BJL Breaking News
Shiva Asar BTammuz (Nidche): Sunday, July 21, 2019 - Baltimore: Fast begins: 4:18AM Fast Ends: 9:14PM
Pinchas is celebrated for his courageous intervention and is lavishly rewarded with priesthood. Indeed, special circumstances call for special measures and his intrusion into this debacle halts a raging plague which had already claimed 24,000 lives. Moreover, his actions terminate a public desecration or Chilul Hashem preventing the type of religious freefall which had subverted the march to Israel forty years earlier. Yet, even Pinchas was almost reprimanded by the local courts in recognition of the danger of his extra-legal maneuver.  The Talmud Yerushalmi asserts that procedures to ex...
PINNED
Scroll for more news
Baltimore, MD - July 17, 2019 - You know that we distribute food packages before Shabbos to community members in need. But do you know about the other services we provide?Noson (Nunny) Weisbord asked a few Jewish Baltimore community members this question. Watch and find out all the ways Ahavas Yisrael supports our community...then support us on July 23rd at Baltimore at its Best: Ahavas Yisrael Charidy Campaign 2019!
Baltimore, MD – July 21, 2019 - It is with sadness that BaltimoreJewishLife.com informs the community of the petirah of Mr. Sol Rosenstein, z’l, husband of Mrs. Beverly Rosenstein and father of Mrs. Naomi Meisler, Ms. Debbie Rosenstein and Mrs. Rebecca Goldblatt. Shiva is being observed at 2709 Summerson, Baltimore, MD, 21209.Visiting hours: 9 am - 12 pm, 2 pm - 5 pm, 7 pm - 9 pm.Bila HaMaves LaNetzach…
Washington - U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday stepped up his attacks on four liberal Democrats in Congress, all women of color who have criticized his policies, calling on them to apologize as he himself faced charges of racism. “I don’t believe the four Congresswomen are capable of loving our Country. They should apologize to America (and Israel) for the horrible (hateful) things they have said,” Trump said in a Twitter post. Trump ignited controversy last weekend when he tweeted that the Democratic congresswomen should “go back” to where they came from if they do not like the United States. Three of the lawmakers - U.S. Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan - were born in...
No conversation about the world’s massive political and economic changes since 2015 is complete without mentioning the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, developed by Lockheed Martin. That became even clearer this week thanks to a somewhat cheeky statement by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in response to Iran’s provocative moves in the Persian Gulf and other threats from Tehran. Standing in front of an F-35 jet parked at an Israeli Air Force base, Netanyahu barely held back a smile as he said that Israel can reach Iran, but Iran cannot reach Israel. He didn’t add the words “undetected by radar,” but it was surely implied. To understand why that soundbite with the visual backdrop was more than just bluster, you have trace the F-35′s incr...
It is with great sadness that Matzav.com reports the passing of Rabbi Yitzchok Wenger z”l. Rabbi Wenger z”l was a longtime resident of Lakewood, NJ, and served as an administrator at the Lakewood Cheder for many years. Rabbi Wenger maintained a close relationship with Bais Medrash Govoah and its roshei yeshiva, with a particularly close kesher to the late noted posek, Rav Gavriel Finkel, with whom he is pictured in a photo below. Rabbi Wenger was a talmid chochom and oheiv Torah who demonstrated his ahavas haTorahthrough his days spent immersed in limud haTorah. His love for rabbonim and bnei Torah was evident in his deference for them and his respect for others. He and his wife, ...
Read More
Northern Gaza Strip - Teams have begun to take preparatory measurements and actions in an area in the northern Gaza Strip designated for a US-founded and funded hospital. The Qatari delegation currently in Gaza has brought up the issue with the Hamas leadership in Gaza, but various factions have expressed opposition to the new medical facility. The hospital will be established in proximity to the Erez Crossing into Israel, and Qatar is expected to help fund the construction as well.  The hospital will be run by volunteers from the US and other countries. The hospital will provide treatment for cancer patients and will feature 16 other new wards, but several factions are still opposing its establishment. Israel has recently decided to take the equipment it deployed in the field hosp...
Amid increasing turmoil in the Golf region involving Washington, London and Tehran, Hezbollah forces have begun redeploying forces along the Israeli-Lebanon border, as well as the Israeli-Syrian border more to the east, reported Saturday morning the American Daily Beast. Several anonymous fighters and an officer of the Hezbollah Lebanese-based terrorist organization were cited in the Daily Beast, saying their organization is hurting from sanctions and is ready to initiate force against Israel — if given the green light by the Islamic Republic of Iran. “The sanctions now have us preparing for dealing with the Israeli front,” said a Hezbollah officer, named as “Commander Samir” in the report, and was claimed to be in charge of 800 fighters. “We will fire...
Berkeley Heights, NJ - A top White House adviser on Sunday claimed there was a “huge difference” between Donald Trump’s criticisms of America during the 2016 presidential campaign and the critiques by four Democratic congresswomen of color with whom Trump is feuding over the direction of the country. Trump’s words, according to Stephen Miller, were part of a political campaign to put America first and were not intended to sow discord, while the first-term lawmakers are bent on expressing “anti-American sentiment.” Miller, during a television interview, was shown several video clips of then-candidate Trump lambasting the United States, calling Barack Obama “the most ignorant president in our history” and saying “nobody respects us.&rdq...
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, is returning to the Mideast at month’s end to promote the administration’s $50 billion economic support plan for the Palestinians that they’ve rejected because it ignores their political demands. Kushner outlined the plan’s ambitious investment and development goals at a Bahrain conference last month. It relies heavily on private sector investment in the West Bank, Gaza as well as Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon. The plan acknowledges its success depends on completing a long-elusive Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. Trump has cut aid and political support to the Palestinians. Critics say that shows his administration’s pro-Israel bias. The U.S. has also refuse...
Parsha Hashavua
Parshas Pinchas - Preserving Zeal

Pinchas is celebrated for his courageous intervention and is lavishly rewarded with priesthood. Indeed, special circumstances call for special measures and his intrusion into this debacle halts a raging plague which had already claimed 24,000 lives. Moreover, his actions terminate a public desecration or Chilul Hashem preventing the type of religious freefall which had subverted the march to Israel forty years earlier.


Yet, even Pinchas was almost reprimanded by the local courts in recognition of the danger of his extra-legal maneuver.  The Talmud Yerushalmi asserts that procedures to excommunicate Pinchas had already commenced at which point G-d, by declaring rewards for Pinchas, validated this heroism. The very same Yerushalmi records that Pinchas’ decision was discrepant with the conventional will of the Chachamim – a statement which creates further ambiguity about this decision. Even the celebrated zealot or kanai such as Pinchas is treated with ambivalence by Chazal-and for good reason!


Civilized society generally frowns upon vigilantism and zealotry. Snap justice carried out by lone individuals can plunge society into chaos and launch cycles of violence and revenge. Organized judiciary systems are established precisely to assure due process and to provide deliberate and accurate prosecution of crimes. Self-appointed vigilantes are discouraged not only because their interventions may be hasty and erroneous. Their self-initiated justice – even when accurate-imperils the entire system of law and order.


However, as dangerous as zealotry may be and as destructive as lone-wolf vigilantism is to social order, there is also a danger of social and religious apathy. A zealot cares and cares deeply about his values and their possible erosion. True, his passion overcomes his judgment and it provokes dangerous and socially corrosive behavior. However, it is myopic to criticize the unhealthy expressions of a zealot while ignoring the deep passion and profound conviction which underlie this behavior. As we discourage zealotry, do we also dismiss zeal? In condemning vigilantism are we scorning vigilance? In our justifiable recoil from unrestrained “kana’ut” do we adopt a quieter and more listless approach of ideological indifference?


Not only does a Pinchas care deeply about his own values but he also views his life as interconnected with his community – which in this instance is spiraling. Others may have ignored these deplorable ‘sinners’ allowing them to wallow in their own appetites and meet their inevitable Divine fate. For Pinchas, this disaster is personal as this circus-like spectacle is desecrating the Divine presence and disfiguring their shared fabric of religious experience. When we oppose vigilantism and adopt a “live and let live “approach, are we, in reality, severing ourselves from the commonplace and secluding ourselves from the shared experience?


Someone who hurls a stone at a Shabbat violator has crossed terrible red lines and has also violated multiple halachot. This type of violence and similar hostile measures are intolerable and justifiably cause revulsion. However, in our haste to revile this behavior do we check our own “passion temperature”? Are we able to summon similar levels of passion and a similar sense of shared experience, while carefully modulating our responses and sentiments so that they aren’t violent or abusive? Do we stream our experience collectively so that we sense deep disappointment when some members of that collective betray our cherished values and compromise that shared experience?


It is a delicate but important question- precisely because zeal can easily morph into hostile zealotry coupled with strident judgementalism and cocky dismissiveness. Below are a few guidelines to help differentiate between healthy ‘internal zealousness’ and dangerous dismissiveness and negativity:


1)    Anger or Sadness


Angry people are often looking for easy targets to vent their anger and frustration and very few targets are as ‘easy’ as perceived religious waywards. If the driving emotions of our zealous thoughts are anger and antagonism, it is likely that our zealous passions are, in reality, masking ugly anger and smugness. Anger and self-righteousness can never be justified and they can never serve a holy purpose. By contrast, if the internal zealousness is rooted in sadness or in disappointment it is more often a sincere manifestation of deep conviction and a sense of shared experience. Discerning between anger and sadness is an important barometer in life in many delicate moral situations.


2)    Is the Zealot Himself a Hypocrite


There is an old expression: “scratch a Saint find a sinner” ! Though this is a generalization, it does reflect a tendency of some to cover their own religious blemishes by spewing religious venom at others – specifically for the faults which they secretly harbor. In fact, Chazal remark that many were mocking Pinchas by highlighting the idolatrous background of his maternal grandfather Yitro. As he emerged from this pagan world, he was hardly the person to critique those who were drawn to this mess.  Zealous sentiments are noble when they don’t reflect an attempt to compensate for personal flaws but are sensed by a person who is immune to the failures he witnesses in others and which sadden him. Recognizing our own lack of immunity often cools otherwise zealous thoughts.


3)    Overall Body of Work


We can often gauge the ‘validity’ of zealotry by studying the overall “body of work”.  The Satmar sect of Chassidim are virulently opposed to the formation of the Jewish State based on the teachings of the original Satmar Rebbe in his sefer Va’yoel Moshe. It should be stressed that though opposed to the State of Israel, Satmar chassidim overwhelmingly reject the despicable actions of a small minority of renegade Satmars who actively align with our worst enemies. Their general opposition to the State of Israel may cause many supporters of Israel great resentment. Yet, anyone who has spent even a weekend in a NY area hospital can attest to the remarkable chesed extended by the Satmar chassidim to any needy Jew. Satmar is astoundingly devoted to ahavas yisrael, as evidence by their hospital activities. As part and parcel of that devotion they are passionately resolved against the State which they see as thwarting Jewish redemption. Though opposed to their position it should not be difficult to appreciate their caring.


Uncharacteristically, Pinchas is traced back two generations to his grandfather Aaron. Perhaps this frames his zealousness in a similar fashion. His grandfather set the tone for the Cohen profile - caring devoted public servants who relentlessly pursued the common welfare and public harmony. This caring led one member of their family to a passionate response to a public and offensive display of sexual misconduct. This was an act of caring even though it skirted the classic judicial channels.


We are far removed from a world in which a Pinchas –type response would be imaginable. Furthermore, active zealousness in the age of religious and ideological differentiation would be harmful. However, we cannot mistake lack of response for lack of passion and lack of intervention for lack of conviction.

Read More
BOSTON (AP) — The East Coast on Sunday sweated through another day of heat and humidity in a stretch of weather so oppressive that a New Jersey drawbridge got stuck, Pennsylvania firefighters suffered from heat exhaustion and police departments from New York City to suburban Boston implored residents — and criminals — to play it safe. “Sunday has been canceled,” the NYPD jokingly tweeted . “Stay indoors, nothing to see here. Really, we got this.” The central part of the country, meanwhile, enjoyed some relief as a cold front moved steadily southward and eastward across the country, bringing down the temperatures. But the cooler weather settling in Monday and Tuesday will also bring severe storms and heavy rain that could cause flash flo...
Mr. Rick Perry, Secretary of Energy of the United States, came with his wife for a visit to the Western Wall and the Western Wall Tunnels to begin his official and first visit to the State of Israel. The Rabbi of the Western Wall and Holy Sites, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, greeted the Secretary along with the Israel’s Minister of Energy, Dr. Yuval Steinitz, and the Director of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, Mr. Mordechai (Suli) Eliav. The Rabbi recited Psalms Chapter 121 together with the Secretary who also placed a note between the stones of the Western Wall. The Rabbi of the Western Wall told the Secretary that there was great symbolism to his visit falling on a day when we mark the fast of the 17 of Tamuz and the beginning of the “Three Weeks” when the Jewish na...
SimchasSimchas Simcha
Jerusalem - Yad Vashem is in the process of organizing a major event in January that aspires to bring a number of world leaders, including US President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron, to Jerusalem to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. The Jerusalem Post has learned that acording to the plan, the leaders would arrive in Israel on January 26, spend one night here, and take part in an event at Yad Vashem called the World Holocaust Forum the next day. In addition to Trump and Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will also be invited, as will the prime minister of Britain. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau might also participate. It is not immediately clear whether Russian President Vladimir Putin will be involved. Earlier this month, Putin &nd...
Detroit - There’s a new target in the clash over immigration: hotels. Advocacy groups and unions are pressuring Marriott, MGM and others not to house migrants who have been arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers. The U.S. government has occasionally detained migrants in hotels for decades and says it might have to split up families if hotels don’t help. It’s the latest example of a private industry caught in the political fray of an overtaxed immigration system. American and United Airlines said last year they didn’t want to fly migrant children separated from their parents. Greyhound told authorities to stop dropping off immigrants inside its bus stations. More recently, immigration groups have criticized Enterprise for renting vans to federal ...
Nichum AveilimNichum Aveilim Aveilim
Hong Kong - Hong Kong police fired tear gas to disperse protesters in chaotic scenes late on Sunday as anger over an extradition bill morphs into a fresh front against what many see as a broader erosion of freedoms by the city’s political masters in Beijing. Thousands of protesters descended on China’s representative office in the city, in a direct challenge to authorities in Beijing, just hours after the latest protest to rock the Asian financial central over the extradition bill. Millions have taken to the streets in the past two months in an unprecedented show of force against Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, triggering the worst social turmoil to rock the former British colony since it returned to Chinese rule 22 years ago. Black-clad activists, many wearing masks, defied po...
Washington - The top Democrat on the U.S. House Judiciary Committee said Sunday he believes there is “substantial evidence” that President Donald Trump committed high crimes and misdemeanors, and he plans to ask former Special Counsel Robert Mueller to present those facts at a congressional hearing on Wednesday. “The report presents very substantial evidence that the president is guilty of high crime and misdemeanors, and we have to let Mueller present those facts to the American people and then see where we go from there,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler said on “Fox News Sunday.” “The administration must be held accountable, and no president can be above the law.” Nadler’s comments are significant because evidence...
Job Listings Jobs
Ex-Justice Minister assumes control of the New Right party, calls for alliance with United Right as polls show joint list winning 12 seats. Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked will lead the New Right party, former Education Minister and incumbent New Right chairman Naftali Bennett announced at a party meeting Sunday evening, with plans for Shaked to lead a joint ticket with the United Right party. Speaking at an event hall in Kfar Maccabiah Sunday night, Shaked announced that she had taken control of the New Right. “There was no right-wing party running in the next election led by a woman – but now there is,” Shaked told party activists. Emphasizing unity on the Right, Shaked called for an alliance of parties to the right of the Likud. “Just now we’re ending t...
Minneapolis, MN - President Donald Trump can tell Rep. Ilhan Omar to “go back” to Somalia all he wants. All indications suggest she’s not going anywhere. Safely entrenched in liberal, urban districts, Omar and most of her fellow “squad” mates of progressive Democrats have been posting impressive fundraising numbers, so far scaring away serious primary challenges and quieting some critics on their home turf. While their leftist policies and uncompromising tactics may roil Democratic leaders and draw Trump’s fire, they’ve only bolstered their standing at home. The squad is poised to be a foil for Trump and a complication for Democratic leaders. “We are going to continue to be a nightmare to this president because his policies are a nightmare ...
Classifieds Classifieds
UPDATE: Police Chief Glenn M. O'Reilly announced the arrests of 21-year-old Matthew Davis, 23-year-old Michael Davis, and 21-year-old Tyrell Culver, all of Teaneck, all charged with harassment. TEANECK, New Jersey (WABC) -- Three people are being questioned after police say a group used water pistols to spray worshipers outside a New Jersey synagogue last week, hurling anti-Semitic slurs when they were asked to stop.The incident, being investigated as a possible hate crime, happened just before 9 p.m. on Friday, July 12, as worshipers left Young Israel of Teaneck.Deputy Mayor Elie Katz posted on Facebook that the suspects were in a silver Honda Accord, taking videos and shooting water guns at people walking out of the prayer service.Katz said the unknown liquid was dark and was shock...
Uplift Yourself With This Amazing NEW Film! Hear His Story…Connect With This Unique Gadol. Watch NOW Pillar of Truth is the compelling life story of HaRav Yaakov Weinberg zt”l  Rosh HaYeshiva, Yeshivas Ner Yisroel. Produced by the Torah Legacy Foundation. Watch the Trailer His warmth and unique approach impacted thousands. Rav Weinberg zt”l was a kiruv pioneer who made the beauty of Torah accessible to people from all walks of life!  Find out why his brother, Rav Noach Weinberg zt"l, founder of Aish HaTorah, viewed him as his rebbe and the rebbe of Klal Yisroel! Watch the Film Now!  17 B’Tamuz, is his 20th Yahrzeit Experience a PILLAR OF TRUTH!   For Men & Women "This superb film captures the original q...
More articles