ספירת העומר : 3 - היום שלשה ימים לעומר
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Baltimore, MD – Apr. 23, 2019 - It was a cloudy/sunny/cloudy/drizzly morning at Pimlico Race Course as Baltimore's Jewish community members joined together for the 37th year to burn their chametz in preparation for the first Pesach Seder. The Chesed Fund & Project Ezra orchestrated and cover the cost of this event  in memory of  Harry A. & Lillian Frid, a”h. This annual event, created and still carefully supervised by Dr. Bert Miller, was held at the Pimlico Race Course Clubhouse Parking Lot, from 6:30 – 11:30 a.m. and a Baltimore City Po...
Baltimore, MD – Apr. 23, 2019 - It is with sadness that BaltimoreJewishLife.com informs the community of the petirah of  Mrs. Ruth Taubman, a’h, mother Mrs. Maleah Spinell. The levaya will take place at 2:30 pm on Wednesday, April 24 at Levinsons.  Shiva will be observed at 3413 Midfield Road beginning Motzaei Shabbos, April 27, through Friday morning. Bila HaMaves LaNetzach...
Baltimore, MD -  Apr. 23, 2019 - BJL wishes a hearty Mazel Tov to Dova Boyars & Jake Adler on the birth of a son יה"ר שיזכו לגדל בנם לתורה, לחופה, ולמעשים טובים. אמן!
Baltimore, MD – Apr. 23, 2019 - It is with sadness that BaltimoreJewishLife.com informs the community of the petirah of  Royal Rockman, z’l, beloved father of Pam (Neil) Weissman. The levaya will take place tomorrow, Wednesday, April 24 at 1:00pm at Congregation B'nai Tikvah in North Brunswick, NJ. Shiva will be observed in Baltimore at the home of Neil & Pam Weissman (7802 Crossland Rod) on Motzaei Shabbos, Apr. 27, and on Monday 4/29 after 2pm. Shiva concludes on Friday morning.  (Pam will be sitting shiva in New Jersey on Sunday and Monday morning) Bila HaMaves LaNetzach...
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Baltimore, MD - Apr. 9, 2019 - Reposted upon popular request:Baltimore, MD - April 14, 2015 - 24 Nissan - The following bracha is said only once a year, during the month of Nisan, on fruit trees in blossom. Baruch ato Ado...Elo...Melech haolam shelo chisar b’olamo klum u’vara vo b’riyos tovos v’elanos tovim l’hanos bahem b’nay adam. The G’ra in his siddur substitutes the word davar instead of klum. The ideal time to recite the bracha on ilanos/trees is during the month of Nissan, however, once the buds fall out and the fruits emerge, it is too late to recite the bracha.This year Nissan 5779, the last day of Nissan will be May 5 – a relatively late day. Depending on the upcoming weather, by the end of Ni...
Baltimore, MD, April 23, 2019 — In response to the horrific suicide bombings targeting Christians and tourists in Sri Lanka, Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld, Vice President of the Coalition for Jewish Values, made the following statement: It only adds to the pain of this atrocity that something as obvious as ‘evil is bad’ needs to be said. Violence against civilians is abhorrent in all cases, under all circumstances, and hate crimes have no place in civilized society.   [NB: The above statement is precisely the same as that made last month by Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer, Chairman of the Rabbinic Circle, following the shootings at mosques in New Zealand. This was a deliberate choice, reflecting the same abhorrence towards all such acts found in the statement itself.] The Coal...
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Baltimore, MD – Apr. 23, 2019 - It is with sadness that BaltimoreJewishLife.com informs the community of the petirah of Rhoda Resnick, a’h, beloved sister of Eleanor (Milton) Marder. Shiva will be observed beginning Motzei Shabbos, Apr. 27 at 7313 Park Heights Ave, apt 101 Hours as follows Sun 1:00-5:00p Mon-Fri 3:00-5:00p Bila HaMaves LaNetzach...
Environmental activists have attempted to step up pressure on Israel over its use of plastics– which contrary to global efforts to curb such usage– rose by double-digits since May 2015. Israel is the second largest consumer of disposable tableware per capita, just behind the United States at number one. Nearly half of Israel’s plastics are bought for the Yomim Tovim. Israelis also ranked as the least likely out of all surveyed to say climate change is a major threat to their nation, with only 38% believing climate change was a major threat and over half of respondents in Israel (58%) saying climate change is a minor threat or not a threat at all. Read more at i24NEWS.
Colombo - Devastating Easter bombings in Sri Lanka were retaliation for attacks on mosques in New Zealand, a Sri Lankan official said on Tuesday, as Islamic State claimed responsibility for the coordinated blasts that killed 321 people. Islamic State’s claim, issued on its AMAQ news agency, came shortly after Sri Lanka said two domestic Islamist groups, with suspected links to foreign militants, were believed to have been behind the attacks at three churches and four hotels, which wounded about 500 people. Islamic State gave no evidence for its claim. The government has said at least seven suicide bombers were involved. “The initial investigation has revealed that this was in retaliation for the New Zealand mosque attack,” junior minister for defense Ruwan Wijewardene ...
Jerusalem - Yad Vashem, Israel’s national Holocaust Remembrance Center, on Monday hosted a ceremony posthumously honoring Jantje and Johannes Krijl from Holland as Righteous Among the Nations. Sandra Krijl, the granddaughter of the rescuers, was presented with the award. The “Righteous Among the Nations” designation is a title bestowed upon gentiles who rescued Jews during the Holocaust. Israel has recognized over 27,000 such individuals, 5669 of whom are from Holland. Holocaust survivor Gershon Eisenmann and his family, Narkisa Jamenfeld, the wife of the late Mechel Jamenfeld, representative of the Dutch embassy in Israel Theresa Yunger and members of the Commission for the Designations of the Righteous Among the Nations committee were present at the special event. Ja...
Parsha Hashavua
Pesach 5779 -The Seder "What's It All About?"

Nirtzah: Not Just the closing Ceremonies


There are two major concepts which form the driving force of the Hagaddah and the Seder in general.  First, is the Chiyuv Sipur Yitzias Mitraim,  and the second is that one must feel as if he himself is being taken out of  Mitzraim on the night of Pesach, as discussed more fully in the Hagaddah.


With these two concepts being the principal themes, how then does the final part of the Seder, Nirtzah, fit into this framework?  These intriguing, yet seemingly unrelated songs, raise a significant question as to exactly what role they play in the Seder and by extension, the Yom Tov of Pesach. 


On a simplistic level one could answer their function is similar to that of the Afikoman and Mah Nishtana - to heighten the interest and enjoyment of the Seder for the children.  However, upon more careful analysis, it becomes clear that not only are these songs in tune with the  Hagaddah’s two major ideas, but are actually an intrinsic and indispensable part of these very concepts.


Upon reflection, it is easy to understand why Sipur Yitzias Mitraim  is an appropriate topic for Pesach night.  However, it is not as easy to understand why we are obligated to feel as if we ourselves were redeemed on the night of Pesach.  An insight into this quandary will also clarify how Nirtzah fits into the Seder.


The reason for the  Chiyuv Sipur Yitzias Mitzrayim  is not to teach us history, nor even to train us in gratitude.  This requirement comes to emphasize the character of the Pesach season - a time of year especially designated as a time for Geulah.  The Gemarah in Rosh Hashana (11b) says that just as the Geulah from Mitzrayim occurred in Nissan so too will the eventual Geulah from present day galus take place in Nissan.  For this reason the Hagaddah stresses this point - the obligation to feel as if we ourselves are going out - to illustrate that the same potential for redemption which came to fruition with Yitzias Mitzraim, exists every Pesach.  Thus the potential for Geulah from present day Galus is at its highest during this time.  With this explanation we can also understand what function the songs of Nirtzah have in the Seder


In the first poem,  Vayehi Bachatzi Halayla, an extensive list is composed of many past great things that Hashem has done in the midst of the night.  Only one future event is added to this list - Hashem’s eventual bringing of Moshiach.  Similarly, in Ki Lo Naeh, a list of adjectives ranging from distinguished and glorious to mighty and merciful are used to describe Hashem.  Yet again, in this song the Haggadah slips in “that he is truly the redeemer.”  Obviously, if the Haggadah felt it necessary to squeeze these lines in, then they are of major significance.  This becomes clear in  Adir Hu, which is nothing short of an all out appeal for the Geulah.    Adir Hu                                             takes all the descriptions used in the previous songs and follows each one with “May he soon and speedily rebuild his house in our days.”   This is the central theme throughout Nirtzah. 


However, just as Yitzias Mitraim  was not possible before Bnei Yisroel performed the Mitzvos of  Karban Pesach and Bris Milah, so too today’s Geulah cannot come before our total acceptance of Hashem’s dominion over the world.  This is where Echad Mi Yodeah  and  Chad Gad Ya fit in.  In Echad Mi Yodeah, we list the building blocks that the Jewish world is built upon - the basic necessities for all of Judaism.  Finally in Chad Gad Ya we are taught the single most important lesson - that of humility.  The idea that everything and everyone has something above him/her and therefore we must reflect on all of our actions, as we alone are accountable for them.  In concluding Chad Gad Ya, the final connection is made to Geulah with the slaughtering of the Malach Hamaves.   The Gemmarah in Succah (52a) says that at the time of the Geulah, Hashem will take the Satan (The same entity as the Malach Hamaves - Baba Basra 16a) and slaughter it.


Thus we understand how the progression of Nirtzah mirrors the link between Yitzias Mitzraim and the Geula Ha’asida.  This interpretation adds a significant aspect to our Seder.  Not only are we celebrating the Geulah from Mitzraim but we are also injecting the necessary elements for the eventual Geulah from galus today.  May we be Zoche to capitalize on the potential for geula present this Pesach and share next year in Yerushalayim.



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New York - Americans are becoming increasingly sedentary, spending almost a third of their waking hours sitting down, and computer use is partly to blame, a new study found. Over almost a decade, average daily sitting time increased by roughly an hour, to about eight hours for U.S. teens and almost 6 1/2 hours for adults, according to the researchers. That includes school and work hours, but leisure-time computer use among all ages increased too. By 2016, at least half of American kids and adults spent an hour or more of leisure time daily using computers. The biggest increase was among the oldest adults: 15% of retirement-aged adults reported using computers that often in 2003-04, soaring to more than half in 2015-16. Most Americans of all ages watched TV or videos for at least two hou...
Washington - The White House is planning to release its long-awaited Middle East peace plan in the next few months. White House senior adviser Jared Kushner said Tuesday that it would be unveiled sometime after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which this year ends on June 4. Kushner, speaking at a conference sponsored by Time Magazine, said the plan was originally poised to be released earlier this year but was delayed after elections were called in Israel. Kushner, who is President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, would not discuss any details of the plan, including whether it would endorse a two-state solution for Israel and the Palestinians. The peace proposal has been in the works for two years and the process has been greeted with skepticism both on Capitol Hill and in global cap...
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New York - Kohl’s wants you to skip the post office and bring your Amazon returns to its stores. The department store chain says it will accept Amazon returns at all its 1,150 stores starting in July. Kohl’s has been testing Amazon returns at 100 stores for nearly two years and sees the service as a way to get people in its doors and potentially buy something while they’re there. Shares of Kohl’s Corp. soared 8% after the announcement. Those with Amazon returns don’t need to pack them up. Kohl’s says it will box items and ship them out for customers.
New York - Sales of new U.S. single-family homes jumped to a near 1-1/2-year high in March, boosted by lower mortgage rates and house prices. The Commerce Department said on Tuesday new home sales increased 4.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 692,000 units last month, the highest level since November 2017. It was the third straight monthly increase in new home sales. February’s sales pace was revised down to 662,000 units from the previously reported 667,000 units. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast new home sales, which account for about 11.7 percent of housing market sales, decreasing 2.5 percent to a pace of 650,000 units in March. New home sales are drawn from permits and tend to be volatile on a month-to-month basis. They increased 3.0 percent from a y...
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New York -  Eyeing that can of soda in the supermarket cooler? Or maybe you’re craving a pint of ice cream? A camera could be watching you. But it’s not there to see if you’re stealing. These cameras want to get to know you and what you’re buying. It’s a new technology being trotted out to retailers, where cameras try to guess your age, gender or mood as you walk by. The intent is to use the information to show you targeted real-time ads on in-store video screens. Companies are pitching retailers to bring the technology into their physical stores as a way to better compete with online rivals like Amazon that are already armed with troves of information on their customers and their buying habits. With store cameras, you may not even realize you are bei...
Washington - The largest firefighters union is preparing to formally endorse Joe Biden’s expected presidential run this week, with group leaders saying they will be “investing” heavily in the former vice president’s anticipated bid. The board of the International Association of Fire Fighters will meet this week to vote on the endorsement. They plan to announce it publicly early next week, if Biden jumps in the race as planned. IAFF represents 316,000 full-time firefighters across the U.S. Harold A. Schaitberger, the union’s general president, said the group will help Biden raise money. It will also launch an outside group that is expected to be able to raise and spend unlimited sums supporting his candidacy. “I always remind everyone that we are every...
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The S&P 500 headed for a record close on Tuesday as Wall Street cheered stronger-than-expected quarterly profits from some of the largest publicly traded U.S. companies. The broad index traded 0.8% higher at 2,932.09, above an all-time closing high of 2,930.75 set on Sept. 20. It was still below its intraday record of 2,940.91. Tuesday’s move toward an all-time closing high comes less than six months after a sharp decline in late December, which led the S&P 500 to its worst annual performance since 2008. But stocks quickly turned around as the Federal Reserve reversed course on monetary policy while the tone around U.S.-China trade talks improved. “These market levels are justified,” said Kevin Barry, chief investment officer at Captrust Advisors...
PA leader Mahmoud Abbas’ second in command, Fatah Vice Chairman Mahmoud Aloul, said on Monday that if the peace process remains on its current course the PA will cease its security cooperation with Israel and retract its recognition of the Jewish state. “The leadership is preparing to retract its recognition of Israel and cease its security cooperation with the occupation forces,” Aloul said during an interview with the Shehab news agency on Monday, April 22. Aloul placed the blamed for the state of the peace process squarely on the United States, saying, “The American administration has decided to escalate the situation in the region following the transfer of the US Embassy to Jerusalem, and is actively encouraging the Israeli settlement enterprise. Now Israel is...
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Sen. Bernie Sanders argued Monday that all prisoners, including domestic terrorists such as the Boston Marathon bomber, should have the right to vote while they are incarcerated. “If somebody commits a serious crime, assault, murder, they’re going to be punished,” Sanders said. “They may be in jail for 10 years, 20 years, 50 years, their whole lives. That’s what happens when you commit a serious crime.” “But I think the right to vote is inherent to our democracy,” he continued. “Yes, even for terrible people, because once you start chipping away … you’re running down a slippery slope. … I do believe that even if they are in jail, they’re paying their price to society, but that should not take away their inher...
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu pledge to build a new community named after US President Donald Trump on the Golan Heights in gratitude for the president’s recognition of Israel’s sovereignty on the strategically important territory. During a family visit to the Golan Heights, Netanyahu said that “all Israelis were deeply moved when President Trump made his historic decision to recognize Israel’s sovereignty on the Golan Heights.” “Therefore, after the Passover holiday, I intend to bring to the government a resolution calling for a new community on the Golan Heights named after President Donald J. Trump.” Read more at Arutz Sheva.
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