ספירת העומר : 32 - היום שנים ושלשים יום שהם ארבעה שבועות וארבעה ימים לעומר
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In the section dealing with our obligation to reach out and come to the aid of our neighbour, there is a glaring discrepancy, pointed out by Meshech Chachmah, in two adjacent pesukim. The first deals with the ger toshav, a non-Jew who has sworn off avodah zarah but is not subject to all of our mitzvos. We are commanded to support him in his time of need. The pasuk (25:35) ends off, "vachai imach." The next pasuk, dealing with the prohibition of charging interest, ends of, "vechei achicha imach." The message seems almost the same but the word vachai turns into vechei. Meshech Chachmah explains the difference between these two similar terms. One might summarize it as follows: Chei is to live whereas chai&nb...
Baltimore, MD – May 24, 2024 -  BJL wishes a hearty Mazel Tov to Binyamin Silver & Etty Graff on their engagement. Mazel Tov to Moshe & Maggie Silver and Menachem & Debbie Graff יה"ר שיזכו לבנות בית נאמן בישראל. אמן!
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Baltimore, MD – May 20, 2024 - It is with regret that Baltimore Jewish Life (BJL) informs the community of the petira of Mrs. Deanna Lerner, a’h, mother of  Dr. Shaya (Brenda) Lerner. Shiva will be observed through Sunday morning, May 26, at  702 Abbott St., Highland Park, NJ, 08904 Shacharis: Mon-Thurs: 7:10AM /  Wed./Fri/Sun 7:20 Mincha/Maariv 8:00 pm Bila Hamaves LaNetzach...  
Baltimore, MD - May 24, 2024 - 3:13PM - REISTERSTOWN ROAD IS SHUT DOWN IN FRONT OF 7-11 AT SLADE
Baltimore, MD – May 24, 2024 – 2:44 PM – A major traffic accident has occurred at the intersection of Reisterstown Road and Slade Ave. Avoid the area.
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The Head of the National Security Council, Tzachi Hanegbi, and the Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Oren Marmorstein, on Friday released a statement responding to the ruling of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordering Israel to halt its operation in the Gazan city of Rafah. “The charges of genocide brought by South Africa against Israel at the International Court of Justice in the Hague are false, outrageous and morally repugnant,” they said. “Following the horrific attack against the citizens of Israel on October 7th, 2023, Israel embarked upon a defensive and just war to eliminate Hamas and to secure the release of our hostages. Israel is acting based on its right to defend its territory and its citizens, consistent with its moral va...
Baltimore, MD – May 24, 2024 -  BJL wishes a hearty Mazel Tov to Shimshie Parnes (Hollywood, FL) & Faigy Klein (Baltimore, MD) on their engagement.Mazel Tov Eli & Rikki Klein and Rabbi Moshe Borcuh & Naama Parnes יה"ר שיזכו לבנות בית נאמן בישראל. אמן!
“And you shall count for yourselves, from the morrow of the rest day from the day you bring the omer as a wave offering seven weeks; they shall be complete. You shall count until the day after the seventh week, [namely,] the fiftieth day, [on which] you shall bring a new meal offering to the Lord (Vayikra 23:15-16).”  God commands us to count the days from Pesach until Shavuos. Why the need to count? The commentaries provide many layers of insight, yet on the most basic level, God was teaching us an important lesson: the exodus was not an ends; it was a means towards establishing a life of holiness and meaning. We left Egypt in order to accept the Torah at Mount Sinai. The Torah, with its plethora of commandments and life lessons, provides us the ability to find the holin...
Parsha Hashavua
Parshas Behar - Life As We Know It

In the section dealing with our obligation to reach out and come to the aid of our neighbour, there is a glaring discrepancy, pointed out by Meshech Chachmah, in two adjacent pesukim. The first deals with the ger toshav, a non-Jew who has sworn off avodah zarah but is not subject to all of our mitzvos. We are commanded to support him in his time of need. The pasuk (25:35) ends off, "vachai imach." The next pasuk, dealing with the prohibition of charging interest, ends of, "vechei achicha imach." The message seems almost the same but the word vachai turns into vechei.


Meshech Chachmah explains the difference between these two similar terms. One might summarize it as follows: Chei is to live whereas chai is life itself. We find the word chai used with respect to HaShem, as in "Chai HaShem," because He embodies everlasting lifeThe word chei is used with respect to more fleeting life, such as Yoseif's use of the term "chei Par'oah." 


When we support our neighbour, the ger toshav, it is far more than providing financial stability. Since he has not accepted the full burden of all mitzvos, his sole source of "everlasting life" is his connection to our community. If we do not come to his aid, he will surely stray and give up the life he had chosen. Therefore, reaching out to him is indeed providing him with everlasting life.


The second pasuk refers to achicha, your Jewish brother. He therefore already merits the "everlasting life" by virtue of his service of HaShem and acceptance of all mitzvos, a pact he surely cannot alleviate himself of under any circumstances. Therefore, our financial support, however mandatory, is simply providing superficial, physical life. And so, the word chei is used instead.


Have a good Shabbos.

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One can look in the Torah and find the exact dates on which Rosh Hashana (Vayikra 23:24), Yom Kippur (23:27), Succos (23:34), Shmini Atzeres (23:36) and Pesach (23:5) are to be observed.  For Shavuos however, no such Pasuk exists.  Rather we are told that starting from the second day of Pesach we are to count 7 weeks and the following day bring the Karban Omer.  The next day, after the counting is complete, is the Yom Tov of Shavuos (23:16,21).  Most Mepharshim learn that this was deliberately set up to mirror the fact that Bnei Yisroel were told at the time of Yitzias Mitzrayim that fifty days after their departure, they would receive the Torah.  Thus, the Yom Tov of Shavuos has come to commemorate Matan Torah, even though the Torah’s reference revolves arou...
Baltimore, MD – May 21, 2024 - It is with regret that Baltimore Jewish Life (BJL) informs the community of the petira of Sol Victoria Amar de Benhamu, a"h, mother of Rina Walter.Mrs. Walter will be returning to Baltimore on Sunday and will begin sitting shiva through Tuesday morning at 3pm on Sunday at 3109 Hatton Road.  Mincha/Maariv - Sunday and Monday night will be at 8:05pm.   Shacharis - Monday and Tuesday morning will be at 6:45am.   Shiva visiting hours: Sunday: 3:00 pm - 6; 7:30-9:30  Monday: After Shacharis until 12:00pm, 2-6, and 7:30-9:30pm.   Bila Hamaves LaNetzach...  
SimchasSimchas Simcha
The Tur presents a fascinating correlation between each day of Pesach and the other holidays during the year. Based on the mystical cipher system known as א"ת ב"ש—Atbash, where the first letter of the alef-bet (aleph) is replaced by the last letter (tav), the second letter (bet) by the second-to-last letter (shin), and so on, he points out how the exact day of the week each subsequent day of Pesach falls out on will correspond to the same day some of the other holidays will occur. א"ת ב"ש ג"ר ד"ק ה"צ ו"פ א"ת—the alef referring to the first day of Pesach, is the same day of the week תשעה באב, will take place that year. ב"ש—the bet indicating the second day of Pesach, will also be the day of the week Shavuos initiates. Day ג will be ...
Baltimore, MD – May 24, 2024 -  BJL wishes a hearty Mazel Tov to Paul Osborne (Cincinnati) & Illona Weiman (Baltimore) on their engagement. יה"ר שיזכו לבנות בית נאמן בישראל. אמן!
Nichum AveilimNichum Aveilim Aveilim
Along with thousands of others from their brigade, my sons had been back home from their service in and around Gaza for about two months. And though the war is never far from anyone’s minds, many families’ lives were beginning to reclaim their familiar rhythms. Mothers, who had to also serve as fathers, could turn to their partners once again to assist in the day-to-day routines of their homes. Fathers, many of whom had been sleeping in their uniforms and boots, with their rifles at their sides, could breathe once again, and not jump at the sound of a broken twig or a creaky stair.  Couples could smile, and laugh, and embrace. But, as we know, the job is not done. Victory over Hamas has not occurred. Not yet. The government says that the goals remain intact, yet the pace...
The bodies of three, hostages Hanan Yablonka, Michel Nisenbaum, and Orion Hernandez Radoux, were rescued overnight during a joint IDF and ISA operation. Based on verified intelligence obtained by the IDF, the hostages were murdered during the October 7th Massacre and were abducted from the Mefalsim Intersection to Gaza by Hamas terrorists. The bodies of the hostages were rescued overnight during a joint IDF and ISA operation in Jabaliya, based on precise intelligence obtained and analyzed over the past days by the IDF Intelligence Directorate's Headquarters for the Hostages and Missing Persons in collaboration with the ISA. At the beginning of the operation, intense combat was carried out in the area. Following an identification procedure carried out by medical officials at the Isr...
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The International Court of Justice today delivered its ruling on the Israeli operation in Rafah, ordering that Israel cease all military operations in the Rafah governate. The case comes as part of a larger petition filed by South Africa against Israel, accusing Israel of genocide of the Palestinian people. Other countries have filed requests to join the case as co-claimants for both sides. The original case was heard approximately four months ago, with a temporary verdict providing certain interim measures against Israel announced a month after that. The court called the humanitarian situation in Rafah "disastrous", citing an alleged lack of basic necessities in the city and widespread displacement due to Israeli evacuation orders. It also declared that Israel's humanitarian evacua...
Research has shown that the most commonly used emoji is the “Face with Tears of Joy” emoji, which is used to express laughter and humor. I would like to suggest that this applies to the secular world; however, in the Jewish world, the most commonly used emoji is – or should be! – the “Thumbs up” emoji. Why is that exactly? Good question.The human being has 5 fingers; pinky, ring, middle, pointer, and thumb. The thumb is referred to in the Talmud as well as other Rabbinic writings as a גודל/אגודל, which comes from the meaning גדול, great and large.Indeed, the thumb is the thickest of all fingers, thus making it the largest finger on the human hand. And, quite incredibly, the thumb is the greatest finger of all five. Why? Because it represents...
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Baltimore, MD – May 23, 2024 -  BJL wishes a hearty Mazel Tov to Nissan Laifer (Baltimore) & Chasi Zeilberger (Edison)  on their engagement. יה"ר שיזכו לבנות בית נאמן בישראל. אמן!
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