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A Look At Some Of Israel's Prime Ministers Clinton Says Trump May Have Violated U.S. Law On Cuba Young Mother Killed in Train Crash Recently Moved from Brazil Wells Fargo Fined $24 Million Over Servicemember Loans NJ Train Crash Raises Many Familiar Safety Issues Bridgegate Witness: Christie Aides Prepped Cover Story Hackers Target Election Systems in 20 States Listen to Rabbi Shmuel Silber's Yomim Noraim Chizuk (Audio) The Chatty Customer Service Rep - A Moral Dilemma for the Shabbos Table Another Flight Heading To Uman From NYC Cancelled: Lufthansa Flight Clips Wings As It Leaves Terminal Rosh Hashanah 5777 - The Gift Of Teshuva and Rosh Hashanah Rosh Hashana 5777 – The Beginning of a New 19-Year Cycle Listing Of US Presidential Delegation To Funeral Of Shimon Peres, Z’L Former US Middle East Negotiator: Shimon Peres Was the ‘Forrest Gump of Israeli Politics’ Israeli Researchers Make Breakthrough in Autism Research Report: Arab Knesset Members To Boycott Shimon Peres Funeral On Grounds That Israeli Peace Champion Was ‘Hawk Of Settlement Enterprise’ 43 UK Campus Leaders Slam President of Country’s Largest Student Union for Repeatedly Dismissing Concerns of Systemic Antisemitism Report: Holocaust Denier Tenured Prof Asked by Canadian University to Resign, Following Outcry by Major Jewish Organization Legal Expert: Controversy Surrounding Israeli Radical Miko Peled Serves as Jew-Hatred Litmus Test for Anti-Israel Groups Chinese To Invest Up To $50 Billion In Israeli Start-ups
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Baltimore, MD – Sept. 29, 2016  - Rabbi Shmuel Silber gave this teshuva drasha in Kehilas Meor HaTorah last year. We post it again by popular demand. 
JERUSALEM –  Shimon Peres, who died Wednesday, was both a former president and prime minister, the only person in Israel to hold both jobs. Of Israel's 12 prime ministers, three are still living: current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; his predecessor, Ehud Olmert, who is in prison after a bribery conviction; and Ehud Barak, who appears to be plotting a comeback. A look at some of its prime ministers: DAVID BEN-GURION (1886-1973) Israel's founding father and first prime minister served from Israel's creation in 1948 until 1963, with a two-year hiatus in 1954-55. Renowned for declaring Israel's independence and building its military might, he oversaw the development of Israel's nuclear program and agreed to a historic reparations deal with ...
CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said on Thursday that Republican opponent Donald Trump may have violated U.S. law, following a news report that one of his companies attempted to do business in Cuba. Newsweek said on Thursday that a hotel and casino company controlled by Trump secretly conducted business with Cuba that was illegal under U.S. sanctions in force during Fidel Castro's presidency of the Communist-ruled island. “Today we learned about his efforts to do business in Cuba which appear to violate U.S. law, certainly flout American foreign policy, and he has consistently misled people in responding to questions about whether he was attempting to do business in Cuba,” Clinton told reporters on her campaign plane....
The woman who died in the New Jersey Transit train crash in Hoboken has been identified as a resident of the city and young mother who recently moved to the United States from Brazil with her family.  Fabiola Bittar de Kroon was standing in a waiting area at the Hoboken station when the train, which was traveling too fast, crashed through a barrier, authorities said. She was killed by falling debris. De Kroon, 34, worked for the software company SAP in its legal department in Brazil until earlier this year. SAP spokesman Andy Kendzie said the company was "shaken by the news" of the crash, which injured more than 100 people. He said the company expressed its deepest condolences to de Kroon's family and friends and to all of those affected by the "tragic event." Ce...
Wells Fargo & Co was fined about $24 million on Thursday by federal regulators for alleged violations of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, piling more pressure on the bank already embroiled in a sales abuse scandal.   Wells Fargo Bank, doing business as Wells Fargo Dealer Services, agreed to pay more than $4.1 million after the Justice Department alleged it repossessed 413 cars owned by servicemembers without obtaining a court order. The unit of Wells Fargo also agreed to change its policies, the department said. Separately, the bank was fined $20 million for violating the same act by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. The bank violated three separate provisions of the act between about 2006 and 2016, the regulator, which did a separate investigatio...
WASHINGTON (AP) — The investigation into a New Jersey commuter train that hurtled into a station building Thursday raises many familiar issues from other crashes, including whether the tragedy could have been prevented or mitigated if a key safety technology had been in place. The National Transportation Safety Board, which is leading the investigation, has been calling on railroads to start using the safety technology, called positive train control, or PTC, for nearly four decades. New Jersey Transit is in the process of installing the technology, but it was not in operation yet on any of the agency's trains or tracks. Govs. Chris Christie of New Jersey and Andrew Cuomo of New York cautioned at a news conference that not enough is known yet about the circ...
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NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -- The government's key witness in the George Washington Bridge lane-closing scandal said people close to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gathered on a conference call to prep a cover story for the gridlock prosecutors contend was political revenge against a Democratic mayor. NJ.com reported David Wildstein testified on Thursday that Phil Kwon, Christie's former pick for the state Supreme Court, and Regina Egea, who eventually served as the Republican governor's aide, helped prepare testimony that the closures were for a traffic study. He said the pair prepped former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey executive Bill Baroni on what to tell lawmakers probing the incident. Baroni is now on trial for federal crimes related to the September 201...
There have been hacking attempts on election systems in more than 20 states — far more than had been previously acknowledged — a senior Department of Homeland Security official told NBC News on Thursday. The "attempted intrusions" targeted online systems like registration databases, and not the actual voting or tabulation machines that will be used on Election Day and are not tied to the Internet. The DHS official described much of the activity as "people poking at the systems to see if they are vulnerable." "We are absolutely concerned," the DHS official said. "The concern is the ability to cause confusion and chaos." Only two successful breaches have been disclosed, both of online voter registration databases, in Illinois and Arizona over the summer. While those two hack...
Daily Halacha
Chodesh Elul

From Rosh Hodesh Elul until after Yom Kippur  is a time of (Divine) favor.  Although, throughout the entire year,  the Holy One, blessed be He, accepts the repentance  of those who return to Him wholeheartedly,  in any case, these days (between the 1st of Elul and Yom Kippur) are more special  have been set aside for repentance,  because they are days of mercy and favor.  Because on Rosh Hodesh Elul, Moses ascended Mount Sinai  to receive the second set of stone tablets  and spent forty days there,  descending on the tenth of Tishrei,  which was then the finish of the atonement period1  From then on, these days were set aside as days of favor,  and the tenth of Tishrei as the Day of Atonement. 2  It is the custom in most places  to fast on the day preceding Rosh Hodesh Elul  and follow the order of prayer (termed) the Minor Day of Atonement  to prepare one's heart to repent.  If Rosh Hodesh Elul falls on Shabbat,  one advances (the fast) to the Thursday before it.  The Ari (lit; The Rabbi, our master, Rabbi Isaac Luria), may his memory be a blessing,3  wrote:4  ''Surely (a man) does not lie in ambush (to murder), but G-d  (who) caused this to happen, then I will provide for you (a place for you to take refuge)''  the first letters (of the words spell) Elul.  To tell (us) that this month  is (like a place of refuge,) a time of favor when (G-d) accepts (our) repentance  on the sins done throughout the year.  It also alludes to (sins) committed inadvertently  that also need repentance during this month  The Rabbis5 have also noted6  ''And G-d, your Lord, will circumcise  your heart and the hearts of your descendants''  the first letters (of the words spell) Elul  and also7  ''I am for my Beloved and my Beloved is for me''  the first letters (of the words spell) Elul  and also8  ''a person (sending gifts) to his friend and (giving) presents to the poor.''  the first letters (of the words spell) Elul  (The verses) allude to the three things, which are repentance  prayer, and charity,  which must be done eagerly in this month.  ''And G-d will circumcise...'' alludes to repentance;  ''I am for my Beloved...'' alludes to prayer,  which is ''a song of lovers'';  ''Sending gifts...''  alludes to charity. (KSA 128:1)
1) For the sin of the Golden Calf.
2) Moses went up to Mt Sinai for 3 consecutive 40 day periods; for the first forty days, Hashem taught him the entire Torah and gave him the first set of stone tablets, which Moses subsequently smashed when he came down the mountain and saw the Jews dancing around the Golden Calf; Moses then spent the next 40 days begging Hashem to forgive the Jewish People; the final forty days was spent receiving the second set of tablets.
3) Rabbi Isaac Luria (1534-1572), renowned as the greatest kabbalist of modern times, is commonly known as the ARI, an acronym standing for Elohi Rabbi Yitzhak - the G-dly Rabbi Isaac.
4) To explain the verse Exodus 21:13.
5) lit; the explainers of lists.
6) Deuteronomy 30:6
7) Song of Songs 6:3
8) Esther 9:22

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This week’s Torah portion talks about the mitzva to learn Torah (Devarim 30, 14). Our Sages teach that learning Torah is so great that it is equal to all of the other mitzvos in the Torah. The following humorous true story pertains to a moral dilemma related to someone's desire to study Torah.   The following is a true story that occurred in Israel. A religious Israeli man, named Avi, once called a customer service representative for some assistance. The Israeli customer service rep introduced himself as Doron and proceeded to help Avi with his query. After speaking with Avi for a bit, Doron was able to ascertain from Avi’s question that Avi was religious. After Doron finished helping Avi, Doron asked Avi if he would be able to answer some questions about Jewish ...
On Wednesday, we reported about a privately chartered flight to Uman that was cancelled just hours before its scheduled departure. Hundreds of people were left without a way to reach Uman. Now, YWN has learned of another incident with an airplane heading to Uman. Sources tell YWN that at around 4:00PM on Thursday, a Lufthansa Flight from JFK to Uman returned to the gate after it had already started taxiing towards the runway. It appears that the wing clipped another aircraft as it was being pushed away from the terminal. All the passengers have since left the aircraft, and are in the process of finding their luggage.
Parsha Hashavua
The Chatty Customer Service Rep - A Moral Dilemma for the Shabbos Table

This week’s Torah portion talks about the mitzva to learn Torah (Devarim 30, 14).
Our Sages teach that learning Torah is so great that it is equal to all of the other mitzvos in the Torah.
The following humorous true story pertains to a moral dilemma related to someone's desire to study Torah.
 
The following is a true story that occurred in Israel. A religious Israeli man, named Avi, once called a customer service representative for some assistance. The Israeli customer service rep introduced himself as Doron and proceeded to help Avi with his query. After speaking with Avi for a bit, Doron was able to ascertain from Avi’s question that Avi was religious. After Doron finished helping Avi, Doron asked Avi if he would be able to answer some questions about Jewish law that he had. Doron had recently started to become more observant and had a few questions.
 
After they spoke for a few minutes about Torah, Avi raised the question of whether it is okay to discuss Divrei Torah (Torah ideas) in the middle of Doron’s job. “You are being paid by the hour to help customers, not to have a discussion about Torah” Avi said. “Are you sure this is okay"? Doron responded that it would be okay, because Torah discussion gives him inspiration and energy and helps to break the monotony of the work. “If you talk to me about Torah I will be a much more productive worker. Without you, I would go nuts from the monotony of this work".
 
Avi still wasn't sure.
 
What do you think? Is it okay to discuss Torah with someone during his job? Is there merit to the argument that the Torah study would energize him and help him to work better?
On one hand teaching another person Torah is a tremendous mitzva. But on the other hand, Doron was being paid to work, not to study.
 
What would you do?
 
(See Veharev Na Volume Three page 83)
 
Answer to last week’s moral dilemma

This question is discussed in  Veharev Na Volume Three page 152
 
Rabbi Zilbertsein answered that Meir would not be obligated became the damage is called a grama, an indirect damage that occurred after he brought the bags in.
However when this question was brought to Rav Yosef Shaom Elyashiv, he answered that Meir was obligated because it was not a grama. The bags were a potential hazard from the second they went in the car.

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With Rosh Hashana right around the corner, it comes as no surprise that this week’s parshah discusses the mitzvah of Teshuva (repentance). Why does Teshuva work? Why is it that even if I sin severely, if I genuinely decide to improve, Hashem will accept that apology? This question becomes that much stronger when one realizes that even when I do teshuva with the highest level of sincerity, ultimately, I will probably sin and stumble again in the future, as no one is perfect. If so, why does Hashem accept such a temporary and fleeting teshuva? Additionally, Rosh Hashanah is known as a yom tov, as it is the day that we crown our King and by doing so, reconnect to Him in the strongest manner possible. However, haven’t we all sinned many times in this past year? At the very least,...
Baltimore, MD - Sept. 29, 2016 - This Sunday night when Rosh Hashanah 5777 begins, it will not only be the beginning of a new year but will also be the first year of the 305th 19-year cycle since brias ha’olam, as indicated in the luach of the Tur in Orach Chaim siman 428. 5776 was the 19th and final year of the previous 19-year cycle which began on Rosh Hashana 5758/1997 and 5777 (2016-2017) is the first year of the new cycle. Unlike the solar cycle of 28 years (Machzor Gadol) which is used in the Jewish calendar to calculate tkufos (seasons) and begins with the recitation of Birchas Hachama, the new 19-year cycle (Machzor Katan) will begin almost unnoticed. Indeed, we will experience Rosh Hashana night – one of the most beautiful nights of the year. But, as the sun sets and ...
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President Barack Obama today announced the designation of a Presidential Delegation to the State of Israel to attend the State Funeral of Former President and Prime Minister Shimon Peres on September 30, 2016 in Tel Aviv, Israel. The Honorable Barack Obama, President of the United States, will lead the delegation. Members of the Presidential Delegation The Honorable William J. Clinton, Former President of the United States The Honorable Daniel Shapiro, U.S. Ambassador to the State of Israel, Department of State The Honorable John Kerry, Secretary of State of the United States The Honorable Robert Casey, U.S. Senator, Pennsylvania The Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Leader, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives (CA-12) The Honorable Steny Hoyer, Member of the U.S. House of ...
The late former Israeli President Shimon Peres was a “truly consequential” figure who played an “inextricable” role in the transformation of Israel from a fledgling new nation into a regional powerhouse over the past seven decades, a former US State Department Middle East negotiator who interacted with Peres told The Algemeiner on Thursday. Peres, who died on Wednesday at the age of 93 and will be laid to rest on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem on Friday, was the “Forrest Gump of Israeli politics,” Aaron David Miller — currently a vice president at the Wilson Center think tank in Washington — said. “He was there and saw it all,” Miller, who first met Peres in the late 1980s during a trip to Israel with then-Secretary of St...
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(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) Researchers at Ben-Gurion University in the Negev have made a significant breakthrough in a unique study to better understand autism, discovering a particular evolutionary signature in autism genes. The breakthrough brings doctors one step closer to understanding the genetic mechanism for the disorder and being able to diagnose it prior to birth. Dr. Idan Menashe and his colleagues, Erez Tsur and Prof. Michael Friger, studied over 650 genetic variations out of the 1,000 genes linked to autism, and found characteristics that differentiate them from other genes in the human genome. "If we find the remaining genes out of the thousand, we will not only be able to understand autism better, but also be able to conduct a genetic test before pre...
The head of the Israel’s Arab political bloc tweeted an explanation for his coalition’s decision to boycott Friday’s funeral of elder statesman Shimon Peres, the Hebrew news site Walla reported on Thursday, a day before the event is scheduled to take place. According to the report, MK Ayman Odeh, chairman of the Joint List, wrote: “The memory of Peres in the Arab (Israeli) public is different from that of the narrative that has been recounted over the past few days, and I understand that such complex messages are hard to hear after someone’s death.” He added that credit should be given to Peres for his peace efforts and support for the Arab public during the 1990s, but said that the same populace opposes “the hawk of the oc...
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In an open letter on Wednesday, campus leaders across the UK slammed the head of the country’s largest student union for her repeated dismissal of concerns of systemic antisemitism on campuses.  “Over the past six months, the [National Union of Students’ (NUS)] Leadership has rightly come under increased scrutiny for its attitude towards Jewish students,” said the letter, signed by 43 student leaders and directed at NUS President Malia Bouattia. Referring to a recent interview with the UK’s Guardian — in which Bouattia acknowledged that she applies double standards when it comes to racism against Jews — the student leaders wrote that despite an ongoing discussion of antisemitism within the NUS, the voices of...
After years of complaints about his antisemitic rhetoric, a tenured professor at Canada’s University of Lethbridge is reportedly being asked, finally, to resign. Professor Anthony Hall — who supports “open debate” on the Holocaust and has blamed Israel for 9/11 — told The American Herald Tribune, a website he helps run, that he was asked to step down after Jewish advocacy group B’nai Brith Canada urged the university to launch an investigation into his behavior. “If the University of Lethbridge allows Hall to continue teaching, it would demonstrate complete disrespect for true scholarship and the values of the academy,” Amanda Hohmann, national director of B’nai Brith Canada’s League for Human Rights, told ...
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A legal expert and founder of a conservative blog told The Algemeiner that the recent controversy surrounding offensive rhetoric used by radical Israeli activist Miko Peled serves as a litmus test of antisemitism for two prominent anti-Israel groups. Legal Insurrection founder William Jacobson, a professor at the Cornell Law School, said he is gauging the reactions of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) and Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) to comments made by Israeli anti-Zionist Miko Peled, who referred to Jews as “sleazy thieves” on social media. “The negative stereotypes of Jews employed by BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement) activists test the claims of JVP and SJP that they are only anti-Zionist or anti-occup...
(JNS.org) Chinese investors are expected to fund up to $50 billion in some 500 Israeli start-up companies as the two countries continue to strengthen ties in many areas including trade and travel. “Over the past few years we have seen a series of investments coming to Israel from China, but only now are we beginning to understand the great potential of this cooperation for both countries,” said Amit Lang, director general of Israel’s Ministry of Economy and Industry. He spoke at the second annual “Innovation” China-Israel Investment Conference on Wednesday in Tel Aviv attended by over 1,000 Chinese investors. The event was organized by the Infinity Investment Group with help from Israel’s Ministry of Economy and Industry. “The impor...
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