Rehovot-based AID Genomics is developing a coronavirus (Covid-19) test kit that according to the company will provide results within 75 minutes. The target audience of this kit is airports, sports arenas, entertainment venues, and others, with the quick screening aimed at making gatherings of large crowds more feasible during the pandemic. “We understood that there are many situations in which there is a need for a test that can provide quality results quickly,” Izhak Haviv, chief scientist of AID Genomics, told Calcalist. “The quickest test at the moment provides results w...
[Ed. Note] Out of the respect and recognition of the impact made by longtime BJL friend and contributor, Reb Shaya Gross, z’l, we will maintain a living memoriam to Shaya through the sweet words and thoughtful insights of  his Divrei Torah. BJL readers will remember his weekly column on the Parsha and on various Torah ideas and concepts. These meaningful words will help us remember this special young man who will be sorely missed and for those who did not merit to know him, this will be the most appropriate way for them to become familiar with who he was. This week’s Parsha begins by informing us that Pinchas received the covenant of peace rewarding his act of zealotry. At first glance, this seems ironic, a covenant of PEACE for being a...
JERUSALEM (JNS) – IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi, along with 10,000 active duty and civilian employees, were ordered to quarantine on Thursday after being in close contact with people infected with COVID-19. Kochavi is entering isolation for the second time. He said he feels well and does not have any virus symptoms, according to Ynet. Some 350 IDF-employed individuals were reported as being infected as of Wednesday—double the number at the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak. The report noted that most of those in quarantine continue to work while in isolation, and that combat soldiers infected with the virus are allowed to train in isolation. The IDF is not planning to lock down bases as it did during the first wave of the virus. However, time off for combat soldiers i...
From the beginning of the year until the end, A lot of time together we did spend Rollerblading to baking to playing on my rug, Social distancing meetings wearing masks and gloves, A good listening ear you did make, Fun conversations together it did create. Who spent time together? Who had fun conversations? Who baked and played and rollerbladed? Bnos One on One Sisters, of course! Bnos One on One is an incredible program from Bnos Agudas Yisroel that pairs high school Big Sisters with middle school Little Sisters for fun and connection. (A Little Sister wrote the above poem to her Big Sister.) The Sisters meet once a week for personal time together. Plus, Bnos One on One hosts activities and parties. It’s a popular program, drawing many girls each year nationally from many ...
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Baltimore, MD - July 5, 2020 - Join Project Community this summer for Baltimore girls’ block parties in your neighborhood! Starting this week, July 8, for girls ages 4-11. For more information and to register, visit pc20.org/blockparty OU Summer Programming for girls ages 4-11 and girls ages 14-18 For more information: reach out to Batsheva Schecter (443) 314- 0187 schecterb@ou.org. Click here to join the WhatsApp Group here to stay up to date. This summer, the OU will be holding block parties around and a teen program, offering programming around Baltimore to girls ages 4-11, and separate programming and volunteer opportunities for girls ages 14-18. Every week, there will be a “Block Party” in your neighborhood with a different activity tailored to our community&rs...
Our recent return to Shul, despite the need for masks and distancing, has certainly restored our spirits by enabling us to pray together once again, albeit with a diminished audience. Equally thrilling is the excitement of seeing one another again after such a long hiatus in isolation. This morning as I arrived to Shul I was surprised to see one of my dearest friends who had been holding out safely at home until this time, making his first excursion to Shul in over four months.This is someone I study with daily on Zoom, who participates in a daily live Chizuk broadcast, and whom I have been in constant through text and phone throughout theses many months. Yet, when seeing him ‘live’ a feeling of joy was palpable. Although I felt compelled to greet him with a big hug, propr...
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Baltimore, MD - June 19, 2020 - N’shei Agudath Israel of Baltimore Summer Lecture Series.Click on the graphic below for a larger, printable copy
NEW YORK – The OU is launching a summer virtual Beit Midrash for women through its highly regarded OU Women’s Initiative. The program offers two tracks – an intensive learning program and a lecture series examining Torah topics through the lens of architecture, literature and history. “Traditionally, the three-weeks is a period during which we focus on introspection and religious inspiration. While the pandemic currently precludes us from doing so collectively in-person, during the Three-Weeks this year the OU Women’s Initiative is providing a virtual Beit Midrash that will allow women world-wide to learn and be inspired together,” said Orthodox Union President Moishe Bane. The Beit Midrash’s ALIT Summer Learning Program track focuses on providin...
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield said Thursday that the health risks of keeping schools closed are greater than those of opening them, amid a push by President Trump to have students in classrooms this fall. "I'm of the point of view as a public health leader in this nation, that having the schools actually closed is a greater public health threat to the children than having the schools reopen," Redfield told The Hill's Steve Clemons. The comments in favor of reopening schools from Redfield come as Trump presses for schools to reopen. On Wednesday, the president criticized the CDC in a tweet for "their very tough & expensive guidelines for opening schools," raising fears about the politicization of the country's l...
The federal judge in the Michael Flynn case is asking an appeals court to rethink its decision ordering the charges against the former national security adviser to be dropped. Judge Emmet Sullivan, of the district court in D.C., filed a petition with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to rehear the case after a three-judge panel ordered him to allow the Department of Justice (DOJ) to withdraw its case. "The panel’s decision threatens to turn ordinary judicial process upside down," Sullivan's attorney wrote in the petition. "It is the district court’s job to consider and rule on pending motions, even ones that seem straightforward. This Court, if called upon, reviews those decisions — it does not preempt them." In a move that surprised many, the ...
Parsha Hashavua
Parshas Pinchas - Balancing Our Middos

[Ed. Note] Out of the respect and recognition of the impact made by longtime BJL friend and contributor, Reb Shaya Gross, z’l, we will maintain a living memoriam to Shaya through the sweet words and thoughtful insights of  his Divrei Torah. BJL readers will remember his weekly column on the Parsha and on various Torah ideas and concepts. These meaningful words will help us remember this special young man who will be sorely missed and for those who did not merit to know him, this will be the most appropriate way for them to become familiar with who he was.


This week’s Parsha begins by informing us that Pinchas received the covenant of peace rewarding his act of zealotry. At first glance, this seems ironic, a covenant of PEACE for being a ZEALOT???
But if we think about it a little deeper, with the understanding that Shalom means more than just peace but rather harmony and perfection, then it makes ‘perfect’ sense.
We are not a people who act solely with Chesed, as unbridled Chesed leads to immorality... Nor are we a people who act solely with Gevurah-strict judgment, as too much Gevurah in Chinuch pushes kids away... Rather, we are a people who seek to fuse our Midos into perfection; using Chesed in its proper time, Gevurah in its proper time, and likewise with all other Midos.

The proper definition of shalom is having a perfect balance in all midos and using each mida in its proper time.

This is the hallmark of our Gedolim, a few that I have merited to meet and see for myself, and many more of whom I have read about. They may have some very strong opinions about certain topics and certain practices, but when you come to speak with them, their warmth, love, and care is so evident.

This, I suggest, is the understanding of the covenant of Shalom concerning Pinchas.  Pinchas, as the Torah emphasizes, was a grandson of Aharon, the quintessential lover of mankind. Pinchas had in his blood the warmth and love of Aharon. Yet when it came to matters that he had to take a strong stance on and act zealously, he did so. Hence he merited the covenant of SHALOM for his act!

May we all take this lesson to heart, to always work hard towards having a synthesis in our Midos, using each one positively in its appropriate time. 


{Reb Baruch Gross writes: This week, we began the three weeks, ending with Tisha B’av, the day we mourn the destruction of our Beis Hamikdash. The Gemara says that if a person lives in a generation that the Beis Hamikdash has not been rebuilt, he must consider it as if his generation destroyed the Beis Hamikdash.


Rabbi Aharon Feldman pointed out that the Gemarah is teaching us that we have to look at the destruction of our Holy Temple as if each and every one of us destroyed the Beis Hamikdash. The only person to blame is ourselves. Rabbi Feldman pointed out that if we would examine ourselves carefully, we would see that we exert so much effort in our daily and personal life to shift the blame from ourselves on to other people. “I was late to work because of this reason,” or, “I couldn’t finish the project because of this…” that is the beginning of our personal destruction. When we wipe away all of the excuses and "step-up to the plate," we will be transformed into stronger and better people who can take to the plate and face any of the pitches that Hashem throws our way. Instead of bunting to first base, we can hit a home run right out of the park.

May we all take this lesson to heart as we enter into the three weeks; that it is our own faults and shortcomings that cause us to be the way we are and once we come to that realization, we will be able to work on ourselves and rebuild our own Beis Hamidash and ultimately bring Moshiach with the Beis Hamikdash in our days.}

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Electricity reportedly cut in suburbs west of Tehran following mysterious explosion. An explosion was heard in western Tehran on Thursday night, Reuters reported, citing the official IRIB news agency. IRIB did not provide any additional information about the cause of the blast or possible casualties. Electricity has been cut in the area of the explosion in suburbs west of Tehran, it reported. There have been multiple explosions around military, nuclear and industrial facilities in the past week. Two people were killed in an explosion at a factory in the south of Tehran on Tuesday. Last Thursday, Iran announced that an "accident" had occurred at the Natanz nuclear complex in central Iran. On Sunday, an unnamed Middle Eastern intelligen...
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A hearing on a ban on kosher and halal shechita enacted by the Walloon and Flemish regions of Belgium took place on Wednesday, with Jewish and Muslim representatives charging that the prohibition violated European laws on freedom of religion. The hearing took place in Luxembourg at the European Court of Justice, which interprets EU law at the request of judges in member states. The Jewish community was represented by lawyers from the Jewish Central Consistory of Belgium and the Coordinating Committee of Jewish Organizations in Belgium (CCOJB). On the Muslim side, there were lawyers from the Muslim Executive of Belgium. Defending the ban were lawyers representing the Walloon and Flemish governments. Also present were representatives from the European Commission and the Council of Europe....
Geoffrey Berman, former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, on Thursday testified that Attorney General William Barr “repeatedly urged” him to resign before forcing him out in June. Berman told the House Judiciary Committee that prior to his ouster, he resisted Barr’s urging because “there were important investigations in the office that I wanted to see through to completion.” “The Attorney General said that if I did not resign from my position I would be fired,” Berman told the Judiciary panel. “He added that getting fired from my job would not be good for my resume or future job prospects. I told him that while I did not want to get fired, I would not resign.” Read more at The Hill.
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Mayor Bernard C. "Jack" Young on Thursday announced a public-private partnership to expand access to mobile coronavirus testing. The city health department is partnering with Johns Hopkins Medicine, the University of Maryland Medical Center and BUILD. “This partnership will help us increase testing availability for our residents across the city and reduce barriers we know our residents have experienced,” Young said. “I want to thank Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa and our partners at Johns Hopkins and UMMS (University of Maryland Medical System) for their efforts in setting up this partnership.” Dzirasa said that the mobile testing will help them curb a positivity rate as high as 20% in some neighborhoods. Johns Hopkins Medicine held its first testing ev...
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — In a Baltimore-exclusive conversation Thursday with 11 News, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan talked about leadership as a thread running through his new memoir, "Still Standing." The interview came on the morning after President Donald Trump issued an ultimatum to local school districts to "open up or else." Hogan brushed off the president's attempts to strong-arm states into fully reopening schools in the fall. "Well, we're not going to take any bullying, and the state is going to make the best decisions that we can based on the science and what the educators and the public health officials say," Hogan said. "We've got to get our kids learning again. We got to get them back to school, but we've got to take every precaution we can to keep th...
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When the B’nos Tzlafchad approach Moshe Rabbeinu, they are intent on pointing out that their father was not part of Korach’s rebellion.  Rather, they remind Moshe that “he died on account of his own sin.”  (Pinchas 27:3) Rashi tells us that Tzlafchad was the “M’koshesh Eitz” – the wood gatherer who did this Melacha on Shabbos and was therefore Chayav Misa.  This was apparently the first time in the Midbar where someone was chayav misa due to chillul Shabbos.  In the last couple of years, we have been introduced to several new technologies suggesting that they would allow us to use cell phones or light switches through the use of a “gerama” device on Shabbos.  Predictably, the wagons were quickly circled b...
JERUSALEM (JNS) – The Artillery Corps of the Israel Defense Forces is responsible for delivering a large portion of the military’s firepower to an increasingly complex battlefield. Its units take part in a large array of activities—from firing artillery guns, to guided advanced missiles and operating unmanned aerial vehicles. But before all of that, according to Lt. Col. Yotam Burstein, commanding officer of the Artillery Corps Training Battalion, everything begins with basic training. The 37-year-old commander has spent more than 18 years in the military. After being drafted into the Artillery Corps himself in 2002, he has since served in command roles in almost every artillery unit. Previously the commander of an operational combat battalion, Burstein has spent the pas...
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Michael Cohen, the former personal lawyer for President Donald Trump, was taken into custody by U.S. Marshals on the heels of a newspaper photo showing him eating at a Manhattan restaurant weeks after being released from prison into home confinement. Cohen was taken to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, a federal jail. His attorney, Jeffrey Levine, said that his detention could be connected to a photo of him that appeared on the front page of The New York Post eating outside of his Manhattan residence, where he was supposed to be under home confinment for the remainder of a three-year criminal sentence. Cohen was recently released from prison due to concerns he could catch the coronavirus. His lawyer also said that before Cohen was taken into c...
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