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BJL Breaking News
Tov Pizza closed Thursday, Will Reopen Friday
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Baltimore, MD - Sept. 23, 2021 - Due to recent uptick in Covid cases, the Community Covid Testing Center will open tonight, Thursday, Sept.23 from 7:00-8:15PM.
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Baltimore, MD - Sept. 20, 2021 - Due to the COVID-19 uptick, the Hatzalah Monoclonal Antibody infusion center is open again with 24/7 service.  With the expansion of the FDA protocols, most people who test positive or who are exposed and not yet positive will qualify for treatment.  Early treatment is essential for best outcome.  Call HOB MAB line 24/7 including shabbos and YT at 410-585-0054 option 2 for more info or visit BJLCovid for more information or to register.
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Baltimore, MD - Aug. 26, 2021  - Baltimore Jewish Community Covid Testing Schedule for the Upcoming Yomim Tovim Season: Aseres Yimei Teshuva: Thursday Sept. 9 - Tuesday Sept.14 - Regular Testing Schedule. Motzaei Shabbos Sept. 11- 9:30pm-10pm Wed., Sept.15 - Erev Yom Kippur - 9:30AM -11:00 AM Motzaei Yom Kippur – Sept. 16 - No Testing Friday Sept. 17 -  Regular Testing Schedule Motzaei Shabbos Sept.18 - 9:30PM -10:00PM Sunday Sept.19 Regular Testing Schedule Sukkos: Monday, Sept. 20 Erev Sukkos - 9:30AM-11:00AM Wed. night Sept. 22 - Motzaei 1st days 930PM -10:00pm Thurs., Sept. 23 - Chol Hamoed 9:30AM -11:30AM- No night testing Fri., Sept. 24 - Chol Hamoed 930AM – 11:00AM Motzaei Shabbos Sept. 25 - Chol Hamoed 9:30PM -10:00PM Sunday Sept. 26 - C...
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Our community does not have a unique problem, but we are small enough that we can create unique solutions “We need to leave the Kiddush club in place.”  Those weren’t the exact words I used, but it was the message I conveyed to the president of my shul, who wanted to shut down the Kiddush club. I was a placeholder — interim rabbi was my exact title — while the shul was searching for a new rabbi. I had a slim chance of getting the job and figured there was nothing to lose. Was I trying to curry votes? Hard to believe, as a vote would be lost for every vote gained. Maybe I was just an inexperienced 27-year-old who was out of his depth. Shuls have been fighting over Kiddush clubs for as long as they have existed, and our shul was no exception....
The Covid pandemic is hitting Israel's airlines and travel sector especially hard Israeli airline El Al announced on Thursday that they requested $100 million in state aid from the government for losses suffered through compliance with enacted Covid restrictions. Earlier this year, El Al let go of almost a third of the airline's staff in order to receive $210 million in government assistance. Despite previous financial backing, the company is imploring Israel's leadership to do more. El Al and two other local airlines have written an appeal to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.  "The Israeli aviation sector is perched above a slippery slope, and there is still doubt whether Israeli aviation companies can survive the crisis without government assistance," the company ...
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Former US President Donald Trump may be benefiting from his successor's current predicaments, according to a new poll. According to one poll by Gallop, which was released on Wednesday, US President Joe Biden's approval rating has fallen to 43%, down six percent from August, while 53% of Americans disapprove of his performance as president. Biden's approval rating has fallen 14% since he took office in January. Vice President Kamala Harris' approval rating is at 49%, with her disapproval rating also at 49%, according to Gallup. The president has faced criticism for his handling of a range of issues in recent months, including the US pullout from Afghanistan in August which ended with the Taliban taking control of the country, high inflation, the spread of the Delta v...
Police in North Bay, Ontario are investigating a video they say contains “disturbing” footage of students participating in anti-Semitic acts at a local school, CP24 reported. A police spokesperson said that on Friday police opened an investigation into whether a crime related to hate, genocide, or incitement of hatred had occurred at Ecole Secondaire Catholique Algonquin. According to local media, the cellphone video contains footage of students making Nazi salutes while chanting “Heil Hitler” and making offensive statements about Jews. The students were filmed on school property, according to CBC News. Police Chief Scott Tod labelled the video in a statement as “very disturbing.” “I want to offer our condolences to the Jewish c...
Former President George W. Bush will appear as a special guest at an upcoming fundraiser for Republican Rep. Liz Cheney, whose unwavering criticism of former President Donald Trump has sparked a vicious backlash within her own party. The fundraiser for Cheney, the daughter of Bush’s vice president, Dick Cheney, will take place in Dallas on Oct. 18, multiple outlets reported. Other attendees include former Bush advisors Karl Rove and Karen Hughes, and former Texas senator and U.S. ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison, outlets reported. "President Bush is impressed by Liz Cheney's strength and vision, and he's proud to support her," Bush spokesman Freddy Ford told CNBC in an email. "This one shouldn't come as any surprise," Ford added, saying Bush "has histori...
SIS-K has claimed responsibility for a series of deadly bombings that killed or injured more than 35 Taliban fighters in eastern Afghanistan over the weekend, Fox News reported Monday. ISIS-K on September 19 “claimed responsibility for six explosions caused by improvised explosive devices (IED)” on September 18 and 19 in Jalalabad, the capital of eastern Nangarhar Province, according to Fox News. “More than 35 Taliban militia members were killed or wounded, in a series of explosions that took place,” Amaaq News Agency, the official ISIS propaganda outlet, wrote in a statement posted to its Telegram channel on September 19. Local residents reported hearing additional explosions in Jalalabad on September 20, according to the Associated Pres...
Parsha Hashavua
Parshas Ha'azinu - Our Mission

HaAzinu marks the final time in the Torah where Hashem foretells the future generations of Klal Yisroel after they enter Eretz Yisroel.  Indeed, some M’phorshim understand that HaAzinu contains detailed allusions to everything that will happen to the Jewish people.  After predicting that there would be many years of peace and plenty, the Torah warns that B’nei Yisroel will become “fat”. (HaAzinu 32:15) Inevitably, we would then enjoy our blessings and forget from where they come.  Hashem then describes the calamities which would befall us as a result of our transgressions. (32:22-26). Curiously, the Torah then tells us that Hashem will temper his wrath, so that our enemies do not question the existence and presence of Hashem.  (32:27)

This same concept was advanced twice before in the Midbar, both times by Moshe Rabbeinu.  The first was after the Cheit Haegel, where Moshe pleaded, why should the Mitzrim be able to claim that you took them out just to kill them in the mountains? (Shemos, 32:11-12)  And again after the Meraglim, where Moshe warned that the nations would claim that “Hashem was unable to bring Bnei Yisroel into the land…so he killed them in the dessert” (Shelach, 14:14-15) Three times we are spared Hashem’s full wrath so that the Goyim would not question Hashem’s sovereignty.  Why does Hashem care what the Goyim think, or even us for that matter?

The Zohar points out that Hashem created the World so that people could perceive and appreciate His greatness.[1] (Zohar, II: 42b)  After establishing His Bris with Bnei Yisroel, it became incumbent upon us to illuminate for the goyim Hashem’s greatness.  We are the chosen people.  The goyim look to us for their understanding and perception of Hashem.  When we fulfill the Mitzvos, we receive disproportionate Bracha and the Goyim see that Hashem rewards us for following in his ways.  Conversely, when we stumble and suffer, the goyim simply see no divine providence in the world whatsoever.  That is the meaning of the next Pasuk.  They are without good counsel, they simply do not understand (HaAzinu 32:28).

That is in essence what is meant by our being an Ohr Lagoyim. (Yishaya 49:6
and 60:3). We are the conduit through which the world views Hashem.  When we live our lives according to the Mitzvos, the goyim perceive Hashem’s presence and when we stray they see no illumination whatsoever.  As we strive to reach our highest levels during the Yomim Naarayim, we must make this one of our goals.  And even afterward, when there is often an inevitable decline from the heights we try to achieve, we can enlighten the world even in the mundane.  Being compassionate and caring for people, being honest in our professions, being pious of our role – these are all ways that we can make every day productive in fulfilling our part of the Bris.  By following Hashem’s ways when we learn Torah, fulfill the Mitzvos and take this code of behavior into the world with us, we are allowing the goyim to perceive Hashem’s greatness and at the same time insuring his mercy when we fail.  Hashem does care what the Goyim think and it is our job to allow them to see his greatness                

[1]              There are several other “reasons” posited for why Hashem created the World from a multitude of great sources including the Gemara, the Rambam and the Ramban, but the Zohar’s discussion seems most relevant to the present discussion.

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1,981 Jews have ascended the Temple Mount over the Sukkot holiday so far, 1,026 of whom visited the holy site today. Visitors reported that prayers were held among the groups that visited the Mount Many rabbis were among the visitors to the Temple Mount today, including Rabbi Gur Galon, the Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Har Bracha, Rabbi Yitzhak Brand, Rabbi Yehuda Shalosh, Rabbi David Ben Natan, Rabbi Yishai Engelman, Rabbi Yoel Elitzur, Rabbi Chaim Ozer Hayat, Rabbi Michi Yosefi, Rabbi Yitzchak Levy, Rabbi Azaria Ariel, Rabbi Shlomi Badash, Rabbi Dvir Tal, Rabbi Eliyahu Weber and Rabbi Elisha Wolfson. A group of hundreds of residents of the Samaria community of Har Bracha ascended the Temple Mount together, led by Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Gur Galon. . "We make a pilgrimage to the closest place p...
Baltimore, MD – Sept. 2021 - Every Shabbos table offers every Jewish family an incredible opportunity by which they can share their joy for Shabbos, for Yiddishkeit and for HaShem with their children. Unfortunately, our schedules are hectic and many people don’t have the time to prepare themselves to utilize the Shabbos table to its fullest. Therefore, we at ACHIM created TableTalk as a pre-packaged talking points pamphlet which is attractive, fun and has something for everyone. Limited copies are distributed to many shuls on a weekly basis but they are snatched up very quickly. Get yours ASAP or click on the graphic below and print your own.What’s in it and what’s all the excitement about?TableTalk features:•    Weekly halachic dilemma creating ...
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New York state Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker has submitted his resignation, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Thursday. Zucker will stay on board until a replacement is made to assist in the transition amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which he has helped lead the state through for the last year and a half, Hochul said. The Democrat said she agreed with his decision to step down, thanked him for his years of service and said Zucker was moving on to other ventures. She didn't specify what kind of ventures as she dropped the news at the tail end of her COVID briefing but said, "I made it very clear on my first day in office that I'd be looking to build a new team" as she tries to restore faith in Albany following her predecessor's scandal-plagued resignati...
A UK man is on trial for vandalizing 17 bus stops in Jewish areas of North West London with anti-Semitic graffiti that claimed Jewish people were “grey aliens,” the Mirror reported. Nicholas Lalchan, 49, also allegedly defaced windows at an accounting firm. The graffiti was written on bus stops with a black marker in Jewish areas of London such as Edgware, Hendon and Finchley, according to court proceedings. Prosecutor David Patience told the jury that the vandalism was prompted by malice towards the Jewish community. Lalchan admitted to criminal damage and possessing an article with intent to commit criminal damage, but pleaded not guilty to the charge that the graffiti was religiously or racially motivated and to the charge of stirring up racial hatred, reported...
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5,921 new cases were reported on Thursday with 723 people in serious condition Health Ministry Director-General Prof. Nachman Ash said on Thursday that further restrictions on gatherings could be considered in Israel, as coronavirus infections remain high. "A limitation on the number of people in events should be considered again. The coronavirus cabinet is expected to meet soon and discuss it," Ash said. "I am in favor of reducing large gatherings, including in football stadiums, so that there are no more than 400 people in an enclosed area and no more than 500 people outdoors," he added.
A flood warning has been issued for parts of Maryland Thursday due to heavy rain. The rain accompanies a slow-moving cold front pushing through the Eastern United States that has areas from Virginia to New York on alert about potential flooding as a result of the moisture, according to the National Weather Service. Multiple flood warnings have been posted in Maryland after inches of rain fell Thursday morning. "Turn around, don't drown when encountering flooded roads," officials said. "Most flood deaths occur in vehicles." Seven counties in Maryland as well as Baltimore City are under the flood warning until 2 p.m
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Hadar Goldin once painted a wonderful picture of a boy sitting under a tree. The boy looks out at nature and changes the living world he sees into music. This painting was recently made public with the approach of Sukkot, along with a request to hang it everywhere as a sukkah decoration. We are supposed to bring into the sukkah all aspects of our lives - to eat and drink and converse in it. And so we are also presented with the opportunity to bring into the sukkah our obligation to return the bodies of Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul from Gaza, as well as Avera Mengistu who has been taken captive there.Rina Shnerb was intensively involved with our enslavement to cell phones. As a high school student, she felt that they had taken control of us instead of our being in control of them. She was co...
Murders rose by almost 30 percent nationwide in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a tumultuous presidential election and pushback against police-related killings of Black people, according to data gathered by the FBI for its annual Uniform Crime Report, reports The New York Times. The Times said it appeared to be the biggest spike in murder since national record-keeping began in 1960. Data indicates that murders continue to rise in 2021, although at a slower rate, and that the national rate – murders per 100,000 – remains below its levels in the early 1990s. The 29 percent rise in murders in 2020 was the biggest since the FBI started collecting crime records in 1960, according to the Times.
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Since 1995, Helmut Oberlander fought Canadian officials trying to kick him out for being part of death squad A 97-year-old interpreter for the Nazis facing deportation from Canada died Wednesday, according to local media. Helmut Oberlander died Monday after fighting the Canadian government to stay in the country since a formal investigation launched in 1995, Canadian papers The Globe and Mail said. Born in Ukraine in 1924, the ethnic German joined Einsatzkommando 10a death squad during World War II, but he alleged he was forced to and only acted as an interpreter. In 1952, a court found that Oberlander “significantly misrepresented his wartime activities to Canadian immigration and citizenship officials when he applied to enter," before immigrating...
Biden administration notified Congress in March of $75 million in financial assistance to Palestinians US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Jim Risch is releasing the remaining $20 million in humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians that he had been holding up since the Biden administration committed $75 million in aid last March, The Times of Israel reports. A spokesperson from Risch's office said on Wednesday night that the Idaho senator had agreed to approve the remaining funds “as long as it is reprogrammed to be used for food aid, and will not be in the hands of terrorists.” The US president notified Congress in March of the $75 million in financial assistance to the Palestinians for economic support.  The earmark was part ...
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