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September 29, 2016 / 26 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Stone’

The Foundation Stone: A Sense Of Place

Thursday, September 1st, 2016

{Originally posted to Rabbi Weinberg’s website, The Foundation Stone}

A sense of place, especially God’s place, is frequently too far, inaccessible, and unreachable. The man, who lost his job and money, loses his place in his community, if not his home. A sick child stuck in a hospital away from her family loses her sense of place. The desperate mother who enters a synagogue for the first time in years to pray for that sick child will often feel out of place. A young man, leaving the safe walls of Yeshiva to work “out in the world,” will struggle to find his place.

A child, with whom parents are angry or who overhears parents arguing, a student in trouble at school, a couple experiencing tension, all feel out of place. Israeli families that live close to Gaza and are too terrified to return home, have lost their place. European Jews, experiencing the open anti-semitism on the streets, have lost their sense of place, as have we, post Tisha b’Av, when we mourned the historical destructions of Jerusalem. And yet, now, as we begin the approach to Rosh Hashana, hear God calling us home. What are those who have lost their home to do?

We can, of course, find our place in the abstract and ethereal. Yet, we are warned, “Beware for yourself lest you bring up your elevation offerings in any place that you see (Deuteronomy 12:13).” The Ha’amak Davar explains that one who seeks to elevate his relationship with God will strive to do so wherever he is, but must do so only in a place that is set aside for such elevation, such as the Temple, synagogue, or study hall. What are we to do when we cannot go to the Temple, and when we feel out of place in a synagogue or study hall?

This week’s portion, Re’ei, speaks of our need for a sense of place, how difficult it often is to find, and how we must protect others’ sense of place. It also guides us in how to manage the experience of ‘no place.’ It addresses the sanctity of the Land of Israel, private altars, and the proper place to eat sanctified foods, a place for the blood of slaughtered animals, the wayward city, and the Pilgrimage Festivals. We are taught to be sensitive to the poor person’s loss of place, and forbidden from eating a fish that carries its home, its place: shellfish.

Our experience of distance from the proper place is described in the laws of the Second Tithe that must be eaten in Jerusalem. “If the road will be too long for you, so that you cannot carry it [Second Tithe], because the place that God, Your Lord, will choose to place His name there is far from you, for God, your Lord, will have blessed you, then you may exchange it for money, wrap up the money in your hand, and go to the place that God, your Lord, will choose (14:24-25).”

There is a step in our service of God that encourages us to wrap up all the moments, insights and experiences that lack a proper place, so that, when found, we can bring them to the right place.

I recently read a quote from J.G. Ballard, “One of the things I took from my wartime experiences was that reality was a stage set. The comfortable day-to-day life, school, the home where one lives and all the rest of it, could be dismantled overnight.” I realized that when moving from one city to another, changing jobs, or while in extended stays in hospitals in Argentina and Germany, I have always sought to find my place in things that could not be dismantled. I find my place when I wrap myself in Tallit and Tefillin and pray, when sitting at a Shabbat table, and, most of all, when I study Torah. I then wrap up those experiences by incorporating them into my regular prayers, studies, and service. I hold on to those places inside of me, waiting for the opportunity to bring them to that place that God will choose for me. I carry those places inside of me, much as Noah grabbed a vine from the Garden of Eden to carry on the Ark and replant in the new world so that the Garden would remain a real place.

When Rosh Hashana begins to call out with the Elul Shofar blasts, its invitation to come home, I hear it in all those internal places I have managed to wrap up. As long as those places inside resonate to the call, I know that I will one day reach that place that will never be dismantled.

Chodesh Tov and Shabbat Shalom

 

Rabbi Simcha Weinberg

Woman Wounded in Arab Stone Throwing Attack [video]

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

A 30-year-old woman suffered wounds to her face after Arabs threw a large stone through her car’s windshield as she was driving along Highway 60. The attack happened just before 10:30 AM.

The attack happened near the Okfim junction, close to El Aroub and Kiryat Arba. This is the same area where Asher Palmer and his 2-year-old son were murdered by Arabs in a rock throwing attack on September 23, 2011.

One of the medics who treated the woman was Ofer Ohana. Ohana was on his way to court to provide testimony for the soldier in Hebron who killed the downed terrorist. Ohana was the medic on site after the Hebron terror attack.

The woman has been transported to Sharei Tzedek hospital. She’s listed in lightly wounded condition with injuries to her face.

Jewish Press News Briefs

One Injured when Arabs Stone Worshipers at Kotel, Netanyahu Capitulates on Temple Mount [video]

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

On Tuesday morning, Arab rioters on the Temple Mount who presumably found no more Jews or police to attack up there, began throwing stones down at the Jews who were engaged in their morning prayer before the Western Wall. One woman, age 73, was injured lightly and was rushed to Hadassah Ein Karem hospital. (Update: The woman was released from the hospital late Tuesday afternoon).

Once again this week Israel has taught the Arab rioters on the Temple Mount that crime pays, and violent crime pays double. Following two days of violent riots on the sacred grounds, during which Arab youths threw stones and fireworks at security forces, police on Tuesday morning banned the entrance of Jewish and all other non-Muslim visitors, which is what the violent mob was demanding in the first place.

The announcement about the banning of Jews came before the Arabs started throwing rocks down on Jewish worshipers by the Kotel.

The Arabs argued that there had been a status quo according to which on the final ten days of the month of Ramadan no non-Muslim was allowed to set foot on the ground where a scene from dream of the prophet Mohammad took place back in the seventh century (he never actually set foot there).

For two days straight, Arab rioters barricaded themselves inside the Al Aqsa mosque, where they stored stones and fireworks, determined to interrupt the peaceful routine of Jewish visits to the Temple Mount. As soon as the first visitors had entered, Muslim youths, some of them masked, burst out of the mosque, screaming stuff about the supremacy of Allah (He is, apparently, very big) and throwing stones at the frightened visitors and at police. Police and Border Guard pushed back the attackers, and enabled the continued visits.

Israel Police issued a communiqué Monday saying that any attempt to violate the order anywhere in Jerusalem, including in the Old City and on the Temple Mount would be handled “resolutely and firmly,” in order to maintain the status quo allowing members of all religions to be on the Temple Mount. “Jerusalem Police will use all the tools at its disposal to arrest the rioters and to prosecute them to the full extent of the law.”

Nekhtike Tug, goes the Yiddish adage, meaning, roughly, go find the stuff you lost yesterday, or, basically, it wasn’t happening. Because overnight Monday, according to an Israel Radio report, there were talks between the Netanyahu government and the Jordanians, whose Waqf association is the de facto ruler of the sacred compound, and a decision was made to bow to the will of the thugs one more time.

Let it be a lesson to them.

David Israel

Child Injured in Stone Throwing

Sunday, June 19th, 2016

A child was lightly injured on Saturday night after their car was hit by stones near the entrance to Sha’ar Binyamin, north of Jerusalem.

There was some confusion when emergency responders couldn’t find the vehicle near Sha’ar Binyamin.

It turns out, the father drove them directly to the emergency room at Hadassah-Mount Scopus after the attack. The boy was injured from the fragments of glass.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Arab Terrorists Shoot at School Bus, Stone Second Bus

Sunday, June 5th, 2016

A school bus, transporting students from the Chitzin yeshiva was shot at on Sunday evening. The attack happened near Huwara, which is near Shechem.

Impact signs on school bus window

Impact signs on school bus window

The windows of the armored bus show signs of multiple impacts, but no one was injured.

UPDATE: The IDF reports that the projectiles shot at the bus were metal ball bearings, and not bullets.

This is the second time in the past month that Arab terrorists have targeted the bus driver of a school bus.

“Forces are searching the area for the perpetrator,” an IDF spokesperson said in a statement to media.

In a separate attack, Arab stoned a bus between Adam and Hizmeh, damaging the front windshield.

MDA is treating the bus driver who is lightly wounded, and 4 passengers for shock.

Bus stoned near Adam

Bus stoned near Adam

Jewish Press News Briefs

IDF Soldiers Bombed in Gush Etzion, Rocks Hurled at Border Police in Jerusalem

Sunday, September 20th, 2015

Palestinian Arab terrorists bombed IDF soldiers in Gush Etzion Saturday night. The terrorists hurled three improvised explosive devices (IED) at the soldiers while they were out on patrol.

The attack took place near the Arab village of Beit Fajar, close to the Jewish community of Migdal Oz and the Arab community of El Aroub. No injuries were reported.

In the capital, two Palestinian Arab terror suspects were arrested in the Jerusalem suburb of Issawiya also Saturday night, on the orders of a judge.

While the soldiers were operating in the neighborhood, Palestinian Arab terrorists began hurling rocks at Border Guard Police.

The troops chased the perpetrators and arrested five suspects.

Palestinian Arab terrorists also firebombed an IDF base east of Jerusalem late Saturday night, and then attacked the firefighters who came to extinguish the blaze that was ignited around the watchtower.

The two firefighter crews who arrived at the scene were met by a hail of rocks and an exploding Molotov cocktail.

IDF soldiers responded with non-lethal riot dispersal measures.

The attack took place at the Anatot Base, just east of the Mount of Olives and Mount Scopus, and mimicked an attack Thursday that was nearly identical. That attack took place at Jerusalem’s Ofrit Base on Mount Scopus, near the Hadassah University campus and not far from Saturday night’s attack.

Hana Levi Julian

Artist Robin Antar ‘Envisions’ America in Stone

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

What does the child of Brooklyn Syrian Jews have in common with Manhattan glitterati on a freezing cold night in an Upper East Side mansion?

Diamonds and other stones. Art and design.

This past week New York’s top interior designers gathered in a house on East 63rd Street and Fifth Avenue to celebrate the season and raise money for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Among the artists whose creations were requested by designers who contributed their skills to the cause was sculptor Robin Antar. Her work had been noticed by designer Michael Tavano during a show at the Waterfall Mansion, where some of her other pieces are still on display.

Tavano removed her “detached retina” from that show for the room he created at Holiday House NYC. The event shows off the best in interior design and holiday entertaining, and is open to the public from now until December 21. Tavano’s eye-catching room was packed on opening night.

Few of those in their suits and evening gowns at the gala, however, realized the petite Antar wielded a jackhammer and a seven-inch diamond blade saw to carve the stone for her larger-than-life-size sculpture.

“I did it just before I went into surgery for a detached retina,” Antar told JewishPress.com in an exclusive interview. “It was my interpretation of vision.”

But Antar takes the long view in her art. She began her love affair with stone carving as a Brooklyn teenager and created as her first piece a graceful alabaster swan which she has kept in the family collection.

She is also known for the sleek silver Sephardic Torah cases she creates. Not one is left sitting on a shelf unused. The first was cast from a mold formed from a limestone sculpture of a prayer shawl draped on two “shoulders” of the Western Wall.

Little did she know that some day she would use that same mold as the basis for a one-of-a-kind tribute to her youngest son that only an artist mother could produce – sadly, for a tombstone. Antar’s son passed away last year at age 26 of a drug overdose after years of struggling to overcome emotions from early childhood abuse suffered at the hands of a daycare operator. Two more sons — a married businessman and an artist with a special flare for color and design — carry on the family traditions.

Salt from the tears that were shed for the life cut short eventually was poured (in a virtual sense) into unique semi-precious salt cellars she now creates for the light and joy of the Sabbath table. Antar had a huge pile of stone chips left over from other sculptures carved from stone such as blue onyx, rose alabaster and honeycomb calcite, and “didn’t want to waste them,” she says. What began as an experiment is now functional art for the interiors market, with those and larger table bowls both much in demand.

But her pride and joy is the Realism in Stone series, she says; a line of art she calls the “virtual record of contemporary culture” in America.

“I ask myself, ‘Will a bottle of Heinz ketchup really exist in another hundred years?’ and then I begin to see the product emerge from the stone,” Antar explains. Different sculptures are carved from different types of stone, depending on what she is creating – but all require heavy power tools that demand precision in their use.

“You cannot do this work without the right equipment,” Antar warns. “Don’t even THINK of starting to carve stone without a face mask for breathing, and especially not without goggles to protect your eyes.”

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/artist-robin-antar-envisions-america-in-stone/2014/11/25/

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