When Moshe returns to HaShem to begin his defence of B'nei Yisrael, he opens by stating (32:31) "The nation has sinned a great sin; they have made for themselves a god of gold." Rashi, quoting the gemara (Berachos 32a, Yoma 86b) writes that Moshe's intention with this opening argument was, in fact, to place the blame on HaShem, so to speak, for having showered so much gold upon B'nei Yisrael. Rashi adds a parable that illustrates Moshe's argument. It is assumed that Moshe is referring to the loot that B'nei Yisrael were commanded to collect before leaving Egy...
Baltimore, MD – Mar. 1, 2024 -  BJL wishes a hearty Mazel Tov to Sholom Pasternack & Esti Kramer on their engagement. Mazel tov to David & Malke Kramer יה"ר שיזכו לבנות בית נאמן בישראל. אמן!
Baltimore, MD - Mar. 1, 2024 - As part of their Mitzvah Week trip through Jewish Baltimore, this week, Beth Tfiloh’s sixth grade girls took a field trip to the STAR-K offices to learn about Kosher and kosher certification. STAR-K Kashrus Administrator Rabbi Baruch Beyer hosted the 23 girls and their teachers. They enjoyed noshing on STAR-K certified Barcelona nuts as they watched a video about how this local product is processed and the kosher challenges of such a production. The presentation led to a lively discussion about Kosher and the role STAR-K plays in ensuring that kosher food is available locally and worldwide. The girls also watched a short video in which the head of STAR-K, Rabbi Moshe Heinemann, discusses the requirement for a Mesorah, or tradition, in determining whi...
Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, R-N.Y., unloaded on progressive Democrat Reps. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., Friday on "Fox & Friends" following the lawmakers' undisclosed trip to Cuba to discuss "human rights." Malliotakis is the daughter of a Cuban exile of the Fidel Castro regime. NICOLE MALLIOTAKIS: These are anti-American members of Congress, okay? They are communist sympathizers, and they go to Cuba, which is not only a state sponsor of terrorism, but they side with our adversaries. They are in bed with Iran, North Korea, communist China, Russia. They allow for them to operate spy bases 90 miles from our shores. They have harbored fugitives. They have harbored terrorists. And it's unconscionable that these members of Congress would go there trying to...
Baltimore, MD - Mar. 1, 2024 - B'ezras Hashem, we are excited to introduce a new weekly email featuring Divrei Torah heard from Rav Yaakov Hopfer, shlita, beginning soon. These emails will contain relatively short insights shared by Rav Hopfer, sometimes relating to the parsha or Yomim Tovim, but often offering 'random' insights from recent or past teachings. Please note that while Rav Hopfer has approved this initiative, he will not be reviewing the emails in advance (if at all). They will be based on my personal understanding of his teachings and should not be considered as direct statements from Rav Hopfer. If you're interested in joining this email list, please reach out to me, Boruch Leff, at sbleff@gmail.com. We look forward to sharing these valuable insights wi...
Baltimore, MD – Mar. 2024 - Every Shabbos table offers every Jewish family an incredible opportunity by which they can share their joy for Shabbos, for Yiddishkeit and for HaShem with their children. Unfortunately, our schedules are hectic and many people don’t have the time to prepare themselves to utilize the Shabbos table to its fullest. Therefore, we at ACHIM created TableTalk as a pre-packaged talking points pamphlet which is attractive, fun and has something for everyone. Limited copies are distributed to many shuls on a weekly basis but they are snatched up very quickly. Get yours ASAP or click on the graphic below and print your own.What’s in it and what’s all the excitement about?TableTalk features:•    Weekly halachic dilemma creating l...
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Baltimore, MD - Mar. 1, 2024  - Hydroponics. Aeroponics. Vertical farming. These are just a few of the terms of recent innovations in the world of agriculture. How do these various methods of planting produce affect the levels of infestation? Let’s listen to Baltimore's Rabbi Sholom Tendler - Kashrus Administrator at the STAR-K as he addresses these timely issues and more.
Research has shown that after thousands of years, bread remains the most regularly consumed food in the world. Due to its convenience, portability, nutrition and taste, bread is the most important staple food of humans. Oftentimes, though, it is the most staple, basic, and everyday things that become unappreciated and boring. Bread is good and nice, but sometimes it loses that excitement due to its frequent usage. Enter Dave’s Killer Bread. The brand manager for Dave’s Killer Bread, a bread company that has taken the world by storm, said: “It’s not like we’re inventing Teslas or Apple iPhones or something. [Until Dave’s Killer Bread] bread was more of like, an edible plate. It was a way to get other things into your mouth, like cheese or avocado or pea...
Attorney Marc Zell, Chairman of Republicans Overseas Israel, spoke to Arutz Sheva-Israel National News. On the shift in US support for Israel during the current war in Gaza, going from 100% support from President Joe Biden to pressures and demands, Zell says that “those of us who understand what's going on with the Biden administration said very early on that Joe Biden and all of his strong support for Israel, that may have been his personal view. But the people that run Joe Biden, that is the Obama folks that run the White House and Obama himself in his basement near Washington or wherever he happens to be, have a different view about Israel. They were never friendly with Israel." He continued, "You remember the Obama administration. So, when the Americans expressed shoc...
After the Sin of the Golden Calf, G-d expresses His intention to eradicate the entire Jewish nation, preserving only Moshe through whom a new nation would arise. Moshe protests, requesting that G-d forgive them, otherwise he affirms, מחני נא — erase me now, מספרך — from Your book that You have written. In the simplest understanding Moshe is forfeiting his existence if it is not intertwined with the Jewish nation as he knew it. We are taught that the word Moshe uses to express his desire to be 'erased' from history, מחני, possess the same letters that spell out מי נח — the waters of Noach. This contrasts Noach's failure to sacrifice his life for his 'people' — the Generation of the Flood, accepting their doomed fate and ...
Parsha Hashavua
Parshas Ki Sisa - Too Much Gold?

When Moshe returns to HaShem to begin his defence of B'nei Yisrael, he opens by stating (32:31) "The nation has sinned a great sin; they have made for themselves a god of gold." Rashi, quoting the gemara (Berachos 32a, Yoma 86b) writes that Moshe's intention with this opening argument was, in fact, to place the blame on HaShem, so to speak, for having showered so much gold upon B'nei Yisrael. Rashi adds a parable that illustrates Moshe's argument. It is assumed that Moshe is referring to the loot that B'nei Yisrael were commanded to collect before leaving Egypt.


My father, z"l, once asked me that Rashi writes (15:22) that the spoils collected at Yam Suf when they Egyptian soldiers were washed onto the shore along with their horses and chariots was far greater than that which was collected before B'nei Yisrael left Egypt. If so, Moshe's argument is no longer valid. HaShem may have commanded B'nei Yisrael to collect the gold from the Egyptians in Egypt. But they were never commanded to loot the soldiers after they were washed on the shore of Yam Suf. How, then, can Moshe claim that HaShem was solely responsible for their wealth?


I believe the answer lies in the Vilna Gaon's understanding of the two episodes which I will summarize briefly. The gemara (Berachos 9a) relates that HaShem asked in the form of a request that B'nei Yisrael collect the silver and gold from the Egyptians. This was done in order to appease Avraham Avinu, so that he does not claim that the promise that his descendants would be subjugated was kept but the promise that they leave with a large bounty was not.


The GR"A asks that if this was in fact the proper fulfilment of the promise to Avraham, why was it done to "appease" him so that he does not raise a complaint? Avraham Avinu's reaction should not be the issue. It should be a matter of whether or not it is time to fulfill the promise. He answers that in truth, the exodus from Egypt was only ultimately complete at Yam Suf where the Egyptians truly got their deserved punishment for subjugating B'nei Yisrael. It was only then that HaShem's promise to Avraham that his descendants shall leave with a great bounty needed to be fulfilled. However, in case Avraham mistakenly viewed the leaving of Egypt as the ultimate redemption, HaShem had B'nei Yisrael collect a great bounty there before leaving to avoid any possible objections from Avraham.


According to this approach, although B'nei Yisroel were never commanded to collect the adornments from the horses of the Egyptians at Yam Suf, this too was part the fulfilment of the promise that HaShem made to Avraham Avinu 400 years prior. Therefore, Moshe Rabbeinu's defence was still valid.


Have a good Shabbos.

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Baltimore, MD – Feb. 29, 2024 - This evening, Mercaz Torah U’TefIllah held their siyum on Bava Kama. A large crowd joined together to enjoy a delicious seudah, followed by Divrei Bracha from the Rav, HaRav Yissochor Dov Eichenstein, and a keynote address from R’ Herschel Miller. The mesayem was R’ Gil Horwitz, one of the 16 Daf Yomi maggidei shiur at Mercaz.
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Join R' Shmuel Silber and kids from around the globe for the most INKREDIBLE program! Kids can say Perek Kuf Chaf Aleph and Perek Kuf Mem Beis along with the InKredible Menachem and the InKredible Shimshi!
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G-D spoke to Moshe, saying: “Make a copper wash basin and its copper base for washing; and place it between the Tent of Meeting and the Altar, and put water in it. Aharon and his sons will wash from it their hands and their feet. Before entering the Tent of Meeting they must wash with water and they will not die, or whenever they approach the Altar for Divine service, or to burn a fire-offering to G-D. They must wash their hands and their feet and they will not die. This is a perpetual statute for them, for him [Aharon] and his descendants for all their generations (Shemos 30:17-21).”  G-D instructed Moshe to construct the Kiyor, the basin from which Aharon and his sons would wash their hands and feet prior to preforming the sacred avoda (sacrificial s...
Baltimore, MD - Feb. 29, 2024  - Suburban Orthodox Congregation Siyum on Meseches Bava Kama Baltimore Rowing & Water Center Dedicated in Memory of Master Sergeant Eliyahu Michael Harush, Z’L, H’YD Click here for Livestream
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Baltimore, MD - Feb. 29, 2024  - The report exposes that a Baltimore City non-profit misused over $129,000 in ARPA funding. The organization in question is the Lazarus Rite Foundation, led by Christopher Ervin, contracted for Mayor Brandon Scott’s Clean Corp initiative. The funding was meant for city cleaning efforts, but was instead used for unrelated business expenses and projects. Inspector General Isabel Cumming found that the funds were also used for unapproved expenditures. Despite efforts to recoup the loss, Lazarus Rite claims inability to repay. The Department of Planning asserts the seriousness of the matter and reserves the right for further action.Click here for a copy of the report
Baltimore, MD - Feb. 29, 2024 / 21 Adar I - Bnai Jacob Shaarei Zion Siyum on Mesechta Bava Kama Feb. 29, 2024 / 21 Adar I After being m’sayeim the mesechta, Rabbi Moshe Hauer addressed the audience. The Siyum was sponsored by Rabbi Moshe & Rebbetzin Mindi Hauer L'iluy Nishmas Harav Binyamin ben R'Moshe, father of Rabbi Hauer, whose yahrzeit is tonight, 21 Adar
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Congress approved a temporary spending bill to prevent a partial government shutdown this weekend, with Speaker Mike Johnson (R., La.) forced once again to turn to a coalition made up mostly of Democrats to clear it in the House, followed by passage in the Senate. The Thursday afternoon House vote was 320 to 99, with slightly more than half of Republicans joining with almost all Democrats to support the measure. The Democratic-led Senate passed the bill 77-13 Thursday evening. Now it heads to President Biden’s desk for his signature. “I am happy to inform the American people that there will be no government shutdown on Friday,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.). “And now, let’s finish the job of funding the ...
Annapolis, MD - Feb. 29, 2024 -  The Maryland State House is on lockdown early Thursday evening because of a possible security threat reported about 5 p.m. The Annapolis Police Department told the Associated Press its offers were called to assist the Maryland Capitol Police after somebody called in an anonymous threat sometime Thursday. Officers had not found any suspicious activity by 6 p.m. “You have to react to every threat as though it’s credible and serious,” Annapolis Police Department spokesperson Bernie Bennett told the AP, noting that nobody has been hurt. An AP reporter saw law enforcement vehicles parked outside and a police officer hurrying up a staircase with his gun drawn. Annapolis police told WBAL once the building's ...
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