Today, Erev Yom Tov, we celebrated the upherin of our dear son, Yitzchak. In conjunction, my son Efrayim and I made a siyum on mishnayos seder Nezikin. Here are the thoughts I shared at the event:
At any of these “lifecycle” events, I like to try and share a perspective on chinuch and the challenges that are faced and what lies ahead, hopefully with some relevant connections to other events of the day. The last Mishnah in Horayos lays out the hierarchy of kedushah within klal Yisrael. A kohein takes precedence over a levi, a levi over a Yisrael, a Yisrael over a mamzeir, and so on. However, the very last statement of our seder declares that this is only when all else is equal. A mamzeir who is a talmid chacham takes precedence over even a kohein gadol who is bereft of Torah kn...
Prime Minister and Defense Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday hosted a group of IDF lone soldiers in his sukkah at the Prime Minister's Residence in Jerusalem, and spoke with the lone soldiers’ parents by video.
Speaking at the event, just hours before the Sukkot festival which is set to begin Sunday evening, Prime Minister Netanyahu told the lone soldiers, who came to Israel from Italy, the Ukraine, and Australia, that Israel needed the kind of unity symbolized by the four species of Sukkot.
"There are three soldiers here who immigrated to Israel from Australia, Ukraine and Italy to serve in the IDF. I told them that the four species symbolize the unity of the Jewish people – the unity of the people and the unity that we need so much in the country.
I would like to ...
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin today, October 10 / 11 Tishrei, decorated his Sukkah with children of members of the Beit HaNasi staff and second- and third-grade pupils from Yavneh school in Hadera, which runs a program to strengthen literacy and language skills designed by the Israel Center for Educational Innovation. The event was held ahead of the annual Open Sukkah during chol hamoed Sukkot, which will be in the gardens of Beit HaNasi in Jerusalem, Israel, during which thousands of Israelis will visit the Sukkah on October 17/ 18 Tishrei from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm.
“Come and visit the Sukkah of peace and togetherness, where everyone belongs and which belongs to everyone,” said the president, inviting Israelis to visit the Sukkah. “Beit HaNasi is the people’...
A graffiti image of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler was found near the grave of Rabbi Nachman in the city of Uman in Ukraine.
Israel's ambassador to Ukraine, Joel Lion, posted a photo of the vandalism on his Twitter account.
“In Uman, not far away from Rabbi Nachman's grave. Anti-Semites painted a graffiti of the biggest murderer of Jews in History. Never Again begins by fighting any kind of anti-Semitism as defined by the IHRA,” he wrote.
“Ukraine should strongly condemn and bring the perpetrators to justice,” added Lion.
He later thanked the local authorities for promptly acting to remove the offensive graffiti.
“We welcome the prompt reaction of the Ukrainian Authorities,” he tweeted.
Local police have reportedly arrested a suspect in the van...
MOSCOW (AP) — From Syria to Ukraine, new fault lines and tensions are offering the Kremlin fresh opportunities to expand its clout and advance its interests.
In Syria, the U.S. military withdrawal in the face of a Turkish offensive leaves Russia as the ultimate power broker, allowing it to help negotiate a potential agreement between Syrian President Bashar Assad and the Kurds who were abandoned by Washington.
And in Ukraine, where the new president saw his image dented by a U.S. impeachment inquiry, Russia may use the volatility to push for a deal that would secure its leverage over its western neighbor.
The Turkish offensive in northern Syria followed President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. forces from the area, cold shouldering the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic...
Republican leaders claim that House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., is violating an agreement between their parties after the Democrat subpoenaed two Department of Homeland Security officials without consulting with the GOP minority.
The committee’s ranking member Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Subcommittee ranking member Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, accused Cummings of letting partisan politics supersede standard protocol by issuing subpoenas to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Acting Director Matthey Albence. The ICE and USCIS heads were called to testify this coming Thursday.
“If you proceed with this subpoena over our ...
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) revealed in a new interview that House Democrats have discussed jailing allies of the president who do not comply with congressional subpoenas, an escalation of the House's efforts to force White House compliance with an impeachment inquiry.
Tlaib told Deadline Detroit that such an action, known as inherent contempt, would be "uncharted territory" for Congress but added that "serious discussions" about taking the step have occurred within the Democratic caucus.
“There have been actual serious conversations about what the logistics would look like... if we did have to force someone through a court order to come before the Congressional committee," she said. "This is pretty uncharted territory for many of us and even for Congress....
Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin is not expected to grant Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu an extension to form a majority government and will likely pass on the mandate to Blue and White leader Benny Gantz, sources close to the president said on Saturday night, confirming an earlier Channel 12 report.
Netanyahu has until Oct. 24 to cobble together a majority coalition. If he fails and the mandate is passed on to Gantz, the Blue and White leader would have 28 days, until Nov. 21, to form a government. If his attempts were to fail as well, there would then be a three-week period in which any Knesset member could attempt to form a government.
In the first round of elections in April, Rivlin used his option to extend Netanyahu’s mandate by 14 days. Following the second round of...
Alex Stamos served as chief security officer at Facebook for three years before joining Stanford University, where he studies internet security, including systems related to conducting elections.
He warns that there’s little the federal government can do now for the 2020 elections. And he laments the arrival of “disinformation as a service,” where companies are hired to help spread misinformation on social media.
Stamos spoke recently with The Associated Press. Remarks have been edited for clarity and brevity.
Q. Can you summarize the chilling scenario you recently penned on how the 2020 presidential elections might be thrown into turmoil?
A: Most people focus on specific threats: a technical disruption of voting, social media rumors blaming a conspiracy, ex...
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Saturday stood behind personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, one of his highest-profile and most vocal defenders, amid reports that federal prosecutors in the city Giuliani led as mayor are eyeing him for possible lobbying violations.
Behind the scenes, however, many of Trump’s closest aides and advisers, inside and outside the White House, quietly wish the president would cut ties with Giuliani, whose leadership of New York after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks earned him worldwide admiration and the moniker of “America’s mayor.”
Giuliani was a force in Trump’s defense during the lengthy Russia investigation by the special counsel. Yet the effort to undermine special counsel Robert Mueller led Giuliani to ...
WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S. ambassador is expected to tell Congress that his text message reassuring another envoy there was no quid pro quo in their interactions with Ukraine was based solely on what he was told by President Donald Trump.
That’s according to a person familiar with the upcoming House impeachment testimony by Trump’s European Union ambassador.
Gordon Sondland is set to tell House committees on Thursday that he did understand the Trump administration was offering Ukraine’s president a White House visit in exchange for a public statement by Ukraine committing to investigations Trump wanted. That word comes from a person who wasn’t authorized to publicly discuss the testimony and spoke on condition of anonymity.
But Sondland will say his text wasn...
LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Cabinet colleagues that it will require a “significant amount of work” to strike a Brexit deal with the European Union, amid signs of progress in last-minute talks but also deep-seated skepticism about the chances of an agreement.
Britain is due to leave the 28-nation bloc on Oct. 31, and attempts to find a deal have foundered over plans for keeping an open border between EU member Ireland and the U.K.’s Northern Ireland.
The challenge of maintaining an invisible border — something that underpinned both the local economy and the region’s peace deal — has dominated Brexit discussions for three years, ever since U.K. voters chose in 2016 to leave the EU.
But negotiations intensified last week...
AKCAKALE, Turkey (AP) — Hundreds of Islamic State supporters escaped from a holding camp in northern Syria on Sunday amid heavy clashes between invading Turkish-led forces and Kurdish fighters, and President Donald Trump ordered all U.S. troops to withdraw from the north to avoid getting caught in the fighting.
Full Coverage: Syria
The twin developments reflected the rapidly growing chaos in Syria in the week since Trump ordered American forces in the region to step aside, leaving the U.S.-allied Kurds wide open to attack from Turkey.
“We have American forces likely caught between two opposing advancing armies, and it’s a very untenable situation,” U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” in announcing U.S. troops wo...
The YomTov of Succos represents multiple ideas within the Torah and the Mepharshim. The Torah tells us that the Chag recalls how we lived in these makeshift houses as we left Mitzrayim. (Behar 23:43) The Gemara questions whether we are commemorating the actual “houses” in which we lived temporarily or whether we are really referring to the Ananei Hakovod which divinely protected us when we were in the Midbar. (Gemara Succah, 11b) Either way, The Gemara concludes we are recalling an event which took place in Nissan, around the same time as Pesach, immediately after Yitzias Mitzrayim, Indeed, Chazal say that Succos would be more appropriately celebrated in the spring but we shif...
It was 10 years ago that the Orthodox Union (OU) sent out a warning that the popular Skittles candy carried an unauthorized OU symbol. As late as 2016, the KLBD or London Bais Din said that Skittles was not kosher albeit that a special kosher run was made for Israel. Even in the US some products, mostly from Israel, turned up with a kosher certification. In May, the KLBD officially announced that Skittles was kosher certified by their Bais Din. This history of mixed messages leaves kosher consumers confused and often forces them to avoid the product.
A similar response can be expected when a product carries a generic “k” without identifying the source of the kosher certification. Even large companies like Pepsi Cola are guilty of using the “k” in many markets as op...
Two associates of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, now the personal attorney for U.S. President Donald Trump, were honored at the National Council of Young Israel’s gala more than six months before they were arrested on Wednesday evening, attempting to flee the United States by plane, for allegedly funneling foreign funds into U.S. elections.
Joseph Frager, NCYI’s first vice president, met Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas in June 2018 at a pro-Trump America First Action SuperPAC event in Washington, D.C.
Frager told Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the two approached him, and he convinced them to join NCYI’s trip to Israel that included former Trump communications director Anthony Scaramucci, who was honored by NCYI in 2018.
“They loved Israel,” said Frage...
Two missiles hit an Iranian oil tanker 60 miles off the coast of Saudi Arabia on Friday, causing a brief oil leak and increase in oil prices, as well as increased tensions in the Middle East.
The oil from the Sabiti, owned by the National Iranian Oil Company, leaked into the Red Sea near the Saudi port city of Jeddah, according to Iranian state media.
“This latest incident, if confirmed to be an act of aggression, is highly likely to be part of the wider narrative of deteriorating relations between Saudi and the U.S. and Iran,” private maritime security firm Dryad Maritime told the Associated Press. “It is likely that the region, having been stable for the last month, will face another period of increasing maritime threats, as the Iranian and Saudi geopolitical stand-of...
A car was damaged by a bullet outside Elon University Chabad in North Carolina on Wednesday night, as community members attended services towards the end of Yom Kippur.
Gunshots were heard between 6:45 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. Police responded to reports of a damaged vehicle at 10:01 p.m. They discovered damage on the back window and roof rack, where the bullet was discovered.
No one was injured.
“There is no indication of any ongoing threat to the campus community,” wrote Jon Dooley, Elon vice president for student life, in an email to the university community.
He said that while the motive is unknown, “the timing and location of this incident are extremely disturbing.”
The case is currently being investigated as a possible hate crime, according to a police report.
On Motzei Shabbos before Rosh Hashanah, United Hatzalah volunteer EMTs Aharon Avital, Tomer Tzenani, Yossi Cohen, Naftali Friedman, Adi Avivi, and Lior Filshteiner were summoned to the home of Yaron and Limor Golan in Hod Hasharon. Limor had just suffered a heart attack. To complicate matters more, Limor was 39 weeks pregnant when the heart attack occurred.
“I was sitting in the living room watching TV when I heard a noise in the bedroom,” Yaron recounted. “I saw Limor on the floor and I rushed over to her and tried to wake her up. She didn’t respond. I called a neighbor for help. He began performing CPR on her. I didn’t know what to do so I called the emergency number for an ambulance.”
Aharon Avital, head of the Hod Hasharon team for United Hatzalah ...
NEW YORK (AP) — Facing intense scrutiny from President Donald Trump and his Republican allies, Hunter Biden announced on Sunday that he will step down from the board of directors of a Chinese-backed private equity firm at the end of the month as part of a pledge not to work on behalf of any foreign-owned companies should his father win the presidency.
Biden, the 49-year-old son of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, revealed his plan in an internet post written by his attorney, George Mesires, who outlined a defense of the younger Biden’s work in Ukraine and China, which have emerged as one of Trump’s chief lines of attack against Hunter’s father despite no proof of impropriety.
“Hunter makes the following commitment: Under a Biden Administration, H...