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Baltimore, MD – Feb. 25, 2021 - It is with regret that BaltimoreJewishLife.com informs the community of the petira of Louis Penfil, z’l, husband of Harriet Penfil, (410.764.2138) and father of Rochel (Dovid) Bernstein, (443.571.2308) ,Yitzchak (Rivky) Penfil, and Miriam Shulamis (Naftoli) Eiseman (Text: 215.760.6215 / Email: rabbi.ne@gmail.com)  Shiva will be observed at 6307 Greenspring Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21209.Family requests no visits after 9:30 PM Minyanim:Maariv: Sun: 9:00 PMShacharis: 7:40 AMMincha/Maariv: Mon & Tues.: 5:40 PM Bila HaMaves LaNetzach…
Jerusalem, Israel - Feb. 28, 2021 - With Shushan Purim on Shabbat this year, Sunday, February 28, 2021, was when Mishloah Manot and the Purim Seudah were held by those in Jerusalem, Israel. Even with strict coronavirus restrictions, the Jerusalem Municipality sponsored dozens of colorful street entertainers to perform for the thousands who were able to get into the center of town during the day. Most of the people on the streets in the crowd were dressed in Purim costumes, though in Jerusalem it is often hard to tell. Travel into Jerusalem, was extremely limited. Group buses were not allowed to come from outside the city. A Purim night curfew extended until Sunday midnight. Smaller groups than usual and family units celebrated Purim in a limited capacity. The ministerial commit...
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Simchas Purim cannot be stopped! Along with Klal Yisrael, Covid Purim 5781 will be different. No bochurim to go around raising funds, no merry making in people's homes. But the simcha only grows! In Yeshiva Ohr Hatorah, no collecting means added time for learning - adding to the true Simchas Purim. "Simcha and Torah are brothers - they can never be separated!" Please watch the accompanying video for a flavor of the Ohr Hatorah simcha and then give generously to help support our Yeshiva!
Baltimore, Md – Feb. 28, 2021 – In order to accommodate today's increased demand, the COVID testing center site at Chizuk Amuno Congregation 8100 Stevenson Road, Baltimore, MD 21208, will be open until 2:00 PM
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Baltimore, MD - Feb. 17, 2021 - The Baltimore  Community Covid Testing is now offering home visits for all tests - Rapid, Pcr and Antibody. $20 per visit, all tests are covered by insurance. Click here for forms.
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Dear Friends, This winter, as Covid-19 swept through our household the biggest worry was, of course, keeping R' Dovid safe. Kent, his caregiver, valiantly volunteered to stay by his side for eighteen days straight, despite the risk of contracting the disease. His kindness and heroism, along with the help of friends and neighbors, brought home how much we are dependent on caring and compassionate people. We are forever indebted to our many supporters, some of whom we will never meet, but who have given of their time and money to sustain R' Dovid and our family. Although the purpose of this appeal is to ask for your continued support, I want to thank each and every one of you for staying by our side and keeping R' Dovid alive. Each one of you is a precious m...
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Baltimore, MD - Feb. 5, 2021 - Please be aware that there are currently a number of produce items, specifically red, yellow and orange peppers that are coming from Israel and are being sold in the Baltimore area at produce markets. STAR-K oversees the produce departments at Seven Mile Market andMaven Market, and we will post signs when applicable that Terumos & Maasros have been taken. However, please be aware when shopping in other stores. Note that the packages or labels state "Product of Israel." These vegetables require Terumos and Maaseros to be taken. Other examples of produce commonly from Israel are carrots, citrus fruits, persimmons, pomegranates, dates, dill and parsley.We are offering our guide for your convenience.
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The Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV) today harshly rejected, on both moral and Constitutional grounds, the claim by Congressman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) that “what any religious tradition describes as G-d’s will is no concern of this Congress.” Nadler made this statement on the floor of the House of Representatives last Thursday, rebutting Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL) who had said that the Equality Act, which passed the House that day, does not “reflect the standards of G-d.” “Mr. Nadler has forgotten the Constitution,” said Rabbi Pesach Lerner, President of the CJV. “The Founding Fathers required Congress to avoid infringing upon the free exercise of religion, meaning it must be sensitive to what every religious tradition describ...
President Biden on Saturday teased a Monday announcement regarding Saudi Arabia following the release of an official report that accuses Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of ordering the operation that killed Jamal Khashoggi. Biden told reporters on the White House lawn, “There will be an announcement on Monday as to what we are going to be doing with Saudi Arabia generally.” Join BJL on WhatsApp Status: Click here to Join BJL status for engagements, births, deals, levayos, events & more Join BJL on WhatsApp Groups: Click here to Join an official BJL WhatsApp group for breaking news as it happens Biden was responding to a question from The Post about whether he would punish the 35-year-old crown prince, who is the de facto ruler of the oil-rich kingdom. A re...
Parsha Hashavua
Write Your Personal Megillah

It is the night of Purim, as I sit down to share my weekly thoughts.




My mind wanders to exactly a year ago, when the seeds of fear for the dreaded pandemic were first sown. We withheld somewhat from any direct contact with one another, but more or less Purim was celebrated similar enough to what would be considered a normal Purim.




A year later, many of us have lost those we shared so many glorious Purims together over our lifetimes. Whether a beloved parent, a spouse, a cherished Rebbe, or a dear friend who are now just memories of happier times.




Our lives have been disrupted in a way never experienced before. Illness, death, and financial struggle are part of the cycle of challenge we endure during our lives, but the unchartered territory of an unknown and unpredictable enemy, and its impact on our families’ normal daily routines, has upset all our previous notions of what is normal in life.




Yet, for the most part we are still here, learning to survive and perhaps even thrive, adapting to the new realities we are still facing.




Part of our frustration stems from the roller coaster of emotions we face that rise with hope, and often then dive steeply into the unknown. When, we wonder, will it all resolve?




The lesson in the story of Esther, is about the hidden hand that directs that which seems so random.




The verse that foretells of a time when G-d will conceal himself from His children, ואנכי הסתר אסתיר פני — I will surely have concealed My face, alludes to אסתר, whose very name intimates something hidden.




This verse follows an earlier reference that speaks of His concealing His face in allowing much evil and distress to befall the nation, prodding the nation to regret their errant ways, and confess their guilt when they exclaim, “Is it not because my G-d is not in my midst that these evils have come upon us.”




The Ramban understands the Torah to be reporting that they truly regretted their behavior. Nevertheless, their mission had not been accomplished, as G-d would no longer have to conceal his ‘face of mercy’ as He earlier had but would now conceal the ‘face of redemption’.




Rav Wolbe explains this to mean, that we would not have to endure distress as much as face the challenge of dashed hopes. We would go from thrilling moments of longed for redemption to dashed hopes and disappointment.




If we have regretted our failures and repented why the need to hide further?




Only someone who finds happiness in His service even during the ‘dips’ and the ‘valleys’ of life, will never become stale and stagnant, and vulnerable to lapses of consciousness, succumbing to despair.




The nation rationalized all sorts of halachic compromises in dealing with the political realities of their days. They had lost their enthusiasm, even while they remained committed to Torah and its precepts.




They would come to realize their error, renewing their spirit to serve with joy and enthusiasm, knowing that only equipped with that excitement could they survive the long rock road ahead.




The famed Rav Meir Shapiro directs us to the verse immediately following this allusion to Esther and her times, that commands us to, write this song for yourselves, and teach it to the Children of Israel... , the command to write a Sefer Torah.




It is no coincidence, since the Megillah is the story that teaches us not only how to write one but how to sing its message in joyous song.




The Talmud states that קריאתה זו הלולא, the reading of Megilla is the fulfillment of reading Hallel, singing His praise.




Whereas on other holidays we recite the formal Hallel, on Purim we infuse it into the Torah itself. We enthuse it with the joy and privilege of serving Hashem.




My dear friend, Dr. Edo Lavi, was offering me condolence yesterday over the loss of my mother a’h, and commented how with this past year and all its experiences, we each all have a unique, Megillah — story to tell.




Indeed, we each have a journey we have traveled, fine tuning the instruments that play exquisite music — our souls, as we conquer each challenge with purpose and a renewed closeness to Hashem, to ourselves, and to others.




May each of our ‘stories’ generate an exquisite symphony of joy, as we await that final day of redemption.  




באהבה, 


צבי יהודה טייכמאן 

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Jerusalem, Israel - An Israeli citizen acted as a Hamas agent in Israel and worked for the terrorist organization’s military wing in Gaza, the Shin Bet and Israel Police revealed on Friday. The citizen, who was arrested on Feb. 3, is 43-year-old Muhammad Abu Adra, whose father is a Bedouin and whose mother hails from Gaza. Abu Adra is married to a Gaza resident and divides his time between Rafah and the central Israeli city of Rehovot, frequently using the Erez Border Crossing. A Shin Bet investigation revealed that Hamas recruited Abu Adra while he was in Gaza around a year and a half ago. From that time, he remained in covert operational contact with Hamas members, collecting and providing them with information on the location of Iron Dome batteries. Join BJL on WhatsApp Status:...
The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday ordered a California county to let houses of worship hold indoor services, adding to a line of orders that have curbed the power of government officials as they battle the spread of the coronavirus. The latest High Court action follows a February 6 order that let indoor worship services resume in most of California at 25 percent capacity. Join BJL on WhatsApp Status: Click here to Join BJL status for engagements, births, deals, levayos, events & more Join BJL on WhatsApp Groups: Click here to Join an official BJL WhatsApp group for breaking news as it happens The court’s one-paragraph injunction said the outcome “outcome is clearly dictated by this Court’s decision in South Bay United Pentecostal Church v. New...
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An avowed white supremacist was sentenced on Friday to 19-1/2 years in prison after pleading guilty months ago to a federal hate-crimes case stemming from a botched plot to bomb a historic Colorado synagogue in 2019. Richard Holzer, 28, appeared in a federal courtroom in Denver for a sentencing that capped an undercover FBI investigation of a plan to blow up Temple Emanuel in Pueblo, Colorado, the second-oldest synagogue in the state. Join BJL on WhatsApp Status: Click here to Join BJL status for engagements, births, deals, levayos, events & more Join BJL on WhatsApp Groups: Click here to Join an official BJL WhatsApp group for breaking news as it happens Although the plot was thwarted, US District Judge Raymond Moore said Holzer had sought “to terrorize the Jewish communit...
Charedi man driving to work with papers proving he is an essential worker says he was refused passage at police checkpoint. There is a growing number of reports of anti-haredi discrimination at police checkpoints on Israeli roads, in particular on the outskirts of Jerusalem. Arutz Sheva has received numerous reports from haredi drivers who claim they were singled out by police and forced to turn around and drive home – despite no prohibition on travel to the capital. In one recent case, M. told Arutz Sheva of an instance in which he was refused entry to Jerusalem, despite being an essential worker. Join BJL on WhatsApp Status: Click here to Join BJL status for engagements, births, deals, levayos, events & more Join BJL on WhatsApp Groups: Click here to Join...
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Republicans in both houses of Congress introduced a resolution on Wednesday opposing any move by U.S. President Biden and his administration to lift sanctions against Iran. Led by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and supported by more than 40 lawmakers, the resolution “rejects and opposes the reapplication of sanctions relief for Iran” and expresses disapproval of giving Iran access to the U.S. financial system, reported Bloomberg News. In a statement, congressional members supporting the resolution said “the U.S. must maintain sanctions on the Iranian regime until it abandons its nuclear ambitions and ends its support for violence and terror around the region.” The lawmakers noted that Iran “took advantage of weak policies during the Obama administration, and...
The White House, under fire about their use of migrant children detention centers that Democrats ripped into under former President Donald Trump, noted Thursday that the facilities are providing educational services — even as schools nationwide struggle to reopen. Asked about the uptick of migrants at the border — as well as progressive Democrat backlash to the Biden administration’s handling of it through the use of detention centers, White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended the effort as humane. Join BJL on WhatsApp Status: Click here to Join BJL status for engagements, births, deals, levayos, events & more Join BJL on WhatsApp Groups: Click here to Join an official BJL WhatsApp group for breaking news as it happens “What is happenin...
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The UAE’s first ambassador to Israel will arrive in the Jewish state to take up his post, the Walla news site reports. Mohammad Mahmoud Al Khajahi will land in the country on Tuesday and present his credentials to President Reuven Rivlin the next day, according to the report. Join BJL on WhatsApp Status: Click here to Join BJL status for engagements, births, deals, levayos, events & more Join BJL on WhatsApp Groups: Click here to Join an official BJL WhatsApp group for breaking news as it happens Israel and the United Arab Emirates agreed to normalize relations in August as part of a US-brokered agreement. Read more at Times of Israel.
Donald Trump Jr. was deposed early this month as part of an ongoing investigation into alleged misuse of Trump inauguration funds, according to court documents filed on Tuesday. The Feb. 11 deposition with investigators from the Washington, D.C., attorney general’s office is part of multiple probes into whether the inaugural committee misspent donated funds from the record $107 million it received. Join BJL on WhatsApp Status: Click here to Join BJL status for engagements, births, deals, levayos, events & more Join BJL on WhatsApp Groups: Click here to Join an official BJL WhatsApp group for breaking news as it happens It specifically looked into a block of rooms at the Madison Hotel, which was owned by Loews Hotels at the time, for which the Trump ...
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A renewed bipartisan push to discover the cause of the so-called “Havana Syndrome” appears to have resonated with the Biden Administration. The Washington Examiner reported Friday a CIA spokesperson said the agency was working with others to “double down” on finding answers regarding  the “unexplained global health incidents” among U.S. personnel abroad in places such as Cuba, Russia and China. Join BJL on WhatsApp Status: Click here to Join BJL status for engagements, births, deals, levayos, events & more Join BJL on WhatsApp Groups: Click here to Join an official BJL WhatsApp group for breaking news as it happens The public first became aware of the “Havana Syndrome” in  2016 after inci...
Senate Republicans are setting their sights on California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, President Biden’s choice to head the Department of Health and Human Services, as their next target in the battle over Biden’s Cabinet. Join BJL on WhatsApp Status: Click here to Join BJL status for engagements, births, deals, levayos, events & more Join BJL on WhatsApp Groups: Click here to Join an official BJL WhatsApp group for breaking news as it happens Republicans, on the cusp of quashing Neera Tanden’s nomination to head the White House budget office, are looking for their next scalp and see Becerra as a tough vote for Democrats. They argue that Becerra, who served for 24 years in the House before becoming California’s attorney general in 2017, lacks the medica...
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