Friday, November 14, 2008

Midat Sdom

This week's Parsh (Vayera) includes the story of Avraham's attempt to save the people of Sdom.

Our sources bring down many explanations / examples of what was wrong with society in Sdom. One example is how they lived "Lfnei Mishuras Hadin", for example if someone was building and had a supply of bricks, each person that passed would steel one brick. Each stolen brick was worth less than a Pruta, so no individual would by liable for the theft, so the victim would be left with no bricks and no way to recover his loss.

(couldn't find a source for this - if someome has it, please leave a note)

Anyway - as if to prove that this is possible in the Real World, Yahoo News has a story about an unused Russian Orthodox Church that was dismantled and sold brick by brick, each brick was soled for about 1 ruble (about 4 cents).

How do you say Midot Sdom in Russian?
Russian Orthodox church stolen — brick by brick

Thu Nov 13, 8:31 pm ET

MOSCOW – Wanted: One missing Russian church. Last seen in July. Reward for its return. Orthodox officials in a central Russian region say an abandoned church building that was to be put back into use has been stolen by local villagers.

Orthodox priest Vitaly of the Ivanovo-Voskresenskaya diocese said officials last saw the two-story Church of Resurrection intact in late July. Sometime in early October, however, people from the nearby village of Komarovo, northeast of Moscow, dismantled the building, he said.

Villagers apparently sold it to a local businessman, one ruble (about 4 cents) per brick, Vitaly said. Orthodox priests use only one name.

"Of course, this is blasphemy," he told The Associated Press. "These people have to realize they committed a grave sin."

Vitaly said police were investigating the theft.

The 200-year-old building, which no longer had its icons and other religious valuables, was a school for disabled children during the Soviet era before it was closed down in 1998 and turned over to the church.

Vitaly said the diocese was thinking of reopening it for services.

The Orthodox church has experienced a major resurgence in Russia and has restored or built thousands of churches.

In poorer, rural regions, vandals or petty thieves regularly steal gilded icons or donations from churches and sell them for alcohol or drugs.

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