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December 19, 2014 / 27 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Kotel’

Tel Aviv Follows US Model and Bans School Trips to Western Wall

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

Tel Aviv has ordered a school to cancel Bar Mitzvah an eighth-grade Bar Mitzvah trip to the Western Wall in Jerusalem because of “the security situation in Jerusalem.”

City Hall explained that the cancellation of the Bar Mitzvah trip “includes tours of some of the places where violence has recently erupted.”

It turns out ”some places” means Ammunition Hill, the spokeswoman for Tel Aviv told The Jewish Press. The site is one of the most popular places for visitors because of a fierce and deadly battle there against the Jordanian army in the Six-Day War in 1967.

There have been no riots at Ammunition Hill. Nor there have been any Arabs throwing rocks there.

Someone in Tel Aviv must have looked at the map and noticed that Ammunition Hill is two or three minutes from the part of the route of the light rail train that Jerusalem Arabs have targeted on a daily basis. An Arab terrorist last week raced down the path next to a train and ran over anyone in his way, killing a three-month-old baby and another victim who died today.

That doesn’t make Ammunition Hill dangerous and more than it makes an ice hockey arena dangerous because two guys are fighting each other on the ice

If Ammunition Hill were not a safe place to visit, Jerusalem schools would not send dozens of children there every day.

But let’s say that the good citizens of Tel Aviv don’t know any better and are paranoid. The school tour no doubt wanted to include a visit to Ammunition Hill on the Bar Mitzvah trip, but why did it throw out the baby with the bath water and deprive the children of the Bar Mitzvah experience at the Western Wall instead of simply taking Ammunition Hill off of the schedule?

Tel Aviv’s reaction is as if it were in the Diaspora.

Hundreds of American Jews this past summer cancelled trips to Israel because of the war against Hamas, which attacked most of Israel with missiles, even though almost all of the rockets that reached the metropolitan area were intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile system.

The U.S. Embassy last week ordered its personnel not to travel on the light rail trains in Jerusalem because of the terrorist attack

The clueless and frightened ghetto-like reaction of the United States and Tel Aviv is the perfect response to encourage terrorists, who have two objectives. One is to kill Jews. The other is for Jews to go elsewhere – first Tel Aviv, and then the United States, or any other place where radical Islam has not yet taken over.

Cancelling a school trip to the Western Wall because of one nearby trouble spot makes as much sense as Jerusalem’s banning traveling to Tel Aviv because of fatal accidents on Tel Aviv’s inner city Ayalon highway or Mafia murders in broad daylight that often catch innocent bystanders in crossfire or simply target the wrong people.

Jerusalem’s deputy mayor Rachel Azaria called Tel Aviv’s ban “outrageous.”

Thousands of Jerusalem children and adults travel every day to the Western Wall. There also are visits to Ammunition Hill without incident. There is no requirement to take the light rail train..

Ammunition Hill in quieter times.

Ammunition Hill in quieter times.

Women of the Wall Smuggle Tiny Torah Scroll to Western Wall

Friday, October 24th, 2014

The Reform-led Women of the Wall group managed to sneak a miniature Torah scroll to the Western Wall Friday morning and used it celebrate the Bat Mitzvah of a girl who had to use a magnifying to read the letters.

An attempt earlier in the morning to enter the Western Wall with a regular-sized Torah scroll was stopped by officials. The Western Wall is operated as an orthodox synagogue, where women have no requirement to attend and where they have no obligation to read from the Torah.

The WoW group’s numbers have dwindled to only a few dozen in their monthly spectacle on Rosh Chodesh, the beginning of a new month that this month falls on Friday and Shabbat.

The Torah scroll that they smuggled this morning was only 11 inches high, including the handles. WoW said the scroll was ‘kosher,” meaning that it meets all requirement of Jewish law, and that it was loaned to them by someone whose ancestor had taken it from Lithuania 200 years ago.

There is no prohibition from using a Torah scroll that is so tiny that it requires a magnifying glass to read, but it is not known if the scroll has been in use in recent years. If it is not read during the year, there is no way of knowing whether there is no deterioration of even one letter, which would make it unfit for reading.

Even if the scroll is kosher, the WoW”s constant demand to read a Torah scroll at the Western Wall Plaza when rabbis already have agreed to allow the women to use a Torah scroll in another section of the same Wall but in a less visible area, makes a mockery of itself.

The women no doubt were all excited over themselves for being able to “fool” the rabbis, the ones who are real rabbis, and call Sasha Lutt, the daughter of a Russian immigrant to read from the scroll, with a magnifying glass.

They certainly were wildly singing Hallel, consisting of several Psalms recited on Rosh Chodesh, with every muscle in their mouths. They surely were dancing in celebration, but in celebration of what – that they tricked the rabbis and got some more publicity or in celebration that they were praying? That they felt so much holier than yesterday?

We will let God answer those questions, but the extravaganza does not absolve the WoW from the judgment of others, such as a counter organization called Women for the Wall.

“I find the use of a Sefer Torah as a PR prop extremely painful,” said Leah Aharoni, co-founder of the group. “The Sages have taught us not to use the Torah as a spade with which to dig, yet this is exactly what is happening here – an insensitive group co-opting religion to promote a political agenda.”

I have repeatedly written that the Women of the Wall should be allowed to make fools out of themselves. They are not innocent and harmless people, but they harm themselves more than anyone else.

Arabs Attack Bus to Western Wall as UN’s Ban Laments Damage in Gaza

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

Arabs Attack Bus Carrying Israelis, Tourists to Western Wall

Arabs in Jerusalem attacked Israelis and foreign tourists traveling in a bus on the way to the Western Wall Tuesday morning.

The attackers hurled rocks at the vehicle, smashing the windshield of the bus in a deliberate attempt to kill the driver and send the bus into a fatal crash.

A number of similar road terror attacks have successfully murdered and wounded numerous drivers and/or their passengers in the past.

Miraculously, this morning’s attempt failed to physically harm anyone, although passengers were traumatized. Police immediately began scanning the area for suspects but no arrests have yet been made.

The attack occurred as United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was making headlines gasping over the destruction wrought by Hamas terrorists’ use of Gazans as human shields this summer during Operation Protective Shield.

Ban lamented the damage inflicted by IAF pilots, which came in response to incessant rocket and missile attacks on millions of Israeli civilians by Hamas and allied terrorists.

An estimated 20,000 homes were heavily damaged or destroyed due to terrorists embedding their ordnance, rocket launchers and strategic facilities among residential areas.

The land mass of Gaza is approximately that of New York City. The enclave’s population of about 1.8 million Palestinian Authority Arabs is concentrated in several areas where the land is good for agriculture, leaving numerous open areas.

The UN leader called the situation “beyond description” but also announced that Israel had agreed to allow an initial truckload of construction materials to enter Gaza.

The announcement comes despite the hard evidence that Hamas misused millions of dollars’ worth of construction materials previously trucked in for humanitarian purposes. Instead the terrorist group channeled the supplies to build a honeycomb of terrorist tunnels fully equipped for military use beneath the region and its borders, leading into both Israel and Egypt.

International donors pledged $5.4 billion on Sunday at a special donor conference in Cairo for reconstruction of the enclave. The sum exceeded the request of $4 billion submitted by the PA unity government for the purpose.

He Was A Great Rabbi, A Soldier & He Liberated Jerusalem!

Friday, October 10th, 2014

As I have done for the past 25 years, I spent the holiest day of the year in the holiest place in the world.

In 1989 my father took me up to pray with a small group of men and women who got together on Yom Kippur. At first I was not very impressed, as the room we were praying in seemed to actually be a makeshift synagogue with a small ark and an even smaller Torah scroll. Everything looked quite bland and even the Rabbi leading the prayer looked like your average Hassidic Rabbi with a long grey beard and a big black hat.

It was only after my father told me to go look out the window did I grasp the uniqueness of where I was. Below is the view from the side room of what is known as the “Machkame”. It is ABOVE the Western Wall!

The “Machkame” was built during the Mamluk Kingdom (1329). The building held a synagogue and a Jewish study hall that looked over the Temple Mount. Later, during the Islamic occupation of the the Land of Israel, Jews were prohibited from praying or studying there and that prohibition lasted till 1967.

The Western Wall is holy to Jews only because it is the last remaining wall that surrounded the Temple.

It is what’s on the other side of the Western Wall that is really holy and where the Jewish Temple once stood.

It is no coincidence that the famous Mosque in Jerusalem with the gold dome is also called Bayit-AL-Muqqadas, which in Hebrew means a house built on the Temple!

This was the view from the “Machkame” window. 

Once I understood where I was standing, a feeling of total awe took over. The total jubilation and happiness was then over-shadowed by sadness as I watched Muslims kick around a soccer ball in an area that is so sacred to the Jewish people that only the Jewish High Priest was allowed to enter and only on Yom Kippur – and now Muslims are playing soccer there?

As I stood staring, my father gently moved my head to look at the “average” looking Rabbi who was leading the Yom Kippur prayer. “The Rabbi’s name is Rabbi Shlomo Goren”, my father explained, “he is one of the giants of the Torah world in Israel and one of the heroes of the 1967 Six Day War.”

The truth is, Rabbi Goren was NOT your average person or in fact not even your average Rabbi! He was an IDF paratrooper who fought in three wars and was the Rabbi who liberated the Old City of Jerusalem, Hebron and the Cave of the Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) as well as the burial site of Rachel (wife of Jacob).

Rabbi Goren Blowing The Shofar for the first time At The Kotel in ’67

Muslims prohibited Jews from blowing the Shofar

Rabbi Goren with the IDF Paratroopers who liberated Jerusalem in ’67

Rabbi Goren after liberating the Temple Mount in ’67

It was then that my awe and admiration was turbo boosted into a whole other dimension! For the first time in 2,000 years a Jew sounded the Shofar on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. If this is not prophecy in our days, I don’t know what is!

Then there was that little Torah we read from. As I put my arms around it, I felt a bolt of spiritual lighting pierce the deepest part of my soul. It was as if I was transported back in time and could actually see and feel where this Torah has been.

Clean Up the Wall

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Western Wall’s employees, remove thousands of handwritten notes placed between the ancient stones of the Kotel, the Western Wall, Judaism’s second holiest site, in the Old City of Jerusalem.

The operation is carried out twice each year: before the Passover festival in the spring and at the Jewish New Year in the fall.

The prayer supplications will be buried on Har HaZeitim (the Mount of Olives).

Moshe Feiglin: Netanyahu Has Conceded Temple Mount [video]

Friday, September 5th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has conceded sovereignty over the Temple Mount to Jordan, and the holy site is being overrun by jihadists, Likud MP and Jewish Leadership chairman Moshe Feiglin wrote on his Facebook page Thursday.

The Prime Minister announced on Thursday that following protests from Jordan over a new bridge for non-Muslims leading from the Western Wall Plaza to the Temple Mount, he ordered its removal.

His office stated, “There was a structure built without proper authority; there is no real need for this structure. When the Jordanians approached us, we of course agreed. There was no objective reason to have it there in first place. Everyone understands the sensitivity of the area and there’s no logical reason to add extra sources of friction.”

MK Moshe Feiglin wrote on his Facebook page on Thursday, “About half a year ago I submitted a Knesset query to PM Netanyahu on the topic of Israel’s loss of sovereignty on the Temple Mount and its transfer to Jordan. This query has not yet been addressed.

“But yesterday, it became clear that PM Binyamin Netanyahu is transferring the sovereignty on the Temple Mount to Jordan in practice.

“The only approach for non-Muslims to the Temple Mount is via the Mugrabim Gate, overlooking the Western Wall. Following an earthquake, the original approach to the gate collapsed in 2004. The government had planned to build a new stone bridge to the Mugrabim Gate, but capitulated to world pressure and sufficed with a rickety, temporary wooden bridge.

“Engineers from the Jerusalem Municipality declared the temporary bridge unsafe, and over the past few weeks a new, safer wooden bridge has been built under the older bridge. Jordan, however, demanded that the bridge be removed and yesterday, work to dismantle it began.

“This capitulation to the Jordanian demand and the dismantling of a safety bridge that was erected over the Western Wall Plaza (it is not even on the Temple Mount) testifies to the fact that the PM has indeed conceded Israeli sovereignty on the Temple Mount.

“When ISIS and Hamas flags fly freely on the Temple Mount and when the Prime Minister transfers sovereignty on the Mount to radical Islam, Israel’s hold on the Negev, Galil and mixed Jewish-Arab cities is lost.

“ISIS flags can already be seen in Sachnin and Taibeh, Arab towns in northern Israel. The PM’s demonstration of weakness encourages Israel’s enemies in the south and north, infusing them with hope to continue to fight us.”

Israel Researchers Discover Some of Western Wall Stones Wearing Away

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

Erosion in fine-grained limestones at the Western Wall is up to 100 times faster than other stones that have almost not eroded at all in 2,000 years ago stones, according to Hebrew University researchers.

The Kotel is not in danger of collapsing, but some of the stones have receded by several inches.

The erosion of some stones is good news for people placing prayer notes in the wall’s cracks and crevices, but presents a problem for engineers concerned about the structure’s stability.

To calculate the erosion in the different kinds of limestone that make up the Western Wall, a remnant of the ancient wall that surrounded the courtyard of the Holy Temple, researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem used a laser scan to create an accurate three-dimensional computer model.

As reported in an article accepted for publication in the journal Geology, researchers Dr. Simon Emmanuel and PhD student Mrs. Yael Levenson found that stones made up of relatively large crystals were resistant to wear, so that they were almost unchanged in the 2000 years since they were originally put in place. By contrast, limestone with very small crystals (about one thousandth of a millimeter in size) eroded far more quickly.

In some cases, extreme erosion rates in fine-grained micritic limestone blocks were up to 100 times faster than the average rates estimated for the coarse-grained limestone blocks. In some places, these stones had receded by at least a foot, potentially weakening the overall structure.

To understand what causes the two types of rock to behave differently, the researchers collected samples from ancient quarries thought to have supplied the stones for the Second Temple. Using a powerful atomic force microscope, they were able to see how the rocks disintegrated when they came into contact with water. During the experiments on rocks made up of small crystals, tiny particles rapidly detached from the surface of the rock. These experiments simulated the way in which rain water interacts with limestone in nature.

Observed for the first time in Dr. Emmanuel’s lab, this process of accelerated erosion can explain why some rocks are more weathered than others. While mechanical weathering is thought to act on blocks and chips of rock at the visible outcrop scale, the researchers showed for the first time that chemo-mechanical erosion extends down to the tiny micron scale. The findings could have important implications for regional and global carbonate weathering.

“Understanding such weathering processes could help guide the development of effective preservation techniques,” according to Dr. Emmanuel.“ For example, it may be possible to develop materials that slow the rate of erosion by binding the tiny crystals in the rock together. Advanced engineering techniques like this should assist efforts to protect not only the Western Wall, but other cultural heritage sites in Israel and around the world.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israel-researchers-discover-some-of-western-wall-stones-wearing-away/2014/08/12/

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