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Candle lighting for this Friday, September 20th - Parshas Ki Savo - is 6:49pm. The 19-20 calendar reflects the correct time.
Mazal Tov !!Batsheva and Josh Zaslow with the birth of a son!
Mazal Tov to Mrs. Elana Frand on the engagement of her daughter, Chava to Yaakov Merkin, son of Rabbi and Mrs. Simmy Merkin of Silver Spring.
ccording to Channel 13, 97.6% of the votes from Tuesday's elections have already been counted, Blue and White stands at 33 seats and Likud at 31 seats, with Blue and White leading by a narrow margin. It is important to note that these are still not the final results.Overnight, the committee was counting the near quarter of a million soldiers' votes cast by Israeli soldiers. The Central Election Committee (CEC) has been updating its website since the close of the polls at 10 p.m. on Tuesday. The last update was at 10:40 a.m. on Thursday: 4,354,991 votes had been counted – or 68.11% of the ballots cast.  The current official results according to the CEC (with mandates/seats according to Channel 13):Blue and White: 25.92% (33)Likud: 25.14% (31)The ...
Mrs. Elaine Tuchman is sitting shiva for her brother Harav Elimelech Bluth A"H. Shiva information is as follows: 606 E. 2nd Street, Brooklyn NY through Sunday afternoon (9/22/19) Her cell number is 917-453-5789. On Sunday evening she will return to Baltimore and sit shiva on Monday from 9:30 AM to 9:30 PM 6210 Park Heights Avenue # 404 (Strathmore Towers). End of Shiva is Tuesday morning. May the family have a nechama.
[Editor’s note: As a memory of my beloved brother Shaya, I would like to continue sending out his pearls of wisdom that he has shared with all of you in the past. For some of you this may ring a bell and for others it may appear to be totally new. May the learning of Shaya’s Divrei Torah inspire us to change our ways and thereby give an Aliya to the neshama of our dear beloved Shaya whom we miss so much. A special thank you to Aaron Friedman for always looking over the divrei torah.] Parshas Ki Savo begins with the Mitzva of Bikurim [bringing the first fruits to the Beis Hamikdash], followed shortly thereafter by the terrible curses that occur if we don't fulfill Hashem’s Mitzvos. The close proximity of the curses to...
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Blessing on Everything; Travel Stories 1) “Chayav adam l’vareich al ha’raah k’sheim sh’mevareich al hatov.” Perek 26, pasuk 11, “V’samachta b’chol hatov asher nasan Hashem Elokecha l’beisecha”.  A beautiful pasuk.  You should rejoice in all the good that G-d has given you and your family.  Gra brings down, there’s a gemara in Berachos 14a that says, “Chayav adam l’vareich al ha’raah k’sheim sh’mevareich al hatov."  You have to thank Hashem or make a blessing on bad just like he makes a blessing on good as well.  This is a very famous gemara.  A lot of people question what does it mean?  How do we understand it?  The greater the bad that befalls a ...
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has successfully nixed any chance for a unity government. In order to achieve this, he is operating a three-stage campaign.  The first stage was to ensure that the right-wing bloc was behind him. Namely, bring the members of his outgoing coalition into line. He has effectively prevented them from going to Benny Gantz – whose Blue and White party appears to have won more seats than Netanyahu's Likud - behind his back. The second stage was to lay blame on Gantz for any parliamentary crisis they may arise when no new coalition is achieved and the need for a third round of elections within a year is raised. Netanyahu on Thursday issued an urgent call through an online video for Gantz to meet and agree on a national unity government. Gan...
The biblical kingdom of Edom has always been a significant puzzle for biblical archaeology. Although evidence is supplied in the Bible, the archaeological record has always had trouble interpreting the text, which said that it existed as a kingdom long before the kings of Israel.But research has uncovered the untold story of a thriving and wealthy society in the Arava Desert – in parts of Israel and Jordan – that existed during the 12th-11th centuries BCE. “Using technological evolution as a proxy for social processes, we were able to identify and characterize the emergence of the biblical kingdom of Edom,” explained Tel Aviv University’s Prof. Ezra Ben-Yosef, who led the study with Prof. Tom Levy of the University of California, San Diego. “Our re...
Parsha Hashavua
Parshas Ki Savo: Going Great? Appreciate!

[Editor’s note: As a memory of my beloved brother Shaya, I would like to continue sending out his pearls of wisdom that he has shared with all of you in the past. For some of you this may ring a bell and for others it may appear to be totally new. May the learning of Shaya’s Divrei Torah inspire us to change our ways and thereby give an Aliya to the neshama of our dear beloved Shaya whom we miss so much. A special thank you to Aaron Friedman for always looking over the divrei torah.]


Parshas Ki Savo begins with the Mitzva of Bikurim [bringing the first fruits to the Beis Hamikdash], followed shortly thereafter by the terrible curses that occur if we don't fulfill Hashem’s Mitzvos. The close proximity of the curses to Mitzvas Bikurim in the Torah begs us to ask what is the connection between them.


The Medrash gives an analogy: There was a king who saved a girl who was being beaten by robbers. He rescued her, brought her to his palace, and married her. He wanted to have a loving relationship with her, but she refused to talk to him or even thank him for all that he did for her. So the king put her back into the dangerous environment amongst the robbers and then she started crying and pleading to be saved. That was exactly what the king was waiting to hear.


Similarly, Hashem saves us from our enemies and gives us land, peace, security, and comforts. And then we forget about Him and think that our peace and security is due to our own wisdom and strengths. So in order to wake us up, He brings about painful afflictions, like pogroms, crusades, holocausts, and ‘natural’ disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes and droughts.


Now we can understand the importance of the Mitzva of Bikurim. After entering Eretz Yisrael, we won our wars, settled our land with comfort and security, and are now harvesting our first crop of delicious and profitable fruit. The bringing of these first fruits to the Beis Hamikdash is our way of recognizing and admitting that all of our accomplishments are gifts from Hashem. It is our way of reminding ourselves not to fall prey to thoughts of ‘kochee viotzem yadee…,' that it is our strength that grants us success. Hence, when we don’t bring the Bikurim, we are are falling prey to the philosophy that 'it is our strength that has enabled our success, and that we don’t need Hashem.' Thus, what comes next are the terrible curses of the tochacha, that rip us away from our homeland and from our tranquility, to wake us up to remember that it’s NOT our military strength and wisdom that enables our success.


What about nowadays, when we don’t have the Beis Hamikdash and cannot bring Bikurim? How can we rectify this sin? How can we repent and show Hashem that we have realized the fallacy of these Hashkafos? 


The answer is Tefilah. We daven three times each day in place of the Mitzva of Bikurim, to recognize and acknowledge that all that we have is from Hashem. Yes, we do our hishtadlus, but ultimately, it is our recognition that it’s all from Hashem that grants us our stability and tranquility. That is the purpose of Tefilla three times every day. Sometimes it inconveniences us in our busy work schedules, but perhaps the point is to wake us up and remind us that all our work is just a mere Hishtadlus. Although there are wicked people who are wealthy and there are righteous people who suffer, ultimately, it is this fundamental principle that will grant us serenity and true happiness.


The Avos, who established the three tefilos (shacharis, minchah, and ma'ariv) did not do so while in obvious danger or terrible times. On the contrary, they established davening during the relatively peaceful moments of their lives. This demonstrates to us that it is this type of davening that is most important. When we are in trouble it’s very easy and obvious to daven, as ‘there are no atheists in a foxhole.’ The real challenge is when things are going just fine. Do we pride ourselves on our own talents, or do we have gratitude to Hashem and give credit where credit is due? As Rav Yerucham Levovitz says, 'people think we have to daven when there is a crisis, and if there are no crises then we are okay. In truth, it’s just the opposite we have crises BECAUSE we aren’t davening properly.'


Let us all try to daven properly and sincerely, thanking Hashem when things are going well; before the next health issue comes up, before the next storm hits, before the next bomb blows up, before the next crisis occurs. In that way, we will do our share in rectifying the sin of not bringing the Bikurim [and of not keeping the Shmitah and Yovel years, which involve this same fallacy]. Instead of all the curses listed in this week’s Parsha, we will G-d willing merit all the wonderful blessings that come when we fulfill His wishes.  

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologized Wednesday night soon after a 2001 photo emerged in a Time magazine report showing him wearing brownface makeup to an “Arabian Nights” party at the private school where he was teaching. "I should have known better," Trudeau told reporters. The photo showed Trudeau, then the 29-year-old son of the late former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, donning a white turban and robes, one arm around the neck of a woman and the other grabbing her hand. Trudeau’s face, neck and hands have been darkened significantly. The photograph is from the 2000-01 yearbook of the private day school where Trudeau was teaching, West Point Grey Academy. Vancouver businessman Michael Adamson gave the photo to Time. He was a member ...
President Donald Trump on Wednesday named Robert O’Brien, who has served as the U.S. hostage negotiator, as his new national security adviser, replacing the ousted John Bolton. “I am pleased to announce that I will name Robert C. O’Brien, currently serving as the very successful Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs at the State Department, as our new National Security Advisor,” Trump said in a tweet. “I have worked long & hard with Robert. He will do a great job!” O’Brien, who becomes Trump’s fourth national security adviser, was boosted by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, with whom he had worked on a number of hostage cases. Inside the Trump administration, O’Brien was viewed as the “safest option” at a time...
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Leader of the Yisrael Beiteinu party Avigdor Lieberman, who according to exit polls will play the kingmaker in the coalition negotiations following Israel’s Tuesday elections, said that he would accept only one outcome — a national unity government. The exit polls show that Lieberman’s secular-nationalist party has won 8-10 seats in the next Knesset, with the right-wing Likud and centrist Blue and White parties essentially tied at around 30 seats and the right-religious and center-left blocs hovering around 55 seats, giving neither side a working majority without him. Lieberman addressed his supporters Tuesday night and appeared to flex his muscles, saying, “There is only one option: a broad liberal government made up of the Likud, Blue and White and Yisrael Beite...
Hillary Clinton accused President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., of “abdicating their responsibility” on election security during a pointed speech Tuesday in which she also took aim at Trump for his repeated claims about voter fraud. In a speech delivered at a conference in Washington, the Democratic Party’s 2016 presidential nominee applauded the Democratic-led House for passing legislation designed to strengthen election systems in the wake of Russian interference. Clinton then slammed “Mitch McConnell’s Senate” for not acting on the legislation, which would authorize more than $600 million to update voting equipment to comply with new standards, including requirements that devoting machines produce a paper record, st...
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has cancelled his planned trip next week to New York where he was to address the UN General Assembly. Netanyahu had been set to deliver one of his signature setpiece speeches to the world body, and was intending to meet on the sidelines of the gathering with US President Donald Trump. Israeli Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz will speak in Netanyahu’s place. According to Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot, the reason for Netanyahu’s decision was political. The prime minister does not want to be abroad next week when Israeli President Reuven Rivlin receives the official results of Tuesday’s election. Immediately after getting the final vote tally, Rivlin will task an MK with forming a government. Netanyahu is currently fighting for his ...
A Palestinian woman was shot and killed by an Israeli guard when she threatened soldiers with a knife at the Qalandia checkpoint outside Jerusalem early Wednesday morning. Entering a car lane on foot, the woman, who was in her 50s, aroused the suspicion of the guards, who called out to her to stop. According to police, the woman did not heed their warnings, instead pulling out a knife. “As a result of this, a shot was fired at her leg, and she was injured,” said the police in a statement. Video of the incident circulated on social media, showing the woman being shot, after which a guard quickly kicks away the knife as three other officers draw weapons and begin to secure the area. She was evacuated to Hadassah Mount Scopus Hospital in Jerusalem, where she was pronounced de...
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Speaker Nancy Pelosi is voicing optimism about Democrats’ chances heading into the 2020 elections, predicting Tuesday that the party will keep the House, retake the presidency and “hopefully” flip the Senate. Speaking with CNBC’s Jim Cramer, Pelosi said if her forecasts came to fruition, Democrats would have majorities in 2021 to shore up the Affordable Care Act, which President Trump and GOP leaders have fought for years to dismantle. “When we win – I anticipate that we will win the House, and hopefully win the Senate and certainly win the White House — but in the course of all of that, let’s use our energy to have health care for all Americans,” Pelosi said in the interview that aired Tuesday evening. Read more at The Hill.
According to official results released by Israel’s Central Elections Committee, with 90% of the ballots counted Blue and White maintains a slight lead over the Likud, with neither bloc clearly positioned to form a majority coalition. Blue and White: 32Likud: 31Joint List: 13Yisrael Beytenu: 9Shas: 9United Torah Judaism: 8Yamina: 7Labor: 6Democratic Camp: 5—-Right-wing, religious bloc: 55Left-wing, secular bloc: 52Arab parties: 13
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Mordechai ben David paid a visit to the gadol hador, Rav Chaim Kanievsky, at his Bnei Brak home yesterday. Mordechai met with Rav Chaim at his home on Rechov Rashbam to receive his brocha ahead of Rosh Hashanah and the yemei hadin. Rav Chaim’s grandson, who serves as his gabbai, explained to Rav Chaim that Mordechai is “mesameiach harbeh anashim” (makes many people happy [through his music]). Rav Chaim responded with a brocha of “kesivah vachasimah tovah” and then “ah gut yohr” (a good year). Rav Chaim often responds to people with “Buha” (short for brocha v’hatzlacha), but this time chose the longer formulation of kesivah vachasimah tovah and ah gut yoh...
The ADL is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a group of men who beat and robbed an Orthodox Jew in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, on Tuesday. The attack was caught on video, which shows an Orthodox man walking alone at night who is then set upon by several men. They begin beating him and pursue him as he flees. The attackers apparently demanded the victim’s belongings before attacking him. The incident was only the latest in a series of such assaults against identifiably Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn. Statistics show a serious rise in antisemitic hate crimes in New York City. The ADL announced its reward in a press release, and its New York and New Jersey regional director, Evan R. Bernstein, said, “The video footage of this violent enco...
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