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Archive for the ‘Beit Shemesh’ Category

Hot

Not what you’re thinking… this kind of hot:

hot

like 37.1°c (or 98.8°F for the metrically challenged).

Tomorrow’s supposed to go down to a more reasonable 29°c. 

hot2

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2009_05150003-250wLast week I took the new Meron Path picture for framing and I just got it back now from the framer. Looks really good. I have hung it in my living room so I can show it off.

As always I was a bit worried about how the painting would look framed. After the effort and attention to get the picture exactly right, I am always worried that the frame will spoil or change the balance of the picture and throw it off. This has happened to me before and I have seen other pictures as well where their frame destroys them.

Anyway, I got it right this time. To be more precise the owner of the framing store did. I went to a new framer this time – Artli in the Ezor Ta’asiah of Beit Shemesh. He is an art photographer and sells massive prints of his amazing pictures togther with religious kitsch (kind of Thomas Kinkade meets Lubavitch or the Baba Sali, which sells well in this part of the world). He also does framing.

He immediately picked this frame. I of course had to try every frame in the shop before deciding that his choice was correct. And here it is.

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Last night Channel 2 News ran an article on ATV riding hooligans idiots in Beit Shemesh. Here is a link to the story in YNet.

Over the last few months, there have been lots of complaints from people living on the edge of town about noise and dangerous driving by ATV (“traktoron” in Hebrew) drivers on tracks around the edge of town. They met with the guy responsible for environment in the city and the police. Looks like something is actually getting done about it.

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Rafi G wrote a post yesterday about the latest haredim vs. everyone else fight in Beit Shemesh. The proposal has been made to create a shomrei shabbat section in the Beit Shemesh cemetery. This is something that exists in other places as a way for the Orthodox community to define the the line between “us” and “them” in burial and not allow “them” to be buried amongst “us”.

Here the action is opposite. They are the newcomers and they want to make sure that “they” won’t be subjected to being buried amongst “us”.

This has of course caused a small uproar in the local press, though I get the feeling that like most of these issues, it is going way over the heads of the majority of citizens. A columnist – David Louk – wrote an article attacking the proposal on the grounds of its divisiveness and that it is halakhically unnecessary (none of the distinguished rabanim of Beit Shemesh have ever seen the need for it till now). Last week the haredi extremist camp hit back with an equalkly long article explaining that unity is not the be-all and end-all and that the halakha does require it and that they will fight for truth and their rights, etc.

The whole issue is based on a gemara in Sanhedrin 46 that discusses where and how to bury people who have been executed (harugei beit din). They are not buried in their family plots and  the gemara raises the issue of not burying resha’im together with tzaddikim. Not only that but different levels of executed resha’im need to be buried separately. From here we get to the halakha in the Shulhan Arukh (Yoreh De-ah kuf-tzadi-tet) that:

אין קוברים רשע אצל צדיק, שנאמר אל תאסוף עם חטאים נפשי. ואפילו רשע חמור אצל רשע קל, אין קוברים. וכן אין קוברין צדיק ובל שכן בינוני וכשר אצל חסיד מופלג.

Incidentally, if this leaves you feeling uncomfortable the Arukh HaShulhan (Yoreh De’ah shin-samekh-bet) says:

ואין קוברין רשע אצל צדיק, אפילו רשע חמור אצל רשע קל. וכן אין קוברין צדיק, וכל שכן בינוני, אצל חסיד מופלג. אבל קוברים בעל תשובה אצל צדיק גמור.

Seeing as someone may have had hirhurei teshuva before he died and would therefore be considered a baal teshuva (Gemara Kidushin 49b) that solves that one (assuming you want to solve it).

And what of “ameich kulam tzaddikim“? and what of koneh olamo be-shaah achat, and what will be of the tzaddikim nistarim?

The problem is not one of unity but of hillul hashem. It is one of people coming with a message of uncompromising division, judgment and hatred in the name of God and his Torah.

When newcomers come along and start telling people what to do they resent it. When they come in the name of halakha and claim that the local respected rabonim don’t know the right thing to do, they resent it even more. When they come in the name of halakha (she-kol derakheiha darkei no’am) and claim that even their beinonim are too big tzadikim to be buried next to the locals, they get incensed.

And so do I.

Don’t they understand that lo ba-esh hashem? How long will it take for these sikrikim to understand that their way leads to more hurban?

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Today is Yom HaZikaron (memorial day) which is held the day before independence day – Yom HaAtzmaut.

Much has been written about this almost impossible juxtaposition of grief next to rejoicing. The idea is that in order to rejoice we need to remember those who enabled our independence. A very beautiful idea and one that focuses the whole country on a day of national, often very sentimental, mourning. Everyone knows someone who has a close relative who has died in our never ending war from independence to this day. Thus the public mourning focuses not on the achievements and the heroism, but on the personal loss and tragedy of our best young men and women who we send to defend us.

Most people work half day (except those who attend memorial ceremonies in the morning). I have the whole day off work, so I am making good use of the free time. The first thing I did this morning was to do my country a good turn and I collected up plastic bottles left on the badly kept path and undeveloped land next to our home. Five minutes work and I came back with a large bag bursting full of bottles.

I made a resolution that when I go out walking at nights (another resolution I am trying to keep to), I will collect up at least once a week discarded bottles.

The number of discarded bottles on the edges of undeveloped plots and under bushes on the side of the road never ceases to amaze me. Who drinks all these 1.5 liter bottles? Some of the ones around the park next to our house are left every night by kids who smoke nargilas there. We have a big problem with garbage in the park and although the city sends someone once a week to clean up, there is a lot of mess there.

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I just called the Moked to report water overflowing from a manhole and two minutes later (no exageration) I got a call from a maintenance man who wanted directions exactly where the manhole was. Wow.

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Rafi G (not me) blogged just now about our distance from Gaza. Still 50km but there is now a new map that he shows with concentric rings out to 70km  which reaches Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

The Pikud HaOref (Home Command) site has not changed it’s instructions. However Tel Aviv Municipality started checking out its public shelters today and distributing information to home owners. I just checked out the information on selecting a safe room.

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