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State Comptroller: Kever Rashbi a Hazard and An Eyesore

rashbi.jpgIn yet another critical report from the Office of the State Comptroller, officials are calling for immediately action pertaining to the security and safety hazards at Kever Rashbi, as well as some immediate changes and improvement in sanitary conditions.

The report states that the responsibility for the kever must be handed over to a government agency or at the very least, placing a government agency in a supervisory capacity.

The report cites the kever is sorely neglected and lacks basic sanitary conditions, both outside in the immediate surrounding area as well as inside the complex.

Kever Rashbi is considered the second most popular religious site following the Kosel, with some 1.5 million annual visitors. On Lag B’Omer alone there are 500,000 visitors. The report also addresses the poor service and many difficulties and hazards surrounding the public transportation on Lag B’Omer.

According to the Rav of the Holy Places, Rav Shmuel Rabinowitz, there is now a five-member committee overseeing the kever and since its establishment, conditions have improved significantly, admitting there is much that must still be done. He added that there are now security guards, but this is not satisfactory, but he points out optimistically, it is a step in the right direction. He speaks of the need to still improve security, and Rabbi Rabinowitz does not argue with the report’s calls for measures to improve safety, place fire extinguishers, provide emergency exits and many more steps towards rendering the kever capable of hosting the vast number of visitors and mispalalim.

The report states the site is one that attracts large numbers of people and it is an easy terror target. The report calls for stern and appropriate security measures.

Rabbi Rabinowitz states however the issue of the Lag B’Omer transportation is an issue for the Transportation Ministry and not within his committee’s mandate, as is the case with issues such as the filth and neglect outside the actual kever compound.

The report cites that an addition to the structure is illegal, and there are constant battles for the operation of the site, which includes the collection of a sizable amount of money given by the tens of thousands of visitors during the course of a year. The report decries the lack of order and proper entrances and emergency exits, as well as the lack of basic amenities for a national shrine that attracts so many visitors. The rabbi adds that his committee cannot do anything to address the poor sanitary conditions outside the complex, leading us to believe that many of the problems are the victim of governmental red tape and arguments surrounding responsibility and jurisdiction.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)

6 Responses

  1. “Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai and his colleagues disagreed over how to view the actions of the Romans (Shabbat 33b):
    “Rabbi Yehudah commenced [the discussion] by observing, ‘How fine are the works of this people! They have made streets, they have built bridges, they have erected baths.’ Rabbi Yose was silent. Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai answered and said, ‘All that they made they made for themselves;…to levy tolls for them” Is the government really interested in the welfare of the people?

  2. Why do you so easily dismiss the opinion of Rabbi Yehudah?

    Rashbi’s opinion here was always hard for me to understand. OF course the Romans are not going to come across the sea and build bridges for you out of the goodness of their hearts. If it wasn’t for the incentives of profit, honor, prestige.. nothing on this earth would ever get done. The road in front of your house would never have been paved, had the politician representing your area not been interested in being reelected.

    So my answer is: yes the state is interested in your welfare, because you both share the same piece of land, and if your neighborhood is a dump, it affects them as well.

  3. YES, INDEED– The holiness of the Kever will be greatly improved by handing it over to those atheists–Livni and Barak (The Israeli Barak, not the American one)..

  4. Deepthinker–

    If they do manage to clean up the site a bit, it will be to their credit. I’ve been there a couple of times and it’s embarrassing how unkept the surrounding area is.

    Do you think the garbage collectors in mea shearim are all chareidi? The municipality (ie state) collects their trash, even if the residents don’t believe in the legitimacy of the state. Imagine the riots that would ensue if the state decided to let the chareidim dispose of their own garbage. ( or defend themselves, or install their own plumbing, or pave their own roads, or grow their own food, none of which the chareidim can do on their own)

  5. As part of this story you might want to mention that there are many within the charedi camp(including the Badat’z Eidah hachareidis) who vehemently oppose any takeover of the area by the “Medina”.

  6. Mormat,

    They already completely control it. Har Meron is the highest point in the Galil and there’s an army base and listening outpost at the top.
    Do you think your tehillim will be less effective if the “medina” intervenes? Do you think G-d hates the zionists so much that He would rather the site remain a trash heap then see a goverment agency care to basic sanitary conditions? I dont. But G-d does consider anyone who believes the above to be a fool, in my opinion.

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