OFTEN IT’S Jews who complain of being disturbed by the amplified sound of the muezzin calling the Muslim faithful to prayer. But this week, the Muslim population living within earshot of the Seven Arches Hotel on the Mount of Olives was disturbed for two consecutive nights by the sound of Jewish musical performances, which in their own way exemplified the divisiveness in Israel society.
On Tuesday cantors Yitzchak Meir Helfgot and Dov Heller, accompanied by the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Elli Jaffe, presented a heartfelt recital of Ashkenazi cantorial songs in memory of the great cantor Yossele Rosenblatt in the presence of Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau and Mayor Nir Barkat. Then on the following night at the same venue, Haim Israel, Yaniv Ben Mashiach and Lior Elmaliach presented a recital of Sephardi and North African liturgical songs in the presence of Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, Interior Minister Arye Deri, Religious Affairs Minister David Azoulay and Deputy Mayor Moshe Lion. Both events were held in the courtyard of the hotel, facing the Temple Mount.
Many visitors to Jerusalem when seeing the façade of the hotel from the promenade leading to the Western Wall often point in excitement to the architecturally impressive Seven Arches and ask what it is. It’s somewhat of a letdown when they learn that it’s a hotel and that it’s neither owned nor managed by Jews. It is in fact owned by the Jordanian royal family, and stands on land owned by the Al-Alami family. Since 1967 it has been managed by Israel’s Custodian of Absentee Properties, which is a branch of the government.
YESHIVA UNIVERSITY President Richard Joel
was a guest last week at the Hazvi Yisrael Synagogue, where he was assured by congregants that regardless of the opinion of the High Rabbinical Court of Israel on the qualifications of rabbis ordained at YU, all YU rabbis would be recognized and accepted at Hazvi Yisrael.
The reference was an allusion to Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, the emeritus rabbi of New York’s Orthodox Jeshurun Congregation.
Lookstein, whose authority is not recognized by the Israeli rabbinical courts, received his ordination in 1958 from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary in New York, which is part of Yeshiva University.
EVERY YEAR, the Jerusalem Friends of the Alyn Pediatric and Adolescent Rehabilitation Hospital get together for a fund-raiser that taxes not only the pocket but also the brain and simultaneously is a lot of fun.
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The JFA’s 27th annual Supper Quiz will be held at the hospital in Kiryat Hayovel on July 28 at 7:30 p.m. The participation cost is NIS 150. Reservations can be made for a complete team of 10; or individuals can join an existing team that may be one or two persons short. The master of ceremonies will be Rabbi Michael Klein-Katz. Seating is limited to 12 tables of 10 people each.
To check ticket availability, call Marcia Lewison at (02) 672-2453 or 050-923- 2233 (do not leave a message). Jody Garfinkel can also be contacted to make reservations at 054-546-0536. Individuals who come at the last minute and pay at the door will be seated on a first-come firstserved basis. Even those who may not be able to join a team will enjoy kibitzing, and will certainly relish the supper and the chance to network with friends and make new acquaintances.
FEW PEOPLE, other than Chabadniks, know the significance of 12 Tamuz, which was last Monday. It commemorates the birthday and the release from a Soviet prison in 1927 of the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn.
At Chabad Rehavia, the commemorative event had the added dimension of a family reunion, in that the guest of honor was Rabbi Moshe Hartman
, the brother-in-law of Chabad of Rehavia director Rabbi Yisroel Goldberg. Hartman is one of the Chabad envoys in Odessa. Few things start on time at Chabad facilities, and this was no exception. When Goldberg was asked by a female participant whether the farbrengen, as Chabadniks call it, would start at Jewish mean time, he replied that it would start soon.
“But you don’t have a minyan,” said the woman. “You’re here, and Shoshi is here,” he said naming his wife, and noting the presence of several other females. “But we don’t count for a minyan,” the woman persisted.
“Maybe not for a minyan,” Goldberg conceded, “but in Chabad, women count.”
JERUSALEM HAS been chosen by Travel Blog Exchange (TBEX) to host the world’s largest travel bloggers’ conference in March, 2017. The event will be held at the Jerusalem International Convention Center.
The decision by TBEX was welcomed by The Jerusalem Conventions and Visitors Bureau, which functions under the auspices of The Jerusalem Development Authority. The annual travel bloggers’ conference, held in different venues each year, attracts some one thousand participants from around the world. Ilanit Melchior
, JDA’s director of tourism, was thrilled that so many top-ranking decision makers, influencers of public opinion, leaders of the travel industry and the travel media will be exposed to the wide range of attractions that Jerusalem has to offer.
Participants who are also interested in exploring other parts of Israel can get to most destinations in a relatively short time, and will be amazed at how much variety there is in the small area of the State of Israel.
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