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On Sunday, September 15th, iy”H, Congregation Arugas Habosem, fondly known as “Rabbi Taub’s shul”, will be celebrating three milestones: a Chanukas Habayis, the consecration of its new shul building; a Chanukas HaMikveh, the consecration of its new Mikveh; and, a Hachnosos Sefer Torah in memory of Rebbezin Taub’s parents, the Honiader Rav, R’Avrohom Meir ben R’Yehuda Israel, and Rebbetzin Chava bas R’Meir Halevi Israel, z”l. The Hachnosos Sefer Torah is scheduled to take place at 1 p.m., leaving from the Taubs’ home, 6619 Park Height...
We regret to inform you of the passing of Ralph Sisskin, z"l. Levaya information forthcoming.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House announced Saturday that Hamza bin Laden , the son of the late al-Qaida leader who had become an increasingly prominent figure in the terrorist organization, was killed in a U.S. counterterrorism operation in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region. A statement issued in President Donald Trump’s name gave no further details, such as when Hamza bin Laden was killed or how the United States had confirmed his death. Administration officials would provide no more information beyond the three-sentence statement from the White House. American officials have said there are indications that the CIA, not the U.S. military, conducted the strike. The CIA declined comment on whether the agency was involved. The White House statement said Hamza bin Lade...
 Dutch man charged with the attempted manslaughter of a Jewish father and son claims he forgot why he stabbed them, JTA reported on Friday. During the first hearing in the case, the victims asked the judge to consider a religious or racist motive, which currently is not included in the incitement. Taha Ewis Bakri Abdel Ghani did not deny the assaults, which took place this past March, on Martin Colmans and his son Sharon, vendors in the Albert Cuyp Market. The accused worked in a shop on the market and had had several disputes in the past with the Colmans and others, who complained to authorities about violence on his part. At Thursday’s hearing, a lawyer for Ewis Bakri Abdel Ghani presented psychiatric evaluations to the Amsterdam criminal tribunal declaring ...
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday appeared to blame a US strategist working with the Blue and White campaign for being behind a report that Israel was likely behind the placement of devices in the vicinity of the White House that can capture cellphone calls. “Yesterday you heard the lies that Israel tried to spy on the White House, a complete lie,” Netanyahu said in the Hebrew-language video. “For them everything is kosher,” said Netanyahu referring to the Blue and White campaigin. “They are willing to do anything and don’t care if they damage this valuable asset, our relationship with the United States and my relationship with the president.” “Everything is kosher to garner an extra few votes and bring in a left-wing government....
The controversy between Israel and Russia regarding airstrikes of Iranian targets in Syria and Iraq continues, despite the meeting Between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin. This was reported on Friday by Independent Arabia.According to the report, Moscow has prevented three Israeli air strikes on three Syrian outposts recently, and even threatened that any jets attempting such a thing would be shot down, either by Russian jets or by the S-400 anti-aircraft missiles. The source cited in the report claims a similar situation has happened twice – and that during August, Moscow stopped an air strike on a Syrian outpost in Qasioun, where a S-300 missile battery is placed. Moreover, it was claimed that another air strike was planne...
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BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra took the stage Saturday night even though musicians haven't returned to work. Musicians were locked out in June after failing to reach an agreement with management. Management lifted the lockout this week, but musicians refused to rehearse without a contractual agreement and they filed an unfair labor practice claim with the National Labor Relations Board this week. Still, they performed at New Shiloh Baptist Church in west Baltimore, where the theme for the special performance was celebrating Baltimore, community and the power of music. It comes a day after BSO management announced the postponement of two season-opening concerts due to the ongoing labor dispute. BSO music director and conductor Ma...
BALTIMORE (AP) — Maryland's governor has pledged Baltimore the help of helicopter missions to fight crime, but the union representing pilots says understaffing will leave the promise unfulfilled. The Baltimore Sun reports Maryland State Police is down to less than 50 pilots from the more than 70 it had in recent years. Gov. Larry Hogan this week told Baltimore Mayor Bernard "Jack" Young that state police would carry out "tactical flights over Baltimore whenever their duties bring them into or near the city." Patrick Moran is the president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 3. He says the promised operations won't take place because of manpower and aircraft conditions. Moran says the State Police has 10 helicopters of which one is...
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on the international community to join him Saturday in condemning Iran for drone attacks on two Saudi oil facilities, which he described as "an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply." "Tehran is behind nearly 100 attacks on Saudi Arabia while [President Hassan] Rouhani and [Foreign Minister Mohammad] Zarif pretend to engage in diplomacy," Pompeo tweeted, referring to the nation's president and foreign affairs minister. " ... There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen." Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen claimed responsibility for the attack hours before Pompeo's tweet. The world’s largest oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia and a major oil field were impacted, sp...
The Food and Drug Administration announced Friday that low levels of a cancer-linked chemical have been found in samples of the heartburn medication Zantac. The chemical is an impurity called NDMA, which has been linked to an increased risk for colorectal and uterine cancers. The FDA said that low levels of NDMA were found in samples of ranitidine, a drug used to treat and prevent heartburn by reducing stomach acid. It's sold under the brand name Zantac. It's unclear where the contamination originated. NDMA is the same chemical that lead to multiple recalls of blood pressure medicines this past year. Currently, there is no recall of Zantac or any medicines that contain ranitidine. The FDA said it's still evaluating whether the levels found in an...
Parsha Hashavua
Parshas Ki Seitzei: Boundaries Matter

Bnei Yisroel were given specific instructions on who is eligible and who may serve as a soldier in the conquest of Eretz Yisroel.  Exemptions were given for those who were preparing for marriage (Shoftim, 20:7), had built a new house (20:5) or if they had recently planted a vineyard (20:6).  Moreover, even one who was afraid of war could not participate (20:8).  In fact, the Gemarah explains that only Tzadikim were left to fight and that is exactly what was intended.


 


How then does one understand the Torah’s significant discussion of the Yifas To’ar?  This woman, a gentile captured at war, is permitted to marry the soldier who captured her once the procedures, albeit extensive ones, are followed.  Rashi (21:11), citing the Gemarah in Kiddushin (21b) explains in rather blunt terms, that the procedures were prescribed by the Torah in recognition of the fact that soldiers at war would do terrible things.  Accordingly, the Torah enacted a permissible manner in which the soldier could take this woman to be his wife.  Is this the behavior of our Tzadikim?  They are so overcome by their baser instincts that the Torah concedes that they will yield to them? How are we to understand this abhorrent conduct from our best people?


 


Many years ago one of my Rebbeim explained to me how this must be understood.  The world is designed with an inherent moral code.  There are certain things, which are intrinsically understood, as right or wrong.  That is not to say that people would always do the right thing but they at least know what it is.  For example, most people understand that it is wrong to steal.  They may at times steal, either due to necessity, hatred or some other “reason”, but they understand it to be wrong. The most basic “wrong” that we understand is that it is wrong to kill.  Whether people do commit murder at times due to greed, passion, vengeance or some other motivation, they understand that killing is wrong.


 


When one goes out to war, the fundamental instruction is to kill the soldiers on the other side.  Once this most basic barrier is broken, all other forms of immoral behavior seem comparatively insignificant.  If I can kill, then vandalism, theft or even rape seem like relatively minor violations.  Long ago, our sages recited this principal thusly: the first time we commit a particular sin it is difficult, the second time it is permissible and the third time it is a mitzvah. (Sotah 22a)


 


This is an incredibly profound and poignant lesson.  Barriers mean something.  They are important.  When we break through them, there are ramifications.  Similarly, an emphasis of our core values does keep us from crossing certain lines absent the most extreme circumstances.  Those values are Torah and Chesed.   As we pass the midway point of Elul, we need to redouble our commitment to those core values and be certain to emphasize them to our children, both in word and deed.  



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Minnesota police made an arrest Friday in connection with a fire that destroyed Adas Israel Synagogue in Duluth earlier this week. Matthew James Amiot, 36, was booked on a first-degree arson charge Friday and is in custody at the St. Louis County Jail. He is scheduled to appear in court Monday. The Star Tribune reported that no one else was arrested on Friday and that the suspect had nearly a dozen misdemeanor convictions for trespassing, burglary and theft. Duluth Police Chief Mike Tusken said earlier this week other places of worship were not at risk. The fire started around 2 a.m. Monday and one firefighter was injured in the blaze that took several hours to extinguish. While the building was left in ruins, f...
Bnei Yisroel were given specific instructions on who is eligible and who may serve as a soldier in the conquest of Eretz Yisroel.  Exemptions were given for those who were preparing for marriage (Shoftim, 20:7), had built a new house (20:5) or if they had recently planted a vineyard (20:6).  Moreover, even one who was afraid of war could not participate (20:8).  In fact, the Gemarah explains that only Tzadikim were left to fight and that is exactly what was intended.   How then does one understand the Torah’s significant discussion of the Yifas To’ar?  This woman, a gentile captured at war, is permitted to marry the soldier who captured her once the procedures, albeit extensive ones, are followed.  Rashi (21:11), citing the Gemarah in Kiddushin ...
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There was no reason for the young man to not respond to the Nazi’s question. The soldier and his partner had violently burst into his family’s apartment in the Polish city of Lodz, which had been overrun by the Germans at the start of World War II. The 17-year-old, fearful for his life, had every reason to cooperate and answer respectfully. Pointing to the stately books on the bookshelf, they demanded to know what they were. “The Talmud,” he answered. “At the mention of that word, they became like mad dogs,” Yosef Friedenson recalled many decades later. “They threw the holy books on the floor and trampled them, ripping them to shreds with their heavy boots.” After the uninvited visitors had left, Yosef asked his father why they had respon...
As a proud native New Havener, I was overjoyed when I found out that Yale University’s kosher kitchen would be certified by STAR-K Kosher Certification; I couldn’t wait to try it out, as I recently did, on my annual Elul trip to my hometown. Yale University’s kosher kitchen has come a long way since it first opened to serve weeknight dinners to its graduate students in the fall of 1959. It was housed in the Young Israel synagogue, a 25-minute walk from the university’s downtown New Haven, Connecticut, campus. Most recently, reinventing itself as a STAR-K Kosher-certified facility in the Lindenbaum Kosher Kitchen located at the Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life, it functions seamlessly in the middle of the campus as part of the Yale University Dining System. ...
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Elementary First Day 2019-20 from BaisYaakov on Vimeo. MS-HS First Day 2019 from BaisYaakov on Vimeo.
Baltimore, MD – September 13, 2019 Parshas: Ki Seitzei Chatzos: 1:02:29 PM Hadlakas Nairos: 6:59pm Shkiah:  7:18pm           Tzais HaKochavim: 7:59pm 
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A Florida man who threatened to shoot up a local synagogue and has said publicly that he hates Jews was apprehended on Friday by the FBI. Hanson Larkin, 25, was in an Orlando federal court the same day, charged with making threats through interstate communication to, according to police, a Jewish man that included: “If meeting me for five seconds is not worth the lives of multiple Jews then I have no other option” and “There’s a Chabad near me. And Amtrak has no security for weapons. Don’t make me make a choice they’ll regret.” A Jewish male, Lizardo Rivas, 44, allegedly rejected romantic advances from Larkin and notified authorities of the threats. Rivas said he has communicated with Larkin for two years, and that the suspect has expressed bigo...
Mazal Tov to Rabbi & Mrs. Shmulik & Chomi Raices on the birth of twin sons. Mazal Tov to the grand parents Rabbi & Mrs. Elchonon Lisbon and Rabbi & Mrs. Sholom Ber Raices. 
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