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Israel - Due To Rain, Wall in Meah Shearim Old Talmud Torah Building Damaged

Published on: March 2, 2009 07:36 AM
By: VIN News by Ezra Reichman
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The wall that is fallingIsrael - A wall of one of Jerusalem’s unique buildings which was built 124 years ago, was damaged in a recent storm.

Rain and winds which battered Jerusalem at the end of last week, caused damage to the Talmud Torah in Meah Shearim Founded in 1885 in the heart of Meah Shearim, the central building served as a Talmud Torah, yeshiva and shul for the residents of the neighborhood. It was famous for its beautiful ceiling paintings painted by artist Yitzchak Beck during the 1950’s.

After heavy rain pounded the city over the weekend, part of the building’s eastern wall collapsed on Monday. The wall that fell bordered the building’s library which was empty at the time because all the students were in class. As soon as the damage was discovered, the students were evacuated in case other sections of the building would collapse. The classes were settled in nearby shteiblach.

One eye witness reported, “I learn in a nearby yeshiva. I suddenly heard a loud noise, left my building and saw that the Meah Shearim cheder’s wall had collapsed. Twenty minutes after they evacuated the children, another section of the wall collapsed.”


The municipality sent engineers in to check the building. They concluded that rains had caused the collapse, with the building’s advanced age being a contributing factor. The municipality shut the building down.

The same day, Chareidi Education department director Rav Yitzchak Pindrus arrived to see how he could provide assistance. Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat, and police and municipal officials, also came to assess the damage and see what could be done.

After the city engineers complete their appraisal, the city will do what it can to strengthen and repair the building so the children can return to their studies in the historic building. The building has many cracks, and its internal metal frame is likely damp and rusted.

Itzik Schwekey, the director of the Jerusalem Site Preservation Council, said that for several years, the Council has been trying to put together a budget to preserve the building’s disintegrating artwork, so far without success.

“The building is Israel’s Sistine Chapel,” Schwekey claims. “Restoring the yeshiva building and preserving its artwork will help develop the neighborhood and the entire environs.”


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 Mar 02, 2009 at 01:52 PM Anonymous Says:

I learned in this talmud torah for aprox. 25 years ago when the floor of our class fell under to the next floor b'chasdei hashem we left the class minutes before that and we also had a seudas hoydaya with one of the gedolim talking at the seuda my melamed was then rabbi kop.


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