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October 22, 2016 / 20 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Jerusalem Municipality’

The Virgin of Jerusalem

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

A Jerusalem Municipality decision recently angered Hareidi (Ultra-Orthodox) representatives of the city, according to a report by Tzipi Malcob.

The municipality decided to name a street “HaBetula meLudmir”, or in English, “The Virgin from Ludmir”.

As you can imagine, using the word “Virgin” in a Jerusalem street name might upset some sensitive religious sensibilities.

But before you decide that the Jerusalem Municipality is trying to upset its Hareidi citizens, here is a little background.

The Virgin of Ludmir was the name given to Chana Rachel Webermacher (1805-1888), born in the town of Ludmir, Volhynia (now the Ukraine).

Webermacher was an unusual person. At one point in her life she decided to take on many of the ritual practices usually reserved for men, such as wearing Talit and T’fillin (possibly even wearing 2 pairs of T’fillin).

Due to community pressure in Ludmir, she got married, but quickly got divorced. She may have even gotten married and quickly divorced a second time.

Webermacher gained the reputation as a holy woman, and in 1860, she made Aliyah and moved to Jerusalem.

But what made her most unusual, is that it appears that Webermacher actually held court in her Meah Shearim home, with her own Hassidim, receiving her followers, handing out blessings and presiding over a regular Shabbos Tish, just like any other Hassidic Admor.

It’s also known that Webermacher studied Kababla, taught Torah to women, and prayed with women at the Kotel and at Rachel’s Tomb.

In short, the first Hassidic feminist.

She died in 1888, and was buried on the Mount of Olives.

In order to relieve Hareidi displeasure at having the word “Virgin” in the street name, the committee decided to change the name of the street to “The Virgin of Ludmir – Chana Rachel Webermacher”.

The Hareidi representatives deemed that a respectable compromise.

What is not yet known is which Jerusalem neighborhood will welcome the Virgin.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Mughrabi Bridge Reopened to Chagrin of Jerusalem Municipality

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

The Mughrabi Bridge, the closure of which for safety renovations raised a maelstrom across the Arab world, has been reopened on Wednesday.


Jerusalem security forces stationed a fire truck near the bridge, to counterbalance the hazardousness which led to its closure.  The bridge will also reportedly be doused with a fire-retardant material.  A Jerusalem municipal engineer declared the bridge to the Temple Mount gate to be at risk of collapse and a fire hazard.


The Jerusalem Municipality published a statement on Tuesday criticizing Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s government for deciding to renovate the site, which mayor Nir Barkat feels should be demolished and rebuilt.


“The government’s helplessness in dealing with this hazardous and dilapidated nuisance at the heart of the Western Wall and entrance to the Temple Mount is regrettable,” the statement read.  Barkat said he views the Netanyahu decision as a hindrance to restoring proper use of the entrance to the Temple Mount, the only one currently available to non-Muslims.  There are currently 10 operational gates to the Temple Mount.


National Union MKs Uri Ariel and Aryeh Eldad used the bridge to ascend to the Temple Mount on Wednesday morning.  Ariel told reporters that he believes the State of Israel should be more assertive of its sovereignty over the Temple Mount.

Malkah Fleisher

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/mughrabi-bridge-reopened-to-chagrin-of-jerusalem-municipality/2011/12/14/

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