A GoFundMe page has been created in a joint effort between the Baltimore Firefighters IAFF Local 734 and the Baltimore Fire Officers IAFF Local 964 to support the firefighters' families. Three firefighters who were injured after a partial collapse at a vacant rowhome fire died Monday, city officials said. "Today, Baltimore has lost three of the bravest among us: Lt. Paul Butrim, firefighter/paramedic Kelsey Sadler and EMT/firefighter Kenny Lacayo. All made the ultimate sacrifice. For that, Baltimore owes them the deepest gratitude and respect," Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott said. Firefighters immediately encountered flames and heavy smoke pouring out of a vacant three-story rowhome around 6 a.m. in the 200 block of South Stricker Street. "As firefighters were performing ...
Hebrew U. Poll Finds 53% of Israelis Expect Situation to Worsen for Jews in Europe; France Now Tied with Poland as Europe’s Most Antisemitic Country, According to Israelis (Jerusalem, January 25, 2022)—On the eve of International Holocaust Remembrance Day (January 27), the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HU)’s European Forum conducted a survey of Israelis’ perceptions of the rate of antisemitism in Europe and whether they view antisemitism as the motivating force behind EU policies and criticism of Israel.  1,000 Israeli adults--Jews and Arabs--were surveyed.  Here are the main findings: Jewish life in Europe is expected to face more hostility in the future.  53% of Jewish respondents believe the situation of Jews in Europe will worsen, with only...
Israel imported $10.7 billion in goods from China in 2021, a nearly 40 percent increase from 2020 China surpassed the United States as Israel’s largest source of imports in 2021, according to data released Thursday by the Central Bureau of Statistics. Last year, Israel imported $10.7 billion in goods from the communist regime, compared to $7.7b in 2020, a nearly 40 percent increase. Imports from the US - Israel’s previous largest source of imports - totaled $8.2b in 2021, as it still remains Israel’s largest export destination, The Times of Israel reported. Israel’s largest trade deficit was also with China, at $6.6b. According to Israel’s Foreign Ministry, the trade volume between Israel and China increased significantly over the past three d...
Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had been hoping to reach a plea deal on the corruption charges against him before Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit left office at the end of January, but Mandelblit has reportedly notified Netayahu's lawyers that won't be possible. Why it matters: The deal Mandelblit and Netanyahu had been discussing would have kept him out of prison but seen him banned from politics for seven years. Netanyahu broke his silence on the plea talks after they collapsed and said he'd never accepted the seven-year ban. In a video statement, Netanyahu resumed his attacks on the police and prosecution and claimed the case against him was collapsing and should already have been dismissed. In a nod to the intra-party fight that had begun...
U.S. stocks opened lower, putting markets on course for another day of bumpy trading, as investors awaited the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting and parsed a docket of earnings. The S&P 500 fell 1.4%, while the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite slumped 1.7%. The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1.0%. General Electric fell over 4% in premarket trading after reporting a fourth-quarter loss of $3.8 billion, while Raytheon Technologies declined 3.3% after posting quarterly revenue that missed analysts’ expectations. Meanwhile, 3M shares rose 0.8% after the company reported a better-than-expected performance. Turbulent TimesThe VIX—a measure of expected volatility that is sometimes dubbed Wall Street's fear ...
I participated yesterday evening in a zoom conference for women emissaries (shluchot) of Chabad, where I shared the following story: It came out of a virtual conference for Chabad emissary daughters that was held this week as well:The host for the daughters' conference had spoken emotionally and complimented the girls who live in remote areas and must cope with challenging hardships and situations. Rabbi Dov Hoenig, Chabad emissary in China, was at home when his daughters connected to the conference. Suddenly 9-year-old Chani and 7-year-old Musia turned to their father from their computer and said: "Daddy, they are telling us that there are emissary daughters in the world who are having a truly hard time, who are living with real self-sacrifice under very difficult conditions... they ...
Ukraine’s leaders sought to reassure the nation that a feared invasion from neighboring Russia was not imminent, even as they acknowledged the threat is real and prepared to accept a shipment of American military equipment Tuesday to shore up their defenses. Russia has denied it is planning an assault, but it has massed an estimated 100,000 troops near Ukraine in recent weeks, leading the United States and its NATO allies to rush to prepare for a possible war. Several rounds of high stakes diplomacy have failed to yield any breakthroughs, and this week tensions escalated further. NATO said it was bolstering its deterrence in the Baltic Sea region, and the U.S. ordered 8,500 troops on higher alert to potentially deploy to Europe as part of an alliance “resp...
An expert panel on Tuesday advised the Israeli government to begin offering a fourth vaccine dose to everyone over the age of 18, citing research showing it helps prevent COVID-19 infection and severe illness. The advisory committee said research shows a fourth dose provides three to five times the level of protection against serious disease and double the protection against infection compared to three doses. The Health Ministry’s director must approve the recommendation. Israel is already offering a second booster to everyone over the age of 60 and those at high risk as it struggles to contain a wave of infections fueled by the highly contagious omicron variant. It began offering third doses to the general population last summer. Figures from Israel’s Health Ministry show t...
A nation of former slaves stood beneath the mountain listening to the voice of Hashem. Ten seminal commandments were engraved upon stony tablets, summarizing fundamental theological and moral values. After the fireworks of Sinai subsided, the rest of the Torah was delivered. Before any rituals, ceremonies or prohibitions are described, civilian laws are outlined. The word of Hashem is meant to fashion an idyllic moral society governed by the rule of law. By listing the laws of torts, damages, contracts and litigation prior to any list of rituals, the Torah stresses the primacy of ethics in religious life. Justice and morality are the foundation of religious experience. If the infrastructure is flimsy the entire structure will topple. Without morality and justice, religion cannot be sustain...
Askonim in Florida are urging visitors to pay close attention when ordering food through the Uber Eats app, as multiple eateries listed in their “Kosher” section are in fact Treif. “Most of the locals are already aware of this, but thousands of visitors coming from abroad are unaware,” said Reb Zalmy Cohen, an Askan in Florida. Reb Zalmy says he was actually recently invited to join out of town friends, and was shocked to find out they had ordered from a Treif restaurant. With mid-winter break drawing thousands to the Sunshine State, readers are encouraged to share this message with family and friends and prevent a potential Michshal.
Holy Law  וְאֵלֶּה הַמִּשְׁפָּטִים אֲשֶׁר תָּשִׂים לִפְנֵיהם. (שמות כא:א)  מַגִּיד דְּבָרָו לְיַעֲקֹב חֻקָּיו וּמִשְׁפָּטָיו לְיִשְׂרָאֵל. לֹא עָשָׂה כֵן לְכָל גּוֹי וּמִשְׁפָּטִים בַּל יְדָעוּם הַלְלוּיָהּ. (פרק קמז:יט-כ )  At first glance, Parshat Mishpatim seems disconnected from Parshat Yitro. As opposed to Parshat Yitro, which focused on Ma’amad Har Sinai where Hashem charged the Jewish people with their spiritual identity, Parshat Mishpatim presents technical laws of daily, mundane life.  Surprisingly, though, the vav that opens Parshat Mishpatim (“V’eileh Hamishpatim...
A New York State Supreme Court judge has struck down Gov. Kathy Hochul's mask mandate for schools and public locations. According to a court document, Judge Thomas Rademaker said that neither the governor nor the state health commissioner had the authority to enact the mandate without the state legislature, since the governor no longer has emergency powers. The document says in part, "There can be no question that every person in this State wishes, wants and prays that this era of COVID ends soon and they will surely do their part to see that is accomplished. However, enacting any laws to this end is entrusted solely to the State Legislature. While the intentions of Commissioner Bassett and Governor Hochul appear to be well aimed squarely at doing what they believe is right to pro...
  Three firefighters died in a vacant home in southwest Baltimore Monday morning, officials said.The rowhouse collapsed during the firefight, trapping four first responders inside, according to authorities. One firefighter was hospitalized and in critical condition, officials said Monday evening.The two-alarm fire broke out in the 200 block of South Stricker Street, where crews battled the blaze around 6 a.m., officials said.These firefighters died, according to a joint statement from the mayor and fire chief:Lt. Paul ButrimFirefighter/paramedic Kelsey SadlerEMT/Firefighter Kenneth Lacayo"All made the ultimate sacrifice," Mayor Brandon Scott said in a statement. He called them "heroes of the Baltimore City Fire Department." 
Beit Shemesh, Israel - Jan. 24, 2022 -  In Israel, Beit Shemesh is home to a very diverse population. Many of the early residents were poor and Ethiopian Olim, however, today it has grown with new Anglo communities and various charedi factions who have moved from overcrowded populated areas. Often the headlines concerning Beit Shemesh are of conflict and protests. The Beit Shemesh Mayor Dr. Aliza Bloch has made an effort to unite the residents, to work together, to receive their unique needs, and live in unity despite their differences. One initiative has Jewish artwork displayed in the lobby of the local municipality buildings. A magazine mention caught the eye and sparked the interest of local artist Naama Goldberg, who felt her art collection featuring Rabbonim from almost all of...
Former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has died at the age of 77, sources close to his family say. The New York City Democrat was first elected to the state’s lower chamber in 1976 and became speaker in 1994. Silver resigned from the speakership in January 2015 after he was charged with receiving bribes masked as legal fees. Federal prosecutors charged Silver with receiving payments from a law firm that sought special reductions in New York City real estate, which were not revealed on his annual financial disclosure. But Silver amounted an appeal, based in part on the Supreme Court’s ruling in Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s case. The conviction was overturned, but the federal government sought a second trial and secured another conviction in May 2018. Silver r...
These days we are supposed to speak with brevity and wit. This was the style of Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotzk, who passed away 163 years ago today. He was a leader who was known for his sharp, profound witticisms. Long before tweets, he was adept at delivering his messages in highly compact form. Here are some of his pearls which prove that you can be both brief and deep: * "Silence is the most beautiful sound". * "Everything in the universe can be imitated except the truth, since a copy of the truth is no longer truth". * "Where is God to be found? Wherever you let him in". * "I would not want to worship a God whose ways are understood by the mind of mere mortals". * "I want my students not to sin, not because sinning is forbidden, but simply because they won't have t...
The pairing of the words "לא טוב" or "not good" occurs only twice in the Torah. The first time is in parashat Bereishit: "It's not good for a man to be alone." These words are spoken by God just before Adam meets Eve. The loneliness that accompanies the single life, alongside the quest for a lifetime partner, preoccupies us until today.The second time these words appear is in the Torah portion that we just read on Shabbat. Yitro sees Moshe taking too much upon himself, judging disputes between the people from morning until evening, and then Yitro says to him: "The thing you are doing is not good." In other words: You need to allow other people to assist you in your work, to delegate authority. The message here is the same, in fact, as in parashat Bereishit: "It's not good fo...
Talks about a possible plea bargain for Opposition leader and Likud head Benjamin Netanyahu have lit a fire under members of the party, given that a deal could see Netanyahu forced to resign from politics for several years. Likud members eyeing the No. 1 spot on the list have begun trading accusations and barbs, with different camps forming. MK Miri Regev, who intends to run for party leader, attacked MK Israel Katz over reports that he was talking to members of the coalition. "Israel Katz, this is the time to be united … you are undermining the Likud and Netanyahu, and in contact with the leaders of Yamina and New Hope, because of whom we're in the Opposition, the same people who liked to a million and a half right-wing voters," Regev wrote. "The Likud has a chairman, Benj...
The “distorted” career criminal accused of shooting two Manhattan cops, killing one and leaving the other clinging to life, died of his wounds Monday, law-enforcement sources said. Lashawn McNeil, 47, had been in critical condition since being shot by a third officer after fatally gunning down Finest Jason Rivera, 22, and critically wounding NYPD cop Wilbert Mora, 27, during a domestic disturbance inside his brother’s Harlem apartment Friday. Mora is still clinging to life, police said. McNeil, who was hit in the head and arm by rookie Officer Sumit Sulan, had been declared brain dead after the incident, a source said. McNeil’s mother has told The Post that her son, who grew up in Far Rockaway, was mentally ill. “His men...
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