Michelle Obama: Dining and Luxuriating on Paris River Cruise As Notre Dame Burns and Paris Screams

Michelle Obama: Dining and Luxuriating on Paris River Cruise As Notre Dame Burns and Paris Screams

Let them eat cake. Talk about bad optics. TMZ reports that big shot wannabe Michelle Obama was living the good life — sipping wine on a dinner cruise in Paris — when the Notre Dame Cathedral fire totally changed the mood … and the course of the cruise. Ouch! MO was smiling as she boarded the Ducasse sur Seine Monday night — just across from the Eiffel Tower — for a dinner cruise experience along the Seine River with famous chef Alain Ducasse and others. Michelle just wanted a fun night on the luxury ship … but things took a turn for the worse when word got around Notre Dame was going up in flames. Oh, well. Let them eat cake. https://bit.ly/2Irqx8i


Notre Dame – Amazing Polly


French cathedral’s rector says Notre Dame destruction might have been made worse by computer glitch

notre dame spire

© Agence France-Presse/Geoffroy van der Hasselt
The pire collapses

The fire that destroyed the roof of Notre Dame in Paris may have been made worse by a computer glitch, the cathedral’s rector said. Officials are also warning about scams as grifters seek to exploit fundraisers for its renovation.

The fire that destroyed the roof of Notre Dame in Paris may have been made worse by a computer glitch, the cathedral’s rector said. Officials are also warning about scams as grifters seek to exploit fundraisers for its renovation.

Fire broke out at Notre Dame on Monday, and rapidly spread along the wooden roof frame, severely damaging the Gothic jewel. It is possible the fire was able to spread so quickly because of a “computer glitch” with the alarm system, rector Patrick Chauvet said on Friday.

Chauvet did not specify the nature of the glitch. The fire alarm went off at 6pm local time, but registered the blaze in the wrong place, the newspaper Le Parisien reported. Police investigators suspect an electrical short circuit was behind the fire.

“We may find out what happened in two or three months,” Chauvet said.

Archbishop of Paris Michel Aupetit told the newspaper Le Figaro that the “extraordinary generosity” from around the world following the fire will allow the Catholic Church to consider the cathedral’s “certain resurrection.”

The outpouring of support for repairing Notre Dame has also been exploited by grifters, however – the Patrimony Foundation (Fondation du Patrimoine) has warned of numerous scams seeking to siphon off donations, including a fraudulent website impersonating their own, but hosted at weebly.com.

Donors should avoid door-to-door solicitations, phone calls, mailers or internet campaigns, because they are most likely fraudulent, the FdP warned.

Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to rebuild the cathedral “even more beautifully,” leaving some apprehensive that the process may result in modernist “upgrades” to the nation’s most-visited monument.

A French official said investigators think an electrical short-circuit most likely caused Notre Dame fire.

Speaking to the Associated Press,a judicial police official said that investigators are still unable to search through rubble inside the cathedral for safety reasons.

The devastating blaze ravaged the centuries-old building on Monday, gutting the cathedral’s insides, completely destroying the spire and large sections of the roof.

A preliminary investigation of the scene on Tuesday found no immediate signs of arson, the city’s public prosecutor said. More than 50 people are still investigating the fire, which broke out while the landmark cathedral was under reconstruction.

French President Emmanuel Macron has pledged to rebuild Notre Dame within five years “even more beautiful than before.” Donations towards the church’s reconstruction have flowed in from the private sector too. French businessman Francois-Henri Pinault has pledged €100 million and fellow billionaire Bernard Arnault offered €200 million towards the restoration.

Comment: Sputnik reports the starting point of the fire has been located:

The origin of the Notre Dame fire was revealed to be the cathedral’s roof, according to CNN, citing a police source.

Following a probe involving amateur videos and photos from locals, investigators have drawn the conclusion that the Notre Dame might have caught fire on the roof, towards the base of the iconic spire.

The investigators are also looking into two potential issues related to the conflagration, including a potential alarm system sensor deficiency and the elevators built for the construction workers.

notre dame fire roof

© AP / Thierry Mallet
Flames and smoke rise from the blaze after the spire toppled over on Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, Monday, April 15, 2019

A massive blaze broke out at the Notre Dame cathedral on Monday evening, resulting in the collapse of the building’s spire and two-thirds of its roof. Firefighters, however, managed to extinguish the blaze by Tuesday morning, saving the historic building and the relics it housed.

Earlier, French media reported that investigators consider a short circuit to be the likely cause of the fire at the iconic Paris cathedral.


NOTRE DAME DE PARIS AND THE JEWS: As Israel Enters The Final Phase Of ‘Redemption’, Jews Must Not Shed A Tear Over Notre Dame And King Saint Louis Was An Anti-Semite

Image result for KING ST LOUIS

King Saint Louis (Louis IX)

ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS – “We have entered the final phase of the redemption of Israel and of all humanity and it is truly regrettable to see some of our Jewish brothers saddened by this fire when this building represents in all its strength the exile of Israel and the will to replace us. (…)

France is in state of shock, the Christian world is outraged while Jews have nothing to mourn.

And by way of comparison, was the world shocked when on Kristallnacht November 9-10-1938, 1000 synagogues  were destroyed in flames by Nazi Germany, beginning of the annihilation of the Jews of Europe?”

————————————

ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS – The mainstream media, even in Israel, is featuring in headlines “The Crown of Thorns and tunic of St Louis saved from Notre Dame fire.”

I do not like to do it, but sometimes it is necessary to remind some Jews of historical facts about antisemitism in France. Many of you have certainly visited Paris or The Notre Dame Cathedral, but how many of you have seen the two statues at the main entrance of the Paris Cathedral?

These statues, known as “Ecclesia” and “Sinagoga”, represent the Christian theological doctrine of “Verus Israel” according to which the Jewish people are fallen and replaced by the “new Israel” represented here by a woman who stands with her head crowned facing the other woman represented who has her head bowed, blindfolded by a snake and holding in her hands the tables of the Law …you know, the Jewish people’s Torah.

Every year, millions of tourist flock to admire and photograph these statues, but do they really realize what they represent?

Theft, crimes and persecutions – those were committed in the name of Christianity?

We have entered the final phase of the redemption of Israel and of all humanity and it is truly regrettable to see some of our Jewish brothers saddened by this fire when this building represents in all its strength the exile of Israel and the will to replace us.

The Catholic Church became the official state religion of France at the conversion to Christianity of Clovis I, leading to France being called “the eldest daughter of the Church.”

The construction of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris began in 1160. Construction was largely completed in 1260.

In 1240, in Paris, it was the same Catholic Church which had built the cathedral that held the famous Paris controversy in which the Talmud was tried for blasphemy against the church. There was no way the Jewish rabbis debating the Christians could win. Held at the instigation of Nicolas Donin, an apostate Jew converted to Christianity, he and clerics debated four rabbis, led by Rabbi Yehiel of Paris in the presence of King Louis IX of France.

Begun in 1240, the trial ended with the decree ordering seizure of all copies of the Talmud, that is tens of wagonloads, at least 10,000 handwritten voumes of holy texts (the printing press had not yet been invented)  and then burning them on nearby Place de Greve in 1242.

Two of the rabbis, Rabbi Shmuel of Falaise and the Maharam Rottenberg, who participated in the debate are well known to us today through the prayers they  composed and the elegies about the burning of the holy books which are still part of our liturgy on the 9th of Av fast.

But who was that Louis, King of France, who cooperated so willingly with the church?

Louis IX (1226-1270), grandson of Philip Augustus and King of France, was a king of the Middle Ages: a knight, religious, ascetic and hostile to the Jews.

In spite of the fact that this opposition worked to its own disadvantage, he opposed the lending activity of his Jewish subjects; he decreed laws against them and even finally ordered their expulsion.

Known today as St. Louis, he was very anxious to convert the Jews and encouraged the discussions between the synagogue and the Church to this end. At these theological disputes, it was hoped that some Jews would be converted, or at least shamed, and thus convinced unresolved Christians of the truth of Christianity and the baseness of Judaism.

There is reason to believe that Louis took no action to protect the Jews persecuted by so-called crusaders in 1236 in several provinces (Anjou, Poitou, Mançois, Touraine, Berry). When, in 1239, Pope Gregory IX asked the kings of France and Portugal to order the seizure of Jewish books for examination, Louis was the quickest and most zealous to obey. So 24 loads of Jewish books were burned in 1242.

The Talmud’s trial, also called the Talmud’s Burning, Paris Dispute or Talmud Controversy1 (Hebrew: ויכוח פריז Vikouah Pariz) is a major event in the history of the Jews and their relationship to Christianity.

So is King St. Louis a Saint? And what about his anti-Semitic measures?

King ‘Saint’ Louis was marked by a profound anti-Judaism of essentially religious nature. Louis IX, deeply Christian, did not like those Jews who refused to recognize Christ.

He condemns the Talmud!  King St. Louis, moreover, does not like these people who constitute a foreign body inside the kingdom of France that he seeks to unify.

‘Saint’ Louis goes further. “Christians have a chief,” he said to himself, “it’s the bishop. The Jews have no one, so I must be the bishop of the Jews and punish them when they behave badly, but also protect them when they are unjustly attacked … “

Still, Saint Louis was instead a persecutor of the Jews to the point of imposing on them, in 1269, the wearing of the rouelle (a piece of red felt or cloth cut in the form of a wheel, four fingers in circumference, which had to be attached to the outer garment at the chest and back), advocated by the Church which took this decision at the Fourth Lateran Council, in 1215. Saint Louis did not hesitate to apply it, especially for the sake of integration and forced conversion of Jews to the national community.

King St Louis was the instigator of the last crusades and massacre of Jews in the Holy Land.

France is in state of shock, the Christian world is outraged while Jews have nothing to mourn.

And by way of comparison, was the world shocked when on Kristallnacht November 9-10-1938, 1000 synagogues  were destroyed in flames by Nazi Germany, beginning of the annihilation of the Jews of Europe?



The Burning of Notre Dame: A Professor’s Dispatch From Paris

Lynn Higgins says the cathedral has, for centuries, symbolized French “solidarité.”

The burning of Notre Dame Cathedral, being mourned worldwide this week, “feels like the collapse of a civilization that makes you painfully aware of the vulnerabilities of our societies and ourselves,” says Lynn Higgins, the Edward Tuck Professor of French.

Higgins is leading Dartmouth’s Foreign Study Program (FSP) in Paris this term for the Frank J. Guarini Institute for International Education. She learned about the blaze on Monday night as she and some students were leaving a theatrical performance in Montparnasse, just over a mile from the cathedral.

“We had turned our cell phones off, but when we emerged from the theater, we saw the news and the images. We simply didn’t believe it at first,” says Higgins.

“Watching the television reporting late into the night, I was struck by the two most-repeated words on the lips of politicians, religious leaders, other public figures, and bystanders: ‘patrimoine’ and ‘solidarité.’ The first of these can include monuments but also literary works, works of art, wine, iconic foods and recipes, and many other things. It’s the French term for the national cultural heritage that, theoretically, at least, belongs to and unites everyone.”

higgins_300.jpg

Lynn Higgins

Professor Lynn Higgins is leading Dartmouth’s Foreign Study Program in Paris this term.

Higgins says the FSP students had visited Notre Dame two weeks before it went up in flames, as part of their art history course.

“Professor Pierre Léglise-Costa, who teaches the course, has been taking Dartmouth students to visit the cathedral since the first Paris FSP offering in 1999,” says Higgins. “Léglise-Costa knows and loves every detail of that church, and he sent a heartfelt message after the fire in which he evoked the history and pre-history of the Cathedral and his lifelong association with it through his teaching.”

To his Dartmouth students, who were among the last visitors to see the church as it has stood for centuries, Léglise-Costa wrote, “Notre Dame is an indispensable site for understanding Gothic architecture, Paris, the beauty of stained glass windows, the theology of light, the experience of architectural space, the importance of the cult of Mary, and so much more.”

On the morning after the fire-engulfed spire toppled, Higgins invited her students to share their thoughts and feelings about the catastrophe. “Far into the future, they expect they will be asked, and will ask each other, Where were you when Notre Dame burned?”

Higgins told the students that for earlier generations, the cathedral was a beacon of peace at the end of World War II. “Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo remarked Monday night that when the bells of Notre Dame rang to announce the end of the occupation, the sound could be heard around the world.”

A scholar of French literature and film, Higgins is “fascinated with the way, in France, literature is so often a point of reference and a source of ‘solidarité,’ ” noting it was Victor Hugo, author of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, who inspired the 19th-century restoration of a church that had fallen into neglect.

“Hugo’s beloved novel brought the cathedral to life again, and his novel was followed by the creation of the Monuments Historiques, an official agency for the protection and promotion of the national architectural heritage.”

Standing near the rubble this week, President Emmanuel Macron vowed that France’s national treasure will rise again.

“He ended his speech with a resolutely optimistic aphorism: ‘Nous la rebâtirons, tous ensemble,’” says Higgins. “Together, we will rebuild our cathedral.”

Charlotte Albright can be reached at charlotte.e.albright@dartmouth.edu

 

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