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June 24, 2016 / 18 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘building’

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.

Raphael Grunfeld

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):

Dr. Yitzchok Levine

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.
Yori Yanover

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.

Jewish Press Staff

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.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Homefront Command : What To Do in a Rocket Attack

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Israel’s Homefront Command has revised its instructions to citizens living within rocket fire of Gaza, and publicized a video with English translation to broadcast important directives.

For those within 40 kilometers of Gaza:

  • If you hear the sound of air raid sirens, enter into a protected area immediately.
  • School has been cancelled
  • Do not convene or congregate in groups
  • If your workplace does not have a bomb shelter, do not go to work.
  • Shopping centers are to be closed

Israeli news website Walla published an image illustrating the amount of time residents of various parts of the country have to find shelter in the event of a siren.

According to the image, residents of Sderot have just 15 seconds to find shelter, residents of Ashkelon have 30 seconds, residents of Ashdod have 45 seconds, residents of Be’er Sheva have 60 seconds, resident of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and southern Samaria have a minute and a half, and residents of Netanya and Herzliya have 2 minutes.  If missiles are fired from Israel’s north, either from Hizbullah in Lebanon or Al-Qaida from Syria, residents of Tiberias, Haifa, and Gadera have 60 seconds to find cover, residents of Carmiel and Tzfat have 30 seconds, and residents of Nahriya and the Golan should find cover immediately. If at the time of a siren or emergency warning,  you are found in:

A building:

Go into a bomb shelter or safe room (if one is not available in your building, enter the innermost room of your house), closing the doors and windows.  Those living in the top floor of apartment buildings should quickly exit their apartments and enter the stairwell, descending to the middle floor of the building.

Outside:

Enter the nearest building immediately.  If there are no buildings close by, or you are in an open area, lie down on the ground and cover your head with your hands.

In the car:

Stop on the side of the road, exit the car, and enter a building or protected area immediately.  If there is no building, or you are in an open area, exit the car and lie down on the ground, covering your head with your hands.  If you cannot exit the vehicle, top on the side of the road and wait 10 minutes before continuing on your journey.

If no other instructions are given, you may leave the secure area after 10 minutes.

Homefront Command also issued specific instructions for workers in a variety of situations and job types, including government and essential workers.

Malkah Fleisher

Dog Saves Owner from Rocket Strike

Monday, November 19th, 2012

The coastal city of Ashkelon, population 130,000, was hit particularly hard on Sunday. In one attack, a rocket slammed into a four-story building, penetrating through the roof of the stairwell, and continuing on, leaving a large gaping hole in the floor of one apartment, and in the ceiling of the apartment below. Two people sustained injuries from the attack and five suffered shock. The rundown apartment building is home to Russian and Ethiopian immigrants as well as native Israelis.

For Alex Leibowitz and his wife Olga, parents of four, the rocket attack could have had much more serious consequences had it not been for their dog, Louisa.

Alex was home, not feeling well, on Sunday, while his wife had left to work in the morning. At one point, their dog began barking incessantly. “Louisa just kept on nervously barking non-stop and I couldn’t listen to it any longer, so l went back to the bedroom,” explained Alex.

Because of the barking, Alex did not hear the rocket warning siren and remained in his bedroom. Shortly after, a rocket fired from Gaza struck his apartment building, slicing into his apartment door and penetrating his floor, leaving a trail of debris, shrapnel and shattered glass in its path.

A Gaza rocket left a gaping hole in the floor and ceiling of the Leibovitzs' Ashkelon apartments.

A rocket left a gaping hole in the floor of the Leibovitzs’ Ashkelon apartment. Photo: Anav Silverman, Tazpit News Agency

“It was a miracle. Had I gone down the stairwell, having heard the siren, the rocket would have caught me,” said Alex. Residents of Ashkelon have only 30 seconds to get to shelter once the sirens sound.

“It was as if our dog had some kind of sixth sense to know that a rocket was on its way,” added Olga, his wife. “Louisa’s barking kept my husband alive.”

Although the front end of their apartment has been badly devastated, the couple feels very fortunate.

“We have such a good dog,” said Olga, patting Louisa’s head as she now sat calmly on the porch. “We are lucky people today,” she added as she surveyed the large hole in her living room floor. “This could have been a much worse situation.”

Gaza rockets continued to pound Israel on Sunday, with more than 100 striking residential communities and cities, wounding nine people including a rescue service worker, who sustained moderate head injuries from a mortar fired from Gaza at Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council. Five others were wounded when a Grad rocket struck a vehicle in Ofakim including a couple and their two-year-old daughter. Cars, homes, and buildings were damaged in the rocket strikes and countless people experienced shock and trauma from the attacks.

Anav Silverman, Tazpit News Agency

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/dog-saves-owner-from-rocket-strike/2012/11/19/

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