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September 16, 2014 / 21 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘damage’

Syrian Mortar Falls on Golan Heights

Sunday, November 11th, 2012

A mortar from Syrian internecine fighting fell Sunday afternoon on the Israeli side of the Golan Heights. The mortar fell near the town of Alonei HaBashan.

No injuries or damage were reported.

Morning Rocket Attack On Eshkol Region

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Around 10 this morning (Tuesday), Ynet posted this newsflash:

A rocket was fired at the Eshkol Regional Council. The rocket exploded in an open area and no injuries or damage were reported.

We have not seen this Gazan-sourced rocket attack confirmed elsewhere but it’s a reliable source and such attacks have become a daily event – and often many times in a day. And GANSO has just posted a note confirming it too:

06 NOV, 1045hrs: Isr. and Pal. media report that 1 HMR was fired toward the Green Line. No injuries reported. Updates to follow as received.

(“HMR” is the EU-funded humanitarian group’s quaint and misleading way of referring to deadly Qassam rockets. Their use of the term is an ongoing, but mostly un-noticed, disgrace.)

From a scan of the news reports hitting the web in the past hour, the only significant coverage relating to Gaza refers to reptiles - two kinds of them:

Police in the Gaza Strip on Monday captured a crocodile that roamed the sewerage system of a town in the north of the enclave, the Palestinian territory’s Hamas rulers said. [Source]

The media and the Palestinian Arabs being what they are, it isn’t a news story unless Israel can be kicked. So the Naharnet report concludes by blaming you-know-who for the crocodile infestation:

Gaza’s water sewerage system has deteriorated over the years, notably because of the Israeli blockade on the Palestinian territory and its devastating 22-day war on militant rocket fire launched in December 2008.

Visit This Ongoing War.

Sandy Flooding Closing Forward Offices ‘For Months’

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

A Manhattan office building that houses the Jewish Daily Forward may be closed for several months due to flood damage sustained from Hurricane Sandy.

Citing an unnamed disaster recovery company official involved with the building, where the newspaper has an office on the eighth floor, The New York Times reported Monday that 125 Maiden Lane may remain closed for months while transformers, boilers and other equipment are replaced.

Forward publisher Samuel Norich reportedly said he heard from building management that 8 million gallons of water were pumped from the basement of the building.

“We had prepared for an emergency,” Norich told The New York Times. “The emergency we had prepared for was an act of terrorism, not this.”

Forward reporters who had power at home worked remotely throughout the hurricane and into the weekend, and managed to publish its Yiddish and English paper the weekend after the storm.

Makom Hadash, an office sharing-initiative led by the Jewish environmental group Hazon, has leased space in the Forward’s office since 2010. The initiative’s partner organizations, which also are affected by the building’s closure, include Limmud NY, Moving Traditions, Storahtelling, Nehirim, B3: The Jewish Boomer Platform and the Jewish Greening Fellowship, an initiative of the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center.

JTA, whose New York-based employees have been operating remotely since shortly before Labor Day, is expecting additional delays in moving into its new Manhattan office on West 30th Street.

Several synagogues, Jewish day schools and other Jewish organizations sustained serious flood damage when Hurricane Sandy swept through the greater New York area on Oct. 29.

Among the organizations that sustained damage to their facilities from direct flooding were the Russian American Jewish Experience (RAJE), the Mazel Day School and the Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island, all in Brooklyn, as well as the Hebrew Academy of Long Beach on Long Island.

Are We Better Than The Residents Of Sedom?

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

We learn in this week’s parshah about the wickedness and demise of the residents of Sedom. Further, we learn from medrashim that the residents of Sedom did not show much hospitality. Similarly, the mishnah in Avos 5:10 says that there are four different types of middos that people live by. The first is one who says, “What is mine is mine and what is yours is yours.” The mishnah says that this is an intermediate middah; others say that this is middas Sedom. Rashi, in Kesubos 103a, says that the people in Sedom would not allow anyone to benefit from their possessions even if it would be of no loss to them.

Surely we are all familiar with the wickedness that is associated with the people of Sedom, and none of us would consider ourselves to be among the people of Sedom. However, there are certain interesting scenarios whereby the halacha is influenced by the concept of not being like the people of Sedom. This is known as “kofin al middas Sedom – we force one not to act like the people of Sedom.”

Here is one example: The Gemara in Baba Kama 20a discusses the situation when one lived in another person’s vacant home that would not have been rented. The Gemara discusses whether he is exempt from paying the owner for his stay. The Gemara says that the reason that he would be exempt is because the squatter can say to the owner, “you did not take a loss from the fact that I [the squatter] lived in your house.” This halacha applies even if the squatter would have otherwise rented another place had he not stayed in this house free of charge. This is called “zeh neheneh, v’zeh lo chaser – this one benefited, and this one did not lose.” This is a matter of dispute in the Gemara; the conclusion is that the squatter is exempt.

To make this a bit more applicable, let’s say one broke into and stayed in your summer home in the winter when you were not there. He would be exempt from paying you any rent since you would not have otherwise rented your house and there is no loss to you. Most Rishonim say, however, that one has the right to deny someone else access to his vacant home. The discussion in the Gemara only concerns one who has already lived in the house.

The P’nei Yehoshua learns that the reason for this is because of “kofin al middas Sedom.” Since you did not suffer any loss, even though someone else benefited from your belongings, the beneficiary is exempt from paying you for his gain. But if there is any loss to you, even a minor loss such as the walls having become blackened, the squatter is liable to pay all of the rent.

The Gemara also says that if the squatter would have otherwise rented another apartment and you would have otherwise rented your house, he is liable to pay rent. This is referred to as “zeh neheneh, v’zeh chaser – this one benefited and this one lost.”

The Gemara does not discuss, however, the scenario whereby you would have rented out the house but the squatter would not have rented another house, i.e. he has another place to stay. This circumstance is a dispute among the Rishonim. The Rif says that he is liable; Tosafos says that he is exempt because he did not derive any monetary benefit. The loss that the owner incurred is not a direct damage from the squatter, and he is therefore exempt.

The Acharonim are bothered by the following question: according to Tosafos’s view the squatter is exempt when there is a loss to the owner had he not rented another apartment. Why then should he pay for the rent when he would have rented another apartment? He should not pay for the benefit just as he is exempt when the owner would have not rented it out. Additionally, he should not pay for the owner’s loss of rent because, as Tosafos explained, it is an indirect damage.

The P’nei Yehoshua explains that the reason why one is exempt from paying the owner when he derives a monetary benefit at no cost to the owner is because we force the owner to not act like the people of Sedom. However, when the owner endures a loss, we cannot apply this concept because he has the right to be compensated for having incurred a loss. Therefore, when a loss is involved, the squatter must compensate the owner if he derived a monetary benefit from the owner’s possessions.

Jewish Communities Among Dozens Decimated By Hurricane Sandy

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

“It’s like a war zone,” said Rabbi Akiva Eisenstadt, surveying the damage in Manhattan Beach, a day after Hurricane Sandy swept through New York. “It’s beyond anything anyone has ever seen.”

Manhattan Beach, on the southern tip of Brooklyn, was one of several communities in the tri-state area pummeled by the storm, which caused, across the eastern coast of the country, an estimated $20 billion in property damage and left at least 55 Americans dead and 8.2 million without power.

By Wednesday, Manhattan had still only partially recovered from the super storm as much of the mass transit system that transports millions into the city daily remained shut down. Some experts estimate it will take a week or more before service returns to normal.

Simply pumping all the water that flooded New York’s subway stations and tunnels may take several days. Engineers will then have to assess the infrastructure’s structural soundness. Some fear the corrosive salt water may have also destroyed electrical switches, lights, and the power-conducting third rail.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Joseph J. Lhota said Tuesday, “The New York City subway system is 108 years old, but it has never faced a disaster as devastating as what we experienced last night.”

Even New York’s Stock Exchange remained closed Tuesday – its first multi-day, weather-related closure since 1888.

While most of the reports from several communities in New York City – such as Washington Heights, Midwood, Boro Park and Crown Heights – only weathered streets blocked by downed trees and power outages, others sustained a high percentage of homes with massive damage.

Shorefront areas in lower Brooklyn experienced catastrophe. “Two of my friends who lived in ranches lost everything they had,” said Ari Epstein, a resident of Manhattan Beach, where the water filled the streets up to six feet above street level. On Tuesday, after the water had receded, an oily muddy residue remained on every block. Virtually every house in the neighborhood, Epstein said, suffered extensive water damage, destroying furniture and myriads of expensive and sentimental household items. “It’s crazy, unbelievable.”

Rabbi Eisenstadt, who serves as rosh kollel of Manhattan Beach’s Community Kollel, said one waterfront house was on the market before the storm for $9.5 million. Now, “his whole property is destroyed.”

Even Hatzolah was powerless in the neighborhood. The rescue organization received at least two calls about electrical fires but could not respond, a Hatzolah member told The Jewish Press. The roads were simply inaccessible.

Sea Gate, Brooklyn sustained major damage.
(Photo credit: Dee Voch)

In nearby Sea Gate, an area that was similarly overwhelmed by water, one Jewish man survived the storm on top of a garbage truck, an official from the volunteer Chaverim organization reported. The man declined to evacuate when asked; by the time he changed his mind and started driving away, water blocked his path. Seeking higher ground, he spotted a nearby garbage truck and climbed on top of it. Freezing from the cold weather, he wrapped himself in his tallis, the Chaverim official said.

The water also filled parts of Woodmere and North Woodmere, on Long Island, where many homes were almost completely underwater and many residents had to be rescued by National Guard boats.

Summing up the conditions of the Five Towns, Gabriel Boxer, a resident of Hewlett, posted on Facebook: “The entire 5 Towns smells like salt water.”

In addition to the mass flooding and power outages, some suffered from storm-related fires. Rabbi Yossi Serebryanski said two cars exploded from downed electrical wires near his house in Canarsie, Brooklyn. Several other fires blazed on nearby blocks with fire trucks scrambling to get to them. Eventually, firemen took down several power lines to prevent further fires from erupting. Rabbi Serebryanski emptied his refrigerator and headed to relatives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

Fires also destroyed more than 100 homes in Breezy Point, Queens. Among them was the residence of Rep. Bob Turner (R-NY).

Bayswater, Queens also suffered greatly. Resident Annette Turner said she has no idea when she will be able to return home after the peninsula community was overwhelmed by water. Among the area’s victims was the Agudah of Bayswater, which was completely destroyed – just one week after the shul had finished repairing damage sustained in last year’s Hurricane Irene storm.

Rep. Maloney Presses Feds for Generators to Help Pump Out East River Subway Tunnels

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan/Queens), spoke with U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Ray LaHood today seeking urgent Federal disaster aid for the efforts of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to pump out tunnels under the East River.

“The power is out in the East River subway tunnels, and Con Ed and the MTA cannot predict when power will be restored. Portable generators are needed to power the pumps to empty the tunnels, and that’s what I’ve asked from both DOT Secretary LaHood and Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Fugate,” said Maloney.

“New York City took an enormous hit from this storm and our thoughts and prayers are with all who have been affected by this disaster. I am deeply grateful to all the first responders who braved the elements to help those in need— and to the workers now in the field working to restore normal conditions.

“The storm’s combination of wind and flooding caused the largest storm-related outage in Con Ed history and the worst conditions ever in the 108-year history of the New York subway system.

“Recovery efforts are now underway but it is going to take a significant period of time to repair this much damage. I will do everything I can to ensure that all available Federal assistance is forthcoming.”

Following their conversation, Congresswoman Maloney sent the following letter to Secretary LaHood:

Dear Secretary LaHood,

Thank you for speaking with me earlier today about providing emergency federal assistance from the Department of Transportation to the MTA to help deal with record flooding in the New York City subway system. Providing this emergency federal disaster funding will greatly aid in the recovery process, by covering the costs of generators needed to address flooding in the subway system, as well as other immediate needs.

As you know, the subway tunnels going under the East River serving, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx are totally flooded. MTA can’t ascertain damage or time it will take to repair until the tunnels are pumped out, but they can’t be pumped out because there is no power for pumps from Con Ed.

Sandy inflicted widespread and significant damage to our country’s largest transit system and I deeply appreciate your assistance as we recover from this disaster.

Sincerely,

Carolyn B. Maloney

Member of Congress

Nadler: Major Disaster Declaration for NY Will Aid in Rapid Recovery

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

On Tuesday, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) welcomed President Obama’s declaration of major disaster for New York in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The designation will allow for timely allocation of federal funds through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Nadler released the following statement:

“Hurricane Sandy hit New York and the Northeast hard last night and will complicate life in our region for the coming days. I am astounded at what I have seen in my own congressional district: flooding throughout Coney Island, Battery Park City, and other areas; widespread power outages; felled trees everywhere you look; and some very tragic fatalities. I am grateful to our local responders and laborers, who are doing a tremendous job on emergency response. And, through the President’s declaration of New York as a major disaster area, we will be able to immediately allocate FEMA funds to begin to repair the billions of dollars in damage locally and bring relief to New Yorkers whose lives have been turned upside down.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/nadler-major-disaster-declaration-for-ny-will-aid-in-rapid-recovery/2012/10/30/

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