Urgent! Safety Tips for the Eclipse
Millions of Americans converged on a narrow corridor stretching from Oregon to South Carolina to watch the moon blot out the midday sun Monday for a wondrous couple of minutes in the first total solar eclipse to sweep coast to coast in 99 years. Veteran eclipse watchers warned the uninitiated to get ready to be blown away. Planetariums and museums posted “Sold out of eclipse glasses” on their front doors. Signs along highways reminded motorists of “Solar Eclipse Monday,” while cars bore the message “Eclipse or bust.” With 200 million people within a day’s drive of the path of totality, towns and parks braced for monumental crowds. It’s expected to be the most observed, most studied and most photographed eclipse ever. Not to mention the mos...
SOUTH CHINA SEA (WCSC) - The guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain was involved in a collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC while underway east of Singapore and the Strait of Malacca, according to officials with U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affairs. The collision was reported at 6:24 a.m. Japan Standard Time, while the ship was transiting to a routine port visit in Singapore. Initial reports indicate John S. McCain sustained damage to her port side aft. Search and rescue efforts are underway in coordination with local authorities.
North Korea warned Sunday that the upcoming US-South Korea military exercises are "reckless behavior driving the situation into the uncontrollable phase of a nuclear war." Pyongyang also declared that its army can target the United States anytime, and neither Guam, Hawaii nor the US mainland can "dodge the merciless strike." The messages in Rodong Sinmun, the official government newspaper, come a day before the US starts the Ulchi Freedom Guardian military exercises with South Korea. Tensions between the US and North Korea have grown in recent weeks. Just last week, Pyongyang said it had finalized a plan to fire four missiles toward the US territory of Guam. State media reported that leader Kim Jong Un would assess the US' next move before giving launch orders. Kim woul...
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has said his army has foiled Western attempts to overthrow his government thanks to assistance from allies including Russia, Iran, and Lebanon's Hezbollah movement."Their direct support -- politically, economically, and militarily -- has made possible bigger advances on the battlefield and reduced the losses and burdens of war," Assad said during a televised address on August 20.He stressed, however, that "the battle continues" and that it was too early to speak of victory in the country's 6 1/2-year-old civil war.Assad said there will be no restoration of diplomatic ties or other forms of cooperation with countries that support "terrorists" in Syria. The United States and most European countries shut their Damascus embassies following a governmen...
An engineering subsidiary of German car giant Volkswagen has announced that it is restarting its operations in Iran, official Iranian media outlets reported on Sunday. Gaby B. Hanna, vice-president and regional head of MAN Diesel & Turbo – which produces diesel engines for marine and land use on a mass scale – described Iran as “the biggest growth market for us.” “We are very active in Iran. We’ve restarted our company there, called MAN Iran Power,” Hanna said. “We see Iran, putting aside all the political issues, as a big market for us.” Volkswagen has been the dominant shareholder in the Augsburg-based MAN since 2012, when it acquired 75 percent of the company’s voting rights. MAN generates revenue of over $15 b...
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Authorities say a bus flipped over after colliding with a tractor-trailer on a Pennsylvania interstate, sending more than two dozen people to hospitals. State police say the rig’s front end collided with the rear of the bus around 3:30 a.m. Sunday on Interstate 78 in Williams Township. Police said the bus overturned and landed on its side. Police say the crash caused several injuries. All 26 people on the small, private bus were taken to hospitals, but the extent of injuries wasn’t immediately available. There were no reports of injuries to the truck driver. A state police official says there was no immediate word on who owns the bus or where it was headed.
Six days after giving birth to a daughter, Mrs. Chana Rosenberger A”H returned to Shaare Zedek Hospital explaining she was feeling ill and had excruciating abdominal pains. She suddenly collapsed and was R”L Niftar. She was only 32 at the time of her petira, leaving four little ones at home. Mrs. Rosenberger collapsed shortly after arriving in the hospital. CPR with advanced life support techniques were implemented immediately, but they were forced to pronounce her dead. It is believed she suffered an embolism in the amniotic fluid but the cause of death is still being probed by the hospital. Her husband, Rav Yissocher Dov, a grandson of the Admor of Stropkov ZT”L, sponsored a kiddush in honor of the birth of their daughter in the Stropkov Beis Medrash in Meah She...
Britain’s government is considering more checks on drivers wishing to rent cars and vans following several attacks in which vehicles were used to mow down pedestrians. The Department for Transport is working with police and the rental industry to explore tightening regulations following attacks using rented vehicles in Britain, France, Germany and most recently, Spain. The department says in a statement that the terror threat “is changing and so must our response.” Toby Poston of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association said in a statement Sunday that the industry is examining how to share data in a more timely way to enable authorities “to cross-reference rental reservation systems with the counter-terrorism watch list, for example.” In Britain a...
Police put up scores of roadblocks across northeast Spain on Sunday in hopes of capturing a fugitive suspect from the 12-member Islamic extremist cell that staged two vehicle attacks and plotted much deadlier carnage using explosives favored by Islamic State militants. Complicating the manhunt, though, was the fact that police have so far been unable to officially identify who exactly is at large. While police have identified the 12 members of the cell, three people remain unaccounted for: two believed killed when the house where the plot was being hatched exploded Wednesday, and a suspected fugitive, Catalan police official Josep Lluis Trapero told reporters Sunday. Trapero declined to confirm that Younes Abouyaaquoub, a 22-year-old Moroccan, was the one at large and the suspected driv...
Parsha Hashavua
Parshas Shof'tim - Our Connection to Eretz Yisroel

There are numerous places in the Torah where Chazal derive significant lessons from the placement of one Mitvzah or historical event directly opposite or next to another Mitzvah.  A classic example would be in next weeks Parsha where Rashi points out that the Halacha of Ben Tzorer Umoreh (the rebellious child) follows an Isha S’nuah (the despised wife), which follows Yifas To’ar. (the woman captured in battle) This teaches us that someone who marries a Yifas To’ar will eventually come to hate her and produce a rebellious child.   In this week’s Parsha, there is another set of Halachos directly juxtaposed, about which the commentaries seem strangely silent.


Six P’sukim are devoted to some of the particular Halachos of Arei’ Miklat or cities of refuge. (Shoftim 19:8-13)  Immediately thereafter, we are given the prohibition of  fraudulently moving a boundary or encroaching on someone else’s land. (19:14)  Perhaps the commentaries are silent because there does not seem to be any readily apparent connection between cities of refuge and laws against encroachment.  However, viewing the Parsha broadly, there do appear to be some lessons which leap out of the P’sukim and make a connection crystal clear. 


First, we are introduced to Arei Miklat with the words “prepare the way for yourself and divide into three parts the boundary of the land “ (19:3) Next, we are told “when Hashem expands your boundary….and gives you the entire land”. (19:8)  Interspliced with these references are the specific standards for who may seek refuge in the Arei Miklat.  Someone who struck someone without knowledge, did not hate him from before, or swung a defective axe whose head flew off and killed. Yet, after this we are told that the Arei Miklat may not be used as a place of refuge by someone who hates his friend and lay in ambush. (19:11)  In such a case the elders must deliver the murderer from the city into the hands of the avenger. (19:12)  It is after this pronunciation that we are given this apparent unrelated prohibition of encroaching on another’s land.


A cursory review of our Parsha suggests that these ideas are not unrelated at all. Rather, much of the narrative is devoted to settling the land.  We are given specific instructions as to what the Kohen and Levi are entitled to, in lieu of a portion in the land. (18:6)  Additional P’sukim warn us not to adopt customs of the inhabitants of the land.  Indeed, we are told clearly that we are related to the land.  It cannot tolerate our behaving in certain ways.  Our connection to the land exists on multiple levels, even when we are physically removed from it.


This concept is even deeper when we are actually living there.  Our chelek is not some random piece of real estate.  It is a part of us. That is why property is returned to its original owner at Yovel.  When a Jew is forced to leave his land because of an accident he does not simply land in a city of refuge.  The city of refuge temporarily becomes his land.  This explains why someone who kills purposely must be ejected from the city of refuge – that is not his land.  The murderer is encroaching and moving his boundary into some else’s place.  The connection could not be more obvious. 


Our Torah teaches us, reminds us, warns us and explains to us how deeply and inseparably we are connected to Eretz Yisroel.  It is where we are supposed to be.  So much so that even one who kills by accident cannot be without his portion.  While he must endure an exile, he still must have a chelek, an exclusive chelek, in Eretz Yisroel.  For centuries of Galus, Jews have been drawn back to Eretz Yisroel.  Not by the promise of peace or prosperity, but by the land itself.  We are incomplete without it.


 

 

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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, 1 Rosh Chodesh Elul, is scheduled to fly to Russia, where he will meet with President Vladimir Putin. Officials in the Prime Minister’s Office announce the meeting will not be held in Moscow, but in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi, where the two will discuss “latest regional developments”, with a focus on the ongoing Syria civil war. Russia has been backing the regime of Bashar al-Assad against rebel forces, and Israel and Russia have agreed to coordinate militarily and continue to meet regularly to discuss the ongoing civil war. Israel is doing its utmost to remain out of the picture, seeking remain neutral while intelligence and defense officials carefully monitor events in the ongoing civil war. Israeli concerns incl...
An Eclipse Digest that answers all of your eclipse related questions, from where to watch to why this eclipse is historically important.
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Kiddush Levana Aug 25 4:23 am - Sep 05 10:45 pm
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U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Sunday he is satisfied with how the administration formulated its new Afghanistan war strategy. But he refused to talk about the new policy until it was disclosed by President Donald Trump. He said the deliberations, including talks at the Camp David presidential retreat on Friday, were done properly. “I am very comfortable that the strategic process was sufficiently rigorous,” Mattis said, speaking aboard a military aircraft on an overnight flight from Washington to Amman, Jordan. Months ago, Trump gave Mattis authority to set U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan, but Mattis said he has not yet sent significant additional numbers. He has said he would wait for Trump to set the strategic direction first. Mattis did not mention that G...
Despite requests and threats by chareidi MKs and cabinet ministers, the chilul Shabbos involved in maintenance on Israel Railways. Railway officials insist the work cannot be carried out during the week for this would have too harsh an impact and commuters. The chareidim explain the work being done is not pikuach nefesh, and therefore cannot be carried out on Shabbos. According to the report appearing in HaMevaser, the work has to do with railroad maintenance of tracks in the Tel Aviv area in no way justifies working on Shabbos. Chareidi MKs have threatened continue work on the railway may be the cause of a coalition crisis. Chareidi lawmakers have turned their anger towards Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, signaling continued work endangers the ...
SimchasSimchas Simcha
There are numerous places in the Torah where Chazal derive significant lessons from the placement of one Mitvzah or historical event directly opposite or next to another Mitzvah.  A classic example would be in next weeks Parsha where Rashi points out that the Halacha of Ben Tzorer Umoreh (the rebellious child) follows an Isha S’nuah (the despised wife), which follows Yifas To’ar. (the woman captured in battle) This teaches us that someone who marries a Yifas To’ar will eventually come to hate her and produce a rebellious child.   In this week’s Parsha, there is another set of Halachos directly juxtaposed, about which the commentaries seem strangely silent. Six P’sukim are devoted to some of the particular Halachos of Arei’ Miklat or citi...
Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich says President Donald Trump needs to stop the staff chaos at the White House and “settle it down.” Strategist Steve Bannon last week became the latest top White House official to be shown the door. In seven months in office, Trump has dismissed a national security adviser, a chief of staff, two communications directors and a press secretary, among others. Kasich is among those who fear the staff churn is hampering Trump’s ability to notch a major legislative victory. Kasich, who challenged Trump for the GOP presidential nomination, says: “You can’t keep putting new people in the lineup and think you’re going to win a world championship.”
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Jews who visited the Temple Mount documented Arab children playing soccer despite High Court ruling on the matter. Jews who visited the Temple Mount on Sunday documented Arab children playing soccer at the compound, despite a previous ruling by the High Court that the police must prevent this from happening. Arabs continuously desecrate the holy site by holding soccer games against the law, and even have clowns perform there. They have also tried to erase the Jewish nature of the site, where the First and Second Temples stood, by destroying ancient Jewish artifacts and building illegally. 20170820_141627 from BaltimoreJewishLife.com on Vimeo.  
South Africa working to prevent strengthening of ties between Israel and other African nations. South Africa has recently been attempting to impede the development and strengthening of ties between Israel and other nations on the African continent. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has made strengthening Israel's ties with Africa a priority with the stated goal of breaking the automatic anti-Israel majority at the UN. A senior South African diplomat said today that his country would boycott a planned summit in two months in Togo because it was "designed to normalize the relations between the African countries and a country whose sole concern is the occupation of another people." He added that Israel "behaves in a shocking manner when it maintains a blockade of the Gaza Strip...
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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s signature public works project, a $4 billion bridge to be named after his father, is about to begin carrying commuters across the Hudson River in the New York City suburbs. One span of the future Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge will open to westbound traffic Friday, signaling near-completion of a project to replace the 62-year-old Tappan Zee that has served as the poster child for America’s crumbling infrastructure. The second span is scheduled for completion in the spring. The 3-mile (4.8-kilometer)-long bridge linking Westchester County to the New York State Thruway across the widest point in the Hudson is one of the largest public infrastructure projects underway in the U.S. and a model of the latest engineering. It will take more than 50 million ve...
Two fighters from Kfir and Golani and a civilian who visited Pardes Hannah badly attacked by local youths who mistook them for Arabs. Two soldiers on vacation and another man were attacked on Friday night in a public park in Pardes Hannah by a group of young people who awkwardly mistook them for Arabs, a network reporter in Carmela Menashe reported. According to the soldiers, the young men who attacked them shouted at them "you are Arabs" and beat them with a length of hookah piping. The soldiers were lightly injured and treated at Hillel Yaffe Hospital. A complaint was filed in the Rosh Ha'ayin police station and was transferred for follow-up to the Hadera station. The father summoned the police from the hospital. "Soldiers go on holiday and are attacked by cri...
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