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NICOSIA, CYPRUS (AP) – Cypriot police have confiscated a van reportedly loaded with sophisticated surveillance equipment and have questioned its Israeli owner following media reports that the vehicle was being hired out to spy on people. Police said Saturday that officers also searched the office of the Israeli’s Cyprus-registered company that’s being investigated on possible violations of privacy rights laws. Police chief Kypros Michaelides told private radio station Astra that authorities are also questioning the Larnaca-based company’s other Cypriot shareholders an...
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Baltimore, MD - Nov. 11, 2019 - Imagine walking into one of the wonderful Baltimore Yeshivos and finding 5 empty classrooms, classrooms filled with desks and chairs just waiting to be filled with smiling children. Thanks to you, the Baltimore Community, the Yeshiva classrooms are filled!  Your support of Bonei Olam has resulted in 100 Baltimore babies being born in the last 10 years; enough to fill 5 classrooms!                                                                &...
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Baltimore, MD - Nov. 14, 2019 - The idea to open Laniado Hospital (aka Sanz Medical Center) was actually conceptualized during the Holocaust in 1944. The voluntary, not-for-profit hospital in Kiryat Sanz, Israel - that serves a regional population of over 500,000 in Netanya and the Sharon plain - came into fruition because of a vow made by the-then-39-year-old scion of the famous Sanz rabbinic dynasty, Rabbi Yekusiel Yehuda Halberstam, the first Klausenberger Rebbe. Video by Avi Dear - Direction/Artwork by MalkaDesign Surviving his wife and 11 children who, r”l,  were among those who perished in Auschwitz, Rabbi Halberstam faced death while on a forced 20 kilometer/day (~12.5 mile/day) march from Warsaw to the infamous Dachau death camp in the scorching August sun. Not able ...
NEW YORK (AP) – Many older American adults may inaccurately estimate their chances for developing dementia and do useless things to prevent it, new research suggests. Almost half of adults surveyed believed they were likely to develop dementia. The results suggest many didn’t understand the connection between physical health and brain health and how racial differences can affect dementia risk. Substantial numbers of people who rated their health as fair or poor thought their dementia chances were low. At the same time, many who said they were in excellent health said they were likely to develop the memory robbing disease. Many said they tried at least one of four unproven memory-protecting methods, including taking supplements like fish oil and ginkgo. The most popular strat...
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has stunned Republicans again, narrowly winning a second term Saturday as the Deep South’s only Democratic governor and handing Donald Trump another gubernatorial loss this year. In the heart of Trump country, the moderate Edwards cobbled together enough cross-party support with his focus on bipartisan, state-specific issues to defeat Republican businessman Eddie Rispone. Coming after a defeat in the Kentucky governor’s race and sizable losses in Virginia’s legislative races, the Louisiana result seems certain to rattle Republicans as they head into the 2020 presidential election. Trump fought to return the seat to the GOP, making three trips to Louisiana to rally against Edwards. The president’s inten...
AVENTURA, FL (AP) – Florida authorities say a woman died when her SUV was hit by a high-speed train at a railroad crossing. Authorities told news outlets that a woman was driving a Mercedes SUV Friday afternoon near the suburb of Aventura and was trying to cross the tracks when a Brightline train struck her. She was pronounced dead at the scene, but her name has not been released. Federal Railroad Administration records show that 11 people were killed by Brightline high-speed trains between Jan. 1 and May 31. Media reports show at least eight more deaths since then. Brightline connects Miami and West Palm Beach.
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LAS VEGAS (AP) - Former Vice President Joe Biden brought an alarmist warning to a diverse crowd of Democrats late Saturday in early-caucus Nevada during a town hall at an elementary school in a historically minority Las Vegas neighborhood. Biden opened the event saying that as long as Donald Trump is president, the security and future of the United States is at risk. “As long as he’s there, everything we care about as a nation, and the issues we care about, are in the balance,” Biden said. Trump state campaign chief Adam Laxalt responded that voters in 2020 will reject Biden and the Democratic “extremist liberal vision for America” and “choose freedom and economic growth instead.” With fewer than 100 days before Nevada Democratic party caucuses...
Hong Kong (AP) – A Hong Kong police officer was hit in the leg by an arrow and protesters set an overhead footbridge on fire Sunday as they fought to keep police using tear gas and water cannons from advancing on their university campus stronghold. Police said the arrow struck a media liaison officer in the calf and he was taken to a hospital. Photos on the department’s Facebook page show the arrow sticking out of the back of the officer’s leg through his pants. As riot police moved in from all sides, some protesters retreated inside Hong Kong Polytechnic University while others set fires on bridges leading to it. A huge blaze burned along much of a long footbridge that connects a train station to the campus over the approach to the Cross-Harbour Tunnel, a major road u...
WASHINGTON (VINnews) – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Iran as the one behind the latest round of Israeli-Gaza violence. In a tweet Saturday, Pompeo wrote “Iran uses its terrorist proxy Palestinian Islamic Jihad to strike our great ally Israel. Iran does not want peace in the region. It does not want the Palestinian people to prosper. It wants more conflict. Until we address Iran’s threats, the cycle of violence will continue,” Pompeo tweeted. It’s actions proves that international pressure is needed to curb Tehran’s aggression, he said. “The way forward is clear: continued pressure until Iran negotiates a comprehensive agreement that includes halting its support to terror groups like PIJ. Nations around the world can no longer claim t...
WASHINGTON (VINnews) – President Donald Trump is frustrated with Israel’s ongoing political deadlock, and has spoken negatively about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. According to a report today by Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot, Trump has decided to distance himself from Prime Minister Netanyahu after his failure to secure a clear victory in the April 9 elections and form a government, despite the assistance Israel’s leader received from the president. “The president doesn’t like losers,” the newspaper citing White House sources. “Americans are discouraged and frustrated by Israeli politics and the current political crisis, which has prevented the White House from unveiling the political part of the deal of the century,” referring to t...
Parsha Hashavua
Parshas Vayeira - Multi-Tasking

“Now the Lord appeared to him in the plains of Mamre, and he was sitting at the entrance of the tent when the day was hot. And he lifted his eyes and saw, and behold, three men were standing beside him, and he saw, and he ran toward them from the entrance of the tent, and he prostrated himself to the ground.” (Genesis 18:1-2)


Avraham, just a few days post-circumcision, waits outside his tent eager to find guests to invite into his home. The Ish Ha’Chessed, this man who embodies kindness and selflessness, cannot focus on his own pain and discomfort, rather he seeks to transcend his personal circumstances in an effort to give to others. Alas, there are no guests to be found. It is hot and all have sought shelter from the blistering sun. God summons three angels and Avraham runs to greet them. But these angels are not simply sent to allow Avraham to fulfill the mitzvah of hachnosas orchim (hospitality); they each have a mission. One angel is sent to announce the birth of Yitzchak, another to heal Avraham and one to destroy the city of Sodom. Why couldn’t God simply send one angel to accomplish all three tasks?  Rashi explains, “for one angel cannot perform multiple tasks.”


The Lubavitcher Rebbe (Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, 1902-1994) makes a subtle, yet profound observation. Herein lies the fundamental distinction between man and angel. An angel can only do one thing. An angel can only have one mission and when it finishes that mission, its existence is complete. An angel can’t pivot or change. An angel can’t decide to do something different than the intended purpose for which it was created. “One angel cannot perform multiple tasks or agencies” – why? Because angels are incapable of transformation. Their existence, while exalted and holy, is one-dimensional and limited. But we can change, we can pivot. We can embark down one path in life and upon realizing that it is incorrect can change course. We can make mistakes and then correct them. We can begin one task then choose to do and to be something else. Angels are holy but we are even holier.


There are times when we realize that something is broken or flawed within us. I know that there are things I must change, but I soothe myself with the excuse of “this is who I am.” From the words of the Rebbe we see that only angels can use that excuse, man cannot. Angels can say “this is who I am” for they are truly limited, one-dimensional beings who can only perform the particular task for which they were created. But we can be who we choose to be. We can change, transform, reinvent, and remake. Unlike angels we must face adversity and challenge and at times as a result of our life difficulties we become hardened and resistant to change. Let us remember, God had to send three angels to accomplish three distinct tasks, yet one Avraham Avinu was able to effect so much change all on his own.


The power of change is an awesome gift, may we find the courage and strength to use it wisely.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Likud lawmakers during an emergency conference call on Saturday that the Blue and White party intends to form a minority government supported by the Arab parties, something he said would be an “unprecedented disaster” for the State of Israel. “We know for a fact” Blue and White’s leaders have already agreed on a minority government with the Joint List, said Netanyahu, according to a report in Haaretz. Blue and White leader Benny Gantz has only until Nov. 20 to form a government, after which he must return the mandate to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin. “[Going for another] election is a disaster, but setting up a government that depends on the Arab parties is an even bigger disaster. It’s a historic...
The Dutch government has allocated $2.56 million for the maintenance and restoration of Jewish cemeteries in the Netherlands, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported on Saturday. Culture Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven announced the funding last week in a letter to the lower house of parliament. “Jewish cemeteries are one of the only remnants of Dutch Jewish culture, which was largely destroyed from 1940 to 1945,” the Organization of Jewish Communities of the Netherlands (NIK) said in a statement . “The forgotten cemeteries will be maintained for the next five years thanks to the new funds,” said NIK.
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The United States and South Korea have postponed joint air drills scheduled to take this month in an attempt to save a faltering dialogue process with North Korea, officials announced Sunday. North Korea said that cancellation of the exercises would be seen as a positive gesture by President Trump to preserve the momentum of negotiations, but threatened “shocking punishment” if the United States went ahead with a “hostile provocation.” Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper announced the postponement of the exercises at a news conference alongside his South Korean counterpart, Jeong Kyeong-doo, on the sidelines of a regional meeting in Bangkok, news agencies reported. “I don’t see this as a concession. I see this as a good-faith effort … to enable pea...
The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) set out on a mission last week in response to the escalation of violence in the Gaza region to equip some 500 first response volunteers with protective vests among other objectives. On Wednesday, a number of those vests were delivered to United Hatzalah volunteer first responders in the region. United Hatzalah Chapter Head of Sderot and the Sha’ar HaNegev region, Nehorai Darshan thanked the IFCJ for their assistance in protecting the first responders who drop everything to go out and save lives even under fire. “The protective vests that the IFCJ donated to us will allow a larger number of our first responders to be active when there is a threat of rocket fire. All of the volunteers in Sderot and the Sha’ar HaNeg...
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Impeachment inquiry is turning into a waste of our times.
Jewish institutions in Italy reported on Friday that the catastrophic flooding in Venice had impacted many of the city’s sites of Jewish interest, including the historic ghetto quarter. The flooding, which began on Tuesday night, toppled trees and caused some damage at the Jewish cemeteries on the Lido island. It left the main square of the historic ghetto — the Ghetto Nuovo — under water, but did not appear to have caused damage to the historic synagogues, located on upper floors of ghetto buildings, or the Jewish community’s library and archives, according to the Jewish Heritage Europe website. The Venice Jewish Museum closed temporarily on Wednesday and posted on its Facebook page a dramatic picture of the flooded Ghetto Nuovo. It indicated that there had been ...
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Israel‘s military said on Friday it was investigating “harm caused to civilians” from an air strike it carried out in Gaza that Palestinian medics said killed eight members of one family including five children. It was the deadliest incident in two days of hostilities between Israel and the Palestinian terrorist group Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip earlier this week. Islamic Jihad and Israel declared a halt to fighting across Gaza on Thursday but a lasting ceasefire appeared tenuous as they differed on terms. The flare-up was triggered by Israel’s killing early Tuesday morning of Iran-backed Islamic Jihad’s top Gaza commander, having deemed him an imminent threat. Islamic Jihad responded with a barrage of hundreds of rockets into Israel, forcing entire com...
Baltimore, MD – Nov. 17, 2019 - It is with sadness that BaltimoreJewishLife.com informs the community of the petirah of  Dr. Stanley Joel Gelber, z'l; beloved husband of Mrs. Gwen Gelber (nee Pazornick); dear father of Rabbi Yisroel Jason (Avigail) Gelber and Mrs. Zelda Wendy (Michael) Engles; cherished brother of the late Alan Gelber, z’l; loving brother-in-law of Marvin and Mindy Pazornick; adored grandfather of Malkiel, Baruch, Chaim, Zahava, Pinchas, Yosef, and Aaron Gelber, and Shaindel, Shalom, Yehudah, Moshe, and Chaya Engles. The levayah will take place at Levinson’s on Monday, November 18, at 9 am. Kevurah at Swinicher Woliner Benevolent Society, 6700 Bowleys Lane. Shiva will be observed at 8902 Greylock Road, Pikesville, MD 21208. Minyanim times t...
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Baltimore, MD - Nov. 16, 2019 - Six Baltimore Chaverim units came to the rescue of a couple whose car, house and work keys fell in to a sewer drain in the Greenspring Shopping Center.  It took them all of 5 minutes to accomplish their goal. The Baltimore Chaverim organization is built by individuals who want to positively contribute to our community, with skill they are taught and equipment they are provided.  They cannot continue to support the ever-growing community without more volunteers.  If everyone does a little, Chaverim can continue to do a lot.  Please do not only consider calling Chaverim in your time of need, call Chaverim now to volunteer, in others’ time of need. Applications are available online at www.chaverimofbaltimore.o...
All are asked to daven for a refuah sheleimah for Rebbetzin Gittel Kaplan of Yerushalayim, who is in need of rachamei Shomayim. Rebbetzin Kaplan is the wife of Rav Nissan Kaplan, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Daas Aharon and former longtime R”M at Yeshivas Mir Yerushalayim. Rebbetzin Kaplan is a daughter of Rav Avrohom Gurwicz, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Bais Yosef of Gateshead. Her name for Tehillim is Gittel bas Sarah.
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