San Francisco -  Instagram is expanding a test to hide how many “likes” people’s posts receive as it tries to combat criticism that such counts hurt mental health and make people feel bad when comparing themselves to others. The Facebook-owned photo-sharing service has been running the test in Canada since May. Now, Facebook said the test has been expanded to Ireland, Italy, Japan, Australia, Brazil and New Zealand. Facebook typically tests new Facebook and Instagram features in smaller markets before bringing them to the U.S., if it ever does. The company would not comment on what it’s learned from the Canada test or if it has plans to expand it to the U.S. any time soon. One group that may be affected is Instagram “influencers,” the major, mino...
Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, both outspoken critics of Israel and its occupation of the West Bank, will be allowed into the country during a trip there in a few weeks, the Israeli ambassador said Friday, potentially heading off a diplomatic spat. “Out of respect for the U.S. Congress and the great alliance between Israel and America, we would not deny entry to any member of Congress into Israel,” said Ron Dermer, Israel’s envoy to the United States. The freshman Democrats have drawn the ire of pro-Israel politicians — including within the Democratic caucus — over the pair’s support for the the global boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel, known as the BDS movement. Omar said Wednesday the pair are set to visit the ...
The gemara in Nazir, daf chof gimmel, amud bais and Sanhedrin, daf kuf heh, amud bais and in Horiyus, daf yud gimel, amud bais quotes Rav Yehuda in the name of Rav that one should learn Torah and do mitzvos even if it is not done lishma because the act that was not lishma will end up being lishma. We find that in the z’chus of the forty two korbanos that Balak brought, he was zocheh to have Rus as his granddaughter. The gemara says that the reason shelo lishma is okay is because one will reach lishma eventually, yet we see that Balak never reached lishma. How was he then ...
A heatwave combined with strong winds sparked fires throughout Israel on Wednesday, with hundreds being evacuated from threatened areas and 15 homes being damaged by the flames. Firefighters were able to get most of the fires under control towards the evening. Evacuations took place in several locations, including the towns of Aderet, Neve Michael and Roglit near Jerusalem; Or Yehuda near Tel Aviv; near the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa; and in Shavei Shomron in Samaria. In Or Yehuda, five houses caught fire in the Ramat Pinkas neighborhood, and firefighters had to rescue several residents. In Moshav Roglit, an institution providing care for people with disabilities evacuated its residents to the Shalva Center in Jerusalem, an emergency center run by the Labor and Soc...
The woodsy community of Wolcott, Connecticut, doesn’t see a lot of crime. But when the police chief heard about an opportunity to distribute doorbell cameras to some homes, he didn’t hesitate. The police who keep watch over the town of 16,000 raffled off free cameras in a partnership with the camera manufacturer. So far, the devices have encountered more bears than criminals, but Chief Ed Stephens is still a fan. “Anything that helps keep the town safe, I’m going to do it,” he said. But as more police agencies join with the company known as Ring, the partnerships are raising privacy concerns. Critics complain that the systems turn neighborhoods into places of constant surveillance and create suspicion that falls heavier on minorities. Police say the cameras ...
Chazzan Yaakov Motzei performs this incredible special melody composed by Meir Martin Widerker. This song, Ritzei, is featured from the upcoming 4th album in the series of Shabbos songs. The rhythmic melody expresses the atmosphere of Shabbos Menuacha interpreted in his unique and inspirational way. About the Lyrics: The way in which a Yid is able to have Menucha, and Kadusha, is by connecting to Hakadsh Baruch Hu. How do we connect? Through His Mitzvos. The word Mitzvah doesn’t mean simply a commandment, as it’s commonly thought, it means a connection. When we do a Mitzvah, it allows to tap into our Chelek Elokei. Though this action, we allow our soul to reach Simcha! How do we reach that level of Simcha? Vetahar Libeinu, Leavdecha Bemes. By serving Hashem with true hon...
Iran says it seized British tanker for "violating international regulations" Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps says it seized the British-flagged oil tanker "Stena Impero" in the Strait of Hormuz for "violating international regulations," according to Iran's state-run Press TV. Meanwhile, the UK said it is “urgently seeking further information” about an incident involving a British oil tanker in the Persian Gulf.
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — The Latest on developments related to tensions between the U.S and Iran (all times local): 9:50 p.m. President Donald Trump says there is “no doubt about it” that a U.S. warship destroyed an Iranian drone, despite Iranian denials that it lost an unmanned aircraft. Trump is speaking from the Oval Office Friday about the incident Thursday in the Strait of Hormuz. His comments come a day after announcing that the USS Boxer took defensive action after an Iranian drone came within 1,000 yards (915 meters) of the warship and ignored multiple calls to stand down. He says: “No doubt about it. We shot it down.” Neither Trump nor the Pentagon spelled out how the Boxer destroyed the drone or provided any video or other evidence from the incident....
Tensions between Iran and the west have deepened after Tehran denied a US warship had brought down one of its drones and a Gibraltar court extended the detention of an Iranian ship seized by Royal Marines following a breakdown in talks. The drone incident was first revealed by Donald Trump, who said that USS Boxer took defensive action after the unmanned vehicle came within 1,000 yards of the warship and ignored multiple calls to stand down. “This is the latest of many provocative and hostile actions by Iran against vessels operating in international waters,” Trump said. “The United States reserves the right to defend our personnel, facilities and interests, and calls upon all nations to condemn Iran’s attempts to disrupt freedom of navigation and global commerce....
When the clock strikes midnight on Saturday, July 20, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will make history as the State of Israel’s longest-serving premier, surpassing the previous record-holder, David Ben-Gurion. Serving from June 18, 1996, to July 6, 1999, and again from March 31, 2009, until the present, Netanyahu will have served 4,876 days as Israel’s leader. Ben-Gurion, who led from May 14, 1948, until January 26, 1954, and again from Nov. 3, 1955, until June 26, 1963, led for 13-and-a-half years—a total of 4,875 days. Netanyahu ranks 16th among longest-reigning leaders in OECD nations since the end of World War II, according to the Israel Democracy Institute, and is currently the third longest-leading national head among OECD nations, after Turkey’s Recep T...
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Thursday blasted Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s life sentence as “inhumane” — echoing comments made by the convicted druglord himself. “A sentence for life in a hostile jail” would be “hard” and not worth living, said López Obrador at a morning press conference, according to Reuters. But López Obrador also told reporters on Thursday that he hoped Guzman’s sentence — while harsh — would lead to less violence in Mexico. “We think that bit by bit the number of criminal incidents will decline,” he said. “We will continue to create a better society, supported by values, that is not based on accumulating material wealth, mone...
Pro-Israel groups denounced U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) for comparing the anti-Israel BDS movement to previous boycotts of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. On Thursday, Omar announced a resolution supporting the right to boycott Israel. Her resolution seeks to push back against U.S. laws that ban the boycott of Israel, while affirming the right of Americans to organize boycotts of foreign countries. “Americans of conscience have a proud history of participating in boycotts to advocate for human rights abroad including … boycotting Nazi Germany from March 1933 to October 1941 in response to the dehumanization of the Jewish people in the lead-up to the Holocaust,” said Omar in the pro-BDS resolution, co-sponsored by Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and John Lewis (D-Ga...
In Memory of Rav Shmuel Yaakov Weinberg, zt'l, written on the Occasion of His Fifth Yahrzeit: From a Mechutan's Perspective by Rabbi Emanuel Feldman I first met Rav Yaakov Weinberg long before he was the famous Rav Yaakov. I was a boy of 15, and he was a few years older. I had come from Baltimore to Mesivta Rabbi Chaim Berlin in New York for a year of high school, and Rav Hutner, the Rosh Hayeshiva, had assigned the young Yaakov Weinberg to be my mentor for a short while. Neither of us had any idea, of course, that many years later, he would become the husband of Chana Ruderman and ultimately the Rosh Hayeshiva of Ner Israel in Baltimore, and that I would become rabbi in Atlanta. And of course, the thought that some day our children would be married to one another, an...
Baltimore, MD – July 19, 2019 - It is with sadness that BaltimoreJewishLife.com informs the community of the petirah of Rebbetzin Jaffa Munk, a'h, mother of Mrs. Ayala Weinberg, Rabbi Gavriel Munk, Rabbi Yitzchak Munk.and Sara Elikan. The levayah will take place Sunday, July 21, at 8:30 AM at Levinson’s The kevurah will be Monday, July 22, on Har HaMenuchos in Eretz Yisrael Shiva details to follow Bila HaMaves LaNetzach…
Parshas Balak /Baltimore Zmanim / Eruv is UP!   Baltimore, MD – July 19, 2019 Parshas: Balak 16 Tammuz Chatzos: 1:13 PM Hadlakas Nairos: 8:12 PM Shkiah:                   8:30:26 PM Tzais HaKochavim:  9:21 PM Shiva Asar B’Tammuz (Nidche): Sunday, July 21, 2019 - Baltimore: Fast begins: 4:18AM Fast Ends: 9:14PM
 Question #1: Bushy presenter “My company sent me out of town to meet a new client, and I forgot to have my hair cut before Shiva Asar BeTamuz. May I have the bushier parts trimmed? Does it make a difference if I use a non-Jewish barber? May I shave?” Question #2: Mixed shavers “My son wrote me that in his yeshiva in Eretz Yisroel, the Sefardic bochurim shave during the Three Weeks. Is this permitted?” Question #3: Celebrating a bris!! “Thank G-d, we will be celebrating the bris of a grandson during the Three Weeks, and I do not want to look disheveled for the bris photos. May I shave in honor of the occasion?” Question #4: Tichel tattling “My hair is sticking out beyond my tichel. May I trim it?” The three-week period between Sh...
Shiva Asar B’Tammuz (Nidche): Sunday, July 21, 2019 - Baltimore: Fast begins: 4:18AM Fast Ends: 9:14PM Although the Three Weeks and the other two fasts are a period of mourning and introspection, Zechariah the Navi tells us (Zechariah 8:19) that eventually, the four fasts of Klal Yisroel will be a source of joy and gladness – if we but embark upon the goal of loving both truth and shalom.  These two themes are central to Torah life.  Rabbi Chaninah tells us (Shabbos 55a) that Hashem’s seal is truth.  Shalom is also one of the names of Hashem, in addition to being a central theme of our daily Tefilos.  If we learn to love these ideals – the fasts will be turned around. The four fasts mentioned in Zechariah are: The fast of the fourth ...
Cartoons employing anti-Semitic tropes became a thing again last week. The memory of the New York Times International Edition’s offering of a Portuguese cartoonist’s depiction of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a dog, magen Davidaround his neck, held on a leash by a blind, be-yarmulked President Trump – had barely begun to fade. Enter Ben Garrison. Mr. Garrison’s oeuvre is decidedly anti-establishment, always provocative and often offensive. His favorite targets, in no particular order, have included former President Obama (depicted as a snake), Janet Yellen, the Federal Reserve, George Soros (a vulture) Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer (also snakes), international bankers and Hillary Clinton (a mere groundhog – and a k...
Jerusalem, Israel - July 19, 2019 - It is with sadness that BaltimoreJewishLife.com informs the community of the petirah of Rebbetzin Bayla Gold, A"H, wife of Rabbi Shalom Gold, The shiva is taking place at 16 Agassi #9, Har Nof, Israel.Rabbi Gold can be reached 026518319. Shiva concludes on Wednesday, July 24th.
An excessive heat warning takes effect Friday, and the National Weather Service issued an excessive heat watch for Saturday and Sunday. Keep Hatzalah's phone # handy: 410.358.0000 Baltimore County, MD — Temperatures are expected to be dangerously hot in Baltimore County Friday, hitting 106 degrees on the heat index. People should take precautions like wearing lightweight clothing, drinking water and staying in air-conditioned spaces as much as possible, health officials advise. Relief from the heat is available at Baltimore County Public Library branches, which are open as cooling centers. An excessive heat warning is in effect from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, July 19. It applies to most of Maryland, including Baltimore County. When weather officials issue an ...
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