Bet Shemesh Weekly News

By Rabbi Dov Lipman 

SCHOOL GUARDS UNDER SCRUTINY
Numerous complaints have reached the city government regarding the guards protecting local schools this year.  The complaints include the advanced age of many of the guards, the fact that many don't speak Hebrew, lack of continuity with different guards appearing every day, and guards who are not attentive to who is coming in and out of the schools.  Upon investigation, the city did hire a new security firm for this school year and there are serious questions regarding what degree of training the new company's guards have gone through.  City councilman, Natan Sheetrit (Likud), is leading the effort to make sure that the new company addresses these concerns.  
INTERNAL SECURITY MINISTER VISITS
Yitzchak Aharonovich (Yisroel Beiteinu), the Minister of Internal Security, visited the Bet Shemesh police station this past week.  The minister was briefed by the station's chief and had the chance to speak to the policemen to hear their account regarding the stations's operations and challenges. 

MOTORCYCLE THIEVES CAUGHT IN THE ACT
Some local youth were in the process of stealing a motorcycle when an off duty policewoman came walking past.  She called the station and on duty policemen came to the scene immediately and arrested the youth.  The police suspect these youth in numerous other similar thefts in the area and hope that their arrest will bring an end to these thefts.

DRAMA IN CITY COUNCIL MEETING 
Last week's city council meeting was filled with drama.  The opposition wanted a number of issues raised but were turned down because they fell under the auspices of Deputy Mayor, Meir Balayish, who was "on his way to Uman for Rosh HaShana."  The Mayor did raise the establishment of a local committee for economic support and assistance for businesses.  While the opposition supports the initiative, some concerns were raised regarding who would run and oversee this committee and the opposition members wanted to delay approval until they had more information.  It suddenly became apparent that due to some coalition members not being present, the opposition had the votes to delay the measure.  The Mayor was seen testing at a quick pace on his phone and in a very dramatic moment, Meir Balayish came walking through the door.  This led to a very contentious (and loud) scene - a strange lead up to the warm Rosh Hashana wishes which were scheduled for the end of the meeting.  All eight opposition members voted against the measure but lost by one vote.  In another dramatic and unusual turn, after the vote, City Councilman Jacky Edri (Býachad)asked for his vote to be changed to a vote in favor of the measure. 
 
DIALYSIS AVAILABLE ON SHABBAT AND HOLIDAYS
Rabbi Avraham Kop, director of Ezrat Achim has announced that his organization has arranged for a non-Jew to operate dialysis machines for anyone in the city who needs this service on Shabbat or Yom Tov.  The idea was sparked by the three day yom tov of Rosh Hashana this year during which some city residents could not function without treatments and will continue for hall holidays and shabbatot.  Anyone interested in finding out more information should contact Ezras Achim at 999-0000. 

GIVAT SHARET SHUK ARBA  MINIM WITH RAV SPEKTOR
Givat Sharet's annual "Shuk 4 Minim" will take place in the simcha hall of Ohel Yonah Menachem, Rechov Shivtei Yisrael, this coming Sunday night (19 September - day after Yom Kippur) from 7:30pm - 10:30pm.
 
There'll be a large selection of lulavim, etrogim and hadassim from a variety of vendors with a range of prices, and an "on the spot posek" - Harav David Avraham Spektor shlita, Rav of Givat Sharet and OYM who will be present to answer questions and help you select your lulav and etrog.  
 
Rav Spektor will give a "hands-on practical guide" slide-show presentation entitled "Choosing a Kosher Etrog" (in Ivrit) at 6:50p.m. in the shul.
  

 RAV OVADIA YOSEF VISITS THE CITY
Rav Ovadia Yosef, Rav Bakshi Doron, and Interior Minister Eli Yishai visited Bet Shemesh on Wednesday to take part in the dedication of a new shul in Nachala umenicha where Mayor Abutbol prays.  In the political world, the visit was taken as a statement of clear support from Shas for Mayor Abutbol to continue as Mayor beyond this term.  There are clear indications that Degel HaTorah plans to run its own candidate which would hinder the Mayor's chances of running as the chareidi candidate.  Rav Ovadia offered words of inspiration and introspection at the event.   


180 VOLUNTEERS FROM THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY HAVE COME TO SERVE IN BET SHEMESH
Bet Shemesh has seen a significant reduction in youth violence as was reported in past issues.  Many attribute this to the volunteers who have come to Bet Shemesh from throughout Israel to assist with the city's youth.  The school year started with 180 volunteers from 10 different organizations serving in our city to assist the youth through a variety of programs.  City councilman Richard Peres (Labor) worked together with the national and local Matnas directors to draw the volunteers to the city.  

BET SHEMESH FESTIVAL ON SUKKOT
The annual Bet Shemesh Festival will take place on Monday and Tuesday of Chol HaMoed Sukkot.  The feature event is a concert featuring: Shlock Rock, Chaim Dovid, Piamenta, Shlomo Katz (pictured), Shai Gabso and others.  The concert will take place on Monday September 27 from 5:00p.m. - 11:00p.m. at the city amphitheater. 
Other festival events include walking tours at some beautiful and ancient sites around the city and a bike tour.  A complete schedule of events can be found atwww.betshemesh.muni.il

FIRST ANNUAL TESHUVA KENES A HUGE SUCCESS
In case you missed it, a local teshuva kenes was held this week at Beit Midrash Torani Leumi (Rav David's shul) with a full crowd in attendance.  Rav Spektor, Rav David, Rav Sheinkolovsky, Rav Rosner, and Rav Rosensweig inspired the crowd with words of inspiration as a preparation for Yom Kippur.  Please make a mental note of the event which will bézrat Hashem become an annual event in the Aseret Yemai Teshuva.   

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