Friday, August 31, 2007

Ya-aleh v'Yavo (Arise and Come)

Ya-aleh v'Yavo are the recognizable words that signal the special New Month prayer added to the Amidah and translate as "Arise and Come".

Their specific relevance?

Well, as I just recently posted, Jews have this tendencey to argue and divide over emphasized differences.

And now this elevator story which reminded me of arise and come:-

Century Village unit criticized for spending $11,000 to alter elevator for Sabbath

and excerpts -

Most of the 56 owners in Berkshire E are Orthodox Jews barred for religious reasons from pushing the buttons on their elevator during the Sabbath, which runs from Friday evening to Saturday evening. They persuaded their board to spend $11,000 to convert the elevator so it automatically stops on each of the four floors during the Sabbath.

But two of the owners, who are also Jewish, are angry their money will be used for a religious accommodation. "I respect their desires, but why does the building have to pay for this?" asked snowbird Nicki Goldstein, 69, from her New York City home.

By law, however, everyone who buys in a condo community agrees to submit to the will of the majority. About 85 percent of the owners are Orthodox. On the Sabbath, they are not allowed to do anything that would create energy, such as drive a car, turn on a light or push an elevator button.

Those owners purposely bought in Berkshire E because it is an easy walk to Young Israel synagogue of Deerfield Beach, said association president Mark Sussman, who isn't Orthodox.

...Steven D. Rubin, chairman of a Palm Beach County Bar Association real estate committee, thinks the board may have overstepped its boundaries.

"I don't think the board should take a position on spending association funds for religious purposes, regardless of what the majority wants," he said.

But state condo ombudsman Danille R. Carroll said, "There is nothing in the statutes that would not allow a board to do that. It's at the board's discretion. "And the way they did it is a good thing; you want a board to get input from owners," she said.

What constitutes improper backing of a religious activity by a condo or homeowner association has been debated for years. Every case is different. Two years ago, a federal judge ruled a Port St. Lucie homeowner association was within its rights to ban religious services in its clubhouse as long as it was applied equally to all religious groups.

Last year, the Sun of Baltimore reported a brouhaha over an attempt to convert one of two elevators to a Sabbath elevator. After the board voted 5-3 against it, a Baltimore council member in May introduced a bill to prohibit buildings from adopting rules that deny reasonable accommodation for practicing one's religion. No decision has been made.

Sandra Bronner, a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp, doesn't want to pay for the Sabbath elevator in Berkshire E.

"It doesn't matter if I have to push the button or not," the snowbird said from her home in Toronto. "If a majority of people are religious, let them pay for it. And I'm Orthodox."

...Rabbi Pesach Lerner, executive vice president of the National Council of Young Israel, the New York-based organization that coordinates 150 Orthodox synagogues in the country, said the minority must submit to the majority in condos.

"The definition of condominium is communal living," he said. "If a board decides to paint a building, I may not want it painted but everyone must pay so I have to pay. A majority of people voted for the elevator. I think it's unfortunate that people can't accommodate their neighbors."

And how many eruv stories can we tell, starting with Noah Feldman who pro-bonoed to fight the Tenafly eruv.


Anonymous said...

Please take this down if you're going to keep the preface implying that SF cops are stupid. Jimmy was a great guy, you weren't there and it doesn't reflect anything on the force. Thank you

YMedad said...

Trish, I haven't the faintest idea what you are referring to. Jimmy? SanFran? Cops? I think you are in the wrong story.