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resident Donald Trump on Sunday sought to douse speculation that he may fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller amid an intensifying campaign by Trump allies to attack the wide-ranging Russia investigation as improper and politically motivated. Returning to the White House from Camp David, Trump was asked Sunday whether he intended to fire Mueller. "No, I'm not," he told journalists, insisting that there was "no collusion whatsoever" between his campaign and Russia. The president's comments came a day after a lawyer representing Trump's transition team accused Mueller of wrongfu...
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The battle is not only trying to find the refuah, it's also trying to stay up with the financial obligations which are so overwhelming.ALS has paralyzed his body, but it will not break his family’s spirit - Your kindness and generosity will save the life of former Baltimorean Rabbi Dovid Frid and change the lives of his family I once heard from my Rebbi in the name of the the “Avnei Neizer,” a beautiful explanation of the Gemoro Shabbos105b “Whoever lets down/ weeps over the passing of an adam kasher -- upright, virtuous man -- Hashem counts his tears and puts them aside in His treasury." The Avnei Neizer explains why the term Adam Kasher is used as opposed to Chosid, Tzadik, Gaon… He brings the Gemoro in Chulin 58a which says “A Treifah, an ani...
The heads of the local councils in southern Israel on Sunday evening urged the Israeli government to take action following yet another rocket attack from Gaza on the region. Two rockets had been fired from Gaza into Israeli territory. One of them hit a town near the Gaza border in the western Negev. The rocket reportedly exploded next to a home in the community, but caused no injuries. The building was lightly damaged, an IDF spokesperson said. The head of the Sdot Negev Regional Council, Tamir Idan, urged the government to respond to the rocket fire from Gaza. "We expect and demand that the security forces respond with force and make it clear to the terrorists that the State of Israel is determined not to allow continued firing. We are not prepared for the state of emergency ...
Putin calls Trump to thank him after U.S. provides Russia with intelligence that helped it thwart attack in St. Petersburg. The United States provided intelligence to Russia that helped it thwart a potentially deadly bomb attack in St. Petersburg, U.S. and Russian officials said on Sunday, according to Reuters. Russian President Vladimir Putin telephoned U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday to thank him for the tip-off, which the Kremlin said helped prevent a bomb attack on a cathedral in the Russian city, as well as other sites, the report said. The White House did not disclose details about the plot itself, but did say in the statement the attack "could have killed large numbers of people." “President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia called President Donald J. Trump toda...
IAF fighter jets attack military compound belonging to Hamas in northern Gaza following latest rocket attack. IAF fighter jets attacked a military compound belonging to the Hamas terrorist organization in northern Gaza on Sunday night, the IDF Spokesperson's Unit said. Six different targets were attacked at the site, including buildings and terrorist infrastructures, according to the statement. The attack was in retaliation for the rocket fire on the Gaza Belton Sunday evening. “The IDF views the firing of rockets at Israeli communities very seriously and will not allow any harm or attempt to harm the citizens of the State of Israel. Hamas is solely responsible for what is happening in the Gaza Strip,” the IDF statement said. On Sunday evening, two rockets fro...
LONDON (Reuters) - Iranian state television broadcast on Sunday what it described as the confessions of an Iranian academic with Swedish residency who it said had provided information to Israel to help it assassinate several senior nuclear scientists. His wife, speaking by telephone from Stockholm, said he had been forced by his interrogators to read the confession. Iran’s Supreme Court upheld last week a death sentence against Ahmadreza Djalali, a doctor and lecturer at the Karolinska Institute, a Stockholm medical university. Djalali was arrested in Iran in April 2016 and later convicted of espionage. He denied the charges. In the television report, Djalali was linked to the assassination of four Iranian scientists between 2010 and 2012 that Tehran said was an Israeli attempt t...
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Count commuters among the losers in the Republican tax bill that the House and Senate are expected to vote on next week. The final bill agreed to by Republican negotiators and released late Friday eliminates the tax incentive for private employers that subsidize their employees’ transit, parking and bicycle commuting expenses. Currently, companies can provide parking or transit passes worth up to $255 a month to employees as a benefit to help pay for their commuting expenses, and then deduct the costs from their corporate taxes. That amount was set to increase to $260 a month on Jan. 1. The reasoning behind the elimination of the deduction is that since the tax bill substantially lowers the corporate tax rate, smaller tax breaks that complicate the tax code are no longer nec...
Former Yisrael Beitenu party Minister of Tourism Stas Misezhnikov, who was convicted of fraud, entered prison on Sunday, 29 Kislev. He will be serving a 15-month prison term. The former minister also has a six month probation period and is required to pay a fine of NIS 70,000. Dozens of suspects affiliated with the Yisrael Beitenu party headed by Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman were linked to law-breaking including money laundering, bribery and breach of trust. This includes former Deputy Minister of the Interior Fania Kirschenbaum. The investigation was made public by authorities in December 2014. Misezhnikov was initially also charged with bribery, disruption of proceedings and possession and use of an illegal narcotic (cocaine). These charges were retracted of as part of the p...
The Director of SEO at Staples, the chain of office-supplies superstores, praised the Shabbos policy of a well-known Jewish-owned buisness. B&H Photo Video in Manhattan has famously closed its doors on Friday afternoon and Saturdays and on all Jewish holidays for decades. The New York City photography and hi-tech megastore, owned and managed by Chassidic Jews, even shuts down its e-commerce operations by not accepting or processing any online orders. Mr. Dargenio’s LinkedIn post states that he “truly admires” the company, and urged his followers to emulate B&H. “Don’t let the promise of money enslave you on the days you observe your truest freedoms,” he said. Mi K’amcha Yisroel!
Following the shiva for Maran HaGaon HaRav Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman ZT”L, and during the month of the shloshim, there will be gatherings of chizuk and hespedim for the late Gadol Hador, as per the instructions of HaGaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky. This coming Wednesday, one such event is scheduled at Yeshivas Orchos Torah with the participation of Gedolei Hador Shlita including Hagaon HaRav Kanievsky, Ponevezh Rosh Yeshiva Maran HaGaon HaRav Gershon Edelstein, HaGaon HaRav Dovid Landau, HaGaon HaRav Baruch Dov Povarsky, HaGaon HaRav Baruch Mordechai Ezrachi, HaGaon HaRav Moshe Hillel Hirsch and a number of Admorim Shlita. Kikar Shabbos reports that while making a shiva visit to the Shteinman aveilim, the Belzer Rebbe Shlita was invited to the event on Wednesday. The Rebbe is repor...
Parsha Hashavua
Parshas Miketz/Chanukah - No, Thanks!

When the brothers return home after their first confrontation with Yoseif, Yaakov refuses to let them bring Binyamin back down with them. Reuvein boldly declares (42:37) that both his sons shall be put to death if he does not bring Binyamin back. Despite this impressive expression of dedication, Yaakov refuses to let the brothers return with Binyamin. Later, as the famine grows stronger, the return to Egypt seems imminent. Yehudah proclaims (43:9) that he will take responsibility for Binyamin and that if he does not return him and stand him up in front of Yaakov, then he will have sinned to his father for all of days. Rashi comments that "all of days" refers to the world to come. Yehudah was declaring that if he fails to return Binyomin, his sin shall be everlasting. Yaakov subsequently sent the brothers back down with Binyomin.


From a practical point of view, the reason why Yaakov accepted Yehudah's proposal and not Reuvein's may simply be because time was just running out. Reuvein's offer was presented when the brothers had just returned and could survive without returning to Egypt for a while. Later on, however, there simply was no other alternative.


The Ohr HaChayim, however, offers a comparison of the sincerity of the two offers. Reuvein, in fact, had four sons. He only offered the sacrifice of two of them because he was not willing to lose all his children and be bereft of the mitzvah of procreation. He was willing to sacrifice possessions of this world but not his reward in the world to come. Yaakov sensed this slight insincerity in Reuvein's offer. Yehudah, however, was willing to sacrifice even his portion in the world to come, according to Rashi's interpretation. Yaakov, therefore, felt that Yehudah's acceptance of responsibility was sincere enough that he could trust with the life of his youngest son.


In the past, we have discussed different nuances of Chanukah as they pertain to the miracle of the war and the miracle of the oil. I would like to explore the actual significance of the two miracles. Specifically, why was it necessary to have these two miracles?


To begin, let us backtrack and approach the issue based on our understanding of our reactions to the miracles. At the end of Al HaNisim, we recount that the eight days of Chanukah were instituted lehodos ulhalel. There are two distinct purposes for Chanukah. Lehodos is simply understood as giving of thanks. As we have discussed in past years, the Al HaNisim text mentions nothing of the miracle of the oil. As R' Chaim Kanievsky explains, it was not a miracle of eternal significance as it pertains to our existence. We would still be standing here today with or without the miracle of the oil. Thus, we are not expected to give thanks for it. The same cannot be said about the great miracle of the defeat of the mighty Syrian Greeks by our tiny army. That is why the thanks is focused exclusively on that event. (I have heard a number of people, speaking about Chanukah, commenting that we "do not celebrate military victories." Based on the above, that approach seems questionable at best.)


Hallel is usually understood as praise. This is clearly different than thanks. Hallel, in our context, is expression of recognition of HaShem's greatness. Whereas the miracle of the war, as unbelievable as it was, was more discrete, the miracle of the oil was a blatant miracle. As we have mentioned in the name of P'nei Yehoshua, the miracle of the oil was not "necessary," per se. Nevertheless, it was a clear stamp of approval on the entire episode of Chanukah and, at the same time, a clear display of HaShem's greatness.


The two miracles of Chanukah represent the two aspects of HaShem's deliverance. Our commemoration of this holiday is meant to give thanks and to give praise - to thank HaShem for our defeat of the Greeks and to give praise and recognize His ultimate greatness.




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An Arab terrorist was taken into custody at the Shomron Military Court after he aroused the suspicion of sentries on duty. He had what appeared to be an explosives belt around his body. Bomb demolition technicians were summoned. B’chasdei Hashem there were no fatalities or injuries as they managed to restrain him before he could detonate the suspected bomb. After bomb technicians arrived and probed the matter, they learned the terrorist was carrying two pipe bombs on his person. One of the explosives was strapped to his body and the second hidden inside his outer garment.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Friday, 27 Kislev, was questioned by police in a number of cases against him, for a seventh time. He was questioned in the case dealing with allegedly accepting illegal gifts and the case dealing with his collaboration with Yoni Mozes of Yediot Achronot. Upon completion of question, it was reported Mr. Netanyahu responded to all questions and he was cooperative. The questioning session was arranged in advance, with police coming to Mr. Netanyahu. While it was believed that was going to be the last questioning session prior to police submitting their findings to the prosecution, it now appears another session may take place prior to police making its recommendations in the case.
Event
Kiddush Levana Dec 21 6:20 am - Jan 02 12:42 am
December
18
Kislev 30
A United Hatzalah volunteer was seriously injured as a result of his motorcycle was involved in an accident while responding to a call in Tel Aviv on motzei Shabbos. The accident occurred on Rokeach Street. The volunteer suffered multisystem trauma. The family of the injured United Hatzalah responder urges the tzibur to be mispallel for אהליאב בן מרים bsoch cholei am yisrael.
Poised to bask in the triumph of his first major legislative victory, President Donald Trump’s team on Sunday was again forced to grapple with the growing Russia probe that has shadowed the White House for much of the president’s initial year in office. Republicans in Congress planned to muscle through tax cut legislation this week but Washington was equally fixated on speculation about the next steps from Trump and special counsel Robert Mueller, who is probing whether the president’s campaign coordinated with Russian officials during last year’s election. Mueller has gained access to thousands of emails sent and received by Trump officials before the start of his administration, yielding attacks from transition lawyers and renewing chatter that Trump may act to e...
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In light of a High Court of Justice ruling that will oblige the state to return the bodies of terrorists, a bill proposed by MK (Bayit Yehudi) Moti Yogev for the purpose of allowing the expulsion of families of terrorists from Israel will be presented to the Ministerial Legislation Committee. According to the bill, first-degree relatives of a terrorist who committed a murder would be deported from their homes within a week of the attack. Yogev detailed the reason for the hasty deportation by creating a large deterrent, contrary to the existing situation. “With the immediate expulsion of the murderer’s family, there is deterrence and it saves lives,” the proposal states. “But when the legal process continues for weeks and months, deterrence is lost. Demolitio...
‘Tis the season for giving, and one Bitcoin investor claims to be giving away the majority of their cryptocurrency holdings after experiencing an incredible year. The unnamed donor has set up a fund to hand out $86 million worth of Bitcoin to various charities, and they’ve already started listing the donations and providing receipts. If this whole thing works out, you can just call this mystery person the Bitcoin Bill Gates. So far, The Pineapple Fund claims to have distributed just over $6.5 million in Bitcoin between eight charities. Its website provides links to the blockchain transactions under the name of each charity. These transactions are in a public ledger, but the sender and recipient are only identified by a long string of digits. We contacted the Electron...
Nichum AveilimNichum Aveilim Aveilim
Firefighters in the UK are urging members of the Jewish community to take care with menorah candles to ensure thy have a safe and happy Chanukah. It comes after Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) attended two fires this weekend caused by unattended menorah candles, which caused severe damage to the homes involved. Watch Manager Simon Ryder, from Broughton Fire Station, said: “We’ve attended two house fires in close succession where severe damage has been caused by fire and smoke. The residents have left the menorah candles burning and left their homes only to return to serious damage. “In both cases what has been used is a candle substitute that looks a bit like a plastic shot glass filled with olive oil which is then placed on the candle holder. ...
A complete power outage at the nation’s busiest airport, the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, grounded flights Sunday afternoon, threatening to cause a holiday travel nightmare for fliers across the country just over a week before Christmas. Airport officials said in a news release the power outage has forced the Federal Aviation Administration to suspend outgoing flights and implement a "ground stop" for incoming flights, which "means that flights headed to Atlanta are held on the ground at their departure airport." International flights will be diverted to land at other airports, U.S. Customs and Border Protection tweeted. According to reports to Fox News, the blackout was caused by a construction crew cutting a power line. Airport offic...
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For anyone visiting the Old City of Jerusalem, Israel, in the past, the Givati Parking lot was a landmark. After years of archaeological research, a new sound and light show was opened recently in what was once a lot filled with cars. In honor of Hanukkah, the introduction of the new Ir David Sound and Light show, reveals a bit of history from the Hasmonean Period of Jewish history. One level over the centuries, destroyed and rebuilt.
The Chief Rabbi of Russia, Rabbi Berl Lazar made a very unusual visit today. He went to the Butirsky Prison in the center of Moscow in order to strengthen and encourage the Jewish prisoners who are serving time there amongst the three thousand prisoners of various degrees. The prison warden greeted him respectfully and escorted him to the prison’s synagogue which has been active for more than ten years, with prayers, Torah classes, tefillin, Jewish holidays and public seders taking place there throughout the year. After putting on Tefillin, and reading the Torah during the mincha prayers, the Chief Rabbi lit the Chanuka candles. The Jewish prisoners were then treated to a Chanuka party during which Rabbi Lazar spoke about the Chanuka miracle. He also told them about Yosef Hatzadik...
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