New York - Julianne Moore, Bryan Cranston, Kerry Washington, Mark Ruffalo, Neil Patrick Harris, Lena Dunham, Shonda Rhimes, and Macklemore are among more than 100 celebrities joining a campaign to urge Americans to deny Donald Trump the White House. The campaign is part of MoveOn.org Political Action’s #UnitedAgainstHate campaign. “We believe it is our responsibility to use our platforms to bring attention to the dangers of a Trump presidency, and to the real and present threats of his candidacy,” says an open letter signed by the celebrities. “Donald Trump wan...
New York - Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump posted a two-point lead over his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Tuesday, the first time he has been ahead since early May. Trump’s gains came as he accepted his party’s nomination to the Nov. 8 ballot at the four-day Republican National Convention in Cleveland last week, and as Clinton’s nomination in Philadelphia this week was marred by party divisions and the resignation of a top party official. The July 22-26 poll found that 39 percent of likely voters supported Trump, 37 percent supported Clinton and 24 percent would vote for neither. The poll had a credibility interval of 4 percentage points, meaning that the two candidates should be considered ...
Philadelphia - Democrats beat Republicans in the TV ratings, according to early data on Tuesday for the first night of the Democratic National Convention ratings. Preliminary data from the three main TV networks ABC, NBC and CBS showed some 10.6 million Americans watched Monday evening’s 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. hour when first lady Michelle Obama and Senator Bernie Sanders were among the key speakers. That is about half a million more TV eyes than for the first night of the Republican convention last week when White House contender Donald Trump’s wife Melania was the keynote speaker. Updated figures, along with TV audiences from cable news channels and smaller networks, are expected later on Tuesday. All in all, some 23 million Americans watched the first night of the Re...
Sarah Hofstetter wrote the following article for Fortune.com: When 360i, the ad agency I run, won Oscar Mayer’s business in 2010, I politely declined their invitation to sample products from their new portfolio. It’s not that I wasn’t interested—I had spent countless hours trying to win the hot dog maker’s business—but my faith simply prohibited it. I’ve been keeping kosher and observing the Jewish Sabbath my entire life, along with striving to stick to the other 611 commandments of the Torah. This has meant resisting the temptations of McDonald’s as a child, fending off rebellious friends trying to get me to sneak out with them on Friday nights, and attempting to find the only kosher establishment in Tokyo (yes, it does exist, and yes, the...
Exactly 20 years ago, a newly elected Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu dramatically announced to a joint session of Congress: We are deeply grateful for all we have received from the United States, for all that we have received from this chamber, from this body. But I believe there can be no greater tribute to America’s long-standing economic aid to Israel than for us to be able to say: “We are going to achieve economic independence. We are going to do it. In the next four years, we will begin the long-term process of gradually reducing the level of your generous economic assistance to Israel.” I am convinced that our economic policies will lay the foundation for total self-reliance and great economic strength. Even though Netanyahu h...
New York - Authorities say New York City bank burglars stole about $5 million in cash, diamonds, jewelry, coins and baseball cards. Michael Mazzara, Charles Kerrigan, and Anthony Mascuzzio were arrested this morning for their roles in bank burglaries in Brooklyn and Queens, New York, earlier this year.  The FBI says three men charged Tuesday were part of a crew it’s been investigating with the New York Police Department. A criminal complaint focuses on two burglaries this year in Brooklyn and Queens. On a bank roof in Queens, the burglars left behind empty safe deposit boxes, grinding wheels and a fuel tank for a cutting torch. Near a hole in the roof was a black plywood structure that the burglars apparently built to shield themselves from view. In Brooklyn, the bur...
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St. Quirin, Germany - Germany must face the fact that Islamist terrorism has arrived and respond with tougher security and tighter immigration policies, Bavaria’s state premier said on Tuesday. “Each attack, each act of terrorism, is one too many. Islamist terrorism has arrived in Germany,” Horst Seehofer, a long-standing critic of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door refugee policy, told a news conference. “We need more security in Germany. People are riled up, full of fear, and that is completely understandable. They need reliable answers from politicians and not endless debates and justifications,” Seehofer said after a meeting of party leaders. A spate of attacks in Germany since July 18 have left 15 people dead - including four attackers...
New York - A stunning video shows a lightning bolt striking the Empire State Building during a storm passing through New York City. A frame of the video shared by journalist Henrik Moltke shows the bolt striking near the top of the skyscraper Monday. Moltke says he saw the storm approaching from his office window and captured the strike by balancing his phone against the glass. He says he “was just lucky.” Lightning strikes on the Empire State Building aren’t unusual. The building’s website says the structure serves as a lightning rod for the surrounding area and is hit by lightning 23 times a year on average. Heavy rains and high winds knocked down trees and powerlines in the New York City area Monday evening.
Daily Halacha
Asara B'Teves

(On) the 10th of Tevet  Nebuchadnetzer, the King of Babylon, reached Jerusalem,  and laid siege (to the) ramparts, which lead on to the destruction. (KSA 121:3)

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Philadelphia - Undeterred by Sen. Bernie Sanders’ plea for party unity behind Hillary Clinton, Sanders supporters chanting “Bernie or bust!” took to the streets under the hot sun Tuesday for more demonstrations on Day 2 of the Democratic convention. Several hundred gathered around noon in a rally at City Hall with plans to join up in the afternoon with groups decrying police brutality and economic injustice. Together they planned to march the 4 miles down Broad Street to the convention site. Speakers at the rally charged that Clinton cheated her way to the nomination with the complicity of the “corporate media.” Demonstrators said they weren’t swayed by Sanders’ speech at the convention Monday night, in which he said: “Based on her ...
The leader of Hamas said last week that, unlike ISIS, whose “extremists kill on the basis of faith,” his organization is a “legitimate resistance movement.” Khaled Mashal made this assertion during an exclusive interview on July 18 with Indian commercial network NDTV from his hiding place in Qatar. Mashal also asserted that Hamas – the terrorist organization that controls the Gaza Strip – has the right to decide on the location of its missile launches against Israel. The approximately two-minute interview, conducted by reporters Radhika Bordia and Sreenivasan Jain, began with narration and then slipped into Q+A. Bordia opened the segment with the following description: In a safe house in Doha, face-to-face with one of the mos...
Parsha Hashavua
Listen to Rabbi Moshe Hauer on Parshas Pinchas - The Moral Instinct (Audio)

Pinchas instilled a sense of mission within the Jewish people and the ability to react to the call of duty and stand up for what is right. Often, Hashem is waiting for us to take the initiative. Instinctively, we become aware of a moral injustice that demands an immediate and dramatic response. These instincts- whether a drive to do chessed or the abhorrence of evil- are to be cultivated and appreciated.


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The Jewish community of Omsk, in southwestern Siberia, was founded 150 years ago, largely by “Cantonists,” young Jews who had been forced into the Czarist army for 25-year terms of service as part of a larger 19th-century plan to assimilate the Jewish community into Russian culture. Yet despite their years of isolation, vicious beatings and other forms of maltreatment, many of these young men still clung to their Jewish identities, and founded synagogues and benevolent societies in the military cities where they were discharged, including Omsk. The community was further bolstered by Jews who had been exiled to Siberia throughout the decades. In 1854, the city’s first synagogue was built—the same synagogue that serves the community today. Last week, two ce...
Philadelphia - Bill Clinton was once the Democrats explainer-in-chief, electrifying the convention crowd with his support of President Barack Obama. Today, he increasingly seems to be explaining himself. In the four years since the party’s last national convention, the center of gravity in Democratic politics has shifted decidedly to the left. Clinton must finesse some of his administration’s biggest achievements, including a landmark free trade agreement and major criminal justice law, lest his wife pay the price with the party’s emboldened liberal base. On Tuesday night, the former president will promote what aides say are his wife’s lesser-known achievements, her early days as a child advocacy lawyer, her policy campaigns as first lady and work as sen...
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Hillary Clinton is viewed unfavorably by 57 percent of Americans, an all-time worst in her political career and a precipitous drop from just two years ago, according to the latest Gallup poll. Just 38 percent view Clinton favorably, compared to 55 percent in 2014, Gallup reported. Further, Clinton's image took a 3-point dive in just one month, down from 41 percent favorable in June. Clinton's highest favorable rating was at 67 percent in late 1998. Other results: Donald Trump's image is at 36 percent favorable, 59 percent unfavorable the past seven days; 71 percent of Democrats and left-leaning independents view Clinton favorably; Trump's favorability among Republicans improved to 72 percent during convention week. Gallup reported that the only comparabl...
“The claim that there was never any discussion about [Hamas terror] tunnels before Operation Protective Edge is the opposite of the truth,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday, following the publication of a letter in which Israeli parents who lost their sons in the 2014 Gaza war demanded an official state committee investigation into how the government prepared for the operation and handled the operation itself. In a meeting with military reporters, Netanyahu said he directed the Israel Defense Forces to find operational solutions to locate and destroy enemy tunnels and that the Defense Ministry convened numerous meetings on the subject. Despite claims to the contrary by some members of the cabinet, the issue of how to deal with the terror tunnels was rai...
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Jerusalem - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was slammed by bereaved parents on Tuesday during his speech at the national memorial service for the fallen soldiers of Operation Protective Edge at the Mount Herzl military cemetery. The memorial ceremony was also attended by President Reuven Rivlin and the families of the soldiers who fell during the 2014 summer conflict. “My brothers and sisters, fellow bereaved families, your anguish is my anguish and your pain is my pain,” Netanyahu began only to be interrupted by a bereaved father, Yehoram Tal, who shouted, “we don’t believe you.” “You are ruining democracy and taking control of the media,” shouted Yehoram, whose son,  Major Omri Tal, was killed in action along with several of h...
During the Holocaust, my grandmother gave up everything for her closest friend, only to be abandoned in return. Train from Auschwitz to Bergen-Belsen, 1945: Maniusia Adler was as alone as any human being could possibly be. Her mother and her baby brother had died in the Lodz ghetto. Her three younger siblings had been sent to the gas chambers as soon as they’d arrived in Auschwitz. Her father was gone and she had no idea if she’d ever see him again. Her grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins - all of them gone. She was 16 years old. She rested her feverish head against the hard wooden planks of the train. Suffering from a carbuncle, the Jewish doctor at Auschwitz had already told her that without medical treatment, she would die soon. “So this is how I am to m...
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Activists using the title "Progressive for Palestine" raise Palestinian flag in audience during platform vote at DNC. The Democratic National Convention (DNC), opened in Philadelphia yesterday (Monday) under a cloud of scandal, as recent leaks of emails between Democratic party officials showed a clear bias in favor of Hillary Clinton over Senator Bernie Sanders in the race for the party's nomination, together with a readiness to actively interfere in the primary process. Nevertheless, Senator Sanders did indeed call for his supporters to campaign and vote for Clinton on the first day of the convention, but the influence of his campaign in pulling the party to the left is still tangible. One of the consequences of the leftward swing within the Democratic party has been a ren...
Residents of the town of Carmel, in the Har Hevron region, were shocked on Shabbat to discover their new Palestinian neighbors. The European Union has expanded its illegal building activities - to the southern Har Hevron area. Until now, the EU has sponsored illegal construction mostly in the Adumim region, east of Jerusalem. However, last Shabbat, residents of the town of Carmel were shocked to discover two new, large, EU-sponsored trailer homes, placed over Shabbat, only ten meters away from the town. The trailers, mostly provided for Palestinian citizens, break international law and are a security threat for Israelis. Recently, the Palestinian Authority have invested massive funds and resources in the Har Hevron region. Last week, the PA planted groves right up to the fence of ...
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A new plan, called "Yachad," will allow the IDF provide for every soldier - while preventing them for providing for themselves. A new initiative, pushed by MK Ayelet Nahmias-Verbin (Zionist Union), will allow donors to contribute directly to the IDF. Called "Yachad," the plan will allow the IDF to receive donations, and distribute official equipment to its soldiers - while disallowing any individual soldiers from receiving equipment privately. At a presentation to the Foreign and Defense Ministries, Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot explained that the IDF is obligated to provide all equipment necessary for IDF soldiers. Therefore, it is now illegal for a soldier to use equipment not provided by the IDF. Nahmias-Verbin argues that the IDF isn't doing enough to provide for its perso...
Georgia Democratic Congressman Rep. Hank Johnson acknowledges 'poor choice of words' but fails to issue full apology. A Georgia Democratic congressman apologized for calling Jewish "settlers" who live in Judea and Samaria "termites" at an anti-Israel event near the Democratic national convention. “There has been a steady [stream], almost like termites can get into a residence and eat before you know that you’ve been eaten up and you fall in on yourself, there has been settlement activity that has marched forward with impunity and at an ever increasing rate to the point where it has become alarming,” Rep. Hank Johnson said Monday at a Philadelphia event organized by the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. The Washington Free Beacon, a news websi...
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