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Baltimore, MD – Sept. 30, 2022 - It is with regret that Baltimore Jewish Life (BJL) informs the community of the petira of Murray Daitchman, Z’L, father of Diane (Rabbi Yehoshua) Liff, Shoshie (Rabbi Jeffrey) Wohlgelernter, Jay (Karen) Daitchman and Laure, Z'L (Abe) Gutman. Levayah is graveside 2:00PM, Sunday, Oct. 2, at United Hebrew Cemetery, 3979 Washington Blvd Halethorpe, MD, 21227. Shiva in Baltimore will be observed on Sunday only until 9:30PM at 2200 Rogene Drive, Baltimore, MD, 21209.     Bila HaMaves LaNetzach For more details as available click he...
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Our Story: In the year 2011 Rabbi David Frid was diagnosed with ALS, which causes complete deterioration of the muscles in the body. In the beginning, he heroically fought to function on his own, even after he was confined to a wheelchair. At present, the disease has progressed to the point where he is now fully paralyzed, on a breathing machine and although fully cognizant, can only communicate with his eyes. He needs 24-hour surveillance and special care to survive. The ongoing costs are mind boggling.The family cannot continue without your support!  Please donate generously to give R' Dovid the lifesaving care he needs while allowing our family to function!  Waiting for Moshiach At 2:25 on Erev Shabbos, the angels were crying. How do I know? Be...
If there is one prayer that resonates in the heart of every Jew, it is Kol Nidrei. The very tune is haunting yet enchanting, saddening yet uplifting. Yet, when one looks at the words – they seem to be anything but inspirational. Kol Nidrei is a form of Hataras Nedorim, revocation of vows. We begin the holiest day of the year by releasing ourselves from the vows of the past and proactively annulling the vows of the future. On a legal level this is very important as violating one’s vow is considered a severe transgression. We do whatever we can to repent and absolve ourselves of sin as we enter this sacred day. And still, we find ourselves confounded by a basic question: Of all the beautiful prayers we have in our liturgy, why begin the holiest day of the year with revocation of ...
Baltimore, MD - Sept. 30, 2022 - Our past sins need not be seen as devilish and fundamentally dirty, as the proverbially demons which we foreverchase. To the contrary, authentic teshuvah is an art of reframing, recasting uncomfortable failure as a welcome opportunity for personal growth. We do not castigate any aspects of ourselves, but rather redirect wayward passions of the past in new positive directions. All aspects of self are essentially beautiful, and able to find healthy, holy expression.  Click here to listen
Baltimore, MD - Sept. 30, 2022 - Looking for an inspiring place for Yom Kippur? Join us at the Delta Hunt Valley.Chazzanim and Dynamic Speakers include:R’ Chaim KatzRabbi Yonah SklareR’ Yossi SonnenblickRabbi Shalom WeingotSpecial room cost: $99 per roomCall for details (leave a message) – 443-660-9132
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With the onset of the new year, another shemittah year has concluded. Now that the year is over, the mitzvos regarding shemittah, for the most part, cease as well. Prohibitions regarding produce that grew in the shemittah year and maintain shemittah status still apply. The procurement of the post-shemittah esrog, therefore, takes on a different form depending on where you shop. In the absence of a pruzbul, as well, one is forbidden to collect a loan after shemittah has concluded. But these laws ultimately tie back to the actual shemittah year itself. However, there is one mitzvah connected to shemittah that still remains, although it is not in practice today - the mitzvah of hakhei...
It is my personal belief that everyone is entitled to their favorite Dad Joke. My personal favorite goes like this: I was trying to figure out why the ball was getting bigger and bigger. Then it hit me.  Whether you heard this one before or not, there is a tremendous lesson to be learned from this joke. According to the laws of physics, the closer something is to you, the bigger it appears. The same is true when it comes to the laws of spirituality; the closer something is to you, the bigger it appears.  The High Holiday season – starting with Elul and culminating with Yom Kippur – is a time when our Sages tell us that we are extremely close to Hashem. We daven more during these times, we think more during these times, we conduct ourselves with more spiritual sensit...
 During the aseres yemei teshuvah is certainly when we should contemplate…  A Place to Pray At the beginning of parshas Vayeitzei, the Torah teaches that Yaakov reached “the place,” vayifga bamakom, and he stopped there, because the sun had already set (see Rashi). The Gemara explains the word vayifga to mean he prayed. As Rashi notes, the word bamakom means that he stopped at a specific place, yet the Torah does not identify which place. Chazal explain that he stopped at the place where the akeidah of his father had occurred, which is the place from which Adam Harishon was created and the location of the mizbei’ach of the Beis Hamikdash, toward which we daven three times daily. To quote the Rambam: “The location of the mizbei’ach is very e...
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Parshas Vayeilech / Aseres Yemei Teshuvah - Would You Like Cream And Sugar With That Teshuvah?

With the onset of the new year, another shemittah year has concluded. Now that the year is over, the mitzvos regarding shemittah, for the most part, cease as well. Prohibitions regarding produce that grew in the shemittah year and maintain shemittah status still apply. The procurement of the post-shemittah esrog, therefore, takes on a different form depending on where you shop. In the absence of a pruzbul, as well, one is forbidden to collect a loan after shemittah has concluded. But these laws ultimately tie back to the actual shemittah year itself. However, there is one mitzvah connected to shemittah that still remains, although it is not in practice today - the mitzvah of hakheil.

Hakheil, as it is discussed in this week's parsha and in the gemara (Sotah 41a,) was indeed a sight to be seen - the entire nation gathered in the Holy Temple as the king read from the Torah. Why, though, was this practice reserved for once every seven years? And why at the end of shemittah?

Malbi"m explains that shemittah is a year of complete devotion to spiritual growth, a year when the farmers and all those whose who work the land turn away from their tiring and distracting service of the land and devote themselves completely to the service of HaShem. It is a time when all are putting their faith in HaShem as He miraculously carries them through the year. This is the time to capitalize on this spiritual peak and bring everyone together for the reading of the Torah in the beis hamikdash before they all return to their fields to go to work once again.

This idea underscores the importance of capitalizing on our spiritual growth to bring ourselves yet another step higher. This is really the lesson of Tishrei of every year. It may be suggested that expecting all Jews to exit their homes and live in a temporary dwelling for a full week might not have been in the realm of possibility, for example, in the middle of the summer. It is only after the spiritual high of Yom Kippur, following the aseres yemei teshuvah, that we are able to devote ourselves to such an extent. So, immediately after Yom Kippur, without leaving a moment to lapse back into our regular routine, we thrust ourselves into the mitzvos of Sukkos.

It is customary to capitalize on the auspiciousness of these days by taking on stringencies that we do not keep the rest of the year, such as pas Yisrael or chaleiv Yisrael. There has been much said about this practice. Why do we do it and whom are we fooling if we know that the day after Yom Kippur we will go back to doing what we’ve always done?

I once heard an inspiring parable in the name of R’ Ahron Lopiansky, Rosh HaYeshivah of the Yeshiva of Greater Washington, which explains what we are trying to accomplish. This is sure to resonate with those who drink coffee, which is approximately everybody. Coffee is often enjoyed hot – but not too hot. Right out of the pot, it usually needs a couple of minutes to cool off before it drops to that perfect drinking temperature. This, of course, begs the question, why not skip the wait? Why not brew the coffee at the desired drinking temperature so it can be enjoyed immediately? Nevertheless, as coffee aficionados will have you know, doing so will produce a drastically sub-standard brew of coffee. (The optimum brewing temperature is approximately 200° F.) Not enough of the flavour will be extracted from the beans and the result will be barely drinkable.

Such is the case with our spiritual levels we wish to maintain throughout the year. If we really want to be able to maintain an ideal “drinking temperature” for the rest of the year, we need to “come in hot.” We need to start off on a higher, perhaps unrealistic, level to extract all of the goodness from the aseres yemei teshuvah so that when ultimately simmer down, we are just right.

Have a good Shabbos and a gemar chasimah tov.

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Washington, DC - Sept. 30, 2022 - Delegate Dalya Attar joins a Rosh Hashana celebration at the White House with President Joe Biden, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and her husband Douglas Emhoff! This is the first Jewish High Holiday celebration at the White House.
Gale warnings and watches, along with coastal flood watches, are posted for the Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River, which has spurred statewide preparations in Maryland as the remnants of Hurricane Ian move up the mid-Atlantic. “We have been preparing on all fronts to deal with the remnants of the storm,” Gov. Larry Hogan said in a statement Friday. “As we always emphasize with potential flooding events, it is critical for drivers to avoid rising waters — ‘turn around, don’t drown.’ We advise Marylanders to watch the forecast closely throughout the weekend and heed local warnings.” According to the National Weather Service, steady rain is possible late Friday through Monday, accompanied by strong wind gusts. Beginning this afternoo...
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Members of the Rabbinical Congress for Peace (RCP) “Pikuach Nefesh” expressed shock and disbelief at Yair Lapid’s recent speech at the United Nations, in which he promoted the concept of “Two states for two peoples.” “How blind and naïve can a person be to try to revive this idea, which has already caused so much suffering and disasters in Israel? After the plan has been almost forgotten, thank God, Lapid has to foolishly and irresponsibly raise it again at the UN, practically begging them to renew international pressure and sanctions against Israel,” the rabbis of the Congress wrote in a letter to Knesset members this week. “Does anyone doubt what is about to happen as a result? International pressure, terrorist attacks carried out wi...
The White House will announce new sanctions on Russia on Friday over its annexation of four breakaway regions in Ukraine. The additional sanctions were confirmed by a White House official, NBC News reported. Earlier on Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that leaders of the four regions had signed agreements in Moscow to become part of Russia. "In the people's republics of Donetsk and Lugansk and in the regions of Lugansk and Donetsk there were referendums. Their results are known and show an unequivocal choice. Today we sign the agreement to accept them into the Russian Federation. This is the wish of more than a million people. This is their right that cannot be taken away, written in the UN constitution,” Putin said during a Kremlin speec...
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'Any inhumane regimes pose a threat to all humanity,' Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial in his country's capital on Thursday to observe the 81st anniversary of the massacre. The site commemorates the slaughter of Jews in a ravine near Kyiv by the Nazis and their collaborators on Yom Kippur and the day after in 1941.  Zelensky, who is Jewish, laid flowers and a memorial lamp next to the menorah in honor of the victims. "Any inhumane regimes pose a threat to all humanity. Criminals who cause such tragedies must be punished so that dictators and tyrants are reluctant to repeat something similar in the future," Zelensky stated.
Israeli security forces decided to suspend visits by Jews to Kever Yoseif HaTzadik in the Palestinian city of Nablus indefinitely due to the worsening security situation in the West Bank. Kever Yoseif HaTzadik is located in Area A of the West Bank, officially under complete control of the West Bank's Palestinian Authority (PA), although the Israeli army conducts operations there. Israeli security services prohibit Israeli citizens from entering Area A without prior permission. The religious site is revered as the final resting place of the biblical Yoseif HaTzadik, and Orthodox Jews' trips occur on at least a monthly basis.  Israelis' visits to Kever Yoseif HaTzadik almost always trigger violent clashes with Palestinians.
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State television said police arrested many 'rioters,' without giving figures A human rights organization said Thursday that at least 83 people were killed in nearly two weeks as protests continue across several cities in Iran.  Mahsa Amini, 22, from the Iranian Kurdish town of Saqez, was arrested this month in Tehran for "unsuitable attire" by the morality police that enforces the Islamic Republic's strict dress code for women. Her death sparked the first big show of opposition on Iran's streets since authorities crushed protests against a rise in gasoline prices in 2019. "At least 83 people including children, are confirmed to have been killed in (the) #IranProtests," Iran Human Rights, a Norway-based group, said on Twitter.
Israel expects increased immigration following Russia's announcement of the mobilization of reserve troops Israel’s Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman and Aliyah and Absorption Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata are expected to present the cabinet on Sunday with a plan costing roughly $25 million, which will be granted unconditionally, for the reception of Russians entitled to immigrate to Israel under the Law of Return.  Following Russia's announcement of the mobilization of reserve troops last week for the war in Ukraine, Israel expects an increase in immigration, with an estimated 4,500 Jews arriving in the Jewish state from Moscow over the next three months. Israel's Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday: "An Israeli citizen who also...
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'This is the best solution. No one wants a sixth election, but Netanyahu refuses to step aside' Senior Likud members are considering removing party leader Benjamin Netanyahu if he fails to win a majority in the next election, saying it is the only way to avoid a sixth election in less than four years. Officials previously said that Netanyahu would be offered almost complete control of the party but would not be part of the government, allowing the Likud to form a center-right coalition government with parties that currently refuse to sit with the former prime minister. Most recent polls predict a political deadlock in the November vote, leading Likud officials to prepare for Netanyahu's bloc to fail to reach the 61-seat majority needed to form a governme...
 Top lawyers representing a half-dozen Republican-led states sued the Biden administration in federal court Thursday over its student loan forgiveness plan, seeking to block its expected implementation next month. The states — Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas and South Carolina — jointly filed a 36-page complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, the second legal challenge this week against President Joe Biden's debt cancellation plan. Their lawsuit echoes some of the arguments made in a complaint filed Tuesday in Indiana by a lawyer who works for a conservative-learning law firm. Attorneys general or solicitors general from the six states argued in the suit that the president's plan violat...
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