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Georgian ambassador’s move to Jerusalem highlights history

CM 28/07/2021


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Georgian Ambassador Lasha Zhvania moved to Malha in Jerusalem, which was once a Georgian village, he said on Tuesday.
The embassy is also looking for a site at which to open a Georgian cultural center in the capital. Georgia announced its plan to open its cultural mission in Israel in Jerusalem in late 2019, but was the move was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Zhvania moved to Malha last week, a neighborhood that is one of many sites at which Georgians lived centuries ago in Jerusalem. The Georgian village in Malha was established in the fifth century, in the time of King Vakhtan Gorgasali, who was canonized by the Georgian Orthodox Church.
“Legend says the tree from which the cross of Christ was made was grown in Malha,” Zhvania said. “Abraham gave Lot three sticks left by the three angels who visited him in Hebron, which were planted here, and the tree grew with water from the Jordan River.”
Zhvania said Georgians continued to maintain a presence in Jerusalem and in Malha over the centuries, and pilgrims visiting Jerusalem described them in their journals as dressing differently, including wearing tall hats, and having different traditions from their Arab neighbors.

However, the residents lost contact with Georgia soon after the Russian conquest in 1801, when the Georgian Orthodox Church taken over by the Russian Orthodox Church, and many converted to Islam and assimilated with local Arabs.
Still, the ambassador said: “Malha is a place where I still feel the Georgian spirit.”
From his balcony atop a mountain, Zhvania said he can see many other Georgian historic sites in Jerusalem, including the Katamon neighborhood, which was also the site of a Georgian village, the 11th-century Monastery of the Cross, in Rehavia Park near the Knesset and the Israel Museum, and Ramat Rachel, where there used to be two other Georgian monasteries.
The Monastery of the Cross is “a beautiful building, a cultural heritage presented by Georgians for Jerusalem,” Zhvania said.
The Jerusalem YMCA was also built on top of the former site of a Georgian monastery, and there was another in the Old City that was later taken over by the Catholic Church.
Zhvania said he finds it “emotional and spiritual to live in the city established by King David.”
“The dynasty of Georgian kings associated itself with King David and King Solomon,” he said. “Their genealogy starts with King David and they emphasized a Jewish presence in their roots. There is as strong link between Georgia and the Holy Land.”
Zhvania’s move to Jerusalem is also a way for him to spread knowledge about Georgian history in the capital.

“We never forget that we are part of the history of the Land of Israel, of Jerusalem,” he said. “The presence of Georgia in this city does not go back 30 years or 100 or just since our Jewish community immigrated here, as they had prayed each day…Jews were in Georgia for 2,600 years and Georgians were in Jerusalem for 1,500 years and we have to preserve each other’s history.”  Source: Jerusalem Post

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The host of Coffee Mouth Scare Crow Show and CEO of 452 Impact, Inc. Here is food for thought. Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." John 3:16 "For God so love ed the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall be saved."

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