Baltimore, MD - Oct. 11, 2019 - The entire Baltimore community is Invited to Baltimore's Community-Wide Simchas Bais HaShoeivah 5780/2019 on Tuesday evening, Motzaei Yom Tov, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019 at 9:00 PM. Come listen and dance to the music of the ZEMER Orchestra. The Simchas Bais HaShoeivah is sponsored by The Agudah Park Heights, Cong. Shearith Israel and the Baltimore Shuls. Refreshments will be served. Men, women and children are invited to participate.
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Baltimore, MD - Oct. 7, 2019 - Get a FREE Shot on Wednesday, October 16 | 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. (1st Day Chol HaMoaid Succos) **While Supplies Last!** Injectable flu vaccine will be available on a first-come, first-served basis to anyone six months and older. Residents are asked to wear short-sleeve or sleeveless shirts for quick and easy access to the portion of their arm where the vaccination Complete a Form Fill out a form for each family member. The form will be reviewed to determine eligibility to receive the vaccination. If you ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction after a dose of flu vaccine, or have a severe allergy to any part of this vaccine, you may be advised not to get vaccinated at this clinic. Location Pikesville Volunteer Fire Department 40 E Sudbroo...
Today, Erev Yom Tov, we celebrated the upherin of our dear son, Yitzchak. In conjunction, my son Efrayim and I made a siyum on mishnayos seder Nezikin. Here are the thoughts I shared at the event: At any of these “lifecycle” events, I like to try and share a perspective on chinuch and the challenges that are faced and what lies ahead, hopefully with some relevant connections to other events of the day. The last Mishnah in Horayos lays out the hierarchy of kedushah within klal Yisrael. A kohein takes precedence over a levi, a levi over a Yisrael, a Yisrael over a mamzeir, and so on. However, the very last statement of our seder declares that this is only when all else is equal. A mamzeir who is a talmid chacham takes precedence over even a kohein gadol who is bereft of Torah kn...
Prime Minister and Defense Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday hosted a group of IDF lone soldiers in his sukkah at the Prime Minister's Residence in Jerusalem, and spoke with the lone soldiers’ parents by video. Speaking at the event, just hours before the Sukkot festival which is set to begin Sunday evening, Prime Minister Netanyahu told the lone soldiers, who came to Israel from Italy, the Ukraine, and Australia, that Israel needed the kind of unity symbolized by the four species of Sukkot. "There are three soldiers here who immigrated to Israel from Australia, Ukraine and Italy to serve in the IDF. I told them that the four species symbolize the unity of the Jewish people – the unity of the people and the unity that we need so much in the country. I would like to ...
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin today, October 10 / 11 Tishrei, decorated his Sukkah with children of members of the Beit HaNasi staff and second- and third-grade pupils from Yavneh school in Hadera, which runs a program to strengthen literacy and language skills designed by the Israel Center for Educational Innovation. The event was held ahead of the annual Open Sukkah during chol hamoed Sukkot, which will be in the gardens of Beit HaNasi in Jerusalem, Israel, during which thousands of Israelis will visit the Sukkah on October 17/ 18 Tishrei from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. “Come and visit the Sukkah of peace and togetherness, where everyone belongs and which belongs to everyone,” said the president, inviting Israelis to visit the Sukkah. “Beit HaNasi is the people’...
A graffiti image of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler was found near the grave of Rabbi Nachman in the city of Uman in Ukraine. Israel's ambassador to Ukraine, Joel Lion, posted a photo of the vandalism on his Twitter account. “In Uman, not far away from Rabbi Nachman's grave. Anti-Semites painted a graffiti of the biggest murderer of Jews in History. Never Again begins by fighting any kind of anti-Semitism as defined by the IHRA,” he wrote. “Ukraine should strongly condemn and bring the perpetrators to justice,” added Lion. He later thanked the local authorities for promptly acting to remove the offensive graffiti. “We welcome the prompt reaction of the Ukrainian Authorities,” he tweeted. Local police have reportedly arrested a suspect in the van...
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MOSCOW (AP) — From Syria to Ukraine, new fault lines and tensions are offering the Kremlin fresh opportunities to expand its clout and advance its interests. In Syria, the U.S. military withdrawal in the face of a Turkish offensive leaves Russia as the ultimate power broker, allowing it to help negotiate a potential agreement between Syrian President Bashar Assad and the Kurds who were abandoned by Washington. And in Ukraine, where the new president saw his image dented by a U.S. impeachment inquiry, Russia may use the volatility to push for a deal that would secure its leverage over its western neighbor. The Turkish offensive in northern Syria followed President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. forces from the area, cold shouldering the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic...
Republican leaders claim that House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., is violating an agreement between their parties after the Democrat subpoenaed two Department of Homeland Security officials without consulting with the GOP minority. The committee’s ranking member Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Subcommittee ranking member Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, accused Cummings of letting partisan politics supersede standard protocol by issuing subpoenas to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Acting Director Matthey Albence. The ICE and USCIS heads were called to testify this coming Thursday. “If you proceed with this subpoena over our ...
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) revealed in a new interview that House Democrats have discussed jailing allies of the president who do not comply with congressional subpoenas, an escalation of the House's efforts to force White House compliance with an impeachment inquiry. Tlaib told Deadline Detroit that such an action, known as inherent contempt, would be "uncharted territory" for Congress but added that "serious discussions" about taking the step have occurred within the Democratic caucus. “There have been actual serious conversations about what the logistics would look like... if we did have to force someone through a court order to come before the Congressional committee," she said. "This is pretty uncharted territory for many of us and even for Congress....
Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin is not expected to grant Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu an extension to form a majority government and will likely pass on the mandate to Blue and White leader Benny Gantz, sources close to the president said on Saturday night, confirming an earlier Channel 12 report. Netanyahu has until Oct. 24 to cobble together a majority coalition. If he fails and the mandate is passed on to Gantz, the Blue and White leader would have 28 days, until Nov. 21, to form a government. If his attempts were to fail as well, there would then be a three-week period in which any Knesset member could attempt to form a government. In the first round of elections in April, Rivlin used his option to extend Netanyahu’s mandate by 14 days. Following the second round of...
Parsha Hashavua
Upsherin / Siyum / Sukkos

Today, Erev Yom Tov, we celebrated the upherin of our dear son, Yitzchak. In conjunction, my son Efrayim and I made a siyum on mishnayos seder Nezikin. Here are the thoughts I shared at the event:


At any of these “lifecycle” events, I like to try and share a perspective on chinuch and the challenges that are faced and what lies ahead, hopefully with some relevant connections to other events of the day. The last Mishnah in Horayos lays out the hierarchy of kedushah within klal Yisrael. A kohein takes precedence over a levi, a levi over a Yisrael, a Yisrael over a mamzeir, and so on. However, the very last statement of our seder declares that this is only when all else is equal. A mamzeir who is a talmid chacham takes precedence over even a kohein gadol who is bereft of Torah knowledge.


The lesson this mishnah is teaching is a very poignant one, not only in the framework of yiddishkeit, but with regards to society in general. In life, there will always be those are imbued with some degree of advantage over another – those who are blessed with yichus, or an exceptional memory or financial or other stature, and those who are not. But the opportunity is always there for anyone to strive and overcome and fulfill their full potential, or even greater. Certainly, in the land(s) of opportunity in which we live, if we take a long hard look, we see that this is true. But as this mishnah is teaching, in yiddishkeit it is always true.


In truth, this idea can be found within the themes of Sukkos, as well. The four species we shake daily are quite an eclectic mix. We have the esrog, a fruit whose inherent beauty is so apparent, the Torah chose to name it simply by that trait – hadar. The lulav might be slightly less glorious but still quite majestic when it hangs from a palm tree. The hadassim are smaller yet still bright green and pleasant. And finally, we have the aravos which don’t boast any impressive features. Nevertheless, these four species come together and each one is dependent on the other. Even the sukkah itself is an embodiment of this idea. The Torah could have commanded us to create the temporary roof out of beautiful greenery. However, the gemara )Sukkah 12a) teaches us from the pasuk that we are instructed to use the pesoles, the waste we would otherwise throw away. This waste “rises above,” so to speak and becomes the very essence of the mitzvah we perform for a full week.


This is certainly an important lesson we wish to pass on to our son, Yitzchak, as he takes that next step in becoming a man, beginning to learn about and do more and more mitzvos, as well as a valuable lesson to take into the chag of Sukkos.

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Alex Stamos served as chief security officer at Facebook for three years before joining Stanford University, where he studies internet security, including systems related to conducting elections. He warns that there’s little the federal government can do now for the 2020 elections. And he laments the arrival of “disinformation as a service,” where companies are hired to help spread misinformation on social media. Stamos spoke recently with The Associated Press. Remarks have been edited for clarity and brevity. Q. Can you summarize the chilling scenario you recently penned on how the 2020 presidential elections might be thrown into turmoil? A: Most people focus on specific threats: a technical disruption of voting, social media rumors blaming a conspiracy, ex...
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Saturday stood behind personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, one of his highest-profile and most vocal defenders, amid reports that federal prosecutors in the city Giuliani led as mayor are eyeing him for possible lobbying violations. Behind the scenes, however, many of Trump’s closest aides and advisers, inside and outside the White House, quietly wish the president would cut ties with Giuliani, whose leadership of New York after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks earned him worldwide admiration and the moniker of “America’s mayor.” Giuliani was a force in Trump’s defense during the lengthy Russia investigation by the special counsel. Yet the effort to undermine special counsel Robert Mueller led Giuliani to ...
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WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S. ambassador is expected to tell Congress that his text message reassuring another envoy there was no quid pro quo in their interactions with Ukraine was based solely on what he was told by President Donald Trump. That’s according to a person familiar with the upcoming House impeachment testimony by Trump’s European Union ambassador. Gordon Sondland is set to tell House committees on Thursday that he did understand the Trump administration was offering Ukraine’s president a White House visit in exchange for a public statement by Ukraine committing to investigations Trump wanted. That word comes from a person who wasn’t authorized to publicly discuss the testimony and spoke on condition of anonymity. But Sondland will say his text wasn...
LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Cabinet colleagues that it will require a “significant amount of work” to strike a Brexit deal with the European Union, amid signs of progress in last-minute talks but also deep-seated skepticism about the chances of an agreement. Britain is due to leave the 28-nation bloc on Oct. 31, and attempts to find a deal have foundered over plans for keeping an open border between EU member Ireland and the U.K.’s Northern Ireland. The challenge of maintaining an invisible border — something that underpinned both the local economy and the region’s peace deal — has dominated Brexit discussions for three years, ever since U.K. voters chose in 2016 to leave the EU. But negotiations intensified last week...
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AKCAKALE, Turkey (AP) — Hundreds of Islamic State supporters escaped from a holding camp in northern Syria on Sunday amid heavy clashes between invading Turkish-led forces and Kurdish fighters, and President Donald Trump ordered all U.S. troops to withdraw from the north to avoid getting caught in the fighting. Full Coverage: Syria The twin developments reflected the rapidly growing chaos in Syria in the week since Trump ordered American forces in the region to step aside, leaving the U.S.-allied Kurds wide open to attack from Turkey. “We have American forces likely caught between two opposing advancing armies, and it’s a very untenable situation,” U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” in announcing U.S. troops wo...
The YomTov of Succos represents multiple ideas within the Torah and the Mepharshim.                 The Torah tells us that the Chag recalls how we lived in these makeshift houses as we left Mitzrayim. (Behar 23:43)  The Gemara questions whether we are commemorating the actual “houses” in which we lived temporarily or whether we are really referring to the Ananei Hakovod which divinely protected us when we were in the Midbar.  (Gemara Succah, 11b) Either way, The Gemara concludes we are recalling an event which took place in Nissan, around the same time as Pesach, immediately after Yitzias Mitzrayim, Indeed, Chazal say that Succos would be more appropriately celebrated in the spring but we shif...
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It was 10 years ago that the Orthodox Union (OU) sent out a warning that the popular Skittles candy carried an unauthorized OU symbol. As late as 2016, the KLBD or London Bais Din said that Skittles was not kosher albeit that a special kosher run was made for Israel. Even in the US some products, mostly from Israel, turned up with a kosher certification. In May, the KLBD officially announced that Skittles was kosher certified by their Bais Din. This history of mixed messages leaves kosher consumers confused and often forces them to avoid the product. A similar response can be expected when a product carries a generic “k” without identifying the source of the kosher certification. Even large companies like Pepsi Cola are guilty of using the “k” in many markets as op...
Two associates of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, now the personal attorney for U.S. President Donald Trump, were honored at the National Council of Young Israel’s gala more than six months before they were arrested on Wednesday evening, attempting to flee the United States by plane, for allegedly funneling foreign funds into U.S. elections. Joseph Frager, NCYI’s first vice president, met Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas in June 2018 at a pro-Trump America First Action SuperPAC event in Washington, D.C. Frager told Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the two approached him, and he convinced them to join NCYI’s trip to Israel that included former Trump communications director Anthony Scaramucci, who was honored by NCYI in 2018. “They loved Israel,” said Frage...
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Two missiles hit an Iranian oil tanker 60 miles off the coast of Saudi Arabia on Friday, causing a brief oil leak and increase in oil prices, as well as increased tensions in the Middle East. The oil from the Sabiti, owned by the National Iranian Oil Company, leaked into the Red Sea near the Saudi port city of Jeddah, according to Iranian state media. “This latest incident, if confirmed to be an act of aggression, is highly likely to be part of the wider narrative of deteriorating relations between Saudi and the U.S. and Iran,” private maritime security firm Dryad Maritime told the Associated Press. “It is likely that the region, having been stable for the last month, will face another period of increasing maritime threats, as the Iranian and Saudi geopolitical stand-of...
A car was damaged by a bullet outside Elon University Chabad in North Carolina on Wednesday night, as community members attended services towards the end of Yom Kippur. Gunshots were heard between 6:45 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. Police responded to reports of a damaged vehicle at 10:01 p.m. They discovered damage on the back window and roof rack, where the bullet was discovered. No one was injured. “There is no indication of any ongoing threat to the campus community,” wrote Jon Dooley, Elon vice president for student life, in an email to the university community. He said that while the motive is unknown, “the timing and location of this incident are extremely disturbing.” The case is currently being investigated as a possible hate crime, according to a police report. ...
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