DEVASTATING FIRE CAUSES MAJOR DESTRUCTION TO MOSHAV MEVO MODIIM
Alon Teeger speaks
video by Arik Danino
A Message from Brachie Sprung
In 15 minutes, 40 years of Jewish history on our beloved Moshav Mevo Modiim were destroyed in a raging fire, caused by malicious arson.
This tragedy extends far beyond the residents of our tight-knit community, and the outpouring of love has shown us that the ripples of loss are felt around the globe. Over the years, we have been privileged to welcome into our homes and hearts tens of thousands of people seeking Jewish growth and spirituality.
Our special community of artists, musicians, practitioners of alternative healing and health, and creatives built a true pilgrimage destination where guests are treated to unique and impactful Shabbat and holiday experiences. It has been a tremendous gift to be able to serve the Jewish people in this way, and one for which we remain deeply grateful.
Sadly, today, the majority of our 70 homes are burnt to ashes and the few that remain are damaged and uninhabitable. Parts of the Moshav have been isolated due to toxic gases that remain in the air and much of the infrastructure has been destroyed.
In a matter of minutes, we became three generations (nearly 250 people) displaced and in need of significant support services. Our temporary shelter in a nearby high-school dormitory houses community members aged 2 months to 91 years old.
Checks should be made out to: FRIENDS OF ASOR FUND USA, INC.
Please write in the memo line that the donation is for Mevo Modiim
Kindly email INFO@JGIVE.COM to notify them that your check is on the way, and provide information for a tax receipt and for Form 9990 reporting purposes, if the check is for $5,000 or more.
Checks should be mailed to: JGIVE, C/O ASOR FUND, JVP, DERECH HEVRON 24, JERUSALEM, ISRAEL 93452
or TINA RUBINOMANAGER, CROSS RIVER BANK, 885 TEANECK ROAD, TEANECK, NJ 07666
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Campaign led by Elnatan Golomb, Barak Cohen, Brachie Sprung, Alon Teeger, Chani Pearlstein, of Mevo Modiim
From a TOI Blog from Jeffrey Levine
We have heard in the past about the great fire of London or Prague that destroyed most of the town. In our age, who could even imagine a whole village being destroyed by a fire. Moshav Meor Modiin was on Lag B Omer destroyed by a Fire.
Can you imagine going out in the morning, and losing not only your house, all your possessions, heirlooms, memories, photos, diaries and in this case art, music, musical instruments, studios and businesses, and Village The survivors of this fire have been left with literally the clothes that they were wearing.
But this was no ordinary Moshav or ordinary people. The people here (known as “the Chevra”) are the followers of the singing Rabbi, Reb Shlomo Carlebach. They were the hippies from the House of Love of prayer who came in 1976 to this barren, unwanted land in what was then in the middle of nowhere.
They together with Reb Shlomo turned the Moshav into an oasis of love, music, nature, Shabbat and Ahavat Yisrael from hosting Shabbat Retreats, program’s, music and in the last ten years the Moshav Festival on Pesach and Sukkot. It would not be an exaggeration to say that hundreds of thousands of people have attended events over the last 40 years at the Moshav, and for many, this was the first or most inspired taste of a Judaism filled with Joy and Love.
Although Reb Shlomo was primally known as the Singing Rabbi, he was a powerful storyteller relating Hassidic stories. I am sure that there will be many stories resulting from this tragedy, miracles, stories of hope, stories of the overcoming adversity, stories of rebuilding, unity, chesed and compassion.
Reb Shlomo Stories are very profound, One such book being Lamed Vav: A Collection of the Favorite Stories of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach (available on Amazon/ Pomeranz Books in Jerusalem) . and see www.Souldoctorstories.com where there are some inspirational stories and background on Reb Shlomo.
In any event, I'm now going to relate my story about the Moshav which happened last week. Like all Hassidic stories, you can either choose to believe or choose to disbelieve. So, here is my story.
The Moshav has a building called the Shlomo Carlebach Heritage Center which housed thousands of Reb Shlomo books and other memorabilia, and my concern was the loss of this National Treasury. I thought, there would be no way that this could have survived. Anyway, Last Sunday, in a phone smooze with Alon Teeger, Chairman of the Carlebach Foundation and Senior Member of the Moshav Vaad – Council.
We were discussing what was happening with the Moshav. He excitedly told me that they had a got a donation, to build a proper roof over the Shul and they would be able to take the Tent cover and put it by the Shlomo Center to help entertain groups coming to the Moshav. The also got funds for a small coffee shop which would assist and welcome visitors to the Moshav.
So, after the Fire, I was sure that the Fire had destroyed both the Shul and Center. On Friday, Alon posted on What’s App. “I was on the Moshav this morning with the Moetza It looks like a war zone. Shul and Shlomo Center intact plus 5 out of 60 houses. All the rest destroyed. All residents and animals were evacuated in time.
Thousands of Reb Shlomo’s books saved in the centre. Not sure about the other books in the Carlebach home as we weren’t permitted to enter any migrashim because of fires still burning and electrical and water infrastructure damage.” (Update – some of the Books in the Reb Shlomo Home were saved.)
Photo below showing the Shul with some trees untouched. The Shlomo Center is near the green patch at the beginning of the Moshav.
I have no doubt that the Center and the Shul was miraculously saved. Maybe in the merit of that phone call. maybe in the merit of Reb Shlomo, or the pure desire to spread Reb Shlomo’s deep teachings. As Reb Shlomo would often say. You never know. you never know.
I immediately called Alon who surprisingly answered and he related a few more anecdotes. Especially about the miracle that no one died, and that they had 10 minutes to evacuate. He kept repeating that if one person had died it would a different level of disaster.
While trying to put a positive spin, Alon who is his late 60s, told me from now on he is going travel light. At least his kids cannot argue about the candlesticks. I am sure there will be much heartbreak on the road to recovery, picking up the pieces in each person, family and the Chevra of the Moshav. The road will be bumpy. But the Moshav Chevra have strength, faith inspired by their teacher Reb Shlomo.
I want to end off with a post of Facebook by Sivan Rachav Meir:
Most of the homes in Moshav Mevo Modi’in (“The Moshav”) were destroyed by fire yesterday. This is a community that was established by disciples of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, most of them Americans. It’s a community of prayer, joy, dancing, and creativity. A place full of spirit – which went up in flames. This morning, when I opened the book “Simply Love” by Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach – this is what I found:
“Rebbe Nachman of Breslov said: ‘If you believe that it’s possible to destroy, believe that it’s possible to repair.’ They say that all it takes is one idiot with a match to burn down an entire forest. In other words, the force of destruction is quick, strong, overwhelming. A single bad word or deed has the power to destroy many years of effort and hard work. But Rabbi Nachman points out: This idea is very old. The new, better way is to believe that with one good word, a single small deed or even one thought, a person can rebuild the entire world. Therefore, Rabbi Nachman uses the word ‘Believe.’ If a person says to his friend: ‘Believe me, I just went to synagogue, and it’s in exactly the same place it was yesterday’ – it would sound strange. For things that are simple, things that are easy to understand, people don’t need faith.
In order to believe in destruction, you don’t have to be a big ‘believer,’ that’s just human nature. But believing in the power of fixing, that rebuilds – that is what we need to work at. To believe in what the mind can’t easily grasp: that the power of fixing is greater, more meaningful. Most of the righteous, our tsaddikim, taught us not to burn down the forest. This is true, but Rabbi Nachman teaches us something new: You can plant forests! The power to rebuild is greater than the power of destruction. That is what faith is. “
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