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October 27, 2016 / 25 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘fire’

Knesset Committee Convenes to Prepare for Lag B’Omer Mt. Meron Fire Festival

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

The Knesset Public Petitions Committee headed by MK Rabbi Yisrael Eichler (UTJ) convened Wednesday to evaluate preparations for the big pilgrimage to Mt. Meron next week. At a March committee meeting on the same topic, concerns were raised about the lack of cooperation among the organizers, and the lack of funds, lights, roads, parking places, and benches, to name but a few problems. Last night the committee convened again to receive answers and summarize the preparations for Lag B’Omer in Meron. The CEO of the Ministry of Religious Affairs, the CEO of the National Center for the development of holy places, police officials, representatives of the Ministry of Transport and Hatzalah volunteers attended.

Committee chairman Eichler opened the meeting, saying, “This year the hearings were extremely optimistic. Unlike previous years, when everyone complained and threw the responsibility on the shoulders of others, this year we received written responses and constant updates of the performance in the field. Concerns were raised at the previous hearing. This time there is a feeling of freshness and acceptance of responsibility and cooperation that the preparations have been better organized, and I hope not to be proven wrong.”

Oded Plus, CEO of the Ministry of Religious Affairs said, “In past years the holy places center could not start work because they had debts of millions of shekels. We made sure to cover all the debts from previous years. A team led by myself and involving all the relevant factors formulated a budget of 25 million shekel ($6.46 million). I’ve been told that at this stage of the game preparations have never been up to where they are today.”

“We put up light poles on Route 89 and Route 866 and many more roads that were not properly lighted. We expanded the parking lots significantly,” Plus continued. “We added benches, drinking facilities and rescue centers in all the parking lots. All the tasks were carried out and we were on schedule. I’m optimistic. But we have to be careful. Certainly there may be problems. We have tried to anticipate them and prevent them. We have learned a lot of lessons from the previous years.”

Rabbi Yosef Schwinger, CEO of the National Center for the development of the holy places said, “This is the first year that we had a set budget two months before the event. In the past, we emphasized the people as a whole, this year we put an emphasis on the individual and the family. There will be dozens of drinking stations manned by multilingual stewards, dozens of shaded areas, hundreds of toilets connected to a sewer, and water infrastructure. We have established a special area for women to drink and rest. There are 12 diaper changing and nursing rooms with attendants on hand to help. We went down to the details in terms of individual treatment.”

Senior director of public transportation at the Transportation Ministry Dror Ganon reported that starting next Wednesday afternoon, May 18, busses would start to run from 14 destinations across the country, including two new subsidized destinations in Beitar Illit and Modiin Illit. He added, “Last year we finished the event with 7,000 trips and upwards of 300 thousand passengers. This year we expect an increase of 15 percent. We almost reached the maximum capacity of buses in Israel! 80% of the people use public transportation to get to Meron. We take almost 1,500 buses from private companies. There will also be a lot of stations leaving  the major cities, in Jerusalem itself there will be 7 stations. There are nearly 250 officials routing transport for the event.”

Officer Yossi Chemo, commander of police operations in the north, said, “We plan on deploying 5,000 police officers throughout the week in Meron. There will be 12 ambulances of Ezer M’Zion and another four of Lev Malka. There will also be volunteers of United Hatzalah and MDA. We ask the public to help them in their work and to obey their instructions.”

David Israel

Light a Fire, Go to Jail

Monday, May 16th, 2016

The Fire and Rescue Commissioner issued an emergency edict Monday (May 16, 2016) under the authority of the Ministry of Public Security, banning all campfires in the State of Israel.

It is forbidden to light a campfire – any fire in a field outside – from 9 am to 7 pm in Israel. The penalty for violating the ban is a fine of NIS 70,000 or up to six months in jail.

Campfire ban May 16 2016 Ministry of Public Security

Campfire ban May 16 2016 Ministry of Public Security

Hundreds of fires broke out around the country Sunday due to the hot and dry weather conditions in Israel. Approximately 400 fires broke out, the head of the Israel firefighters’ operations division told Israel Radio.

Firefighters battled a blaze near Moshav Mata near Beit Shemesh, and another one near the Jerusalem neighborhood of Pisgat Ze’ev on Sunday evening, the latter due to a firebombing attack by Arab terrorists.

Fires broke out at Kibbutz Harel near Latrun, and at the village of Ajur, also near Beit Shemesh, as well as at Kfar Yona, east of Netanya.

The heat wave is expected to continue at least until Tuesday.

Hana Levi Julian

Massive Brush Fire in Southern Hebron Hills Caused by IDF Flare

Sunday, May 15th, 2016

Written by Michael Bachner

A massive brush fire ignited by an IDF flare raged overnight Saturday in the Mount Hebron region, endangering residential homes in the Jewish community of Negohot.

At first light on Sunday, four firefighting planes dropped water on the blaze to assist the teams on the ground. Several hours later the fire was extinguished, without causing any injuries.

According to a Mount Hebron spokesperson, the IDF lit a flare to illuminate the area following a report of a suspected terrorist infiltration into the community. The flare helped soldiers conduct a search of the area, which did not yield any results.

However, the flare then caused the massive fire that damaged agricultural fields and several industrial buildings.

The brush fire started around 2 a.m. at a warehouse and workshop near the community, situated in the western Mount Hebron region. Eight firefighting teams arrived in the area to prevent the fire from reaching the residential houses.

Dozens of families from two neighborhoods were evacuated from their homes after the winds directed the fire towards them.

Firefighters worked all night to battle the blaze, and at dawn four firefighting planes were sent to the area to help gain control over the fire. By morning the forces succeeded in gaining control and the fire was extinguished shortly thereafter.

The evacuated residents returned to their homes and the children went to school as normal.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Gazan Child Burned in Fire Treated at Israeli Hospital as Hamas and PA Trade Blame

Monday, May 9th, 2016

By Joshua B. Dermer/TPS

Ramat Gan (TPS) – A Gazan child with severe burns is being treated in an Israeli hospital after a devastating house fire in Gaza took the lives of his three young siblings on Saturday. The tragedy has shaken the Gaza Strip and spurred angry finger pointing among the two dominant terrorist factions, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority’s Fatah.

Ahmed Al-Hendi, 7, was taken to Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer Hospital in Ramat Gan on Sunday evening, a spokeswoman for the hospital confirmed to Tazpit Press Service (TPS), following the fire caused by candles used during a local power shortage.

Ahmed was severely burned in the fire, which tragically claimed the lives of his three young siblings—three-year-old Yusra, two-year-old Rahaf, and two-month-old Nasir.

“We were at the beach and came home to find there was no electricity again,” Mohammed Al-Hendi, the children’s father, told Al Jazeera at the funeral. “They were sleeping, and I went out to bring dinner. When I came home, they told me my children were burned alive.”

Ahmed will have to undergo multiple therapies before making a full recovery, though he is no longer in critical condition, Sheba Medical Center Spokeswoman Adi Cohen told TPS.

At the funeral procession, Hamas leaders cited the energy crisis in the Gaza Strip and placed the blame on Israel as well as on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s administration. Hamas accused the Palestinian Authority of making the power outages worse by imposing taxes on fuel for Gaza’s power plant, which has caused Gaza residents to spend 18 hours a day without power.

A press release by Hamas Spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri accused Abbas and the Palestinian Authority of hoarding electricity for themselves. The PA, meanwhile, dismissed the Hamas charges as “false accusations.”

“Their guilt can only be erased when they exempt Gaza from fuel taxes and consent to new Israeli feeder lines,” Abu Zuhri said.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

IDF Responds to Fire from the Gaza Strip

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

The IDF Spokresperson’s office released the following statement: Overnight, in response to the ongoing attacks against Israeli forces, an IAF aircraft targeted four Hamas terrorist infrastructure sites in the northern Gaza Strip.

Since May 3rd, 2016, Hamas has repeatedly fired and launched mortar rounds and rockets against forces during operational defensive activities adjacent to the security fence with the Gaza Strip.

Lt. Col. Peter Lerner IDF spokesman: “Our efforts to locate and destroy the Hamas terror tunnel network are our main priority due to the serious threat to the lives and wellbeing of Israeli civilians. The IDF does not, and will not, tolerate any attempt to threaten the lives of the people of Southern Israel and is determined to continue to foil any attempt to do so. Hamas’ continued aggression jeopardizes the people’s mutual interest and right to a calm and quiet normal life, our activities are intended to restore the quiet and negate the threat.”

Jewish Press Staff

Russian Orthodox ‘Holy Fire’ Flown to Russia from Jerusalem

Sunday, May 1st, 2016

A special aircraft carrying a flame of “Holy Fire” from Jerusalem landed at Moscow’s Vnukovo airport Saturday, TASS reported. Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Apostle Andrew the First Called Foundation Vladimir Yakunin delivered a capsule containing the fire to a Moscow Cathedral for the Easter service officiated by Patriarch Kirill, the head of Russia’s Orthodox Church.

The Holy Fire is described by Russian Orthodox Christians as a miracle that occurs every year at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on Great Saturday, or Holy Saturday, the day preceding Russian Orthodox Easter.

Traditionally, hundreds of believers meet the fire carrying delegation at Vnukovo airport, to bring the fire to parishes in Moscow, then to the Moscow region and finally to other Russian regions. The 2016 “Holy Fire” will be distributed among believers in thousands of the Russian Orthodox Church’s parishes within the country and beyond its boundaries.

The Foundation of “the Apostle Andrew the First Called” will deliver some “Holy Fire” to Mount Athos, in Northern Greece, to mark the 1,000-year-old presence of Russians on the Holy Mountain.

Andrew the Apostle, also known as Saint Andrew, or the First-called, was a Christian Apostle and the elder brother of Peter. The name “Andrew” was common among the Jews, Christians, and other Hellenized people of Judea. No Hebrew or Aramaic name appears to match it. According to Orthodox tradition, the apostolic successor to Saint Andrew was Patriarch Bartholomew I.

The Foundation has been organizing a trip to Israel as part of its pilgrim program “Ask Peace for Jerusalem,” which has been operating since 2003. In 1992 the “Holy Fire” was airlifted to Moscow from Israel for the first time in the history of modern Russia.


Forged By Fire

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” Those famous words, made immortal by the incomparable Charles Dickens, perfectly encapsulated my experiences during my very first Pesach as a newly married woman.

On the one hand, I was still dewy-eyed and euphoric that I had found the man of my dreams. I considered myself the luckiest girl in the world, and admittedly was certain that said world revolved around me, but reality set in almost immediately. In a wicked twist of irony my freshly minted chassan went from the week of sheva brachos with his adoring kallah, to a week of shiva for his beloved father.

The Ferris wheel that we call life had precipitously dropped us from the dizzying heights, where we appeared to command everything within our vast birds-eye line of vision, to a shuddering stop on the unyielding ground below. We had no choice but to put one foot in front of the other and deal with what lay ahead.

Our chasunah was held in the most propitious of times, the joyous, triumphant month of Adar. The untimely petirah of my father-in-law, a mere week and a half later, forever altered that month of good fortune into a bittersweet mixture of elation and loss.

That first Pesach, a few short but highly turbulent weeks after our wedding, was undeniably the most excruciatingly difficult Pesach of our lives. As newlyweds, we owned virtually nothing and were renting a furnished dollhouse apartment, which we effortlessly kept immaculate, so our cleaning and preparation were minimal indeed.

To make an easy-as-pie Yom Tov even more stress-free, we split Pesach that year between my family and my husband’s. Mine was the Pesach I had grown up with, blue milchig dishes and English countryside pattern fleishig, simple and no-frills, yet as comfortable and familiar as a much-worn leather glove. But when we boarded the plane for my husband’s childhood home, we entered a house still shrouded in mourning and profound sadness. Even the beauty of this wonderful Yom Tov, the pinnacle of our past and future redemption, did little to lift the cloud of gloom that had descended on that home, and by extension the entire city.

My father-in-law had been larger than life. Though not a physically tall and imposing figure, he was a legend in his time, the backbone of both his family and community. He possessed a very rare and potent combination of determination, daring, and drive that allowed him to achieve incredible feats while others stood by and watched in awe. He virtually singlehandedly transformed the chinuch world, establishing day schools in the United States as well as in far-flung regions where none had previously existed. His magnetic, dynamic personality and unparalleled charisma opened countless locked doors and paved the way for unprecedented accomplishments.

He graciously devoted his life and his very being to his family and his passionate service of Klal Yisrael, and with much siyata dishmaya, he was able to move mountains and forever change the landscape of Torah education. Then suddenly he was incomprehensibly gone, his family and community left bereft and shaken.

That was the juncture of our first Pesach together, when the towering persona who had not just led the Pesach Seder, but personified the majesty of that very holiday, was noticeably missing from his throne at the head of the table. Thus was I, the young innocent bride, initiated into my new family, and at the same time, posthumously introduced to the legendary father-in-law whom I unfortunately had barely had the opportunity to meet.

The heartbreak and searing pain were impossible to escape. Every face reflected the agony and devastation. It felt more like the tragic destruction and exile of Tisha B’Av than the exultation and redemption of Pesach. It was as if the kinah of Tisha B’Av, which contrasts those two hallmarks of the Jewish calendar, decreed that our geulah from servitude and oppression become cruelly juxtaposed within its verses. Somehow, our “Bitzaisi Mi’Mitzrayim” more closely resembled the dual Tisha B’Av tragedy of “Bitzaisi Mi’Yerushalayim.”

This Pesach will mark three-and-a-half decades since that somber, heart-wrenching Yom Tov. The sense of pain and loss has not entirely faded away during the intervening years. Time has not in fact healed all the proverbial wound but it has helped dull their acute sting.

A couple of new generations have been born in the interim, while other beloved members of our clan have gone on to the World of Truth. There are countless new faces, new lives, new relationships, and new names, but one very special name, the name of our prematurely departed patriarch and role model, appears again and again in our family roster. Each of his children proudly named a child for him, and a number of great-grandchildren already bear his revered name as well.

His timeless legacy lives on in the scores of direct descendants, who faithfully follow in the path of Torah and Yiras Shamayim that he heroically blazed, in the many thousands of talmidim he impacted through his great personal sacrifice and boundless love, and in the renowned educational institution that proudly bears his illustrious name.

Though dozens of beautiful and memorable Pesachs have passed since that fateful chag thirty-five years ago, the memory of that tragic Yom Tov is forever engrained in our family’s collective memory. And just as the Divine redemption of His people from the ‘kur habarzel’’ of Mitzrayim forged Am Yisrael into Hashem’s nation, our personal ‘kur habarzel,’ many centuries later at that very same time of the year, helped mold our own family into the growing, thriving, beautiful entity it is today.

Yehi zichro baruch.

Naama Klein

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/jewish-columns/lessons-in-emunah/forged-by-fire/2016/04/21/

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