Sunday, December 05, 2010

Tales from the Inferno

Two fast stories from the Mt. Carmel inferno. You can make of these
what you will.

Nir Etzion is a religious kibbutz south of Haifa, best known for
making kosher TV dinners and other prepared foods. It was smack in
the path of the fire. It was evacuated on and off due to heavy smoke
and ash. The rabbi of the kibbutz is a PhD student at the University
of Haifa. This past Saturday the flames approached the kibbutz. The
rabbi prepared to leave behind his entire PhD thesis and materials to
rescue the Torah Scroll in the synagogue. The flames repeatedly
approached the kibbutz from several different directions. In every
single case, the flames stopped at the "eruv" – the artificial "fence"
set up around the area to define a "Sabbath zone" in which observant
Jews may carry things during the Sabbath. In the end, aside from
smoke, the kibbutz remained completely undamaged.

Yamin Orde is a boarding school mainly for youths who immigrated to
Israel but whose families are abroad (including Ethiopians and even
some Darfur refugees). The school was devastated by the forest fire.
The entire school library was damaged. When a film crew from one of
the Israeli TV stations entered the library to film the destruction in
it, they looked around and saw one single book on a shelf that was not
damaged at all.
It was a Bible. This is not an urban legend – I saw the news film
with my own eyes on TV.

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