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Mazel Tov to Yanky Reidler on his engagement to Elky Eisemann of Philadelphia!
War monitor the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said two members of Lebanon’s Hezbollah group and one Iranian were killed in Israeli strikes around the Syrian capital Damascus overnight. An Israeli military spokesman on Saturday said Israeli aircraft struck Iranian forces near Damascus that had been planning to launch “killer drones” at targets in Israel. An Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander on Sunday denied that Iranian targets had been hit in the strikes.
Former Vice President Joe Biden mistakenly praised the state of Vermont Saturday when asked about his impression of Keene, New Hampshire by reporters during a press gaggle. Video of the exchange shows Biden remarking about Vermont’s “beauty” after an unseen reporter asks him for his “impression” of the town, which is located in southwestern New Hampshire, close to the state’s border with Vermont. “I love this place. Look, what’s not to like about Vermont in terms of the beauty of it? And what a neat town, this is like a scenic, beautiful town. The mayor’s been a good guy, everybody has been really friendly. I like Keene a lot.”  Read more at The Hill.
Former Rep. Joe Walsh on Sunday announced he would mount a primary challenge to President Trump. “We’ve got a guy in the White House who is unfit, completely unfit to be president and it stuns me that nobody stepped up, nobody in the Republican Party stepped up, because I’ll tell you what George, everybody believes in the Republican party, everybody believes he’s unfit,” Walsh told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “He lies every time he opens his mouth.” Walsh in a tweet announcing his campaign said the U.S. “can’t take four more years of Donald Trump.” “It won’t be easy,” he added. “but bravery is never easy.” Read more at The Hill.
It is with great sadness that reports the passing of Rav Yosef Rosenbaum zt”l, the Kalisher Rebbe of Flatbush, Brooklyn. He was 84 years old. During seudah shlishis on Shabbos afternoon, the rebbe suddenly collapsed and was rushed to the hospital, where he passed away. The rebbe was a son of the Streznitzer Rebbe and Rebbetzin Chaya Esther Rosenbaum. The rebbe was a talmid of Yeshiva Torah Vodaas, where he learned under and was greatly impacted by the illustrious rabbeim of the yeshiva. The rebbe visited Eretz Yisroel last month after not visiting for many years, and met his older brother, the Cleveland-Raanana Rebbe, after six years of not seeing each other. The rebbe&...
The United States condemned the deadly terror attack on Friday that killed an Israeli teenage girl, in addition to injuring her brother and father. “Another savage attack by Palestinian terrorists kills an Israeli teenager enjoying time with her family. This isn’t the path to peace, just endless suffering. May her memory be a blessing. Our prayers are with her family especially her father & brother also wounded in the attack,” tweeted U.S. special envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt. Rina Shnerb, 17, of Lod, succumbed to her wounds after being critically injured and treated at the scene. She was buried in her home city of Lod at 3.30 p.m., just one week after celebrating her birthday. “Her father, Eitan Shnerb, is said to be conscious and in moderate co...
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Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif flew into Biarritz in southern France for the G7 summit on Sunday in an unexpected and dramatic attempt to break a diplomatic deadlock over Tehran’s disputed nuclear program. Zarif’s presence had not been announced and represented an attempt by French host Emmanuel Macron to find a way to soothe spiraling tensions between Iran and the United States. The French presidency confirmed his arrival but emphasized no talks were planned with the American side. Read more at i24NEWS.
Voter turnout in Israel’s Sept. 17 election may be very low, according to a new Israel Hayom-i24 News poll, sparking concern among the various political parties. Segmenting the results by the respondents’ stated political affiliation, the survey found that only 65% of Likud voters planned to cast their ballots on Sept. 17. Blue and White could count on the support of 69% of its electorate, and the Joint Arab List would see 55% of its supporters arrive at the polls. Labor-Gesher would see greater support, as 82% of its supporters plan to vote, followed by United Torah Judaism (74%), Yamina (formerly the United Right) with 62% of its voters, Yisrael Beytenu (68%), the Democratic Union (74%), Shas (62%), Zehut (73%) and the radical Otzma Yehudit Party, which can count on 69% of ...
Iran has produced highly-accurate missiles which it has not publicized, Iranian Deputy Defense Minister General Qassem Taqizadeh said on Friday, according to the semi-official Fars news agency. Taqizadeh did not provide details about the weapons. US President Donald Trump pulled out of an international agreement on Iran’s nuclear program last year and stepped up sanctions on Tehran in order to curb Iran’s development of ballistic missiles and its support for proxies in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq. “Today we have very accurate missiles which we have not publicized,” Taqizadeh said, according to Fars. Iran displayed what it described as a domestically built long-range, surface-to-air missile air defense system on Thursday, amid rising tensions with the United S...
Gaza banks disbursed $10 million in Qatari cash to 100,000 families in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip Qatar on Sunday. The funds are part of an agreement brokered by Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations in an attempt to calm the recent flare-up in violence between Hamas and Israel, including multiple attempts by terrorists to infiltrate into Israeli territory. In recent years, Qatar has sent more than $1 billion dollars into the coastal enclave. Hamas has claimed the infiltration attempts were carried out without its knowledge. “Both sides are committed (to the truce) and they have no war intentions at all,” Qatari envoy to Gaza Mohammed al-Emadi told Reuters on Saturday during a visit to Gaza. “Both sides have no war intentions but there is a lack of money and the humanit...
Parsha Hashavua
The Weekly Shtikle - Eikev

In this week's parsha, Eretz Yisrael is praised as (8:8) "A land of wheat and barley and grapes and figs and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey." These species are given a special status when it comes to making berachos. Shulchan Aruch (OC 211:4), based on the gemara (Berachos 41,) rules that if you have in front of you two foods that are both of the aforementioned seven species, the berachah should be made on the one that comes earliest in the pasuk. For example, if you have a grape and a fig, you should make the berachah on the grape. However, the determining factor is the proximity of the food to the word eretz in the pasuk. The word eretz is repeated before olive oil and honey. Thus, if you have a date (the source of the honey) and a grape, the berachah should be made on the date because it is the second food from the second eretz whereas the grape is the third from the first eretz. Why, though, did the Torah specifically repeat the word eretz?

The GR"A writes that the pasuk is split into two categories. The first five species are all mentioned for their very essence. It is the fruit or grain itself for which Eretz Yisroel is praised. However, the last two species refer to the olive and the date but are only mentioned for the substances that are extracted from them. This is why the pasuk is divided by two instances of the word eretz.

Meshech Chachmah offers an alternate interpretation. He suggests that the first five species were available in Mitzrayim as well. His support for this is the dialogue preceeding the incident of Moshe and the rock, when the nation complained (Bemidbar 20:5) "And why have you taken us out from Mitzrayim to bring us to this terrible place, not a place of grain or figs or grapes or pomegranates and there is no water to drink." It is evident from here that the first five species were also abundant in Mitzrayim. The pasuk is therefore singling out olive oil and honey as the two species that are uniquely abundant in Eretz Yisrael by repeating the word eretz.

There is a slight difficulty with this interpretation. When Dasan and Aviram refused to appear before Moshe, they exclaim (Bemidbar 17:13) "Is it not enough that you have brought us out of a land flowing with milk and honey to kill us in the dessert!" It seems from here - assuming Dasan and Aviram were not simply "throwing stones" and there was some truth to their statement - that there was an abundance of honey in Mitzrayim as well. Why then should the Torah single it out along with olive oil as unique to Eretz Yisroel?

A friend of mine showed me a quote from a sefer Shomer Emes endeavouring to answer this question. He references Rashi in a number of different locations (Vayikra 2:11Sukkah 6a) who writes that any sweet substance derived from fruit is called devash. Indeed, in the gemara (Kesubos 111b) we find a reference to devash te'einim, fig honey. He suggests, therefore, that what Dasan and Aviram were referring to was other forms of fruit honey that might have been available in Mitzrayim. But the abundance of date honey was still unique to Eretz Yisrael. As for why bee honey is not suggested, perhaps the reason is that even though it originates as nectar from plants and is minimally processed by the bee (otherwise it would not be kosher), since it isn't produced from the ground in a form that may be harvested by humans, it would not qualify as something by which to praise the land. 

Have a good Shabbos.

Eliezer Bulka

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Dozens of families from the Mevo Modi’im moshav were left homeless in May following a fire that devastated the village and destroyed their homes. The families protested on Sunday evening outside Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s residence in Yerushalayim, protesting the state’s failure to address their crisis. While the state offered alternative housing for several months, but Mevo Modi’im residents want to return home and demand that Netanyahu find a permanent solution for them. Read more at Arutz Sheva.
Palestinian-American congresswoman Rashida Tlaib called Friday’s West Bank attack that killed an Israeli teenager “tragic and horrible”, instead advocating “nonviolent approaches to ending the Israeli occupation.” “This is absolutely tragic & horrible. My heart goes out to Rina’s family. More than ever we need to support nonviolent approaches to ending the Israeli occupation and guaranteeing equal rights for all. Extremism that puts innocent lives at risk moves us no closer to peace,” Tlaib wrote on Twitter. Rina Shnerb was killed Friday while her father rabbi Eitan Shnerb and 19-year-old brother Dvir were injured when an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated at a popular spring near the Dolev settlement in the West Bank. Read mo...
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Illinois officials said Friday that a person who had recently used an e-cigarette and was hospitalized with severe lung illness had died. The death appears to be the first among a spate of mysterious lung illnesses now under investigation by state and federal health officials in connection to vaping – at least 149 cases in 15 states, many in teens and young adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Reports of the number of people hospitalized for vaping-related lung illnesses has doubled in the past week, Illinois officials said in a statement. At least 22 people, ranging in age from 17 to 38, have experienced respiratory illness after using e-cigarettes or vaping, it said. State officials are working with local health departments to investigate another 12...
The condition of Nachum Nevies, the 17-year-old victim of last Friday’s ramming attack, improved slightly. The attack occurred as Nevies and his 19-year-old sister Noam made their way to the bus stop at the Elazar Junction. Noam suffered light to moderate injuries, while Nahum suffered a skull fracture and brain hemorrhage. The family has asked everyone to daven for Nachum Elimelech Rafael ben Zehava Rivka. Read more at Arutz Sheva.
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Amid rising tensions in the North, IDF attacked in northern Gaza on Sunday night as a response to a rocket fired from Gaza that fell in Southern Israel earlier on Sunday, the IDF confirmed. The IDF also added that the targets belong to Hamas, and that one of the targets was the office of a Hamas battalion commander. The security cabinet is expected to meet Monday to discuss the security situation. According to the army, three projectiles were fired from the Strip towards southern Israel. Two were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, while the third fell next to Route 34 outside Sderot, causing a fire.The Red Alert alarms were heard in the city of Sderot, in Ibim, Or HaNer, Nir Am, Gevim and at Sapir College. MDA provided treatmen...
About 9,000 Palestinian Arabs rioted on Friday along the Gaza border fence, an increase in the number of rioters compared to recent weeks. The rioters threw explosives, some of them powerful, as well as grenades, firebombs and rocks towards IDF soldiers stationed in the area, reported Kan News. The IDF said the soldiers responded by using riot dispersal means. Palestinian Arabs reported that 122 rioters were injured, 50 of them by gunfire. Read more at Arutz Sheva.
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After years of sharing ideas by phone, email and a what's app group, הצלה members from 20+ neighborhoods came together for the first time to brainstorm on ambulance design, technology, service and procurement.  To help facilitate the discussion, 18 ambulances from New York, New Jersey, and Maryland were on display.  Combined, these neighborhoods operate a fleet of approximately 150 ambulances.  Those in attendance got to see ambulances from four of the leading ambulance manufacturers on a variety of vehicle chassis.  In addition, participants got to see and operate the latest in emergency lighting, communications, patient handling, storage, and medical equipment.   Senior Care Ambulance graciously hosted the event in the...
A gas explosion at a shopping center in Columbia, Maryland, caused the front of an office building to collapse on Sunday morning. Howard County Fire and Rescue reported the explosion just before 8 a.m. in the 8800 block of Stanford Boulevard at the Lakeside Office Building and shopping center. They received a call around 7:30 a.m. with reports of a gas leak, according to Howard County Fire and Rescue. No injuries have been reported. Stanford Boulevard is closed at McGaw Road as Howard County Fire and Rescue crews as well as BG&E work at the scene. About 30 BG&E customers are impacted by the outage. A widespread power outage in the Stanford Boulevard and McGaw Road area is affecting area businesses, according to Howard County Fire and Rescue. Read more at WTOP
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ALTIMORE, MD — The Maryland attorney general says phone companies have agreed to curb the more than 100 million illegal robocalls made each month in the state. Twelve phone companies have agreed to adopt eight principles to fight illegal robocalls and make it easier for attorneys general to investigate and prosecute bad actors nationwide, officials said. A record 5.2 billion robocalls were placed nationwide in January 2019, while 4.7 billion such calls were made last month, according to YouMail's robocall index, and 58 percent of them were scam or telemarketing calls. That includes 105.7 million robocalls in Maryland in July 2019, an average of 12.7 for every person in the state. "We are harassed by robocalls every day. It is the number one complaint to att...
Mazel Tov to Baruch Rosenbluth and Miriam Fisher on their wedding today!  As such, Tov Pizza will be closed today, Sunday Aug 25, 2019.
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