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What to Learn on Shavuos Night French Jewish Anger Grows Over Savage Antisemitic Murder of Pensioner at Hands of Muslim in Paris Suburb Deputy Minister Ben-Dahan Calls On PD To Return Lynch Victim’s Weapon (Video) Biden Says New Jersey Race Is Country’s Most Important Mortal Etiquette Israel’s Cannabis Decriminalization Policy Comes Into Effect With Letters Purchased from More Than 350,000 Acts Of Chessed, Hachnasas 'Unity' Sefer Torah Takes Place in Yerushalayim (Videos And Photo Essay) Kent Police Under Fire for Non-Response to Scene of Antisemitic Rock-Throwing Assault on Jewish Family at Beach Top UK Jewish Officials Slam Corbyn Over 2014 Visit to Grave of Palestinian Terrorist Linked to Munich Massacre Spanish City Council Rejects Motion To Boycott Israel Israeli Researchers Develop New ALS Treatment Canadian Student Reveals She Was Barred by Ryerson University From Working With Local Jewish Groups Due to Their ‘Anti-Palestinian Lean’ Bipartisan Group of Legislators, US Christian Leaders Turn up Heat on Trump Over Jerusalem Embassy Move German Security Chiefs Upbeat On Intel Cooperation With US Watch: Leonardo Farkas Seen At The Kosel Distributing $100 Bills To Random People (Video) Listen to Rabbi Moshe Hauer on Shavuos (5 Audios) Merkel Spokesman: Germany Still Seeking Stronger US Ties Putin Visits France, Hopes To Mend Strained Ties With West Azariya Trial: Court Sends Both Sides To Mediation – The Prosecution Opposes The Move Fire Destroyes Home of Orthodox Jewish Family In Bayswater, Queens
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Baltimore, MD - May 29, 2017 - With great sadness, and a broken heart, we regret to inform you that Coby Rosemore was niftar earlier this morning. The levaya will take place Tuesday, May 30, at 2:00 PM at Levinson's. Kevurah will be at Beth Tfiloh Cemetery, 5800 Windsor Mill Road. Please carpool to funeral if possible. Following the kevurah, the family will sit shiva for a few hours before the onset of Yom Tov. At this time, the family has asked for no visitation during the shortened shiva period.  The family requests their privacy during this difficult time. Please forward an...
It is a custom whose roots reach back to the earliest era of our nationhood. In order to make up for the fact that our ancestors actually had slept the night of the Sinaitic revelation, religious Jews stay up all night and study Torah (Midrash Shir HaShirim Rabbah 1:56). The custom does not fault our ancestors for being ill-prepared, for how does one prepare for something that one does not know anything about? Rather, it is a custom that allows Klal Yisroel to shine ever further. MENTIONED IN ZOHAR The practice is mentioned in the Zohar (Parshas Emor 98a). There it even describes the reward that awaits one who studies Torah all night. The all-night learner receives no less than seventy divine blessings from above and is crowned with a special celestial crown of the upper heavens. Then t...
As further details emerge of the brutal murder of an Orthodox Jewish woman in a Paris suburb at the hands of a Muslim assailant last month, French Jews are increasingly worried and angered by what one prominent member of the community called an “organized silence” surrounding the case. Dr. Sarah Halimi — a 66-year-old pensioner living in the Paris suburb of Belleville — was murdered in the early hours of April 4 by Kada Traore, a 27-year-old immigrant from Mali.  After breaking into the neighboring apartment of another Malian family at 4:25 a.m. — whose terrified inhabitants locked themselves away as they heard him recite verses from the Quran — Traore jumped over the balcony and forced his way into Halimi’s apartment. As ...
Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan is calling on Israel Police to release and return the weapon confiscated from an Itamar resident who fired during an attempted lynch. The video of the incident, seen below, clearly shows a Red Crescent team blocking the victim’s vehicle to prevent him from fleeing. The suspect felt in life-threatening danger and fired his gun at attackers, killing one of them. Despite the fact the shooting was justified, police have yet to return the weapon. Ben-Dahan made an urgent appeal to police and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, explaining the young man travels thorough Chawarah several times daily and today, he must do so without a weapon because it remains in police custody, albeit without justification.
Former Vice President Joe Biden offered praise for Phil Murphy at an appearance with New Jersey’s Democratic gubernatorial front-runner Sunday, calling the off-year election the most important in the country over the next three years. Murphy is leading the pack in the Democrats’ June 6 primary and has a huge campaign cash advantage over his three leading rivals as he bids to succeed Republican Gov. Chris Christie. In front of about 1,000 people at a community center, Biden said the country — and world — will be watching the election “to decide whether or not America has bought into this crass and mean spirited and negative and uncomfortable rhetoric that we have been subjected to these last 10 months — or whether (we are) ready to re-establish and asse...
As you may have noticed, the first day of Shavuos falls on the fourth day of the week this year. Were any Tziddukim around today, they’d be unhappy. They held that Shavuos must always fall on a Sunday. There are, however, no Tziddukim left. They, of course, were one of the camps of Jews during the Bayis Sheini period that rejected the Torah Sheb’al Peh, the “Oral Law,” the key to understanding the true meaning of the Torah Shebichsav – explaining, for example that “An eye for an eye” refers to monetary compensation, and that “totafos” refers to what we call tefillin (one of which is worn, moreover, not as the unelucidated passuk seems to state “between your eyes,” but rather above the hairline.) The Perushim determinedl...
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Israel’s new cannabis decriminalization policy, approved by the government in March, officially came into effect Sunday, commencing a new legal approach towards the recreational use of marijuana in the Jewish state. The new government policy shifts the responsibility of enforcing marijuana laws from police to civil authorities. Yet recreational cannabis use is not fully legalized in Israel, and the Israel Police clarified that “even under the new enforcement policy, cannabis use will stay illegal in the public sector,” reported Yedioth Ahronoth.  Possessing more than 15 grams of cannabis remains illegal in Israel. Further, individuals caught carrying less than 15 grams may still be apprehended depending on whether or not the marijuana is determined to be ...
Afikim, Yad Ezra Or Yerushalayim, Olami, Israeli Ministry of Diaspora Affairs and ZAKA were participants in an unique event in honoring the 50th year of reunification of Yerushalayim on Sunday. Over the past year, from around the world, letters of a special Unity Sefer Torah were purchased by doing acts of chesed, The Torah's final letters were filled in the Old City, at the Aish HaTorah auditorium in presence of over 350 Olami students, visiting guests and dignitaries, including Mayor Nir Barkat.   Afifkim Founder and President Rabbi Raphael B. Butler presented the Mayor with a digital listing of the more than 350,000 acts of chesed initiated by the writing of the Unity Torah.  Along with student musical performances and videos, Jerusalem50Awards were pre...
A British NGO is calling for an investigation following a reported incident at a Kent beach on Sunday in which a Jewish family was pelted with stones by a group of teenagers and police failed to respond. According to reports, the assault took place at Minster Beach on the Isle of Sheppey. Members of a London Jewish family — including two parents and their five daughters, between the ages of eight and 15 — were targeted by five teens who ran toward them throwing rocks and shouting, “Jews.” The Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) said in a statement, “As the attack continued and the parents tried to shelter their children, the family called Kent Police, but the emergency operator advised them that no officers would be dispatched, despite th...
Top UK Jewish officials have expressed concern over a Sunday Times report that Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn took part in an event at a Tunisian cemetery in 2014 during which a dead Palestinian terrorist linked to the 1972 Munich massacre was honored. “It is high time that Jeremy Corbyn clarify his views regarding Palestinian terrorism,” Simon Johnson — CEO of the Jewish Leadership Council — was quoted by the Jewish Chronicle as saying. “At first sight, attending a wreath-laying ceremony of a known terrorist, who led one of the most notorious acts of international terrorism, the attack on the Munich Olympics, would appear to be beyond the pale.” Jennifer Gerber — director of Labour Friends of Israel — was q...
Parsha Hashavua
What to Learn on Shavuos Night

It is a custom whose roots reach back to the earliest era of our nationhood.


In order to make up for the fact that our ancestors actually had slept the night of the Sinaitic revelation, religious Jews stay up all night and study Torah (Midrash Shir HaShirim Rabbah 1:56). The custom does not fault our ancestors for being ill-prepared, for how does one prepare for something that one does not know anything about? Rather, it is a custom that allows Klal Yisroel to shine ever further.


MENTIONED IN ZOHAR


The practice is mentioned in the Zohar (Parshas Emor 98a). There it even describes the reward that awaits one who studies Torah all night. The all-night learner receives no less than seventy divine blessings from above and is crowned with a special celestial crown of the upper heavens. Then they are inscribed in a special Sefer HaZikaron, a book of memory.


LIVING OUT THE YEAR


The Arizal writes in Shaar HaKavanos that whoever stays up all night learning is assured that he will certainly live out the year. The Chofetz Chaim records this statement l’halacha (Mishna Brurah 494:1).


TIME IS NOT LINEAR


There is another interesting point too. Rav Dessler zatzal writes in Michtav M’Eliyahu that time is not a straight continuum. Rather, the nature of time is like a carousel that turns in circles. He writes that each Yom Tov is actually the very same Yom Tov that Klal Yisroel experienced in thousands of years ago in the year 2448. Each day on this carousel of time has its own special unique aspect to it. With this thought of Rav Dessler in mind, let us examine the words found in the Siddur Etz Chaim (page 46a). There it states that fulfilling this practice of learning all night makes it as if we ourselves received the Torah when we hear the Krias HaTorah of Shavuos. It is therefore, as if we were actually there at Har Sinai on the actual day of Matan Torah itself.


WHAT TO LEARN?


The question is, however, what should one learn? There is a special Tikkun Lail Shavuos that much of Klal Yisroel studies each Shavuos night. It encompasses Torah, Neviim, Ksuvim, Midrashim, and certain mystical parts of Torah. The Tikkun was established by the AriZal HaKadosh. And here is exactly where the controversy begins.


THE GREAT DEBATE


The Shlah HaKadosh (Tractate Shvuos 47) writes that this order of what to learn has become a Minhag in Klal Yisroel and this is what we should all certainly learn. The Shvus Yaakov, however, (Chok Yaakov 494) writes that this Tikkun was only enacted for the masses of people, and those that are capable of doing so should learn their own study regimen.


What is the common custom? Chassidim generally learn the Tikkun, but, generally speaking, Litvaks generally learn their own study regimen. Although, both the Steipler Gaon zt”l and lehavdil bain chaim l’chaim Rav Chaim Kanievsky actually did the Tikkun Leil Shavuos (See Teshuvos Rav Chaim #216). The Sefer Tefilah K’Hilchasa rules that an Avel, a mourner, recites the Tikun Lail Shavuos.


Sefardim also generally learn the Tikkun, particularly because the Chida writes (Lev David 31) that one should do so. Indeed, he writes that a group of people who changed the study regimen to studying the Rambam did the wrong thing. He compares what they did to building a Bamah – an unauthorized sacrificial platform.


MINHAG IN LITVISH YESHIVOS


The minhag in virtually all of the Litvish Yeshivos, however, is to study what the Yeshiva itself studies during the regular Zman. What about the Chida’s point against the group of people that studied the Rambam? We should note that this group created a new regimen for Shavuos. They did not continue their regular yearly regimen. Our Yeshivos, however, are continuing their regular regimens.


It is interesting to note that the Vilna Gaon himself learned the Arizal’s special Shavuos regimen. It is also interesting to note that in the time of Rav Aharon Kotler zatzal in Lakewood there were many bochurim that learned Torah on both nights of Shavuos.


So what should one be studying on this night? The Gemorah tells us (Avodah Zarah 19a) that a person does not learn except for where his heart desires. The Yeshivos should therefore continue their practice, and the places that study the Tikkun should continue their practice too.


The author can be reached at yairhoffman2@gmail.com

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The City Council of Lérida, Spain, last Friday rejected a motion to boycott Israelis and companies doing business with Israel. The Lawfare Project, a think tank describing itself as the “legal arm of the pro-Israel community,” said it “provided court decisions and legal reasoning, which were discussed during the council’s debate, demonstrating that the boycott motion was unconstitutional and in breach of anti-discrimination laws.” Angeles Ribes, a member of the City Council, affirmed that “boycotts by public offices are simply illegal.” Last November, The Lawfare Project took legal action that successfully reversed a decision to boycott Israel by a different Spanish city council, in Sant Adrià de Besòs.
Researchers at Israel’s Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) announced the development of a new treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The lethal neurodegenerative disorder causes deterioration in the brain and spinal cord’s motor nerve cells, leading to atrophy, paralysis and eventually death caused by a complete breakdown of the respiratory muscles. BGU researcher Dr. Rachel Lichtenstein has developed a new method for slowing the advancement of ALS by successfully redesigning a segment of FDA-approved drug MabThera—used to treat autoimmune diseases and certain types of cancer—into a new molecule for treating ALS. “Our experimental results on ALS transgenic mice showed a significant increase in life...
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A soon-to-be graduate of Ryerson University’s has revealed she was barred in the summer of 2015 by the Toronto institution’s School of Social Work from being placed with two local Jewish organizations because a staffer claimed both of the groups had a “strong anti-Palestinian lean.” Rebecca Katzman — a former president of Ryerson’s Students Supporting Israel chapter — has released the email exchange she had with Heather Bain, a field program coordinator, regarding Katzman’s desire to be assigned to either the United Jewish Appeal Federation of Greater Toronto (UJA) or the Prosserman Jewish Community Center (JCC). Bain claimed the Jewish groups’ principles “seem to be in opposition to the v...
As the fiftieth anniversary of Israel’s reunification of Jerusalem during the June 1967 Six-Day War approaches, a bipartisan group of legislators is stepping up the pressure on President Donald Trump to fulfill his campaign promise to move the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to the Jewish state’s capital. Christian religious leaders are also centrally involved in the push. Their position was laid out in a May 16 open letter to Trump — signed by 60 prominent Evangelical leaders — which urged that the US “honor its strongest and only true democratic ally in the Middle East by respecting its capital city — Jerusalem — and immediately moving the US Embassy there.” A Jerusalem Day event on Capitol Hill last week brought together Dem...
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Senior security officials in Germany said Monday they are optimistic about intelligence sharing with the United States and Britain, despite friction in other policy areas in recent months. Speaking at a gathering of intelligence experts in Berlin, Germany’s top security official said cooperation with the Trump administration was “excellent” when it came to combating terrorism. While a meeting in Sicily exposed deep differences between the United States and other members of the Group of Seven on issues such as climate change and trade, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said there was relative unanimity when it came to joint anti-terrorism measures. “The issue of security brings everyone together,” he said. De Maiziere’s comments echoed those of Ger...
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