In this week's Torah portion we receive one of the greatest gifts in human history: Shabbat. What's the secret of Shabbat that makes it such a precious gift?
Shabbat gave a framework to time. During the French revolution, the government decided to dispense with all religious associations and so the days of the week were set according to the number of fingers on our hands; a week would consist of ten days instead of seven. This arrangement was tried nowhere else except in France, and it did not last long. The seven day week was soon reinstituted with the victorious return of Shabbat.
The ancient Greeks mocked Jews for their Shabbat observance. The Greeks, who considered the Jews lazy because they did not work one-seventh of the time, failed to understand the function of Shab...
The leadership of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America (Orthodox Union) is deeply grateful for the resolution of the crisis situation at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas. We are grateful first to the Almighty who provided strength and courage to the hostages and wisdom and patience to the law enforcement officers who responded to the crisis. We are grateful to those law enforcement officers – from federal, state and local agencies – who performed their mission with excellence and saved the lives of all of the hostages. We are grateful to the national political leaders - at The White House, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice/FBI - who were in direct communication with us last night to share their solidarity and their de...
Israeli Prime Minister thanks governor for 'determined and professional action' of law enforcement
Israel's Prime Minister Naftali Bennett spoke with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Sunday night about the hostage situation at a synagogue in the US state that ended with all four captives released and the gunman dead.
Bennett thanked Abbott "for the determined and professional action of the law enforcement forces in his country which brought the incident to a peaceful conclusion," the Prime Minister's Office said in a statement.
According to the readout of the call, the prime minister said that Israelis were paying close attention to the events as they unfolded at Beth Israel, a Reform congregation located in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex city of Colleyville.
The bill will now be submitted to the Knesset, where it must pass three more votes before becoming law
The Israeli government gave initial approval Sunday to a bill that would ban Palestinians who marry Israelis from obtaining permits to live with their spouses in Israel, several months after an earlier ban expired following a dramatic coalition fight.
The bill, known as the "Citizenship Law," was passed by the Ministerial Committee on Legislation, allowing it to move quickly through the legislative process. The bill will now be submitted to Israel's parliament, the Knesset, where it must pass three more votes before becoming law.
Sunday's bill was submitted by opposition Knesset member Simcha Rothman (Religious Zionism) and was almost identical to the text sponsored by...
Four Sefer Torah fragments rescued from a shul that was on fire during Kristallnacht 83 years ago have finally been returned to the shul in eastern Germany, reported The Jewish Chronicle.
When a fire broke out in the shul in Gorlitz during Kristallnacht on Nov. 9, 1938, an unknown person shoved the Torah parchments into the hands of a young German policeman, the father of now-retired pastor Uwe Mader.
Mader kept the parchments hidden in his office under wallpaper and later locked them in a steel cupboard.
“I was very suspicious,” said Mader, who is now 80. “Politics in GDR times had not been very friendly to Jews. Therefore, it was clear that I had to maintain official secrecy.”
The shul in Gorlitz was the only shul in Saxony not destroyed during Kristallna...
The Torah commands us to declare the sanctity of Shabbos, a mitzvah we fulfill when we recite Kiddush before beginning the meal. Notwithstanding that this mitzvah appears very clear cut, it sometimes involves interesting shaylos.
We recite Kiddush before the seudah at night and also Shabbos morning. The Torah mitzvah of Kiddush is fulfilled at night and has two brachos, one is on the wine and the other is the special Kiddush bracha. The daytime Kiddush was instituted by Chazal to demonstrate the specialness of Shabbos meals – therefore, we drink a cup of wine immediately before the meals begin. (The pesukim that we recite before this Kiddush are a later minhag, presumably to emphasize that we are reciting Kiddush.)
One is forbidden to eat or drink before reciting Kiddush. The p...
Baltimore, MD – Jan. 16, 2022 – 7:20PM – The entrance to the Northern Parkway exit from 83N is completely shut down. The driving is treacherous, and it is advised that everyone stay off all the roads.
Israel’s Cabinet on Sunday approved a multi-year, 500 million shekel ($160.9 million) development plan for the city of Beit Shemesh, according to an official statement.
The plan, presented by Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Gideon Saar, includes 300 million shekels ($96.5 million) for public transportation, 82 million shekels ($26.4 million) for “public institutions and expanding infrastructure” and some 50 million shekels ($16.1 million) for “strengthening the municipality” with the goal of providing services to residents, the statement said. Other main goals are strengthening vocational training and welfare services, boosting personal security and public health, and culture and leisure activities.
“The city of Beit Shemesh...
The 'Red Line' right-wing protest movement has sent an open letter to the Rabbis of Israel, inviting them to join a night of protests slated for over 100 locations across Israel on Tuesday night.The letter reads:
To the honored Rabbis of Israel
Recently, a number of issues have come up on the public agenda that concern the roots of our existence as a state and a people.
These include, but are not limited to: surrender to the Islamic movement in the Negev, weakening of the Chief Rabbinate with numerous laws and reforms, including calls for the dismissal of Chief Rabbis by government officials, defamation of settlers and besiegement of towns, reducing the power of the people in several ways and legal persecution against leaders of the political right.
Along with the sense of lo...
As the region braces for a wintry mix Sunday, Baltimore County officials declared a snow emergency Sunday afternoon.
People cannot park on designated snow emergency routes during a snow emergency, and vehicles must have snow tires/chains or all-weather tires, according to Baltimore County Emergency Management.
"We encourage residents to run any errands quickly before the snow begins this afternoon," Baltimore County officials reported before 2 p.m. "Once the storm starts, stay off of the roads if possible."
Projected snow totals for Baltimore County call for about 2 to 4 inches with up to 6 inches possible, an increase from the earlier projection of 2 to 3 inches.
Baltimore County is under a winter weather advisory until 1 a.m. Monday, and people are advised to use ...
FBI identified suspect as Malik Faisal Akram, a British citizen
The FBI on Sunday identified the British national who died at the scene after allegedly taking hostages at a Texas reform temple during an hours-long standoff this weekend.
Malik Faisal Akram, a 44-year-old British citizen, was the "hostage taker" at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, near Fort Worth, Special Agent in Charge Matthew DeSarno with the FBI Dallas Field Office confirmed in an email to Fox News Digital.
"The FBI’s Evidence Response Team (ERT) will continue processing evidence at the temple. At this time, there is no indication that other individuals are involved," FBI Dallas said in an emailed statement.
"The FBI’s North Texas Joint Terrorism Task Force (NTJT...
The five-year plan aims to increase the number of visits to the site
The Israeli government on Sunday approved a $35m plan to improve the infrastructure of the Kotel in Jerusalem’s Old City.
The five-year plan aims to increase the number of visits to the site by improving accessibility to public transportation, developing new educational programs, and supporting existing development projects.
Funds for the plan, promoted by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, come from the budgets of the Prime Minister's Office and various ministries.
"The Western Wall is one of the holiest and most important sites for the Jewish people, and millions of visitors from all over the world regularly visit it," Bennett said in a statement issued by his office.
"The five-year plan we just appr...
The Russian outlet did not disclose when meeting between the two would take place or the issues on agenda
Russian President Vladimir Putin will host his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi for talks in Moscow next week, state television channel Rossiya-1 reported Sunday.
Rossiya-1 did not disclose when the meeting between the two would take place or the issues that they would discuss.
However, the outlet did say, "The international situation is extremely tense and this conversation is especially important."
Russia is currently taking part in talks to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers.
Russia said Friday it was cautiously optimistic over "progress" made at negotiations, with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov saying during ...
'Desert Falcon' is the latest to be conducted by the Israeli military and Middle East-based CENTCOM
The Israeli army and the US military's Central Command held a joint air exercise over the Negev desert in southern Israel last week, simulating airstrikes and combat.
The exercise, dubbed "Desert Falcon," is the latest to be conducted by the Israeli military and Middle East-based CENTCOM.
Previously, Israel’s military worked primarily with the US European Command, as Washington feared that Arab countries in the region would object to cooperation with CENTCOM if Israel did so as well.
According to Israel’s military, Israeli pilots from the 119th Squadron flying F-16 fighter jets and Gulfstream G550 intelligence-gathering aircraft flew alongside ...
Israel Magen Fund recently donated EpiPens to the Beit Shemesh Hatzalah team (Tzevet Hatzalah), ensuring that paramedic volunteers in each of the city’s neighborhoods are equipped and ready to save lives. EpiPens are expensive, one-time-use, life-saving medication, urgently administered to someone experiencing a severe allergic reaction. This, as part of an ongoing partnership between Israel Magen Fund and the Beit Shemesh Hatzalah team, where previous donations have included other emergency medical equipment. According to Israel Magen Fund co-founder David Rose, the fund, which supports Israel’s medical and military sectors through transparent, direct giving, is continuing to raise funds for the project, to ensure the widest possible distribution in Beit Shemesh, which has the...
Baltimore, MD - Jan. 16, 2022 - Due to pending inclement weather today, Sun., Jan. 16, both JCCs will close at 2pm.
Snow will blanket Maryland Sunday afternoon. By early evening, forecasters say precipitation will shift to freezing rain and sleet along the Interstate 95 corridor.
Because temperatures are below freezing, forecasters say snow is expected to accumulate quickly.
Gov. Larry Hogan asked people to stay off the roads.
"Winter weather is expected to bring snowfall to much of the state this afternoon," Hogan said in a statement Sunday morning. He said the National Weather Service predicts up to an inch of snow an hour as a line of rain and snow pushes southeast to northwest.
"Our pretreatments and preparations are complete, and we ask Marylanders to avoid travel to the extent possible for the rest of the day," Hogan said. "Keeping the roads clear not only keeps you safe, it also giv...
Dear Parents, Guardians, Staff and Students
Effective Tuesday, January 18, 2022, BCPS will follow new isolation and quarantine procedures. These changes are in alignment with updated state and county guidance.
These new guidelines are aligned with the updated Isolation and Quarantine Guidance from the Maryland Department of Health, recently announced changes in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations, and advise from the Baltimore County Chief Health Officer. Please contact the BCPS Office of Health Services at 443-809-6368 if you have any questions.
Darryl L. Williams, Ed.D. Superintendent
Wm. Gregory Branch, M.D., MBA, CPE, FACP Director and Health Officer
Michael Zarchin, Ed. D. Chief, School Climate and Safety
Deborah Somerville, RN, M...
The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for parts Western Maryland for heavy snow. For the Baltimore area, there's a winter weather advisory for mixed precipitation. Both take effect Sunday through Monday morning.
Snow storm timing Sunday to Monday in Maryland
- Sunday 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.: Moderate to heavy snow
- Sunday 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.: Temperatures rise above freezing, so the snow changes to a wintry mix to rain with wind gusts over 45 mph
- Sunday 11 p.m. to Monday 5 a.m.: Steady rain (can't rule out slick spots until roads temperatures warm above freezing)
- Monday 5 a.m. to Noon: Rain, snow showers, windy
Forecasted snow totals for Maryland
Baltimore metro: 2 to 4 inches in the city, 4 to 6 inches north and west of the city
Eastern Shore: ...