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We regret to inform you of the petira of Mr. Gershon Frankel, z"l, husband of Mrs. George Frankel , father of Mrs. Rebecca Lencz and of Rabbi Mordechai Frankel. The levaya will be at 4:30  Thursday at Levinson’s, with internment at the Agudah cemetery in Rosedale. Shiva details to follow.Hamakom Yenachem Eschem B’soch Shaar Avelei Tzion Veyerushalayim
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6TH ANNUAL BIKER CHOLIM MEN’S BIKE-THON AN OVERWHELMING SUCCESS! By Mordechai Gottlieb & Rochelle Goldberg Tire pressure accurate? Check! Seat Adjusted? Check! Helmets on? Check! The excitement in the air was palpable this past Sunday morning, as the over 200 cyclists rode off on the glorious scenic routes of Maryland at 50, 25, and 10-mile challenges.  Together with our 3-7-year-old junior cyclists in-training, raising over 154,000 dollars to help support Bikur Cholim of Baltimore and its Mission of Kindness. For the sixth year in a row, Biker Cholim 2019, Bikur Cholim of Baltimore/LifeBridge Health Men’s Bike-a-thon and King David Nursing and Rehabilitation Center Family Fun and BBQ event was an overwhelming success, with more cyclists, more fun, more ...
Baltimore, MD, Aug. 21, 2019 — The Coalition for Jewish Values, representing over 1000 traditional rabbis in matters of public policy, today expressed thanks to President Trump for his expression of concern for Jewish interests, and both rejected and deplored comparisons of the President's remarks to Antisemitic tropes. The President made his comments in the face of an ongoing anti-Semitic campaign against Jews and Israel from a pair of left-wing lawmakers -- and the failure of others within the Democratic Party to call them out."While the President should not try to tell Jews which Jews are 'disloyal,'" said Rabbi Yaakov Menken, Managing Director of the CJV, "his concern is reasonable and not remotely anti-Semitic. The President appreciates that Jews naturally have Je...
A suspected terrorist attack was thwarted near the West Bank settlement of Ariel on Wednesday. According to Israel Security Forces, a female suspect carrying a knife aroused the suspicions of border patrol units stationed in the Ephraim regional council. The female suspect was taken into custody and is being questioned in a nearby facility. Read more at i24NEWS.
From Avenue J to Kings Highway, unusually low train overpasses coupled with inadequate warning signals, have become a common trap for trucks. The resulting chaos has long irritated area residents forced to cope with the resulting gridlock and debris. “These trucks are ripped open like sardine cans by the time they realize they are stuck,” explained Senator Felder, “and as a result, residents and commuters in all the surrounding areas suffer enormous traffic delays and congestion. This aggravation is a regular occurrence and it’s about time the City did something about it.” On Wednesday, August 14th, Senator Felder convened a meeting between NYC Department of Transportation and local elected officials. Brooklyn Bureau Commissioner, Keith Bray and Assemblyman E...
Monticello - Three children were struck by a vehicle on East Broadway in Monticello, Wednesday afternoon, one of them with serious injuries. Catskills Hatzolah requested a chopper to fly the badly injured child to a trauma center. The other two children were in stable condition, and were being transported by ground to another hospital. The cause of the incident is under investigation.
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An Illinois teenager is suing e-cigarette maker Juul and tobacco giant Philip Morris claiming the companies use illegal and deceptive marketing to prey on young people. The lawsuit was brought by Christian Foss, a 19 year old who states in the complaint he started “juuling” at the age of 16, and argues that Juul and Philip Morris are “mimicking Big Tobacco’s past marketing practices” to “market and advertise JUUL to youth and teenagers” so that they will become addicted to the nicotine in the product at an early age. E-cigarette use among U.S. middle and high school students jumped 900% from 2011 to 2015, according to an advisory from the surgeon general. Read more at ABC News.
The mother of a US citizen murdered in a Palestinian terrorist attack slammed Michigan Democratic Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib on Tuesday for her comments on Israeli security checkpoints, saying, “checkpoints prevent terrorism — save lives.” Frimet Roth, whose 15-year-old daughter Malki was killed in a Yerushalayim terror attack in 2001, cited Tlaib’s statement on checkpoints at a press conference following Israel’s decision to bar her from entering the country. A teary-eyed Tlaib recounted, “As a young girl, visiting Palestine to see my grandparents and extended family, I watched as my mother had to go through dehumanizing checkpoints — even though she was a United States citizen and proud American.” Roth tweeted in response, “Rep Tl...
President Trump called on other countries to take up the fight against ISIS on Wednesday, the day after his secretary of State acknowledged the terrorist group is regaining strength in certain areas. The president’s latest remarks come one day after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said there are places where ISIS is becoming powerful, despite Trump having repeatedly referred to the terrorist organization as “defeated.” Trump singled out Russia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Turkey as countries that should do more to combat the Islamic State. “The United States is 7,000 miles away,” Trump told reporters outside the White House. Read more at The Hill.
Israel is readying plans for a “forceful military strike against Hamas,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday. Speaking with reporters while visiting Ukraine, he was asked whether his government could properly deal with the threat posed by the Hamas terrorist organization ruling the Gaza Strip, just days after another escalation. “I am preparing a massive campaign; it will be different than anything we have seen before,” Netanyahu said. “I cannot elaborate on the preparations but we are properly positioned for such a scenario.” Netanyahu dismissed the claims made by Blue and White Party leader Benny Gantz that Israeli deterrence had been weakened. “That is just nonsense,” said the prime minister, “and in fact, Hamas has ...
Parsha Hashavua
Eikev: The Stranger, The Frightening Other and Our Broken Promise

Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,


The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.


Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, 


I lift my lamp beside the golden door!



- Emma Lazarus


 


It should come as no surprise that a Jew wrote the powerful words of exhortation and welcome engraved on the Statue of Liberty.  These words proclaim the noble potential of America with alarming clarity.  Millions have arrived in New York Harbor to be embraced by these words.  How frightening then is it to realize that we have come to a time in our American experiment when the tone and policy of our government makes mockery of the great promise of that mighty statue and the sacred power of Emma Lazarus’ words.


Rabbi Benjamin Blech, in his article, “The Mass Shootings-Tisha B’Av” posted on Aish.com, gives voice to just how distant we have come from the promise of Lazarus’ poem.  “The bloodbaths of mass murder are rooted in a veritable plague of hatred – hatred of other views, hatred of people who differ with us in any discernible way, hatred of anyone to whom we can attach a name or label that can be used to justify our loathing.  The very word civilized, implying civil discussions with respect for others who do not share our opinions, can no longer be used to describe a society in which disagreement is met not by tolerance but by total rejection and excommunication.


“Look at the social media… you will see the most vile, abhorrent and unfiltered mudslinging… the cruelest expressions…  Sinat chinam – baseless hatred – begins with words; it ends with the events of this past weekend.”


The hatred exhibited by the “crowd” (whether on social media or otherwise) is abhorrent; even more horrible is the hatred expressed, either explicitly or tacitly by silent acceptance, by our political, religious and communal leaders.  Strangers, those who are “not like us” are hated and maligned in the land where they were once welcomed.   As Jews, we cannot help but see in the rising level of hatred toward immigrants, Muslims, and people of color a corresponding rise in anti-Semitism.  As Malcolm Hoenlein put it in a recent Mishpacha interview, “It is a very dangerous trend. It’s rising in elementary schools, high schools, and colleges. We see it in communities, we see it in the media, we see it in entertainment, we see it in culture figures, we see it in boycotts of Israel by entertainers. It is manifest in many ways.”  


Yes, this hatred and anti-Semitism is manifest in so many ways, including in the halls of Congress?   We are once again, like so many others, “strangers in a land not theirs”.  Make no mistake, even if Jews are not the first target of hatred in America, we will be a target.  Hatred of the stranger inevitably becomes hatred of the Jew.


The cacophony of hatred rising all around us is exploding in horrific acts of violence.  The El Paso murderer had posted a manifesto expressing his hatred of Latinos and immigrants, his hatred of the “invasion” on our Southern border, rang loud and clear.


Should we as Jews fear being drawn into this climate of hate, of “otherness”?  


We would do well to remember that loving a ger, a stranger, is a mitzvah no different than observing Shabbat, eating kosher, giving charity.  It is, and must be, essential to our psyche and our behavior.  Every day we must remember our “otherness”, we must remember God who took us out of Mitzrayim.  God, who reveals Himself to us at Sinai with the words, I the Lord your God who took you out of Egypt.  


Why is it a mitzvah to love a ger? Why is it a mitzvah to remember how terrible it is to be a stranger?  Because in that mitzvah, in that remembering, we remember how much it hurt, how much it hurts, to be a stranger, to be considered “the other.”  And in remembering, we seek to remember others who are strangers, to lift them up from their sense of “otherness.”


In response to the horrific acts of violence this past week, the Coalition for Jewish Values, representing more than one thousand traditional rabbis in matters of public policy, called for the cultivation of a “renewed culture of life”.  


“We should all agree that the mentally ill should not have access to guns,” said Rabbi Steven Pruzansky, Eastern Regional Vice President of the CJV, “but we should also focus upon the loss of values which has plagued America for generations.”  In other words, we need to remember the stranger.


In Parshat Ekev, we are challenged with one of the most compelling – and counter-intuitive – obligations in all Torah.  “You too must befriend the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” (Deut. 10:19) This mitzvah appears thirty-six times (double chai!) in Torah.  We have heard it so often and referred to it so regularly that we often lose sight of its power and unsettling demand.  


We do so at our peril and diminishment.


Too often, we have neutered the demands of this mitzvah to fit our comfort rather than confront the profound – and gracious – imposition that it places upon us.  God has not commanded us to care for the stranger for our comfort but for his!  Listen to this command with fresh ears, with the ears of our ancestors, with the ears of a people and a world for whom communal identity was fundamental to self and existence.  This command tells us to go against everything that our human instincts and fears demand.  It tells us to see beyond the familiar and the safe and to see the shared fundamental goodness and holiness that God bestows upon all His creatures.


 


We Jews are hardly immune to the fear of those different than us.  Even those of us committed to keeping God’s commandments shirk this one.  Many observant Jews look at gerim with crossed eyes, avoiding any possibility of crossing paths with the ger.  “I have enough with our own.”  They view the ba’al teshuva with even greater scorn than they do the ger.  Who would want to marry into a ba’al teshuva family?  Who needs the hassle?  After all, “if you aren’t born with it, you can never catch up…”  Similar prejudices color our view of the divorced, the older, single person.  The widow.  And the OTD person?  Forget it!


And these are Jews!  Hardly strangers!


“You shall not wrong a stranger, nor oppress him; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 22:20). 


We are told to care for the stranger but to do so we must ask, who is the ger?  I posed this seemingly straightforward question to my son, Nathan.  His response spoke to the deep wisdom in God’s command.  “People think that the admonition not to mistreat gerim is a directive at a specific group of people who have unique circumstances that qualify them as ‘gerim’.  I think the directive is different.  I think anyone in any social situation can feel like a ger.  The new kid in class.  The new guy at the office.  In fact, in any social situation there is likely to be someone that feels like a ger—doesn’t have to be a new situation, it’s just the inevitability of a social dynamics.”


A ger is not just defined by physical realities; not defined by where he’s from or the color of his skin.  He is one whose place in life makes him feel like a ger!  


Even the one who is part of the community can sometimes feel like a stranger.  


This understanding brings a larger perspective to the mitzvah, encouraging us to look for the ger in every situation and respond supportively, it encourages us to see in the eyes of the estranged divorced men and women who have lost their home, Shabbos table, dignity, and confidence, that stranger that we were once in the land of Egypt!  It encourages us to see the humanity and beauty in those teens who have become estranged from their homes, yeshivas, shuls, and communities.  The OTD?  Gerim.  


The mitzvah commands us to treat the ger not with scorn but loving kindness, for we all experience pain and angst in the galut of our souls; none of us can be born redeemed.  It is only in our wandering and our wrestling with our lives and our experience that we appreciate redemption and the grace God affords us.  Without galut there is no grace and redemption.  


Without the ger there is no citizen.  


We were gerim in the land of Egypt.  Now they are gerim in their own mitzrayim (narrow, tight place).  They are boxed in.  Lost.  And God commands that we treat them with respect, loving kindness, decency.  God commands that we treat them in a way that makes clear that redemption is just ahead.


While it may seem “only human” to guard against the stranger, to fear the stranger, it is, in fact, because we are “only” human that God commands us to be more, to rise above our limitations, to remember our own pain and fear so that we can respond to the pain and fear of others.  


When we don’t… we see the results of when we allow our rhetoric and our emotions to express the limitations of our human natures.  We see it in images of a child injured when his mother shielded him and his father, shielding both.  We see it in the news that both mother and father were killed by the hateful terrorist in El Paso.  We see it in the murderous hate of the shooter in Dayton who, on a first date, showed video of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting to his new girlfriend.


Fear.  Hate.  Loathing.


Of the other. 


Strangers.


 According to some – civic leaders, religious leaders, educated men and women – they are criminals, rapists, gang members.  They are anything but human, anything but God’s creatures currently in the galut but in search of their coming redemption.


God does not accept our fear, our incendiary words, our hateful speech and behavior.  When we stood at the foot of Sinai, perhaps we had already forgotten the fear and shame of being gerim.  God demands that we remember, not for ourselves but for others who still feel those demeaning emotions even as we bask in the light of grace.


Who is the ger?


We all are.


Who is in galut?


We all are.


Who stands at the foot of Sinai?


We all do.  If we do not see that we must do so together then we are doomed to standing at the foot of Sinai painfully and horribly and tragically alone and apart, creating the otherness we so scorn.  

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Park Heights is closed before Strathmore coming from Fords Lane. There is a police line which includes the sidewalk. There are several trucks working there. Apparently a transformer exploded this morning. (There is no "road closed ahead" sign near Fords.)Please plan your drive and minyanim accordingly.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Monday that he would look into an alleged corruption saga that has reportedly been holding up the construction of a shul in the city of Uman for more than a decade. Zelensky’s remarks came during a meeting with Duvi Honig, founder and CEO of the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce, shortly before the president held his first-ever meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other top Israeli officials. The saga began more than 10 years ago, when Israeli businessman Yisrael Elhadad acquired a large parcel of land in Uman, near the grave of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, the founder of the Breslov Chassidic movement. He planned to build a massive Jewish center on the site, with a large shul and a mikvah. The need was great, he ...
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Sen. Bernie Sanders, who’s running for the Democratic nomination for president, responded to President Trump’s Tuesday remarks that Jewish Americans who vote for Democrats are showing a “lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.” “I am a proud Jewish person, and I have no concerns about voting Democratic,” Sanders said to a cheering crowd Tuesday night at a Sioux City, Iowa, rally. “And in fact, I intend to vote for a Jewish man to become the next president of the United States,” he added. Sanders’s comments come just hours after Trump told reporters, “I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat — I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.” Read more at The Hill.
Brooklyn - Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that an 18-year-old Queens man has been indicted for reckless manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, assault and other charges for killing a cyclist at a Midwood intersection when he allegedly sped through a steady red light and collided with an SUV, causing it to strike the victim who was waiting for the light to change. District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This tragic case illustrates the dangers faced by cyclists and pedestrians when drivers choose to recklessly ignore the rules of the road. I urge all motorists to obey the speed limit, follow all traffic laws and yield the right of way to those who share our streets. If they don’t, they might take a life in an instant – and face serious ...
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 A 30-year-old suspect in the July 28 synagogue shooting in Miami-Dade County has been arrested, the Miami-Dade Police Department reported on Tuesday night, Local10.com reports. The gunman, police officers identified as Carlints St. Louis, was in a black Chevrolet Impala when he stopped in front of Young Israel of North Miami Beach and fired his weapon. St. Louis, of Hallandale Beach, is a Hertz Rent A Car employee, and he was arrested at shopping mall in North Miami Beach, according to the arrest form. Yosef Lifshutz, 68, was approaching the shul when he was wounded. He tried to escape the gunfire, but he collapsed on the ground. Lifshutz was born in Rochester, New York, and is an active member of Young Israel of North Miami Beach. He has undergone 15 sur...
It has been widely disseminated over the last day that Rav Elya Brudny, rosh yeshiva of Mirrer Yeshiva of Brooklyn, has advised that while normative water-related activities are fine to engage in, other water sports, especially those that involve a modicum of danger, should be avoided, in light of the preponderance of water-related tragedies in the frum community this summer. Rav Brudny did not issue a halachic p’sakregarding this matter, but shared his personal feeling regarding the proper hanhagah of a Torah Jew. Matzav.com has reported no less than 8 drowning incidents over the course of the summer. In general, what are the parameters of engaging in sports and activities that involve some danger? Let’s take a look. The prevailing ...
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The measles outbreak spreading across the country has spiked to 1,200 confirmed cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). In an update Monday, the CDC confirmed that there have been 1,203 individual cases in 30 states as of Aug. 15, an increase of 21 cases from the previous week. Alaska and Ohio saw new cases for the first time early last month, bringing the total number of states affected by cases to 30, Reuters reported. The outbreak is on track to be the worst since 1992 and since measles was declared “eliminated” in the United States in 2000. Read more at The Hill.
Hatzolah of central Jersey responded to a call this morning in Jackson, NJ, for a toddler who was found unconscious in a pool. The incident occurred in the last hour. Hatzolah members found the two-year-old in cardiac arrest and immediately began performing life-saving measures. After recovering a pulse, the child was transported by ambulance to the hospital in critical condition. All are asked to daven for Chaim Refoel ben Batya.
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The building has been a landmark of our community, sitting on the busiest and most visible corner in Pikesville. You may have noticed some new signage, which confirms that the winds of change are moving through. Yes, the familiar yellow building on the corner of Reisterstown Road and Old Court Road is now under new ownership and management, with Shua Bier's Platinum Law Group, LLC as its most visible tenant.  There are a few vacancies for both suites and executive offices, with month-by-month pricing starting at just $450 per month for a private office (and use of the conference room and other shared amenities. The building has been a breeding ground for many young successful businesses in our community, with several successful businesses still occupying bigger spaces in the bui...
On Tuesday night, United Hatzalah’s Dispatch and Command center received an urgent call regarding a father and his three children who were lost in Nachal Sorek. The phone call came in from a “kosher” phone that does not have GPS tracking availability. According to the person who made the call the family members had gotten lost while on a bicycle trip through the wadi. The trail winds around the wadi which is located in the Lachish region. Due to the family being lost for a lengthy period of time, the caller told the dispatch that they had run out of water and food. The dispatcher immediately notified the closest responders all along the trail and the police. A united rescue operation was immediately undertaken. Volunteers from United Hatzalah together with volunteers fr...
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