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January 20, 2017 / 22 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘neighborhood’

Rescuing My Home And Neighborhood From The Haifa Fires

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

At 9 a.m. on November 24, I began to smell smoke and the smell of things burning. Simultaneously I began to receive calls on my United Hatzalah emergency phone about a large fire outside of the Paz Bridge, located near the central fire and rescue building in Haifa.

I raced out of my house on my ambucycle to respond to the emergency calls that were emanating from the nearby Givat Oranim neighborhood.

I arrived to Givat Oranim and was nearly paralyzed with fear as I saw the fire climb the hill toward the east, where the neighborhood of Ramot Sapir is located. The image was a hard one to stomach, even for experienced rescue personnel. When a large fire grabs hold of the neighborhood where you grew up, and you watch your childhood memories go up in flames, it is very tough to watch. As the fire drew closer to my own house it became that much harder. I didn’t believe the fire would get as far as my own home.

Later in the morning the smoke began billowing toward my own neighborhood. I raced home, turned off the gas lines and all the electricity, and closed the gas balloons. I called my wife, Tal, and asked her to leave work and return home. She picked up our daughter Leah from kindergarten and headed home.

At that point I still didn’t believe there was a direct threat to our house and our neighborhood, but people began to evacuate, carrying some of their belongings with them. I received more emergency calls. I responded to one such call together with Moshe Adler, the chapter head of United Hatzalah Haifa region. We found a 40-year-old man who was unconscious and having severe respiratory problems. No ambulances were available as the entire area was jammed up with traffic and closed off.

Another medic, Yigal Maor, joined us. We checked the unconscious individual for any other physiological ailments and then gave him high flow oxygen. Yigal put the patient in his own car while Moshe and I attempted to clear a path for his evacuation to the Carmel Medical Center. The patient needed to be intubated and receive respiratory assistance immediately. After a very difficult ride we were able to get the patient to the shock treatment center at the hospital.

It was approaching 1 p.m. I saw that the valley by the street where I live was burning. This was when I understood the danger to my own home and the homes of my neighbors. I raced to my house and what greeted me will never leave my mind. Our backyard was ablaze. The storage unit, which we had just built the week before and filled with everything we couldn’t find room for in our house, was burning.

I grabbed the garden hose and attempted to put out the fire there as well as the fire in our neighbors’ backyards in order to prevent the flames from advancing to our houses. I fought the fire until the water pressure began to dwindle. The water main to our house had begun to melt due to the intense heat.

A short time later, four other United Hatzalah volunteers arrived to help put out the flames that threatened my home and the homes of my neighbors. At 4:30, firefighters were finally able to arrive and they quenched what was left of the flames. About an hour and a half later, the firefighters had finally managed to put out the fires threatening our neighborhood.

I headed over to the mobile command center that had been set up by United Hatzalah in Haifa. The director, Moshe Teitelbaum, asked whether my family needed anything and offered us a place to stay. The organization replaced my depleted medical equipment and gave my ambucycle a tune-up on the spot. I was invited to eat, something I hadn’t done all day long. I ate a few slices of pizza and then headed to my family at the safe location to which they’d been evacuated.

We couldn’t sleep that night, thinking of all the medics and emergency personnel still involved in the battle for our beautiful city of Haifa, of the fire that refused to be put out, of our green forests that provided us with so much, and of our neighbors who lost everything dear to them.

The next morning I went with a fellow EMT to see the house. The sight was a very difficult one for all of us. The blackened rooms bore down on us. As our neighbors began to return home we all took solace in the unity of our tragedy and began to work together to figure out who to call and how to handle the situation. How do we rebuild what was lost? How do we restore water and electricity to our homes? Where could people stay in the interim?

My friends from United Hatzalah never ceased to call and offer assistance. Fellow EMS personnel provided food and blankets for Shabbat. People from as far away as the Golan and Jerusalem offered us places to stay for the weekend. We were overwhelmed with love and attention.

While we are still crying from the tragedy, our eyes are somewhat dried from knowing we will not have to go through this alone. We have an entire organization – 3,000 volunteers and staffers – standing behind me, my family, and my neighbors. When United Hatzalah is involved, no one is alone, and I am incredibly thankful for that.

We have begun restoring our homes to what they were, and I wish to thank all those who stood with us in our time of crisis.

Doron Shafir

Neighborhood Bully [Lyrics]

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

Neighborhood Bully – Bob Dylan

Well, the neighborhood bully, he’s just one man His enemies say he’s on their land They got him outnumbered, ’bout a million to one He got no place to ‘scape to, no place to run He’s the neighborhood bully.

The neighborhood bully, he just lives to survive He’s criticized and condemned for being alive Not supposed to fight back and have thick skin Supposed to lay down and die when his door is kicked in He’s the neighborhood bully.

Neighborhood bully been driven out of every land He’s wandered the earth an exiled man Seen his family scattered, his people hounded and torn He’s always on trial for just being born He’s the neighborhood bully.

Well, he knocked out a lynch mob, he was criticized Old women condemned him, said he should apologize Then he destroyed a bomb factory, he ‘n’ nobody was glad The bombs were meant for him. He was supposed to feel bad He’s the neighborhood bully.

Well, the chances are against it, and the odds are slim That he’ll live by the rules that the world makes for him ‘Cause there’s a noose at his neck and a gun at his back And a licence to kill him given out to every maniac He’s the neighborhood bully.

Well, he got no allies to really speak of What he gets he must pay for, he don’t get it out of love He buys obsolete weapons and he won’t be denied But no one sends flesh and blood to fight by his side He’s the neighborhood bully.

Well, he’s surrounded by pacifists who all want peace They pray for it nightly that the bloodshed must cease Now, they wouldn’t hurt a fly. To hurt one they would weep They lay and they wait for this bully to fall asleep He’s the neighborhood bully. Every empire that’s enslaved him is gone Egypt and Rome, even the great Babylon He’s made a garden of paradise in the desert sand In bed with nobody, under no one’s command He’s the neighborhood bully.

Now his holiest books have been trampled upon No contract he signed was worth what was it written on He took the crumbs of the world and he turned it into wealth Took sickness and disease and he turned it into health He’s the neighborhood bully.

What’s anybody indebted to him for? Nothing, they say. He just like to cause war Pride and prejudice; superstition indeed They wait for this bully like a dog waits to feed Neighborhood bully.

What has he done to wear so many scars?
Does he change the course of rivers? Does he pollute the moon and stars?
Neighborhood bully, standing on a hill
Running out the clock, time standing still
Neighborhood bully.

Video of the Day

Neo-Nazi Leaflets Hit Jews in Florida Neighborhood [video]

Monday, September 26th, 2016

Local families in Mandarin, a neighborhood of Jacksonville, Florida, woke up Sunday morning to discover hate-mongering neo-Nazi fliers on their doorsteps, specifically targeting Jews, News4JAX reported.

Local residents have contacted News4JAX after finding these fliers on their driveways Sunday, on the week before Rosh Hashanah, followed by Yom Kippur. Those same residents said this was not the first time they have faced such trash outside their homes.

One neighborhood family called police after discovering the flier, only to be told that police had already launched an investigation, after another neighbor called with a complaint about the same flier.

The flier, adorned with a swastika, identifies itself as coming from the National Socialist Movement headquartered in Detroit, Michigan.

That complaining family that spoke to the TV station is Jewish, and wishes to remain anonymous, but they want the authorities to send a message that these hateful fliers are unacceptable.

“It makes me mad,” said a family member. “It’s disgusting. For something like this to happen in 2016 at this point in time with everything going on. America was built on all types of people coming here, and for this to come up it’s disheartening.”

David Israel

10 Families Evicted From Kiryat Arba Neighborhood

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016

By Andrew Friedman/TPS

Border Police forces evicted 10 families and demolished their homes in the Mitzpe Avichai community in Kiryat Arba on Tuesday. Residents reported that hundreds of soldiers deployed around Kiryat Arba to secure the demolitions.

The outpost, located on the outskirts of the town, is named for 17-year-old Avichai Levy, a resident of the nearby town of Bet Haggai who was murdered in a terror attack in 2005. The site has been demolished and rebuilt repeatedly. In June, the terrorist who murdered 13-year-old Hallel Ariel in her bed infiltrated the city via the neighborhood.

Right wing politicians, local authorities and neighborhood residents slammed the demolition, saying the move was a slap in the face to Ariel family and would “invite” the next murder of Kiryat Arba residents.

“Someone upstairs is apparently very confused,” said MK Bezalel Smotrich (Jewish Home). “The only answer to terror and murder is building and settlement. This is a mark of shame for a government that calls itself ‘nationalist’. I call on the defense minister to return a sense of balance to the Civil Administration. The absurd situation of demolitions from [former Defense Minister] Bugi [Yaalon]’s tenure cannot be allowed to continue.”

Kiryat Arba/Hebron Mayor Malachi Levinger added, “It is with great pain that we see our security forces removing these families from an area that belongs to Kiryat Arba/Hebron. We repeat our demand to build a new neighborhood here and I expect the defense minister to order a stop to the demolition and to approve construction here immediately.

“Kiryat Arba/Hebron, which has sustained heavy loses during the current wave of terror, stands strong. We demand that all ministers and Knesset members who promised the Ariel family during the seven-day mourning period that they would move to bring a new neighborhood here to fruition stand by their promises.

Rina and Amichai Ariel, Hallel’s parents, said the demolition was an additional blow, just two months after their daughter was murdered in her sleep. The fact that the outpost was constructed on the spot where the terrorist infiltrated the community served to add insult to injury.

“It’s been two months since the murder. Hallel is gone. The community that stood on this terrible place – the place where the killer infiltrated – is gone.

“Our only purpose is to continue to build. To increase light in the world. Today, Hallel was murdered a second time. At the moment, darkness is covering everything. How much strength do we need to continue? How much faith do we need to deal with the darkness? How much patience?” said Rina Ariel.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Orthodox Shul Will Keep LGBT Shabbaton Despite Neighborhood Rabbis’ Objection

Friday, June 3rd, 2016

The members of the Stanton Street Shul community on Thursday night received an email from their board announcing that the inclusive event of hosting Orthodox LGBT in an Eshel Downtown Shabbaton. This despite a warning letter from neighborhood Orthodox rabbis who declared that “No Jewish institution that allies itself with such a group can rightfully claim to be Orthodox.” (See: Lower East Side Rabbis Hint at Excommunicating Orthodox Shul for LGBT Shabbaton)

The Stanton Street Shul board wrote: “We want to take this opportunity to affirm our commitment to hosting the Eshel Shabbaton this Shabbat and to being an Orthodox shul where all Jews can feel safe praying, learning Torah, and finding fellowship with each other — a place where all are welcome and all feel welcome. We are proud of our members, our rabbi, and the Sixth Street Community Synagogue for fostering the kind of inclusive community that respects the dignity of all people, recognizing that we are all created b’tzelem Elokim, in God’s image.

“We encourage you to show your support by coming to shul this Shabbat for services and for the Shabbaton programming, and we welcome your feedback, questions, and notes of support.”

However, the Stanton Street Shul website’s page announcing the Eshel Shabbaton has been removed.

For its part, the Eshel organization, whose mission is to integrate Orthodox LGBT in the community, started a petition online titled: Support Rabbi Bodner and Rabbi Bellino (the spiritual leaders of the Stanton and Sixth Streets shuls). The petition reads:

“Dear Rabbi Bodner and Rabbi Bellino,

“We are Orthodox LGBTQ Jews, parents and family members of LGBTQ Jews, and allies. We believe in inclusive Orthodox communities that welcome LGBTQ Jews and their families.

“We are disheartened to learn that both of you have been attacked for hosting Eshel in your synagogues. However, we want both of you, and your synagogue members, to know how much we support you and appreciate your efforts on our behalf.

“We thank you, Rabbi Bodner and Rabbi Bellino, for giving us hope with your commitment to Hachnasat Orchim (welcoming guests). We thank the leadership and membership of both synagogues for agreeing to host us. You are a model for what warm, compassionate, and inclusive leadership should be.”

As of Friday morning, the petition has received 259 signatures.

In our original story, JNi.media referred to the local Lower East Side rabbis’ letter as hinting excommunication of the “erring” shul. But in the reality of a diminishing Orthodox Jewish presence on the Lower East Side, which comes with the weakening of the Orthodox “establishment” in the neighborhood, it’s hard to imagine what steps the local rabbis might take to make good on such a threat. The relationship between the shul and the neighborhood Orthodox leadership (as opposed to the neighborhood rank and file Orthodox Jews) has always been tense, with the Haredi leaders being critical of the Stanton Street Shul’s egalitarian policy regarding women (the shul maintains women’s minyanim several times a year; shul women dance with the Torah on Simchat Torah; the shul invites women scholars in residence for Shabbat lectures). The dispute over the LGBT Shabbaton may just fizzle away without any tangible negative consequences. At the same time, as has been expressed several times in online debates over the story Thursday, there’s also little chance of an honest dialog between the Stanton Street Shul community and the neighborhood rabbis over the serious issues facing the declining Orthodox community on the Lower East Side.


It’s Raining on my Money

Monday, March 10th, 2014

A Jerusalem woman is trying to hold on to her umbrella while withdrawing some cash at a Meah Shearim ATM, Sunday, March 9, 2014.

The rain appeared out of the blue (which is how rain should), after a warm week that started to feel like summer. Well, it don’t feel like summer no more. Last night yours truly drove to the nearby town of Ra’anana in very serious rain and it got a little scary. Rain in Israel has a similar effect as 2 inches of snow in Atlanta, GA: folks behind the wheel stop thinking rationally.

Don’t ask what happens when we get 2 inches of snow.

Here’s a rain image from the Jaffa Gate in the old city, below David’s Citadel.

Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Yori Yanover

Publicize that Miracle!

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

The first night of Chanukah, in the neighborhood of Nachlaot in the center of Jerusalem, December 8, 2012.

The idea of the Chanukah candles is to announce the miracle, make it as public as possible, kind of the visual equivalent of screaming it from the rooftops: We were stuck with only one little jug of oil and it lasted 1-2-3-4-5-6-7- and 8 days!

In Jerusalem they take these things very seriously, as you can see, literally publicizing the miracle in the streets.

Yori Yanover

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/photos/publicize-that-miracle/2012/12/09/

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