Friday, December 29, 2006

Slow News Week

The Real 770 - photo by Robbins/Becher
click on photo to enlarge

At this time of year, especially in Australia where it is summer, everything slows down especially the news. Despite what is occuring in other parts of the world most of the Australian media outlets concentrate on reporting about sport...actually they do that all year around...

Anyway, Shmais pointed me to the photographs of Andrea Robbins and Max Becher who, in 2005, took photos of many different "770" buildings around the world. Personally, I have never been too excited about this desire to copy the architecture of 770 Eastern Parkway. It seems very shallow to use this building to represent Chabad to the outside world. I would think that we have more to offer than the external view of a "neo-gothic" New York building.

Hanging out in Postville - photo by Robbins/Becher
click on photo to enlarge

What was more interesting to me were the photos of Postville, Iowa taken by Robbins and Becher. Postville is the home of the Rubashkin family's business AgriProcessors Inc. This is one of the largest (maybe the largest) kosher meat producing business in the States.

The description of Postville on the website says, amongst other things:
The plant employs 350 workers, many of whom are ultra orthodox Jews and mostly Lubavitch, making Postville the home of the largest number of Rabbis per capita in the United States.
The Hasidim that came to work in the slaughterhouse brought their lives from Brooklyn and established a modern shtetl in a small corner of Iowa. They set up a synagogue, two schools including a Yeshiva, two ritual baths (one for men and one for women) as well as the first and only kosher market and restaurant in the state of Iowa.
Robbins/Becher's photos have a snapshot quality and, to me, are not particularly artistic but I suppose their point is to show reality rather than a stylised version of what they see thru the lens.

If you scroll down the bar on the left side of the page there are also some photos that they took at Dachau.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Tragic Car Accident in Israel

Levi Hendel, A"H..........Moshe Golan, A"H.........Yonoson Biton, A"H

COL and Shturem are reporting on a tragic car accident in Israel where three bochrim lost their lives. Two other bochrim suffered light injuries and are recovering at home, one is in hospital in critical condition and two others are in hospital in moderate condition.

Please say Tehilim for the complete recovery of the injured: Avraham ben Feige and Alexander Zusman ben Chasya.

The three boys who were killed are Moshe Golan, 17, Yonoson Biton, 17 and Levi Hendel, 14.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the families. It is difficult to imagine how the families and friends, indeed all of Anash, are feeling at this time.

To read more about the tragedy see COL and Shturem.


Friday, December 15, 2006

Merry Chanukah

THe site had loads of information and activities for Chanukah. In particular I like the Itchie Kadoozy video: "A rabbi, a college student, and a gefilte fish share their feelings about chanukah." See it here.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Is This Good for the Jews?

I think not...

It looks as though Bogomilsky and his supporter's efforts to get a menorah placed Seattle Airport backfired. If we go by this article in The Seattle Times the Rabbi and friends expected the airport to cave in to their (heavy handed) demands. When are we going to learn? Why throw our weight around when a gentler approach would probably yield positive results? Another chillul Hashem that could have been avoided.

Rabbi gets hate mail over airport Christmas trees
Mon Dec 11, 2006 8:18 PM ET

SEATTLE (Reuters) - A local rabbi is receiving hate mail and angry phone calls after Seattle airport officials took down its Christmas trees in response to his request to include a giant Menorah in the airport's holiday decorations, his lawyer said on Monday.

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport removed its Christmas trees on Saturday after Rabbi Elazar Bogomilsky threatened to sue the Port of Seattle, which operates the airport, if it did not include a menorah into its holiday decorations.

The rabbi works on behalf of Chabad-Lubavitch, a branch of Hasidic Judaism and an Orthodox Jewish movement.

The removal of the trees sparked a public outcry over what some say was political correctness run amok and part of a trend to adopt a secular tone toward Christmas.

Harvey Grad, the rabbi's attorney, said it was never Bogomilsky's intention to have the trees removed and the rabbi was "saddened" by the port's decision to remove all holiday decorations instead of including the Menorah for Hanukkah.

"We are not part of the war on Christmas," said Grad. "All we asked for was inclusion and now we're getting hate mail and angry messages."

The Chabad of Greater Seattle asked the airport to put the trees back and will not pursue any legal action even if the airport does not include the menorah into this year's holiday decorations.

In a statement, the Port of Seattle said it removed the trees to avoid litigation with a religious group, which wanted to install the menorah and hold a lighting ceremony.

"The airport is not a traditional public forum and it would not be appropriate for such a ceremony, so we made the decision to remove the trees to allow the airport staff to focus on the busy travel season," the Port said on its Web site.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Art by Miriam


"A set of two plaques made entirely from wood, bark and stone
collected from the small Russian town of Lubavitch"

I saw on COL that Melbourne artist, Miriam Teleshevsky, has a new web site Art by Miriam and that it won an design award. I had never heard of this award (not that that means much) and did some research. It seems that this is an advertising gimic by a website designer to drum up business...But that doesn't mean that Miriam's website is not worth a visit.

Although much of her artwork is not to my taste there are some nice pieces. In particular I like the ones reproduced above. These two pieces above are very different but appeal to me. Check out her website to view of many other examples of her artwork.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Chaim Tzvi Tours the World

COL does it again with photos of Chaim Tzvi Groner in Moscow.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Photos of Melbourne

COL has some nice photos taken in Yeshivah Gedolah and at Kimberley including the extremely nice one of Rabbi Groner above. See them here.