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Baltimore, MD - July 17, 2019 - You know that we distribute food packages before Shabbos to community members in need. But do you know about the other services we provide?Noson (Nunny) Weisbord asked a few Jewish Baltimore community members this question. Watch and find out all the ways Ahavas Yisrael supports our community...then support us on July 23rd at Baltimore at its Best: Ahavas Yisrael Charidy Campaign 2019!
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Baltimore, MD - July 15, 2019 -  Did you recently attend an event in Baltimore and couldn’t leave simply because the music was great? Must have been the beautiful and energizing music from musician Benzion Bluming and singer Eli Atias. They have been transforming the music experience in Baltimore! “Benzion & Eli - It’s the sound Baltimore has been waiting for!” Says J. Reches - videographer, after seeing numerous weddings where all participated in non-stop dancing. “No need to bring in music from N.Y. It’s the same sound right here”. “When I saw Benzion and Eli on Lag BaOmer, I knew they are something special and that I wanted them for our Grand Siyum! They didn’t disappoint… The music was so beautiful and elevating, a...
New York - Authorities have identified the remains of another 9/11 victim found at the World Trade Center. The New York City medical examiners’ office on Thursday said the woman is the 1,644th person to be identified nearly 18 years after hijackers crashed airplanes into the trade center’s twin towers in 2001. The victim’s name, which is being withheld, was confirmed through DNA testing of remains recovered in 2002. It’s the second new identification of a World Trade Center victim in 2019. The medical examiner says about 40% of the 2,753 people reported missing remain unidentified.
Tel Aviv - Some 200 Olim, immigrants arrived in Israel on Wednesday from France, Russia, Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela aboard special flights organized by The Jewish Agency for Israel. The two biggest groups of Olim came from France and Russia, 100 from France and 80 from Russia. The newcomers, including 70 children who will enter the Israeli education system when school starts after summer vacation, were greeted at Ben Gurion Airport with a festive reception titled “Choosing Israel” hosted by The Jewish Agency, the Israeli Ministry of Aliyah and Integration, and Keren Hayesod-United Israel Appeal. The reception also featured 200 young adults, aged 18-35, who recently moved to Israel from 27 countries and are participating in special programs for new immigrants sponsored by...
 President Trump on Thursday night announced he's nominating attorney Gene Scalia, the son of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, to replace Alex Acosta as secretary of labor. Scalia, 55, is currently a partner in the Washington office of the international law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. He is expected to face headwinds from Democrats in his confirmation hearings, in part because he has routinely represented major corporations in key cases involving workers' rights. Scalia served as the chief legal officer for the Labor Department under President George W. Bush. "I am pleased to announce that it is my intention to nominate Gene Scalia as the new Secretary of Labor," Trump wrote in a tweet late Thursday. "Gene has led a life of great success...
London - A passenger accused of severe misbehavior on a Jet2 flight that had to return to London’s Stansted Airport in June has received a huge bill from the airline. The airline has accused Chloe Haines of “aggressive, abusive and dangerous behavior” on a flight and sent her a bill for 85,000 pounds ($106,000). She has also been banned from the airline for the rest of her life. Officials say the plane bound for Turkey had to return to Stansted and was escorted by two Royal Air Force Typhoon fighter jets. The 25-year-old British woman was arrested by Essex Police when the plane landed and is free on bail. She was arrested on suspicion of common assault, criminal damage and endangering an aircraft. She is scheduled to be in court August 21. Jet2’s CEO Steve Heap...
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Washington - Shot through by German machine gun bullets and tattered by the wind, an American flag that flew on the first U.S. invading ship on D-Day came home on Thursday in a White House ceremony. The flag handover was a main part of the visit to the White House by Mark Rutte, prime minister of the Netherlands, who held Oval Office talks with President Donald Trump. The flag has been owned by retired Dutch businessman and art collector Bert Kreuk, who said he bought it at auction three years ago with the intention of donating it to the United States. “I cannot keep it myself. It needs to go to the right institution. I need to give it back,” Kreuk said in a telephone interview ahead of the ceremony, at which he spoke. The flag is to be put on display at the Smithsonian Ins...
Two families who fled from Venezuela landed at Ben-Gurion on Wednesday amidst hundreds of olim from other countries. They received clandestine assistance to leave the country from the Jewish Agency. Venezuela, a once-wealthy country has descended into crisis over the past few years, with the current situation being total anarchy and economic destitution. The Jewish community, which included 25,000 members in the 1990s is down to about 4,000 members, with most Jews immigrating to the US, Mexico, Panama or other countries. Only about 12% immigrate to Israel, according to Jewish Agency chairman Yitzchak Herzog. “We had to leave Venezuela,” Avraham Ben Dayan, who immigrated to Israel with his wife and three children, told Ynet on Wednesday. “For three or four years now, the...
The Military Prosecution will file indictments against a career soldier and a soldier for removing weapons from the military and arms trading authorities and selling them to Arabs The MPCID investigation revealed that the military officer removed two M-16 assault rifles, two MAG rifles, two MAG barrels, some 48 rounds of ammunition, and three stun grenades. He sold the weapons and ammunition to an Arab citizen from Wadi Ara who was arrested by the Israel Police Department. Read more at Arutz Sheva.
Washington - Some are moving factories out of China. Others are strategically redesigning products. Some are seeking loopholes in trade law or even mislabeling where their goods originate — all with the goal of evading President Donald Trump’s sweeping tariffs on goods from China. But most of the companies that stand to be hurt by Trump’s tariffs are hunkering down and waiting — waiting because they don’t know when, whether or how his yearlong trade war with China will end or which other countries the president might target next. Consider Xcel Brands, a New York-based company that owns such brands as Halston, Isaac Mizrahi and C. Wonder. Two years ago, it made all its clothing in China. Now it’s on the move — diversifying production to Vietnam, C...
Parsha Hashavua
Parshas Balak - Dust Yourself Off

Bilaam tells Balak the Jews are impervious to his curses, for “Who has counted the dust of Yaakov, or who can number the seed of Israel”.   

Rashi explains the first half of this verse as referring to the ‘countless’ mitzvos that are fulfilled with עפר, ‘dust’:  You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey [together]; You shall not sow your field with a mixture of seeds, the ashes of the red cow, the dust used for a woman, a Sotah, suspected of infidelity, and others similar to these.

The second half of the verse alludes to G-d attending to each potential ‘seed’ during copulation, wondering when will the drop of the righteous one come to fruition.

What is so unique about the various mitzvos that revolve around ‘dust’, and are they truly innumerable?

The first and second parts of the verse seem totally unrelated. Why are they matched up?

What relevance is there to these sentiments and our impregnability to Bilaam’s curses?

Rashi’s presentation of the sampling of dust related commandments seems perplexing as he chose not to list them in the order they actually appear in the Torah?

The order does though seem to follow a intended progression.

The first prohibition of not engaging different species of animals in a joint task, is mentioned in its relationship to the plowing of the soil, the dust of the earth, a דומם, an inanimate entity.

The second command governs the proper planting of seeds for future growth, a צומח, flora.

The third refers to the taking of a Red Heifer, a חי, animal life, burning it and turning it to ash, a form of dust.

Finally, the earth that is on the floor of the Tabernacle that is added to the ‘bitter water’, the suspected adulteress drinks in determining her innocence, impacts on the מדבר, a speaking human life-form.

The progression of mineral, vegetation, animal, and man embodies the sum-total of all the strata of physical life as we know it.

For you are dust and to dust will you return.

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov teaches that ‘dust’ is the beginning and end of all matter. All organisms being borne from earth and decompose into dust. Dust represents our truthful and absolute essence. It is the only component of our physical entity that is eternal.

Our nation is compared to the stars and to the dust of the earth. When we rise, we ascend to the heavens radiating our brilliance. When we fall, we descend to the lowly earth. This is not our deficiency but rather the secret of our revival. Each time we drop we connect to the essence of unadulterated truth, of life itself, utilizing the regenerating powers of the soil to arise anew, refreshed and more vital than before.

Avraham Avinu famously exclaimed, I am but dust and ash. Dust, soil, is nothing, is silent, is fully submissive, yet miraculously enables the production of fruit. Ash is the evidence of that which formerly had value and purpose now transformed into mere valueless ash.

Avraham stood before G-d attesting to the power of man in humbly placing himself as the agent of G-d in bringing His inspired and enthused presence to the world in the numerous opportunities availed to us in every experience in a very physical world. But after we succeed, we modestly submit we are like worthless ash. Avraham expresses his ultimate humility and commitment to G-d. (בית הלוי)

Was Avraham belittling his marvelous accomplishments? Or perhaps what he was conveying was that there is an endless journey, where yesterday’s benchmark is tomorrow’s soil to be plowed afresh in bringing even more glorious fruit.

The Jewish people, Bilaam realized, are indestructible. They are a nation that after being crushed into dust will transform that state into one of growth.

With this, Rebbe Nachman teaches we can understand the second part of the verse.

G-s is not waiting for that one special seed among the myriad of conceptions that will become the Tzaddik, the righteous one. Every seed, every child, G-d longs for the day when in its journey, whether Rasha or Tzaddik, the power of ‘dust’ will enthuse it to regenerate, despite it having fallen, towards its destined greatness. It may take generations, but ultimately it will come to its glorious fruition.

Bilaam realized his efforts are futile. Who is like this nation that is invested with the power of ‘dust’, not only in the several mitzvos that relate to dust, but in every endeavor and challenge?

Those mitzvos merely reflect on the very character of this nation, prodded on by their Father in Heaven, who patiently waits and longs for their success, never losing hope, never giving up.

We encompass in our mission all aspects of the world from mineral to elevated man.

We continue our mission, despite our failures, knowing that G-d believes in us.

Recently a young man who is now married, a father of a beautiful family, and successful in his career came over to me and said he wanted to share something very personal with me. What he told me blew me away. He went on to relate that it was because of me that he is religious today. I was quite astounded as I never realized during that time he was so challenged to that extent. Sure, he had created his share of trouble both in and out of the classroom, which I certainly did recall, but if someone asked me whether he was in danger of falling off the cliff, I would’ve said definitely not. I asked him what was it that I did that was so heroic that kept him from opting out. He simply stated that despite his recurrent antics and his fear of having been caught and facing the dire consequences, although I was enraged with his behavior, I never let him feel that he was a failure and kindly and warmly expressed hope he would improve. I was no hero; I simply liked the kid and wrote off his antics to his natural antsiness. I’m afraid if I knew the extent of the trouble he made, perhaps I might have reacted differently. The lesson in the anecdote, though, is that in the eyes of the ones going through personal challenges, what keeps them buoyant is their knowing they aren’t failures and that they can ‘dust’ themselves off and get back on track to their appropriate destinations.

The Almighty says when observing how we keep the ‘precepts of the dust’ in our lives, brushing ourselves off never losing hope, He too promises that He will finally call out, “Shake off the dust - Arise, sit down O Jerusalem”.

He raises the needy from the dust, from the trash heaps He lifts the destitute.

Speedily in our days.


צבי יהודה טייכמאן

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You may have heard that the New York State Education Department recently published proposed Regulations about “substantial equivalency of instruction” required for students attending nonpublic schools. This can have severe ramifications for yeshivos and day schools across the board in NYS, so we wanted to provide some answers to common questions we are receiving about this serious development. Q: How might the proposed regulations affect my child’s yeshiva? A: The Regulations, on their face, may require schools to make major adjustments to their limudei kodesh and secular programming.  For example, the proposed regulations specify 1) the number of required hours – as many as 4-5 hours per d...
Baltimore, MD – July 18, 2019 - It is with sadness that informs the community of the petirah of Mrs. Rivka Zakon, a’h, mother of Yosef Zakon, Yocheved (Rabbi Yisroel) Beller, Asher (Chaya) Zakon, Estee Lieber, Raizl Zakon, Sarah (Josh) Ashen, and Chaya (Dovid) Toplin, and sister of Helen Levi.  Mrs. Yocheved Beller and Mrs. Chaya Toplin are sitting shivah at 3720 Clarinth Rd, Baltimore, MD 21215, through Tuesday evening 7/23/2019. Hours of Shiva: Friday: 10-4 Sun-Tuesday: 11-3 and 5:30-8:30 . (Other siblings sitting in New York) No Minyanim Bila HaMaves LaNetzach…
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The campaign for a Mississippi Republican gubernatorial candidate who barred a female reporter’s solo access to accompany him on a ride-along because she’s a woman said Thursday it is selling bumper stickers with the phrase he used in his defense: “My truck. My rules.” State Rep. Robert Foster, one of three GOP gubernatorial candidates in the state, denied Mississippi Today reporter Larrison Campbell’s request to shadow him on a 15-hour trip. His campaign manager telling her that a “male colleague would need to accompany her” because the “optics of the candidate with a woman, even a working reporter, could be used in a smear campaign to insinuate [improprioties].” Foster told The Hill that, before deciding to run, he a...
Boeing announced Thursday an after-tax charge of $4.9 billion over the international grounding of the 737 Max aircraft. The charge will result in a $5.6 billion reduction in revenue and pre-tax earnings in the second quarter, the airplane manufacturer said in a statement. Boeing will release its second quarter earnings on July 24. The Boeing 737 Max was grounded globally after two deadly crashes in the last year. The manufacturer has yet to receive regulatory approval on software fixes to address the issues involved in the fatal crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia. "We remain focused on safely returning the 737 Max to service," Dennis Muilenburg said in a statement Thursday. Read more at The Hill
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New York - Only hours after receiving a life sentence, convicted Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was forced to make a sudden departure to the highest-security prison in the U.S. to serve the term, his lawyer said Thursday. A government helicopter whisked the narco, notorious for his daring jailbreaks, out of New York City on Wednesday after the sentencing in federal court in Brooklyn, said defense attorney Jeffrey Lichtman. The lawyer said he was informed that his client was en route to the supermax facility in Florence, Colorado. For most defendants, there’s a lag between sentencing and a decision by the Bureau of Prisons on where to house them. In Guzman’s case, U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan agreed at the close of his sentencing to recommend to the...
The iconic images of the Eagle Lunar Module’s descent to the Moon rank among the most incredible footage ever recorded. The black-and-white film was shot from a 16-mm time-lapse camera mounted in Buzz Aldrin’s window on the right side of the Eagle Lunar Module.  However, there is no record of what Apollo 11 Mission Commander Neil Armstrong saw from his window. “Due to the small size of the LM windows and the angle at which the movie camera was mounted, what mission commander Neil Armstrong saw as he flew and landed the LM was not recorded,” explains NASA in a statement on its website. In an attempt to provide insight into the final moments of the incredible mission, NASA has used imagery captur...
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Baltimore, MD - July 18, 2019 - For adults grieving the death of a spouse, Jewish Community Services and Seasons Hospice & Palliative Care, are offering an eight session Grief Support Group beginning August 15, 2019.  The group will meet at Jewish Community Services, 5750 Park Heights Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21215.  The group is open to the public and there is no cost to participate; however, space is limited and pre-registration is required. JCS grief support groups provide a welcoming place to share and process your grief, connect with others who have experienced a similar loss, learn coping strategies, and talk with a grief specialist. For more information, including the group’s meeting time, and to register, call Jewish Community Services, 410-466-9200. Jewish Com...
Bilaam tells Balak the Jews are impervious to his curses, for “Who has counted the dust of Yaakov, or who can number the seed of Israel”.    Rashi explains the first half of this verse as referring to the ‘countless’ mitzvos that are fulfilled with עפר, ‘dust’:  You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey [together]; You shall not sow your field with a mixture of seeds, the ashes of the red cow, the dust used for a woman, a Sotah, suspected of infidelity, and others similar to these. The second half of the verse alludes to G-d attending to each potential ‘seed’ during copulation, wondering when will the drop of the righteous one come to fruition. What is so unique about the various mitzvos that revolve around ‘dust&r...
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For those who are interested in passing on any messages to Mrs. Bauman or any of the Bauman/Stern families, an email address has been created for this purpose: comfortforbaumanfamily@gmail.comUpdated as of July 15, 4:25 AM: The levayah will be held Monday morning, at B’nai Israel Congregation, 420 Spotswood Avenue, Norfolk, Virginia. It is currently scheduled for 10:30 a.m., but may be delayed. People may listen to the funeral on the phone at 712-770-4160, Access Code 271789#. The levayah will then proceed to the airport for kevurah at the KAJ section of the King Solomon Memorial Park Cemetery 550 Dwasline Road, Clifton, NJ, Clifton, New Jersey, late afternoon/early evening.A notice will wil be posted on when time of kevuro is better know...
Baltimore, MD - July 12, 2019 - There are no words to describe the difficult situation in Norfolk that has touched the hearts of klal yisroel worldwide.  Community Rav Rabbi Sender Haber, noted in his most recent update, "we are always hopeful, but al pi derech hateva this is a ‘recovery’ mission."As we continue to storm shaarei shomayim with our tefilos it is equally important to do what we can to help the family in their difficult financial situation.  Norfolk's small but tight knit community is doing all that it can, but the Bauman family needs your help.  Click on the graphic to take part in this tremendous mitzvah and may we all hear bsuros tovos.
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