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August 27, 2016 / 23 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘sukkot’

Jews Barred from Temple Mount but Arabs Attack Police

Sunday, September 27th, 2015

Masked Muslim terrorists turned their third holiest site into a war zone again on Sunday, hours before the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, and hurled firecrackers and rocks at police.

No one was injured in the battle.

Police uses stun grenades to disperse the rioters, according to Arab media.

Jews were barred from ascending the Temple Mount because today is the last day of the Muslim feast Eid al-Adha.

Muslims, including members of the group that supposedly are barred from entering the Temple Mount, reportedly barricaded themselves in the Al Aqsa mosque overnight, armed with whatever they throw at Jews visiting the holy site the eve of the Sukkot holiday.

Instead, the rioters had to make do by attacking police.

The rest of the week should be interesting. With the Muslim feast over and the Sukkot holiday in full swing, police will have a hard time forbidding Jews from visiting the Temple Mount. However, restrictions on Jews will probably restrict them to less than 10 at a time, just in case a group decides to form a “minyan” and offend Muslims by praying.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Kosher Waldorf Astoria Opens to Rave Reviews

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

The world’s only strictly kosher Waldorf Astoria in Jerusalem has received rave reviews from those who can afford the luxury five-star hotel that opened for business three months ago.

This past Sukkot holiday, it attracted many wealthy Orthodox Jews from the United States who had previously spent the holiday at the David Citadel, just across the street.

Ilan Brenner, Director of Sales at the Waldorf-Astoria, who previously worked at the Inbal, says that the hotel has attracted travelers from throughout the world and has not experienced any appreciable decline during the recent unrest in Jerusalem. The hotel features both a meat and dairy restaurant in the midst of its ornate lobby with a huge standing clock.

The lobby’s retractable roof is designed to expose guests to the Jerusalem sunshine but was also removed to allow for a huge Sukkah.

Prices at the Waldorf average about $500 per night for a “regular” room and as much as $5000 for the huge Presidential Suite. The hotel is located within a few hundred feet of the David Citadel and just down the block from the celebrated King David Hotel.

Kosher Today

Arab MKs Protesting Temple Mount Restrictions for Muslims

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

Following the escalating and extreme violence by Muslims on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the police have restricted Muslims access to the site, in order to reduce the likelihood they will attack Jews, police and visitors on the Jewish people’s holiest site.

On Wednesday morning, 250 Arabs protested at the Lion’s Gate against the police restrictions, though not against the ongoing Arab violence and terror that caused the police to restrict their access in the first place.

The protesters on their parts said it was not fair that Muslims were restricted from praying on the Temple Mount while Jews were allowed to pray at the Kotel.

There are no known incidents of Jews throwing Molotov cocktails and cinder blocks at visitors to the Kotel.

Among the protesters were Arab MKs Jamal Zahalka, Basel Gatz and Hanin Zoabi. Ynet reports that the protesters clashed with police as they tried to get a group of Arab women onto the mount.

Shalom Bear

One of the Most Amazing Stories in Israel’s History!

Monday, October 13th, 2014

Jeremy Gimpel sent us this amazing Sukkot related video linking the ancient with the modern…

Video of the Day

‘Rickshaw’ Sukkah Makes the Rounds in New York

Sunday, October 12th, 2014

The holiday of Sukkot commands Jews to live in “booths” — commemorating the temporary dwellings their ancestors inhabited while wandering the desert for 40 years. Though many Manhattan apartments measure only slightly larger than those original booths, unless the apartment roof is retrofitted with twigs from Central Park, it doesn’t quite qualify as a sukkah.

Thankfully, one Chabad Lubavitch yeshiva student in Brooklyn has taken it upon himself to ensure that all New Yorkers can experience the holiday.

Levi Duchman, 21, is the inventor of the pedi-sukkah, a rickshaw bicycle with a mobile sukkah attached to the back.

While small, each sukkah meets all the halachic requirements. During the days before Sukkot and during Chol HaMoed, Duchman says he spends 12 hours a day on the pedi-sukkah, pedaling around Brooklyn and Manhattan to let New Yorkers step inside to say a blessing.

“It’s the best thing to see people’s reactions, and to give people in New York the opportunity to get involved with the holiday,” Duchman said. “We get a lot of smiles and pictures, and lot of positivity, even from the police.”

Sometimes people ask to take a ride in the sukkah, and he obliges for short trips.

Duchman built his first pedi-sukkah five years ago. He rented a pedicab and worked overnight with his younger brother to create something that hopefully wouldn’t fall off and block Manhattan traffic. The sukkah stayed put, and today there are over 50 of his bikes spread across 15 states and over five countries.

The bikes have come a long way. Duchman now works with a manufacturer to create an easy-to-assemble pedi-sukkah. He even created a “menorah cycle” for Chanukah, and a “mitzvah cycle” affixed with a banner that encourages others to lay tefillin and light Shabbat candles (because it’s never a bad time to ride a bike and do good deeds).

Between the cost of the materials and the pedicab itself, one bike goes for nearly $2,000. But Duchman charges exactly what it costs him.

“It’s not a business,” he said. “It’s a way to spread awareness. Baruch HaShem.”


US Complains It Was Not Notified of Israel Sukkah-Building Frenzy

Saturday, October 11th, 2014

Originally published at PreOccupied Territory

[Editor’s Update: We thought it was obvious, but apparently not… this blog post is SATIRE.]

Washington, October 8 – Aides to US President Barack Obama expressed displeasure today over not being informed of plans to assemble tens of thousands of makeshift residential structures over the last week in Jewish communities in areas both Israel and the Palestinians claim.

The huts mostly consist of wood panels, or of metal frames holding up canvas walls, with reeds or palm leaves as roofing. Satellite images and eyewitness reports alerted the Obama administration of the flurry of new construction activity, all of which appears to be taking place within the boundaries of existing Jewish communities in those contentious areas. The structures are apparently functioning as additional living space, as the inhabitants of those communities have been observed transferring tables, chairs, beds, and even rugs into the booth-like structures.

The administration stopped short of actively rebuking the Netanyahu government over the construction, as the effort has the hallmarks of a grass-roots initiative and not an officially sanctioned building spree of the kind that has infuriated White House officials in the past. In fact, hundreds of thousands of such structures have been hastily built over the last week even within the pre-1967 lines, indicating broad popular support for the initiative. However, Obama aides did communicate the president’s concern over any kind of development on land claimed by Palestinians for a state.

Another factor contributing to the administration’s muted response is the unlikelihood that the structures have been approved by Israeli government authorities. The addition of the booths  – or, in many cases, simply the covering of an existing walled patio or terrace with the reed or leaf roofs – almost certainly constitutes a zoning violation wherever it occurs, and in the White House’s assessment the Israeli authorities are almost certain to inform the residents of their obligation to dismantle the structures.

“We’ve had a few cases of a similar nature even in the US,” said a White House staffer speaking on condition of anonymity. “We’ve had groups of Jews, sometimes entire communities, building these temporary structures that are in clear violation of building codes, zoning designation, and other municipal approvals necessary for the erection of such entities. People complain about it, the town or city gives the owners a couple of weeks’ notice to take down the structure, and they comply. At this point we’re going to assume the same process will play out over in the West Bank, though I imagine they’ll have some difficulty notifying every single homeowner right away.”

“It always seems to happen this time of year, too,” mused the official. “I wonder if there’s some way to predict the phenomenon?”

[Editor’s Note: This blog post is SATIRE.]

PreOccupied Territory

The Sukkot State of Mind

Friday, October 10th, 2014

Hashem commands the Jewish people to dwell in Sukkot “that your generations may know that I made the Children of Israel to dwell in Sukkot, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your G-d.”

Strangely, before this time, the Torah never mentions that we dwelt in Sukkot. If this merits a special holiday, why isn’t this dwelling in Sukkot ever explicitly mentioned? Sure, clouds can be compared to Sukkot, but the comparison is never made in the text. Compare this to the eating of Matzoh. It is mentioned, repeatedly, in the text. For some reason, the concept of Sukkot is far less concrete than the concept of Matzoh. Why?

In the Jewish calendar of redemption from Egypt, Sukkot is the last of the ‘shalosh regalim’ – or three festivals. Pesach is the first. If we trace the trajectory of these holidays, we can see a pattern emerging.

With Pesach, the Matzoh connection is so physically obvious because we were physical people – slaves emerging from captivity. We understood the physical, and only the physical. Matzoh is food, it represents the most basic of human physical interactions. And it contains within itself our own limitations as a slave people. We knew the Exodus was coming, but we didn’t even have the initiative to think ahead and make a few sandwiches in advance.

Matzoh represents our own limitation in another way. In most circumstances, when we bring offerings, we bring only flour or unleavened bread. Flour represents human effort – the hand-grinding of flour was incredibly labor intensive. Leavening, on the other hand, adds the contribution of Hashem to our productivity – leavening occurs without our labor. At the time of the Exodus, we were not yet ready to see the hand of Hashem in our livelihoods. Shavuot comes in contrast to this. It celebrates the gifts Hashem has given us. We bring the ‘fruit’ of the ground. Fruit represents the gifts of Hashem – just as the trees were gifts to Adam. With leavened bread, we see the hand of Hashem in own productivity. The focus is on the physical and its connection to the divine. If each week contains six days of productivity and one of divine rest then Shavuot celebrates this cycle. But this holiday remains connected to the physical – and the connection is explicit in the text.

Now, we come to Sukkot. The word ‘Sukkah’ is used in very few places prior to the command to dwell in Sukkot. The first involves Yaacov – but it is a very unusual verse.

“And Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built him a house, and made Sukkot for his cattle. Therefore the name of the place is called Succoth.”

Looked at as a standalone verse, the phrasing is unusual. He travels towards Sukkot. He builds Sukkot there. And so the place is called Sukkot. How could he have travelled towards Sukkot if it was not yet called Sukkot? There are other unusual things: In no other place do the forefathers build houses, and in no other place prior to the Exodus does anybody build anything for their cattle. Sukkot seems to be a description – and not of a place, but of a manner of being. And rather than being temporary, it seems quite permanent. In the very next verse, Yaacov comes to Shechem. He buys land on which to pitch his tent (also a first). And he becomes quite angry when his son’s actions in regard to Shechem force him to travel once again. Yaacov seems to want to experience the unchanging.

When the Jewish people leave Egypt, the first stop they make is in Sukkot. But it can’t be the same Sukkot – they aren’t in the land of Israel, and Yaacov was. It is only here, during this brief stay, that they literally dwell in Sukkot during the Exodus.

Joseph Cox

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/holidays/the-sukkot-state-of-mind/2014/10/10/

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