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Baltimore, MD - October 28, 2020  - I believe I first had the honor and pleasure of meeting Mrs. Hannah Storch, a’h -- the legendary Baltimore Jewish community matriarch who was recently nifteres at the age of 98 -- about 12 years ago. It was then that she commissioned me to write advance publicity for the M. Leo Storch Memorial Lecture - the first of numerous articles I would write about the annual event commemorating the yahrtzeit of her cherished husband, M. Leo (Moshe Aryeh) Storch, z”l, who predeceased her in 1972. Although it was a paid writing job, I knew a warm handwri...
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Baltimore, MD - Oct. 27, 2020 - How timely, that this year, the annual memorial lecture in honor of M. Leo Storch, z'l, is scheduled for this upcoming Sunday evening, November 1st. His children, Mindy Spetner, Judy (Bregin) Gross, and Frank Storch, will have just finished sitting shivah for their beloved mother, Mrs. Hannah Storch, a”h. Mrs. Storch, his true ezer knegdo, was nifteres on Sunday, October 25th, 2020. She carried on the torch of her husband’s selfless devotion to helping others for more than 48 years after his passing. Born in Baltimore in 1907, M. Leo served his country during World War II. When he saw the tragedy and devastation of yiddishkeit in Europe he committed to doing all he could to rebuild Klal Yisroel. He later graduated law school and practiced g...
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Baltimore, MD – Oct. 26, 2020 - As BaltimoreJewishLife.com (BJL) continues to support our community by building on the information provided by, among others, the JCOVID Medical Team, we are now offering E-Mail registration for daily updates. For additional needs we have also added a chat service that will be monitored throughout the day. Be among the first to be informed by clicking on the graphic below and entering your information. 
Baltimore, MD - Oct. 29, 2020 - BJL wishes a hearty Mazel Tov to Akiva Snider and Breindy Scherman (Boro Park) on their engagement. Mazal Tov to Mr. and Mrs. Mordechai Snider and Rabbi and Rebbetzin Yitzchok Scherman  יה"ר שיזכו לבנות בית נאמן בישראל. אמן
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[Ed. Note] Out of the respect and recognition of the impact made by longtime BJL friend and contributor, Reb Shaya Gross, z’l, we will maintain a living memoriam to Shaya through the sweet words and thoughtful insights of  his Divrei Torah. BJL readers will remember his weekly column on the Parsha and on various Torah ideas and concepts. These meaningful words will help us remember this special young man who will be sorely missed and for those who did not merit to know him, this will be the most appropriate way for them to become familiar with who he was. One of Avraham's ten great tests occurred at the beginning of this week's Parsha: to leave his birthplace and travel to where G-d instructs him to go. G-d promised Avraham that if he listens, He will mak...
Baltimore, MD – Oct. 25, 2020 - 11:52 AM - It is with deep sadness that BaltimoreJewishLife.com informs the community of the petira Mrs. Hannah (M. Leo, Z’L) Storch, a’h, mother of Mrs. Mindy Spetner, Mrs. Judy (Bregin) Gross, and Mr. Frank Storch.Shivah for Mrs. Hannah Storch, a”h,  will take place at 3209 Fallstaff Road in the back parking lot in the outdoor tent. Shacharis Friday at 8.00 am Shivah 9.30 am - 12.30 pm Lunch break 12.30 -1.30 pm Mincha Erev Shabbos 3:00  PM To contact; Mrs. Mindy Spetner 410-908-5105 Mrs. Judy Gross 410-591-5099 Mr. Frank Storch 410-340-1000 Bila HaMaves LaNetzach...
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Baltimore, MD - Oct. 23, 2020 - Tehilim for Women every night this week Sunday-Thursday at 9:30 PM and Friday morning at 9:00 AM for Rebitzin Dr. Aviva Weisbord, Aviva bas Shaina Chana Call-In: 563.999.2090   Passcode 387377Tehilim led by Rebbetzin Etti Rosenbaum.
Federal judge sends message to candidates for Baltimore mayor to retain stability The federal judge overseeing the Baltimore Police Department's consent decree sent a clear message Thursday to the city's candidates for mayor, discouraging any change in leadership of the department. U.S. Chief District Judge James Bredar made the department's past revolving door of leadership a major issue as he oversees implementation of police reforms. New mayors usually like to change commissioners. The judge's message Thursday: "Don't." Noting that next week's election includes the race for Baltimore mayor, Bredar repeatedly endorsed keeping Michael Harrison in place as Baltimore's police commissioner. Read more at WBALTV
Parsha Hashavua
Parshas Lech Lecha - The Intention Is What Matters

[Ed. Note] Out of the respect and recognition of the impact made by longtime BJL friend and contributor, Reb Shaya Gross, z’l, we will maintain a living memoriam to Shaya through the sweet words and thoughtful insights of  his Divrei Torah. BJL readers will remember his weekly column on the Parsha and on various Torah ideas and concepts. These meaningful words will help us remember this special young man who will be sorely missed and for those who did not merit to know him, this will be the most appropriate way for them to become familiar with who he was.


One of Avraham's ten great tests occurred at the beginning of this week's Parsha: to leave his birthplace and travel to where G-d instructs him to go. G-d promised Avraham that if he listens, He will make Avraham into a great nation, bless Avraham with riches, and make his name great.
With all of these guaranteed rewards, wouldn’t it have been very easy for Avraham to listen and go? Why is this challenge considered to be one of Avraham’s ten most difficult challenges?



Some of the commentators answer that Avraham’s test was to listen solely because it was G-d's will, not because of all the benefits that would come from it. The test was the KAVANA [the INTENT]. 
Avraham passed the test with flying colors, as the Pasuk attests that Avraham left solely because it was G-d’s commandment.

This is a very applicable lesson for all of us. There are many aspects of Yiddishkeit where the act of the Mitzva is very pleasurable. What separates the ‘Adult from the child’ is the kavana. Are we eating because we enjoy food, or because we need to eat to stay healthy in order to serve Hashem properly? Are we learning solely because we love the intellectual stimulation and depth, or because Hashem wants us to study His Torah and get pleasure from it? Do we look forward to Shabbos as the day when we can simply relax from our hectic schedule, or as the day that we can connect to Hashem better without all of the distractions?

These are lofty goals, but as descendants of Avraham Avinu, we have that innate spiritual DNA to rise to the occasion of doing the Mitzvos solely because it is Hashem's will, even though we derive pleasure from them.  

{Reb Borcuh Leib writes: On this test of Avraham Avinu, Rashi explains that Avraham received a bracha for great wealth, because when a person travels, one's wealth decreases. So Hashem gave him a bracha that he should still have wealth.
I saw a beautiful insight from Rabbi Reisman. He quotes Rav Pam who says that you see from this test that moving isn’t simple. To move from one place to another, one can lose out on many things. Staying in one place can create a tremendous salvation.
Rav Pam would often say you're looking for the city of happiness? The city of happiness is in the state of mind. Wherever you are, be content. Be happy with what you have. Your eyes should not be looking all over the place. That is a lesson from the first test that Avraham Avinu had to move from where he was. Moving is not simple.
Let us try to be content with ourselves with what we have, and not constantly look over our shoulder to see what our neighbor has. That will hopefully help us live happier, healthier lives where we can devote ourselves to becoming greater people.

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Israel will start human trials on its own vaccine on November 1 Italy has agreed on Thursday to supply Israel with a COVID-19 vaccine when one becomes available, Hebrew-language media reported on Thursday. Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi thanked Italy "for its willingness to transfer Israel doses of a vaccine for coronavirus" at a meeting in Jerusalem with his Italian counterpart, Luigi Di Maio.  Ashkenazi added he hoped that tourism between the two countries would resume soon. Rome-based biotech company ReiThera is currently developing a coronavirus vaccine at the capital's Spallanzani Institute for infectious diseases. Human trials, expected to last six months, began in August. Whereas Israel's own COVID-19 vaccine prototype will enter the human trials phase on...
Baltimore City's coronavirus testing site at Pimlico Race Course has closed, Mayor Bernard C. "Jack" Young and Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa said Thursday. The closure is part of a transition in testing operations as winter draws near. The clinic was one of the first stood up with the help of the Maryland National Guard. “I want to sincerely thank the Stronach Group, the Maryland Jockey Club, LifeBridge Health, the Maryland National Guard, and the Maryland Department of Health for working with the city to provide essential community-based testing at Pimlico,” Young said in a statement. “This site proved vital throughout the early phases of the pandemic by providing critical access to testing for our residents.” In partnership with LifeBridge and Si...
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Turnout of reservists 'total,' IDF Maj. Gen. Hacohen says, despite COVID-19 concerns The Israel Defense Forces successfully concluded its "Lethal Arrow" drill on Thursday, which Maj. Gen. (Res.) Gershon Hacohen said had sent “a message to all those who try to deny the concrete threat of Hezbollah, and who speak of the movement as a simple terrorist threat.” “Hezbollah poses a concrete threat to Israel, has more than 100,000 rockets, threatening our civilian population,” the general told i24NEWS in an exclusive interview with Matthias Inbar, which aired on "The Rundown." The general was the deputy director of the exercise that began on Sunday, and spent the week monitoring the war games that simulated a conflict in northern Israel. One ...
White House reaffirms commitment to maintaining Israel's qualitative military edge in the region The White House announced on Thursday it will sell 50 F-35 planes to the United Arab Emirates, following lengthy talks in the wake of the Gulf state's normalization agreement with Israel earlier this year. 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 US President Donald Trump's administration informally gave a required notification to Congress on the sale, which could "significantly change the military balance in the Gulf and affect Israel's military edge," said Representative Eliot Eng...
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Gov. Larry Hogan said Thursday that even though Maryland isn't one of the 42 states dealing with a massive surge in coronavirus cases, this is no time to get complacent. "We have seen some slightly rising numbers in cases, in our positivity rate," Hogan said while visiting the Maritime Institute for Technology and Graduate Studies in Linthicum. "We're in much better shape than we were before. That doesn't mean it's not going to be a terrible crisis to deal with." At one point, Marylanders were ordered to stay home except for essential business. However, orders have been eased to allow for indoor dining, retail and entertainment to continue to varying extents. Hogan said his team will remain "vigilant" for possible spikes in cases in the days and weeks ahead.
Baltimore City's school board will hold an online forum Thursday evening for parents on its plans to reopen schools. Schools CEO Sonja Santileses has proposed opening 25 schools next month to preschool, special education, English as a second language students and homeless students. Leaders of the teachers union and some parents oppose the plan noting it is not safe in buildings, and opening schools puts parents, teachers and staff at risk of COVID-19.  Santileses told C4 and Bryan Nehman on Thursday that the program will build on a summer school program, which opened 15 buildings for in-person instruction and support with virtual classes.  Santileses said she has been working with principals and other staff to get school buildings ready. Sh...
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Exxon Mobil Corp said on Thursday it will lay off about 1,900 employees in the United States as the COVID-19 pandemic batters energy demand and prices. Exxon was once the largest U.S. publicly traded company, but has been cutting costs due to a collapse in oil demand and ill-timed bets on new oilfields and expansions. It has promised to shed more than $10 billion this year in project spending and cut operating expenses 15%. The company lost nearly $1.7 billion in the first six months of the year and is expected to post another quarterly loss on Friday. Exxon said the job cuts, part of a global reorganization, will come mainly from its Houston, Texas office and will include voluntary and involuntary cuts. Read more at NEWSMAX.
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Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., is raising the possibility that a special counsel will be needed to investigate the business dealings of Joe Biden’s son Hunter. Johnson made his comments Wednesday during an interview on Fox Business Network’s “Mornings With Maria.” 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 “I am not a big fan of special counsels, but if Joe Biden wins the presidency, I don’t see how you avoid one,” Johnson said. “Otherwise, this is going to be, you know, tucked away, and we will never know what happened. All this evidence is go...
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