Monday, August 2, 2010

"Make a parapet for your roof"

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Even nights are hot in Jerusalem this week.
 IF my roof were flat, I would prefer to sleep on it instead of in the warm house.
In Biblical days the flat house roofs were like an outdoor room, used for many tasks, including sleeping.
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So the Bible, in Deuteronomy 22:8, gave us a good "building code":

"When you build a new house, you shall make a parapet for your roof, so that you will not bring bloodguilt on your house if anyone falls from it."

In Jerusalem we still take that law seriously. Here are some examples of parapets:

David's Village, Mamilla

In Romema

Mamilla Hotel

An old synagogue being repaired in Nachlaot

Israel Broadcasting Authority building (formerly Shaarei Zedek Hospital)

In a very Orthodox neighborhood

Shikun HaRabbanim in Romema

An old hotel near Jaffa Gate, Old City

Apartments over the bastot stalls of Mahaneh Yehuda market

Christian Information Center near Jaffa Gate, Old City

St. Vincent de Paul hospice, Mamilla
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I hope you enjoyed your roof tour for That's My World Tuesday. Shalom!
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15 comments:

Abraham Lincoln said...

The example where the building is being repaired with a tunnel to pitch the debris in reminded me of fire escapes. In 1947, in Indianapolis, Indiana, the hotel we stayed in on the second floor had a large rope, coiled up on the floor by the only window. The rope had knots tied in it. This rope was used in the event of a fire. You threw the rope out and climbed down the rope holding onto the knots along the way.

Jedediah said...

I'm having a serious case of deja vu here, of a book I read years ago that was set in Israel where the characters slept on their roof. But I can't remember the title or anything. Weird.

I didn't know that the flat roofs have their roots in the Bible. Once again you taught me something new :)

Dina said...

Abraham, yes! You remind me of the rope we had on the 2nd floor of the old monastery in Switzerland where I volunteered 2002-3. But the window in the slanted roof of the attic where the rope was tied was so small, I always wondered how I would climb up and out in case of fire.

Dina said...

Jedediah, you can see how the houses looked here:
http://www.bible-architecture.info/Housing.htm

And an interesting Christian take on the railing is
http://christianclassicalliberalist.wordpress.com/2009/07/10/build-a-rail-around-your-roof/

Dimple said...

Thanks for the tour. I enjoyed the variety of parapets you show, from stone to metal, and utilitarian to decorative.

BraCom (Bram) said...

A complete different world than my world, nice to see your photos

Regards, Bram

Seen on My World Tuesday

Kay said...

Oh my gosh! This is so interesting. We couldn't sleep outside on the roof here in Hawaii because the mosquitoes would eat you alive. Also... with our rainfall, we'd get leaks all the time. This bible building code must have been for dry areas.

ρομπερτ said...

Surely a joy to see something I never thought of much. Thank you as well for those nice impressions of your environment. Please have a good Tuesday.

daily athens

Trotter said...

Hi Dina! Interesting parapets!!

Thanks for your comment! After the odd post, Blogtrotter Two has a bit of Catalonia in Sardinia... ;)
Take pleasure in it and have a stunning week ahead!

Lesley said...

Very practical, really!

J Bar said...

Interesting.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

VP said...

A great theme: I love this parapet parade. Deuteronomy has still more sense (at times!) than most of our city councils.

JM said...

What a great post this is! Very nice photos of wonderful buildings.

Francisca said...

I certainly DID enjoy your roof tour, Dina. Thank you! (And reading the comments, too.)

Hilda said...

Makes a lot of sense. Though I didn't know it was in the Bible either.