ספירת העומר : 36 - היום ששה ושלשים יום שהם חמשה שבועות ויום אחד לעומר
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Baltimore, MD - May 19, 2022 - In just three short years, Kehillas Ohr Yisrael has developed into what its leadership had hoped for. It has become a beacon of Torah. It has become a close-knit family full of simcha. It has become the pulse of their neighborhood. Below is an interview with their Rav, Rabbi Duvi Rubin:Q: Rabbi Rubin, can you tell us a little about yourself? Are you a native of Baltimore?  RR: I actually grew up in Toronto and came here to learn in Ner Yisrael almost 13 years ago and haven’t left since! Baruch Hashem, my wife (who I schlepped down here from New Y...
Baltimore, MD - May 21, 2022 – 10:06PM – Beware of a sinkhole at the intersection of Greenspring/Cross Country/Pimlico.One side of the street is blocked with traffic being directed around the cones set up in the area.
Trump paid the fine Thursday but must still submit additional paperwork in order to have the contempt order lifted, the office of Attorney General Letitia James said Friday. A message seeking comment was left Friday with Trump’s lawyer. A Manhattan judge declared Trump in contempt of court on April 25 and fined him $10,000 per day for not complying with a subpoena in James’ long-running investigation into his business practices. Judge Arthur Engoron agreed May 11 to lift the contempt order if, by Friday, Trump paid the fines and submitted affidavits detailing efforts to search for the subpoenaed records and explaining his and his company’s document retention policies. Engoron also required a company hired by Trump to aid in the search, HaystackID, finish going through...
The 13 Ikkarei Emunah, the Ani Maamins, appear in our siddurim, and many of us recite them every day after tefillah. And yet … do we understand what they mean in our own everyday lives and actions? In a new thoughtful work, Ani Maamin – A Mission for Life, Rabbi Yechezkel Elias examines each of the 13 Ikkarei Emunah. Using contemporary examples that we can all understand and relate to, he makes the often difficult concepts contained in the 13 Ikkarim clear, comprehensible, and very, very relevant. Each Ikkar is followed by a section titled How does this affect my daily life?, which shows us how to put these foundational beliefs into practice in our own lives. In this Inside ArtScroll interview, R...
Check your shelves: some specific peanut butter products could possibly be contaminated with salmonella. On May 20, 2022 the J. M. Smucker Co. announced a recall of select Jif peanut butter products sold in the U.S. due to potential Salmonella contamination. Salmonella can cause diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps in most people, according to the CDC, and "serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems," according to J.M. Smucker Co.'s release. The recalled peanut butter was distributed nationwide in retail stores and other outlets. Recalled products include the products below with lot codes 1274425 – 2140425. Lot codes are included alongside best-if-used-by date. Anyone with products matchin...
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More than two years after the start of the pandemic, Covid-19 cases are on the rise nationally, including in Maryland, creating fears that we may be heading into a fifth wave of the deadly disease. The Maryland Department of Health reports cases are rising, but hospitalizations remain relatively low. Still, for the first time since February, the state is seeing more than 400 people hospitalized with 426 patients occupying hospital beds due to Covid. An uptick in hospitalizations often lags an increase in infections. The positivity rate in Maryland stands at 8.39%, which is above the 5% threshold indicating widespread infections. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still considers the risk to Marylanders to be low for the time being. But Johns Hopkins University is recording ...
A famous poem we sing on Lag B’Omer, composed one hundred and forty years ago by the Ben Ish Chai, begins with the phrase, ואמרתם כה לחי רבי שמעון בר יוחאי — And you shall say, ‘so shall you be living’, Rebbi Shimon Bar Yochai. These first three words are a quote from King David who instructed his soldiers to greet Naval, a detractor of his, with these opening words, ostensibly initiating a friendly greeting, wishing Naval that his personal successes should sustain. This sentiment seems totally unrelated to the celebration of the life of Rebbi Shimon Bar Yochai. There are two verses in this week’s reading of Behar, that utilize the word חי in the context of ‘living’. The verse discussing a ‘resident&rsq...
Food and Drug Administration commissioner Robert M. Califf told lawmakers Thursday that his agency has been working “tirelessly” to increase supplies of baby formula nationally and that he expects an Abbott Nutrition plant in Michigan that made much of the country’s formula to be operating again within two weeks. But Califf, speaking before a House appropriations subcommittee, called the food supply fragile and urged Congress to authorize more funding to expand staffing and inspections to stave off additional supply chain crises. “We could be one natural disaster or cyberattack from being here again,” he said. The FDA has been criticized for moving too slowly to investigate a whistleblower complaint last year at the Abbott facility, which was inspected and s...
Parsha Hashavua
Parshas Behar: Transform Your Life!

A famous poem we sing on Lag B’Omer, composed one hundred and forty years ago by the Ben Ish Chai, begins with the phrase, ואמרתם כה לחי רבי שמעון בר יוחאי — And you shall say, ‘so shall you be living’, Rebbi Shimon Bar Yochai.

These first three words are a quote from King David who instructed his soldiers to greet Naval, a detractor of his, with these opening words, ostensibly initiating a friendly greeting, wishing Naval that his personal successes should sustain.

This sentiment seems totally unrelated to the celebration of the life of Rebbi Shimon Bar Yochai.

There are two verses in this week’s reading of Behar, that utilize the word חי in the context of ‘living’.

The verse discussing a ‘resident’, an impoverished non-Jew who formally accepted the seven Noahide commandments, instructs us וחַי עמך — so that he can ‘live’ with you, obligating us to support him in regaining his prosperity.

In the next verse it speaks of a needy fellow Jew — a ‘brother’ — commanding וחֵי אחיך עמך — and let your brother ‘live’ with you — supporting him in his needs.

The great sage, Rav Meir Simcha of Dvinsk, renowned as the Meshech Chochma, ponders the oddity of these two identical words being vowelized differently.

When the subject is the ‘resident’, חַי has a patach beneath it, yet when mentioning the predicament of a Jew, the vowel is a tzeirei, חֵי.

He directs us to the words of Maimonides in Yesodei HaTorah (2 10) that observes how whenever the Torah describes the life of a mortal, as in חֵי פרעה — by Pharaoh’s life, it vowelizes with a tzeirei , but anytime there is a reference to חַי השם — Hashem lives!, it places a patach.

The Rambam explains that when we talk of a human’s ‘life’ in this world it is an aspect of his being. The word חֵי is a contraction of two words, חיים של — the life of.  But when speaking about G-d, life is not a component of G-d, for G-d is One, rather G-d is life itself. חי השם then translates more accurately as Hashem is life, a life of spirit and eternity.

Rav Meir Simcha suggests that it is for this very reason the Torah reflects on the life of the non-Jew in the proximity of his neighbor the Jew as attaining ‘essential life’, not merely support. A non-Jew has no inherent spiritual essence until he comes in the realm of Jews and experiences ‘life’ itself.

A fellow Jew possesses innate life per force his eternal Jewish neshamah — soul. He merely needs at times material support to survive this temporal world. He is thus described as וחֵי עמך — indicating the need to provide for a physical life that is distinct from his essence, through the support of his brother.

There are situations when even Jews need the influence of their brethren to ‘live’ a spiritual life. When the lack of indoctrination prevents them from discovering their inner essence, the interaction with fellow inspired Jews, can provide the catalyst for self-discovery and the resulting awareness of true and eternal life.

I recently received on behalf of the entire Shul the following letter that speaks for itself.

Dear Rabbi Teichman and Congregation Ohel Moshe,

It is with great gratitude that I write this letter. My name is Leonard Rubin, and on October 12, 2021 I received a kidney transplant from one of your congregants, Shmuly Abramson.

I wanted to write this letter to let you know this young man is the most caring, giving and amazing human being I have had the privilege of knowing. What he did for me, a 65-year-old man whom he never met, was save my life. Who does something like this for a stranger? We were fortunate enough to actually meet the day he was leaving the hospital. The moment we met; I knew what kind of person Shmuly was. As soon as we looked into each other's eyes, I saw and felt sincere love and compassion for somebody in need.

Shmuly and his wife, Hindy, are people you only meet maybe, and thatעs a big maybe, once in your lifetime. I cannot say enough about these two remarkable people. He was genuinely thrilled to donate a kidney to me, to allow me to be here for my wife, daughters and grandson. We exchanged contact information and have continued to stay in touch.

Your congregation is truly blessed to have congregants, who in todayעs chaotic world of such hatred and turmoil, can make a profound difference. They were my light at the end of a tunnel in many ways; not only to be so selfless, but to inspire me to be the very best Jewish man I could be.

I thank God from the bottom of my grateful heart, to have put Shmuly in my path. After this experience I am forever changed and indebted to my faith, and genuinely now know what it means to be one of the chosen people.

I send my sincere love and gratitude to Shmuly, Hindy and your congregation for allowing me to share my story and for providing me the gift of my life, the life I intend to live as a grateful Jewish man, with my new ‘family’. I will always think of Shmuly and his family’s sacrifice and remember that a part of him lives in me; something I will NEVER take for granted.

With love and respect,

Leonard Rubin and Family

The Zohar explains that when King David directed his men to greet Naval, he already knew of his corrupt nature and wickedness. When he told them to state on his behalf 'כה לחי' seemingly wishing him continued success, it was merely a ruse, for it is forbidden to wish a wicked one success. His actual intent was an appeal to the Divine Presence, often referred to as 'כה' to merge with 'חי' the absolute unity of G-d — the source of ‘life’ itself. It was Rosh Hashana and King David appealed for the Divine Presence to manifest itself in its full glory leaving no room for doubt.

But wasn’t King David still guilty of deception since Naval thought he wished him well?

Perhaps the Zohar is intimating that the failure of man to perceive ‘real life’ stems from man’s entrenchment in the gravitational pull of earthliness. King David thus sincerely prayed that with a renewed perception of the heightened reality of genuine ‘life’, Naval might grasp the error of his ways, repent and indeed merit continued success deservedly.

Rebbi Shimon Bar Yochai perceived the world with a perfect vision. He sought to reveal the deeper levels of Torah that if comprehended properly would compel us to ‘live’ a life of eternity, rather than scramble for morsels of ephemeral existence.

May we strive for that consciousness realizing that when we promote that unity by the deeds we do, we can unleash a fountain of blessing that will literally transform people’s lives!


צבי יהודה טייכמאן

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Baltimore, MD - May 19, 2022 - This Shabbos, May 21, is the annual running of the Preakness. In past years, following the race, there have been some rowdy individuals driving through our neighborhoods on their way home from the event. Most of this activity takes place on Park Heights and Greenspring Avenues, especially during the late afternoon/early evening hours. Although police will be out on patrol on Shabbos, pedestrians who will be on the main roads should be extra vigilant and aware of their surroundings, especially while crossing streets. Please also remind your children to be extra cautious when playing or walking near major thoroughfares.
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Rabbi Ari Weisenfeld, Agudath Israel’s associate national director of state relations, joined former Vice President Mike Pence and former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos this week at an education roundtable with Michigan parents and school leaders to discuss the proposed Student Opportunity Scholarship Act. The $500 million program would allow eligible Michigan students to receive up to $8,000 per child to cover education expenses such as tuition, tutoring, textbooks, various therapies, and transportation costs.   Vice President Pence and Secretary DeVos spoke about the importance of putting parents in charge of their children's education. At the roundtable, several parents shared their stories about the lengths they had to go to find the best educational setting f...
Regarding Shemittah, the Torah states that perhaps we will be fearful and ask “what will I eat?”. Hashem then reassures us and says that we will have the same amount of food as before and even more (25: 20-22).  This is quite unusual; usually, the Torah does not address our fears that may arise from the performance of a mitzvah. Instead, the Torah usually only details the mitzvah, and it is our job to strengthen our emunah, bitachon, etc. and to follow it.  As but a small example of many, the Torah does not address any natural worries a person can have regarding the logistic difficulties of eating kosher, the difficulties of honoring elderly parents, etc. Instead, the Torah simply commands us to do so, and we do; as we promised, na’aseh v’nishmah. ...
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Baltimore, MD - May 19, 2022 - Lag BaOmer around Baltimore was livelier than ever., b"H. BJL thanks all those who sent in pictures and videos to be included below.
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Baltimore, MD - May 17, 2022 - Bikur Cholim is happy to inform the community that it has free Rapid Antigen Test kits available.  There has recently been an uptick in our community so in order to keep others safe and receive early treatment, you can self test at home for free.  You need not have symptoms to receive the tests - you can keep enough tests on hand should the need arise.  To arrange a pickup or drop off of tests (no limit on amount), please email vaccines@baltimorebikurcholim.org or call Chana Dena at 443 253 4436.   
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