Nitzan Horowitz defends government's decision to allow Shin Bet to use GPS tracking on omicron carriers Israel's Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz said on Sunday that the omicron variant of Covid-19 was "under control" in the country. “We assumed that a new variant was going to emerge. Through our defensive and coercive measures, we located this variant quickly. We were among the first to find and isolate it. Everything is under control. There is no need to fear or panic," Horowitz said at a press conference. The minister also defended the emergency decree signed by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett authorizing the Shin Bet security services to track those infected with the omicron variant, while expressing doubts. "I have a big problem with the use of tracking. I pre...
Israel's officials expressed concern over the upcoming Iran nuclear negotiations Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi, a top-level spokesperson for Iran’s armed forces, called for the destruction of Israel on Saturday during an interview with a state-run media outlet. “We will not back off from the annihilation of Israel, even one millimeter,” Shekarchi told the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA). “We want to destroy Zionism in the world,” he added. Shekarchi also denounced the diplomatic ties established with Israel by Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, dubbing the moves “intolerable,” according to The Jerusalem Post. Bahrain and the UAE agreed to normalized relations with Israel back in 2020 under the Abraham Accord...
Rav Elya Ber Wachtfogel, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Gedolah Zichron Moshe of South Fallsburg, addressed the issue of shidduchim on Thursday at the Agudas Yisroel Convention, stating that that young men should be encouraged to enter shidduchim earlier. The words of the rosh yeshiva were related during a panel discussion on the shidduch crisis. The rosh yeshiva said: “This could be the biggest tragedy facing Klal Yisroel today.” The panel also featured Lakewood shadchan R’ Shlomo Lewenstein, and Dr. Yossi Shafier. Rabbi Lewenstein said that he knows families who have good daughters who wait for months just to get a date. He added that many 21-year-old girls who are not picky have never...
Ilana Smith flew to Israel last weekend with the aim of comforting her friend, Devorah Kay, after her son Eli’s death. “Our families have been close friends for years,” she said. She purposely delayed her trip until the end of the shivah, following the death of Eliyohu Dovid Kay, who was murdered by a Palestinian gunman in Yerushalayim Old City last week. There were five South African citizens, two of whom came to comfort the family of Eli Kay. According to the passengers, when they left for Israel on Thursday, the restrictions imposed by the Corona Cabinet on flights from Africa had not yet come into force, and after a stopover in Dubai on Friday afternoon, they landed at Ben Gurion Airport. Upon landing in Israel, the passengers were taken for a conversation in a...
Two cases of the quickly-spreading Omicron variant of the coronavirus have been reported in Canada. Both cases were reported in the province of Ontario with individuals who had recently traveled to Africa. “Today, the province of Ontario has confirmed two cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in Ottawa, both of which were reported in individuals with recent travel from Nigeria. Ottawa Public Health is conducting case and contact management and the patients are in isolation,” a statement from officials said.
Israel was behind a cyberattack on Iran’s fuel distribution system in late October that paralyzed the Islamic Republic’s 4,300 gas stations, according to the New York Times. The report, published over the weekend, quoted two U.S. defense officials speaking on condition of anonymity. The attack came on the heels of previous cyberattacks in recent months, which shut down vital services and infrastructure in Iran—from disruptions to traffic lights and train services to water and electric supplies. No one assumed responsibility for disabling the gas stations or for the previous attacks in Iran. In Tehran, too, officials were careful not to point a finger at the “usual suspects,” although Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said that a country with cyber-capabilitie...
The head of Israel’s Islamist Ra’am Party on Saturday downplayed the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program, saying that while the threat was real, it was not existential. “I don’t see the Iranian nuclear issue as an existential threat to Israel. There is certainly a threat, but we’ll leave that to the professionals,” said Mansour Abbas, speaking at a cultural event in Beersheva. The Ra’am leader also said at the event that he was not ruling out political collaboration with the Likud Party in the future, but declined to reveal what Likud head and then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had offered him in the last election. “My political partners are also pushing me to release things,” he said.
As a self-described straight shooter, WBAL afternoon/early evening anchor and Baltimore-area native Robert Lang has been a part of the station for more than 17 years, with more than 35 years in the industry. “I thought about my own family in a synagogue on Shabbat,” Lang said regarding the Tree of Life synagogue killings. “My parents might typically be in a synagogue at Shabbat. My brother, his family, my nieces and nephews. I thought this could have been us. It’s very hard to cover a story like that, but you try to separate your own emotions from your professional responsibility.” Throughout the years, Lang has covered COVID-19, the death and trials around Freddie Gray, the Maryland general assembly, the approval of gay marriage, va...
Nov. 28, 2021 - We are again pleased to repost the following at the request of our readers: Baltimore, MD - Dec. 8, 2014 - Maccabee Aish (www.jewishfireprevention.org) reminds you to be safe this Chanukah and follow these safety tips: Menorah Safety Never leave Chanukah candles unattended and never go to sleep while Chanukah candles are burning Place the Menorah on a sturdy heat resistant surface away from anything that can catch fire including walls, curtains, cabinets, wooden and plastic tables, tablecloths, etc Light candles out of childrens reach and where they cannot be knocked over Keep surfaces and surrounding areas clear from burned matches, wick trimmings, oil residue, and other debris Do not light “school project” Menora...
The tablecloths may be folded and the dishes washed but the impact of the 99th Agudah Convention this weekend will certainly last until next year and beyond. As they do every year, many members of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah joined the assemblage, along with Rabbanim and Roshei Yeshiva, to inspire and guide. A diverse array of rabbonim and community and lay leaders gathered to exchange ideas and compare notes on serving the needs of Klal Yisroel.  Thousands of people attended the sessions – which were open to the public – from Thursday evening through Sunday afternoon, and were treated to words of chizuk, inspiration, and hadrachah. Those attendees in the Parsippany Hilton were joined by over 150,000 additional people who joined by phone and livestream.   The A...
Jerusalem, Israel - Nov. 28, 2021 -  In the second of a series of closer looks at artists originally mentioned in the original BJL column for the 5th Jerusalem Biennale of Contemporary Jewish Art, presenting: Yehudis Barmatz-Harris.   Barmatz-Harris describes herself as a "new media installation artist, using dimensionality to explore the human experience through personal narratives...using materials that hold no unique value but are basic materials in our environments. I study their characteristics, to tweak out their meaning." Throughout the years, she has loved doing site-specific pieces, especially in old buildings in Jerusalem - a perfect fit for the current Biennale site in the old Shaare Zedek Hospital. A room on the first floor to the left of the syn...
Over these eight nights, Jews in the United States, Israel, and around the globe will proudly celebrate Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights. They will light the menorah, spin the dreidel, eat latkes, and tell of how the Maccabees, guided by an abiding belief in their Creator and an inextinguishable commitment to their faith, prevailed against all odds. At its core, Hanukkah recounts a story at the heart of the human spirit – one that is inherently Jewish and undeniably American. It commemorates how even the most fragile flame can sustain a tradition and nourish the soul of a people. It teaches us that even a little bit of light, wherever it is found, can dispel the darkness and illuminate a path forward. And it reminds us that whether it is the Holy Temple in Jeru...
Leading U.S. health officials on Sunday cautioned Americans against jumping to conclusions about the omicron variant of the coronavirus as numerous countries outside South Africa, where it was first detected, report cases of the strain. Experts stressed that data on the omicron variant is extremely limited and that data on whether it can evade vaccine immunity should be available in the next few weeks, providing a clearer picture of how countries should be addressing omicron. Omicron was first detected in South Africa, and cases soon cropped up in neighboring African countries such as Namibia, Zimbabwe and Botswana. Countries outside the African continent have since reported cases, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and Australia. Although no cases hav...
President Isaac Herzog: "We must remember that we are not the only ones whose roots branch out from this tomb. Today, of all days; here, of all places, in this site sacred to all Children of Abraham—we must continue to dream about peace between all religions and faiths in his land, and to denounce all forms of hatred and violence." Today, President Isaac Herzog toured the Cave of the Patriarchs and lit the first Chanukah candle there. Hebron Jewish community head Rabbi Hillel Horowitz, Kiryat Arba local council leader Eliyahu Liebman, rabbis, IDF and Israel Police commanders, local residents, and yeshiva and ulpana students also participated in the candle lighting. President Isaac Herzog's full remarks: "I am glad to light the first Chanukah candle with you here, in this holy...
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett lit the first Chanukah candle at the Kotel in Jerusalem, this evening (Sunday, 28 November 2021), with Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz and Western Wall Heritage Foundation Mordechai (Soli) Eliav in attendance. Before the lighting, Prime Minister Bennett toured The Great Bridge Route, which has just been opened to the public, and which in the time of the Second Temple led pilgrims to inside the Temple. During the tour, the Prime Minister visited the rooms and halls from that period and observed the ancient finds that served the people of that time. 
Jerusalem, Israel - Nov. 28, 2021 - Former Baltimorean, Marsha Grant, took a stroll around the Old City to shoot a few of the myriad menoros in this holy area of Yerushalayim.
The lighting of the first Hanukkah candle in the Western Wall plaza was held tonight (Sunday) under the sign "A little light repels much darkness" - as a tribute to disabled IDF soldiers and their families in the belief and hope that the little light of the single candle will expel darkness and spread great light. The lighting of the Hanukkah candles took place in the presence of the Chief Rabbi of Israel, David Lau, Rabbi of the Western Wall Shmuel Rabinowitz, Defense Minister Lt. Col. (Res.) Benny Gantz, Science and Technology Minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen, Western Wall Heritage Foundation Director General Mordechai Eliav, Chairman of the Jerusalem District of the IDF Disabled Organization Alon Dahan, Chairwoman of the IDF Widows and Orphans Organization Tami Shelach, and CEO of the IDF...
Five members of the South African Jewish community who flew to Israel to offer consolation to the family of Eli Kay, HyD, who was murdered in the terror attack last Sunday, were detained at Ben Gurion airport. A new directive prevents foreigners from “red” countries including South Africa from entering Israel. The five were detained at passport control, transferred to a side room and forced to travel on to Dubai even though they are religious and the flight entailed chilul Shabbos. Ilana Smith, who had specially made the long journey from South Africa to console her close friend Devorah, the mother of Eli, landed last night in South Africa. After Shabbat, Smith said that “they treated us like criminals. They asked questions and told us to be quiet. I told them...
The lawmakers argue the decision to halt West Bank sales could hurt Unilever shareholders A group of lawmakers from the United States House of Representatives are calling on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to examine the regulatory implications of Ben & Jerry’s decision to halt sales in the West Bank. Four legislators, Representatives Andrew Garbarino (R-NY), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), and Ritchie Torres (D-NY), wrote to SEC Chairman Gary Gensler about Ben & Jerry’s parent company, Unilever. In their address, the lawmakers urged the SEC instruct Unilever to alter it’s regulatory filings to reflect the “material risk factors” caused by Ben & Jerry’s decision to end sales of its product in the West Bank,...
Almost two years after the coronavirus first made its appearance, the business sector is still trying to recover from the difficulties imposed by lockdowns and other government regulations; the tourism industry has been particularly hard-hit. Now, with the the discovery of the Omicron variant, businesses are once again fearful for their livelihoods, Maariv newspaper reports. "There is concern among business owners that the government is about to impose new restrictions without allocating full compensation. We hope the economy will remain open with maximum activity and as few restrictions as possible. If restrictions are decided upon, we will fight for full compensation for business owners who are harmed," said Adv. Roi Cohen, representing the Chamber of Independent and Business ...
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