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Be extra cautious driving and walking outside during the winter weather advisory period, according to the National Weather Service. Freezing rain in the forecast has prompted the National Weather Service to issue a winter weather advisory for northern and central Maryland. Drivers should expect slippery roads due to freezing rain mixed with sleet and snow Sunday afternoon through Monday morning, weather officials advised. Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Montgomery and Washington counties are under the advisory, which is in effect from 3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 17, to 3 a.m. on...
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PLEASE SHARE THIS URGENT TZEDAKA OPPORTUNITY WITH AT LEAST ONE PERSONURGENT TZEDAKA CAMPAIGN FOR BALTIMORE CHOLEH Goli is a single, quadriplegic woman in our community, who has not been able to move for over 30 years r"l. NOW SHE CAN’T EVEN SPEAK r"l! She needs YOUR help NOW! Please take a minute to read the heartfelt letter from Rabbi Hopfer and Rabbi Hauer below and make a generous tax deductible donation here.  If you'd like to donate with a check, please email   Every contribution makes a difference and is greatly appreciated.  Please also pass along to other community members or anyone else who might be able to help.  Thank you and Tizku L’Mitzvos! *Please daven for Golnaz R...
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Baltimore, MD - Feb. 6, 2019 - BGE will soon begin work on Reisterstown Road at Hooks Lane, near the north of the I-695 interchange, as part of BGE Electric Investments. The project will begin February 11 and be complete in late-April, weather permitting. BGE will begin underground electric utility work in the center of Reisterstown Road at Hooks Lane and will continue working 24 hours a day. BGE will close and detour that left-turn lane from southbound Reisterstown Road to eastbound Hooks Lane, and close one lane of northbound Reisterstown Road between the I-695 interchange and north of Hooks Lane. Around 55,000 vehicles travel on this section of MD 140 each day, motorists should plan extra travel time, BGE says. MDOT SHA will assist BGE by providing this detour route: Motorists trav...
Xinjiang, China - A Chinese surveillance firm is tracking the movements of more than 2.5 million people in the far-western Xinjiang region, according to a data leak flagged by a Dutch internet expert. An online database containing names, ID card numbers, birth dates and location data was left unprotected for months by Shenzhen-based facial-recognition technology company SenseNets Technology Ltd, according to Victor Gevers, co-founder of non-profit organization GDI.Foundation, who first noted the vulnerability in a series of social media posts last week. Exposed data also showed about 6.7 million location data points linked to the people which were gathered within 24 hours, tagged with descriptions such as “mosque”, “hotel,” “internet cafe” and other pl...
AURORA, Ill. (AP) — An initial background check failed to detect a felony conviction that should have barred the man who killed five co-workers and wounded six others at a suburban Chicago manufacturing plant from buying the gun. Months later, a second background check of Gary Martin found his 1995 aggravated assault conviction in Mississippi involving the stabbing of an ex-girlfriend. But it prompted only a letter stating his gun permit had been revoked and ordering him to turn over his firearm to police — raising questions about the state's enforcement to ensure those who lose their permits also turn over their weapons.  A vigil for the victims, including a university student on his first day as an intern and a longtime plant manager, was scheduled for S...
Police said the shooting occurred in the parking lot. LITHIA SPRINGS, Ga. — Douglasville Police said one person was killed in a shooting in the parking lot of a Walmart store. It happened at about 12:50 p.m. on Sunday afternoon at Thornton Road and Interstate 20, police said.  Investigators said they are working to determine the circumstances behind the shooting.
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Vienna - Austria’s chancellor has described parts of U.S. President Donald Trump’s foreign policy as “very successful” as he prepares to visit Washington this week. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz told Sunday’s edition of Austrian newspaper Die Presse one of the main aims of his visit is to help avert a trade war. On Saturday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said U.S. authorities appear to have concluded that European cars were a national security threat. Kurz is expected at the White House on Wednesday. He pointed to differences with Trump on trade and the Iran nuclear deal, but praised the president’s support for Israel and efforts to secure peace on the Korean Peninsula. The Austrian leader was quoted as saying “Trump is running, in part, a very a...
The Israeli army attacked two Hamas positions in the Gaza Strip on Sunday night after an IDF soldier was injured amid clashes along the volatile border. The Israeli soldier was said to have been hit by an improvised explosive thrown by Palestinians during the protests, the IDF said in a statement. The full extent of the soldiers injuries are not immediately clear but he has since been evacuated to the Barzilai Medical Center for treatment. Dozens of Palestinians were said to have gathered along the border where they “hurled explosive devices and rolled burning tires at IDF soldiers along the security fence,” the statement continued. Read more at i24NEWS.
Talk about dirty money. According to a recent report, the typical Manhattan ATM is more bacteria-ridden than a wide range of other heavily used objects, including a subway pole, an NYC Wi-Fi hub and the handle of a public toilet at Penn Station. Mike Brown of financial product marketplace LendEDU left the comfort of his Hoboken office on Jan. 4 armed with a Hygiena SystemSURE Plus — a handheld testing device that measures bacteria on a given surface — to test 20 different ATMs (split between Times Square and the West Village). The keypad, touch screen and card-reader of each cash machine was tested. He also tested nine other objects and surfaces in the city to see how they compared with ATMs. Predictably, the more heavily trafficked Midtown machines were also the dirtiest, ...
Parsha Hashavua
Parshas Tetzaveh - It Makes Scents!

A famous anomaly related to this week’s portion is the omission of Moshe’s name from the entire reading.

We are taught that this is due to Moshe after hearing from G-d, subsequent to the sin of the Golden Calf, that He intended to eradicate the entire nation saving only Moshe from whom a new nation would arise, that Moshe protested by stating, forgive their sin… if not, erase me now from Your book, which You have written.

Moshe was willing to forfeit his life and his accomplishments for the sake of his beloved nation. G-d retracted His decision permitting the nation to survive, but symbolically fulfilled Moshe’s request by omitting his name from this one portion.

Why though did G-d select this portion specifically from among many others to carry out Moshe’s entreaty?

G-d’s exact response to Moshe seems at odds with the tradition we have.

In His rejoinder to Moshe G-d tells him: whoever has sinned against Me, him I will erase from My book.

The reply seemed to be a total rejection of Moshe’s suggestion, with G-d seemingly asserting that only the deserving sinners will be erased from the Book of Life. There is no further dialogue reported regarding this issue.

The third Belzer Rebbe, Reb Yissocher Dov, offers a brilliant interpretation to resolve this dilemma.

Moshe sought to remove his fate from among those recorded in the Book of the Righteous rather than forsake his beloved flock. His intent was to be bonded and fated with them in the Book of the Wicked, if that’s what it took. G-d however had a better idea. Agreeing with Moshe in principle that they shall be entwined forever, but rather than Moshe being inscribed among the wicked, G-d will have them all etched among the destiny of the righteous with Moshe. When G-d states ‘whoever has sinned, him I will erase from My book’, He meant from the book of sinners, and be placed instead with Moshe among the righteous.

Where is the justice in this? How can sinners be given a pardon based simply on Moshe’s throwing down the gauntlet?

Until this juncture Moshe embodied all of Torah. The nation was expected to follow suit in abiding by all its laws. When they failed miserably at the Sin of the Golden Calf, it was over, a botched experiment. G-d therefore called for a new game plan, starting from scratch from Moshe alone. Moshe understood that this simply wasn’t viable, he couldn’t carry on without them as they were part and parcel of him. G-d, consented, but instructed them the deeper consequence of this reality. It was no longer a relationship of a teacher with a disciple, but rather an embodiment of Moshe by the people. The lessons of Torah would be taught through the lives, challenges and failures they would face and endure. It would be a process within each individual, who each possessed a ‘piece’ of Moshe that would have to come to fruition in the lives they lead and the manner they reacted. Every soul although inherently pure, would nevertheless have to struggle to discover its brilliance. G-d would never give up, for He knew that ultimately the collective ‘soul of Moshe’ would accomplish its task.

Moshe’s disappearance from our portion wasn’t a diminishing of his presence but rather the expression of his submersion within the ‘soul of the nation’ who by living its ideals would become the fullest manifestation of ‘Moshe’.

At the end of our portion the directive to construct the altar upon which the incense would be brought is recorded.

Weren’t, the vessels of the Mishkan, the Tabernacle, enumerated in the previous portion? Why is this listed here amongst and after the discussion of the priestly garments and the inaugural sacrifices?

The Midrash Tanchuma teaches that this altar and its service is distinct from all that preceded it.

Everything up until this point was implemented for man’s sake to serve, devote and grow spiritually in that experience atoning for one’s failures. It certainly was not to fulfill a ‘need’ of G-d’s as all is his and possessed by Him.

The fragrant incense, in distinction, was brought to bring joy to G-d, and display His personal satisfaction with his servants. It is thus placed separately at the very end.

Is this a ‘need’ that has to be filled? The one who ‘owns and governs all’ can’t possibly ‘need’ this.

The early commentaries point out that the word for incense, קטרת, is actually an acronym of the following words: ק-דושה, sanctity;ט-הרה , purity;ר-חמים, compassion;ת-קוה, hope.

How are these attributes and attitudes unique to the Incense?

In Israel, many schools have report cards with three categories of general comments assessing the child’s standing:מאוד  טוב-very good, טוב-good, and כמעט טוב-nearly good. A good humored teacher who had a particular student who was both greatly challenged and very challenging, added a fourth category,יהיה טוב-It will be good!

G-d wants to be in a state of joy, so that we may sense His love and appreciation.

The scent that rises up from the special formula unique to the Ketores, represent the inner essence of that which stems from the vaporized molecules, that which is invisible and ethereal. G-d acknowledges the inner essence of each our beings, our special souls, which strive towards closeness, even when externally it may not appear as such. G-d knows that we will each come to manifest that spark of Moshe that is bursting forth.

He senses and cherishes those who have reached sanctity, and even those who have only sloughed off impurity alone. His compassion understands the struggles of those who are still entrenched in contamination, trying to come clean. And even those who seemingly wander purposelessly, G-d still holds out hope that indeed, יהיה טוב, it will be good!

Although the incense represents the personal and private joy of G-d, yet that fragrance cannot be kept private, as it envelopes every space way beyond the Alter of Incense. It is intentionally so, because it is that pervading presence of G-d that our ‘Moshe Souls’ can connect to wherever we may discover it, wherever we find ourselves.

May we each make ‘scents’ out of the myriad of opportunities that come our way in manifesting new lessons in Torah and Avodah, in the spirit of Moshe, our very essence and soul.


צבי יהודה טייכמאן

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A new warning about the health risks of eating browned potatoes and burnt toast draws a link between a chemical called acrylamide and an increased risk of cancer. The warning comes from the United Kingdom's Food Standards Agency, which launched a campaign on Jan. 23 called "Go for Gold" that's aimed at reducing the amount of acrylamide that people eat. The name refers to the golden color people should aim for when cooking starchy foods, instead of cooking further, to the point of reaching a darker brown color. But what is acrylamide, and how much of a health risk does it pose? [10 Do's and Don'ts to Reduce Your Risk of Cancer] Acrylamide is a chemical that can be formed in starchy foods when they're cooked at very high temperatures — for example,...
Question #1: Stuffing a Pillow “My pillow is torn, and some of the filling has fallen out. May I restuff it on Shabbos?” Question #2: Stitches “Does stitching a wound closed involve a Torah prohibition on Shabbos? Question #3: Miscellaneous What do these questions have to do with one another? Introduction Among the 39 melachos of Shabbos, we find several sets of pairs, including tying and untying, writing and erasing, building and razing, and kindling and extinguishing. One of the sets is tofeir and korei’a, sewing and tearing. Of this pair, korei’a usually gets more coverage in practical halacha, because it involves many common questions such as opening packaging and tearing toilet paper. So that tofeir does not feel left out, the aim of this article i...
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BOSTON — Here’s one way to predict your heart health: get down and give me 41. A new study finds that men who can perform at least 40 push-ups in one attempt are much less likely to suffer from heart disease within the next 10 years. Researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public health say their report is the first to show how push-up capacity is linked to heart disease. They found that middle-aged men who can log more than 40 push-ups in a single try have a 96% reduced risk of developing the potentially deadly condition and other related ailments, such as heart failure, compared to those who can complete no more than 10 push-ups. For their study, the authors reviewed health data from 1,104 active male firefighters taken annually from 2000 to 2010. At the ...
Following the government's in camera testimony before the High Court of Justice, Regavim's recent petition regarding the "Smugglers' Route" connecting Har Hebron and Yatta to the Arad Valley – running right through an IDF training ground – was denied. At the same time, Chief Justice Esther Hayut determined that enforcement procedures began only as a result of Regavim's petition, and required the government to pay all legal expenses for the case. After hearing arguments regarding an illegal road paved by the Palestinian Authority through an IDF training ground in the heart of the Judean Desert, the High Court of Justice's decision, handed down late last week, noted that no enforcement action had been taken against this road - which poses a serious threa...
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Fatah breakaway group in the Gaza Strip claimed its members have intercepted a shipment of military boots equipped with “secret electronic tracking chips,” that were on their way to market, according to a Palestinian news source. The shipment of suspicious shoes that came through the Kerem Shalom crossing was sent by the breakaway group to Hamas to examine. Some Palestinian online news sources claimed Hamas said Israel was behind the shipment and was trying to spy on members of the “Palestinian resistance.”  Read more at JPost
Friday on MSNBC’s “All In,” Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) called on Americans to protest across the country to send President Donald Trump a message that his declaration of a national emergency on the U.S.-Mexico border is “fake.” Waters said, “I really expect we’re going to have a growing number of Republicans that are going to join with us in this disapproval. Yes, they’re concerned if a Democratic president gets elected then they can use emergency powers to do a lot of the things they don’t like. As you know, they don’t believe in climate change. They don’t want us to talk about Medicare for all or any of those subjects they think we’ll spend too much government money, even though they’ve created the la...
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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Kerry Adamowicz hoped that a meeting with Hartford Yard Goats officials might lead to a few peanut-free days or maybe a peanut-free section at the Double-A baseball team’s stadium, so her son and other children with food allergies could enjoy a game. The team decided to go a bit further. The Double-A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies announced this month it is going completely peanut free — no more peanuts, Cracker Jack or any other food that could put kids with the potentially deadly peanut allergy in anaphylactic shock. “Everyone wants their kids to be kids and be part of the group,” said Adamowiz, whose 2-year-old, Sam, has a severe peanut allergy. “Our biggest worry is would he even be able to go to a game? Now we know, stre...
Baltimore, MD - Feb. 17, 2019 - The condition of the Rebbe, shlita, turned extremely critical and he is now on a respirator. The family is at his bedside. The Rebbe, shlita, is one of the oldest Gedolim worldwide. Please be Misapllel for Yisroel Avrohom ben Shaina Rochel. You can join Tehillim here.
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Explosive device thrown at IDF soldiers on Gaza border, leaving one moderately injured. IDF tanks open fire on Hamas positions in response. An IDF soldier was injured after an explosive device detonated near the Gaza border Sunday evening as hundreds of Arab rioters attack Israeli forces stationed along the frontier. Hundreds of Arab rioters hurled rocks and explosive devices at IDF soldiers along the border separating Israel and the northern Gaza Strip Sunday evening. “Over the last hour, a violent riot was instigated in the northern Gaza Strip, during which dozens of rioters hurled explosive devices and rolled burning tires at IDF soldiers and the security fence,” an IDF spokesperson said. Initial reports say the bomb in question was hurled at the soldier along the ...
Israel Police have arrested nine more suspects on Sunday and detained two others on suspicion of being involved in the bribe affair within the Health Ministry. The investigation revealed on Monday brought to light the suspicion that the health inspector received bribes in exchange for granting permits to businesses in Tel Aviv. The police suspect that the inspector had for years received bribes from dozens of business owners ranging between 3,000 to 4,000 NIS each time a business received a business license and confirmation that it met the sanitary conditions of the Ministry of Health. Read more at Arutz Sheva.
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