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The Borck family asks kindly that everyone wait until the Shiva begins after Yom Tov to make their visit
Washington-based federal prosecutors are planning to charge NYPD cop Daniel Pantaleo with civil rights violations in the 2014 death of Eric Garner on Staten Island, a law enforcement source told The Post on Tuesday. “It’s going to happen sooner than later,” the source said. “Washington wants to indict [Pantaleo],” who was accused of putting Garner in a fatal chokehold banned by the police department. Attorney General Loretta Lynch approved the plan after federal investigators in Brooklyn were replaced by their D.C. counterparts because they didn’...
DORAL, Fla./WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said on Tuesday that President Barack Obama must be investigated over a private email server Hillary Clinton used while secretary of state, saying Obama “knew all about” her email arrangements. “That’s why he stuck up for Hillary, because he didn’t want to be dragged in. Because he knew all about her private server,” Trump said of the Democratic president in an interview with Reuters. “This means that he has to be investigated.” Clinton, Trump’s Democratic rival in the Nov. 8 election, was Obama’s first secretary of state from 2009 to 2013. Wikileaks on Tuesday released a batch of hacked emails from the account of Clinton’s c...
Aside from our parsha teaching of the very first Shabbos, the brocha upon fire is recited motza’ei Shabbos because we then regain its use. This definitely provides reason to discuss: The Melachah of Setting Fires. Question #1: Why the pasuk? “Why does the written Torah mention specifically that we may not kindle a flame on Shabbos?” Question #2: Out of order “Why does the Mishnah mention that extinguishing, mechabeh, is a melachah, before it mentions that kindling, mav’ir, is a melachah? One must kindle a fire before one extinguishes it!” Question #3: Bothered by a blech “Why must we use a blech on Shabbos?” Answer: All three of the above questions involve laws that result from the Torah’s prohibition against kindling fires on...
Donald Trump says that Clinton's agressive policy on Syria would push Russia into World War Three Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump blasted rival Hillary Clinton's policy on the conflict in Syria Tuesday, saying it would "lead to World War 3." In an interview dealing with foreign policy Trump said that defeating ISIS had to be a higher priority than removing Bashar Assad, who has been accused of massacring his own people, from power. "What we should do is focus on ISIS. We should not be focusing on Syria." Trump said. "You’re going to end up in World War Three over Syria if we listen to Hillary Clinton." Trump's concerns about the conflict escalating to take on global dimensions stem from Russia's increased role and presence in Syria. "Y...
The gunfire seems to have come from Egyptian territory, but IDF denies terrorists were involved. An 15-year-old Bedouin youth employed by the Defense Ministry was shot and killed near Mount Sagi in southern Israel on Tuesday afternoon while working on the border fence with Egypt, officials said. The bullet came from across the border in Egypt, though it was not immediately clear who fired it, the IDF said. The army maintains that this was not a terror incident, calling it stray fire, although the matter is being investigated. The dead boy was employed by the Defense Ministry to perform maintenance work on the fence, a spokesperson for the ministry said. In Israel, youths over the age of 14 can obtain working papers for summer jobs and part time work. Education is compulsory fo...
Baltimore, MD – Oct. 25, 2016 - It is with deep sorrow that informs the community of the petirah of Mr. Charles Snow, a’h, father of Mrs. Saralee (Fishel) Gross. The levayah will take place in Detroit. More information to follow as available Bila HaMaves LaNetzach...
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Baltimore, Md - Oct. 23, 2016 - Send us your memories or reflections of your life interactions with Lon, Z'L: Avinoam Miller: When God said that the Jews will be a light unto the nations, He was thinking of Lon Borck.  I was one of the many people who had the privilege of knowing him and being his friend.  He always said hello, always asked about my family, always.  I ate lunch with his family more times that I can count.  He was my brother and my friend.  I think everyone will agree that if more of us were like him, all the Jews would be living in Israel. Jeremy Diamond: Lonnie had the biggest, kindest heart. I got to know Lonnie when he and Ronit moved to their former house on Marnat Road. My late grandmother Sonia Diamond, z'l, lived next door. As ...
Baltimore, MD – Oct. 23, 2016 – Last night was a Baltimore first where fathers and sons of all ages participated in a community-wide Hoshana Rabbah learning program at Cong. Shomrei Emunah. Learning, raffles and pizza in the Succah…. What could be better?    
Daily Halacha
Laws of Hashana Rabba, Shemini Atzeret and Simchas Torah

The last intermediate day is Hoshana Rabba.  It is the custom to stay up the preceding night  and study Torah as laid out in the prayer book,  this is because on the festival we are judged on the water,  and all the life of man depends on water.  This day is the last day of the festival  and everything goes after the sealing (of judgement).  In the morning we increase slightly the lights in the synagogue  like (we do) on Yom Kippur.  The Reader wears the Kittel (white robe),  we say1 ''For the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David'' like on a festival  and also say2 ''A Psalm of thanksgiving'',  we do not say ''The breath of every living being'',  we say ''There is none like unto You''  (and) ''Hear O Israel'' as on a festival day  in the additional prayers Kedusha (we say) ''We will reverence'' (KSA 138:1)
1) Psalm 19
2) Psalm 100

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Baltimore, Md - Oct. 23, 2016 - Hoshana Rabbah 5777 - Levayah of Lon Borck, Z'L  (Video Credit: Baruch Bitman )
Baltimore, MD - Oct. 23, 2016 - Approximately one hour ago a man was tackled to the ground by several men in the community and held until police arrived after the suspect may have tried to abduct a child. This according to an employee of Tov Pizza who took the bottom photo below of the suspect being arrested. More details to follow as available...  
Parsha Hashavua
The Melachah of Setting Fires

Aside from our parsha teaching of the very first Shabbos, the brocha upon fire is recited motza’ei Shabbos because we then regain its use. This definitely provides reason to discuss:

The Melachah of Setting Fires.

Question #1: Why the pasuk?

“Why does the written Torah mention specifically that we may not kindle a flame on Shabbos?”

Question #2: Out of order

“Why does the Mishnah mention that extinguishing, mechabeh, is a melachah, before it mentions that kindling, mav’ir, is a melachah? One must kindle a fire before one extinguishes it!”

Question #3: Bothered by a blech

“Why must we use a blech on Shabbos?”


All three of the above questions involve laws that result from the Torah’s prohibition against kindling fires on Shabbos; lo seva’aru eish bechol moshevoseichem beyom hashabbos, “Do not kindle fire in all your places of residence on Shabbos” (Shemos 35:3). The Torah prohibition includes not only kindling a flame, but adding fuel or stoking a fire, so that it burns better. Similarly, adjusting the wick of a burning lamp on Shabbos so that it produces clearer light also violates the Torah’s prohibition.

Hav’arah is counted by the Mishnah as one of the 39 melachos. This melachah was performed during the construction of the Mishkan when they built fires under the pots used to create the vat dyes required for the curtains and the vestments of the kohanim (Rashi, Shabbos 73a s.v. mechabeh).

Why a special pasuk?

There is a question here: Why does the written Torah mention, specifically, that we may not kindle a flame on Shabbos? Other melachos are not singled out with a special mitzvah in the written Torah.

The Gemara (Shabbos 70a) records a dispute between tanna’im why the written Torah especially mentions the melachah of hav’arah. Rabbi Yosi rules hav’arah lelav yatzas, meaning that hav’arah is singled out to mitigate it. Whereas the other melachah prohibitions of Shabbos are capital offenses, hav’arah is a somewhat lesser Torah transgression, only a regular lo saaseh. (Certainly, we should treat it with full seriousness, even according to Rabbi Yosi. The difference in practical halachah is that, according to Rabbi Yosi, one who violated hav’arah negligently does not bring a korban chatas as atonement, whereas someone who transgressed negligently one of the other melachos does.)

Rabbi Nosson disagrees with Rabbi Yosi, contending that kindling is considered a regular melachah of Shabbos like all the others, but that hav’arah lechaleik yatzas, hav’arah is singled out to teach that the 39 melachos of Shabbos are considered 39 different prohibitions. This means that someone who violated more than one melachah on a single Shabbos is punished as if he had violated several prohibitions of the Torah. He might be required to offer more than one chatas offering.

The accepted halachah follows Rabbi Nosson, that kindling is considered a regular melachah of Shabbos.

Injunctions because of hav’arah

Although we are all aware that it is prohibited to kindle or to increase a flame on Shabbos, we may not realize that many of the regulations that we observe on Shabbos were established by Chazal out of concern that someone not violate the prohibition of hav’arah. For example, the reason that we use a blech to warm food on Shabbos or to keep it warm is because Chazal prohibited using an open fire for these purposes. This would involve two different rabbinic prohibitions, that of chazarah, returning food to a fire on Shabbos, and shehiyah, leaving food to cook or keep warm from before Shabbos on an open flame. Chazal prohibited shehiyah because of concern that someone might mistakenly stoke coals. According to some authorities, the prohibition of chazarah was also so that someone warming his food on Shabbos not err and inadvertently stoke the coals of the flame. Similarly, Chazal prohibited hatmanah, wrapping or insulating hot food before Shabbos in a way that increases the heat on Shabbos. All of these are prohibited because of concerns that one may mistakenly stoke a flame on Shabbos (Shabbos 34b; Tosafos, Shabbos 36b s.v. lo).

Chazal also prohibited reading or doing other activities involving detailed work by the light of an open flame on Shabbos, because of concern that one will adjust the flame (Rashi, Mishnah Shabbos 11a). For this reason, on Shabbos, one may not use an oil lamp to assist choosing between two items of clothing that look similar (Shabbos 12a), or use it to check tzitzis (Magen Avraham 275:1).


Chazal permitted using oil lamps on Shabbos when they were not concerned that someone might errantly adjust the light. For example, they permitted two people to read the same text together by oil lamp, reasoning that each would pay attention that his partner not inadvertently adjust the flame (Shabbos 12b). Similarly, even in situations when it is prohibited to use a lamp for meticulous work, one may appoint a shomer to make sure that one does not adjust the flame by mistake. This shomer must be someone who is not currently doing any meticulous work – otherwise, we are concerned that he, himself, may forget his job as shomer.

Chazal also permitted students studying under the direction of their rebbe to study and read in their usual fashion. The reason is that since they know that their rebbe is supervising them, they keep in mind to be careful (Shabbos 12b). The rebbe himself is permitted to glance at the seforim to tell the students where to start, although he is not permitted to continue reading the material. For a similar reason, when the Seder night falls on Shabbos, one may read the hagadah by lamplight. The halachic assumption is that most people are fairly familiar with the hagadah and use the printed book just to make sure that they don’t inadvertently skip parts (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 275:9). This is considered similar to the halachah that the rebbe of cheder students is permitted to glance at the seforim to tell the students where to start.

There are a few other instances in which Chazal permitted reading on Shabbos using the illumination of an open oil lamp: One may read the Mishnah of the second chapter of Shabbos, Bameh Madlikin, which describes these concerns. Since the chapter itself emphasizes these laws, it serves as a reminder to be careful (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 275:7). Similarly, accepted practice was to allow people to read from a machzor on Yom Kippur by lamplight, since the fear of Yom Kippur will remind a person not to errantly adjust the lamp (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 275:8).


Is reading by the light of a candle the same as reading by the light of an oil lamp? Are we less concerned that someone will attempt to adjust a candle to provide better light?

Indeed, we find a dispute among early authorities whether one may read by candlelight on Shabbos, some contending that it is unlikely that someone would mistakenly adjust this lighting (Hagahos Ashri, Shabbos 1:27; Beis Yosef, Shulchan Aruch and commentaries, Orach Chayim 275; Taz, Orach Chayim 278). The prevalent custom is to be lenient (see Biur Halachah 275:1 s.v. le’or). Therefore, we may certainly be lenient regarding electric lights, although there are individuals who follow a stringent position even in this regard. Those who follow this stricter approach assign someone to be the shomer of the Beis Medrash – his job is to not learn and to be responsible that no one inadvertently try to adjust the lights.

What is burning?

We find a very interesting dispute between acharonim concerning what is the definition of the melachah of mav’ir: is it the increase of the fire or is it the consumption of fuel? Some contend that the melachah is the creation or increase of the fire or flame (Graz, Orach Chayim 495 in Kuntros Acharon), whereas others dispute this analysis and define the melachah as the consumption of fuel that transpires when a flame burns (Shu”t Avnei Neizer, Orach Chayim 238:8). Although this dispute seems like a theoretical and almost philosophic debate, there seems to be a difference in halachah that is contingent on this dispute. Does heating metal to a glow involve the melachah of hav’arah? If hav’arah is defined as the consumption of fuel, then the heating of metal, which does not create any noticeable destruction of fuel, should not violate hav’arah. On the other hand, if hav’arah is defined as the increase of a flame, then heating metal should violate hav’arah.

This could perhaps explain a dispute between the Rambam and the Raavad (Hilchos Shabbos 12:1) whether heating metal is prohibited because it is considered hav’arah or because it is included under the melachah of bishul, cooking, but it is not considered hav’arah.

This dispute could then affect what melachah is involved when turning on an incandescent light. According to those who consider heating metal to be bishul, then this would violate bishul, whereas according to those who categorize heating metal as hav’arah, then turning on an incandescent light is included under the melachah of hav’arah. There are a few practical differences that result from this dispute, but, unfortunately, explaining this will take us far afield from our topic. (This is without getting involved in the separate dispute as to whether use of electricity violates the melachos of either boneh [constructing] or makeh bepatish [completing an item].)

Out of order

At this point, let us explain the second of our opening questions:

“Why did the Mishnah mention that extinguishing, mechabeh, is a melachah before it mentions that kindling, mav’ir, is a melachah?” When the Mishnah lists the 39 melachos, it mentions extinguishing before it mentions kindling. Is this not counter-logical, since it is difficult to extinguish a fire unless someone has previously kindled it?

Among the various standard commentaries, I found two approaches to answer this question . The Meiri explains that when preparing a vat dye, you sometimes need to lower the flame so that the dye does not burn and then you need to increase the size of the fire afterwards. Lowering such a flame on Shabbos would violate extinguishing, and increasing the heat of the fire afterwards is included under the Torah’s prohibition of mav’ir. Since the preparation of dye in the construction of the Mishkan involved extinguishing before kindling, the Mishnah mentions the two melachos in this order. (An alternative answer is mentioned by the Tiferes Yisroel in his Kalkeles Shabbos introduction to Mesechta Shabbos, Meleches Mav’ir #37).

In conclusion

Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch (Shemos 20:10) notes that people mistakenly think that work is prohibited on Shabbos in order that it should be a day of rest. He points out that the Torah does not prohibit doing avodah, which connotes hard work, but melachah, which implies purpose and accomplishment. Shabbos is a day that we refrain from constructing and altering the world for our own purposes. The goal of Shabbos is to allow Hashem’s rule to be the focus of creation, by refraining from our own creative acts (Shemos 20:11).

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Baltimore, MD – Oct. 22, 2016 - It is with deep sorrow that informs the community of the petirah of Rabbi Morris Kosman, ZT'L, husband of Mrs. Carol Kosman, father of Mrs. Sima Schneider, Mrs. Zahava Green, Mrs. Buci Sackett, Mrs. Dvora Finkelstein, Rabbi Avrohom Kosman, Rabbi Chaim Kosman and Mrs. Risyl Edelman Shiva will be observed at the home of Rabbi & Mrs. Shabsi Schneider, 1023 Smoke Tree Road, Baltimore, MD 21208 beginning Motzaei Yom Tov, Oct 25. Shacharis begin Wed 10/26 7:30 AM Mincha: 1:45 PM Maariv 8:00 PM Shiva ends after Shacharis on Monday morning Oct. 31 Bila HaMaves LaNetzach...
Baltimore, MD – Oct. 22, 2016 - It is with deep regret and sorrow that informs the community of the petirah of Mr. Lon Borck, a’h, husband of Ronit, father of Ariella, Ezra, Meira, Yosef and Akiva, son of Hal & Fran Borck, brother of Lee, Alan Borck. and Lauri Beginning Wednesday Morning, Oct. 26: Shacharis 7:30 AM Mincha/Maariv 6:00 PM Bila HaMaves LaNetzach...
Kiddush Levana Nov 02 9:03 pm - Nov 14 2:25 pm
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Baltimore, MD - Oct. 23, 2016 - Levayh of Lon Borck, a'h - Click here for Live Stream You may experience technical difficulties throughout the stream. Your patience is appreciated.
Jerusalem, Israel - Oct. 2320, 16 - Amar'e Stoudemire, made a special appearance at the Inbal Hotel in Jerusalem, Hashana Rabba morning. Off the hotel lobby, the former US basketball star met with young and not so young fans, smiling for photos and selfies, and signing autographs. After being chosen NBA Rookie of the Year in 2003, and having played in six All-Star games, the 6-foot 10-inch former New York Knicks basketball player invested in the Hapoel Jerusalem basketball team and has moved to Israel. Former Baltimorean, basketball star, Tamir Goodman, who is also involved with Hapoel Jerusalem, told BJL, how impressive it is that "a celebrated athlete like Amar'e of the NBA, comes to play in Israel and embrace Israel and help out with charity causes as well." The event was c...
SimchasSimchas Simcha
Baltimore, MD – Oct. 23, 2016 – The Borck family is overwhelmed with the love and care that is being shown them at this very sad and tragic time.  However, with the greatest of intentions, many in the community, not realizing that the shiva will begin only Motzaei Yom Tov, Oct. 25, are inundating the family with their well-meaning visits. The family asks kindly that everyone wait until the Shiva begins to make their visit.
With overflowing gratitude to HaShem, we are overjoyed to announce the arrival of a beautiful little 8-pound baby boy this past Wednesday night. Both Mommy and Baby and are doing well, B”H, and were home for Shabbos. The following are some thoughts I expressed at the Shalom Zachar. Going through the mishnayos of Sukkah, there is some intriguing discussion relating to childbirth and early childhood, as they pertain to sukkah. In the Mishnah (2:8) discussing the exemption of children of the mitzvah, and the limitations of that exemption, it is mentioned that upon the birth of a grandchild, Shammai the Elder arranged a makeshift sukkah over the bed of his daughter-in-law on the baby’s behalf. This represents a more extreme view on the age at which children become required to eat ...
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True, this is not quite Hamlet’s question, but it is one that is plaguing many a frum family. One of the general differences between Litvaks (Misnagdim) and Chassidim lies in what they do on the holiday of Shmini Atzeres regarding eating in the Sukkah. Chassidim have traditionally taken a more lenient view than their Litvak counterparts on the issue. It should be noted that each of the two opinions should be respected. Rav Tzaddok HaKohen, in his work Maishiv Tzedek, writes that those who do not eat in the Sukkah on Shmini Atzeres do have a basis in the Gemorah and the Yerushalmi. In this article, an attempt will be made to explain the halachic basis of each of the two customs. The Torah tells us that we must dwell in the Sukkah for seven days. The Torah further tells ...
Baltimore, MD – Oct. 20, 2016 – On Motzaei Yom Tov, Tuesday evening, Khal Chasidim D’Baltimore held a very beautiful and leibidik Simchas Bais HaShoaiva in their Succah with divrei Torah from the Rosh Kolel HaRav Hershel Rosenfeld after which everyone proceeded to the Bais Medrash for music and dancing. DSC_3034 from on Vimeo. DSC_3069 from on Vimeo. DSC_3071 from on Vimeo. DSC_3126 from on Vimeo. DSC_3150 from on Vimeo. DSC_3221 from on Vimeo. DSC_3224 from on Vimeo.   ...
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Baltimore, MD – Oct. 22, 2016 – Shomrim of Baltimore has advised that jewelry (either lost or stolen) was brought to them and if you can identify they’ll be happy to return it to you. Shomrim of Baltimore: 410.358.9999
Baltimore, MD - Oct. 21, 2016 - Shomrei Emunah will be hosting Rabbanim and hundreds of boys from many shuls in a first-time ever community-wide Hoshana Rabba night learning program from 8:30 – 9:30 PM in the Shomrei Emunah Social Hall and Sukkah Hoshana Rabba night, this Motzei Shabbos, October 22nd. There will be prizes for every boy + pizza + Grand Raffle with amazing prizes!!  Boys should  attend with their father, with a chavrusa, or alone.  Please bring whatever seforim you plan on learning. Click here for more information
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