Bet Shemesh News

By Rabbi Dov Lipman


1)CONSTRUCTION UPDATE
The appeal regarding RBS Gimmel 2 was denied after the board insisted on a number of changes which will take time to make to the plans.  We managed to delay any progress on this neighborhood with its current plans for a year and four months which is a remarkable achievement.  There is no possibility of the neighborhood being populated before the next municipal elections which was certainly the Mayor's goal.  We plan to be on guard throughout the marketing progress and will challenge any legal flaws we see - and there are llely to be many.  That may enable us to make changes in the plans themselves after the next elections   We are also on guard for the moment we can begin objections to plans for neighborhoods in RBS dalet.

2)CITY LOANS
The city council approved 14 million shekel in loans this week.  The first loan is for 5 million shekel to cover the municipality moving offices to the new mall in Migdal Hamayim and the first year of rent.  The Mayor had wanted to borrow 20 million for this purpose but the opposition launched a major campaign against this which influenced the Mayor to change the request to 5 million.  A second loan of 9 million shekel was approved for improvements to the city stadium and the development of the new location for the city shuk.  The opposition members expressed their outrage over this management of city funds, especially considering the fact that the national government has not yet approved the 2012 budget and the fact that the first quarter of 2012 produced a deficit of 200,000 shekel.



3)PROGRESS ON TWO MIKVAOT IN RBS ALEPH
Thanks to a citizen driven campaign, progress is being made on the mikva on Lachish.  The initial improvements to the site were not done well which led to leaks and other problems.  The fact that rabbis other than Rav Spektor are involved in this specific mikva has slowed down the progress but the Mayor has gotten involved and there seems to be significant progress.  In addition, a path to the mikva on Dolev is being built from Nachal Soreik which will enable more privacy for women who enter the mikva across from Park Center, next to the playground.





4)ALIYAH TO BET SHEMESH
This summer, 65 English speaking families are making aliyah to Bet Shemesh - approximately 250 people in total.  Seven families arrived on the recent Nefesh B'nefesh flight.





5)CITY SPONSORED SUMMER ACTIVITIES THIS WEEK
a)Family day at Speedy Kef - Thursday August 2
leaving at 8:30a,m,,, returning at 5:00p.m.
Entrance fee - 43 NIS, transportation - 15 NIS

b)Trip to Park Begin - Tuesday July 31
leaving at 8:30a.m., returning at 5:00p.m.
transportation - 25 NIS
Register at Abba Naamat 10 on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday between 12:00p.m. and 3:00p.m.



6)EXTREMISTS DAMAGE NEW PARK
a New playground for children was built on the corner of Yarden and Rabbi Yehoshua.  Extremists vandalized the equipment - puncturing hols in the slides and lining them with black ink and oil.  The city leadership has yet to file a complaint with the police department about destruction of its equipment.

7) WHO WILL BE THE CANDIDATE TO CONTEST MAYOR ABUTBOL?
Many people are asking these questions and names of candidates have been emerging.  Please e-mail me back asap if you would like to be part of an introductory meeting with possible candidates at the end of next week. 

DVAR TORAH ON PARSHAT DEVARIM
Why does the Torah relate that Moshe was speaking to the Jewish people ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE JORDAN RIVER (1:1), a fact which is obvious from the flow of the story which includes the emphasis on Moshe not crossing into Israel?
The Ohr HaChayim answers that the Torah is pointing out that Moshe waited to rebuke the Jews until they were right on the other side of the Jordan River since rebuking them when they were further away would have plunged the nation into despair. Once they were close to Israel and could see their final destination they were able to absorb the rebuke and improve.

ESSAY RELATED TO TISHA B'AV AND OLYMPICS
I hope you find this essay, which I wrote for aish.com four years, to be meaningful as part of your preparation for Tisha B'Av.  It cannot be more relevant to our times.

Shabbat shalom and have a meaningful Tisha B'Av,

Dov Lipman

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