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Baltimore, MD - Oct. 17, 2018 - As the founding director of Agudath Israel of Maryland (AIMD), Rabbi Ariel Sadwin has been able to channel the organization's efforts to accomplish in one short decade what many larger entities have not over longer spans of time. In recognition of Rabbi Sadwin and AIMD’s outstanding leadership in Maryland and the Mid-Atlantic region, an estimated overflow crowd of 700 + gathered at Baltimore’s Beth Tfiloh Congregation on Sunday evening, October 14 to celebrate AIMD’s Ten Anniversary Gala. Joining the impressive crowd - which included a ...
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Baltimore, MD - Oct. 17, 2018 - A family incurs staggering credit card debt to ensure that their children’s day school education remains sound, and to avoid public school at any cost. A parent foregoes a dental visit if there’s a co-pay, instead putting the money toward day school tuition. A mother literally loses sleep at night worrying about where tuition will come from, and when she receives assistance feels that it’s a gift from G-d. These are all real stories of dedicated parents, in Baltimore, who know that the Jewish day school experience is a powerful anchor that keeps young people engaged in their Jewish communities, and their faith. But it comes at a cost, literally. As students return to school, parents are faced with mounting pressures to pay for day sch...
MOSCOW (AP) — Russian officials said a 18-year student attacked his vocational school Wednesday in Crimea, going on a rampage that killed 17 students and left more than 40 people wounded before killing himself. One student said the shooting went on for at least 15 minutes. Russia's Investigative Committee, the nation's top investigative agency, said the attacker was caught on security cameras entering Kerch Polytechnic College in the Black Sea city of Kerch and firing at students. It identified him as Vladislav Roslyakov. Sergei Aksyonov, the regional leader in Crimea, said the fourth-year student at the school had acted alone and killed himself in the school's library after the attack. The committee said all the victims died of gunshot wounds. The statements came ...
THE FOLLOWING IS VIA YWN Chief Rabbi of Ohr Yehuda, HaRav Tzion Cohen on Tuesday, 7 Marcheshvan, laid the cornerstone for the city’s new cemetery, which will be constructed under the landing pattern used by planes coming into Ben-Gurion International Airport. Mayor Liat Shochat was on hand, citing it has taken years to get to the day, as the cemetery required “dozens of permits and procedures”. Some rabbonim are questioning if the new cemetery will impact the situation for kohanim on flights to and from Israel. A letter was sent to the Ministry of Religious Services to probe the matter. The response, which is attached, states the ministry is unaware of any new cemetery in the city and has not approved any plans for one. Read more at YWN
The Israel Security Agency’s report on terror attacks (Hebrew) during September 2018 shows that throughout the month a total of 204 incidents took place: 70 in Judea and Samaria, 10 in Jerusalem and 124 in the Gaza Strip. In Judea and Samaria, and in Jerusalem, the agency recorded 61 attacks with petrol bombs, eight attacks using improvised explosive devices (IEDs), seven arson attacks, one shooting attack and three stabbings. Incidents recorded in Gaza included 66 attacks with petrol bombs, 35 attacks using IEDs and 23 grenade attacks. There were no cases of rocket or mortar fire during September. One civilian was murdered and one member of the security forces was wounded in attacks that took place during September. The BBC News website did not produce any cov...
New York - CBS News says a Secret Service agent blocked one of its correspondents from asking Jared Kushner a question when he was walking out of an airplane, saying there was a “time and a place” for such interactions. A network spokeswoman said Wednesday that reporter Errol Barnett happened to be on the same Washington to New York flight as the presidential son-in-law. CBS said he showed a press credential and attempted to ask a question about Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi. The Secret Service said it was reviewing the incident and that appropriate action would be taken depending on what its investigation shows.
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WHITEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A driver opened fire on a North Carolina state trooper during a traffic stop early Wednesday, killing the 11-year Highway Patrol veteran, authorities said. The suspect was arrested after a chase. Around 12:15 a.m., the trooper stopped the white pickup truck on suspicion of speeding on a highway in rural Columbus County southwest of Whiteville, said Highway Patrol First Sgt. Michael Baker. Baker said the driver shot Trooper Kevin Conner as he approached. "The driver of that vehicle fired several shots, striking the trooper," Baker told reporters. The suspect fled and Conner was taken to a hospital, where he died. Baker said the driver then headed about 20 miles west (32 kilometers) to Fair Bluff near the South Carolina state line, where authorities pursued ...
Jersey City, NJ - Hillary Clinton was seemingly unharmed when the Secret Service vehicle she was riding in was involved in a crash. The former secretary of state and first lady was headed to a fundraiser for Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey in Jersey City on Tuesday night. The vehicle pulled into a parking garage, made a left turn and hit a concrete column. Clinton emerged from the van and walked to the fundraiser, where she was the featured guest. The Secret Service says no injuries were reported and the Jersey City Police Department is investigating. The police department expects to release more details Wednesday.
New York - Twitter published a trove of some 10 million tweets that it said are potentially the product of state-backed operations by Russia and Iran, shedding new light on the scale and nature of misinformation campaigns mounted by the two nations. Twitter said on Wednesday that it had identified 3,841 accounts affiliated with the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency, a Russian “troll farm” that has been indicted by U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller for attempts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. It found another 770 Twitter accounts that it traced back to Iran. “We are making this data available with the goal of encouraging open research and investigation of these behaviors from researchers and academics around the world,” Twitter said...
Detroit - Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan has once again provoked controversy by comparing Jews to termites and calling Jewish people stupid in a speech he gave earlier this week in Detroit at an event marking the 23rd anniversary of the so-called “million man march” in Washington DC in 1995. “White people don’t like Farrakhan,” he said in his speech at the event on Sunday, a clip of which was posted on his Twitter account on Wednesday. “To the members of the Jewish community that don’t like me, thank you very much for putting my name all over the planet because of your fear of what we represent,” he continued. Farrakhan was referring to the strong reaction to antisemitic comments he made in a speech in May this year when he talked ...
Parsha Hashavua
Sinning to help Others

The Rishonim discuss whether or not a person may do an aveira so the public can benefit. Tosfos in Shabbos, daf daled amud alef brings proof that it is permissible from the gemara in Gittin, daf lamed ches that tells us that Reb Eliezer freed his slave to complete a minyan despite the fact that there is a lav against freeing slaves. The gemara explains that it was done because this was a mitzvah for the rabim (public.) Tosfos tells us we learn from here that when it comes to a mitzvah for the public one may do an aveirah.


Reb Elchanan in Kovetz Hearos explains that the reasoning for permitting an aveira is due to the concept of arvus, every Yid is responsible for other Yidden. If one Yid is faced with an asseh and the other Yid is faced with a lav, the result is that the asseh will be docheh the lo saaseh since the person being oveir the lav is also required to do the asseh of his friend because of arvus.


The question arises whether one has a mitzvos aseh kiyumis where he could be mekayem the mitzvah but it is not mandatory; for example, if a person does not have a minyanhe could still daven on his own. Do we say even in the case of mitzvas kiyumis that asseh docheh lo saaseh or not? This question would be applicable in a case where a person is patturfrom a mitzvah but still wants to do the mitzvah. Do we say asseh docheh lo saaseh, or do we say he is really pattur from the mitzvah, therefore the asseh is not docheh the lo saseh. Would a person need to daven with a minyan if it would translate into him losing money? (Note: this is not a case where he won’t earn money.) No, a person would not. How could Reb Eliezer free his slave in order to daven with a minyan when he was losing money by freeing his slave? If you hold that a mitzvah kiyumis is docheh a lo saaseh, then it is obvious that he should free the slave and be mekayem the mitzvah of minyan. If you hold that asseh is docheh lo saaseh only by a mitzvah chiyuvis, he should not have freed his slave because he was losing money by doing so.


There is another tirutz that differs from the Kovetz Hearos mentioned above. The reason we tell someone to do an aveirah so the public can do a mitzvah is not due to a din of arvus but rather a din in kadima. When a scenario comes along where a private person is up against a tzibbur, we say that the tzibbur has kadima. This would make sense why Reb Eliezer freed his slave despite the fact that he personally had no chiyuv to daven with a minyan since he was losing money.


The difference between these two tirutzim would be whether the person has to do teshuva for doing an aveirah. According to Reb Elchanan in Kovetz Hearos he would not need to do teshuva since his aveira is nidcheh for the mitzvah. According to the din of kadima the person lemaaseh did an aveirah and would require teshuva.


We see from this discussion how important it is to help the klal and how much appreciation we need to have for those who do so; they sometimes sacrifice their own mitzvos and or do aveiros letovas the klal. May they be zocheh to all the brachos we say before mussaf on Shabbos.   


Do you have a topic or discussion you want to read about? Please send comments or questions to hymanbsdhevens@gmail.com or berachsteinfeldscorner@gmail.com

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BANGOR, Maine (AP) — The husband of Republican Sen. Susan Collins says a threatening letter that claimed to contain deadly ricin specifically mentioned her vote to nominate Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Thomas Daffron told WABI-TV on Tuesday that the writer claimed the letter was tainted with ricin residue. He and Collins were allowed to stay home after preliminary tests indicated there was no public threat. Collins and her staff have been subjected to threats over her decision to back Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court. Collins tells WABI she is not going to live her life any differently and will not be intimidated or live in fear. She says she first learned of the letter in photos sent from her husband. Her husband and their Labrador retriever, Pepper, were both...
Panama City - Armed looters are targeting homes and businesses that remain without electricity after being ravaged by Hurricane Michael a week ago. Sheriff’s Maj. Jimmy Stanford said deputies have arrested about 10 looters each night since Florida’s Bay County took a direct hit from the strong Category 4 storm last Wednesday. In some parts of the county, residents have spray-painted signs warning that “looters will be shot.” Callaway resident Victoria Smith told the News Herald that thieves came into her townhome while she and her four children were sleeping with the front door open to allow a breeze inside. “I must’ve been so exhausted from everything in the past days I didn’t even hear them come in,” Smith said. “They just snatched...
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A new state commission tasked with getting to the root of police corruption in Baltimore met for the first time Tuesday. The members set their agenda for the next 14 months. This commission grew out of the infamous Gun Trace Task Force case. Its mission is to dig into that case and then recommend ways to make sure it doesn't happen again. Baltimore State Sen. Bill Ferguson sponsored the bill setting up the commission. "Getting this right is more important than almost anything we can do in the city of Baltimore," Ferguson said . Ferguson laid out a big task for the new state commission on policing in the city: How was it that eight officers in the Gun Trace Task Force were able to commit robbery, overtime fraud and abuse the rights of citizens for as long as 10 years without gettin...
A string of shootings in Baltimore City on Tuesday has left three people dead and several injured. The level of violence happening in the city is leaving many frustrated and tired. 11 people were shot and three died in seven separate shootings on Tuesday. "I'm afraid. I lay down at night, I'm not counting sheep -- I'm counting bullet shots. I'm counting the number of times the ambulance or firetrucks ride by," resident Kenny Eebron said. A 69-year-old woman and a 36-year-old man were shot after 1 a.m. in northwest Baltimore, police said. Police found the woman on Cordelia Avenue near Hayward Avenue. An hour and a half later, a man arrived at a Baltimore County hospital with a gunshot wound, officials said. Around 9 a.m. two people were found shot in a car on We...
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Toronto - Ian Power was among the first to buy legal recreational marijuana in Canada but he has no plans to smoke it. He plans to frame it. Canada became the largest country with a legal national marijuana marketplace as sales began early Wednesday in Newfoundland. Power was first in line at a store in St. John’s, Newfoundland. “I am going to frame it and hang it on my wall. I’m not even going to smoke it. I’m just going to save it forever,” Power said. And there was more good news for pot aficionados: Hours before a handful of retail outlets opened in the country’s easternmost province a federal official told The Associated Press that Canada will pardon all those with convictions for possessing up to 30 grams of marijuana, the now-legal threshold. ...
The Hague, Netherlands - The International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor issued a warning Wednesday that if Israel goes ahead and destroys a Palestinian Bedouin village on the West Bank that could constitute a war crime. Israel’s Supreme Court recently rejected a final appeal against plans to demolish the village, Khan al-Ahmar. ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said in a written statement that “evacuation by force now appears imminent.” She added: “It bears recalling, as a general matter, that extensive destruction of property without military necessity and population transfers in an occupied territory constitute war crimes” under the Rome Statute treaty that established the ICC. Israel says Khan al-Ahmar was built illegally and has offered to reset...
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Washington - A plane carrying first lady Melania Trump unexpectedly turned around shortly after taking off from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on Wednesday morning. Reporters on the plane were told that the change was due to a “mechanical issue,” according to a press pool report. The plane landed at the military base, and the first lady was seen getting off of the plane.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller is expected to issue findings on core aspects of his Russia probe soon after the November midterm elections as he faces intensifying pressure to produce more indictments or shut down his investigation, according to two U.S. officials. Specifically, Mueller is close to rendering judgment on two of the most explosive aspects of his inquiry: whether there were clear incidents of collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, and whether the president took any actions that constitute obstruction of justice, according to one of the officials, who asked not to be identified speaking about the investigation. That doesn’t necessarily mean Mueller’s findings would be made public if he doesn’t secure unsealed indictments. The regul...
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Baltimore, MD - Oct. 17, 2018 - Tucked into a lightly wooded area just outside of the Jerusalem neighborhood of Talpiot, one can find of one of Israel’s most innovative and enterprising volunteer tourism operations - known as Pantry Packers.   The program is an initiative of Colel Chabad, the charitable arm of the Chabad Lubavitch movement, and Israel’s longest-running social services organization. Colel Chabad was founded in 1788 by the first Lubavitcher Rebbe with the goal of supporting the then small Jewish community living in the Holy Land.  Today, Colel Chabad runs a growing network of programs including a series of food banks and food delivery programs and other services for the needy, widowed and elderly as well as implementing the National Program for ...
This week, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) unveiled its first full-scale passenger capsule, offering the world a glimpse at what the future of travel may look like. The capsule, which is 105 feet long and weighs 5 tons, was unveiled in Cadiz, Spain, on Tuesday. The tube-like transportation system, billed as “an airplane without wings,” is designed to transport people through low-pressure steel tubes at a speed of 620 miles per hour, which roughly matches a typical passenger aircraft. Read more at Fox News.
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