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Baltimore, MD – Nov. 26, 2021 - BJL wishes a hearty Mazel Tov to Mr. And Mrs. Daniel Bortz on the birth of a son. יה"ר שיזכו לגדל בנם לתורה, לחופה, ולמעשים טובים. אמן!
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Covid has been challenging for everyone.  It has been especially difficult for Goli. Goli Balakhani is a single, quadriplegic woman in our community, who has not been able to move for over 30 years. A few years ago, Goli lost her ability to speak.  She is confined to a bed and on a ventilator - an excruciatingly difficult situation to be in.  And then came Covid and very limited visitation, exacerbating her already painful isolation. Because of the past support from our wonderful community and others, we were able to hire an exceptional part-time aide for her who has helped offset her suffering tremendously.  Funds for this important need are almost depleted.  Please help us continue to provide Goli with this critical care. She needs YOUR help NOW! Please take...
The Weekly Shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmas my father, Reuven Pinchas ben Chaim Yaakov, a"h. The Weekly Shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmas my Oma, Chaya Sara bas Zecharia Chaim, a"h. When Tamar sends to Yehudah to inform him that she is pregnant from him, the pasuk states (38:25) "And she sent to her father-in-law saying by the man to whom these are, I am pregnant. And she said 'Please recognize to whom these belong.'" The gemara (Sotah 10b) learns from here that it is better for one to have himself thrown in a burning fire than to embarrass his friend, from the fact that Tamar did not say outright that she is pregnant with his child and was willing to face death if Yehudah was not prepared to face the embar...
A group of nearly 200 state legislators from 30 states on Thursday sent a letter to President Joe Biden demanding he rescind his vaccine mandates, calling them “unconstitutional,” Newxmax reports. The letter, obtained by Newsmax, is written by Rep. Stewart Jones, R-S.C., Rep. Tatum Lee, R-Kansas, and Rep. Josiah Magnuson, R-S.C. Jones said that “as State legislators, we took oaths to defend the Constitution of our state and of our country. We are thankful to live in the freest country in the world and we intend to keep it that way.” The lawmakers said: “We demand that Biden and the federal government leave people alone,” adding, “we cannot and will not stand by while Americans are being forced to choose between a jab and a job. No one ...
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As the Thanksgiving shopping season kicks off this weekend, consumers will find prices higher than they’ve been in months. That’s particularly true at Amazon, which has raised prices faster than rivals, according to Profitero, an e-commerce data analytics company that tracks more that 20,000 popular items across several large online retailers. Amazon’s prices on those items grew 7.5 percent in October, compared with the same month a year ago. Walmart’s prices in comparison grew 3.1 percent and Target’s grew 3.6 percent for the same items over that period. Amazon – the dominant online retailer with more than 41 percent of e-commerce, according to eMarketer – also plays a huge role in influencing prices across the Web. The phenomenon, which econom...
Carmakers slashed production. PlayStations got harder to find in stores. Broadband providers faced monthslong delays for internet routers. All of these phenomena and more had a similar cause: an abrupt and cascading shortage of semiconductors. Also known as integrated circuits or more commonly just chips, they may be the tiniest yet most exacting product ever manufactured on a global scale. The combination of cost and difficulty in producing them has fostered a worldwide reliance on two Asian powerhouses – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) and South Korea’s Samsung Electronics. That dependence was brought into stark relief when the Covid-19 pandemic and rising U.S.-China tensions made chips scarce. Hundreds of billions of dollars will be spent in the coming years in...
The United States will restrict travel from South Africa and seven other countries starting Monday over concerns of a ‘heavily mutated’ COVID-19 variant, senior administration officials told Fox News.  The Biden administration will follow advice from Dr. Anthony Fauci and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and restrict travel from several African nations following the identification of variant B.1.1.529, which appears to be highly contagious among young people.  The World Health Organization (WHO) identified the variant as a "variant of concern" that officials first noted in South Africa.  The variant has been identified in Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi as well.  Abou...
The announcement of a COVID-19 variant called B.1.1529 this week by scientists in South Africa, where it was first detected, has sent governments and financial markets around the world reeling. The World Health Organization (WHO) held an emergency meeting on Friday, where it designated the new strain, which it called omicron, a "variant of concern," or VOC, a label applied when a particular strain is especially virulent, transmissible or able to defeat public health measures. The Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered its worst single-day drop of the year, plummeting more than 900 points. And multiple nations quickly imposed travel restrictions as the omicron variant was also detected in Israel, Hong Kong, Botswana and Belgium. Infectious disease exper...
Parsha Hashavua
Parshas Vayeishev - Encrypted Messages

The Weekly Shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmas my father, Reuven Pinchas ben Chaim Yaakov, a"h.


The Weekly Shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmas my Oma, Chaya Sara bas Zecharia Chaim, a"h.


When Tamar sends to Yehudah to inform him that she is pregnant from him, the pasuk states (38:25) "And she sent to her father-in-law saying by the man to whom these are, I am pregnant. And she said 'Please recognize to whom these belong.'" The gemara (Sotah 10b) learns from here that it is better for one to have himself thrown in a burning fire than to embarrass his friend, from the fact that Tamar did not say outright that she is pregnant with his child and was willing to face death if Yehudah was not prepared to face the embarrassment that such a story would cause.


Mahari"l Diskin is bothered by two points. First, considering the exact form of the message, it does not leave much to figure out that Yehudah is the father. She specifically sent to Yehuda that the father is the owner of these items, and please recognize to whom they belong. That makes it quite obvious. Why would she be begging Yehudah to recognize them if not that she knew that they belonged to him? Second, the word vatomer in the middle of the pasuk seems superfluous.


He answers that Tamar put together a very clever plan. She sent two messengers. With the first she simply sent a message "by the man to whom these are, I am pregnant," without sending the actual items. Then she sent a second messenger with the items and a message "please recognize to whom these belong." This explains the appearance of the word vatomer in the middle, introducing the message she sent with the second messenger. Also, this way, neither of the two messengers could figure out on his own that it is Yehudah who is the father. Only Yehudah could figure it out and thus, she succeeded in saving him from embarrassment. 


Have a good Shabbos and a Chanukah Samei'ach!

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The first case of a new, highly mutated coronavirus variant that first emerged in South Africa was detected in Israel on Friday, the Health Ministry announced, a development that experts have been fearing. The person was identified as an Israeli who had returned from Malawi. The ministry said two others were suspected of also being infected with the new strain, currently known by its scientific name B.1.1.529, and were awaiting final test results. All three were vaccinated, the ministry said, adding that their inoculation details were still being verified. Following the announcement, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s office said he would hold a discussion Friday afternoon with Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz and experts.
 Top U.S. infectious disease official Anthony Fauci said on Friday that a ban on flights from southern Africa was a possibility and the United States was rushing to gather data on the new COVID-19 variant. No decision to halt flights had yet been made, he said. The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, said White House officials were discussing potential travel restrictions on southern African countries. Those officials were expected to meet with agency officials this afternoon to make a recommendation, the newspaper said, without specifying which agency. The White House referred to Fauci's earlier comments when asked about the report and declined further comment. Global authorities have reacted with alarm to the new variant, detected in South Africa, w...
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The World Health Organization (WHO) announced Friday that it would classify the new B.1.1.529 COVID-19 strain as a "variant of concern," and labeled it with the Greek letter "omicron." In a news release, the organization said that the independent Technical Advisory Group on SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution (TAG-VE) had been convened to assess the "variant of concern."  
Five Jewish students are suing the government of the state of Victoria in Australia alleging they faced years of anti-Semitic harassment and bullying at a Melbourne high school. According to Sky News Australia, the plaintiffs claim that as students of Brighton Secondary College they had to endure a “prison culture” on school property, including being held at knife point, spat at, pushed down stairs and punched while the school did little to nothing to stop the behavior. The human rights case is being heard by a federal court and involves the potential violation of the Australian Racial Discrimination Act and negligence. They are also suing the school’s former principal and two teachers. The five Jewish students allege that between 2013 and 2020 they were “su...
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EMTs and Psychotrauma and Crisis Unit Responders Perform Successful CPR while simultaneously treating a woman in emotional distress Haifa- On Wednesday night at around 10:30 p.m., after an 88-year-old man suffered a cardiac arrest in his bedroom on Ramban Street in Haifa, a group of United Hatzalah volunteers rushed over to his house to save him.  Three of the United Hatzalah volunteer EMTs who responded to the incident, Miry Brach, Liat Anaf, and Devory Tolovitch, were driving back to their homes after finishing an ambulance shift when they were alerted to the emergency. They turned around and drove straight to the address without a moment’s hesitation. An additional United Hatzalah ambulance as well as two other EMTs were also in the area, so they too rushed to the scene. Al...
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"Shalom Sivan, my name is Yakir. I am 26 years old and I run a photography business with my partner, Meor. After the Meron tragedy we felt that we had to do something. Just as we were, in jeans and T-shirts, we went to visit the Englander family, a Chasidic family from Jerusalem that lost two of its children: 14-year-old Moshe and 9-year-old Yehoshua.We met there the father, Rabbi Yizchak, who was extremely moved that we came, and he said that we gave him strength. When we parted, he told us that the nation of Israel does not need to come together only when disasters happen, but also on happy occasions. I remembered well this beautiful thought.Suddenly, this week, I was taken by surprise upon receiving a message that a son had been born to the Englander family.  Rabbi Yitzchak reminde...
Shmuel Imergrin, father of Aharon Imergen, who was sustained serious injuries in the terror attack near the Western Wall earlier this week, spoke with Arutz Sheva about the improvement in his son's condition. Aharon was evacuated from the scene of the attack in serious condition, and though his condition has improved somewhat since then, he is still hospitalized. "His condition has improved and stabilized, and he is no longer in danger," Shmuel Imergrin said of his son. "We hope that on Sunday, he will be moved out of the ICU and into a regular ward. G-d has helped, and the process of improvement has been quick. He is still facing a long period of rehabilitation which will not be easy, and we will make it through that as well." Imergrin admitted that even now, h...
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Driving a car on Shabbos is not recommended, to say the least. But, if we are honest with ourselves, we will admit that cars have been very helpful for us – Jews – on Shabbos. Let me explain. Especially since the advent of tinted windows, parked cars have become a beacon for a Jewish man’s shul physical appearance. When you walk to shul on Shabbos, and you slow down as you pass each and every parked car, just admit that you were not looking through the window to see if the owner left coffee in the cupholder, but rather, you were looking at the window to see yourself; to fix your hair, to adjust your tie, and to check out your newly tailored suit!   It is human nature that when we are in the scope of the public eye, we want to look good. And the truth of the matter i...
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett issued a special statement to the media regarding the new strain of COVID-19. "We are at an alarming point today. About two weeks ago we held an exercise to prepare for a new strain, a scenario that has already come true. This new strain is extremely concerning." Bennett said. The Israeli government has announced a series of steps to stop the spread of the new COVID-19 variant in Israel, a statement from the Prime Minister's Office said. The new variant arrived in Israel Thursday night. So far, only one case has been verified, but two other individuals are waiting for the results of their COVID-19 test's genetic sequencing. As of Friday afternoon, the decisions - which followed an urgent meeting called by Prime Mini...
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