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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘fleisher’

Only in Israel: Subaru Sprocket Menorah

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Winter in Israel is coming and rain is predicted for tomorrow – Yay! And the first rain always reminds me to… tune up my Subaru in preparation for the weather.

So this morning I headed out to Talpiot, Jerusalem, where the Subaru garage has always served me well. I like the service, I like the personnel, and, well, I like Subaru. My late father A”H had a Subaru when we lived in Israel, when I was a boy, and then as today, Subaru has remained a dependable car.

There is yet another reason to respect Subaru. From 1969 till the late 80′s, Subaru was the only Japanese car company that sold to Israel. (I even read that Subaru brand was actually created for the Israeli market). The other, bigger companies were kowtowing to the Arab boycott till they got wise. So if you’re wondering why there are so many Subarus in Israel, you got your answer.

Anyway, as I was saying, I drove into the garage to do the routine winter tuneup, but this year it was Chanukah. Now, I have a personal proclivity – I want to see some Chanukah paraphernalia when I come into an establishment. Maybe it’s my time in the U.S. and seeing how the gentiles do Christmas, but I want Chanukah to be big.

But as I looked around, I saw no secretaries eating Sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts) and no mechanics spinning draidel. I pulled over Gabi, the head mechanic. “Gabi, where is Chanukah here?”  But Gabi is a proud Jew. He dragged me over to the waiting room and showed me this:

Wow! It turns out that Avi, a mechanic in the shop, has a penchant for making the coolest Chanukiahs (menorahs) ever, from old Subaru parts, and every evening, at the prescribed time, the whole garage lights the Subaru Sprocket Chanukiah.

Avi took out his phone and showed me the other Chanukiyot that he has made. He explained how he used a mechanical press and silicone glue to ensure that the various Chanukiah car parts are oil tight so that a wick can be placed directly and lit.

When I started taking pictures, all the mechanics were so happy to show their garage’s unique Chanukah contribution. I promised them that I would put up the photo in the Jewish Press as my contribution to the pirsumei nisa aspect, the publicizing of the miracle of Chanukah. But, really, the miracle of Chanukah is the miracle of Israel and the  love of good Jerusalem mechanics for the traditions of the Jewish people.

Well, Subaru, you have done it again. You stood up to tyranny in the past, and with this new Chanukiah you once again shine. Maybe one day I will be able to afford a new Forester…

Long live Subaru! Long live Chanukah!

Chanukah Lighting on the Mount of Olives

Sunday, December 1st, 2013

Living on the Mount of Olives has its perks. Sure, we have crazy traffic every Monday and Thursday mornings because of Kotel Bar Mitzvas, and no, we don’t have any nearby grocery stores so we have to stock up on big weekly shopping trips.

But there is nothing like lighting the Chanukia right across from the Temple Mount.

When I prepare my oil candles, I look over to the place that the first and second Temples stood, and I remember the fight which the Maccabees fought against the Syrian Greeks, and the Hebrew military/cultural victory which was broadcast when the Menorah was lit in purity once again. I also remember how almost three-hundred years later the Romans would sack the Temple overcoming the Great Revolt. And I remember how Bar Kochba and Rabbi Akiva fomented yet another revolution against mighty Rome only 60 years later, and took back Jerusalem for three more years before the final destruction of the Second Commonwealth.

From my window, the jewel Temple Mount is adorned by a golden crown. To the west, I see the Beit Knesset HaChurva, twice destroyed by Arabs – the second time being blown up with dynamite by the Jordanians in 1948. Now, once again, the great dome of the Churva stands tall and glorious atop the Old City. Even more to the west, I see the walls of ancient Jerusalem as rebuilt by Suleiman the Magnificent about 500 years ago. I even see the Leonardo Plaza hotel reminding me that there is a modern western Jerusalem as well.

To the east of the Temple Mount I see the continuation of my mountain – the Mount of Olives – the mountain of Jewish History. The voices of the massive cemetery answer ‘Amen’ as I light the Chanukia. Voices like the Prophet Zecharia who foresaw the rebuilding of the Third Temple, voices like Israel’s youngest fallen soldier: ten year old, private Nissim Gini, who is buried in a mass grave along with 47 other defenders of the Old City as it fell to the Jordanian legion in 1948. Voices like Rav Kook, Rav Goren, and even Eliezer Ben Yehuda who dedicated their lives to the birth of the Third Jewish commonwealth in the Land of Israel. They all answer ‘Amen’ as I light the Chanukia with my wife and children in the construction site know as Jerusalem.

Yet there are other voices, loud voices, that I hear, or am forced to hear, as I light the oil candles. These are the voices of the Fatah club right underneath my balcony. “Allah HuAkbar” is not a friendly invitation to serve God in the Holy City. No, the meaning behind that call is that in the name of God, Jewish sovereignty is to be snuffed out, and if I and my children are in the way, then we are to be snuffed out as well. The chant is meant to energize the adherents and strike fear into victims. But as I look unto the Fatah club through the light of Chankiah, I am filled with the determination of the Maccabees that we shall prevail over these forces of darkness.

And then there is the Temple Mount itself. In the misty night, the well placed lights illuminate the Golden Dome. On the one hand I am happy that at least the Temple Mount is respected with a memorable edifice. On the other hand, that very structure appears in every anti-Israel Jihadist propaganda. Indeed, as my friend Alex pointed out to me, our holiest place is the seed of greatest hate against us. Ironic.

Tears come down as I ponder the history of the self-sacrifice that this place engenders in our people. But I am heartened that we are part of a long chain of history, and that long chain will eventually lead, as promised, to victory. That victory will not mean subjugation of people, or the abrogation of freedom. It will mean the subjugation of evil men, and the abrogation of tyranny. Isn’t that what Chanukah is all about?

Why I Got Excited by a Jerusalem Manhole Cover

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

I had such a great Pesach! My family was in from the States, and for a brief time, and once again, we felt like a family (and then of course there was the ritual crying when everybody left.) My awesome Jerusalem apartment (rented) allows for everybody to crash while there are here, and thereby we fulfill the promise of Jerusalem being blessed with her children within her – Berach Banayich BeKirbech (Psalms 147;13)

While they were here, we got to act like tourists, that is, we got to see the amazing things that exist right under our noses. So we walked from the Mount of Olives (where I live) to Ir David (City of David Archaeological Park in Silwan, 15 minutes away) and had a tour there.

Here is the image that I wanted to share with you from that trip:

Ancient Manhole

No, this is not an alien face staring at you. If you look closely you will make out the outline of what is, amazingly, an ancient manhole cover from the Herodian period (Second Temple hayday) in Jerusalem. This actually is the face of a complex drainage system which ran below the city street and it caught rainwater and kept the street from puddling up. It is indented, concave, bowl shaped – it draws they water to itself and whisks it safely away.

You have to admit it, drainage is cool anywhere. But 2,000 year-old classy Jewish capital drainage makes me want to fall on my face and kiss the stones. My mothers and fathers walked here as they headed up and up from the City of David to the amazing Temple above. Here is what their ascent looked like – dunk at the pool at the bottom and just walk “Yashar Yasher” up the stairs:

City of David

Later that same day, I had yet another moving moment when I walked through the bustling river of people at the outdoor Mamilla shopping mall (avenue? promenade?)

Mamila

And in this modern marvel of shopping and lots-of-eating, where only a few years ago it was no-man’s land filled with dust and rocks, I saw this:

Modern Manhole

You guessed it; modern Jerusalem drainage.

And here’s what I thought: Ancient Jerusalem was destroyed by Rome, we were dispersed around the world, and now we are returning, reclaiming, and rebuilding. We have much more to do, but sometimes its nice to have a reminder from the past that our direction is right and that we are, indeed, ascending. And there is nothing like coming full circle on a full stomach!

Here are some French kids eating Matzah on their Eight Day Pesach – Yom Tov Sheini:

Kids Eating Matzah at Mamilla Mall

Paris is beautiful, but now Jerusalem is home again…

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Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/eye-on-zion/why-i-got-excited-by-a-jerusalem-manhole-cover/2013/04/04/

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