ספירת העומר : 45 - היום חמשה וארבעים יום שהם ששה שבועות ושלשה ימים לעומר
Washington (CNN)Then-FBI Director James Comey knew that a critical piece of information relating to the investigation into Hillary Clinton's email was fake -- created by Russian intelligence -- but he feared that if it became public it would undermine the probe and the Justice Department itself, according to multiple officials with knowledge of the process. As a result, Comey acted unilaterally last summer to publicly declare the investigation over -- without consulting then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch -- while at the same time stating that Clinton had been "extremely careless" ...
Parshas Bamidbar / Baltimore Zmanim / Eruv is UP!   Baltimore, MD – May 26, 2017 Omer  45 Parshas:  Bamidbar Today:    1 Sivan – Rosh Chodesh      Chatzos: 1:04 PM Hadlakas Nairos: 8:05 PM Shkiah:                   8:23:23 PM Tzais HaKochavim:  9:14 PM Shavuos May 31/June 1  
In the beginning of this week's parsha, at the beginning of the second month of the second year since yetzias Mitzrayim, B'nei Yisrael are split into their respective camps. These formations were a way of organizing the travel and resting throughout the sojourn in the midbar. Why then, asks R' Yaakov Kamenetsky, in Emes l'Yaakov, did it take an entire year for these formations to be actualized? He answers that the grouping and sectioning of B'nei Yisrael into individual camps is an idea that could potentially prove to be very divisive. Each tribe had their own colours, their own symbols and their own ideals. This could theoretically pose a great threat to the achdus, the cohesive togetherness that is such an integral component to the survival of our nation. T...
The gemara in Megillah instructs us to read Parshas Bechukosai before Shevuos. Why is our minhag to interrupt the tochocho with the reading of Parshas Bamidbor right before Shevuos? Two answers are given. One is to have a buffer between the harsh punishments of the tochocho and kabbolas HaTorah to avoid a feeling of despair upon entering Shevuos. The other reason says the message of Parshas Bamidbor is quite relevant for kabbolas HaTorah in a positive sense. The midrash tells us that the day Klal Yisroel received their degolim was a day of simchoh as great as kabbolas haTorah. This has to be understood. What is so special about degolim? Later in the parsha we have the census of the Bnei Levi and each family is given a specific task in dealing with the Mishkon. Each job was restricted to...
“An ugly chapter in voter suppression is finally closing,” declared Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project. He was referring to the U.S. Supreme Court’s declining, last week, to judge a North Carolina voting law that a federal appeals court had struck down as an unconstitutional effort to “target African-Americans with almost surgical precision.” The law, enacted in 2013, effectively rejected forms of voter identification used disproportionately by blacks, like IDs issued to government employees, students and people receiving public assistance. It was part of a wave of voting restrictions that followed in the wake of Shelby vs. Holder, that year’s 5-to-4 Supreme Court decision overturning a requirement that certain states w...
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In this week’s Parsha, Hashem commanded Moshe to count the Levi’im, including their newborn babies from the ages of 30 days old and up (3:15). The Midrash recounts that Moshe asked Hashem, “how will I be able to fulfill Your commandment? It is improper for me to enter everyone’s tents to count their babies, and if I cannot enter, how can I possibly count them?”. Hashem responded, “you do your part, and I will do mine”. When Moshe arrived at each tent, a heavenly voice called out the exact number of people within it (quoted by Rashi 3:16). Think about how much effort was required for Moshe to go to every single tent. If Moshe was indeed correct that he wouldn't be able to enter the tents, and Hashem was going to tell Moshe Rabbeinu in a miracu...
Sal and Vinny, the barbers, have, uncharacteristically, been calling up the halacha hotlines across the country: Should we staff up for an onslaught on Friday or not? [Actually, they probably have not called – but you get the picture]. On Sunday, most everyone can get a haircut. For those that keep the second Z’man, however, getting a haircut today, on Rosh Chodesh Sivan Erev Shabbos, is a machlokes – a big debate in halacha. When Lag BaOmer falls on Sunday, it is kind of a bizayon – a slap in the face to the Shabbos to get a haircut for Lag BaOmer but not for Shabbos! Therefore, on the 31st of the Omer that falls on a Friday, it would be permitted to get a haircut. But what about today? The issue about not getting a haircut on Rosh Chodesh in general for those...
It is not enough that chareidim are being locked up in IDF prisons, but some are subjected to abuse R”L when there. In this case, the chareidi youth was physically assaulted as his head was smashed against a stone wall in Prison 4. The complaint was filed about a year ago, accusing prison guards of exceeding their authority and using unjustifiable physical force. Attorney Noa Levi represented the victim, speaking of how the youth was tortured while in prison, in addition to being tormented by other personnel for asking for tefilin, a siddur and other seforim. Attorney Levi is amazed that the officer who assaulted the youth was only sent to ten days of detention for such a severe offence. She is quoted saying the officer in question has a history and is known for abusing chareidi p...
The chief of Lebanon’s Hezbollah group is telling Saudi Arabia that dialogue with Iran is the only way forward, lashing out at the kingdom’s lavish royal welcome of U.S. president Donald Trump. In a speech Thursday, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah says the U.S. president is ‘only interested in money’ and is the most ‘racist’ U.S. president against Arabs and Muslims. He says the Saudi welcome and deals signed are a sign of the kingdom’s weakness. Nasrallah was speaking days after Trump signed a $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia aimed at bolstering Saudi security, and after the U.S. State Department announced sanctions on senior Hezbollah leader Hashem Safieddine. Nasrallah dismissed the sanctions as laughable and said such summits and declarations...
Parsha Hashavua
Parshas Bamidbar - One Camp...Undivided

In the beginning of this week's parsha, at the beginning of the second month of the second year since yetzias Mitzrayim, B'nei Yisrael are split into their respective camps. These formations were a way of organizing the travel and resting throughout the sojourn in the midbar. Why then, asks R' Yaakov Kamenetsky, in Emes l'Yaakov, did it take an entire year for these formations to be actualized? He answers that the grouping and sectioning of B'nei Yisrael into individual camps is an idea that could potentially prove to be very divisive. Each tribe had their own colours, their own symbols and their own ideals. This could theoretically pose a great threat to the achdus, the cohesive togetherness that is such an integral component to the survival of our nation.


The only factor that could ensure that this division does not become a reality is the presence of the mishkan in the center of the camp. With the mishkan in the middle, each group and each individual maintained a common, principal focus. It established a certain degree of centrality in the realm of serving HaShem, as if everyone davened in the same shul, so to speak. No one had "that shul that they don't go to." This being so, the individuality and uniqueness presented by the division into camps was able to take a secondary role to the unity created by the mishkan. Thus, B'nei Yisrael could not be divided into camps until the building of the mishkan which only culminated a month before in the beginning of Nisan.


The importance of oneness and common focus is, of course, an significant theme to bear in mind as we approach Shavuos, celebrating when we stood together "k'ish echad b'leiv echad" to receive the Torah.


When B'nei Yisrael finally entered the land, after many years without a stable, permanent central location, David HaMelech ultimately established Yerushalayim as the eternal capital of Eretz Yisrael and epicenter of all spirituality. It is certainly fitting that during this week we commemorate 50 years since the reunification of Yerushalayim, through great miracles, the return of the Holy City to Jewish rule and its re-establishment as a venue for all Jews to come and pray. (Although, it should be noted that the actual victory 50 years ago occurred during the week of parshas Naso.) In our times, when unity is certainly one of our greater challenges, we need all the inspiration we can get to face a common direction towards a common goal.  


 

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The chairman of the House Oversight committee asked the FBI on Thursday to turn over more documents about former FBI Director James Comey’s interactions with the White House and Justice Department, including materials dating back nearly four years to the Obama administration. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, told acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe that he wants records of Comey’s contacts with the White House and Justice Department dating to September 2013, when Comey was sworn in as FBI director under then-President Barack Obama. In a letter to McCabe, Chaffetz said he is seeking to review Comey’s memos and other written materials so he can “better understand” Comey’s communications with the White House and attorney general’s office. Chaffetz previo...
In the Middle East, President Donald Trump was feted with pageantry, the leaders of Saudi Arabia and Israel seemingly in competition to outdo the other with the warmth of their welcomes and the depth of their pledges of cooperation. But in Europe, Trump has faced a far cooler reception and has been eager to go on the offensive. Cajoled on issues like climate change and NATO’s defense pact, he’s responded by scolding some of the United States’ most loyal allies for not paying their fair share. He’s also refused to explicitly back the mutual defense agreement that has been activated only once, during the darkest hours of September 2001. Still, Trump hailed the trip a success as he arrived to the G-7 summit in Sicily Friday, the final stop of his maiden internationa...
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Kiddush Levana May 28 2:11 pm - Jun 09 8:33 am
May
26
Sivan 1
A siyum in Yeshiva Darchei Torah of Far Rockaway is not an uncommon event. Yet a recent siyum was clearly in its own league, as Nochum Gershonowitz, an 18-year-old bachur in the Mesivta, finished Perek HaKoneis in Bava Kamma. Nochum’s family, his fellow bachurim, the rabbeim, and the hanhala of the Yeshiva rejoiced together in grand fashion to celebrate his accomplishment.
This past March (כח אדר), in honor of the 200th year anniversary of Mir Yeshiva, noted askan and composer Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz composed a new song titled “V’hareinu.” The song premiered at their dinner and was well received by the multitudes in attendance. Before Shavuous, the song is being released with an accompanying video produced by the ever talented Yochi Briskman. The song features the beautiful voices of Baruch Levine, Moishe Mendlowitz, the harmonious Shira Choir and the angelic child soloist, Avrum Chaim Green. The lyrics describe the day when this golus will ultimately end, and with genuine joy, we will all return to the holy Bais Hamikdash going back to the days of all of its glory. The song hums along with beautiful scenery from Yerushalayim as all o...
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Jerusalem - The office of the Israeli prime minister says a medical procedure to remove Benjamin Netanyahu’s bladder stone has been successful. It says Netanyahu returned to “full activity” on Friday morning following the procedure the previous night that shattered the stone. Such a procedure commonly uses ultrasound or laser to completely break up a kidney stone or a stone in the urinary tract. The 67-year-old Netanyahu who hosted a visit by U.S. President Donald Trump earlier this week is reportedly in good health. Netanyahu’s personal physician Zvi Berkovich accompanied the prime minister during the treatment at the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem.
Last Friday morning at 3:30 a.m., Efraim Gadassi was killed in a motor vehicle accident while responding to an emergency call. Efi (Efraim), had gotten out of bed to respond to an emergency and help a complete stranger. Efi was a young father of three and a brother of some 3,500 fellow responders. An honor guard was arranged for the funeral of some 120 ambucycles from Jerusalem and the surrounding area. Jews and Arabs alike came together to show their support for their fallen brother. An additional hundred or so responders, as well as United Hatzalah staff, filled out the honor guard to pay their last respects to a fallen hero who just the week before had saved the lives of two young children who required immediate medical help. Efi had responded to hundreds of calls each year and helped ...
Nichum AveilimNichum Aveilim Aveilim
Hamas on Thursday executed three of it’s members; two by hanging and one by firing squad. Hamas had accused the three of collaborating with Israel to assassinate one of their senior terrorists. Mazen Faqha, a terrorist who Israel had jailed in the past for organizing terror cells, was found shot in the head in March, in the garage of his Gaza home. Hamas accused Israel of organizing the killing, an allegation Israel neither confirmed or denied. The latest executions from Gaza have garnered extra criticism from international observers, as a 30 minute live video of the hangings was broadcasted on Facebook. The video was later removed.
Republicans trying to dismantle former President Barack Obama’s health care law have run into the same problem that bedeviled him: Quality health insurance doesn’t come cheap, especially if it protects people in poor health, older adults not yet eligible for Medicare, and the poor. Something has to give. Now, the GOP’s laser focus on lowering premiums could undermine comprehensive coverage that consumers also value, such as the current guarantees that people with medical problems can get health insurance, or that plans will cover costly conditions such as substance abuse. “Premiums do not tell the whole story,” said Trish Riley, executive director of the National Academy for State Health Policy, a nonpartisan organization that advises states. “The qu...
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A group of thieves dressed as construction workers have robbed a New York City jewelry store in a brazen afternoon holdup. Police say the four struck a jewelry store in Brooklyn on Thursday. One of the men had positioned himself outside of the store wearing a white hazmat suit and holding a sign that read “Danger asbestos. Men at work.” Police say the other three were inside, assaulting an employee and stealing more than $800,000 dollars’ worth of gold, jewelry and cash. Police later found the hazmat suit nearby after the thieves fled the scene. The 67-year-old employee suffered a cut on his head and was taken to a hospital for observation. So far, police have made no arrests.
Masked militants riding in three SUVs opened fire Friday on a bus packed with Coptic Christians, including children, south of the Egyptian capital, killing at least 28 people and wounding 22, the Interior Ministry said. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, the fourth to target Christians since December, but it bore the hallmarks of the Islamic State group. The attack came on the eve of the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Islamic militants have for years been waging an insurgency mostly centered in the restive northern part of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, although a growing number of attacks have recently also taken place on the mainland. The assault happened while the bus was traveling on a side road in the desert leading to the remote monastery of Sa...
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