Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday presented the leaders of Israel’s southern communities adjacent to the Gaza border with a financial plan worth 500 million shekels ($135 million) which will fund a variety of programs for the years 2019-2020. Netanyahu, along with Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot and IDF Southern Regional Commander Hertzl Halevi, met with heads of local authorities heads, at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem on Thursday. “The program, which will be submitted to the gove...
After Leah gives birth to 4 boys, Rachel, following a confrontation with Yaakov, gives over her maidservant to Yaakov so that he may produce children with her. She declares with utmost certainty, (30:3) "ve'ibaneh gam anochi mimenah," and I, too, will be built up through her. This statement is in noticeable contrast to Sarah's statement when she gives Hagar to Avraham. There, she states (16:2) "ulai ibaneh mimenah," perhaps I will be built up through her.  There's a simple explanation for the different approaches taken by the imahos. Although the Torah states that Sarah was barren, without children, Avraham was equally childless. The exact cause of their childlessness was seemingly unknown. Had Avraham been the infertile one, giving him Hagar would not have...
Boeing Co. has been sued in what may be the first U.S. claim tied to the crash of Lion Air Flight 610, which dove into the Java Sea after taking off from Jakarta Oct. 29. H. Irianto, the father of Dr. Rio Nanda Pratama, an Indonesian man who was among 189 killed in the disaster, sued Boeing on Wednesday in state court in Chicago, where the airline manufacturer is headquartered. Irianto claims a new flight-control system incorporated in the Boeing 737 MAX 8 airliner caused the crash. He’s seeking unspecified damages. Investigators believe an erroneous sensor prompted a computerized safety system to aggressively push the jet into a dive as pilots were trying to deal with multiple malfunctions. Boeing and U.S. aviation regulators are considering whether to add a software fix to the 73...
White House chief of staff John Kelly may soon become the latest high-ranking member of President Trump’s inner circle out of a job. Trump is mulling replacing Kelly with one of a number of candidates, with Nick Ayers, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, having the inside track, White House sources told NBC and the Wall Street Journal. Kelly, Trump’s chief of staff since July 2017, has reportedly been on the hot seat amid friction with several members of the West Wing staff — including the first lady and Trump himself. Read more at NY POST.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been charged under seal, prosecutors inadvertently revealed in a recently unsealed court filing – a development that could significantly advance the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election and have major implications for those who publish government secrets. The disclosure came in a filing in a case unrelated to Assange. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kellen Dwyer, urging a judge to keep the matter sealed, wrote “due to the sophistication of the defendant and the publicity surrounding the case, no other procedure is likely to keep confidential the fact that Assange has been charged.” Later, Dwyer wrote the charges would “need to remain sealed until Assange is arrested.” Dwyer is also assigned to the WikiLeaks case. ...
Frankfort, KY - Mary Beverly Goetz is 76, uses a walker and recently had surgery to remove a cancerous tumor. Worried her health issues would prevent her from voting for Democrat Jim Glenn in her western Kentucky state House district, she requested an absentee ballot by mail and sent it in weeks ahead of the election to make sure her vote was counted. Glenn won by one vote. “It made me feel good,” Goetz said. “It made you feel like your vote really counted.” As the nation watches election officials in Florida and Georgia painstakingly review results in high-profile Senate and governor’s races, many less prominent races across the country were decided by agonizingly close margins. Glenn’s victory in Owensboro, Kentucky, was one of six state House race...
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Washington - President Donald Trump said Friday that he has answered written questions from special counsel Robert Mueller but hasn’t yet submitted them. Trump told reporters in the Oval Office that he answered the questions “very easily” this week about the special counsel’s ongoing probe into 2016 election interference and possible ties between Russia and the president’s campaign. “You have to always be careful when you answer questions with people that probably have bad intentions,” said Trump in his latest swipe at the integrity of the probe. “But no, the questions were very routinely answered by me.” The president did not say when he would turn over the answers to Mueller. The special counsel had signaled a willingness to accept...
Gaza City - Gaza’s Hamas rulers are sticking to cease-fire with Israel by keeping border protests widely restrained. Thousands of Palestinians participated Friday in a Hamas-organized rally along the perimeter fence dividing Gaza from Israel, with crowds staying at least 300 meters from the fence. However, Gaza’s health ministry said 40 Palestinians were wounded by Israeli fire and tear gas, without giving a number breakdown. Witnesses said most of the injuries occurred in stone-throwing incidents at the usual five protest locations. No tire burnings or attempts to breach the fence were reported. Such acts have often triggered lethal Israeli army fire. Since the near-weekly protests began in March, more than 170 Palestinians have been killed. Earlier this week, Hamas and Is...
Versailles, France - In a historic vote, nations unanimously approved Friday a ground-breaking overhaul to the international system of measurements, coming together in a way that they fail to do on so many other issues behind new definitions for the kilogram and other key units vital for trade and science. Scientists for whom the update represents decades of work clapped, cheered and even wept as the 50-plus nations one by one said “yes” or “oui” to the update. Nobel prize winner William Phillips called it “the greatest revolution in measurement since the French revolution,” which ushered in the metric system of meters and kilograms. The so-called “Grand K” kilogram, a cylinder of polished platinum-iridium alloy that has been the world&rsq...
Washington - President Donald Trump says the White House is “writing up rules and regulations” for reporters after a judge ordered the administration to restore credentials for CNN reporter Jim Acosta. Trump told reporters Friday that “people have to behave.” He added that if journalists “don’t listen to the rules and regulations, we will end up back in court and we will win.” Asked what he meant by rules and regulations, Trump said: “Decorum. You can’t take three questions and four questions. And just stand up and not sit down.” Trump said he wants “total freedom of the press,” but added “you have to act with respect.” The White House said Friday that it would “temporarily reinstate” the cr...
Parsha Hashavua
Parshas Vayeitzei - Bilhah the Builder

After Leah gives birth to 4 boys, Rachel, following a confrontation with Yaakov, gives over her maidservant to Yaakov so that he may produce children with her. She declares with utmost certainty, (30:3) "ve'ibaneh gam anochi mimenah," and I, too, will be built up through her. This statement is in noticeable contrast to Sarah's statement when she gives Hagar to Avraham. There, she states (16:2) "ulai ibaneh mimenah," perhaps I will be built up through her. 



There's a simple explanation for the different approaches taken by the imahos. Although the Torah states that Sarah was barren, without children, Avraham was equally childless. The exact cause of their childlessness was seemingly unknown. Had Avraham been the infertile one, giving him Hagar would not have helped.



When Manoach and his wife were childless before the birth of Shimshon (Shofetim 13), the midrash (Vayikra Rabba 9) recounts that there was a conflict between them as two who was responsible. That is why the angel appeared to her to tell her that she was the infertile one, but that they would soon have a child. We see from Sarah's handling of her situation that no such conflict existed between Avraham and Sarah. Sarah was perfectly ready to accept that she was the barren one and have Avraham reproduce through Hagar, albeit with that slight hint of uncertainty.



The situation with Yaakov and Rachel, of course, was completely different. Yaakov had already fathered four children with Leah. Rachel knew that she was barren and Yaakov was not. She had no reason to worry that Yaakov's union with Bilhah would not produce children and therefore, was certain that she would be built up through her.

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Warsaw, Poland - A prominent Holocaust researcher said Friday he is suing a Polish organization for libel after it waged a public campaign last year accusing him of slandering Poland’s good name for his work exploring Polish violence against Jews during World War II. Historian Jan Grabowski, of the University of Ottawa in Canada, told The Associated Press he brought a lawsuit on Thursday against the Polish League Against Defamation, an organization allied with Poland’s conservative ruling party. The league didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment on the case. It accused Grabowski last year of ignoring the Poles who saved Jews during the Holocaust and of exaggerating the number of Poles complicit in Jewish deaths. “During World War II, due to the dem...
Paradise, CA - There’s a sweet legend about this town: On a blazing summer day in the 1850s, a lumber mill crew with a wagon and ox took a break under a grove of tall evergreens. The air was cool, the pine needles fragrant. “Boys,” said the team boss, “this is paradise.” Thus, more than 170 years ago, Paradise was born. From the start, it was enriched with gold mined from nearby hills and lumber harvested from the forests. Over generations, thousands lived and loved here; they built homes and businesses, schools and houses of worship, parks and museums that proudly honored Paradise’s place in American history. In a matter of hours last week, it all disappeared. Nearly 9,000 homes. Hundreds of shops and other buildings. The Safeway supermarket. The ha...
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Baltimore, MD - Nov. 16, 2018 -  12:38 PM - Several homes were evacuated after a gas leak in Pikesville. BGE was called to the scene at approximately 11:30 a.m. Friday after construction crews struck a high-pressure gas main, officials said. A number of homes in the 3100 block of Northbrook Road were evacuated and the street - between Hatton and Labyrinth - has been closed off due to the gas leak, officials said. There is no word on when the incident will be resolved
  Parashas Vayeitzei: Rabbi Aharon Lopiansky from Agudath Israel on Vimeo.
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New York - The snow and ice that literally brought the greater New York area to its knees yesterday may be no match for the heated anger that appears to be everywhere today as area residents demand explanations for the abysmal failures that left commuters stranded for hours on end. Preparations for the snow, which was expected to be a one to three inch event in much of the area began in advance, with the New York City Department of Sanitation taking to Twitter on Wednesday announcing that they were prepared for the precipitation with salt spreaders “loaded and ready to go.” Somehow, everything went horribly wrong yesterday just about everywhere. Forecasters began issuing warnings during the day that snowfall totals could be somewhat higher than expected and within hours the ...
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the legal challenge to the White House’s decision to strip CNN reporter Jim Acosta of his White House press credentials (all times local): 10:30 a.m. A federal judge in Washington is ordering the Trump administration to immediately return the White House press credentials of CNN reporter Jim Acosta. U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Kelly announced his decision Friday morning. CNN had asked that Acosta’s credentials be returned while a lawsuit over their revocation goes forward. The network’s chief White House correspondent has clashed repeatedly with Trump and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders in briefings over the last two years. But the White House pulled his credentials last week following a combative press conference in...
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A West Bank military court has indicted the mother and brother of the Palestinian who carried out a terror attack in the Barkan Industrial zone last month on charges they knew of the suspect’s plan and did not prevent the offense. According to the indictment, the defendant’s mother knew he had weapons and that he was training to use them.  She then informed the defendant’s brother of his intentions but neither of them attempted to contact authorities or do anything further to prevent the attack. The assailant’s brother is also being charged for obstruction of justice for attempting to hide footage of the incident from authorities in their family home. “Two weeks before the attack, the terrorist indicated that he intended to carry out an attack and die a...
New York - Three years after it closed its beloved toy store on Fifth Avenue, FAO Schwarz is making a return to New York. A new FAO opens Friday in Manhattan’s Rockefeller Center, about 10 blocks from its former home near Central Park. For more than 150 years, FAO Schwarz was known in New York City for its classy and sometimes extravagantly expensive toys. The fantasyland store it opened on Fifth Avenue in 1986 was a tourist attraction, replete with its own theme song, doormen who looked like palace guards and a musical clock tower. Financial problems at the parent company and rising rents closed that store in 2015, but FAO is now pulling back from the worst financial precipice since it was founded in 1862. In recent weeks at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, workers drilled, hammered and saw...
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Baltimore, MD – Nov. 16, 2018 Parshas Vayeitzei / Baltimore Zmanim / Eruv is UP!  Parshas: Vayeitzei Today:    8 Kislev    Chatzos: 11:51 PM Hadlakas Nairos: 4:33 PM Shkiah:                   4:51:09 PM Tzais HaKochavim:  5:42 PM  Kiddush Levanah from Nov. 11, 2:24 AM – Nov. 22 8:46 PM. Kiddush Levanah may only be said at night
If only people today knew what a telegram was, the old joke about the typical Jewish one reading “Start worrying. Details to follow” would be apropos, at least to the pessimists among us, in the wake of the midterm elections. Self-proclaimed Nazi Arthur Jones, running as a Republican for a House of Representatives seat in a Chicago area district, lost handily. But he received more than 56,000 votes. Illinois Republican Governor Bruce Rauner had urged district residents to “vote for anybody but Jones” and Texas Senator Ted Cruz advised voters to vote for the Democratic candidate. Still, though, 56,000 Illinoisans liked the Nazi. And then we have, unfortunately, two successful candidates for Congress: Rashida Tlaib of Detroit and Ilhan Omar of Minneapolis. Ms. Tlaib...
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