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May 4, 2016 / 26 Nisan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘shul’

Second Synagogue Arson Discovered, Holy Ark Burnt

Sunday, February 7th, 2016

Even as condemnations for the arson at the Givat Sorek synagogue< near Karmei Tzur/a> are still reverberating in Israel’s media, a new report has emerged about a second arson where a synagogue and sacred books and articles have been incinerated. According to NRG, a group of soldiers who were training last week in the Yatir Forest, on the southern slopes of Mount Hebron, on the edge of the Negev Desert, ran into the charred remains of what used to be a synagogue in a mobile home.

The soldiers believe the mobile home had been stolen from a different location and transported to the spot where it was discovered, between the Jewish community of Shani-Livne and the Bedouin village of Houra. In additional to the burnt books the soldiers also found burnt tefillin (phylacteries) and other sacred articles.

“We were in the middle of a navigation exercise, when suddenly we noticed a charred pile, and relatively quickly realized it was a synagogue that had been burnt down,” one of the Jerusalem Brigade soldiers told NRG. “We found there siddurim-prayer books, sacred books, talitot, tefillin, and even a holy ark.”

Authorities believe the structure was ignited in recent days. Nearby infrastructure work has begun for a new Jewish community, Hiran, whose residents are staying temporarily in the Yatir military camp. There are a few Jewish-owned farms in the area as well.

On Friday night, Arabs burnt down a synagogue in Givat Sorek, next to Karmei Tzur, named after the three boys who were kidnapped by Hamas, which ignited the 2014 Gaza war. Their bodies were discovered in an area the Givat Sorek hill overlooks.

Yatir synagogue arson 1

David Israel

Arsonists Burn Down 2 Shuls Over Shabbat

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

A Chabad synagogue near Road 6, near Baka Al-Garbiya, was burned down over Shabbat, destroying everything inside the synagogue, according to a Kikar Shabbat report.

Police say there was a strong odor of benzene at the site, and it appears to have been an arson attack.

In Petach Tikva, an arsonist poured gas inside the shul and lit it up. The fire department managed to put out the fire before the Torahs were burnt.

Police are not ruling out that these were both terror attacks, and are checking to see if there is a connection between the two arson attacks.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Syria’s Eliyahu HaNavi Synagogue Destroyed (Video)

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

The 400+ year old Eliyahu HaNavi Synagogue, one of the oldest surviving shuls in Syria, was flattened and destroyed by Assad’s forces in Syria over the weekend. The synagogue is located in the Jobar neighborhood of Damascus. Eliyahu HaNavi Synagogue Destroyed Exclusive full-size photos of the destroyed synagogue are available on The Daily Beast.

Syria used to have a large, vibrant and ancient Jewish community.

Here is a video of the synagogue before it was destroyed:

Jewish Press News Briefs

Italian Police Find Pig Culprit

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

Italian police have identified the man who sent the pig heads to Rome’s main shul, according to a report in The Jerusalem Post.

The man was identified as Ernosto Morosini, and he wanted to create an Antisemitic movement, and sent them to build a following.

Jewish Press News Briefs

At First There Was Chaos

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

Chaos – that is how the world is described at its inception in the book of Beraishis (Genesis). Confusion. A lack of clarity and boundaries. Or, as I teach my kindergartners, “a mishmash”.

That has been my life recently, as I have grappled with the myriad of details that accompany moving from one home to another. There is an expression, “Go into chinuch (Jewish education) and see the world.” Our family has not had to crisscross the map too many times (we’ve lived in three out-of-town communities), yet somehow we’ve lived in nearly ten different homes in three decades. And for me, well, this has posed a great challenge. The first is remembering our phone number. I remember standing in a store and being asked what my telephone number was. Meanwhile I was trying desperately to remember what my new area code was. Once, when I was faced with a third move in five years, I felt it was too much to have to meet new people once more. One wonderful woman reminded me that as a result of the moves, I had been given the opportunity to meet a great variety of people, and deepen my ahavas Yisrael (love of fellow Jews).

The challenge of moving is to do it without losing all of one’s possessions, and one’s mind. Not long ago, I brought over a plate of cake to welcome a new family to our community. Though it had been but a few days, I will never forget how the house looked. All the curtains were hung and the kitchen totally organized. There was not a box in sight. Floating flowers were in a giant vase on the dining room table. I stepped out, bewildered at the site, knowing that this newly-moved into home was much more orderly then my own.

One of my daughters used to complain when she was young about her lack of talent. She believed that each sibling had something special, whether being artistic, athletic, musical, or even adorable. “But you’re so organized!” I said. She sighed. “That is not a talent”. “Honey,” I answered, “when you get older you’ll realize that it is the best talent of all!” And now she does, as she is able to keep her family and possessions organized while living in a small Israeli apartment. She works outside of her home, but never loses papers or searches for socks, because of her ability to stay organized.

My husband and I asked daas Torah (Torah advice from a scholar) about which neighborhood in our current city we should move to. Should we live where most of the shomer Shabbos people (Sabbath observers) lived, next to one shul or to the neighborhood with only a handful of families, next to the other shul?

There was not a kosher mechitza in the shul with the larger group of people, we told the rav, but my husband intends to daven in the other shul no matter where we live. “No,” the rav told us, “You cannot live near a shul without a kosher mechitza.”

So we moved far away from the shomer Shabbos population, until the day the mechitza was finally made kosher. Our kids were thrilled. Now they could live within the main community, and no longer have to walk a ½ hour each week to see their friends. Those Shabbos afternoons had been hard on us too, as we wouldn’t see the kids until we picked them up after Shabbos.

My husband agreed that we should move closer to the other neighborhood, but still felt obligated to help the minyan in the smaller shul. So, we moved closer, but not to the heart of the community; we stayed on the outskirts, but our kids were able to walk to their friends.

Unfortunately, it was time to move once again. This time we were desperate to find a suitable house, and grabbed the first one we saw. We were relieved there was the right amount of bedrooms and lots of storage space. However, once more we were a long distance away from any shomer Shabbos families. Once more our children would leave the house Shabbos afternoon and not to return till after Havdalah.

Penina Scheiner

Vending Change

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Yosef, Gad and Benjy headed down to the dining hall in their high school. As they walked along the corridor they noticed a new vending machine had been installed. The three admired the machine, and eyed its beckoning display of treats.

“I wonder whom the machine belongs to?” asked Yosef. “Do you think it belongs to the school?”

“I doubt it,” said Gad. “Look, the name of the company that owns the machine is on a label. Let’s return after lunch and get a snack for desert.”

After they finished eating, the three boys returned to the vending machine. They browsed the selections: candies, chocolates, cookies, gum, potato chips, and other nosh.

“I’m going to get a large chocolate bar,” declared Yosef. “We can all share it.”

Yosef inserted two dollar-coins in the machine and made his selection. The chocolate bar fell to the bottom, and he heard two quarters drop into the change compartment, “Clink, clink.” He reached in to take out his two quarters and was surprised to find two additional quarters there.

“Wow! There’s extra change,” he exclaimed. “That saved me fifty cents!”

“Who says you can keep it?” asked Gad. “You need to place a sign for hashavas aveidah.”

“What’s the point of hashavas aveidah?” asked Benjy. “There’s no identification on the money, anyway.”

Other students joined in the discussion, debating whether Yosef could keep the money.

“Maybe you should give the money back to the vending operator,” added Benjy. “Someone said he comes on Tuesday mornings to restock the machine.”

A bit of a commotion began.

While they were arguing, Rabbi Dayan walked by. “What’s going on?” he asked. “Sounds like an earnest debate!”

“I found extra change in the vending machine,” said Yosef. “We were arguing what to do with the money?”

“It is usually permissible to take the change for yourself,” replied Rabbi Dayan, “but in some limited cases, it is proper to contact the vending operator.”

“Why can I keep it?” asked Yosef.

“At first glance, this seems to be a case of hashavas aveidah (returning lost property) to the previous customer, who lost his change,” explained Rabbi Dayan. “Since we presume the customer already became aware that he left his money, and likely does not know the exact permutation of the change or abandoned hope of retrieving it (yei’ush) – the finder is permitted to keep it.” (See Hashavas Aveidah K’halacha 12:8)

“Wouldn’t the vending operator automatically acquire the lost money that sits in his machine?” asked Benjy.

“A person’s property can acquire a lost item on his behalf, even without his knowledge,” said Rabbi Dayan. “However, this is only if the property is secure and the owner is likely to find the item left in his property. [C.M. 268:3] Here, the change compartment is not secure, nor is the operator likely to find the money, since it will probably be taken by someone else first.”

“Why did you say, ‘At first glance?…’ asked Gad. “Is this not a typical case of lost money?”

“Actually, though the change was dispensed for the previous customer, he never acquired it, since he did not take possession of it,” explained Rabbi Dayan. (C.M. 203:7) “Therefore, upon further reflection, this case is similar to a borrower who placed the money he is returning before the lender, with his permission, but the lender did not take the money. While the lender has no further claim on the borrower, what is the status of the money? R. Akiva Eiger [C.M. 120:1] writes that the money becomes hefker, since the borrower relinquished his claim to the money and the lender did not take it. Here, too, the untaken change becomes hefker.”

“In truth, the Nesivos [123:1] disagrees with R. Akiva Eiger and maintains that the money does not become hefker, but remains owned by the borrower,” continued Rabbi Dayan, “but even he would likely agree here. Since the vending operator expects the machine to dispense the change to an unsecure place, where it can be taken by anybody, he effectively renders it hefker or expresses yei’ush [C.M. 260:6, 261:4; Shach 261:3]. Thus, it is permissible to take the extra change.”

“Either way, I can take the money,” said Yosef. “What’s the difference whether it’s lost by the customer or became hefker from the vendor?”

Rabbi Meir Orlian

Help Save the Stanton St. Shul!

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

The Stanton Street Shul on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, at 180 Stanton Street, is a historic, intimate, and vibrant Orthodox congregation serving the diverse Jewish population of Lower Manhattan. It attracts and welcomes Jews of all religious, educational, and cultural backgrounds. Today, it is one of the few tenement shuls still left of the 700 Lower East Side congregations that were recorded in 1918 as serving the Jews of Lower Manhattan.

It was my own spiritual home, along with my family, for six years. Believe me when I tell you it’s a warm and wonderful place.

I just received their SOS email: the roof is leaking and time is running out, is, basically, what they wrote. Here’s the rest:

If you’ve noticed the leaky roof at Shul, you know that the Shul building is in dire need of repairs, a pre-existing need that was exacerbated by Hurricane Sandy. Now you can help by supporting the Stanton St. Shul in an exciting, crowd-sourced fundraising campaign by Lucky Ant to raise $10,000 for our building’s much-needed repairs, including a now leaking roof.

THE CATCH: if the Shul doesn’t reach its $10,000 goal by Dec. 19th, it gets NOTHING. With 15 days left in the campaign we have already passed the $3,000 mark, so we are making progress but still have a long way to go to reach our goal. That’s why letting YOU, friends and new potential donors, know and spread the word is critical. This will ALSO help the Shul meet its 2012 matching fundraising goals for the prestigious Heritage challenge grant the Shul was awarded. The Lucky Ant campaign will be the first building block in raising $30,000 toward that matching grant received from the New York Landmarks Conservancy.

The desperately needed money will go to fixing the roof. While the Shul has a laundry list of needed repairs, Hurricane Sandy exacerbated the already-severe water damage to the building and forced the Synagogue’s fundraising efforts to get aggressive.

Lucky Ant works by helping small businesses and not-for-profits get the funding they need from their local communities. In exchange for funding, donors are offered “thank you” gifts from the Shul, including special misheberach (be blessed) prayers, Stanton St. Shul notecards, LES tours, theater tickets, and more. Donors also have the option of taking a tax-donations for charitable gifts, a standard benefit this time of year.

Remember, if we don’t reach our $10,000 goal by December 19th, we get nothing.That’s where you come in! Please tell your friends, families, and broad social networks about our campaign, explain why the shul is important to you, why these funds are so urgently needed, and please consider making a donation of your own, of any amount. Make your donation through Lucky Ant today by clicking here.

And in case any of the above links don’t work, here’s the URL one last time: http://www.luckyant.com/nyc/lower-east-side/index.html
Folks, if you were looking for a worthy cause for your mitzvah gelt this Chanukah — I heartily recommend the Stanton. And go join them on a Shabbat night or morning. Their Friday night Carlebach Kabalat Shabbat are fabulous.
Yori Yanover

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/yoris-news-clips/help-save-the-stanton-st-shul/2012/12/05/

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