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Baltimore, MD – June 28, 2022 - It is with regret that Baltimore Jewish Life (BJL) informs the community of the petira of Mr. Mich Klein, a’h, husband of Mrs. Betty Klein and father of  Ms. Alyza Rochel Klein, R' Shaya Klein, R' Yossi (Devorah) Klein, R' Chaim Yisroel Klein, and brother of R' Chaim (Peter) Klein and Rabbi Pinchas (Jacky) Klein.Shiva will be observed through morning of July 4th at  105 Almore Ave, Toronto, Ontario Minyanim Shacharis - 7:30 AM (Sunday: 8:00AM)  Mincha/Maariv - 8:45 PM (Erev Shabbos:2:00PM)Baltimore: Yossi will re...
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Baltimore, MD - June 21, 2022 - Kesser Torah is proud to announce the release of a song and music video specifically created for its current campaign.  This inspiring song is soon to be on the lips of ohavei Torah worldwide.
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Move-In-Ready Workspace in coveted Quarry Lake with flexible terms available. This brand-new workspace boasts a professional atmosphere, modern aesthetic, and many amenities, including:-Beautiful newly built offices-Complimentary Wi-Fi-Utilities included-Sitting/Standing desks, fully furnished-Conference room available-24-hour access-Secure building and office space-Beautiful shared outdoor patio-Free parking, including covered spaces-Close proximity to Pikesville and the I-695For more information contact us at
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Baltimore, MD - June 25, 2022  - O'Fishel's Mitzvah Motivators: What Have YOU Done for Klal Yisrael Today - Masmidim Calendar with Instructions on How to Obtain Your Prizes..Click on the form below for a larger, printable copy. Today's prize - The hat not the kids (June 26, 2022):Bring the truncated completed form to the Liebes home (2601 Smith Ave.)on SUNDAY, JUNE 26 between 3:00-5:00pm or MONDAY (6/27) or TUESDAY(6/28), between 4:00-5:30 for a MITZVAH MOTIVATOR BASEBALLCAP with special escape hatch for ponytails and oversized peyos!
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The Secret Service said on Tuesday that it will have more to say about allegations that former President Trump tried to grab the steering wheel of his vehicle and then lunged at the head of his security detail when informed he would not be able to join his supporters at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. “The Secret Service has been cooperating fully with the select committee since its inception in spring of 2021 and we will continue to do so by responding formally and on the record to the committee regarding new allegations that surfaced in today’s testimony,” the agency said in a statement. The revelation about Trump’s behavior came Tuesday from Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows who testified before the House commit...
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who led a broad but fragile coalition government that came unraveled barely a year after taking office, announced Wednesday that he will not run in upcoming elections. His government announced last week that it would dissolve the Knesset ahead of elections expected this fall, but the voting required for dissolution has been bogged down by disputes with the opposition. “I strived as prime minister to care for all citizens, regardless of who they voted for,” he said in a brief prime-time address. “We proved this year that people with all different opinions can work together.” Bennett’s office said he will continue to serve as alternate prime minister in a caretaker government to be led by Yair Lapid, the architect of th...
Co-founder and chairman of the ZAKA volunteer emergency response organization Yehuda Meshi-Zahav was niftar today at the geriatric-psychiatric Herzog Hospital in Yerushalayim. He was 62 years old. Meshi-Zahav was found unconscious at his home in the Yerushalayim suburb of Givat Ze’ev. He was rushed to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in critical condition, and remained unconscious until his passing today. Meshi-Zahav was revered by all sectors in Israel. ZAKA is perceived by many as an organization that bridged the gaps between the religious and secular sectors. He was an intended recipient of the Israel Prize for lifetime achievement. Details of his levayah have yet to be made public. Yehi zichro boruch.
Parsha Hashavua
Parshas Korach: Any Dispute for the Sake of Heaven

Two couples, both new parents, enjoyed a rare evening out.  They naturally spoke about parenthood, with its many joys and challenges.  When one of the mothers asked the other how their baby was sleeping, the other replied, “through the night without a peep.”  The husband of the first mother looked at her incredulously and said, “You’re not parents, you’re babysitters!”

His meaning was amusing but clear.  To be a “real” parent was to endure the difficulties of parenthood which, in his estimation, included impossible nights.

So too any role of leadership and responsibility.  If leading was easy, anyone could do it.  Leadership always entails confronting challenges and conflicts.  Moshe certainly knew this only too well.  Indeed, a good and wise leader understands that conflict – difficult as it might be on its face – can often be beneficial.  As our rabbis teach, “Any dispute for the sake of heaven will be for everlasting value…”

When Korach and his fellow rebels challenged Moses and Aaron, they seemed, as Rabbi Jonathan Sacks has noted, both true and principled.  “What was wrong with Korach and his fellow rebels? On the face of it, what they said was both true and principled. ‘You have gone too far,’ they said to Moses and Aaron. ‘The whole community is holy, every one of them, and God is with them. Why then are you setting yourselves above God’s congregation?’”

Who could argue their point?  God had summoned the people to become “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” Moses himself had said, “Would that all God’s people were prophets, that He would place His spirit upon them” (Num. 11: 29). These are radically egalitarian sentiments. Considering them, Korach and the others were right to question why there was a hierarchy, with Moses as leader and Aaron as High Priest?

Such would have been the dispute had it been for the sake of heaven.  But this dispute was not for heaven’s sake at all.

Korach.  Dathan and Aviram.  Two hundred and fifty Israelites of rank within the community.  All had grievances.  

For his part, Korach was mounting a leadership challenge. He aspired to be Kohen Gadol. And why not?  As Moshe and Aaron’s cousin, son of Yitzhar, he had every right to wonder why all the leadership positions should go to just one family from the Levites.  He demanded equality.  Dathan and Aviram.  Reubenites.  How could it be that they, children of Yaakov’s first-born son, had no prominent position?  And the two hundred and fifty?  Men of rank, still rankled that after the sin of the Golden Calf, leadership went from the first-born of each tribe to just one…

Each with a specific grievance.  Each allied with the other two to “strengthen” their challenge to Moshe’s authority and Aaron’s leadership.  Perhaps if their cause had been just, for the sake of heaven, their alliance would truly have strengthened them.  But they were given voice to personal and petty grievances, grievances that spoke to their jealousies and their desire for power.

Had Korach “won out” the others would certainly have continued to rebel.  So too had Dathan and Aviram prevailed, Korach would have joined with the two hundred and fifty to continue the effort to overthrow the leadership.  These rebellious souls were not allies; they were aligned by convenience.

Moshe, a great leader, was not dismayed by the challenge posed by these men. He did not underestimate the fear, stress and interpersonal dynamics that roiled the Children of Israel.  He did not minimize what they had been through, both the glorious and the frightening.  He was not surprised by the people’s urge to rebel.  Whether rebellion in the pursuit of honor, prestige or recognition, he understood human nature and could deal with the situation.  However, Dathan and Aviram went too far. 

When Moshe realized that he was unable to make any progress in his dealing with Korach, he summoned Dathan and Aviram, thinking and hoping that he might be able to reason with them.  As Rashi notes, Moshe knew how machlokes undermined the community.  Therefore, he sought to avoid discord at all costs.  If meeting with the rebels would maintain the calm, he was more than ready to meet with them.  They, however, refused to come to speak with Moshe.  He did not yet know that they how been sowing discord already, castigating him as a failed leader.  They went so far as to libel Moshe with outright lies.  “Isn’t it enough that you brought us out of a land flowing with milk and honey to kill us in the desert! and now you want to lord it over us! What is more, you have not brought us to a land flowing with milk and honey or given us an inheritance of fields and vineyards. Do you think that you can pull something over our eyes? We will definitely not come!” 

The astonishing arrogance of their lies is nearly impossible to stomach!  They castigated him for taken them out of the richness, and the luxury of Egypt!?  They dared to describe the land of their enslavement with the same words God uses to describe the Land of Israel!   They lied and then they enlarged the lie by swearing, “Even if you would gouge out the eyes of those men, we shall not go up.”   As Sforno explains, they were saying to him, “Do you think you can blind us to your failures?”

Their audacity is truly breathtaking!  

Their goals were evil.  Their words were false.  And yet, they were already practiced in rhetorical spin.  As Sivan Rahav-Meir observes, “Anything goes. If you tell a lie, but package it nicely, it will sell.”   White is black.  Good is bad.  In the Talmud, this confusing reality is called “an upside-down world.”  Their words epitomize “false advertising” and fake news.

This “Dathan-Aviram phenomenon” was not unique to their time.  We see it all around us today.  Look at how the BDS movement incorrectly and unfairly maligns Israel.  As Rabbi Sacks notes, we are in dangerous waters when, “…truth is sacrificed to power…”

Like Moses, who recognized that conflict – however unpleasant – can be beneficial, Judaism celebrates argument and differences of opinion.  It is not for nothing that people say that when two Jews gather, there are three points of view!  We value opposing viewpoints.  The Oral law is based on opinions and views exemplified by Hillel and Shamai searching and seeking truth.  Our tradition celebrates argument, even taking the argument to God Himself!  Is that not what Job does in demanding a witness to his suffering? 

We argue.  We challenge.  We needle, and we poke.  All in the service of truth and justice.   But when truth and justice cease to be the goal, when we no longer argue “for the sake of heaven” then we expose only our greed and unseemliness. Korach and Company had no use for the truth.  Their aim was power, ego, self-aggrandizement. 

How can we tell the difference between the one who would grab power for his own ego versus he would lead for the good of the people?  How can we differentiate when “the land flowing with milk and honey” refers to Israel and not Egypt?

Ultimately, the one who seeks power for power’s sake betrays that.  Moshe is indeed a king, but we never refer to him as such.  He is “Rabeinu”, our greatest of teachers.  Aaron is indeed the high priest, but he is also a great teacher, as are all the true kohanim.   “For a priest’s lips shall guard knowledge, and teaching should be sought from his mouth.” (Malachi 2:7) 

The people learn to fear the autocrat, but students cling to their teachers and love their rebbe.  Their devotion is not in any way related to his authority, power, or prestige, but because such teachers share of themselves, of their knowledge and, yes, just as much, their warmth, care and concern.   Moshe had not, in any way, raised himself above the people.  He did not place himself on a pedestal as Korach accused him of doing.  It is the community that raised him up, seeing in him a leader who loved them.  He didn’t run for office.  He did not “buy” any votes.  He demeaned no man and mocked no rival. 

He was elevated by God and the people.

But Korach… he would have been easily recognized in our ugly, angry political scene.  He might even have prevailed! 

Such is the reward of an age that fails to reward teaching and true leadership, that does not value “the sake of Heaven”. 

Thinking about all this, I am reminded of the “20th century Moshe Rabeinu”, the Posek of our generation, Rav Moshe Feinstein Zt’l.  He was the absolute halachic authority of our time, the acknowledged halachic arbiter of the entire Jewish community.

How did he rise to such an incredible position of esteem and leadership?  Was there a ballot drawn?  A committee formed?  How was it that everyone agreed that he was the last word on halachic issues?

Did he simply wake up one morning with such leadership imposed upon him?  Of course not!  His leadership was based on an intelligence and a command of halakha, that other scholars found awe-inspiring. As much as his mighty intelligence, rabbis and scholars were in awe of his remarkable humility. His phone number was listed in the phone directory, and he was available for calls from average followers of Orthodoxy, as well as its authorities.

He was thoughtful, kind and modest.  In a 1975 interview, he explained in his own way how he had come to his standing, “You don’t wake up in the morning and decide you’re an expert on answers,” he said. “If people see that one answer is good and another answer is good, gradually you will be accepted.”

Step by step, you earn your respect and standing.  Then, one day, you come to see that you have become accepted as rabeinu. 

Rav Moshe Feinstein followed the “Moshe Rabeinu path” not the “Korach path”.  He never demanded respect and acknowledgement.  He earned it. 

He argued for the sake of heaven and in return he knew heaven’s reward.

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A Baltimore City police officer is still fighting for his life after being dragged by a car during a traffic stop. On Wednesday, a heavy police presence in West Baltimore is believed to be related to that incident. A person was just taken into custody following what police described as a “possible barricade situation” on Druid Hill Avenue. The whole area was blocked off by SWAT teams Wednesday morning. As of noon, detectives were still on the scene. WJZ has learned from sources that this thing may be connected to a an incident Tuesday night where a sergeant was hit during a traffic stop and dragged about two blocks. The driver of the vehicle hit another car along the way before escaping. The officer was taken to Shock Trauma to receive treatment for his injuries a...
Jerusalem, Israel - June 29, 2022 - Data presented at the 12th Annual International Cyber Week Conference revealed that 1,500 attacks were halted during the last year by Israel National Cyber Directorate (INCD) teams.  In his first public speech, Gaby Portnoy, Director General of Israel National Cyber Directorate (INCD), presented the new INCD project aimed to diminish cyber-attacks at the beginning of the international conference held at Tel Aviv University on June 28-30, 2022. The Cyber-Dome - a new big-data, AI, overall approach to proactive defense. Portnoy presented in the annual Cyber Week event led by the INCD and Tel-Aviv University cyber research center. According to Portnoy, "The Cyber-Dome will elevate national cyber-security by implementing new mechanisms in the national ...
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Unilever today announced it has reached a new arrangement for Ben & Jerry’s in Israel which will ensure the ice cream stays available to all consumers. The company has sold its Ben & Jerry’s business interests in Israel to Avi Zinger, the owner of American Quality Products Ltd (AQP), the current Israel-based licensee. The new arrangement means Ben & Jerry’s will be sold under its Hebrew and Arabic names throughout Israel and Judea and Samaria under the full ownership of its current licensee. Under the terms of Unilever’s acquisition agreement of Ben & Jerry’s in 2000, Ben & Jerry’s and its independent Board were granted rights to take decisions about its social mission, but Unilever reserved primary responsibility for financial and ...
Baltimore, MD – June 27, 2022 - It is with regret that Baltimore Jewish Life (BJL) informs the community of the petira of Shirley Zimberg, a’h, mother of Sarah (Eliezer) Lachman (301.300.1555), Dena (Nechemya) Finkelstein and Lenny Zimberg.Shiva is being observed through Sunday morning, July 3, at 15966 Fairfax Street, Southfield, MI, 48075Minyanim:Shacharis: 7:00 AMincha/Maariv: 7:20PMBila HaMaves LaNetzach
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Gov. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., said the Biden administration again will prevent South Dakota from celebrating the Fourth of July with fireworks at Mount Rushmore. After the administration rejected Noem's permit request for fireworks last year, the state in September applied to hold fireworks at the national memorial this year. The request was denied. "We are not going to be able to host those fireworks this year at Mount Rushmore. I am suing [President] Joe Biden and the White House over not allowing us to move forward with that. The fact is that they're violating federal law by not letting South Dakota celebrate our independence over that great monument," Noem said on "The Chad Prather Show." "One of the reasons that they are doing that, I think, is specific to punishing...
Congressman Lee Zeldin has emerged from the four-way Republican primary for governor as the winner, beating out Andrew Giuliani, the son of Rudy Giuliani, according to a race call from The Associated Press. Zeldin, of Long Island, had the backing of Republican Party leaders across the state who voted earlier this year to make him their designated candidate — a distinction that gave him an automatic spot on the primary ballot without petitioning. But incumbent Gov. Kathy Hochul is the candidate to beat in this race. New York has more than twice as many registered Democrats than registered Republicans, with independent voters also outpacing the GOP. Hochul, a Democrat from Buffalo, who had been New York's No. 2 official, rose to power in August after former Gov...
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Baltimore, MD – June 29, 2022 - BJL wishes a hearty Mazel Tov to Yisroel Moshe and Devora Raczkowski on the birth of a son. Mazel Tov grandparents Zvi and Tzilah Raczkowski and Stewie and Shari Greenberg of Woodmere, NY. Mazel Tov to great grandparents, Jerry and Rachel Bernstein, Joan and Nathan Rothman, and Florence and Ozzie Greenberg and to great-great grandmother, Ilse Warburg.  יה"ר שיזכו לגדל בנם לתורה, לחופה, ולמעשים טובים. אמן!
A new COVID wave appears to be starting in New York City, fueled by the strongest subvariant of the omicron strain of coronavirus to date, one of the city's top epidemiologists said Tuesday. The BA.5 subvariant, first seen in South Africa and then Portugal, is considered by some experts to be the "worst version" of omicron seen yet, given its apparent capacity to escape prior immunity and transmit more readily. Dr. Jay Varma, a Weill Cornell epidemiologist and formerly then-mayor Bill de Blasio's top public health advisor during the pandemic, said infections appear to have stabilized at a high level in the city, rather than dropping. "The decline of reported #COVID19 cases in NYC has stopped. Reported cases are at a high plateau, which means actual transmis...
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The Biden administration is planning to give between 25,000 and 30,000 courses of the Jynneos vaccine—the only one approved by federal regulators—to high-risk states as part of its monkeypox strategy, to be unveiled Tuesday evening, sources told The Washington Post. “Over the next week or so, the plan is to distribute some portion of the existing Jynneos, but not all of it, because they want to save doses for confirmed close contacts,” an official said. The nation’s Strategic National Stockpile was stocked with more than 36,000 courses of Jynneos as of June 14, the Post reported, but the U.S. will obtain 150,000 more for distribution in late July. James Krellenstein, co-founder of PrEP4ALL, has been critical of the slow response as the vir...
Young Muppet Elmo proudly got his coronavirus vaccine, weeks after the United States made the shots widely available for children under 5. The furry red Sesame Street resident, who has been 3½ years old since 1984, acknowledged in his signature falsetto voice that there was “a little pinch, but it was okay.” His Muppet father, Louie, told Elmo, who was wearing a green bandage on his arm, that he was “super-duper” while getting his shot. “I had a lot of questions about Elmo getting the covid vaccine. Was it safe? Was it the right decision? I talked to our pediatrician so I could make the right choice,” Louie says to the camera in a clip shared online Tuesday. “I learned that Elmo getting vaccinated is the best way to keep hims...
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