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Jewish history shines its light on many a woman of valor and their great sacrifices to assure the survival of the Jewish home.  As we recognize that one of the greatest challenges to the Jewish home and nation was the Shoah, with all its ramifications, one must be, as I am, humbled by all the mothers (and fathers) who, in pursuit of the  American Dream, deemed it their responsibility as first generation Americans to rebuild. They imbued their children,with that mission as well.  Many of these women, who did not know aleph-beis themselves, were never...
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Baltimore, MD - Aug. 5, 2020: Tomorrow’s (Thursday) Dinner Distribution will be from 4-6pm. DO NOT arrive before 3:45pm.It has come to our attention that individuals have been coming to TA early and taking advantage of an earlier dinner distribution that is NOT OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, but is open only to our TA Camp parents, as they are picking up their campers during carpool dismissal. Please note that having non-camp parents come onto campus before 3:45pm poses a serious safety risk to our campers and staff. Please be courteous and respectful of our camp needs as we run our carpool dismissal in a safe and efficient manner. B"H there are plenty of meals for all between the hours of 4-6pm. Anyone arriving to TA before 3:45pm for dinner pickup, who is not a TA Camp parent, will be asked ...
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Baltimore, MD - Aug. 4, 2020: BNOS MENU Grape Juice, Sliced Deli, Fresh Rye Bread, Hot Dogs, Hot Dog Buns, Corn On The Cob, French Fries, Pickles, Pizza Bagels, Yogurt, Cereal, Chips, Treats, Milk, etc.SCHEDULE:Wed Night - PLEASE DO NOT ARRIVE BEFORE 8 PM or you may be turned awayWed 8PM -10PM   - Cars picking up 1 to 4 mealsTHURS PLEASE DO NOT ARRIVE BEFORE 11 AM or you may be turned away 11:00-12:30 - Cars picking up 1-7 meals2:30 - 4:30 - Cars picking up any number of mealsExtra pickup slot7-9 pmLOCATION MMAE 7000 Rockland Hills Drive DriveDIRECTIONSDrive north on Greenspring. Make a right on Sugarcone, Left on Pheasant cross, Right on Rockland hills, Right into MMAE. When leaving, turn right from the shul to the traffic circle.
  As lawmakers continue to debate on financial assistance for out-of-work Americans, weekly jobless claims top 1 million for the 20th straight week. Just under 1.2 million people filed for unemployment benefits for the first time last week, a decline from the past two weeks but still the 20th straight week of claims above 1 million. The weekly total of 1.186 million is lower than economist predictions of 1.4 million claims. The weekly data, released Thursday by the Department of Labor, comes ahead of Friday's highly anticipated monthly jobs report, which offers a more comprehensive — though backward-looking — assessment of the labor market. While the unemployment rate is expected to have fallen to around 10.6 percent, recent layoffs by busin...
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Most recent Statements/letters/etc. from the Baltimore Vaad HaRabbanimVaad HaRabbanim Of Baltimore: "Despite Our Diligent Efforts And Vigilance Locally, We Have Had A Slow Trickle Of New Cases In The Past 2 Weeks That Raises Concern." [July 2, 2020]Vaad HaRabbanim Of Baltimore: "Those Shuls Which Are Able To Open In A Manner Deemed Safe May Do So Already For Shabbos" (June 19) Vaad HaRabbanim of Baltimore: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Yesterday’s Vaad Harabanim Letter [June 11, 2020]Vaad HaRabbonim Of Baltimore: A Smorgasbord of Good News (June 10, 2020)  Baltimore's Vaad HaRabbanim: Please Make Sure to Vote This Tuesday (May 31, 2020 3:03 PM)  Vaad HaRabbonim Of Baltimore: Guidance For Hosting Company for Shavuos 5780 (May 24, 2020)Vaad HaRabbanim Of Baltimo...
Flooding has already been reported Thursday, according to the National Weather Service. Baltimore, MD - Aug. 6, 2020 - 8:35 AM - A flood warning has been issued for parts of Baltimore County and Baltimore City due to flooding reported by law enforcement Thursday morning, according to the National Weather Service. The flood warning is in effect until 11:30 a.m., and a flash flood watch has been issued through midnight due to the potential for several inches of rain throughout the day. Weather officials said flooding was reported in Dundalk and Essex before 7:15 a.m., and these areas may flood during the flood warning period: Baltimore, Middle River, Back River, Dundalk, Essex, Perry Hall, Rosedale, Rossville, White Marsh, Edgemere, Eastpoint and Fullerton. Drivers should turn around &...
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Baltimore, MD - June 19, 2020 - N’shei Agudath Israel of Baltimore Summer Lecture Series.Click on the graphic below for a larger, printable copy
MARYLAND — As one of few states in the country to offer an entire week of tax-free shopping, the Shop Maryland Tax-Free Week starts Sunday and runs through Aug. 15. Any single qualifying article of clothing or footwear priced $100 or less, regardless of how many items are purchased at the same time, will be exempt from the state's six percent sales tax. The first $40 of any backpack purchase also is tax free. Just a few of the many tax exempt items include hats, costumes, clothes, coats, flip flops and some sports items like football pants and baseball gloves. Although commonly associated with back-to-school shopping, Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot noted that the tax-free savings apply to shoppers of all ages. "This is one of my favorite weeks of the year becaus...
Southwest Airlines is no longer disinfecting armrests between flights, as it begins returning to a more normal turnaround schedule. Beginning August 1, Southwest altered its between-flight sanitization policy to focus on bathrooms and tray tables, forgoing seat belts and armrests, which will now be cleaned at night as part of its “six to seven hour” deep clean. The shift in policy was to prioritize high-touch areas while also reportedly minimizing turnaround time. Read more at Fox Business.
New data from the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) reveals the number of calls concerning hand sanitizer products increased by an incredible 70% between Jan. 1 and Aug. 2 of this year. Sadly, more than 12,000 of the new cases involved children age 5 or younger. While no deaths were reported in the AAPCC data, according to Newsweek, 8 people have died in the U.S. after consuming hand sanitizers contaminated with methanol. According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, methanol, also known as wood alcohol, can be toxic if ingested or absorbed through the skin. The Food and Drug Administration has compiled an updated list of recalls for the potentially toxic hand sanitizers. Read more at NEWSMAX.
Parsha Hashavua
Parshas Eikev - Use It or Lose It

“Use it or lose it.” 

It is an admonition we know only too well.  It tells us that if we don’t continually hone a skill, we gradually (or precipitously!) lose the ability to do it – whether “it” is taking a jump shot in basketball, solving differential equations or playing piano concertos.  If we don’t practice our knowledge and skills, they fade.

As in most things, this modern warning is but a weak echo of Torah wisdom!

In Parashat Ekev, we read the second paragraph of the Shema (which was introduced in last week’s parasha).  In the opening paragraph of the Shema, we are told to accept and reaffirm God’s oneness and sovereignty.  In Ekev, the lesson is on the requirement of mitzvah observance; on our obligation to perform all mitzvot with absolute dedication.   Ekev proclaims, vehaya im shamoa ti’shemu – literally, “if you hearken, you will hearken”.   More than the powerful call to serve that is implicit in the pasuk, we are struck by the repetition of the verb, to hearken.  Shamoa ti’shemu.  We have observed on many occasions that no word, no letter, no marking is in Torah except by God’s grace and will.  That being the case, we ask ourselves, what is the purpose for this repetition?

Chazal, cited by Rashi, tell us that the repetition emphasizes a vital principle of Torah learning, im tishma b’yoshon, tishma b’chadash, if you hearken to what you have already learned (by making sure to review over and over) you will hearken to it anew.  As Rashi teaches, by repetition you will gain fresh insights into the Torah you already know

Use it or lose it! 

The converse is also true.   Just as the verb “to hearken” is repeated in our pasuk above, the verb “to forget” is also repeated earlier in EkevV’haya im shakoach tishkach, if you forget, you shall forget.  As Rashi makes clear, once you start to forget, you’ll forget it all!

Rashi tells us, sh’kein ketiv b’Megilah, im ta’azveini yom, yomaim e’ezvecha, as it is written in Megillah, if you forsake me (the Torah) for a day, I will forsake you for two days.  How that lesson has been instilled in our Jewish hearts! 

Ask any group of yeshiva bochurim the most critical point of their yeshiva learning experience and the answer will inevitably be to chazer, to chazer – to review, to review!  The actual learning was important, but it paled alongside the need to constantly return to and review the thing that was learned. 

Without consistent review, there can be no real learning.  Chazal declare that there is no comparison learning one hundred times to learning one hundred and one times. That one more time often brings the deepest insight!

Shamoa tishmeu. 

The lesson is clear, learning without review is not real learning.  Rav Yehoshue ben Korcha teaches in Sanhedrin 99, “Whoever learns Torah, and does not review is to be compared to one who sows and does not harvest.”


V’haya im shamoa.

 Keep reviewing!  Every year, as we complete the reading of the Torah cycle on Simchat Torah what do we do?  We begin the cycle anew! We keep reviewing.

When we complete a tractate of Talmud, we declare Hadran ha’lach – we shall return to you!  Without that return, without that review, we risk losing all.  As Rashi reminds us, “…it states in megillah, im ta’azveini yom yomaim e’ezvecha, if you forsake me for a day, I will forsake you for two days.”  In this, Rashi is expressing a powerful lesson indeed.  But wouldn’t you know that someone was sure to read that Rashi and immediately ask the tangential question, which megilah

Which was the exact question that a yid from the city of Shtefenesht, R’ Zvi Aryeh Kleknir, sent to my grandfather, HaGaon Rav Bezalel Zev Shafran (in Shu’t R’BAZ, Vol. 3, Siman 92)!

R’ Kleknir wanted to know why Rashi neglects to tell us which megilah when he was almost always very specific in his references. 

My grandfather provided a two-part answer.  The first was direct.  Rashi’s reference, my grandfather noted, was Megilat Chasidim, as also appearing in Yerushalmi [end of Berachot], which clearly states, Yom ta’azveini, yomaim e’ezvecha, Leave me for a day, I will leave you for two.

That was the simple part of my grandfather’s response.  The more insightful aspect was when he went on to observe in the second part of his answer that there was a great deal more in Rashi’s response than meets the eye; that the Chasidim of Megilat Chasidim are, in fact, teaching us about something that would likely never even cross our minds in this context.

They speak of how careful one must be to eat three meals, seudot, every Shabbat, as taught in Masechet Shabbat [116b], “One is obligated to eat three meals on Shabbat”.  This, in turn, is based on Shemot 16:5 in which the word hayom appears three times – “Moshe said, eat it [the manna] hayom, for hayom is a Sabbath for Hashem; hayom you shall not find it in the field.” 

My grandfather insightfully explained that the implication of this is that failing to eat any one of the meals required on Shabbat would result in the loss of two days’ worth of parnasah (sustenance) during the week.  This, because each seuda equals two days’ worth of mazon (sustenance), as noted in the Zohar Parashat Yitro [88] in which Rav Yitzchak, referencing Shemot, noted that God commanded us to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy and that God blessed the seventh day.  Of the manna in the desert however, it was written, “Six days shall you gather it, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath, on it there will be none.”

If there was no food given on the Sabbath, what blessing was to be attached to it, the Zohar asks?

The Zohar teaches that all blessing depends on the seventh day and that there was no manna on the seventh day because the six other days derive their blessing from it.  Therefore, the food on the Sabbath table is blessed through the six days of the week. 

The point, my grandfather explained, is that our weekly sustenance and needs were rooted in the manna Jews ate on Shabbat.  During our travels in the midbar, we received a double portion of manna on Erev Shabbat (lechem mishneh) for each of the three seudot.  That is, each Shabbat meal was doubled, equaling six meals which corresponded to the six days of Creation, representing the six days of sustenance for the coming week. 

By partaking of each of the seudot, we were, essentially, “pulling” our needs from above to our world (himshichu mezona l’chol yemot ha’chol).  That being the case, by missing one Shabbat meal yom ta’azveini, the consequence was yomaim e’ezvecha and the equivalent of forfeiting two days’ worth of the week’s sustenance.  That is why, one must be sure to eat all three Shabbat seudot!

And that my grandfather explained, was the lesson of Rashi’s comment on vehaya im shamoa, quoting what it says in megilah, im ta’azveini yom yomaim e’ezvecha.

Just as the need to review and review otherwise we will lose the lessons we have learned, we must be sure to partake of all the seudot God has provided to us or we will lose our sustenance. 

We must use it or lose it.

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Facebook has taken down a post from President Trump’s official page, saying it contained “false claims” related to the novel coronavirus. The post included a video of Trump's interview on "Fox & Friends" early Wednesday morning in which he pushed for schools to resume in-person classes amid the pandemic, stating that young people are "almost immune" to the disease. In a statement first reported by NBC News, a Facebook spokesperson said, “This video includes false claims that a group of people is immune from Covid-19 which is a violation of our policies around harmful Covid misinformation.” Facebook has previously removed Trump campaign advertisements, though Wednesday's action is the first time the ...
Baltimore, MD - Aug. 5, 2020 - BJL wishes a hearty Mazel Tov to Eliyahu Friedman and Estee Friedman on their engagement. Mazel Tov Eluzor & Hadassa Friedman and Mordechai & Blimi Friedman יה"ר שיזכו לבנות בית נאמן בישראל. אמן
SimchasSimchas Simcha
When Rep. Karen Bass’ “friend and mentor” died three years ago, she eulogized the community organizer’s passing in remarks she inserted into the Congressional Record. The California Democrat described Oneil Marion Cannon as a one-man force in progressive politics who became the “union printer to the left” in Los Angeles, where he worked for “interracial and intercultural understanding,” opened a community hub and even once “belonged to the Independent Progressive Party.” Left out of the 406-word eulogy: Cannon was a top member of the Communist Party USA for decades. That omitted detail and her little-noticed 2017 eulogy today takes on outsize importance now that Bass is on Joe Biden&rsquo...
Johnson & Johnson’s Spravato has been approved as the first antidepressant for actively suicidal people, as doctors are becoming increasingly concerned about Covid-19’s effect on the mental health of Americans. The Food and Drug Administration approval means the quick-acting nasal spray will be available to people with suicidal thoughts and a plan to put them into action, said Michelle Kramer, vice president of J&J’s U.S. neuroscience medical-affairs unit. That constitutes 11% to 12% of as many as 17 million Americans who have major depressive disorder. Read more at Bloomberg.
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Democrats are attempting to drive a wedge between President Trump and Senate Republicans in their negotiations over the next coronavirus relief package. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) are employing a divide-and-conquer strategy, betting that Trump’s eagerness for a big COVID-19 bill that could bolster the faltering economy will override Senate GOP concerns about adding trillions more to the federal debt. Democrats say the White House-Senate Republican unity started showing signs of strain last week after administration officials floated a short-term extension of the $600 per week federal enhancement to state unemployment benefits that lapsed on Friday. Read more at The Hill.
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While the state fair is canceled, Maryland officials said an exception is being made for one part of the event. TIMONIUM, MD — The Maryland State Fair will not go on this year. Organizers announced the decision Wednesday afternoon, around three weeks before the annual event was set to go on. More than 500,000 people annually attend the fair, which this year was supposed to run from Aug. 27 to Sept. 7. "Today, it is with heavy hearts that the Board of Directors, management and staff of the Maryland State Fair & Agricultural Society Inc. announce the decision to cancel the 139th Maryland State Fair," Maryland State Fair Board Chairman Gerry L. Brewster said in a statement. The only other time the fair has been canceled was during World War II when the U.S. Army was using the pr...
Rates of dementia have steadily fallen over the past 25 years, specifically in the U.S. and Europe, according to a study released Monday in the journal Neurology, “Twenty-seven-year time trends in dementia incidence in Europe and the United States.” Researchers at Harvard University reviewed data from seven large studies with a total of 49,202 individuals. They found the incidence rate of dementia has declined by 13%, with decreases more profound in men, but only in Europe and the United States. Declines were not seen in Asia, South America or Africa. Read more at NEWSMAX.
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The United States and China have agreed to hold high-level talks on Aug. 15 with the aim of assessing compliance by China with respect to a bilateral trade agreement signed earlier in 2020, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing sources. The talks will include U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, the newspaper reported, adding that they will focus on the phase 1 deal that called for China’s commitment to boost U.S. imports by $200 billion over two years. The talks will be conducted via video conference, according to the newspaper. Read more at NEWSMAX.
Democrats in the US House of Representatives struck down a cut in funding that would be funneled to Shi’ite Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah last week, according to a report by news site The Free Beacon. The legislation would have prevented institutions passing money to Hezbollah from receiving US funding, but was amended just days before terrorists attempted attack on srael’s border with Syria, Tuesday’s report said. Read more at i24NEWS.
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