Everyone is familiar with the practice of eating a small piece of vegetable at the beginning of Seder Pesach.  Some eat celery.  Some eat parsley.  Some eat potato.  The Mishna wanted to actively involve the children in the Seder ritual so it directed us to use this small piece of “borey pri ha-adamah” food to stimulate the curiosity of the children at the Seder table in order that they will ask questions about the Seder observances.  Today, this part of the Seder is called, “karpas.”  This word, karpas, caf, reish, pay, sav does not look like a Hebrew word.  It does not have three osios in a shoreish.  However, it does appear in Tanach.  In Megillas Esther, the word appears in the description of the king’s palace....
April 18, 2019י”ג ניסן תשע”ט Thank you to all of those who participated in the vaccination clinics from both Friday and yesterday. As a result of the clinics and other community efforts, well over 1500 members of our community have been vaccinated in the past week and a half alone. As Pesach approaches and travel to and from the community shifts into high gear, it is recommended that anybody between the ages of 30 and 62 who cannot confirm they have received 2 MMR vaccines or immunity through a Titers test reach out to their physician to discuss whether they should be vaccinated for their own protection as well as the protection of their family and community. Vaccinations continue to be available in various pharmacies and the Minute Clinics. Any individual, parent ...
Washington - Robert Mueller’s 448-page investigative report into allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election includes 23 unredacted pages of Mueller’s written questions and Donald Trump’s written responses, the only direct exchange between the special counsel’s office and the president. Mueller’s team writes that it tried to interview the president for more than a year before Trump submitted written testimony in response to questions on certain Russia-related topics in November 2018. An introductory note included in the report said the special counsel’s office found the responses indicative of “the inadequacy of the written format,” especially given the office’s inability to ask follow-up questions. Citing d...
Baltimore City Firefighters are on the scene of an incident involving a person struck and killed by an Amtrak train in Northeast Baltimore. The incident occurred on the tracks east of the I-895 overpass and just north of the Johns Hopkins Bayview campus just before 11 a.m. on Thursday. Because of the activity on the tracks, all Amtrak and MARC Penn line train traffic has been stopped in both directions near the scene. The circumstances surrounding the incident are under investigation. It's unclear when rail traffic will me moving again.
New York - New York City’s Department of Health defended its mandatory measles vaccination order in a state court on Thursday after a group of anonymous Brooklyn parents sued, arguing that the order was unconstitutional. The department issued the order last week, saying it was an unusual but necessary step to contain the worst outbreak of the highly contagious virus seen in the city since 1991. The outbreak has infected 329 people so far, most of them children from Orthodox Jewish communities in Brooklyn. The order, which was extended this week, requires unvaccinated people living in certain affected Brooklyn neighborhoods to get the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine if they cannot otherwise demonstrate immunity to measles, or face a $1,000 fine. Five people who said they were parents...
New York - Private school parents throughout New York State are heaving a collective sigh of relief today as controversial educational guidelines have been struck down by a New York State Supreme Court judge. In a decision dated April 17th, Judge Christina Ryba declared regulations announced late last year by New York State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia that would have mandated significantly increased secular study hours in all nonpublic schools to be “null and void.” As previously reported on VIN News (http://bit.ly/2UsfJYO) five yeshivos with a collective history of more than 500 years of Orthodox Jewish education in New York City, Agudath Israel of America, Torah Umesorah and Parents for Educational and Religious Liberty in Schools sued Board of Regents Chancellor ...
Baltimore, MD - Apr. 18, 2019:Dear Mispalelim, We would like to keep everyone apprised of the latest information regarding the safety of our community and congregants.  The potential exposure was limited to April 13th, 2019  from 11:30am - 3:00pm, when Naftali may have been brought into shul. We recommend that anyone concerned with potential exposure consult their physician for further guidance. Yesterday, at the request of Rabbi Eichenstein, a team from the Baltimore City Health Department and the Maryland Department of Health visited the shul to conduct a comprehensive inspection of the separation between the residence and the shul.  They confirmed through a battery of testing, that there is no air flow between the residence and the shul and that there is complete separa...
The past few days, Daf Yomi has been learning the last perek in Chulin, Shiluach Hakan.  STAR-K would like to draw the attention of Daf Yomi learners to an article on the subject in its Kashrus Kurrents publication. Written by Rabbi Zvi Goldberg and reviewed by Rav Moshe Heinemann, shlit"a, it is a concise review of the halacha l'maaseh of Shiluach HaKan. SHILUACH HAKAN By: Rabbi Zvi Goldberg Published Spring 2017 Shiluach Hakan1 (sending away the mother bird before taking her young) is a mitzvah that is infrequently performed. Its reward is the blessing of a long life – similar to the mitzvah of honoring one’s parents. Let’s examine how, when and where to perform the mitzvah of Shiluach Hakan.&ldq...
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday questioned Attorney General William Barr’s independence from President Donald Trump, arguing Barr’s pursuit of Trump’s claims about “spying” during the 2016 campaign undermines his position as the nation’s top law enforcement officer. In a wide-ranging interview with The Associated Press, the California Democrat said she was “very concerned” about Barr’s handling of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian meddling in the campaign and accused Barr of doing Trump’s political bidding in his testimony at a Senate hearing. “He is not the attorney general of Donald Trump. He is the attorney general of the United States,” Pelosi told AP. &ldquo...
Israeli startups raised a total of $1.55 billion in the first quarter of 2019 across 128 deals, according to a new report published Tuesday by Tel Aviv-based market research firm IVC Research Center Ltd. and law firm Zysman Aharoni Gayer & Co. (ZAG/S&W). The sum represents a 28 percent increase compared to the first quarter of 2018, spread across 15 percent more deals. Venture capital players accounted for 71 deals and $1.3 billion of the total sum raised. Compared with the fourth quarter of 2018, this quarter’s total deal number fell 25 percent, mostly due to a decrease in seed and series A rounds. The median amount of these early rounds increased, while mid and late rounds continued the uptrend seen since 2016, with series C rounds attracting the most capital of all rounds...
The top Democratic congressional leaders are calling on special counsel Robert Mueller to testify on Capitol Hill as soon as possible following what they describe as Attorney General William Barr's "partisan" handling of the release of the Mueller report. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) released a joint statement early Thursday, hours ahead of when a redacted version of Mueller's report is expected to be released and hours after a New York Times report revealed that White House lawyers and Department of Justice officials have already repeatedly discussed details of Mueller's conclusions. The Democratic leaders laid out a s...
Attorney General William Barr on Thursday said no redactions in special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on his Russia investigation were made based on claims of executive privilege by the White House. Barr said that although there were “significant portions” of the report that Trump would have been within his rights to redact since the White House complied with the investigation, he refrained from doing so. The Office of the White House Counsel requested to examine the report — after Barr told lawmakers they would receive a redacted version of the report by April — so they could “advise the President on the potential invocation of privilege.” “Following that review, the President confirmed that, in the interests of transparency and full dis...
The Justice Department considered President Donald Trump’s frustrations about media and political speculation about the Russia investigation when deciding whether to charge him with obstructing the probe, Attorney General William Barr said Thursday.  Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on his Russia investigation recounts 10 episodes involving Trump and questions of obstruction of justice, Barr said. A redacted version of the approximately 400-page document is expected to be released after Barr’s remarks. After reviewing the information gathered by Mueller, the top Justice Department official and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein concluded there was not sufficient evidence to charge the president with obstructing the probe into Moscow’s eff...
Is Beto O’Rourke’s campaign already over? Reaction and analysis from Ben Shapiro on ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight.’
After threatening to fine or even close yeshiva schools and daycare centers that allowed unvaccinated students amid the measles outbreak, 23 sites have now been fined and shut one in Williamsburg. CBS2’s Andrea Grymes reports.
The Instagram accounts of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) Quds Force, were suspended Tuesday – a day after the IRGC was officially designated by the United States as a terrorist organization. Instagram also suspended the accounts of IRGC commander-in-chief Mohammad Ali Jafari and Brig. Gen. Mohammed Pakpour, the commander of the IRGC’s ground forces. Khamenei’s English account was suspended, though his Farsi one remains active. The reason for the suspensions is unclear. Instagram did not respond to a request for comment.
New York - A New Jersey man has been arrested outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City with two jugs of gasoline. Police say church personnel stopped the 37-year-old man from entering the landmark cathedral in Manhattan at about 9 p.m. Wednesday. Authorities were investigating whether the unidentified man is emotionally disturbed. There is currently a heavy police presence outside the cathedral on Fifth Avenue. The incident comes just days after flames ravaged the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which was built in 1878, has installed a sprinkler-like system during recent renovations and its wooden roof is coated with fire retardant.
Washington - The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits dropped to the lowest level in nearly half a century. The Labor Department says claims for jobless aid fell by 5,000 last week to 192,000, lowest since September 1969. The four-week average, which is less volatile, dropped by 6,000 to 201,250, lowest since November 1969. Weekly claims have been at historically low levels — below 300,000 — for more than four years. Unemployment claims are a proxy for layoffs. The low levels show that most American workers enjoy job security. The employment rate is 3.8%, the lowest in almost 50 years.
Washington - President Donald Trump is blasting the investigation into Russian election meddling as “The Greatest Political Hoax of all time!” hours before the long-awaited released of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report Thursday. Trump’s first tweet of the day blasted investigators. Trump tweeted, “Crimes were committed by Crooked, Dirty Cops and DNC/The Democrats,” although there is no evidence of that. Trump frequently calls the probe into contacts between his 2016 campaign and Russia a “witch hunt.” After nearly two years of waiting, America will get its first glimpse of Mueller’s report later Thursday— but not before Attorney General William Barr weighs in at a 9:30 a.m. press conference. A redacted version of the nea...
Jerusalem - Israeli police say they detained four suspects involved in an attempt to smuggle two baby goats into Jerusalem’s most sensitive holy site for a ritual sacrifice. Police said on Thursday that two Jewish minors intended “to cause provocations” by sacrificing the goats ahead of Passover. Two journalists who planned to film the ritual were also detained. Police say such incidents occur every year as zealots challenge longstanding restrictions by attempting to perform sacrifices in the spot where biblical Temples once stood. In ancient times, animals were sacrificed at the Temple on Passover. The landmark, known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, is considered the holiest site in Judaism and third-holiest in Islam. The competing c...
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