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The concurrent sessions will play off of the Agudahconvention.org website.Start Time: 4:45 pm  Keynote Sessions:  7:30 PM - Live below Join us for a full schedule of programming taking place now at the 95th annual Agudah Convention at the Crowne Plaza Stamford. Exploring the theme of Together We Will, the Convention takes a bold look at the many challenges facing klal yisroel today, serving as a springboard for future change and improvement. Thursday evening concurrent sessions tackles a variety of issues including managing reactions to he growth of our kehillos, looking ahead to ...
As YWN has been reporting, the doctor treating Maran Harav Shteinman is Chief of ICU Medicine Prof. Eliyahu Sorkin of Mayanei Yeshua Hospital in Bnei Brak. Additionally, the Vishnitzer Rebbe of Monsey is on a respirator in Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan, and was scheduled to undergo a critical procedure on Wednesday. Before the procedure would be done, the family of the Rebbe wanted a second opinion, and decided to reach out to Prof. Sorkin to have him fly to NY. Prof. Sorkin has treated many of Israel’s great rabbonim, which is the case, due to his position and wealth of experience and expertise. It was agreed that he would fly out on Wednesday evening – but suddenly, the condition of Maran HaRav Shteinman deteriorated, and Sorkin faced a dilemma of what to do. Shoul...
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Baltimore, MD – Oct. 23, 2017 -  Nearly a year ago, our community was struck with the tragic loss of Moshe Moskowitz, Z’L, and the serious injuries to Mrs. Moskowitz. B’H, unprecedented Achdus in Tefilla (prayer) in Baltimore and around the world helped Mrs. Moskowitz recover from her trauma. In commemoration of Moshe’s first Yahrtzeit, a Sefer Torah is being written L’iluy Nishmaso. This is a most fitting tribute to Moshe, who loved to learn Torah and exemplified its Midos in every part of his young life. Dedications are being accepted in amounts large and small to allow for wide participation, which mirrors the diversity of individuals and families who have come together during this crisis. Certificates of Participation will be provided reflecting the...
The attack came as the three Jewish men were standing outside a Stamford Hill wedding hall in early July, waiting to pick up guests as they left. “Dogs in England are better than Jewish,” Inieta Winiarski shouted as she whipped one of the men with a dog lead, before unsuccessfully attempting to set her own dog on the three victims. Her husband, Kasimiersz Winiarski, joined her in shoving and punching the men. The couple then fled the scene. But soon afterwards, their movements were being tracked by Stamford Hill’s Jewish voluntary security group, Shomrim. Later that evening, the Winiarskis were arrested by the police. Shomrim’s involvement in pursuing the offenders should not come as a surprise. Since launching in 2008, the group has become a fixture within the J...
An oversight agency for the Chicago Police Department has cited a veteran officer for more than 60 rule violations, including openly advocating for civil war and Facebook posts that that it deemed to be racist, Islamophobic or threatening. A 95-page report obtained by the Chicago Tribune shows that the Civilian Office of Police Accountability sustained 62 allegations of rule-breaking against Officer Brian J. Hansen. “There can be no doubt, based on PO Hansen’s Facebook activity and vehicle decals, that PO Hansen cannot live out this mission,” the investigators wrote. Most of the allegations involved Facebook comments Hansen posted between 2015 and 2017, according to the report. “Alarmingly, PO Hansen also openly advocated for ‘civil war,’ encou...
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Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotevely was interviewed by i24 News, addressing issues pertaining to Russia and Syria as well as the machlokes surrounding the Kosel and the Reform Movement. She also speaks of the so-called peace process with the PA (Palestinian Authority) and concerns of not creating a second Gaza. She explains “We have to worry what will be on the other side, a peaceful border or another Hamas regime. The answer is quite clear, another Hamas regime”. Regarding the White House’s role, she is pleased, explaining Washington not “places its finger on the right place, and realizes the main issue in the Middle East is Iran”. Hotevely adds the White House realizes uprooting Jews or Arabs is not a good idea, and ditto for settlements “For settl...
My brother, a rebbe in Yeshivas Ner Yisroel’s Mechina high school, and his wife, the daughter of the legendary Menahel Rav Yosef Tendler, z”l,were recently blessed with two new grandsons. Both were named Simcha Bunim, after my father, hk”m, whose first yahrtzeit will be observed on 20 Kislev. When I wished my brother and his wife “veiter simchos!” – “further happy occasions! – I wondered if I had inadvertently uttered a double entendre. It turns out I did. My wife and I just returned from Milwaukee, where another bris took place, as our daughter and son-in-law welcomed their new little boy to their family; he, too, is a Simcha Bunim. I’ve been thinking, as you might imagine, about the name....
U.S. and Japanese ships and aircraft searched in the Philippine Sea on Thursday for three sailors missing since a U.S. Navy aircraft crashed a day earlier. Eight people were rescued about 40 minutes after the crash of the C-2A “Greyhound” transport aircraft Wednesday afternoon, the Navy said. They were taken aboard the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier and were in good condition. The Navy said it had notified next of kin that the three missing sailors were “whereabouts unknown” but it would delay releasing their identities publicly for three days due to policy. The twin-propeller plane came down about 500 nautical miles (925 kilometers) southeast of Okinawa as it was bringing passengers and cargo from Japan to the aircraft carrier, the Navy said in a state...
President Donald Trump thanked U.S. troops for their service on Thursday, assuring them “we’re really winning” against America’s foes as he celebrated Thanksgiving at his private club and provided lunch for Coast Guard men and women on duty for the holiday. Using the occasion to talk up his own leadership, Trump told military members via a video conference that they’ve achieved more progress in Afghanistan and against the Islamic State group under his watch than had been made in years of the previous administration. “We’re being talked about again as an armed forces — we’re really winning,” he told the 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 82nd Airborne Division, whose members are conducting operations in Kandahar, Afghanistan. “...
Parsha Hashavua
Parshas VaYaitzei - A Dose of Inspiration

MY Cookie!


When Leah was expecting her 7th child, she realized that there may be a problem. If her child would be a son, the result would be that Rachel would only be the mother of 1 of the 12 shevatim (tribes), which would be less than even the maidservants, Bilah and Zilpah, who each already had 2 children. Leah therefore fervently prayed to Hashem for a baby girl and even went so far as to ask Him that if she was indeed pregnant with a son, Hashem should please change the baby to a daughter instead. Hashem answered Leah’s selfless prayers and a daughter named Dinah was born to her (Rashi 30:21, citing Berachos 60a).


One would expect that Hashem would reward Leah for her self-sacrifice and that great things would come from Dinah. After all, Leah sacrificed mothering another shevet in order to help her sister. Instead, it seems that not only did she not see greatness from Dinah, she rather saw great misfortune. Dinah was later violated by the evil Shechem, and other than that horrible episode, there is no further mention of her in the Torah. How could Hashem reward Leah’s kind deed with such tragedy and offer her no reward? Where is the Divine justice?


We can answer this by addressing another question. The Ba’al Haturim points out that the last letters of the very first 3 words in the Torah can be rearranged to spell the words “emes”, the Hebrew word for “truth”. Why did Hashem specifically choose the ending letters to spell out the word truth? Wouldn’t have been more appropriate for the first letters to do so - as it states in Tehillim: "Rosh devarecha emes" - the beginning of Your word is truth (Tehillim 119:160)? (Rest assured, G-d is more than capable of maintaining the message of the Torah in a format that would spell the word “truth” in the first letters).  


A woman from out of town who was not particularly fond of New Yorker’s, found herself in a New York airport when she needed to fly to a close relative’s wedding. Having a fear of flying, she went to a kiosk in the airport and purchased a bottle of water and bag of her favorite cookies to calm her nerves. She then sat down by her gate, put the shopping bag with her cookies and water beneath her seat, and waited for her flight. After a few minutes went by, a stranger sat beside her, reached down, and picked up her bag of cookies. Without a moment's hesitation, he opened the bag and audaciously began to partake of them. The woman was horrified. Now, the woman had heard rumors about New Yorker’s manners, but this was ridiculous! She quickly composed herself and decided to send a strong hint to her thief that he had accidentally taken her bag of cookies. “Excuse me”, she said, and then reached into her bag of cookies and took one. The obvious hint had not worked - the boorish man continued to eat from her bag of cookies. Next thing she knew, it was a battle for control; each time she ate a cookie, the rude stranger dug his hand into the bag and took one for himself. The “battle” continued until there was only one final cookie left. The woman made a quick grab for it, but she was too late; the man was already holding it. The man looked her in the eye, split the cookie in half, and said with an obnoxious smile “let’s split it”. The woman took the half cookie she was handed and had to use all her strength to not publicly berate him with all of her fury. Suddenly, it was time for boarding the plane. Without giving the obnoxious New Yorker a second glance, she briskly stood up, grabbed the shopping bag beneath her seat, and boarded the plane. As she sat down in her assigned seat on the plane, she still had a hard time calming herself. “What time of rude low-life would do such a thing?!”, she thought to herself. As the plane took off, she reached into her shopping bag so that she could at least enjoy her bottle of water. She was startled by what she found: her bottle of water, as well as her bag of cookies, still sealed and intact. Apparently, that man had the same bag of cookies and it was she who had been obnoxiously stealing from him the whole time!! In that one instant of clarity, she realized that she had been in the wrong all along, and the “rude low-life” had apparently had the best character she had ever seen. He had even split his very last cookie with her, his thief.


Sometimes one may view an incident with "absolute certainty", only to later discover with an added piece of information that he had the whole story backward! Often, such is the reality of our own view on world events in contrast to the clear understanding of Hashem’s. The reason why Hashem specifically used the last letters to spell “truth, and not the first ones, is because often in This World one does not perceive the Divine Truth of Hashem’s actions until the very end.


True, Dinah was violated by Shechem, but that is not the end of the story. Interestingly enough, the child born from that union was later adopted by Ashes Potifera, Yosef’s master in Egypt, and eventually married Yosef HaTzadik. The result of that marriage later awarded Leah, the proud grandmother, with not just one shevet, but TWO of them: Menashe and Ephraim. Hashem had rewarded her self-sacrifice with a double portion*!


Living Inspired


Although we often don’t get to see Hashem’s Master Plan, it is important to take to heart the times that we do and use them to internalize that Hashem has a masterful plan behind everything. When Moshiach comes, the Sages teach us that we will laugh with surprise and happiness when Hashem explains to us how each and every occurrence in our lives was filled with purpose and goodness. There is not a moment in our lives that is not orchestrated down to the very last detail. When things seem to be going "wrong", instead of losing ourselves, questioning Hashem, or jumping to conclusions like the woman in the story, may we all maintain perfect composure throughout our lives and merit to enjoy the ending, when everything becomes clear that things weren’t as bad as they seem; on the contrary, everything was always going according to Hashem’s carefully laid and benevolent plans.  


________________


*- Although we may still not fully understand why Hashem felt it necessary for Menashe and Ephraim to descend from that horrible act of Shechem, at least we can observe that there is much more plan, purpose and good in everything Hashem does than meets the eye. Alternatively, the sefer “Mimamakim” actually offers an explanation: he states that Hashem did so in order for Moshiach ben Yosef to emerge from the lowest depths, similar to the way that Moshiach ben Yehuda came from his union with his daughter-in-law Tamar and from the union of Lot and his daughter. The purpose of Moshiach coming from such depths was in order to illustrate that ANY Jewish soul is truly capable of reaching the highest levels of spirituality and achievement, no matter what their humble beginnings may be.



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MY Cookie! When Leah was expecting her 7th child, she realized that there may be a problem. If her child would be a son, the result would be that Rachel would only be the mother of 1 of the 12 shevatim (tribes), which would be less than even the maidservants, Bilah and Zilpah, who each already had 2 children. Leah therefore fervently prayed to Hashem for a baby girl and even went so far as to ask Him that if she was indeed pregnant with a son, Hashem should please change the baby to a daughter instead. Hashem answered Leah’s selfless prayers and a daughter named Dinah was born to her (Rashi 30:21, citing Berachos 60a). One would expect that Hashem would reward Leah for her self-sacrifice and that great things would come from Dinah. After all, Leah sacrificed mothering another sheve...
Tel Aviv - Teva Pharmaceutical Industries is expected to cut 20-25 percent of its 6,860 workers in Israel and a few thousand more in the United States, financial news website Calcalist reported on Thursday. The world’s largest generic drugmaker will send termination letters to “tens of percents” of its 10,000 employees in the United States in upcoming weeks, Calcalist reported, citing people familiar with the matter. New Teva CEO Kare Schultz is working out the details with regional management in Israel and the United States, Calcalist said, noting those set to be ousted include its chief scientific officer, Michael Hayden, Teva’s president of research and development. A spokesman for Israel-based Teva declined to comment on the report. Teva is widely expected t...
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Kiddush Levana Nov 21 5:36 pm - Dec 03 11:58 am
November
23
Kislev 6
'The method is very simple: Lure people into calling back an extremely expensive provider.' A telephone scam has deluged Israel recently, one that initially appears to be an innocent incoming call but is part of an international deception racket that can cause a user major difficulties with little effort, reports Sivan Cohen on Channel 10's HaKol Kalul program. "Last Wednesday I got a call from Lithuania, which in itself was very strange. I answered and for a half a minute there was no response. Yesterday I understood that apparently it was a sting and I'm a bit confused now because I don't know whether to cancel my credit card; I'm now waiting for answers from both my credit company and the phone service provider," said one interviewee on...
Washington - US President Donald Trump informed Russian counterparts of a joint mission between Sayeret Matkal and the Mossad in Syria during a closed-door conversation last May, Vanity Fair reported Wednesday. The mission was to gather intelligence on an ISIS plot to transform computers into bombs undetectable by airport security. US Homeland Security officials imposed restrictions on passengers carrying laptops and other large electronic gear in cabins on nine airlines, most of which were Middle Eastern carriers, and British authorities imposed similar restrictions as a result of the intelligence. On May 10, Trump met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak, in a closed-door meeting in the Oval Office. The meeting was closed to American pre...
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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is examining how he can legally fire Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely, following her statements about United States Jewry, according to Channel 2. According to the report, a sharp message is being conveyed to Hotovely: “Stop putting the government in hot water, or get fired.” Earlier on Thursday, Netanyahu denounced what he called “offensive remarks” by Hotovely, in which she said US Jews are “people that never send their children to fight for their country” and that “most of them are having quite convenient lives.” A statement issued Thursday morning from his office said that Netanyahu “condemns Tzipi Hotovely’s offensive remarks regarding the American Jewish community. The Jews of ...
Baltimore, MD – Nov. 23, 2017 – It is with regret that BaltimoreJewishLife.com (BJL) informs the community of the petirah of R' Avraham Reuven Askovitz, z’l, son of Mrs. Fruma Esther Gradman, and brother of Mrs. Rochel Eilenberg, Mrs. Sara Bork, Rebetzin Chana Etta Schuchatowitz, Mrs. Shoshana Nullman, and Mrs. Miriam Lando Shiva is being observed at   801 Lexington #2G (bet. 8th & 9th St) Lakewood, NJ 08701 Bila HaMaves LaNetzach…
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MK Eichler speaks of the greatness of Torah leader Rabbi Shteinman, the value of respecting elders. Against the backdrop of Rabbi Shteinman's hospitalization, MK Yisrael Eichler (United Torah Judaism) delivered a moving speech at the Knesset plenum Wednesday, lauding the senior haredi rabbi and touting the haredi community's reverence for elders. ea3f2bb1-1997-484f-9b53-976ea6cb2507 from BaltimoreJewishLife.com on Vimeo. "The entire nation of Israel follows with concern the situation of Our Master the yeshiva dean, Rabbi Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman, son of Gittel, may he see a complete recovery. He is an ancient tree of life that has studied Torah for more than 100 consecutive years."Sixty years ago he taught Torah in Petah Tikvah and only had enough pennies to retur...
Rabbi's spokesperson to Arutz Sheva: 'Yesterday was very difficult for him, but today there are definite signs of improvement.' Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteinman’s condition improved somewhat Thursday, following a sudden deterioration the day before, a source close to the rabbi told Arutz Sheva. Rabbi Shteinman, one of the most prominent decisors of Jewish law in the haredi world, was hospitalized for testing at the Mayanei Hayeshua medical center in Bnei Brak Tuesday night, two weeks after he had been released from the hospital for a treatment of a fever. While hospitalized this week, Rabbi Shteinman’s condition suddenly deteriorated Wednesday, just hours after his daughter, Rachel Devora Berlin, passed away from cardiac arrest at th...
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Buffalo — When it comes to seeking solitude, many people often blame mental health issues as an underlying cause. But a new study finds that being alone has its benefits too, particularly when it comes to people looking for a surge of creativity. Researchers at the University of Buffalo interviewed 295 privacy-valuing individuals who reported a variety of reasons for their tendency to spend a lot of time alone, ranging from feeling fear or anxiety around others to preferring to use spare time working on a craft. Just because you prefer to be alone doesn’t mean you’re depressed. A new study finds that being anti-social from time to time is linked to creativity. Although research has traditionally suggested that excessive time alone can be unhealthy, some seclusive ...
Four Penn State University students are facing charges for stealing a large 9-foot menorah from outside the home of the campus Chabad rabbi, and leaving it lying damaged outside a Jewish fraternity, reported CBS Pittsburgh. The menorah was stolen overnight on Friday, Oct. 27, from outside the home of Rabbi Hershy Gourarie, co-director of Chabad of the Undergrads at Penn State University, and later found lying damaged in front of the Sigma Alpha Mu house, which Gourarie says is a Jewish fraternity. Four men were seen on surveillance footage placing the menorah on the frat house porch. Gourarie says the students being charged are members of other fraternities. Rabbi Gourarie told The Daily Collegian that the menorah was too damaged to be repaired and would cost abou...
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