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Baltimore, MD - Sept. 26, 2021 - The Bikur Cholim vaccine clinic will be open tonight Sunday, September 26th from 8:30-9:30 and in addition to offering 1st and 2nd doses of Pfizer and Moderna and single doses of J&J, we will also be offering additional booster doses of Pfizer according to the current CDC guidelines.Booster doses (at least 6 months after second doses) of Pfizer-only are currently recommended for:● people 65 years and older and residents in long-term care settings,● people aged 50–64 years with underlying medical conditions,● people aged 18–49 years with un...
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Baltimore, MD - Sept. 20, 2021 - Due to the COVID-19 uptick, the Hatzalah Monoclonal Antibody infusion center is open again with 24/7 service.  With the expansion of the FDA protocols, most people who test positive or who are exposed and not yet positive will qualify for treatment.  Early treatment is essential for best outcome.  Call HOB MAB line 24/7 including shabbos and YT at 410-585-0054 option 2 for more info or visit BJLCovid for more information or to register.
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Baltimore, MD - Aug. 26, 2021  - Baltimore Jewish Community Covid Testing Schedule for the Upcoming Yomim Tovim Season: Aseres Yimei Teshuva: Thursday Sept. 9 - Tuesday Sept.14 - Regular Testing Schedule. Motzaei Shabbos Sept. 11- 9:30pm-10pm Wed., Sept.15 - Erev Yom Kippur - 9:30AM -11:00 AM Motzaei Yom Kippur – Sept. 16 - No Testing Friday Sept. 17 -  Regular Testing Schedule Motzaei Shabbos Sept.18 - 9:30PM -10:00PM Sunday Sept.19 Regular Testing Schedule Sukkos: Monday, Sept. 20 Erev Sukkos - 9:30AM-11:00AM Wed. night Sept. 22 - Motzaei 1st days 930PM -10:00pm Thurs., Sept. 23 - Chol Hamoed 9:30AM -11:30AM- No night testing Fri., Sept. 24 - Chol Hamoed 930AM – 11:00AM Motzaei Shabbos Sept. 25 - Chol Hamoed 9:30PM -10:00PM Sunday Sept. 26 - C...
Denver, CO - Sept. 26, 2021 - 4th day Chol HaMoaid Sukkos 5782 - The weather could not have been more appropriate for a Denver Daf Yomi siyum on Masechta Sukkos which took place this morning at the home of Effie & Simmie Sonstein in the Southeast section of the city. One of the magidei shiur, Rabbi Dovid Gertz, delivered  divrei chizuk and bracha. The Hadran was said in unison by the chabura consisting of Effie Sonstein, Rick Gershater, Dimitri Kaufman , Rabbi Shaya Greiniman, and Reuven Wortrich. Also in attendance were R’ Zvi Gelt, who also delivered divrei Torah and divrei chizuk, Yaakov Watkins, Kerry Berman and Steve Shapiro, Moishe Gertz, Shragie Gertz, Yair Greiniman, Yedidya Schiermeyer, and Moshe Tuchman. The chabura was honored by the presence of Rosh Kollel ...
The IDF is bracing for a possible barrage of rocket fire from the Gaza Strip later on Sunday in response to the deaths of at least five Palestinians in a wave of Israeli arrest operations across the West Bank.  Two IDF soldiers were injured and five Palestinians were killed during clashes in a series of anti-Hamas operations across the West Bank. The wave of arrests in five different locations in the West Bank targeted a Hamas cell that Israeli security forces had been tracking for several days and was planning an attack. The raids were led by the Duvdevan counter-terrorism unit as well as the Israel Police and Border Police YAMAM and YAMAS counter-terrorism units and the Shin Bet security services. IDF sources said that it was possible that Hamas would decide to fire ...
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Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas condemned the killing of five Hamas terrorists in shootouts with IDF forces Sunday. “These crimes are the continuation of an ongoing series of violations and field executions of our people. Should this policy continue, it will cause the situation to explode," Abbas stated. An IDF officer and soldier were seriously wounded in one of the shootouts, which occurred during operations to prevent an imminent attack by Hamas terrorists in Judea and Samaria. The IDF said that the circumstances of the incident would be investigated. The wounded were evacuated for medical treatment at a hospital and their condition is defined as serious. Notices of the situation were given to their families. The officer and soldier were shot by the te...
The Chief of the General Staff of the Israeli military, LTG Aviv Kohavi, lauded Israeli forces for their efforts against a Hamas terrorist cell in Samaria, saying the recent operation foiled planned attacks on Israeli targets. On Sunday, Kohavi visited the IDF Judea and Samaria Division headquarters, following the gunfight with Hamas terrorists in the village of in Bruqin in Samaria overnight which left two soldiers, including one officer, seriously wounded. During the visit, the commanders briefed Kohavi about the incident, and conducted a situational assessment in which the latest developments in the region and troop readiness for various scenarios were discussed. Kohavi said the Israeli operation managed to thwart a number of planned “serious” terror attack...
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas admitted Sunday that the vast majority of Haitian migrants who crossed the southern U.S. border in recent weeks have already been released into the United States, and it is possible that more will follow them. So far, approximately 12,400 of the people are having their cases heard by immigration judges, while another 5,000 are being processed by the Department of Homeland Security. Currently,, only 3,000 are in detention. "Approximately, I think it's about ten thousand or so, twelve thousand," Mayorkas told "Fox News Sunday" when asked how many have already been released. He then acknowledged that this number could very well go up as the 5,000 other cases are processed. "It could be even higher. The number that are re...
Updated Health Ministry guidance for recovered coronavirus patients takes effect on October 3 A Covid-19 vaccine dose will be necessary from October 3 for patients who have been infected with the coronavirus, six months after the positive result of the screening test, the Israeli Health Ministry announced on Sunday. The "green passport" will be considered valid only after the jab. The certificate shows the completed vaccination schedule that allows for entry to sporting events, restaurants, hotels, gyms, tourist attractions and other venues that must comply with the government directive.
Parsha Hashavua
Succos/Simchas Torah 5782

The YomTov of Succos represents multiple ideas within the Torah and the Mepharshim.  The Torah tells us that the Chag recalls how we lived in these makeshift houses as we left Mitzrayim. (Behar 23:43)  The Gemara questions whether we are commemorating the actual “houses” in which we lived temporarily or whether we are really referring to the Ananei Hakovod which divinely protected us when we were in the Midbar.  (Gemara Succah, 11b) Either way, The Gemara concludes we are recalling an event which took place in Nissan, around the same time as Pesach, immediately after Yitzias Mitzrayim, Indeed, Chazal say that Succos would be more appropriately celebrated in the spring but we shifted it to the fall so it would not appear that it was simply a comfortable time to construct an outdoor dwelling.  Rather, we are doing so when it is unusual, so our purpose is clear.


It’s interesting how everyone agrees that Pesach and Succos are largely commemorating the same events - leaving Mitzrayim, yet the Torah’s instructions of how we are to mark and celebrate these two Moadim are significantly different.  Pesach has a Seder, complete with Lechem Ani and Marror to remind us of the bitterness of Shibud Mitzrayim.  In fact, a cornerstone of Pesach is the idea of “Zecher” to remember how difficult things were for us in Mitzrayim.  In contrast, it is only in connection with Succos where we are instructed “L’maan Yeiduh Ledoroseichem” – so that future generations should know. (Behar, 23:43) Moreover, Pesach is commemorated as Zman Cheiruseinu – the time of our freedom, whereas Succos is marked as Zman Simchaseinu – the time of our celebration. 


Simchas Torah adds another layer of mystery to our YomTov.  First, we already have a Moed devoted to receiving the Torah – it is called Shavuos.  Biblically, Shavuos marks the counting of the days to the Korban Omer but by rabbinical decree we have long co-joined the celebration of receiving the Torah to Shavuos since they are close to the same date.[1]  Why then would the Rabbonim have devoted another YomTov to celebrating the Torah and connect it to Succos and Shmini Atzeres?[2]


The fact is that we would be Mshubud to Hashem on the basis of Yitzias Mitzrayim alone.  For that matter, we would be Mshubud on the basis of Briyas HaOlam.  But as we have seen so well over the generations, being Mshubud is not enough for everyone, particularly our youth who are prone to impulsiveness and a “what’s in it for me NOW” mentality.  Pesach is critical as it establishes our historic debt to Hashem and unified us as a people.  We MUST remember where we came and come from. Zecher. But perhaps our Chachomim knew that may not be enough.  The Torah cannot simply be a set of rules of what we must do and can’t do.  Its staying power is in the Simcha that living a Torah life brings.  The achdus of its people, the common love of Eretz Yisroel, the families and communities which are created by living according to its dictates.  That has appeal to everyone. 


Shavuos and Kabbalas Hatorah was where our lives as Torah Jews began.  But the Torah itself tells us that L’maan Yeiduh L’doroseichem requires Simcha.  Succos and Simchas Torah  are that part of the equation. 


Yes, when we go into the Succah we are commemorating the shelter which Hashem provided us in the Midbar.  But we are celebrating his love for us, not simply remembering it.  We are celebrating with each other – with our families and friends, not simply living amongst each other.  We leave our houses, our computers, our telephones and spend eight days enjoying the YomTov with those that we love.  We take the Arba Minim, all symbols of our bountiful harvest.  Indeed, we have much to be thankful for and the Torah prescribes a time to stop and recognize it.  Finally, we are ready for Simchas Torah – not Shavuos where we mark receiving the Torah by staying up and learning all night but by rejoicing our lives as Torah Jews.  By appreciating the time out to be with family, literally immersed in the Succah and the associated Simcha. 


Yitzias mitzrayim and Kabbalas Hatorah were great world altering moments.  Hashem and our Chachomim foresaw that it had to mean much more for future generations to have a small semblance of the gift which we received.  That gift was a guide for living fulfilling and happy lives in the service of Hashem.  Not just a guide for serving Hashem but a guide for us to find true joy in that pursuit.







[1] The giving of the Torah actually took place on either     Sivan or Sivan.




[2] The YomTov of Simchas Torah was a relatively recent enactment when we changed the cycle of concluding the entire Torah every three years to the now current annual basis.



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The YomTov of Succos represents multiple ideas within the Torah and the Mepharshim.  The Torah tells us that the Chag recalls how we lived in these makeshift houses as we left Mitzrayim. (Behar 23:43)  The Gemara questions whether we are commemorating the actual “houses” in which we lived temporarily or whether we are really referring to the Ananei Hakovod which divinely protected us when we were in the Midbar.  (Gemara Succah, 11b) Either way, The Gemara concludes we are recalling an event which took place in Nissan, around the same time as Pesach, immediately after Yitzias Mitzrayim, Indeed, Chazal say that Succos would be more appropriately celebrated in the spring but we shifted it to the fall so it would not appear that it was simply a comfortable time to co...
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