ספירת העומר : 4 - היום ארבעה ימים לעומר
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Baltimore, MD – Apr. 23, 2019 - It was a cloudy/sunny/cloudy/drizzly morning at Pimlico Race Course as Baltimore's Jewish community members joined together for the 37th year to burn their chametz in preparation for the first Pesach Seder. The Chesed Fund & Project Ezra orchestrated and cover the cost of this event  in memory of  Harry A. & Lillian Frid, a”h. This annual event, created and still carefully supervised by Dr. Bert Miller, was held at the Pimlico Race Course Clubhouse Parking Lot, from 6:30 – 11:30 a.m. and a Baltimore City Po...
A group of men and boys heckled and threw stones at an IDF soldier walking through the Mea Shearim neighborhood on Wednesday. One of the stones nearly hit a father who was holding his six-month old daughter. Footage from the scene showed the father — with his baby still in his arms — yelling at the mob as they continued to hiss at the soldier. The child’s mother then appeared to scream at them as well, before the two of them walk away in disgust. Police were dispatched to the scene and said that officers managed to scatter the crowd and safely evacuate the soldier, who was unharmed in the incident. Read more at Times of Israel.
Measles cases in the United States have surpassed the highest number on record since the disease was declared eliminated nationwide in 2000. Overall, there have been 681 measles cases across 22 states this year, according to CNN's analysis of data from state and local health departments. The states reporting measles cases are Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Washington. As of Monday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Preventionreported 626 individual cases of measles confirmed in those 22 states. This includes illnesses reported by state health departments to the CDC through April 1...
The number of measles cases in the Big Apple shot up to 390 Wednesday from 374 just two days earlier — and now includes two pregnant women, according to the city Department of Health. “We have now identified two expectant mothers who have contracted measles,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. “These cases are stark reminders of why New Yorkers must get vaccinated against the measles as soon as possible. When we do not get vaccinated, we put our friends, our relatives, our neighbors, our classmates and other fellow New Yorkers at risk.” She recommended screening for pregnant women as they’re at risk for giving birth to a baby with measles or miscarrying. Most of the cases, 83 percent, are in the Orthodox Jewish section of Williamsburg, Brook...
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Baltimore, MD - Apr. 9, 2019 - Reposted upon popular request:Baltimore, MD - April 14, 2015 - 24 Nissan - The following bracha is said only once a year, during the month of Nisan, on fruit trees in blossom. Baruch ato Ado...Elo...Melech haolam shelo chisar b’olamo klum u’vara vo b’riyos tovos v’elanos tovim l’hanos bahem b’nay adam. The G’ra in his siddur substitutes the word davar instead of klum. The ideal time to recite the bracha on ilanos/trees is during the month of Nissan, however, once the buds fall out and the fruits emerge, it is too late to recite the bracha.This year Nissan 5779, the last day of Nissan will be May 5 – a relatively late day. Depending on the upcoming weather, by the end of Ni...
Facebook has formed an artificial intelligence team in Tel Aviv, announced the company on Tuesday. The 10-person team, called “Data.AI,” will work on machine-learning “algorithms that can improve the company’s internal interface and create new tools for data analysis,” reported Calcalist, citing a statement from the social-media network. The new initiative will seek to improve Facebook’s platform, help engineers resolve issues, project upcoming events and issues, and access necessary data quicker. More than 200 people are currently employed at Facebook’s research and development center in Tel Aviv, according to the firm.
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The Trump administration’s yet-to-be unveiled Israeli-Palestinian peace plan entails “tough compromises” for both sides, senior White House adviser Jared Kushner said on Tuesday. Speaking at the TIME 100 Summit in New York City, Kushner noted that the proposal — which has been molded over the past two years — would be published after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan ended in early June. President Donald Trump’s son-in-law called resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict “about as tough of a problem set as you can get.” “We’ve taken, I think, an unconventional approach,” he asserted. “We’ve studied all the different past efforts, and how they failed and why they failed. There’s been some tremendous work ...
President Donald Trump raged at the New York Times in a set of unhinged tweets this morning. Said Trump: “I wonder if the New York Times will apologize to me a second time, as they did after the 2016 Election. But this one will have to be a far bigger & better apology. On this one they will have to get down on their knees & beg for forgiveness—they are truly the Enemy of the People!”
According to a report on the Ynet website on Tuesday, the Palestinian Authority has conducted sweeping arrests of senior PA defense officials suspected of spying for Hamas. PA military intelligence allegedly uncovered a year-long plot by Hamas to infiltrate the PA security framework. The organization’s leadership was immediately informed and a sting operation was launched against the suspects, who have now been arrested. According to reports, some of the spies were acting under duress following the arrest by Hamas of their relatives in Gaza, while others were paid for their service. Participants were asked to provide information about operations planned by the PA against Hamas in Gaza and spread disinformation within the PA security establishment. Spies were found in the general s...
Matzav.com has learned that shoppers at a number of kosher supermarkets in the tri-state area and beyond have unwittingly purchased – and consumed – kitniyos, not realizing that the items they bought contained ingredients not eaten by Ashkenazim on Pesach. Kitniyos means legumes, but on Pesach the term takes on a broader meaning to include grains and seeds such as rice, corn, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, soybeans, peas, and lentils, in addition to legumes. The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 453) defines kitniyos as those products that can be cooked and baked in a fashion similar to chometz grains, yet are not halachically considered in the same category as chometz. The Bais Yosef&nbs...
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Pesach 5779 -The Seder "What's It All About?"

Nirtzah: Not Just the closing Ceremonies


There are two major concepts which form the driving force of the Hagaddah and the Seder in general.  First, is the Chiyuv Sipur Yitzias Mitraim,  and the second is that one must feel as if he himself is being taken out of  Mitzraim on the night of Pesach, as discussed more fully in the Hagaddah.


With these two concepts being the principal themes, how then does the final part of the Seder, Nirtzah, fit into this framework?  These intriguing, yet seemingly unrelated songs, raise a significant question as to exactly what role they play in the Seder and by extension, the Yom Tov of Pesach. 


On a simplistic level one could answer their function is similar to that of the Afikoman and Mah Nishtana - to heighten the interest and enjoyment of the Seder for the children.  However, upon more careful analysis, it becomes clear that not only are these songs in tune with the  Hagaddah’s two major ideas, but are actually an intrinsic and indispensable part of these very concepts.


Upon reflection, it is easy to understand why Sipur Yitzias Mitraim  is an appropriate topic for Pesach night.  However, it is not as easy to understand why we are obligated to feel as if we ourselves were redeemed on the night of Pesach.  An insight into this quandary will also clarify how Nirtzah fits into the Seder.


The reason for the  Chiyuv Sipur Yitzias Mitzrayim  is not to teach us history, nor even to train us in gratitude.  This requirement comes to emphasize the character of the Pesach season - a time of year especially designated as a time for Geulah.  The Gemarah in Rosh Hashana (11b) says that just as the Geulah from Mitzrayim occurred in Nissan so too will the eventual Geulah from present day galus take place in Nissan.  For this reason the Hagaddah stresses this point - the obligation to feel as if we ourselves are going out - to illustrate that the same potential for redemption which came to fruition with Yitzias Mitzraim, exists every Pesach.  Thus the potential for Geulah from present day Galus is at its highest during this time.  With this explanation we can also understand what function the songs of Nirtzah have in the Seder


In the first poem,  Vayehi Bachatzi Halayla, an extensive list is composed of many past great things that Hashem has done in the midst of the night.  Only one future event is added to this list - Hashem’s eventual bringing of Moshiach.  Similarly, in Ki Lo Naeh, a list of adjectives ranging from distinguished and glorious to mighty and merciful are used to describe Hashem.  Yet again, in this song the Haggadah slips in “that he is truly the redeemer.”  Obviously, if the Haggadah felt it necessary to squeeze these lines in, then they are of major significance.  This becomes clear in  Adir Hu, which is nothing short of an all out appeal for the Geulah.    Adir Hu                                             takes all the descriptions used in the previous songs and follows each one with “May he soon and speedily rebuild his house in our days.”   This is the central theme throughout Nirtzah. 


However, just as Yitzias Mitraim  was not possible before Bnei Yisroel performed the Mitzvos of  Karban Pesach and Bris Milah, so too today’s Geulah cannot come before our total acceptance of Hashem’s dominion over the world.  This is where Echad Mi Yodeah  and  Chad Gad Ya fit in.  In Echad Mi Yodeah, we list the building blocks that the Jewish world is built upon - the basic necessities for all of Judaism.  Finally in Chad Gad Ya we are taught the single most important lesson - that of humility.  The idea that everything and everyone has something above him/her and therefore we must reflect on all of our actions, as we alone are accountable for them.  In concluding Chad Gad Ya, the final connection is made to Geulah with the slaughtering of the Malach Hamaves.   The Gemmarah in Succah (52a) says that at the time of the Geulah, Hashem will take the Satan (The same entity as the Malach Hamaves - Baba Basra 16a) and slaughter it.


Thus we understand how the progression of Nirtzah mirrors the link between Yitzias Mitzraim and the Geula Ha’asida.  This interpretation adds a significant aspect to our Seder.  Not only are we celebrating the Geulah from Mitzraim but we are also injecting the necessary elements for the eventual Geulah from galus today.  May we be Zoche to capitalize on the potential for geula present this Pesach and share next year in Yerushalayim.



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Today is the first yahrtzeit of chosson and kallah Yisroel Levin z”l and Elisheva Kaplan a”h, who were killed one year ago, on Chol Hamoed Pesach 5778. Five cars, with nine total occupants, were involved in the crash at about 1:40 a.m. last year on Chol Hamoed on the Nassau Expressway between Burnside Avenue and Peninsula Boulevard. Ten thousand shidduchim, ten thousand refuos and ten thousand bursts of siyata dishmaya in emunah for Klal Yisroel.  This was the plea of R’ Shaya Levin, father of Yisroel, to Hashem that reverberated through the overflowing crowd at the levaya of his son and daughter-in-law to be. A mere few hours earlier, an unfath...
Baltimore, MD  - Apr. 24, 2016 - This Shabbos, Achron Shel Pesach, there will be a special Mincha Minyan at Khal Ahavas Yisroel Tzemach Tzedek, 6811 Park Heights Ave. at 7:00 pm for those returning to Eretz Yisroel next week. The entire parshas Achrei Mos will be lained.  The last day of Pesach in Eretz Yisroel is Friday, so on Shabbos they will lain Achrei Mos while in Chutz La'aretz we will lain the Yom Tov laining in the morning and not lain the complete parshas Achrei Mos until next Shabbos. This Shabbos at Mincha instead of laining Achrei Mos until just Sheni (as will be done throughout chutz la'aretz), this special minyan will complete the entire parsha.  This will allow those returning to Eretz Yisroel to hear the ent...
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Jerusalem - Meretz leader Tamar Zandberg plans to submit a bill to cancel the law against selling leavened bread on Passover immediately after the inauguration of the 21st Knesset on April 30, she said Tuesday. “Israel is not a state run by Jewish law,” Zandberg said. “The Hametz Law has no justification in a democratic country.” The law nicknamed the Hametz Law states that businesses may not sell leavened bread products on Passover, when it is prohibited to eat or own such foods. The law elaborates that this includes “bread, rolls, pita or any other product of hametz flour.” The penalty for violating the law is a fine. It does not apply in towns or neighborhoods in which most residents are not Jewish. Zandberg argued that, because the law was passed ...
Olympia, WA - Washington state lawmakers voted Tuesday to removes parents’ ability to claim a personal or philosophical exemption from vaccinating their children for measles, although medical and religious exemptions will remain. The vote comes as the number of measles cases nationwide this year has passed 600. The measure now heads to Gov. Jay Inslee, who has expressed support for limiting exemptions. The state has seen 74 cases of measles this year. Most of those cases were centered in one county and involved children 10 or younger who were not immunized. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that as of the end of last week, 626 cases of measles have been confirmed in the U.S. so far this year, up from 555 as of a week ago. While 22 states have reported cas...
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Brooklyn, NY - Investors in the defunct billion-dollar hedge fund firm Platinum Partners had ample notice they might not get their money back, a lawyer for Platinum founder Mark Nordlicht told jurors on Tuesday, urging them to acquit his client of criminal fraud charges. In his opening statement in Brooklyn federal court, lawyer Jose Baez said Nordlicht never defrauded investors, who included himself and his own family. “This case is a fraud,” Baez said of the criminal prosecution, which began more than two years ago with the December 2016 arrest of Nordlicht and other Platinum executives. The trial began early Tuesday afternoon with an opening statement from Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Hein. He told jurors that Nordlicht and his co-defendants, Platinum’s co-chief...
Jerusalem - The Israeli military says its forces have demolished the home of a Palestinian who killed two Israelis in a shooting and stabbing attack last month. Israel says 19-year-old Omar Abu Layla fatally stabbed a soldier and shot and killed another while wounding others near the settlement of Ariel in March. He was killed by Israeli troops after a massive three-day manhunt. Israeli forces demolished his family home in the northern West Bank village of Al-Zawyeh early on Wednesday. Residents of the neighborhood were evacuated to a nearby school as the explosives were detonated. Israel often demolishes homes of alleged Palestinian assailants or their families, saying it deters future attacks. Rights groups say the demolitions amount to collective punishment.
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Both Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries in Nairobi, Kenya, East Africa, Rabbi Shmuel Notik and his wife Chaya, were robbed by a group of five locals overnight Wednesday, at the Chabad House in the city, Chabad Info reported. The Chabad House in Kenya issued a statement saying the damage caused by the robbery was estimated at tens of thousands of dollars. When the intruders encountered two youths (one of whom was Mrs. Notik’s brother) who had arrived from Israel to help during Passover and the Seder night. They tied the boys’ hands and feet and taped their mouths. As soon as Rabbi Notik caught on, he tried to summon the police, at which point the bandits began to beat him and threatened that they would harm him and his family if he did not cooperate and would dare call for...
The driver of the bus who was involved in the accident yesterday in Beitar Illit, where  three-year-old Boruch Eisenberg A”H was killed, was interrogated by the police and released under restrictive conditions. The driver’s license was revoked for thirty days. “The driver was questioned by police examiners on suspicion of causing the accident, his license was revoked for 30 days, and at the end of his interrogation he was released under restrictive conditions,” said the police. The accident investigation continues. Read more at Arutz Sheva.
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Tesla CEO Elon Musk said Monday that his company will have 1 million autonomous taxis on the road by 2020. “I feel very confident predicting 1 million autonomous robo-taxis for Tesla next year. Not in all jurisdictions because we won’t have regulatory approval everywhere, but I’m confident we will have regulatory approval at least somewhere, literally next year,” Musk told investors and Wall Street analysts, according to Business Insider. The taxis would run on the “Tesla network,” and any owner can add their car, Musk added. Tesla, which is one of several carmakers working on driverless vehicles, would keep a percentage of the revenue. “So if you own the car, you can add or subtract it to the Tesla network and Tesla would take 15 or 20 percent ...
New York - A man convicted of murder in the 2016 death of a New York City runner was sentenced to life in prison on Tuesday. Chanel Lewis was convicted earlier this month of killing Karina Vetrano in a case that stirred urban fears, helped change the state’s DNA-investigation rules and raised questions about race and police procedures. “While there is no denying that Karina Vetrano’s death is tragic and that her family and friends suffered a great loss, every aspect of this case - from the police investigation to jury deliberations - was propelled by a desire to convict at all costs,” the Legal Aid Society, which represents Lewis, said in a statement. “This was done without any concern for Mr. Lewis’s constitutional rights to due process and a fair tri...
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