ספירת העומר : 5 - היום חמשה ימים לעומר
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Baltimore, MD – Apr. 23, 2019 - It was a cloudy/sunny/cloudy/drizzly morning at Pimlico Race Course as Baltimore's Jewish community members joined together for the 37th year to burn their chametz in preparation for the first Pesach Seder. The Chesed Fund & Project Ezra orchestrated and cover the cost of this event  in memory of  Harry A. & Lillian Frid, a”h. This annual event, created and still carefully supervised by Dr. Bert Miller, was held at the Pimlico Race Course Clubhouse Parking Lot, from 6:30 – 11:30 a.m. and a Baltimore City Po...
FBI and IRS agents are raiding Baltimore’s City Hall and the home of Mayor Catherine Pugh. Dave Fitz, an FBI spokesman, confirmed search warrants were being executed at those locations Thursday morning. Several people, one of them wearing an FBI windbreaker, could be seen at City Hall. Lester Davis, a spokesman for ex officio Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young, said he did not have any immediate comment. Pugh, a Democrat, is under investigation by the Maryland Office of the State Prosecutor for sales of her “Healthy Holly” children’s books. She sold the books to entities with business before the city, and to the University of Maryland Medical System, where she was a member of the volunteer board of directors. It ...
Iran’s foreign minister bluntly told an invited audience in New York City on Wednesday that the US must recognize the authority of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) if it wanted to navigate the Strait of Hormuz — the strategically-vital sea passage that connects the Persian Gulf with the Arabian Sea. During an appearance at the Asia Society in Manhattan, Mohammad Javad Zarif was questioned as to whether the Tehran regime might close off the Strait of Hormuz — through which approximately 35 percent of the world’s oil supply is carried — to international shipping. “When the US enters the Strait of Hormuz, they have to talk to those who are protecting the Strait of Hormuz — and that is the [Islamic] Revolutionary Guard Corps,” Zarif...
The number of measles cases in the Big Apple shot up to 390 Wednesday from 374 just two days earlier — and now includes two pregnant women, according to the city Department of Health. “We have now identified two expectant mothers who have contracted measles,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. “These cases are stark reminders of why New Yorkers must get vaccinated against the measles as soon as possible. When we do not get vaccinated, we put our friends, our relatives, our neighbors, our classmates and other fellow New Yorkers at risk.” Read more at NY POST.
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Baltimore, MD - Apr. 9, 2019 - Reposted upon popular request:Baltimore, MD - April 14, 2015 - 24 Nissan - The following bracha is said only once a year, during the month of Nisan, on fruit trees in blossom. Baruch ato Ado...Elo...Melech haolam shelo chisar b’olamo klum u’vara vo b’riyos tovos v’elanos tovim l’hanos bahem b’nay adam. The G’ra in his siddur substitutes the word davar instead of klum. The ideal time to recite the bracha on ilanos/trees is during the month of Nissan, however, once the buds fall out and the fruits emerge, it is too late to recite the bracha.This year Nissan 5779, the last day of Nissan will be May 5 – a relatively late day. Depending on the upcoming weather, by the end of Ni...
The body of a young man who went swimming in the Kinneret lake and apparently drowned was found at the end of extensive searches conducted this morning. The young man was extracted from the water without vital signs, and the MDA teams summoned to the scene were forced to determine his death. The Kinneret Authority stresses that swimmers bathe only on declared beaches with rescue services, and to listen to instructions of lifeguards and inspectors to protect the safety of vacationers and swimmers. Read more at Arutz Sheva.
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Vice President Joe Biden formally joined the crowded Democratic presidential contest on Thursday, declaring the soul of the nation at stake if President Donald Trump wins re-election. In a video posted on Twitter , Biden focused on the 2017 deadly clash between white supremacists and counter protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia. Biden noted Trump’s comments that there were some “very fine people” on both sides of the violent encounter, which left one woman dead. “With those words, the president of the United States assigned a moral equivalence between those spreading hate and those with the courage to stand against it,” Biden said. “And in that moment, I knew the threat to this nation was unlike any I had s...
Baltimore, MD -  Apr. 24, 2019 - BJL wishes a hearty Mazel Tov to Moshe & Tehilla Holzer on the birth of a son. Mazel Tov grandparents Jordan & Chana Leah Weiner יה"ר שיזכו לגדל בנם לתורה, לחופה, ולמעשים טובים. אמן!
A word (heh) of warning: If you hate internet slang and buzzy pop culture words, this news isn’t for you. Merriam-Webster has added 640 new words to the dictionary, and together, they’re a pretty good portrait of how we talk to each other online in 2019. Take, for instance, the word “buzzy.” We just used it in the previous paragraph and it felt so natural! So appropriate. And wouldn’t you know, it’s one of those 640 new words. The most surprising news there is that it wasn’t in the dictionary already. Also in the latest class of legitimate words: “stan,” as in “we stan that person.” Don’t know what it means? Ask any given teenager, they’ll be able to explain. “Swole” is in there too, a popular inte...
Marking your tires with chalk is trespassing, not law enforcement, the federal appeals panel said in a Michigan case. That parking officer who swipes a chalk mark on your tire to keep track of how long you've been parked is violating the Constitution, a federal appeals court panel found Monday. A three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati reinstated a 2017 case brought by Alison Taylor, who was issued 15 parking tickets in three years in Saginaw, Michigan, by the same parking enforcement officer, who's described in the suit as the city's "most prolific issuer of parking tickets." Taylor argued that marking tires with chalk constituted an unreasonable search under the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. But a U.S. district judge ...
Parsha Hashavua
Pesach 5779 -The Seder "What's It All About?"

Nirtzah: Not Just the closing Ceremonies


There are two major concepts which form the driving force of the Hagaddah and the Seder in general.  First, is the Chiyuv Sipur Yitzias Mitraim,  and the second is that one must feel as if he himself is being taken out of  Mitzraim on the night of Pesach, as discussed more fully in the Hagaddah.


With these two concepts being the principal themes, how then does the final part of the Seder, Nirtzah, fit into this framework?  These intriguing, yet seemingly unrelated songs, raise a significant question as to exactly what role they play in the Seder and by extension, the Yom Tov of Pesach. 


On a simplistic level one could answer their function is similar to that of the Afikoman and Mah Nishtana - to heighten the interest and enjoyment of the Seder for the children.  However, upon more careful analysis, it becomes clear that not only are these songs in tune with the  Hagaddah’s two major ideas, but are actually an intrinsic and indispensable part of these very concepts.


Upon reflection, it is easy to understand why Sipur Yitzias Mitraim  is an appropriate topic for Pesach night.  However, it is not as easy to understand why we are obligated to feel as if we ourselves were redeemed on the night of Pesach.  An insight into this quandary will also clarify how Nirtzah fits into the Seder.


The reason for the  Chiyuv Sipur Yitzias Mitzrayim  is not to teach us history, nor even to train us in gratitude.  This requirement comes to emphasize the character of the Pesach season - a time of year especially designated as a time for Geulah.  The Gemarah in Rosh Hashana (11b) says that just as the Geulah from Mitzrayim occurred in Nissan so too will the eventual Geulah from present day galus take place in Nissan.  For this reason the Hagaddah stresses this point - the obligation to feel as if we ourselves are going out - to illustrate that the same potential for redemption which came to fruition with Yitzias Mitzraim, exists every Pesach.  Thus the potential for Geulah from present day Galus is at its highest during this time.  With this explanation we can also understand what function the songs of Nirtzah have in the Seder


In the first poem,  Vayehi Bachatzi Halayla, an extensive list is composed of many past great things that Hashem has done in the midst of the night.  Only one future event is added to this list - Hashem’s eventual bringing of Moshiach.  Similarly, in Ki Lo Naeh, a list of adjectives ranging from distinguished and glorious to mighty and merciful are used to describe Hashem.  Yet again, in this song the Haggadah slips in “that he is truly the redeemer.”  Obviously, if the Haggadah felt it necessary to squeeze these lines in, then they are of major significance.  This becomes clear in  Adir Hu, which is nothing short of an all out appeal for the Geulah.    Adir Hu                                             takes all the descriptions used in the previous songs and follows each one with “May he soon and speedily rebuild his house in our days.”   This is the central theme throughout Nirtzah. 


However, just as Yitzias Mitraim  was not possible before Bnei Yisroel performed the Mitzvos of  Karban Pesach and Bris Milah, so too today’s Geulah cannot come before our total acceptance of Hashem’s dominion over the world.  This is where Echad Mi Yodeah  and  Chad Gad Ya fit in.  In Echad Mi Yodeah, we list the building blocks that the Jewish world is built upon - the basic necessities for all of Judaism.  Finally in Chad Gad Ya we are taught the single most important lesson - that of humility.  The idea that everything and everyone has something above him/her and therefore we must reflect on all of our actions, as we alone are accountable for them.  In concluding Chad Gad Ya, the final connection is made to Geulah with the slaughtering of the Malach Hamaves.   The Gemmarah in Succah (52a) says that at the time of the Geulah, Hashem will take the Satan (The same entity as the Malach Hamaves - Baba Basra 16a) and slaughter it.


Thus we understand how the progression of Nirtzah mirrors the link between Yitzias Mitzraim and the Geula Ha’asida.  This interpretation adds a significant aspect to our Seder.  Not only are we celebrating the Geulah from Mitzraim but we are also injecting the necessary elements for the eventual Geulah from galus today.  May we be Zoche to capitalize on the potential for geula present this Pesach and share next year in Yerushalayim.



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Daniel Linsey, 19, and Amelie Linsey, 15, were among the eight Britons killed in the suicide bombings in Colombo on Sunday Tributes have been paid to a Jewish brother and sister who were among more than 300 people killed in Easter Sunday's bombings in Sri Lanka. Daniel and Amelie Linsey, who were members of Westminster Synagogue, were among eight Britons killed in the attack. Shul president Lord Leigh paid tribute to them in the House of Lords on Wednesday. He noted Amelie had been bat mizvah there just last March. He said Daniel was "especially interested in Jewish festivals" and had helped the synagogue to prepare for Purim. "We have pledged as a community to offer our love and support and do everything we can every step of the way," he said. "The Jewish community is used to ...
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The "kissing bug" — which bites people around their mouths and can pass along the fatal disease Chagas — has officially made it to Delaware.  In September, the Centers for Disease Control foreshadowed the deadly bloodsucker's arrival here. The government agency warned that it was making its way north from Central and South America and had been reported in states such as Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia. But it wasn't until last week that the CDC confirmed an actual sighting in the First State.  Here's where the bug was spotted and why the species can be so dangerous Bug found in Kent County  In July 2018, a family from Kent County called the Delaware Division of Public Health and Delaware Department of Agricult...
SUNNYVALE (KPIX 5) – The FBI was assisting Sunnyvale police Wednesday in investigating a driver who allegedly intentionally slammed his vehicle into eight people on a Sunnyvale street, severely injuring several of them. In an email to KPIX 5 early Wednesday, the FBI said it was “assessing the situation to determine federal involvement. Should it be determined that a federal crime was committed, we will become more involved.” Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety Capt. Jim Choi told reporters Wednesday that the driver may have accelerated as he veered toward the pedestrians. “The driver did not slow down, did not try to avoid the victims and also may have accelerated at the last moment,” he said. Sunnyvale police could not rule out domestic terrorism a...
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Boeing executives announced Wednesday that their revenues slid more than $1 billion this quarter after more than 50 countries around the world grounded the company’s 737 Max planes following two deadly crashes. Revenue for the first quarter of 2019 fell 2 percent overall following last month’s decision to ground the planes, Boeing told The New York Times, with revenue from commercial airlines down more than $1 billion. The revenue loss constituted a 9 percent drop in the company’s earnings from commercial airline sales, according to the Times, which reported that Boeing earned $11.8 billion in total this quarter from such sales. Read more at The Hill.
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A group of men and boys heckled and threw stones at an IDF soldier walking through the Mea Shearim neighborhood on Wednesday. One of the stones nearly hit a father who was holding his six-month old daughter. Footage from the scene showed the father — with his baby still in his arms — yelling at the mob as they continued to hiss at the soldier. The child’s mother then appeared to scream at them as well, before the two of them walk away in disgust. Police were dispatched to the scene and said that officers managed to scatter the crowd and safely evacuate the soldier, who was unharmed in the incident. Read more at Times of Israel.
Measles cases in the United States have surpassed the highest number on record since the disease was declared eliminated nationwide in 2000. Overall, there have been 681 measles cases across 22 states this year, according to CNN's analysis of data from state and local health departments. The states reporting measles cases are Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Washington. As of Monday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Preventionreported 626 individual cases of measles confirmed in those 22 states. This includes illnesses reported by state health departments to the CDC through April 1...
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The number of measles cases in the Big Apple shot up to 390 Wednesday from 374 just two days earlier — and now includes two pregnant women, according to the city Department of Health. “We have now identified two expectant mothers who have contracted measles,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. “These cases are stark reminders of why New Yorkers must get vaccinated against the measles as soon as possible. When we do not get vaccinated, we put our friends, our relatives, our neighbors, our classmates and other fellow New Yorkers at risk.” She recommended screening for pregnant women as they’re at risk for giving birth to a baby with measles or miscarrying. Most of the cases, 83 percent, are in the Orthodox Jewish section of Williamsburg, Brook...
Facebook has formed an artificial intelligence team in Tel Aviv, announced the company on Tuesday. The 10-person team, called “Data.AI,” will work on machine-learning “algorithms that can improve the company’s internal interface and create new tools for data analysis,” reported Calcalist, citing a statement from the social-media network. The new initiative will seek to improve Facebook’s platform, help engineers resolve issues, project upcoming events and issues, and access necessary data quicker. More than 200 people are currently employed at Facebook’s research and development center in Tel Aviv, according to the firm.
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