,and the revenue from this endeavor paid for the wedding expenses of poor brides and grooms.
As the first section of Mishkenost Yisrael was being built in 1877, the land adjacent to it was also used to grow wheat. That year, flooding from the rains had an adverse affect on the wheat crop. In Rav Yoscf Rivlin's description of the events, you can see the qreatness of the Jewish People and the way to find what is good even if all the surrounding circumstances are difficult.
“Only now I have returned home after I visited the reapers of the fields in the suburb Mishkenos Yisrael On this land that will shortly be built upon, wheat was sown in the hope of a bountiful crop. But this year we did not see blessing in our handiwork, as only a small measure was obtained, and our heart was heavy at seeing that all the fields were hard hit by floods and rotting of produce and this is a result of our abundant sins. But even so, I now feel geatly elevated for when I arrived at the fields I said to the workers in great happiness that bought tears of joy to my eyes 'HaSh-m be with you,' and they answered loudly back 'May HaSh-m bless you.'
Behind the reapers were those who were gathering Leket, Shichchah, and Peah. What can I tell you my friend; the reader of these words, my whole being was engulfed in chedvah and gilah, which made me forget the sorrow and hardship of the time. I believe wholeheartedly that Yisraol is now dwelling on its land, and we going to go up to bring Bikorim to the House of Our Lord, in golden baskets with the accompaniment of a pipe, for here we starting to fulfill the mitzvahs that are dependent on the land."
l1ay we be zoche speedily in our time, amen!