American media has just discovered its government is helping Israel build a “secret” underground bunker. “Site 911” will be equipped with aluminum-encased mezuzot.
The tender for the construction project – a “Request for Proposals” in U.S. parlance – is worth about $100 million, according to the article written by venerated, Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post journalist Walter Pincus.
Only workers from approved countries can participate in building the complex, which is estimated to take about two years to complete. The project is apparently to be funded with U.S. foreign aid.
But as with every other building in the Jewish State, even this "deep secret" underground bunker and the complex above will bear a proper mezuzah on every door in the facility, in accordance with Jewish law, as seen in the plans detailed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The small scrolls “shall be written in inerasable ink, on... uncoated leather parchment' according to the USACE description. They must be handwritten by a scribe “holding a written authorization according to Jewish law.” The writing, the Corps continues, may be “Ashkenazik or Sephardik” but “not a mixture” and “must be uniform.” In addition, the well-informed Corps continues, “The Mezuzahs shall be proofread by a computer at an authorized institution for Mezuzah inspection, as well as manually proofread for the form of the letters by a proofreader authorized by the Chief Rabbinate.” The mezuzah shall be supplied with an aluminum housing with holes so it can be connected to the doorpost, and “All Mezuzahs for the facility shall be affixed by the Base's Rabbi or his appointed representative and not by the contractor staff.”
For obvious reasons, tight controls are being exercised over who is accepted to work at the site.
Upon its completion, the 127,000-square-foot bunker, equipped with shock-resistant doors and fortified against radiation, is planned to contain five underground levels.
The compound will also include six buildings on the surface and comes complete with three outdoor picnic tables and various landscaping rocks, designed by Ada Karmi Melamede Architects.
In the underground facility, classrooms, a laboratory and an auditorium will be placed on the first three floors, under which will be two other, smaller floors.
A second, higher-security site is also being planned, at a similar cost but with greater technical complexities, to be called 911 Phase 2.