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July 30, 2016 / 24 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘shabbat’

Leaving the Serenity of Shabbat for a Few Hours

Sunday, July 24th, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s eponymous blog}

I was able to go 57 1/2 years without needing to travel in a vehicle on Shabbat…until yesterday, that is.

A few days ago, I found myself in the ER of Hadassa Ein Karem in Jerusalem with a torn retina. Since I had had a similar event four years earlier, I was only slightly anxious, knowing what was awaiting me with laser surgery. In a relatively short time, I had the surgery and was discharged from the hospital, arriving home, only hours after leaving.  All was doing fine–until Friday night.

Just as I was getting ready to go to sleep, I began to see flashes in the corner of my eye. Since that is a sign of a potential upcoming new tear in the retina, I sat at the edge of the bed to see if I would have any other symptoms. I felt that if I wished it away, it would stop. As luck would have it, I went to sleep with no other incidents…until the early morning when I woke up. Once again, I had other symptoms (no need for gory details!) and thought of the ER doctor’s parting words: “If you have any symptoms, no matter when, please come right back to the ER.”

And now, it was Shabbat morning, and I needed to go to the hospital. As a rav, I have had the question come to me numerous times about “what if” someone needs to go to the hospital on Shabbat–best ways to go; issues to deal with; and on and on. But this time, it was MY turn, and I was the patient. I consulted briefly with a couple of people, and off I went in an ambulance to the hospital.

When the  ambo arrived (that’s what we call itת when we watch enough medical dramas), the paramedic got out and wished me a Shabbat Shalom and inquired as to my health. But after that initial greeting of Shabbat Shalom, it felt like anything BUT Shabbat. Sitting in a vehicle, watching people still going to shul dressed in Shabbat clothesת while at the same time hearing the chatter on the dispatch radio in the ambulance, all of that created for me a dissonance that I had never really experienced before. I think the technical term is “weird.”

(It should go without saying but going to the hospital on Shabbat is a necessity in cases of emergency and even in certain cases when it is not! One should never play games with health on Shabbat or any other day. Halacha is replete with excoriations of individuals who “hesitate” in tending to a medical emergency on Shabbat.)

Arriving at the hospital, going through the “reception” process, and being directed to the Eye Department, all seemed to occur in  a bubble in which Shabbat was not “there.” Yes, on the one hand, much of the hospital was empty and there was some actual form of quiet; nevertheless, being surrounded by equipment, telephones, writing and all other forms of activity that is not done on Shabbat–all of that gave me a strange feeling, even knowing I HAD to be there.

I was fortunate to be told that, for now, I did not need additional surgery; yet the doctors said it was indeed imperative that I came in the first place. No, they said, it was not a wasted trip at all.

While I came all prepared to remain the rest of Shabbat in the hospital, for various reasons, I was, indeed, able to get home later in the early afternoon. (As to the reasons for that and as to the Halachot of whether or not one may/may not return from the hospital on Shabbat–all of that must be discussed with one’s Rav and is beyond the scope of a blog post.)

Rav Zev Shandalov

Explaining the 17th of Tammuz

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

Rabbi Brovender explains the 17th of Tammuz.

While this video is from 2008, we’ll be fasting on Sunday for the 17th of Tammuz just like they did in 2008.

Since the 17th of Tammuz fast falls out on Shabbat this year, we push it off until a day later.

Video of the Day

IDF Soldier Who Shot Downed Hebron Terrorist to Get Weekend Leave

Friday, July 8th, 2016

Elior Azaria, the soldier who shot and killed the downed terrorist in Hebron will be getting a 2-day Shabbat leave this weekend, according to the reporter, Or Heller.

Azaria has been confined to his base in an “open arrest” for the past 10 weekends while the trial against him continues.

Jewish Press News Briefs

UPDATE: Gaza Qassam Rocket Badly Damages Sderot Kindergarten

Saturday, July 2nd, 2016

A Sderot kindergarten building was badly damaged and two Israelis were treated for shock late Friday night after Gaza terrorists launched a Qassam rocket attack at the southern Israeli city.

About 15 seconds after residents were awakened by the wail of the Red Alert rocket alert, the “boom!” that comes with a rocket impact was heard — and felt — in the Gaza Belt city.

Families in Sderot and the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council district, and in Sapir College were forced to “wake up and run” for safe spaces late Friday night when the siren activated at 11 pm.

The rocket landed just a few seconds later.

Although religious observant families were wrapping up the Sabbath night meals and getting ready for bed at the time, many other secular Jews with young children were already fast asleep. Parents were forced to tear their children from beds to make a run for the bomb shelters — an exercise that has become second nature to many, and which triggers a flood of fear in too many more.

The kindergarten building that sustained a direct hit — badly damaged — was empty at the time, and no one was physically injured in the attack.

But medics from the Magen David Adom emergency medical response service treated two people who were near the impact site, both for shock.

Police units were deployed to the scene.

At the time of this writing — prior to the start of the Sabbath in New York — officers were ordered to remain on site.

damaged kindergarten in Sderot

Hana Levi Julian

Shabbat Shalom In Jerusalem

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

Cities are visited and lived in because one wants to do business there, eat there, tour there, study there or celebrate there.

There is one city, however, that, while it offers all of the above, recognizes that it is unique to history because people simply want to be there; that for centuries visitors and residents have reveled in the pure joy of being there and nowhere else; to simply walk its streets and absorb the intangible, whether it be its spirit, its pain, its glory, and, most of all, its holiness, the amorphous, indescribable connection to heaven and G-d.

That city is Jerusalem, deemed by our sages to be two cities: one planted forever on earth to serve as the world’s spiritual center, inextricably bound to a second Jerusalem, one on-high where departed souls and celestial beings reflect the purity and sanctity of that second Jerusalem onto the one below. Indeed, one can argue that it is that continuum, that eternal flow that accounts for the inexplicable satisfaction of just being in Jerusalem and our survival as a nation.

Over the years, during my many visits to Yerushalayim, I have come to realize that the inarticulable but genuine euphoria felt by one’s physical presence in Jerusalem finds expression in the universal greeting of “Shabbat Shalom” and the smile that inevitably accompanies it.

Somehow, wishing another the blessing of Sabbath peace from on-high, while offering the very real human gifts of joy and friendship as reflected in a smile, combines the essence of Jerusalem, and what makes it so special. “Shabbat Shalom and a smile” are a statement and a gesture enhanced, enriched and made holy because of where spoken and made, a statement and a gesture that, for me, define the city.

Yet, of late, as I stroll through Yerushalayim, I can’t help but notice the increasing absence of both the statement and the gesture, as all too often neither is offered nor returned. For all too many just “being” in Jerusalem is not enough, as a city that blends heaven and earth is deemed by them just another city that induces neither blessing nor smile.

This past week my wife, Reva, and I attended the middle school graduations of our granddaughter, Olivia (Simona), and our grandson, Ethan (Ozer Shimon), who was asked to recite the Prayer for Israel and Peace. Prior to doing so, he recounted his reaction to his younger brother, Calvin’s (Shalom’s) bar mitzvah, celebrated several days earlier in Jerusalem.

To my great joy, he noted that while he appreciated every aspect of the event as well as the spirit and sacrifice of the Israeli people and IDF, for him there were two great highlights: One, was his realization that the event, attended by all his uncles, aunts and cousins from both the Friedman and Oliner families who came for the Shavuos weekend to hear his brother lain at both the Kotel and Great Synagogue, confirmed our oft-repeated statements about the value and beauty of family. His remarks reflected my own comment at the simcha that, while all else is transient and fleeting, the bond of family endures; that, while as my mother, z”l, (his great grandmother and a Holocaust survivor) observed: “everything can be taken from you except that which is within you,” that which is within you that is truly meaningful, is placed there by family, teachers, rebbeim and study.

His other highlight was the fact that so many Israelis shared his family’s joy: from the cab driver who threw candies and sang Mazel Tov to the restaurateurs who treated our simcha as their own. We are one great family and nation.

Martin Oliner

Demonstrators Block Shabbat Mass Conversion Baptism in Rishon L’tzion

Saturday, June 18th, 2016

More than a thousand demonstrators arrived on Shabbat at the Heichal Hatarbut auditorium in Rishon L’tzion, near Tel Aviv, to rally against and try to prevent a Christian baptism ceremony for Israeli converts, planned by the J-Witnesses sect, Israeli media reported. The demonstrators, organized by the Lehava group, succeeded after about two hours to effect the cancellation of the event by police.

“We arrived and managed to block the entrances and break-in seven times,” Lehava Chairman Ben-Zion (Benzi) Gopstein told Hakol Hayehudi. Gopstein, who spent Shabbat in Rishon, reported that “only a few dozen missionaries entered the event, and at one point the police revoked the permit for the ceremony.”

The Lehava action to prevent the mass conversions began on Thursday, when a large group of organization members arranged for their lodging in town for Shabbat, and called for a protest prayer on Shabbat morning.

Three Lehava members were arrested during the demonstration but were released after a few hours.

“We met six women, two of them Holocaust survivors, who had been brought there by their gentile caretakers, and we convinced them not to go inside,” Gopstein related. “One of them said she thought it was an [MK] Tzipi Livni event.”

Gopstein added, “Now police can tell the court in full honesty that it is unable to secure such an event.” He said this had been “an event of true akhdut-unity — many Rishon L’tzion residents arrived, as well as ‘hill youths,’ Chabad, the city rabbis and Lehava activists, and thank God we were successful. Should another such event take place we’ll be there, we’ll go anywhere.”

David Israel

New Bill Revokes Get-Refusing Inmates’ ‘Mehadrin’ Kosher Food, Boarding Privileges

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

The Knesset on Wednesday debated a bill submitted by Habayit Hayehudi Chair MK Shuli Moalem-Refaeli revoking the special privileges of prisoners who refuse to grant their wives a get-religious divorce. The bill singles out Orthodox Jewish prisoners who are entitled while behind bars to stay in the prison’s “religious” section, participate in Jewish studies, and eat a stricter-standard “kosher l’mehadrin” meals. The idea is to use the loss of these privileges to force the prisoner to set his wife free.

To be clear, the law does not deprive the Orthodox inmate of his basic Jewish needs, it merely takes away elements of his “ultra-Religious” lifestyle.

Some Orthodox prisoners are actually sitting in jail for their refusal to grant the get, so that by freeing their wives they can set themselves free. But in the case of these Orthodox men, prison often resembles their normal everyday life, and in some cases may be an improvement — in prison they can sit and learn all day with a group of other Orthodox men, celebrate Shabbat and the holidays, and not have to worry about parnossah (making a living). MK Moalem hopes that removing those prisoners’ ability to live a full Jewish life behind bars and inserting them in the general population might help change their outlook on life in prison.

MK Moalem-Refaeli said, “A man who turns his wife into an aguna and refuses to obey the judges’ order to stop abusing her is not truly a man who values halakha and maintaining a Jewish lifestyle. He tramples the most essential Jewish principle, Love your fellow man as you would yourself, only to make his wife’s life miserable. Therefore he is not worthy of enjoying the plethora of privileges prison affords religious inmates.”

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/new-bill-revokes-get-refusing-inmates-mehadrin-kosher-food-boarding-privileges/2016/06/16/

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