ספירת העומר : 2 - היום שני ימים לעומר
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Baltimore, Md - Apr. 22, 2019 - A dirt bike was stolen from the Bonnie Road porch of a community member on Friday night (1st Seder) at approx. 10PM. Please watch the surveillance video below and call 911 and Shomrim (410.358.9999)  if you can be of any help in apprehending this thief.
United Hatzala EMS volunteers treated a young boy who was hit by a bus on HaChozeh M’Lublin Street in Beitar Illit. Volunteers attempted to resuscitate three-year-old Boruch Eisenberg, z'l, from Monsey, New York, and initiated CPR. Unfortunately, after lengthy efforts, the boy was pronounced at the scene. Members of United Hatzalah’s Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit are currently treating family members and bystanders who witnessed the accident. The family had come to Israel for Yom Tov and had traveled to Beitar Illit to visit family. The levayah will take place tonight at 10:15 PM from Shamgar to Har HaMenuchos.
Warsaw, Poland - The U.S. ambassador to Poland wished Jews a happy Passover in Polish, and the reaction was a wave of angry comments on Twitter. Ambassador Georgette Mosbacher also wished Poles a happy Easter on Sunday. By then, Mosbacher had been accused of offending Poland with her Passover tweet and reminded she is serving in a predominantly Roman Catholic country. Krystyna Pawlowicz, a lawmaker with Poland’s right-wing ruling party, called the ambassador’s tweet, which was posted Friday along with a colorful illustration of items for a Passover Seder, a “provocation.” Some came to Mosbacher’s defense, recalling that Poland also has a small Jewish population. Poland was home to Europe’s largest Jewish population before the Holocaust. Michal Szczer...
Washington -  Two months before special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed in the spring of 2017, President Donald Trump picked up the phone and called the head of the largest U.S. intelligence agency. Trump told Mike Rogers, director of the National Security Agency, that news stories alleging that Trump’s 2016 White House campaign had ties to Russia were false and the president asked whether Rogers could do anything to counter them. Rogers and his deputy Richard Ledgett, who was present for the call, were taken aback. Afterward, Ledgett wrote a memo about the conversation and Trump’s request. He and Rogers signed it and stashed it in a safe. Ledgett said it was the “most unusual thing he had experienced in 40 years of government service.” Trump’s ou...
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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...
Jerusalem -  A hospitalized Palestinian teen said Monday he was shot in his thighs by Israeli soldiers while he was handcuffed and blindfolded — the latest in what a leading rights group portrayed as a series of unjustified shootings of Palestinians by Israeli soldiers. The military said it was investigating last week’s incident, which it said took place as Palestinian youths were throwing stones at Israeli soldiers. Osama Hajahjeh, 16, said he was trying to run from soldiers when he was shot Thursday. He said the incident began after a funeral for a school teacher in his village of Tekoa, who had been hit by a car driven by an Israeli while walking at a busy intersection. Hajahjeh said school was let out early for students to attend the funeral. After the burial, he sa...
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Colombo - Sri Lankan officials failed to heed warnings from intelligence agencies about the threat of an attack by a domestic radical Muslim group that officials blame for Easter Sunday bombings that killed more than 200 people, the country’s health minister said Monday. The coordinated bombings that ripped through churches and luxury hotels were carried out by seven suicide bombers from a militant group named National Thowfeek Jamaath, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. International intelligence agencies warned of the attacks several times starting April 4, Senaratne said. On April 9, the defense ministry wrote to the police chief with intelligence that included the group’s name, he said. On April 11, police wrote to the heads of security of the judiciary and diplomati...
Warsaw - The Catholic Church in Poland poured scorn Monday on an anti-Semitic ritual enacted over the Easter holiday that involved an effigy of Judas represented by a stereotypical Jew being hanged, burned and beaten. Residents, among them children, beat and burned the effigy in Pruchnik, a small town in southeast Poland, on Good Friday. The figure represented Judas, the disciple of Christ who betrayed him according to the New Testament. “The Catholic Church will never tolerate manifestations of contempt towards members of any nation, including the Jewish people,” Bishop Rafal Markowski, chairman of the church’s Committee for Dialogue with Judaism, said, describing his view as the church’s position. After the church statement, Interior Minister Joachim Brudzinski...
Jerusalem - Is the two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict dead? After Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu coasted to another victory in this month’s Israeli election, it sure seems that way. On the campaign trail, Netanyahu ruled out Palestinian statehood and for the first time, pledged to begin annexing Jewish settlements in the West Bank. His expected coalition partners, a collection of religious and nationalist parties, also reject Palestinian independence. Even his chief rivals, led by a trio of respected former military chiefs and a charismatic former TV anchorman, barely mentioned the Palestinian issue on the campaign trail and presented a vision of “separation” that falls far short of Palestinian territorial demands. The two Jewish parties that d...
The mother of the Pupa Rebbe, Rebbetzin Miriam Greenwald, wife of the previous rebbe of Pupa, Rav Yosef Greenwald, author of the Vayechi Yosef, is in serious condition and in need of rachamei Shomayim. The first day of Yom Tov, the news reached Williamsburg that the 100-year-old rebbetzin was rushed to the hospital. On Motzoei Shabbos, following the Seder, which ended at 5 a.m., news arrived that the situation of the rebbetzin was critical and that a quick decision had to be made as to whether to perform an emergency operation or not. The rebbe, Rav Yaakov Yechezkiya Greenwald, traveled together with his brother, Rav Aharon Greenwald, dayan of Pupa, to the hospital and returned before davening. They were driven by...
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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Comedian Volodymyr Zelensky swept to victory in Ukraine’s presidential election Sunday, an exit poll showed, as millions of voters weary of war and economic hardship rebuked the ruling elites and ushered in fresh uncertainty for their geopolitically pivotal nation. Zelensky, a 41-year-old TV star with no political experience, won 73% of the vote in the runoff election, according to national exit poll results broadcast by Ukrainian television. President Petro Poroshenko, who was running for his second five-year term, accepted defeat in a speech soon after the polls closed. Zelensky walked onstage at his election-night celebration to the theme song from “Servant of the People” – the popular sitcom in which he plays the president of Ukraine.. “To all Ukrainian...
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Columbia, SC - Democrat Elizabeth Warren is proposing the elimination of existing student loan debt for millions of Americans, part of a sweeping set of education funding proposals announced as she and other presidential candidates seek to differentiate themselves in a sprawling field. The Massachusetts senator says the proposal unveiled Monday would eliminate almost all student loan debt for 42 million Americans, canceling $50,000 in debt for each person with household income under $100,000. According to Warren’s description of the plan in a piece to be posted on Medium, the debt cancellation proposal would create a one-time cost to the federal government of $640 billion. Many in the growing field of Democratic candidates have proposed reforming the nation’s student loan pro...
Jerusalem, Israel - Apr. 22, 2019 -  Unseasonably cold weather, with wind and rain, thunder and hail, was experienced in Israel, and in Yerushalayim, over the first days of Pesach 5779.  In spite of grey skies and cool temperatures, tens of thousands of visitors crowded into the Old City in Yerushalayim, as every year on Pesach, for the Birkas Kohenim on the third morning of yom tov, with the Chief Rabbis in attendance. The Old City and adjacent roads are closed to traffic. Pedestrians are allowed one-way only walking routes to enter and leave the Rova, the Jewish Quarter and the Kossel Plaza.  In anticipation of Pesach and large crowds, BJL prepared a photo essay, from Jaffa Gate to Zion Gate and around, to views of Yemin Moshe and David's Village. On the sunny, ple...
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Avidgor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu party is in secret talks with the Likud as the two parties weigh a full merger, Kan reported Sunday night. The report cites senior Likud officials, who confirmed that the two parties are discussing the possible merger of Yisrael Beytenu and the Likud. Last week, the Central Elections Committee announced the final results for the April 9th election, giving the Likud 35 seats and Yisrael Beytenu 5. Yisrael Beytenu, led by former Defense Minister Avidgor Liberman, has recommended Netanyahu for Prime Minister, and the two parties have been in talks for the formation of a new coalition government. Read more at Arutz Sheva.
The Kaliver Rebbe, Rav Menachem Mendel Taub, is in need of rachamei Shomayim, as he is very ill and weak. The 96-year-old rebbe has not been taken to the hospital, but is at his home. The Rebbe is the seventh in a direct paternal line to the founder of the Kaliver dynasty, Rav Yitzchok Isaac of Kaliv, a disciple of Rav Elimelech of Lizensk. Seven years ago, at age 89, the rebbe married Mrs. Shaindel Malnick, then 55, from Kiryat Herzog in Bnei Brak. The Rebbe is a son of the Rozler Rov. His first wife, Rebbetzin Chana Sara Shifra, passed away about eight years ago at the age of 94. She was a daughter of Rav Pinchas Shapiro of Kechnia and was a descendant of Rav Meir Premishlaner. In 1944, the Rebbe was put on a transport to Auschwitz by the Nazis and he arrive...
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Sheriff’s Offices, Transportation Officials Launch Seat Belt & Distracted Driving Initiative Waldorf, Md. (April 22, 2019) – The Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) and sheriff’s offices from St. Mary’s, Calvert and Charles counties today announced a partnership focused on enhancing driver safety. “More than 120 unbelted drivers and passengers are killed every year in Maryland” said Chrissy Nizer, MDOT MVA Administrator and Governor Hogan’s Highway Safety Representative. “Not being belted can cause passengers to become projectiles in the event of a crash, causing serious injuries or death to other people in the car. To ensure you arrive at your destination safely, everyone in a vehicle should bu...
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu offered Kulanu Chairman Moshe Kahlon the Foreign Ministry, News 13 reported. According to the report, Kahlon insisted on remaining in his position as Finance Minister, and he may be allowed to do so. Netanyahu and Kahlon are scheduled to meet on Thursday for coalition negotiations. Meanwhile, the sides are believed to be discussing the option of integrating Kulanu into the larger Likud party. Read more at Arutz Sheva.
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WASHINGTON — Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., became the latest Democrat to enter the 2020 presidential race Monday, launching a presidential campaign focused on national security. "I'm running because I'm a patriot. Because I believe in this country. And because I've never wanted to sit on the sidelines when it comes to serving it," Moulton said on ABC News' "Good Morning America.""I'm going talk about patriotism, about security, about service. These are issues Democrats too long have ceded to Republicans." A 40-year-old Marine combat veteran who earned a Bronze Star in Iraq, Moulton's stature has been rising since he won a seat in Congress in 2014 by defeating a long-time Democratic incumbent in a primary. “Decades of divis...
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