The world’s leading smartphone makers just can’t stop copying each other. But now, things have gone way too far, reports By Z. Epstein for BGR. So what’s the latest feature Apple ripped off from its top smartphone rival Samsung? Apparently, Apple was jealous that Samsung’s exploding Galaxy Note 7 is stealing some of the iPhone 7’s airtime, so it built an exploding smartphone of its own. Behold: This appears to be an isolated incident, at least for the time being. The image above was posted by Reddit user “kroopthesnoop” on Wednesda...
On a recent Shabbos morning, a Chevron Arab began cursing a group of Jews returning home from Shacharis at Meoras Hamachpeilah. The Palestinian chose his victims unwisely because among them was right wing attorney Ittamar Ben Gevir, a member of the Honenu legal aid association. Noticing that the provocation was being filmed by a leftist from a nearby roof, Ben Gevir laid charges against the Arab and leftist on motzoei Shabbos, maintaining that they had behaved inappropriately in a public place by attempting to start a provocation and disturb the peace. “We’re talking about permanent policy among extreme left-wing activists, who create a provocation and film the outcome in order to record the reaction, and then edit the footage to present the events in a distorted ...
"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and defense minister Ehud Barak were pushing ahead with their plans to attack Iran." If not for Shimon Peres’s intervention, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was planning to bomb Iran, the former president revealed confidentially to The Jerusalem Post over two years ago.In a meeting at the Peres Center for Peace in Jaffa on August 24, 2014, Peres dropped the bombshell in a conversation with me and Jerusalem Post Managing Editor David Brinn. I have thought long and hard about whether to publish it, and reached the conclusion that he wouldn’t have told us if he didn’t want us to. I was editor-in-chief of The Jerusalem Post at the time and had established a close relationship with Peres, who had re...
Inspiring Jewish Quotes for Rosh Hashanah by Dr. Yvette Alt Miller Facebook6TwitterEmailMore5 “A sudden transition from one opposite to another is impossible and therefore man, according to his nature, is not capable of abandoning suddenly all to which he was accustomed.”  Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon (Maimonides) - (Guide for the Perplexed 3:23 Making major changes in our lives is possible, but Maimonides’ advice reminds us to take it slow, one step at a time. Taking incremental steps makes it more likely that we’ll still with new resolutions and routines. “All beginnings are hard.”  Mekhilta Yitro Remember that while it can be hard to start to change, with effort and practice, things do get easier. Keeping this in mind can help us ov...
JERUSALEM –  Shimon Peres, who died Wednesday, was both a former president and prime minister, the only person in Israel to hold both jobs. Of Israel's 12 prime ministers, three are still living: current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; his predecessor, Ehud Olmert, who is in prison after a bribery conviction; and Ehud Barak, who appears to be plotting a comeback. A look at some of its prime ministers: DAVID BEN-GURION (1886-1973) Israel's founding father and first prime minister served from Israel's creation in 1948 until 1963, with a two-year hiatus in 1954-55. Renowned for declaring Israel's independence and building its military might, he oversaw the development of Israel's nuclear program and agreed to a historic reparations deal with ...
CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said on Thursday that Republican opponent Donald Trump may have violated U.S. law, following a news report that one of his companies attempted to do business in Cuba. Newsweek said on Thursday that a hotel and casino company controlled by Trump secretly conducted business with Cuba that was illegal under U.S. sanctions in force during Fidel Castro's presidency of the Communist-ruled island. “Today we learned about his efforts to do business in Cuba which appear to violate U.S. law, certainly flout American foreign policy, and he has consistently misled people in responding to questions about whether he was attempting to do business in Cuba,” Clinton told reporters on her campaign plane....
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The woman who died in the New Jersey Transit train crash in Hoboken has been identified as a resident of the city and young mother who recently moved to the United States from Brazil with her family.  Fabiola Bittar de Kroon was standing in a waiting area at the Hoboken station when the train, which was traveling too fast, crashed through a barrier, authorities said. She was killed by falling debris. De Kroon, 34, worked for the software company SAP in its legal department in Brazil until earlier this year. SAP spokesman Andy Kendzie said the company was "shaken by the news" of the crash, which injured more than 100 people. He said the company expressed its deepest condolences to de Kroon's family and friends and to all of those affected by the "tragic event." Ce...
Wells Fargo & Co was fined about $24 million on Thursday by federal regulators for alleged violations of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, piling more pressure on the bank already embroiled in a sales abuse scandal.   Wells Fargo Bank, doing business as Wells Fargo Dealer Services, agreed to pay more than $4.1 million after the Justice Department alleged it repossessed 413 cars owned by servicemembers without obtaining a court order. The unit of Wells Fargo also agreed to change its policies, the department said. Separately, the bank was fined $20 million for violating the same act by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. The bank violated three separate provisions of the act between about 2006 and 2016, the regulator, which did a separate investigatio...
Daily Halacha
Chodesh Elul

From Rosh Hodesh Elul until after Yom Kippur  is a time of (Divine) favor.  Although, throughout the entire year,  the Holy One, blessed be He, accepts the repentance  of those who return to Him wholeheartedly,  in any case, these days (between the 1st of Elul and Yom Kippur) are more special  have been set aside for repentance,  because they are days of mercy and favor.  Because on Rosh Hodesh Elul, Moses ascended Mount Sinai  to receive the second set of stone tablets  and spent forty days there,  descending on the tenth of Tishrei,  which was then the finish of the atonement period1  From then on, these days were set aside as days of favor,  and the tenth of Tishrei as the Day of Atonement. 2  It is the custom in most places  to fast on the day preceding Rosh Hodesh Elul  and follow the order of prayer (termed) the Minor Day of Atonement  to prepare one's heart to repent.  If Rosh Hodesh Elul falls on Shabbat,  one advances (the fast) to the Thursday before it.  The Ari (lit; The Rabbi, our master, Rabbi Isaac Luria), may his memory be a blessing,3  wrote:4  ''Surely (a man) does not lie in ambush (to murder), but G-d  (who) caused this to happen, then I will provide for you (a place for you to take refuge)''  the first letters (of the words spell) Elul.  To tell (us) that this month  is (like a place of refuge,) a time of favor when (G-d) accepts (our) repentance  on the sins done throughout the year.  It also alludes to (sins) committed inadvertently  that also need repentance during this month  The Rabbis5 have also noted6  ''And G-d, your Lord, will circumcise  your heart and the hearts of your descendants''  the first letters (of the words spell) Elul  and also7  ''I am for my Beloved and my Beloved is for me''  the first letters (of the words spell) Elul  and also8  ''a person (sending gifts) to his friend and (giving) presents to the poor.''  the first letters (of the words spell) Elul  (The verses) allude to the three things, which are repentance  prayer, and charity,  which must be done eagerly in this month.  ''And G-d will circumcise...'' alludes to repentance;  ''I am for my Beloved...'' alludes to prayer,  which is ''a song of lovers'';  ''Sending gifts...''  alludes to charity. (KSA 128:1)
1) For the sin of the Golden Calf.
2) Moses went up to Mt Sinai for 3 consecutive 40 day periods; for the first forty days, Hashem taught him the entire Torah and gave him the first set of stone tablets, which Moses subsequently smashed when he came down the mountain and saw the Jews dancing around the Golden Calf; Moses then spent the next 40 days begging Hashem to forgive the Jewish People; the final forty days was spent receiving the second set of tablets.
3) Rabbi Isaac Luria (1534-1572), renowned as the greatest kabbalist of modern times, is commonly known as the ARI, an acronym standing for Elohi Rabbi Yitzhak - the G-dly Rabbi Isaac.
4) To explain the verse Exodus 21:13.
5) lit; the explainers of lists.
6) Deuteronomy 30:6
7) Song of Songs 6:3
8) Esther 9:22

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The investigation into a New Jersey commuter train that hurtled into a station building Thursday raises many familiar issues from other crashes, including whether the tragedy could have been prevented or mitigated if a key safety technology had been in place. The National Transportation Safety Board, which is leading the investigation, has been calling on railroads to start using the safety technology, called positive train control, or PTC, for nearly four decades. New Jersey Transit is in the process of installing the technology, but it was not in operation yet on any of the agency's trains or tracks. Govs. Chris Christie of New Jersey and Andrew Cuomo of New York cautioned at a news conference that not enough is known yet about the circ...
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -- The government's key witness in the George Washington Bridge lane-closing scandal said people close to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gathered on a conference call to prep a cover story for the gridlock prosecutors contend was political revenge against a Democratic mayor. NJ.com reported David Wildstein testified on Thursday that Phil Kwon, Christie's former pick for the state Supreme Court, and Regina Egea, who eventually served as the Republican governor's aide, helped prepare testimony that the closures were for a traffic study. He said the pair prepped former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey executive Bill Baroni on what to tell lawmakers probing the incident. Baroni is now on trial for federal crimes related to the September 201...
Parsha Hashavua
Almost Rosh Hashanah 5777

Inspiring Jewish Quotes for Rosh Hashanah by Dr. Yvette Alt Miller


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“A sudden transition from one opposite to another is impossible and therefore man, according to his nature, is not capable of abandoning suddenly all to which he was accustomed.”  Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon (Maimonides) - (Guide for the Perplexed 3:23


Making major changes in our lives is possible, but Maimonides’ advice reminds us to take it slow, one step at a time. Taking incremental steps makes it more likely that we’ll still with new resolutions and routines.


“All beginnings are hard.”  Mekhilta Yitro


Remember that while it can be hard to start to change, with effort and practice, things do get easier. Keeping this in mind can help us over the initial discomfort of trying something new.


“If you wish to change your personality, study Torah and implement it in your daily living, and pray to God to remove your undesirable traits. You cannot do it by yourself.”  Rabbi Yisroel Friedman (1796-1850)


Change is in our power, but only up to a point. If we truly want to alter ourselves, we need to also pray to the Almighty to give us the strength we need to change.


“As long as the candle is still burning, it is still possible to accomplish and to mend.”  Rabbi Yisrael Salanter


One night, Rabbi Salanter was walking home, past the home of a shoemaker. Despite it being very late, he observed the shoemaker was still busy, working by the light of a single candle. “Why are you still working?” Rabbi Salanter asked him. “It is very late and soon the candle will go out.” The shoemaker replied “As long as the candle is still burning it is still possible to accomplish and to mend shoes.” In his wisdom, Rabbi Salanter realized this message is true for all of us. It’s never too late to change.


“When a person turns himself around, regrets his past and does good – that is such a powerful act that his sins become merits.”  Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish


Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish, known as Resh Lakish in the Talmud, knew a thing or two about overcoming sins: he gave up a career as a bandit to repent, study Torah and eventually become a great scholar. He taught that starting anew can wipe away our past mistakes and regrets.


“How old will be you be in seven years of you don’t go to medical school (or fulfill any other ambition)?”  Pauline Phillips (“Dear Abby”)


Few of her readers realized that Abigail Van Buren, who penned the long-running “Dear Abby” advice columns from 1956 until her death in 2013, was actually a Jewish woman named Pauline Phillips from Sioux City, Iowa. One of her most famous pieces of advice was given to “Unfulfilled in Philly”, who wrote that he would love to be a doctor, but if he were to go back to college and get his degree, then go to medical school, then do an internship, and finally practice medicine, it would take him seven years and he’d be 43 years old. Dear Abby’s advice was priceless: How old will you be in seven years if you don’t do all those things? It’s better to fulfill our dreams later in life than never.


“Though the righteous one may fall seven times, he will arise.”  King Solomon (Proverbs 24:16)


In Jewish thinking, a great person isn’t one who never fails; it’s one who fails and keeps trying. You can only become a truly great person through the crucible of failure and perseverance.


“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”  Albert Einstein


Success is determined in great part by our ability to keep trying. Even when the task is difficult, persevering can help us succeed in the end.


Knowing Your Life Matters by Rabbi Benjamin Blech


There is a story I heard some years back which resonated with me in a way I believe changed my life.


It happened years ago in Israel at the time when Menachem Begin was Prime Minister and Israel was going through a period of severe economic difficulty. One of the members of the Knesset at the time was Shmuel Tamir. Tamir was not personally observant, but he nonetheless felt it was his prerogative to speak to one of the preeminent sages of Jerusalem, the legendary Reb Aryeh Levin zt”l, widely known and respected for his compassion, to enlist his support for a religious ruling.


Tamir felt that Israel’s difficult economy many couples simply could not afford to properly take care of the needs of a growing family. He argued with the Rabbi to agree to allow abortions for some of his followers.


Rabbi Levin paused for but a moment before he responded:


I find it very interesting that you’ve come to me with this question because years ago I was faced with a very similar predicament. A young couple came to me. They were students with one child, a little girl, and they had just found out that another was on the way. Their financial situation was desperate. They saw no way to cope with the costs of another mouth to feed. They too begged me to consider granting them permission to end the life of the fetus.


I explained to them that although I understood with all of my heart that it would not be easy, there were three reasons why they needed to go through with the pregnancy and allow their child to be born. The first was the firm conviction that God who gives life can be trusted to sustain it. God assures us that He stretches forth His hand and supports all of His children. You may be confident that your child is also His child - and his Father will never forsake him.


The second reason for my decision is your legal responsibility. You already have one child, a girl, but Jewish law requires that you strive to fulfill the biblical commandment of “be fruitful and multiply” with a boy as well.


But the third reason for my refusal to allow you to abort is perhaps the most important. You are pregnant – and within you there already exists a holy soul with a mission. Like every one of us here on earth, a soul has a purpose which the world needs or else it would not have been created. Don’t prevent the fulfillment of your child’s mission, for its sake and for the sake of all mankind.


Tamir, disappointed by the rabbi’s refusal to accede to his request, asked, “And did they listen to you and did they have the child?”  Rabbi Levin answered, “Yes, they had a boy.”  “And,” Tamir followed almost sarcastically, “did the boy fulfill his mission in life?”


Rabbi Levin responded, “This you will have to answer. The people who came to me those many years ago were your parents and you are standing before me today only because they chose to follow my ruling. So, indeed, let me ask you now – did you fulfill your mission?”


It was a startling dénouement to an amazing story that highlights an ultimate question relevant to every one of us as we contemplate our own lives and the reason for our continued presence here on earth.


God placed us here because our lives matter. They matter not just to us. Our lives are meant to matter to the world as well. We are all Divine messengers with a mission. And in the ultimate sense, our lives matter to God. He put us here, so obviously we have a purpose. The journey of our lives is to seek out our mission – and then strive to hopefully fulfill it.


Our mission can revolve around many things. It can be concentrated around our families, our loved ones and our people, our careers and professions, our talents and Divinely-given gifts which make us unique and allow us to do the things no one else could or would ever do – and without which the world would be so much poorer.


On the High Holy Days we turn to God and pray for life. We need to spend some time identifying our unique mission in order to fulfill our purpose. Continuing to make our lives matter is our guarantee that we will be granted ever more opportunities to fulfill our mission. This Rosh Hashanah, may we live up to that challenge.

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There have been hacking attempts on election systems in more than 20 states — far more than had been previously acknowledged — a senior Department of Homeland Security official told NBC News on Thursday. The "attempted intrusions" targeted online systems like registration databases, and not the actual voting or tabulation machines that will be used on Election Day and are not tied to the Internet. The DHS official described much of the activity as "people poking at the systems to see if they are vulnerable." "We are absolutely concerned," the DHS official said. "The concern is the ability to cause confusion and chaos." Only two successful breaches have been disclosed, both of online voter registration databases, in Illinois and Arizona over the summer. While those two hack...
Baltimore, MD – Sept. 29, 2016  - Rabbi Shmuel Silber gave this teshuva drasha in Kehilas Meor HaTorah last year. We post it again by popular demand. 
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This week’s Torah portion talks about the mitzva to learn Torah (Devarim 30, 14). Our Sages teach that learning Torah is so great that it is equal to all of the other mitzvos in the Torah. The following humorous true story pertains to a moral dilemma related to someone's desire to study Torah.   The following is a true story that occurred in Israel. A religious Israeli man, named Avi, once called a customer service representative for some assistance. The Israeli customer service rep introduced himself as Doron and proceeded to help Avi with his query. After speaking with Avi for a bit, Doron was able to ascertain from Avi’s question that Avi was religious. After Doron finished helping Avi, Doron asked Avi if he would be able to answer some questions about Jewish ...
On Wednesday, we reported about a privately chartered flight to Uman that was cancelled just hours before its scheduled departure. Hundreds of people were left without a way to reach Uman. Now, YWN has learned of another incident with an airplane heading to Uman. Sources tell YWN that at around 4:00PM on Thursday, a Lufthansa Flight from JFK to Uman returned to the gate after it had already started taxiing towards the runway. It appears that the wing clipped another aircraft as it was being pushed away from the terminal. All the passengers have since left the aircraft, and are in the process of finding their luggage.
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With Rosh Hashana right around the corner, it comes as no surprise that this week’s parshah discusses the mitzvah of Teshuva (repentance). Why does Teshuva work? Why is it that even if I sin severely, if I genuinely decide to improve, Hashem will accept that apology? This question becomes that much stronger when one realizes that even when I do teshuva with the highest level of sincerity, ultimately, I will probably sin and stumble again in the future, as no one is perfect. If so, why does Hashem accept such a temporary and fleeting teshuva? Additionally, Rosh Hashanah is known as a yom tov, as it is the day that we crown our King and by doing so, reconnect to Him in the strongest manner possible. However, haven’t we all sinned many times in this past year? At the very least,...
Baltimore, MD - Sept. 29, 2016 - This Sunday night when Rosh Hashanah 5777 begins, it will not only be the beginning of a new year but will also be the first year of the 305th 19-year cycle since brias ha’olam, as indicated in the luach of the Tur in Orach Chaim siman 428. 5776 was the 19th and final year of the previous 19-year cycle which began on Rosh Hashana 5758/1997 and 5777 (2016-2017) is the first year of the new cycle. Unlike the solar cycle of 28 years (Machzor Gadol) which is used in the Jewish calendar to calculate tkufos (seasons) and begins with the recitation of Birchas Hachama, the new 19-year cycle (Machzor Katan) will begin almost unnoticed. Indeed, we will experience Rosh Hashana night – one of the most beautiful nights of the year. But, as the sun sets and ...
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President Barack Obama today announced the designation of a Presidential Delegation to the State of Israel to attend the State Funeral of Former President and Prime Minister Shimon Peres on September 30, 2016 in Tel Aviv, Israel. The Honorable Barack Obama, President of the United States, will lead the delegation. Members of the Presidential Delegation The Honorable William J. Clinton, Former President of the United States The Honorable Daniel Shapiro, U.S. Ambassador to the State of Israel, Department of State The Honorable John Kerry, Secretary of State of the United States The Honorable Robert Casey, U.S. Senator, Pennsylvania The Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Leader, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives (CA-12) The Honorable Steny Hoyer, Member of the U.S. House of ...
The late former Israeli President Shimon Peres was a “truly consequential” figure who played an “inextricable” role in the transformation of Israel from a fledgling new nation into a regional powerhouse over the past seven decades, a former US State Department Middle East negotiator who interacted with Peres told The Algemeiner on Thursday. Peres, who died on Wednesday at the age of 93 and will be laid to rest on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem on Friday, was the “Forrest Gump of Israeli politics,” Aaron David Miller — currently a vice president at the Wilson Center think tank in Washington — said. “He was there and saw it all,” Miller, who first met Peres in the late 1980s during a trip to Israel with then-Secretary of St...
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(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) Researchers at Ben-Gurion University in the Negev have made a significant breakthrough in a unique study to better understand autism, discovering a particular evolutionary signature in autism genes. The breakthrough brings doctors one step closer to understanding the genetic mechanism for the disorder and being able to diagnose it prior to birth. Dr. Idan Menashe and his colleagues, Erez Tsur and Prof. Michael Friger, studied over 650 genetic variations out of the 1,000 genes linked to autism, and found characteristics that differentiate them from other genes in the human genome. "If we find the remaining genes out of the thousand, we will not only be able to understand autism better, but also be able to conduct a genetic test before pre...
The head of the Israel’s Arab political bloc tweeted an explanation for his coalition’s decision to boycott Friday’s funeral of elder statesman Shimon Peres, the Hebrew news site Walla reported on Thursday, a day before the event is scheduled to take place. According to the report, MK Ayman Odeh, chairman of the Joint List, wrote: “The memory of Peres in the Arab (Israeli) public is different from that of the narrative that has been recounted over the past few days, and I understand that such complex messages are hard to hear after someone’s death.” He added that credit should be given to Peres for his peace efforts and support for the Arab public during the 1990s, but said that the same populace opposes “the hawk of the oc...
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