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Baltimore, MD - Dec. 5, 2019 - On Sunday evening, December 1st, an audience of over 300 gathered at Ner Tamid Congregation to memorialize Mr. Max Jacob, z'l. Slovie Jungreis Wolf spoke about maintaining our emunah in the face of rising anti-Semitism and Rabbi Yisrael Motzen and Max's son, Dr. Elliot Jacob spoke about the lasting impact of Max Jacob on the Baltimore Jewish community. One of the highlights of the evening was a reading of the winning essay on a city-wide essay contest. Middle and high school-aged students were invited to describe what the Holocaust means to them in 20...
Parshas Vayeitzei - Baltimore Zmanim / Eruv is UP! Baltimore, MD – Dec. 6, 2019 Parshas:  Vayeitzei Today:    8 Kislev       Chatzos today: 11:58 AM Hadlakas Nairos: 4:25 PM Shkiah:                 4:43:11 PM Tzais HaKochavim:  5:34 PM     Kiddush Levanah: Friday night, Nov. 29, 11:57 PM – Wed., Dec. 11, 6:19 PM Kiddush Levanah may only be said at night
SHTULA, Israel (AP) — A year after uncovering a network of cross-border Hezbollah tunnels, the Israeli military says the Lebanese militant group has beefed up its presence along the volatile frontier. Military officials say that neither the destruction of the tunnels, nor Hezbollah’s recent domestic problems, have weakened the group’s desire to prepare for renewed conflict with Israel. “We have a very serious enemy,” said Col. Roy Levy, the military’s Northern Border Brigade commander, during a tour of the area Thursday. He said the group’s main focus is to entrench itself along the border area and “plan to attack us.” Israel and Hezbollah fought a monthlong war in 2006 that ended in a U.N.-brokered cease-fire. While direct fighting ...
LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday his country has the “full right” to annex the Jordan Valley, despite a warning from the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor against the move. Netanyahu said his proposal to annex the strategic part of the occupied West Bank was discussed during a late-night meeting in Lisbon, Portugal with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. In a report Thursday, the ICC’s chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, said her office was following “with concern” the Israeli proposal. But Netanyahu told reporters it was Israel’s “full right to do so, if we choose so.” Netanyahu also said that during his meeting with Pompeo they agreed to move forward with plans for ...
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Thursday touted her $5 billion plan to fund tuition for private school students, telling a room of supportive parents and lobbyists that it would improve the quality of education. DeVos praised Arizona’s devotion to school choice programs that provide public funding for private and charter schools. “Arizona is a real leader in giving parents and students the kind of freedom that they need to find their right fit for education, and I’m so grateful for the example that you are setting here,” DeVos said, seated next to Republican Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on the sidelines of a conference of conservative legislators. DeVos is pushing her plan to create “Education Freedom Scholarships” al...
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration on Thursday accused Iranian security forces of killing more than 1,000 people in crackdowns against recent protests that have swept the country. That figure is significantly higher than previously estimated death tolls from human rights groups and others, and the administration did not present documentary evidence to back up the claim. Brian Hook, the U.S. special representative for Iran, said the tally is based on a variety of reports coming out of Iran as well as intelligence analyses. In one incident in southwest Iran, Hook said the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps had mowed down at least 100 people with machine-gun fire. He said the U.S. had received and reviewed video of that incident in the city of Mahshahr. That video was one of t...
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MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin offered Thursday to immediately extend the only remaining nuclear arms reduction pact with the United States, but a senior U.S. official said Washington wants a broader deal involving China. Speaking at a meeting with military officials, Putin said that Russia has repeatedly offered the U.S. to extend the New START treaty that expires in 2021 but that it hasn’t heard back. “Russia is ready to extend the New START treaty immediately, before the year’s end and without any preconditions,” he said. The pact, which was signed in 2010 by U.S. President Barack Obama and then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, limits each country to no more than 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads and 700 deployed missiles and bombers. The...
Former Vice President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that he would consider choosing Sen. Kamala Harris as a running mate after she dropped out of the presidential race on Tuesday. “Of course I would,” Biden told reporters. “Sen. Harris has the capacity to be anything she wants to be. I mean it sincerely.” “She is solid. She can be president someday herself. She can be the vice president. She can go on to be a Supreme Court justice. She can be an attorney general. She has enormous capability,” he continued. Read more at The Hill.
(CNN) As the number of measles cases continued to soar, more than 140,000 people across the globe died from measles last year, according to a new report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization. Most deaths were among children younger than 5, according to WHO. The number of deaths last year was an increase from the estimated 110,000 measles-related deaths that occurred in 2017, based on WHO data. The new report, released on Thursday, was based on public health data from the WHO, CDC and the United Nations Children's Fund. Even though the global numbers of measles cases and deaths have declined in two decades, there is more work needed before the measles viruses can be eliminated worldwide. "I'm not...
WASHINGTON (AP) — Just get on with it. After months of fighting the House impeachment inquiry, blocking witnesses and ignoring subpoenas, the White House is now publicly embracing a strategy it has privately signaled for weeks: It will accept the reality that President Donald Trump will likely be impeached by the House and focus instead on a made-for-TV trial on friendlier turf in the Republican-controlled Senate. Democrats, Trump tweeted Thursday, ”have gone crazy. Therefore I say, if you are going to impeach me, do it now, fast, so we can have a fair…. trial in the Senate, and so that our Country can get back to business.” It was a message that came even before Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi stood before cameras and announced that House committees would draft...
Parsha Hashavua
Parshas Vayeitzei: It’s the Emotion That Counts

Throughout the saga of our forefathers and their families there are many moments depicting powerful emotions.


The joyous laughter of Avraham and Sarah. The expressed ‘love’ of Yitzchok for Rivkah, and their love for their children. The ‘trembling’ fear of Yitzchok when discovering Yaakov having preempted Esav. The ‘flaring anger’ of Yaakov when Rachel demands of him children. The anguished ‘cries’ of Yosef and his brothers throughout their ordeal.


In each of these instances although our sages reveal deeper layers to their emotions, yet the פשוטו של מקרא, the simple reading of the text, speaks for itself.


Avraham and Sarah thrilled over the news they would have a child. Yitzchock met his ‘bashert’ and sensed a genuine love. He and Rivkah infused love in their children. Yaakov was upset with Rachel’s expectation of him. Yosef relived the pain of his distance from them, and they cried upon reuniting.


Yet when Yaakov emotionally reacts to his finding Rachel, it is unclear what exactly he is emoting over.


Then Yaakov kissed Rachel; and he raised his voice and wept. (בראשית כט יא)


The Midrash describes this kiss as a ‘kiss of closeness’, a loving expression of a pure and platonic connection Yaakov sensed upon discovering his beloved mother’s niece. This fits into the plain meaning of the text. But, why the raised voice? What is he crying about?


The Midrash teaches that he cried out loudly over the fact that he foresaw she would not be buried with him. He also bemoaned that he had been fleeced by Elifaz and came empty handed of any gift to present to his very special bride to be.


The Torah chose though to merely report the emotion without revealing any obvious cause for it.


The motivation for the kiss is self-evident. Yet, the reaction of tears coupled with an elevated vocal expression leaves us wondering. What is the Torah seeking to teach us here?


Perhaps the emphasis here is on the ingredients for meaningful connection and relationships. In addition to bonding in friendship to one another physically, whether through a handshake, kiss or embrace, one must express one’s feelings for each other. It must be evident not only in the verbal expression and words one chooses to articulate, but more importantly in the feeling that is conveyed in both the tone and volume of the ‘voice’; the sincerity, the passion, the warmth, the concern and empathy. But most important of all is the ability to show vulnerability, a lack of fear in displaying one’s deepest emotions to those we are closest to. Displaying our empathy for another to the point of tears indicates the deepest of connection.


Certainly, Rachel was not expecting any gifts, but that didn’t diminish Yaakov’s pained frustration in not being able to express to her how worthy and extraordinary she is.


Rachel too possessed this remarkable quality. Her exquisite bond with Leah and her ability to truly identify with Leah’s pain is what compelled her to grant her the secret signs that would enable Leah to marry Yaakov. The character trait that Yaakov and Rachel evidently shared, is what gave Rachel the confidence to know that Yaakov would readily accept her deception.


Might that also be the deeper sentiment in Yaakov’s crying over Rachel’s eventual burial on the road to Beis Lechem rather than in the Me’aras HaMachpela. It was his allying with her distinguished ability to feel for her children in crying for them as no other could, when they would descend into their long exile later in history.


Yaakov’s displayed anguish over not being able to proffer a gift for Rivkah is contrasted with the coldhearted Elifaz who negotiates with Yaakov a way to fulfill his contract with his ‘Godfather’ Esav who commissioned him to kill him. Yaakov suggests that by taking all of his possessions, he will be impoverished and considered as ‘dead’.


Elifaz instills his home with the creed of the Esav clan, to look coldly at the world and never permit emotion to interfere with one’s objectives. It’s no wonder, Amalek his emotionless son is termed the one who, קרך בדרך, cooled off the world’s reverence for His chosen people, on the way out of Egypt.


It is irrelevant, for the plain meaning of the text, what the catalyst for Yaakov’s emotional outburst might have been. What the Torah sought to teach is the practical formula to creating meaningful relationships. In this marriage of Yaakov to Rachel, which represented the nucleus of the family that would bring the world to its perfected state, there had to be present the seeds for that magnificent fruit.


Bond, express, and pour out your heart to one another, for in these qualities lay the foundation of a relationship that will ultimately bind us inextricably to the One above.


באהבה,


צבי יהודה טייכמאן

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AURORA, Colo. (AP) — Democratic presidential contender Michael Bloomberg unveiled a gun control policy on Thursday just steps from the site of one of Colorado’s worst mass shootings, calling for a ban on all assault weapons, mandatory permits for gun purchasers and a new position in the White House to coordinate gun violence prevention. “I’ve been all in on the fight against gun violence for 15 years, and I’m just getting started,” Bloomberg declared. “As president, I will work to end the gun violence epidemic once and for all.” Bloomberg, the billionaire former New York City mayor, entered the Democratic presidential primary less than two weeks ago. Gun violence has quickly emerged as a core issue for his presidential bid, as it has been f...
A Wisconsin city has made it illegal to throw snowballs — ranking them alongside rocks and arrows as an outlawed weapon. “No person shall throw or shoot any object, arrow, stone, snowball or other missile or projectile, by hand or by any other means, at any other person,” the municipal code in Wausau reads. The ordinance, under the section for “weapons,” also says snowballs cannot be thrown “at, in or into any building, street, sidewalk, alley, highway, park, playground or other public place within the city.” Read more at NY POST.
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Former vice president Joe Biden released a plan Wednesday to raise $3.2 trillion in taxes over 10 years to pay for his domestic spending proposals, including on health care and climate, as he seeks to cast himself as the fiscal moderate in the Democratic presidential primary amid pressure from his liberal rivals. Biden’s plan calls for raising the tax rate paid by corporations from 21 percent to 28 percent, still below the 35 percent level in place before the 2017 GOP tax cut law. He also plans to raise $800 billion from new taxes on capital gains primarily paid by investors, as well as $400 billion from imposing a new 15 percent corporate minimum tax that aims to ensure big firms pay at least some taxes, among other measures. Biden “is committed to being transparent with the...
A plan by the Trump administration to require U.S. citizens to have their faces scanned when they enter or leave the United States is drawing criticism from privacy advocates and at least one lawmaker, who said he intends to introduce legislation to prohibit the practice. The use of facial recognition technology at U.S. airports is growing more widespread as a means of identification, but citizens are allowed to opt out. Now officials with the Department of Homeland Security want to make the scans mandatory for all travelers, including citizens. In a filing, the agency said that to “facilitate the implementation of a seamless biometric entry-exit system that uses facial recognition and to help prevent persons attempting to fraudulently use U.S. travel documents and identify crimina...
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Brazil plans to open a trade mission in Yerushalayim later this month, with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s son, Eduardo Bolsonaro, scheduled to attend the Dec. 15 ceremony, according to Israeli officials. Honduras is scheduled to open its embassy in Yerushalayim in the coming weeks, the officials added, according to a report in The Times of Israel. The Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil), which operates under the Brazilian Foreign Ministry, will open the trade office. However, unlike the trade offices of Hungary and Honduras, the Brazilian one will not have diplomatic status, Apex-Brasil’s Clarissa Furtado told the Times. Eduardo Bolsonaro, who is a big supporter of Israel, will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel&rsquo...
Nearly an hour-long police chase ensued in Coral Gables, Florida, on Thursday, ending in gunfire and multiple people shot dead, according to police. Coral Gables police said they were investigating a robbery at Regent Jewelers at 386 Mile. Shots were fired and the two alleged robbers jumped into a UPS truck and fled the scene, taking the delivery driver with them. A woman was shot in the head at the jewelry store, according to Local 10 News. Her condition is unknown. The hijack “turned into a hostage situation with the UPS driver,” Coral Gables Police Chief Ed Hudak said, according to the Sun-Sentinel. The UPS truck made its way up Interstate 75 with dozens of police cars on its tail. Traffic came to a standstill as terrified drivers waited for the crazed...
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A 40-year-old worker was killed in an accident on Ha’aliyah Street in Jerusalem. United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Itamar Ben Moshe relayed from the scene: “The scene involved a worker who was killed by a freight elevator the crushed him to death. Unfortunately, due to the severity of his injuries, there was nothing for us to do aside from pronouncing the man’s death at the scene.”
Throughout the saga of our forefathers and their families there are many moments depicting powerful emotions. The joyous laughter of Avraham and Sarah. The expressed ‘love’ of Yitzchok for Rivkah, and their love for their children. The ‘trembling’ fear of Yitzchok when discovering Yaakov having preempted Esav. The ‘flaring anger’ of Yaakov when Rachel demands of him children. The anguished ‘cries’ of Yosef and his brothers throughout their ordeal. In each of these instances although our sages reveal deeper layers to their emotions, yet the פשוטו של מקרא, the simple reading of the text, speaks for itself. Avraham and Sarah thrilled over the news they would have a child. Yitzchock met his ‘bashert’ and sensed a genuine...
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This story is about protecting our children from harm. In January 1996, Rabbi Yakov Horowitz published an article called “An Ounce of Prevention Reaching Today’s Underachievers before They Become Tomorrow’s Dropout Teens,” and was overwhelmed by the response.  Hundreds of calls and letters flooded his mailbox. Horowitz was a dedicated 8th grade Rebbe for the “slower track,” and for 15 years in the classroom, he worked with his students to build their self-esteem to be successful in school and in life. As a teacher, he realized some of the behavioral problems he saw in the classroom were symptoms of abuse that occurred outside of the classroom. Beginning in 2003-4, Horowitz became an advocate, looking for ways to stop the abuse of children by educ...
Tucked away in this weeks Parsha, unbeknownst to many, is one of the chief M’koros the Gemara uses for the Mida of Tznius.   The Gemara cites Rochel Imainu as the standard bearer for Tznius, telling us that it was on account of her great Tznius that she was Zocheh to have Shaul Hamelech as a descendant.   Precisely what behavior was manifested by Rochel Imainu that caused the Gemara  to hold her out as the pinnacle of this Mida?  Consider, in the last few weeks we have been told many classic examples of modesty by the Imahos and others, why wait for Rochel before citing an example?  The Mepharshim discuss Sarah as being “B’Ohel”, in her tent, as a testament to Sarah’s modesty (Vayera 18:9); Rivka covered her face upon seeing...
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