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Grapevine September 17: Nasi jubilee

CM 14/09/2021


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Residents of Talbiyeh and surroundings are taking Health Ministry guidelines very seriously.
At Hazvi Yisrael congregation on the Shabbat before Rosh Hashanah, the pavement was lined with worshipers. Generally, the congregation has three services at staggered times on different floors in the building to accommodate early to late risers. People arriving for the second and third services found the doors to the synagogue locked, but most arrived in time for at least part of the first service on the ground floor beneath the pergola, with the overflow lining the pavement way beyond the synagogue building on both sides.
Among the congregants were nonagenarians and octogenarians, some with walking sticks and wheelchairs, and there was also the bar mitzvah of Ido Levine, the son of Chagit and Philip Levine, which contributed to the large attendance.

As has been happening for a long time, some of the residents of Ahad Ha’am Street, which is less than a ten-minute walk from Hazvi Yisrael, gathered in the middle of the street for services. It’s an interesting mix of Sephardi, Ashkenazi, National-Religious, Modern Orthodox and haredi (ultra-Orthodox). On the Shabbat prior to Rosh Hashanah, it looked as if there was barely a minyan – a quorum of a minimum of ten men – but then on closer inspection, worshipers could be seen at the entrances to nearby buildings – a somewhat exaggerated example of social distancing while praying together.
■ PEDESTRIANS PASSING the President’s Residence in Talbiyeh cannot help but notice the row of large billboards announcing the “Jubilee of Beit Hanassi.” The first president to take up residence in what is known as Beit Hanassi (the President’s Residence), was Zalman Shazar who came into office in 1963, but the building where he resided is today known as Yad Izhak Ben-Zvi, the hut that his predecessor, Izhak Ben-Zvi had used for state receptions while living in modest premises next door.
In 1964, Teddy Kollek who was then working in the Prime Minister’s Office announced a design contest for a permanent presidential compound. The contest was limited to local architects. Of the 47 submissions, the winning entry was that of Aba Elhanani. Neither he nor the adjudicators envisaged the extent to which Israel’s population would grow, thereby creating greater needs in the presidential building. Some necessary changes have been made over the years, such as the removal of pillars in the large reception hall, the modernization of the cloakroom and its subsequent transformation into a waiting room, the upgrading of public toilets, the replacement of the infrastructure after burst pipes created a flood, the establishment of a synagogue and a visitors’ center, the creation of a new entrance, and other things which did not interfere too much with the original structure. Furniture arrangements were changed by a succession of presidents, their wives or staff, as was the artwork, which is on loan from the Israel Museum. Nechama Rivlin, for instance, who was very fond of contemporary art had much of the art that had been displayed during the Peres years removed and replaced by more contemporary pieces. Shazar inaugurated the building in 1971. Since then, its occupants have included Ephraim Katzir, Yitzhak Navon, Chaim Herzog, Ezer Weizman, Moshe Katsav, Shimon Peres, Reuven Rivlin and now President Isaac Herzog.
Of the above mentioned, four are Sabras: Navon, Weizman, Rivlin and Isaac Herzog. Navon and Rivlin were both born in Jerusalem to multi-generational families of Jerusalemites. The Prime Minister’s Office has a far better record of being headed by native Israelis, though only one of the seven Sabra prime ministers (including interim prime minister Yigal Allon), was born in Jerusalem. That was Yitzhak Rabin, who did not remain in the capital but twice returned as prime minister. Most of the other prime ministers also served in the role more than once. The Sabras among them are Benjamin Netanyahu, Ehud Barak, Ariel Sharon, Ehud Olmert, and Naftali Bennett. If all goes according to plan, the next prime minister will be Yair Lapid who is also a Sabra.
■ FOR MORE than sixty years, the aroma of freshly baked bread has wafted out across the city from the Givat Shaul Industrial Zone, but it seems that in three years from now, this will no longer be the case, following the sale of its production plant that was spread across 19 hectares (47 acres). The plant was recently sold for NIS 400 million. For several years, the surrounding area was almost empty of any commercial enterprise, but then it started to develop and simply kept growing, and will probably continue to do so as the light rail runs through Kanfei Nesharim, which has become the main street. Founded in 1927, in Bayit Vagan, Angel’s Bakery moved to Givat Shaul in 1958, and in the course of time with the introduction of new machinery, new bread-making techniques and an extraordinary variety of bread, rolls and cakes, became the largest commercial baker in Israel, and also opened shops and cafés around the country. As far as is known, the great-grandsons of the founder Salomon Angel who could trace his origins to the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492, have no intention of opening another bakery in Jerusalem, but that does not necessarily mean that it will not do so in another city. The company has until February 2024 to evacuate, and may transfer the bulk of its activities to one of its other outlets, preferably in Lod or Netivot.
CLIMATE CHANGE has entered the world of art. The new exhibition at Museum on the Seam, which deals with Socio-Political Contemporary Art, has a new group exhibition – “ETF! Examples to Follow!” which focuses on expeditions in aesthetics and sustainability and deals with different layers of climate change while encouraging a vision of a sustainable lifestyle in which every person can be part of the green revolution. The curator is Adrienne Goehler of Berlin, and among the many international artists is Israel’s own award-winning Sigalit Landau, who was born in Jerusalem and studied at Bezalel before achieving global fame.
greerfc@gmail.com

Source: Jerusalem Post

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CM

The host of Coffee Mouth Scare Crow Show and CEO of 452 Impact, Inc. Here is food for thought. Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." John 3:16 "For God so love ed the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall be saved."

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