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"My Jerusalem compass is very special to me, I carry it all the time, When open it draws me to Jerusalem, (where my heart is), and when I’m not using it, it sits on my kitchen window, pointing the way home.Thank you."
R. Ballentine
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  Founded 1997Sunday, May 6, 2007Today's Edition  

Jerusalem Compass keeps life focused
Needle points to Holy City as reminder of significance

Posted: April 12, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern

© 2007 WorldNetDaily.com

As Christians and Jews across American mark the events of the Passover and Easter seasons, attention is on Jerusalem as the Holy City and the focal point for their beliefs.

Now they can be reminded of that with the Jerusalem Compass, which points towards Jerusalem at all times.

It was developed by Moshe Abraham, an Israeli Orthodox Jew with a degree from American University, to remind believers about the significance of the Holy City.

Made of pure, solid brass, it is a conversation piece as well as an inspiration, and is the result of meticulous workmanship.

It is already pre-calibrated for the continental United States to be ready to use immediately, and has a dozen of the most frequently used international city zone settings available on the inside of the brass cover to make it accurate anywhere.

"I started thinking to myself, wouldn't it be wonderful if the compass could point in a direction that had more meaning to all of us?" Abraham said. "A direction that was more important. Where would that be?

"So here we are in the holiest city in the world, the center of the universe, and all roads lead to Jerusalem. Let the compass point here," he said.

"The Bible says many things about Jerusalem, especially in Psalm 122:6 where it says 'Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love you.' This is a prayer that comes with a blessing and the Jerusalem Compass will not only remind people to pray, but give them the accurate direction to face while they are praying," he said.

It is the size of a pocket watch and is decorated with some of the same designs found on carvings from the First Temple Period in Jerusalem. And its calibration system keeps the compass needle pointing toward Jerusalem at all times.
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All Rights Reserved. WorldNetDaily.com Inc.

page - 28 The Jewish Yoice and opinion December 2005

Mizrach or Jerusalem: The Invention of the Jerusalem Compass™

No one is more concerned with the issue of direction of East than Jews who are about to pray. When it is time to recite one of the three daily prayer services, Jews everywhere find themselves scrambling, whether in a car, an office, or in a friend’s home, to determine the direction of Israel.

Usually, the best they can do is approximate which way faces East, but now, with the introduction of the Jerusalem Compass™, Jews everywhere will always be able properly to fulfill the mitzvah of prayer.

For $39.95 per compass, Jews throughout the world, whether in airports, hotels, or foreign countries, now have the opportunity always to face in the proper direction.

Ideas from the Past

But what is the correct direction? The answer is not as straight-forward as it seems.

When the creator of the Jerusalem Compass™ was a young man, learning in one of Jerusalem’s popular Yeshivas, he discovered in the Gemara, a discussion on a topic concerning the four corners of the altar in the Temple in Jerusalem Each corner of the altar was designated by its direction, i.e. south-east, southwest, etc.

The young man, who prefers to use only his first name, Moshe, began to ponder the idea of directions in general. Suddenly, a question entered his mind: What do we have today that enables us to determine direction?

The answer was easy: A compass, which always points to the North.

“This was a law of physics not to be broken. Yet, for me, pointing North was a very significant limitation. I came to the conclusion that a compass, being a navigational instrument, needs to point to a more significant direction. With the Talmud Bavli still open before me, it became crystal clear that the direction with which we are most concerned is Jerusalem,” says Moshe.

Not Always Due East

According to Jewish law, Jews are supposed to pray facing the direction of the land of Israel.

“But here in the US there is a misconception that we are to face Mizrach—East. If Mizrach were always towards Yerushalayim, then this would be correct, but, as is stated in the Shulchan Aruch, we are to face towards Eretz Yisrael, towards, Yerushalayim, towards the makome hamikdash, towards the kodesh kedoshim,” says Moshe.

East, he explains, is not necessarily the direction of Jerusalem. It is the direction of China and Syria.

He explains that, according to paragraph (Siman) 94 of the Mishna Brurah, written by the Chafetz Chaim at the turn of the 20th century, all the achronim, latter-day commentators, agree that since Jews in the US are actually more North-West of Eretz Yisroel, it is proper for them to face more South-East, i.e. in the direction of Jerusalem.

“Also, when in shul, the mitzvah is not to daven to the aron, but rather towards Yerushalayim. Therefore, the Mishna Brurah states, so as not to show disrespect to the aron, it is correct to place it on the same wall facing in this direction. Due to building regulations, many times this is not possible, therefore, while davening, we should at least turn our heads in the direction of Yerushalayim in order to fulfill what is brought down in Siman 94,” says Moshe.

Rabbinic Approval

Moshe worked on the Jerusalem Compass™ to satisfy this requirement. When he presented it to leading rabbanim, their responses, he says, were extremely positive. They saw The Jerusalem Compass™ as a means to enable Jews to fulfill properly the mitzvah of prayer.

“As it says in the Shulchan Aruch, ‘to pray in the direction of Jerusalem,’” says Moshe.

The first great Talmud scholar Moshe approached with the new invention was Harav Yoseph Liberman, shlita, who is well known in Israel for his scholarly work concerning the building of synagogues in accordance with halacha. An engineer, Rav Liberman was in a position to rule whether or not The Jerusalem Compass™ could be relied upon accurately to point in the direction of Jerusalem.

After securing Rav Liberman’s stamp of approval, Moshe approached Harav Moshe Halbershtam, shlita, of the Aida Hacharedit, and then Harav Moshe Sternbuch, shlita,, the Rosh Av Beis Din of the Aida Hacharedit. According to Moshe, they also approved the new invention, saying, “may our prayers be answered with heavenly compassion.”


According to Moshe, one of the chief advantages of The Jerusalem Compass™ is its portability. “Wherever you go, you can carry it, and it will carry you. It will open the gates to your prayers,” says Moshe.

With The Jerusalem Compass ™, he says, not only can Jews pray every day facing the right direction, “but we can also fulfill our obligation to educate our precious children to the importance of directing their prayers towards Jerusalem.”

Fashioned of solid brass so that the golden color is rehttp://flective of “the golden city” itself, The Jerusalem Compass ™ has an engraved cover and an attractive chain for holding keys or to attach the device to a belt buckle. It uses no computer chips, circuitry, or batteries, making it useful even on the Sabbath.

“Since the Jerusalem Compass ™ was designed to serve such a lofty purpose—to point all of the Jewish nation anywhere in the world to one place—to the most important and significant city in the holiest of lands—to enable us to face and focus our prayers in the proper direction with no further need for approximation, it was fitting that the Jerusalem Compass™ be fashioned from only quality materials,” says Moshe. Small Enough for Children

At $39.95, Moshe believes it will be a very popular Chanukah gift this year.

The relatively small size was also well considered. Moshe wanted it to be small enough to fit in a pocket. “This way it allows the owner to use it wherever he finds himself, whether for prayer, or just to somehow be connected to the Holy City,” he says.

It is also small enough for children to carry.

The Jerusalem Compass™, also referred to as the Jerusalem Compass™, is manufactured by N.D. Your Direction, Ltd, which also holds the patent for the device. It can be ordered by calling, toll free, 1-866-WE-DAVEN (1- 866-933-2836) or by logging onto http://koshercompass. com. The email address is sales@koshercompass.com

“It’s amazing. No matter where you are, it’s pointing towards Jerusalem. Just like a Jew himself, wherever he is, he is always going home, to Jerusalem,” says Jerusalem Rabbi Yonah Yaffe. S.L.R.


6 Kislev 5766/ December 7, 2005

‘Mizrach’ or Yerushalayim
The invention of the Jerusalem Compass™

I was a young avreich, learning in one of Yerushalayim’s popular yeshivos. A topic in Gemara was being discussed concerning the four corners of the mizbei’ach. Each corner was designated by its direction, i.e., southeast, southwest, etc. I began to drift off and ponder the idea of directions in general.

Suddenly, a question entered my mind: “What do we have today that enables us to determine direction?” The answer was forthcoming: “A compass.” “And what does a compass do?” the questions continued. “It points in the direction of north,” came the reply. This was a law of physics not to be broken. Yet for me, pointing north was a very significant limitation. I came to the conclusion that a compass, being a navigational instrument, needs to point in a significant direction. With the Talmud Bavli still open before me, it became crystal clear with which direction we need to be concerned… the one towards Yerushalayim!

We all know that we are supposed to daven while facing in the direction of Eretz Yisrael, but here in the U.S. there is a misconception that we are supposed to face mizrach — east. If facing mizrach would always mean facing Yerushalayim, then this would be correct, but, as is stated in the Shulchan Aruch, “we are to face towards Eretz Yisrael, towards Yerushalayim, towards the makom hamikdash, towards the Kodesh HaKodashim….”

The Mishna Brura states in siman 94 that all of the Acharonim agree that since we are in fact more northwest of Eretz Yisrael, then it is proper for us to face southeast, i.e., in the direction of Yerushalayim.

Also, when in shul, the mitzva is not to daven to the aron, but rather towards Yerushalayim. Therefore, the Mishna Brura states, so as not to show disrespect to the aron, it is correct to place the aron on the wall facing in that direction. Due to building regulations, many times this is not possible; therefore, while davening we should remain facing the aron, but at least turn our heads in the direction of Yerushalayim, in order to fulfill what is brought down in siman 94.

The Jerusalem Compass™ was invented in order to enable Klal Yisrael to fulfill the mitzva of tefilla properly. Whether in airports, hotels, foreign countries or even in a shul or home, we now have the opportunity to always face in the proper direction.

When the Jerusalem Compass™ was brought before leading Rabbanim, they were very happy and impressed, and saw it as a means to enable Klal Yisrael to fulfill the mitzva of prayer more properly.

The first to see the Jerusalem Compass™ was Harav Yoseph Liberman, shlita. Harav Liberman is a great talmid chacham, well known in Eretz Yisrael for his sefer concerning the building of shuls in accordance with halacha, as well as being an engineer. Rav Liberman was the first to say that the Jerusalem Compass™ could be relied upon to accurately point in the direction of Yerushalayim. Next came stamps of approval from Harav Moshe Halbershtam, shlita, of the Eida Hachareidis, and Harav Moshe Sternbuch, shlita, Rosh Av Beis Din of the Eida Hachareidis. Each closed his haskama with the appropriate phrase: “May our tefillos be answered with heavenly compassion.”

Judy Siegel-Itzkovich (1/13/2006)

Tests with a unique compass device in recent months have established that many of the world's - and even Israel's - synagogues have been built without their holy arks facing the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, even though this is the traditional position for Jewish prayer, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

The synagogues have been tested by the world's first and only "Jerusalem Compass," a mechanical solid brass device that points to Jerusalem and the site of the Temple from anywhere on Earth - invented by a New Jersey-born Jerusalem yeshiva student who goes only by the name "Moshe."

The Shulchan Aruch, the Jewish legal code compiled by the great Sephardic sage Rabbi Joseph Caro in the 16th century, states (in section 94) that a Jew who comes to pray should face the Land of Israel, and that if he is already in Israel, he should face the site of the destroyed Temple and the Holy of Holies in Jerusalem. If a person is in a windowless room and hasn't a clue where this is, he should direct his prayers from his heart "to God in heaven."

Moshe noted that many synagogues have been built abroad with their holy ark (aron kodesh), which houses the Torah scrolls, facing the "wrong" direction - either because the builders did not know where Jerusalem was in relation to its location or because of building ordinance constraints.

A married father of six who has a US university degree in music education, Moshe an Orthodox Jew, studied in a variety of haredi yeshivot here. He said that in recent months, he and friends have "tested" many synagogues for their position using his Jerusalem Compass and found many with the arks facing the wrong direction. Even in Israel, and Jerusalem, many are significantly off the mark. The synagogue at a well-known haredi yeshiva in the capital, for instance, faces north rather than toward the Temple Mount.

"Most Diaspora Jews face the traditional Mizrah (East) when they pray, but if you face east and pray in Florida, Toronto or London, you will be facing totally different spots," he explained. Christian Zionists who love Israel also have the habit of praying towards Jerusalem - or towards where they think Jerusalem is.

Conventional compasses always point north because of the magnetic force of the North Pole, but since Jerusalem is always in a different direction depending on where you are, the ingenious Jerusalem Compass has a "magnetic polarity recalibrator" (MPR) to point to the right direction.

The $39, non-electrical, non-computerized device - registered for an international patent - appears to defy nature, as the magnetic needle does not always point north. It is pre-calibrated for the continental US (excluding Miami, Hawaii and Alaska). But "log book" code numbers on the inside of the brass cover encompass virtually any other location on the globe. The user recalibrates by releasing the MPR bar, rotating the rim of the compass glass until the needle is opposite the relevant code number on the dial and sliding the MPR bar towards him after recalibration. The setting doesn't have to be changed until you travel to another city in a large country or a different small country.

Moshe, who moved to Israel two decades ago and lives in a Jerusalem haredi neighborhood, told the Post that he first thought of the need for such a compass when he was studying the Talmud tractate of Succot in a yeshiva in 1991. "We were learning about descriptions of the altar in the Temple, and I was very confused by all the directions given. I thought to myself how it would be possible always to find where the Holy of Holies of the Temple stood. I quickly came up with the concept, but it took me almost 14 years to turn my ideas into an actual product."

After he designed it, the inventor went to China - believed to be the original home of the first compass invented during ancient times - to have it manufactured according to his exact specifications. Within a few months, he had designed the compass - with its Star of David engraved on the cover and also positioned under the rotating needle - as well as a key chain attachment, a cube-shaped gift box and instructions, with endorsements from prominent haredi rabbis (Moshe Halbershtam, Moshe Sternbuch and Yosef Lieberman) in Jerusalem.

"People I've shown it to are very enthusiastic," Moshe said. "But they are shocked when they find they have been praying for years facing the wrong direction. Those who have the compass now face the correct position to pray even when the aron kodesh is in the wrong place."

The device will soon be available in Israel as well. "Moshe managed to bring together all aspects of design, manufacture, graphics and promotion by himself," commented TES Jerusalem's representative. "It fills a real need, and also will be valued for sentimental reasons because it always faces Jerusalem. I remember recently being in the windowless room that serves as a synagogue at New York's JFK International Airport. Nobody knew in which direction to pray. I pulled out my compass, and it pointed to Jerusalem. Everybody was amazed. It seemed to defy nature."

Arutz Sheva - Israel National Radio
Yishai Fleisher & Alex Traiman (2/15/2006)

Speaking with the inventor of the Jerusalem Compass, a patent-pending invention and great gift, that always points toward Jerusalem.

Click Here to Listen (To download, right-click your mouse and 'Save Target As...')

© Copyright 2005 N.D. YOUR DIRECTION LTD.™. All Rights Reserved.