Alfassi Books Department of Services 2015 catalog

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במקום גניזה Instead of Gniza

 
(English after Hebrew)
 

 אינני שומר מצוות

אך יש במצוות הגניזה

משהו נוגע ללב, מרגש

ביחוד לחובבי ספרים, כמוני

פעם

מול התחנה המרכזית החדשה

בירושלים

היה מבנה נטוש, מאוד נטוש היה המבנה

היו מגיעים אליו כלמיני

 בעבר היה המקום

בית מדרש

אולי בגלל זה היו מוטלים בו

אלפי ספרי קודש

על הרצפה, משכב לחסרי בית

יורם אמיר, ידידי הצלם, הכיר לי את המקום

הייתי בא, תולש ספרי קהלת מן התנ”כים

ומבצע בהם מעשים אמנותיים

במקום גניזה

wpid-P_20131112_233012_1.jpg

 

 

I’m not

an observant Jew

but the Gniza mitzvah

in which we are commanded

to bury holy text

when we’re done using it

is very exciting to me

Once

in an abandoned building

in front of the central bus station

in West Jerusalem

thousands of books

Bibles, Talmud, Mishna

laid on the floor

as beds to homeless people

The building used to be

a Beit-Midrash once

My friend Yoram showed it to me

and I would come

 tear the book of Ecclesiastes

out of old Bible books

and make all sorts of art with them

instead of Gniza

Ecclesiastes text glued on an 18th century Jewish Musar (morals) book Mesilat Yesharim (path of the righteous) by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Lutzato –

1Meaningless! Meaningless!
    says the Teacher.
2 Utterly meaningless!
    Everything is meaningless.
3 What do people gain from all their labors
    at which they toil under the sun?
4 Generations come and generations go,
    but the earth remains forever.

Diet God

A friend from out of town came to visit our synagogue and said she wish there was a synagogue that is God-free. I told her that our synagogue is sort of God light, or diet God, but it was still too much God for her diet.

  I don’t know whether God exists or not, but I honestly don’t understand why human beings spend so much time thinking and arguing about that. I mean we’re going to find out when we die anyway so why bother about it now? ‘What is God’ is a more of an interesting question to me than whether it exists or not, since it has so many different answers than just yes or no.

  I do believe that acts of loving kindness count more than type of faith though.

  What I love about our synagogue, BHA, is that there are about as many different views of Judaism and of God as the number of members, if not more (two Jews, three opinions, so it says).