This article is adapted from my newly-released sefer, “What Can I Say... Today?” (It is presently available online at Feldheim.com and is coming to bookstores soon!) All halachos mentioned herein are complex and part of a larger framework. The purpose of the article is to raise awareness of these essential halachos. Hence, one should not draw any practical conclusions without first consulting a Rav.
Over the course of writing the sefer, I had the privilege of submitting questions to Rav Yitzchak Berkovits shlit”a, one of the leading poskim in the halachos of Shmiras Halashon, and receiving responses. I was also given access to other responsa of Rav Berkovits regarding these halachos. The following are questions and answers that were reviewed by Rav Berkovits personally....
An Iranian lawmaker announced a three-million-dollar award to “whoever kills Trump,” an Iranian semi-official news agency reported.
“On behalf of people of Kerman province, we will pay [a] three-million-dollar award in cash to whoever kills Trump,” Ahmad Hamzeh told parliamentarians, according to ISNA.
He did not elaborate whether it was a decision made by Iran‘s clerical rulers to threaten US President Donald Trump.
Kerman is the hometown of Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s Quds Force who was killed by a US drone on Jan. 3 in Iraq.
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a Congress delegation are paying a visit to the site of the former Nazi German death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau ahead of the 75th anniversary of its liberation by Soviet troops.
At the memorial site in southern Poland, Pelosi and Poland’s Senate Speaker, Tomasz Grodzki, laid wreaths Tuesday at the Auschwitz Death Wall where inmates were executed.
In a statement ahead of her trip, Pelosi said it was to “reaffirm America’s enduring commitment, our sacred pledge: Never again.”
“We must honor the memories of those murdered in this incomprehensible horror by maintaining constant vigilance against hatred and persecution today,” said the statement.
From Poland, Pelosi and the bipartisan delegat...
Republicans think Trump’s victory in 2020 is assured.
2020 Democratic front-runner Joe Biden said his administration would fire Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents who arrest and deport illegal immigrants who are not guilty of felony crimes, adding that he doesn't "count drunk driving as a felony."
The former vice president made the comments at a Vice News forum on minority issues in Des Moines, Iowa, on Monday evening.
When asked what changes he would bring to the agency as president, Biden, 77, said he wants to change the fact that children of illegal immigrants live in fear that their parents will be arrested and deported.
"They go off to school wondering whether their mom comes and picks them up [or] if she’s not going to be there because an ICE agent was there to arrest her. Or she takes him to the doctor, ...
A nearly hourlong city police body camera video shows Baltimore mayoral candidate Thiru Vignarajah being cited for driving with a suspended registration, according to the Baltimore Sun.
Around 1 a.m. Sept. 26, Vignarajah was stopped in the 2400 block of Greenmount Avenue in East Baltimore for driving without his headlights on, according to body camera footage obtained by the Sun. He contested the officer's claim.
The officer took Vignarajah's license and found his registration was suspended because of an outstanding repair order from May, the video shows.Vignarajah questioned the officer during the nearly hourlong traffic stop.
"We are short 600 patrol officers, and that's what you're doing in Greenmount?" Vignarajah said in the video.
The officer told Vignarajah he...
The Baltimore County Council is set to vote Tuesday on a bill proposed by County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. that would require further security for gun shops and gun shows in the area.
The Secure All Firearms Effectively Act, deemed the SAFE Act, would require gun shops to install an alarm system that is registered with the county, a video system, installation of bollards or other types of physical barriers, installation of security gates or screens over windows and doors, require guns to be locked in a secure room during off-hours or utilize a live security guard and gun shows would need to have a live security guard when the show is not open.
The proposed legislation would also implement a new license for all firearm stores and gun shows in the county. Gun shows and shops would not...
Event focused on combating rising antisemitism in the classroom
ELIZABETH, NJ – The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous (JFR) selected 22
middle and high school teachers and Holocaust center staff from six states to participate in its 2020 Advanced Seminar, an intensive three-day academic program that explored a number topics addressing the history of the Holocaust. The seminar took place January 18-21 at the Hilton Newark Airport hotel in Elizabeth, N.J.
For the first time ever, due to the rising wave of antisemitic incidents throughout the country, the annual seminar extended its program by one day which was devoted entirely to training teachers to combat the growing wave of hate from within their classrooms.
Participants came from Alabama, Delaware, Florida, New Jersey, ...
Slated to be the cornerstone of New York State’s social-justice reform in 2020, a new law that eliminates bail for misdemeanors and some felony crimes has come under increasing scrutiny, in part because of the uptick in anti-Semitic attacks.
Proponents of the new bail-reform law, which went into effect on Jan. 1, say it will address racial and economic imbalances in the justice system throughout the state. They maintain that an overwhelming number of those incarcerated are poor individuals or African-Americans who cannot afford bail. Others note the high cost to taxpayers for housing and caring for those incarcerated as they wait for their day in court.
As New York Civil Liberties executive director Donna Lieberman said in a press release at the end of December, “The end of t...
William Warden, son of state Court of Appeals judge Lucy Inman, pleaded guilty on Jan. 15 to misdemeanor charges related to potential harm of a North Carolina synagogue in 2018.
He was charged with ethnic intimidation for ringing a doorbell and threatening damage through the camera at Congregation Sha’arei Shalom in Cary on Nov. 3, 2018.
Warden, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, remains in 24-hour mental-health treatment in Florida and was absent from last week’s hearing.
As part of his plea, he will remain in treatment another 12 months to finish two years of treatment—longer than the maximum 45-day jail sentence that could be allotted.
The 21-year-old issued an apology, which his attorney, Roger Smith Jr., read in which the suspect said...
Baltimore, MD - Jan. 21, 2020 - In the first aliyah (portion) of Parshas Va'eira, Hashem appears to Moshe and tells him that He will redeem the Jewish people because of the promise that He made to the avos. Hashem established a covenant with our forefathers; therefore, we have this belief in our DNA. Even when there are times that we act like avadim (servants), uninspired, we always have this strong, core relationship, based on the covenant that Hashem made with Avraham Avinu.
Click here to listen
A new comprehensive report about the history and current state of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement—more commonly referred to as BDS—was released on Monday by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
The 44-page monograph, “War By Other Means: A History of Anti-Israel Boycotts, From the Arab League to BDS,” by FDD research analyst David May, “details how despite framing itself as a social justice movement, BDS is the most recent iteration of a century-old effort to attack the legitimacy and economic viability of the Jewish state and its precursors,” said the Washington, D.C. think tank in a statement.
“There are many good reports out on BDS, but ours is the most comprehensive report covering BDS’s evolution from the Arab...
President Trump on Tuesday announced the United States will join the “One Trillion Trees Initiative” launched at the World Economic Forum as world leaders seek to combat climate change.
Trump made the announcement during an address to global business leaders gathered for the annual event in Davos, Switzerland.
“We’re committed to conserving he majesty of god’s creation and the natural beauty of our world,” Trump said, adding that the U.S. “will continue to show strong leadership in restoring, growing and better managing our trees and our forests.
Read more at The Hill.
Seven men have been arrested in Brittany, western France, on suspicion of planning a terrorist attack, a source close to the investigation said.
The seven, who were arrested on Monday, were also suspected of having planned to travel to areas where terrorist groups were active, the source said.
France has been on high alert for Islamist attacks since a series of atrocities, mostly claimed by the Islamic State extremist group, cost more than 230 lives in 2015 and 2016.
Read more here.
The head of Israel’s domestic security agency, the Shin Bet, revealed on Monday that his organization had thwarted 560 terrorist attacks in 2019.
The Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot reported that Nadav Argaman made the statement during a ceremony for the Prime Minister’s Award honoring operational and intelligence achievements over the past year.
Argaman said that the attacks which were prevented included more than 300 shootings, 10 suicide bombings and four kidnappings.
“Last year was a year filled with security challenges in all the arenas we operate in,” he said.
Argaman told the six prize winners that out of all the outstanding accomplishments in 2019, “we had to choose those who were worthy of special mention. And the choice was not easy.”
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is calling on the world to take “concrete actions” against the International Criminal Court ahead of a possible war-crimes case against Israel.
The ICC’s chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, said last month that there was a “reasonable basis” to open a war crimes probe into Israeli military actions in the Gaza Strip as well as Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank. She has asked the court to determine whether she has territorial jurisdiction before proceeding with the case.
Israel, which is not a member of the ICC, has said the court has no jurisdiction and accused Bensouda of being driven by anti-Semitism.
In an interview with the Christian network TBN to be aired later Tuesday, Netan...
WASHINGTON (AP) — Legal filings to the Senate have laid out the arguments that will be made in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, where he faces two distinct allegations of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
A look at the main points Democrats are making as they argue for Trump’s removal from office, and Trump’s response as the defense team pushes for his speedy acquittal. The GOP arguments have already raised charges of distortion.
ON ABUSE OF POWER
Democrats say Trump abused the power of his office by urging Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in a July 25 phone call to announce an investigation of political rival Joe Biden and the Democrats. At the time, Trump was withholding hundreds of millions of dollar in military aid to the country.
WUHAN, China (AP) — Face masks sold out and temperature checks at airports and train stations became the new norm as China strove Tuesday to control the outbreak of a new coronavirus that has reached four other countries and territories and threatens to spread further during the Lunar New Year travel rush.
Anxiety grew both at home and abroad after Chinese government expert Zhong Nanshan confirmed fears on state television late Monday that the virus can spread from human to human.
Six people have died and 291 have been infected in China, the National Health Commission said Tuesday.
The stock prices of some companies that sell masks rose Tuesday, but markets fell in much of Asia as investors worried about the potential impact on tourism and the economy.
Concerned about a global ou...
DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — President Donald Trump sought Tuesday to sell the United States to the global business community, telling an economic conference in the Swiss Alps that America’s economic turnaround has been “nothing short of spectacular.”
Trump addressed the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, hours before his historic impeachment trial was to reconvene in the U.S. Senate in Washington.
Trump reminded the audience that when he spoke here two years ago, early in his presidency, “I told you that we had launched the great American comeback.”
“Today I’m proud to declare the United States is in the midst of an economic boom, the likes of which the world has never seen before,” the president said.
FLATBUSH (VINnews) — A fire broke out on Monday inside a home located at 761 Ocean Parkway, near Foster Ave.
Upon extinguishing the fire, FDNY discovered an 11-year-old female inside of the location unconscious and unresponsive.
EMS responded and transported the female to Maimonides Medical Center where she was pronounced deceased.
The girl has been identified as 11-year-old Shira Teved.
Baruch Dayan Ha'emes