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October 25, 2014 / 1 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘building’

Those Jerusalem Views, Always Changing

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

In 1969 I came to Israel to be a student at Machon Greenberg in Jerusalem.  At the time I had many friends doing the year at Hebrew University.  Most of them were housed in brand new dormitories, called “Shikunei Elef” at the edge of the Givat Ram campus near the orchards that separated the campus from Givat Mordechai and Bayit Vegan. The buildings were long, thin rectangles on barren land.

I spent a Shabbat with one of my friends, and in the afternoon we walked from her dorm through the orchards to Givat Mordechai to see friends of hers.  Two years later I was married, a mother and we lived in a top floor walk-up on Rechov Bayit Vegan which davka overlooked Shikunei Elef.  During the ten years we lived there, I was able to observe how the university’s landscaping department managed to camouflage those plain buildings.

I hadn’t seen them for a long time until last week when I visited a friend who lives in the Senior Citizens Residences of the Shalom Hotel.  During the time we lived in Bayit Vegan we also saw the hotel under construction.

My friend and I went out on the terrace and I was mesmerized by the view.  It was the same basic view I had from my old apartment.  That’s for sure, because you can’t see our building from there.  I walked around and tried to see from the sides, but it blocks our old building.

The Shalom Hotel has two buildings.  In between is the swimming pool.  I couldn’t get a picture of our old home.  It’s blocked by the other building.

There’s so much building going on in Jerusalem.

 

It doesn’t matter how many apartments are built.  Housing prices still go up in Jerusalem.  Supply never reaches demand, because the more there is, the more people want to be in Jerusalem.

When we moved to Bayit Vegan in 1971, it was considered a suburban, almost country-like neighborhood.  There’s little to remind anyone of that today, except for the tall trees in the park near our old building.

This picture is taken on Rechov Uziel, under our Rechov Bayit Vegan.  Our old building is hidden by the trees. When we lived there, we were next to the large park/playground that connected the two streets.  There was just an empty lot in-between us and the park.  I could even see my kids playing there from our apartment.  You can’t do that today.  Just as we were planning our move to Shiloh building began on an apartment house on that empty lot.

Nothing stays the same in Jerusalem.

Visit Shiloh Musings.

US President Barack Obama Issues a Statement for Hanukkah

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

President Barack Obama’s statement for Hanukkah:

Michelle and I send our warmest wishes to all those celebrating Hanukkah around the world.

This Hanukkah season we remember the powerful story of the Maccabees who rose up to liberate their people from oppression. Upon discovering the desecration of their Temple, the believers found only enough oil to light the lamp for one night. And yet it lasted for eight.

Hanukkah is a time to celebrate the faith and customs of the Jewish people, but it is also an opportunity for people of all faiths to recognize the common aspirations we share. This holiday season, let us give thanks for the blessings we enjoy, and remain mindful of those who are suffering. And let us reaffirm our commitment to building a better, more complete world for all.

From our family to the Jewish Community around the world, Chag Sameach.

Melachot, Permanence, And Umbrellas

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

Certain activities – such as building, tying, weaving, writing, dyeing and sewing – are not prohibited on Shabbat unless they are made to last. For example, one may tie a knot that is not tied in a professional manner and will be untied within seven days, such as shoelaces or the ribbon around the Torah scroll, on Shabbat afternoon. So too a safety pin may be used on Shabbat since it is not a form of permanent sewing. Similarly, writing or painting with fluid that fades away, or writing on a substance that does not retain script, is not a melachah in the Torah sense of the term (melachah de’oreita), though it is rabbinically prohibited (melachah derabbanan).

When do the above activities become permanent and, therefore, a melachah de’oreita? According to the Rambam, if the product lasts throughout Shabbat it is a melachah de’oreita. According to Rashi, however, it must have the ability to last forever.

May one build a structure on Shabbat if one intends to take it apart on Shabbat shortly after its use? This question is debated between two sages in the Jerusalem Talmud. Rabbi Yosi Bar Nun maintains that it is prohibited because the Mishkan itself, from which we derive the 39 melachot, was a temporary structure. Rabbi Yosah disagrees. He maintains that it is permitted because in his view the Mishkan was, in the eyes of the people, a permanent structure. They never knew when God would require them to move on and until such time they lived their lives in a state of permanence.

Whereas the Jerusalem Talmud rules in accordance with the first view, the Babylonian Talmud rules in accordance with the second and maintains that this type of structure is not considered a melachah at all. The debate is picked up by Rishonim and Acharonim in connection with the construction of a provisional tent on Shabbat. According to the Rif, this is a melachah de’oreita. According to the Rambam, it is a melachah derabbanan. And according to Rashi and the Rosh, constructing a provisional tent is permissible in the first place.

Based on the above authorities who prohibit the construction of a provisional tent on Shabbat, the Noda Beyehudah considered the opening of an umbrella on Shabbat a melachah de’oreita and prohibited its use in his community, even if opened before Shabbat, because onlookers would think it was opened on Shabbat (marit ayin).

Conversely, basing himself on the authorities who permit the construction of a provisional tent on Shabbat, the Chatam Sofer maintains that using an umbrella on Shabbat is not even a melachah derabbanan and he did not object to it in his community in the presence of an eruv.

The consensus of opinion among today’s poskim prohibits the use of an umbrella on Shabbat even in the presence of an eruv. The Chofetz Chaim prohibits it because, irrespective of its temporary nature, it is intended to be used as a tent for protection against the elements. The Chazon Ish prohibits it because it makes Shabbat look like a working day. Rav Ovadia Yosef, after summarizing all the authorities for and against, sides with the authorities who prohibit it.

Preserving Baltimore’s First Synagogue (Part I)

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Unless otherwise indicated, all quotes are from “The Lloyd Street Synagogue of Baltimore: A National Shrine” by Israel Tabak, American Jewish Historical Quarterly (1961-1978); Sept. 1971-June 1972; 61, 1-4; AJHS Journal page 343. The article is available at www.ajhs.org/scholarship/adaje.cfm.

While it is not known precisely when Jews first settled in Baltimore, we do know that five Jewish men and their families settled there during the 1770s. However, it was not until the autumn of 1829 that Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, whose Hebrew name was Nidchei Yisroel (Dispersed of Israel), was founded. This was the only Jewish congregation in the state of Maryland at the time, and it was referred to by many as the “Stadt Shul.”

The original 29 members of the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation met in a room over a grocery store located on Bond and Fleet Streets (now Eastern Avenue). By 1835 the congregation occupied a one-story building on High Street and membership had increased to 55. In 1837 the congregation acquired a three-story building on Harrison Street near Etna Lane where it worshipped until 1845 when it built its new synagogue on Lloyd Street.

Rabbi Abraham Rice

Readers of this column likely are familiar with the life of Rabbi Abraham Rice from the articles “Abraham Rice: First Rabbi in America” (November 6, 2009) and “The First Rabbi in America, Part II,” December 4, 2009. Rabbi Rice, the first ordained Orthodox rabbi to settle permanently in America, became the spiritual leader of the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation in 1840.

Rabbi Rice was known for his piety and upright character and for a number of years he was probably the only person in America qualified to pasken sheilas. He became one of Orthodoxy’s foremost spokesmen at a time when it was under attack from the Reform movement.

“Abraham Rice’s place in the history of American Judaism is secure. The courage and dauntlessness with which he defended the principles of historic Judaism give him a unique place among the pioneers of Orthodoxy in America. His consistent and uncompromising stand in matters of Jewish theology was the strongest factor in stemming the tide of Reform. His devotion to the study of Torah and his depth of talmudic learning made it possible for [halachic] Judaism to gain a foothold on American soil, where for centuries Jewish life was spiritually barren and Torahless. His dedication to Jewish education and his personal instruction of many a youth in this community were responsible for a new generation of enlightened laymen to be raised up who changed the entire physiognomy and religious climate of the Jewish community of Baltimore.” (“Rabbi Abraham Rice of Baltimore, Pioneer of Orthodox Judaism in America” by Israel Tabak, Tradition, 7, 1965, page 119.)

The Lloyd Street Synagogue

Within a few years of Rabbi Rice’s arrival the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation was able to build the Lloyd Street Synagogue, the first Jewish house of worship to be built in Maryland and the third oldest surviving synagogue in the United States.

“There is no doubt that Rabbi Rice was the prime factor in the growth and consolidation of the congregation. It was under his guidance that the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation was able to build its own sanctuary befitting a Jewish community of stature and dignity. The architect commissioned to design the new synagogue was Robert Carey Long, Jr., who achieved renown for the several houses of worship he built in Baltimore at the time. In 1842, Long built the Alphonsus Roman Catholic Church; in 1843, St. Peter’s Catholic Church; and the following year, Mt. Calvary Episcopal Church and the Franklin Street Presbyterian Church. The Jewish community was sufficiently affluent to afford the services of such an eminent architect, and the Lloyd Street Synagogue was completed and dedicated in 1845.”

The synagogue building was built of brick and was sixty feet wide by seventy-five feet deep. It cost about $20,000.

The synagogue contained what was then a most innovative feature – a “Shield of David” that was conspicuously set in the main window of the synagogue above the Holy Ark, in the eastern wall, which everyone faced in prayer.

Isaac Lesser, chazzan of Congregation Mikve Israel of Philadelphia, wrote the following description of the synagogue after attending the dedication ceremonies on Shabbos Parshas Vayelech (September 26-27, 1845):

Help Save the Stanton St. Shul!

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

The Stanton Street Shul on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, at 180 Stanton Street, is a historic, intimate, and vibrant Orthodox congregation serving the diverse Jewish population of Lower Manhattan. It attracts and welcomes Jews of all religious, educational, and cultural backgrounds. Today, it is one of the few tenement shuls still left of the 700 Lower East Side congregations that were recorded in 1918 as serving the Jews of Lower Manhattan.

It was my own spiritual home, along with my family, for six years. Believe me when I tell you it’s a warm and wonderful place.

I just received their SOS email: the roof is leaking and time is running out, is, basically, what they wrote. Here’s the rest:

If you’ve noticed the leaky roof at Shul, you know that the Shul building is in dire need of repairs, a pre-existing need that was exacerbated by Hurricane Sandy. Now you can help by supporting the Stanton St. Shul in an exciting, crowd-sourced fundraising campaign by Lucky Ant to raise $10,000 for our building’s much-needed repairs, including a now leaking roof.

THE CATCH: if the Shul doesn’t reach its $10,000 goal by Dec. 19th, it gets NOTHING. With 15 days left in the campaign we have already passed the $3,000 mark, so we are making progress but still have a long way to go to reach our goal. That’s why letting YOU, friends and new potential donors, know and spread the word is critical. This will ALSO help the Shul meet its 2012 matching fundraising goals for the prestigious Heritage challenge grant the Shul was awarded. The Lucky Ant campaign will be the first building block in raising $30,000 toward that matching grant received from the New York Landmarks Conservancy.

The desperately needed money will go to fixing the roof. While the Shul has a laundry list of needed repairs, Hurricane Sandy exacerbated the already-severe water damage to the building and forced the Synagogue’s fundraising efforts to get aggressive.

Lucky Ant works by helping small businesses and not-for-profits get the funding they need from their local communities. In exchange for funding, donors are offered “thank you” gifts from the Shul, including special misheberach (be blessed) prayers, Stanton St. Shul notecards, LES tours, theater tickets, and more. Donors also have the option of taking a tax-donations for charitable gifts, a standard benefit this time of year.

Remember, if we don’t reach our $10,000 goal by December 19th, we get nothing.That’s where you come in! Please tell your friends, families, and broad social networks about our campaign, explain why the shul is important to you, why these funds are so urgently needed, and please consider making a donation of your own, of any amount. Make your donation through Lucky Ant today by clicking here.

And in case any of the above links don’t work, here’s the URL one last time: http://www.luckyant.com/nyc/lower-east-side/index.html
Folks, if you were looking for a worthy cause for your mitzvah gelt this Chanukah — I heartily recommend the Stanton. And go join them on a Shabbat night or morning. Their Friday night Carlebach Kabalat Shabbat are fabulous.

Vizhnitzers Shocked as Sudanese Workers ‘Violated’ Rebbes’ Chambers

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

Vizhnitz hasidim were shocked on Sunday to discover that the secluded, sanctified room (known as the Private Tzimmer) belonging to the late Vizhnitz Rebbes, the author of Imrei Chayim and his son, author of Yeshuot Moshe, has been “defiled” by Sudanese workers, B’Hadrei Haredim reports.

With the increase in visits by hasidim clamoring to see the current Vizhnitzer Rebbe, the building, became too small to contain everyone, and that B’nei Brak community’s management decided to renovate the entire structure.

Nevertheless it was decided that hallowed Tzimmer, where the previous rebbes used to receive thousands of their followers and give them advice, would not be altered, and instead be preserved as it was during the life of the rebbes.

Now B’Hadrei Haredim reports that no one seemed to be in charge of the movements of the Sudanese workers who are roaming through the structure and have turned it into their sleeping area. And so they’ve chosen the sacred Tzimmer as their bedroom, threw down a few mattresses, among sacred books that are strewn about, and some say they even conducted their Christian prayer services there—although that part has not been proven.

The official owner of the building is London real estate tycoon Rabbi Chaim Moshe Feldman, who is the biggest supporter of the Vizhnitz movement.

Explosion Destroys Egyptian Intelligence Building

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

Al Arabiya reports that a large explosion destroyed part of an Egyptian intelligence building.

The building is located in Rafah, near the Gaza border, in Egyptian controlled Sinai.

There’s no additional information available yet.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/explosion-destroys-egyptian-intelligence-building/2012/11/25/

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