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United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Yosef Chaim Cohen who lives near King David's Tomb and was one of the first responders at the terror attack reported, "I parked my near my house and heard gunshots and screaming. People ran up to me and shouted, "It's a terror attack, a terror attack. I grabbed my medical equipment and treated three people, two of whom were in serious condition." Another United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Dani Shmueli responded to the second location of the shooting and reported, "This was a difficult scene and it involved a number of injured in various locations. Many of the...
The Federal Aviation Administration said Friday it is allowing Delta Air Lines to cut some flights this summer at John F. Kennedy International and LaGuardia airports in New York, and at Reagan National Airport near Washington. The partial relief for the airline from federal requirements that it use specific time slots at those airports — or face losing them — could undercut some passengers’ summer travel plans, the federal agency said. The FAA said Delta customers should be offered the choice of a refund or “re-accommodation on comparable transportation, including service on another carrier as needed” through Sept. 5, when the waiver from flying Delta’s usual time slots at those airports will end. Delta asked to cancel the flights, ...
As FBI agents pulled up to Donald Trump’s Florida club Monday morning to conduct a search for top-secret government documents – approved by a federal judge and requested by the attorney general of the United States – the former president was by chance already huddled with his lawyers in Trump Tower in New York, a thousand miles to the north. They were supposed to be preparing Trump to be deposed later in the week in an entirely different matter, a civil probe of Trump’s family business. But the session was interrupted by a phone call informing the former president of the extraordinary events unfolding at his Mar-a-Lago Club, said Ron Fischetti, his New York attorney. Trump and his close allies quickly became transfixed by the events unfolding in Palm Beach, people...
A divided Congress gave final approval Friday to Democrats’ flagship climate and health care bill, handing President Joe Biden a back-from-the-dead triumph on coveted priorities that the party hopes will bolster their prospects for keeping their House and Senate majorities in November’s elections. The House used a party-line 220-207 vote to pass the legislation, prompting hugs among Democrats on the House floor and cheers by White House staff watching on television. “Today, the American people won. Special interests lost,” tweeted the vacationing Biden, who was shown beaming in a White House photo as he watched the vote on TV from Kiawah Island, South Carolina. He said he would sign the legislation next week. The measure is but a shadow of the larger, more am...
The slight decrease in inflation announced Wednesday, from 9.1% in June to 8.5% in July, is likely to bring down 2023’s Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) as well, to 9.6%. Last month, the Social Security Administration was planning to give seniors a 10.5% boost. That would have brought the average Social Security recipient’s benefit up by $175 to $1,668 a month. That’s now likely to be slightly smaller: a $159 bump to $1,656 a month, Barron’s reports, citing estimates by the Senior Citizens League. Even if the COLA is just 9.6%, Social Security recipients are in line for the biggest raise in more than 40 years in 2023. The Social Security Administration will announce the COLA in October, basing it on the average consumer price index for the third ...
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) announced on Friday that she had filed articles of impeachment against Attorney General Merrick Garland as the FBI’s search of the former president’s Florida residence roils Republicans.  Greene’s resolution claims that the attorney general’s “personal approval to seek a search warrant for the raid on the home of the 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, constitutes a blatant attempt to persecute a political opponent.” The search warrant was approved by a federal judge and was unsealed on Friday after the Justice Department and Trump’s attorneys agreed. The warrant showed that the FBI secured classified materials that were taken to Mar-a-Lago and suggests the former president is ...
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'The silent diplomacy continues and should bear fruit if... Washington is careful not to fall into propaganda' For the first time since the arrest of basketball star Brittney Griner on drug charges in February, Russia officially confirmed that negotiations were underway with Washington regarding a possible prisoner exchange. “Instructions have been given to the authorities to conduct negotiations,” Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesman, Ivan Nechayev, said Thursday, The Washington Post first reported. The United States repeatedly declared that it made a “substantial offer” for the release of Griner and three other Americans – including Paul Whelan, a former soldier – all detained in Russia. According to US media, it...
The German government said Friday it regrets plans by families of Israeli athletes killed at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich to boycott a 50-year anniversary ceremony next month and said it was prepared to continue talks on further compensation. Eleven Israelis and a German police officer were killed after members of the militant Palestinian group Black September broke into the Olympic Village on Sept. 5, 1972. They took Israelis hostage, hoping to force the release of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel and two left-wing extremists in West German jails. The victims’ families announced Thursday that they would not attend the memorial ceremony, underscoring ongoing friction between Germany and Israel. The two countries have built strong ties despite the enduring legacy...
Jerusalem, Israel - Aug. 13, 2022 - The Glustein Family, whose sister in law and her daughters were killed in the bus tragedy on Thursday asked to publicize: An unknown organization called Lev Lacholeh is running an online campaign, supposedly for their family. They are an unknown organization, and it is a scam.
A United Nations (UN) official has been demoted after posting a tweet condemning "indiscriminate rocket fire of Islamic Jihad provoking Israel retaliation." Sarah Muscroft, who had held a senior position in the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, provoked a wave of online controversy with her tweet, during which she praised the ceasefire that marked the end of Operation Breaking Dawn. The Times of Israel reports that she later published a retraction reading: "One of my previous tweets was ill-informed and I have deleted it. I sincerely apologize for my poor judgment. All civilians — everywhere — must be able to live in peace," which proved insufficient to assuage those accusing her of failing to h...
Parsha Hashavua
Parshas Vaeschanan: The Silver Lining

A belated mazal tov to my niece Rochel Leah (née Shonek) and her husband Shua Greenwald on the birth of daughter, Yenta Rivkah (Rikki – and on their 6th wedding anniversary, while I'm at it.) Mazal tov to the extended Shonek, Bulka and Greenwald families.


Today, the 15th of Av, marks the 13th yahrtzeit of my Opa, Mr. George Jakobovits. This week's shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmaso, Tovia Yehudah ben Yoel, a"h.


Although the yearly Torah reading cycle has not always followed its current pattern, it has a tendency to have the parshah of the week correspond quite neatly with the calendar. For example, we read Moshe Rabbeinu's exclamation of "Eichah!" in Parshas Devarim (1:12) which always falls on the Shabbos before Tish'ah B'Av. We always read Parshas Nitzavim, which speaks of teshuvah, as we approach Rosh HaShanah and the aseres yemei teshuvah. This week is known as Shabbas Nachamu, after the beginning of this week's haftarah which begins with the words "Nachamu, nachamu ami..." be comforted, be comforted My nation. The haftarah is specifically directed at the theme of comfort and consolation, but surely, this theme should present itself in the parshah as well. If anything, Va'eschanan deals with more ominous circumstances as it is the source for the reading on Tish'ah B'Av, discussing the various repercussions of straying from the path. There seems to be no mention of the week's theme whatsoever.


Perhaps, the theme is hinted to in the very passage that is read on Tish'ah B'Av. After reading of all the terrible consequences of our evil deeds, we are assured (4:29-31)


"And from there, you will beseech HaShem, your God, and you shall find, if you seek Him with all your heart and all your soul. Amidst your tribulations when these things have been visited upon you, in the end of days, when you shall return to HaShem, your God, and listen to His voice. For Hashem, your God, is a merciful God, He will not forsake you and He will not destroy you, nor will He forget the covenant of your fathers which He has sworn to them."


These words remind us, after we have mourned the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash which came about as a result of our awful sins, that no matter how deep we sink, no matter how much it seems that HaShem has distanced Himself from us, we may always return at a moment's notice and HaShem will answer us. This passage encourages us never to lose hope amidst our exile, as HaShem will never forsake us, a veritable paradigm of the theme of "Nachamu." As well, its presence in the reading for Tish'ah B'Av fits nicely with the theme we discussed (on a different occasion) – that Tish'ah B'Av is not just about mourning the destructions of the past but about looking forward and focusing on rebounding from our tragedies towards a path to redemption.


Have a good Shabbos.

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 “The Satanic Verses” author Salman Rushdie was taken off a ventilator and able to talk Saturday, a day after he was stabbed as he prepared to give a lecture in upstate New York. Rushdie remained hospitalized with serious injuries, but fellow author Aatish Taseer tweeted in the evening that he was “off the ventilator and talking (and joking).” Rushdie’s agent, Andrew Wylie, confirmed that information without offering further details. Earlier in the day, the man accused of attacking him Friday at the Chautauqua Institution, a nonprofit education and retreat center, pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and assault charges in what a prosecutor called a “preplanned” crime. An attorney for Hadi Matar entered the plea on his behalf du...
The Shop Maryland Tax-Free week returns on Aug. 14-20 this month, just in time for back-to-school shopping. Find more information about tax-free week here.Comptroller Peter Franchot announced he wants residents to take advantage of this time -- not only for their children's back-to-school supplies, but for also themselves. "August's temperatures are sizzling, and so are the savings during Shop Maryland Tax-Free Week," Franchot said. "Whether you're looking to freshen up your wardrobe for the cooler months ahead or need to get your kids the latest styles for the new school year, this end-of-summer tradition is a great time to shop, save and support Maryland businesses." Any piece of clothing or footwear under $100 will be exempt from the state's sales tax. The first...
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Salman Rushdie, whose novel “The Satanic Verses” drew death threats from Iran’s leader in the 1980s, was stabbed in the neck and abdomen Friday by a man who rushed the stage as the author was about to give a lecture in western New York. A bloodied Rushdie, 75, was flown to a hospital and underwent surgery. His agent, Andrew Wylie, said the writer was on a ventilator Friday evening, with a damaged liver, severed nerves in his arm and an eye he was likely to lose. Police identified the attacker as Hadi Matar, 24, of Fairview, New Jersey. He was arrested at the scene and was awaiting arraignment. Matar was born a decade after “The Satanic Verses” was published. The motive for the attack was unclear, State Police Maj. Eugene Staniszewski said. An Associated Pre...
Two people were seriously injured in a shooting attack near the Old City of Jerusalem. According to initial reports, two terrorists apparently fired at a bus and fled the scene. According to MDA, the incident took place in two different location - on the HaShalom street near the Old City of Jerusalem, and at the entrance to the King David's Tomb parking lot. MDA medics and paramedics provided medical treatment to 7 gunshot victims, 6 men and a woman. 2 in serious condition, 5 in moderate and light condition. Local residents are reporting seeing security forces searching for the terrorists in the East Jerusalem Silwan neighborhood. Police are blocking the exits from the Western Wall plaza and the crowd is unable to leave the area. MDA Senior EMT Nehemia Katz and MDA Paramedic Dav...
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Baltimore, MD – Aug. 11, 2022 - It is with regret that Baltimore Jewish Life (BJL) informs the community of the petira of Mr. Herbert Amster, Z’L, father of Rabbi Chaim Amster.The Levayah will take palce in Cleveland on Monday morning, Aug. 15, 2022On Monday, Tuesday, & Wednesday  (morning only Wednesday) Chaim will be sitting Shiva at 7111 Park Heights Ave. Unit 412 The schedule and location of the remainder of Shiva will be shared when available. Minyan Information Shacharis (Tuesday and Wednesday): 7:15 am Mincha/Maariv (Monday and Tuesday): 7:45 pm Bila HaMaves LaNetzach For more details as available click here
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A belated mazal tov to my niece Rochel Leah (née Shonek) and her husband Shua Greenwald on the birth of daughter, Yenta Rivkah (Rikki – and on their 6th wedding anniversary, while I'm at it.) Mazal tov to the extended Shonek, Bulka and Greenwald families. Today, the 15th of Av, marks the 13th yahrtzeit of my Opa, Mr. George Jakobovits. This week's shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmaso, Tovia Yehudah ben Yoel, a"h. Although the yearly Torah reading cycle has not always followed its current pattern, it has a tendency to have the parshah of the week correspond quite neatly with the calendar. For example, we read Moshe Rabbeinu's exclamation of "Eichah!" in Parshas Devarim (1:12) which always falls on the Shabbos before Tish'ah B'...
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Everyone knows that today is Tu B'Av (15th of Av), the Jewish holiday of love, but what happened in history that makes this day so special?1. After the sin of the spies, God decreed that the Children of Israel should wander forty years in the desert, where a portion of the nation died each Tishav B'Av (9th of Av).  But on the 15th of Av, in the year prior to entering the Land, the people realized the dying had stopped. This was a day of rejoicing since it marked the end of God's decree; the people could now prepare to enter the Land.2. Long after entering the Land and settling it, on the 15th of Av, the sages permitted intermarriage between memebers of different tribes. And so ended a painful division that had caused tension and discord among the tribes of Israel.3. Aft...
I was sitting in my office, talking to a tenant, a male probably in his 70’s.   He was wearing a t-shirt with an inspirational quote from Nelson Mandela. It read, “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” Inspiring, I know. But what happened next was not-so-inspiring.  He glanced at my desk which had a book on it (it was a Chumash, opened up to Parshas Va’eschanan!). Upon noticing the unique text, he asked me, “Is that Hebrew?!” I nodded in the affirmative.  “I wish I knew Hebrew! I learned Greek and Latin when I was younger, but I should’ve learned Hebrew!” he said. I told him that it’s never too late and he can try learning Hebrew even now, but he shrugged his shoulders and walked out looking a bit de...
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