At the end of Parshas Emor, the Torah conveys the tragic story of the “Ben Ish Mitzri”, the son of a Jewish woman, Shulamis Bas Divri from Shevet Dan and an unnamed Mitzri father. The Mepharshim fill in many of the blanks related to the history involved here. (who was his father, why he harbored such anger, etc.) Irrespective of those issues, the narrative in the Psukim leaves us a little perplexed. Rashi tells us that this individual attempted to set up his tent and claim a Chelek within the camp of Shevet Dan – the Shevet of his mother. When he was made to feel unwelcome there he brought his complaint to Moshe Rabeinu – “I’m a Jew by virtue of my mother, yet Chalakim are being given out only by paternal lineage. I have no Chelek...
A federal judge has ordered portions of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report to be unredacted and made public in the criminal case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan issued the limited order Thursday. Portions of the report relating to Flynn are redacted and would be made public under the order.
It is the first time a federal judge has ordered the Justice Department to make public portions of the report the agency had kept secret.
Mueller officially concluded his investigation in March. Attorney General William Barr released a redacted version of Mueller’s report in April.
Flynn is awaiting sentence after admitting to lying to the FBI about his conversations with the Russian ambass...
Israel’s bureaucratic red tape is costing the state NIS 14 billion ($3.9 billion) a year, one percent of its gross domestic product (GDP), according to a new report published Monday. Written by Zvi Eckstein, former deputy governor of the Bank of Israel, and labor economics researcher Sergei Sumkin, the report states that Israel has failed to conform to OECD standards or act on recommendations of inter-ministerial teams set up for that purpose.
“It is all about ego,” Eckstein said Monday when presenting the research at a conference at The Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, in central Israel. None of the bodies in charge of cutting red tape will collaborate, he said.
According to the report, Israel is in the mid-range of countries in terms of competitiveness, and for the ...
Facebook said on Thursday it had removed 265 Facebook and Instagram accounts, pages, groups and events linked to Israel due to what it called “inauthentic behavior” targeting users in Southeast Asia, Latin America and Africa.
The move is part of wider efforts by Facebook to address concerns over privacy lapses and hate speech in social media.
Facebook said the “inauthentic” activity originated in Israel and focused on Nigeria, Senegal, Togo, Angola, Niger and Tunisia as well as in Latin America and Southeast Asia.
“The people behind this network used fake accounts to run pages, disseminate their content and artificially increase engagement,” Nathaniel Gleicher, head of cybersecurity policy at Facebook, said in a statement.
He identified Israel‘...
Israel’s new government is expected to increase international development activity and plans to establish a government bank dedicated to international development, the Prime Minister’s Office Chief of Staff Yoav Horowitz said on Wednesday at a meeting with the heads of Society for International Development Israel.
At the meeting, society representatives presented Horowitz with the main points of their research on what Israel must do to deepen its international development activity.
“The Israeli government sees advancing international development as very important in helping Israeli companies and civil society organizations operate in developing markets,” said Horowitz. “That will contribute a lot to the Israeli economy, as well as to Israel’s diplomati...
Washington - Setting aside some of his hard-line rhetoric on illegal immigration, President Donald Trump said Thursday that he wanted to recruit “top talent” to the nation as he unveiled his latest efforts to reform residency laws after years of setbacks and stalemates.
“We discriminate against genius,” Trump said of current policies, which he contended excessively favor family based immigration. “We discriminate against brilliance. We won’t anymore once we get this passed.”
The latest effort, spearheaded by Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, focuses on beefing up border security and rethinking the nation’s green card system so that it would favor people with high-level skills, degrees and job offers instead of rela...
Cincinnati, OH - Teens who have obesity surgery lose as much weight as those who have the operation as adults and are more likely to have it resolve other health problems such as diabetes and high blood pressure, a study finds.
The results suggest there’s a benefit from not waiting to address obesity. Researchers say longer study is still needed to know lifetime effects of this radical surgery and that it’s a personal decision whether and when to try it.
The study was published Thursday by the New England Journal of Medicine and presented at the Combating Childhood Obesity conference in Houston. The National Institutes of Health paid for it, and some researchers consult for makers of obesity surgery tools.
The damaging effects of obesity accumulate, and the risk of developin...
A former Uggs salesman with a rocky marriage has been found guilty of working as a “sleeper” agent for an arm of Hezbollah while living in the Bronx — helping the terror group prepare for attacks on New York City.
After less than a day of deliberations, a Manhattan federal jury found Bronx resident Ali Kourani, 34, guilty on eight counts that included providing support to Hezbollah, which carries up to life in prison.
Kourani, looking business casual in a rumpled white dress shirt and dark pants, sat motionless as the jury of eight women and four men rendered its verdict following a week-long trial. He was hauled in on the charges in 2017 after he spilled his guts to the feds with hopes of becoming an informant — rather than a convicted felon f...
Toronto - Flattery will get you everywhere.
Former media mogul Conrad Black, who has lavished praise on U.S. President Donald Trump in countless columns and a political biography, has himself a full presidential pardon on his fraud and obstruction convictions.
Trump had taken notice of Black’s warm words and even previously told him: “I won’t forget!”
In 2015, when Trump was running for president, Black wrote a National Review essay titled “Trump Is the Good Guy” in which he argued that Trump was being unfairly smeared by the political establishment and media. Trump tweeted it was an “honor” to read the piece, adding, “As one of the truly great intellects & my friend, I won’t forget!”
Black was convicted of defraudin...
New York - The New York Police Department used a photo of Woody Harrelson in its facial recognition program in an attempt to identify a beer thief who looked like the actor, according to a report published Thursday.
Georgetown University’s Center on Privacy and Technology highlighted the April 2017 episode in “Garbage In, Garbage Out,” a report on what it says are flawed practices in law enforcement’s use of facial recognition.
The report says security footage of the thief was too pixelated and produced no matches while high-quality images of Harrelson, a three-time Oscar nominee, returned several possible matches and led to one arrest.
The NYPD also used a photo of a New York Knicks player to search its database for a man wanted for a Brooklyn assault, the repor...
[Ed. Note] Out of the respect and recognition of the impact made by longtime BJL friend and contributor, Reb Shaya Gross, z’l, we will maintain a living memoriam to Shaya through the sweet words and thoughtful insights of his Divrei Torah. BJL readers will remember his weekly column on the Parsha and on various Torah ideas and concepts. These meaningful words will help us remember this special young man who will be sorely missed and for those who did not merit to know him, this will be the most appropriate way for them to become familiar with who he was.
According to the opinion that the 24,000 students of Rabbi Akiva who died between Pesach and Shavuos had a brief respite on Lag Baomer, we can appreciate the relevance of a number of Torah thoughts regarding Lag Ba'omer....
Washington - U.S. President Donald Trump took out a new 30-year mortgage on a sprawling oceanfront house steps from his own Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, and it is sitting empty on the rental market, according to financial disclosures made public on Thursday by the Office of Government Ethics.
The $18.5 million West Palm Beach mansion was purchased in May 2018 from one of Trump’s older sisters and was secured with an $11.2 million mortgage that has a 4.5% interest rate, Florida public records show.
Trump disclosed the loan as a liability in financial disclosure forms filed this week.
A real estate website lists the eight-bedroom house, which is near the Mar-a-Lago beachfront estate and private club in Palm Beach, as available for rent for about $81,000 a month.
The Palm Bea...
Jerusalem - Israeli prosecutors filed charges on Thursday against a man accused of spitting on Poland’s ambassador, an incident that drew strong condemnation from Warsaw and underscored tensions between the countries over anti-Semitism and Holocaust history.
The suspect, Erik Lederman, was indicted for assault and criminal threats, Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court papers showed. Police said that in Tuesday’s incident in Tel Aviv he had struck the roof of a car carrying Ambassador Marek Magierowski with his hand, then opened a door and spat twice on the envoy. [
The counts carry a maximum of five years’ jail in Israel.
Lederman, 65, has apologized, saying the car had honked at him and that he had not known Magierowski was inside.
Lederman said he had come to the embas...
Washington - Live, from a tiny parlor in the Capitol, House Democrats are reading aloud nearly 400 pages of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.
The marathon is likely to stretch into the wee hours of Friday. The duty will be split among more than two dozen lawmakers.
Democratic Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon of Pennsylvania said “The American people need to hear from the report itself,” adding, “summaries won’t do.”
Mueller did not find evidence that President Donald Trump conspired with the Russians to tip the 2016 election. But he did not answer whether Trump obstructed justice.
The attempt to publicize Mueller’s report comes amid uncertainty about whether he will testify to Congress. Democrats have said they are hopeful Mueller will appear, but ...
Los Angeles - Efforts to combat school shootings are starting to shift from preventing the violence to reducing the number of victims through technology that speeds up law enforcement’s response and quickly alerts teachers and students to danger.
School districts are using products like gunshot detection systems that identify where shots are fired and apps that allow teachers to report attacks and connect with police. While a focus on gun control often emerges after shootings, technology can be a less partisan solution that’s quick to implement — though some experts say funding preventive mental health resources should be the priority.
The tech approach comes amid rising concern over the inability to prevent shootings like the one last week at a suburban Denver high sch...
The Montreal Public Health Department has declared the city’s first community measles outbreak in years after a girl contracted the highly contagious disease from a member of her family and then transmitted it to a health worker.
Authorities are now trying to track down as many as 400 people who might have come into contact with the infected health worker.
The caregiver had visited six locations while contagious on the West Island, St-Laurent and Town of Mount-Royal from May 11 to May 14. In particular, nurses plan to give shots to any unvaccinated children or workers at a T.M.R. daycare.
Authorities are also taking the extraordinary step of offering free measles vaccines from Friday to June 14 to anyone who has not received the standard two doses.
To date, Montreal has reported ...
Life is filled with disappointment.
Inevitably we each face loss of loved ones during our sojourn on this earth. We often must deal with the difficulties of infirmity or injury. The sudden twists and turns in daily life that disrupt our carefully organized plans and expectations certainly dampen our joy and sense of security on a regular basis. Financial struggle and loss too, is a recurring challenge. Even when life seems to be ‘traveling along’ fairly, the anxieties over when will the ‘ax finally fall’ on our party, permeate our sense of equilibrium constantly.
These trials in life prod frustration and doubt, leading us to question G-d’s interest in us at best, or His very existence at worst. Even those who remain steadfast in their faith often detour into...
Boeing on Thursday said that it has completed development of a software update to address the issues that have been blamed for two crashes involving the company's 737 Max jets that left more than 300 people dead.
In a statement obtained by CNBC, CEO Dennis Muilenburg said that the company was preparing for a final certification of the software update, after which it would begin rolling out the software to fleets of 737 Max jets that have been grounded worldwide since the crashes.
“With safety as our clear priority, we have completed all of the engineering test flights for the software update and are preparing for the final certification flight,” Muilenburg said, according to CNBC.
“We’re committed to providing the FAA and global regulators all the ...