web analytics
September 18, 2014 / 23 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘building’

Postcard from Israel: Nachlaot

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

The picturesque Nachlaot neighbourhood in Jerusalem started out as what we might call today ‘social housing’. From 1875 onwards benefactors such as Moses Montefiore began building new neighbourhoods outside the walls of the Old City to house the growing Jewish population and relieve some of the overcrowding and squalor of the Jewish Quarter. Thus, Nachlaot is in fact a cluster of fused neighbourhoods, with each one originally having a specific ethnic character and its own synagogue.

After the War of Independence the neighbourhood absorbed many refugees expelled by the Jordanians from the Old City, as well as new immigrants from North Africa, and over-crowding and poverty became rife. Those who could moved out to the city’s newer neighbourhoods. A major renovation project in the 1990s updated Nachlaot with facilities such as modern plumbing and today the neighbourhood’s narrow lanes, archways and hidden courtyards lend it a charm which has made it popular once again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visit CifWatch.com.

New York Under Water

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

New York City has undergone a torrential storm that left six people dead and stranded close to a million residents without power. The city’s transportation system is crippled.

The storm surge was made worse by a higher full-moon tide, with the peak of the flooding lower Manhattan and other low-lying areas by 8 PM.

Large parts of Manhattan below midtown are now in the dark after a reported explosion that may have been at a Con Ed building, reported The Gothamist. “Huge explosion at 14th St. All of downtown is now dark,” tweeted the website’s correspondent. Another witness saw a “massive explosion here in LES then all went dark.”

As of early Tuesday morning, there are numerous reports of residents trapped in their homes facing the high waters that submerged many parts of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and the Rockaways. The Fire Department is forced to reach those trapped by boat.

According to the NY Post, water gushed into the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel and cars were floating in the streets. There was no dry land anywhere in the Rockaways, where cops in the 100th Precinct station house were trapped on the building’s second floor.

A 29-year-old man was killed in his Flushing, Queens, home when a tree fell into the building. Three children were killed when a tree fell in North Salem. A woman was electrocuted after stepping into a puddle on 105th Avenue in South Richmond Hill.

NYU Langone Medical Center is dark after the backup generators failed. Patients had to be moved to nearby facilities.

All MTA trains and buses are down.

Lower East Side in the Eye of the Storm?

Monday, October 29th, 2012

It’s Sunday night, only hours until the super-mega-Frankenstorm Hurricane Sandy descends upon the Lower East Side, reports the Lower East Side’s LowDown website, adding: “It’s a little windy and might rain, but it may be the last time you go out for a while, so by all means — go out!”

Hurricane Sandy wind modeling from the National Weather Service.

Hurricane Sandy wind modeling from the National Weather Service.

This is crazy. For 37 years we lived on the Lower East Side and whenever a hurricane was approaching, it was always somewhere else, hundreds and thousands of miles away. Now it appears that Hurricane Sandy (did they have to pick a Jewish sounding name?) is expected to make landfall smack at the Lower East Side.

Angry Storm Clouds over the LES – photo by Vivienne Gucwa at http://nythroughthelens.com.

Angry Storm Clouds over the LES – photo by Vivienne Gucwa at http://nythroughthelens.com.

I received an email from my State Senator, Daniel Squadron, reporting that as of 7 PM, the MTA subway service stopped running. Elevators, heat and hot water were shut off in NYCHA buildings in Zone A (along the riverfront) at 7 PM. It’s possible elevators will also be shut off in other large buildings in Zone A.

At 9 PM, buses stopped running from Zone A NYCHA developments to evacuation shelters. MTA bus service also stopped running altogether at 9 PM.

The local website, The LowDown, published an image taken at the Fine Fare supermarket on Grand Street, which was packed with shoppers “stocking up before the big storm.” According to the LowDown, “the shelves are still mostly full but water and bread supplies seem to be running a little low.”

I took a look at the mandatory evacuation map and noted that the co-ops on Grand Street near the FDR Drive are not within the red zone. They should be strong enough to withstand a hurricane, with God’s help.

So now we’re sitting and waiting, here, in Netanya, Israel, for news from the old country. Our thoughts are with our family and friends on the LES – stay indoors and obey the Mayor, I suppose.

Monday morning shacharis services should be still held in the various shuls, according to an email I received from the Bialystoker Synagogue, but the weather later on Monday may prohibit people from leaving their homes safely for mincha and maariv. They will play it by ear. There are contact people in each co-op building who will know what’s the score.

The email reminded the locals that Rabbi Dovid Feinstein, the halachic authority of the neighborhood, made a shacharis minyan in his home in 2011, when Tropical Storm Irene was expected to hit the area.

The Bialystoker email thanked all the people for opening their homes for any minyanim that may be needed, and asked residents spread the word, help with chairs, siddurim, figuring out if a minyan is needed and if, should it be necessary, they may safely join a minyan in an adjacent building. Anyone who may not go to his regular minyan is asked to join a building minyan to assist those who need to say kaddish.

According to the LowDown, all day long, officials have been urging residents in New York’s Zone A to evacuate by 7 o’clock this evening. But they have been paying particular attention to the Smith Houses on James Street, near the Brooklyn Bridge. City Council member Margaret Chin and State Senator Daniel Squadron were among those on the scene at this NYCHA building, urging people to heed the evacuation order.

Lucky Avraham Didn’t Have the Internet

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

Good thing there wasn’t Internet and Facebook in the days of our forefather Avraham. If there had been, he may never have come to Israel. He may have decided to stay in Ur Kasdeem, and settle with being a vicarious Israeli via the Internet. That way he could have enjoyed the best of both worlds, rubbing shoulders with all of the wealthy and high-ranking idol worshippers in Ur Kasdeem, while at the same time sending in comments to The Jewish Press.com, critical of the way things were being run in the Holy Land.

After all, in Avraham’s time, there were savage Canaanites living in Eretz Yisrael. And there weren’t any kosher supermarkets back then, nor religious neighborhoods, nor Jewish Day Schools and yeshivot for the kids. In fact, there weren’t any Jews living there at all. Avraham would be the first. Who needed the hassle? It made a lot more sense to stay where he was, in Ur America, where everyone knew him, enjoying the good life with the goyim, wait for Moshiach, and pretend, via the Internet, that he was actually involved in building the Jewish State.

Lucky for us that The Jewish Press.com didn’t exist back then. It could have been a test that even Avraham might not have had the strength to overcome.

Brooklyn Suffers Surge in Anti-Semitic Scrawling

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

A swastika was found painted in the elevator of a building in South Williamsburg, Brooklyn on Tuesday.

The hate symbol appeared on a building on Clymer street near Wythe avenue.  Some reports stated that the scrawling is the fourth such incident in the last few months.

Earlier this month, during the Jewish holidays, a Brooklyn subway station was marred with graffiti in red capital letters stating “THE WORLD WOULD BE MUCH BETTER OFF IF ALL THE JEWS WERE LAMPSHADES” and “HitlER (sic) WAS RIGHT RE THE JEWS”.

Investing In Your Relationship

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

I often share with my clients a simple yet powerful analogy: think about your relationship as you do about your bank account. That’s because investing in your relationship is similar to saving money; the more you put into your bank account or relationship, the more you can take out when necessary.

The way to develop your emotional wealth is to invest as much equity as possible, so when the going gets tough, you can dig into your savings and avoid going into the red.

Investing in your relationship takes time and effort and is a challenge for all couples. In my own life, for example, I believe my relationship is so important that my wife and I try to schedule time alone together at least once a week to focus on our relationship. Despite the pressures of our busy lives, we try to creatively make sure we are investing in our marriage. Sometimes we go out to a restaurant to eat or just take a walk down the block together. Other times, we go grocery shopping or head to the local convenience store in order to enjoy a few minutes alone just schmoozing about our day. When life goes into overdrive and time is limited, we take a “time out” for ourselves, and spend a few minutes in a quiet and secluded room in the home just talking to one another.

It really doesn’t matter what you do or what you talk about during your private times together. What matters most is to give your spouse the feeling that he or she is the most important person in the world.

Of course, the way to build emotional equity in a marriage is to make as many deposits as possible. In general, positive statements like complimenting one another, sharing appreciations and speaking kind words are “deposits.” Every time you tell your spouse that you appreciate them, or their actions, you are building more emotional wealth. You can even think of a compliment as a dollar. Imagine how rich you could become if you increase the amount of times per hour you compliment your spouse!

And it’s not just complimenting that works; actions speak louder than words. Helping each other with daily tasks such as shopping for food or just cleaning the house are ways in which couples can increase their emotional equity. The point is that it doesn’t take a large budget, or a lot of time, to build a relationship. Even the simplest gestures can make a difference.

The opposite is also true. Couples will deplete their emotional savings by criticizing and exercising external control. Trying to force one another via manipulation or by insulting each other decreases emotional wealth, and can even put some relationships into bankruptcy.

At the end of each month, I suggest that couples take a look and see how their emotional savings account is developing. They should check how many deposits they’ve made and how much was withdrawn. The goal is to become aware of the overall growth of the relationship and to see if it is getting stronger, or needs more nurturing.

The Miraculous Bamboo Tree

One way to illustrate the need to invest in the long-term sustainability of your marriage is to look at the miraculous growth pattern of the Chinese bamboo tree.

It seems that this tree when planted, watered, and nurtured for an entire growing season doesn’t outwardly grow as much as an inch. Then, after the second growing season, a season in which the farmer takes extra care to water, fertilize and care for the bamboo tree, the tree still hasn’t sprouted. So it goes as the sun rises and sets for four solid years. The farmer and his wife have nothing tangible to show for all of their labor.

Then, along comes year five.

In the fifth year that Chinese bamboo tree seed finally sprouts and the bamboo tree grows up to eighty feet in just one growing season! Or so it seems….

Did the little tree lie dormant for four years only to grow exponentially in the fifth? Or, was the little tree growing underground, developing a root system strong enough to support its potential for outward growth in the fifth year and beyond? The answer, of course, is obvious. Had the tree not developed a strong unseen foundation it could not have sustained its life as it grew. The same principle is true for people.

Contemplating the Divine Together

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

We live on the first floor of a Netanya apartment building, which means that our living room panorama window overlooking the street below is about 15 feet high.

Our girl cat, Lightening, sits in the window much of the day, basking in our Mediterranean sun. She wasn’t for the move to Israel initially, but by now she’s very happy, grooms regularly and even put on some weight.

When I come home from shul Shabbat morning, around 10:30-11:00, I walk up the paved path from the street and whistle at Lightening and she recognizes me. She stiffens up, shocked at the notion that someone who is usually inside the house is now, by some unexplained miracle of science, on the other side of things.

Then she calls back, arches her back and rushes to the door to greet me. When I open the door, she’s there, demanding a thorough back scratch (and tummy).

She’s a lot like a dog that way.

But while dogs worship their masters, I believe Lightening sees me as an equal, who is sometimes frustrating when he doesn’t get what she’s asking for.

And I believe that this picture, of a cat davening alongside his co-equal, proves my point.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/photos/contemplating-the-divine-together/2012/10/24/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: