Posts Tagged ‘Beit Shemesh’
Hundreds of firefighters battled a forest fire that tore through the Beit Shemesh area on Friday, destroying nearly 2,000 dunam of woodland.
The blaze has been dubbed “the worst fire since the Carmel disaster” – one that could take the land up to 20 years to recover.
It is not yet clear what started the fire, although officials believe it may have been connected to an authorized fire in a nearby moshav. The extreme heat and dry conditions of the past week, plus a breeze, could have carried a spark from that fire into the nearby forest and up the hills, spreading the blaze, a Jewish National Fund (JNF) official said.
Firefighters from Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh spent the entire day on Friday working to bring the blaze under control. Natural forest and woodland, vegetation and uncultivated land all was leveled to ash.
“Seventy fire trucks with the help of other authorities, among them the police who worked to evacuate communities and civilians,” were involved in the effort, said Kobi Tobol, commander of the Beit Shemesh-Jerusalem District Fire Department.
“Everyone worked throughout the entire day and managed to stop the fire from reaching residential areas. Despite that, in such a big fire, the damage to nature and to the animals is massive and will require many years of rehabilitation.”
Gilad Mastai, Jewish National Fund head of the coastal area and Shfela Plains, explained the forest, planted in the 1950s and 1960s, was relatively old. “Beyond that, resting stops and trails were also damaged,” he told the Hebrew-language Ynet website. “This fire burned grown and large trees in addition to the destruction of the undergrowth of thicket growing under the pine trees.
“There are jackals, snakes and tortoises in the area that were burned and trapped in the fire. This is dozens of years of damage. A unique vacation spot was taken from the people of Israel,” he said.
Nevertheless, Mastai suggested that people return to the forest in the coming year anyway, to “see how it rehabilitates itself.”
Detectives in Beit Shemesh, west of Jerusalem, caught two Palestinian Authority Arabs who had broken into a synagogue.
The Arabs possessed tools that were used to force their into the synagogue as well as nearby parked car, which they apparently intended to use to escape.
In the book of Shemot we learn of the mitzvah of Pidyon Petter Chamor-Redemption of the firstborn donkey:
Shemot 34:20 And the firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break its neck. All the first-born of thy sons thou shalt redeem. And none shall appear before Me empty.
Part of the concept of redeeming a donkey, which represents an animal with no sanctity or holiness, implies that even the lowest can be redeemed, and transformed into something better than itself and thus deserving life, in this case, via the redemption process with a sheep.
This particular ceremony was performed on Thursday in the town of Beit Shemesh.
No animals were injured in the redemption process.
Six firefighter crews have been sent in to fight a forest fire in the Begin Forest near the town of Tzur Hadassah, just outside of Jerusalem.
A high-voltage power line that crossed over the forest fell down, igniting the blaze in a difficult to reach area.
Six fire fighter crews from Beit Shemesh, 2 firefighting airplanes, and firefighters from the JNF and the Electric Company are battling the fire.
Due to the location the fire is proving difficult to fight, but nearby residents are not in danger.
The temperature has been scorching hot for the past couple of days. And that’s been setting off brush fires.
There have been massive fires, big fires and little fires all over the country.
Some homes near Beit Shemesh were evacuated last night due to the approaching fires.
As if it wasn’t hot enough outside.