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So, there I was, sitting in my office this past week, when all of a sudden, a middle-aged African American man came over to me, and asked me the following, “Do you know how to cook this?” I looked to see what he was holding, and it was none other than a Shefa brand container of Chummus. I was waiting for him to start laughing and tell me that he was joking, but after a few seconds, I realized that he was being completely serious. He genuinely wanted to know what to do with the container of Chummus and how to cook it.  In the nicest way possible I explained to him that Chummus...
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Kol Yisrael arevim zeh bazeh – all Jews are responsible for one another. This is a principle we strive to ideally live by as Jews. We create communities, build shuls and yeshivas, celebrate Shabbas and Chagim together, focus on our connections to family and other community members. We identify as a nation – one people – emphasizing our relationships with each other, doing acts of chesed and caring for one another. Loving and protecting our most vulnerable community members, helping those who are sick or in pain, and offering support are arguably the ideal paradigms of this Talmudic imperative. We would like to believe that substance use and addiction is not something we Jews are affected by, but that is simply not the case. In our work at CCSA, including our support grou...
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Baltimore, MD - Oct. 20, 2021 - On Sunday night, October 24th at 7:30pm, the Baltimore City Health Department and The Associated will host a live virtual Town Hall meeting with the Orthodox Jewish community about COVID-19 vaccination. You’ve got questions and concerns, let’s bring those to the table and hear answers from experts and community leaders. The panel of presenters will include Rabbi Jonathan Seidemann, Dr. Kendra McDow, Dr. Naor Bar Zeev, Dr. Susan Lipton, and Councilman Yitzy Schleifer, and will be moderated by Laura Kurcfeld - VALUE Baltimore’s Vaccine Coordinator for our community. We will cover all the hot topics on people’s minds relating to COVID-19 vaccination – breakthrough cases, kids and teens vaccination, fertility concerns, myocardi...
The joy was palpable. Avraham and Sarah were told they would be blessed with a son, and for the first time in many years, the future looked bright and optimistic. Yet, in the very moment Avraham’s family was to expand, the Divine plan for the destruction of Sodom was taking shape. “And the Lord said, “Shall I conceal from Abraham what I am doing? And Abraham will become a great and powerful nation, and all the nations of the world will be blessed in him.” (Bereishis 18:17-18) God felt compelled to share his plan for the destruction of Sodom and its surrounding cities with Avraham. And as he hears of the imminent destruction, Avraham begins to bargain with God. If there are fifty righteous men, will you save the city? Avraham asks God. God agrees. When it became cl...
This week's shtikle is dedicated le'ilui nishmas my brother Efrayim Yechezkel ben Avi Mori Reuven Pinchas, whose 45th yahrtzeit is Sunday, the 18th of Cheshvan. The Weekly Shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmas my father, Reuven Pinchas ben Chaim Yaakov, a"h. The Weekly Shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmas my Oma, Chaya Sara bas Zecharia Chaim, a"h. Rashi on 19:24 notes that the destruction of Sedom happened at daybreak, when the sun and moon were in the sky at the same time. This was because they used to worship the sun and moon. Therefore, HaShem brought the destruction when both were out as a proof to all the sun and moon worshipers that the sun and moon are powerless. Had the destruction taken place when they were n...
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Baltimore, MD - Oct. 17, 2021 - A unique Gemora shiur is being offered to the Baltimore community by Torah Together.  Gemora Fundamentals will be presented by Rabbi Nosson Friedman starting Sunday, October 24th from 8 – 9 pm at Congregation Shomrei Emunah.  Rabbi Friedman, a Rebbi at Mechinas Ner Israel for over 40 years, offers his expertise in teaching the skills talmidim need to build a foundation to learn independently.  Rabbi Friedman explains the idea behind this class: “There is no greater feeling of fulfillment in learning than to be able to learn a piece of Gemora on your own in its original text. Many people are unable to do this because they never acquired the proper foundation for learning Gemora or have gaps in training and practice. I'm excit...
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Baltimore, MD - Oct. 18, 2021 - Bonei Olam by the numbers: 23 Baltimore couples currently being worked with.  7 babies born in the past 12 months. 16 couples assisted by Bonei Olam this past year.  Help Bonei Olam this Sunday 10/24/21 as we have our online fundraiser so we can say "YES" to every couple who approached us for help.
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Baltimore, MD - Oct. 20, 2021 - Check out the Bonei Olam photo cutouts at Market Maven and 7 Mile.  Snap a pic of your kids and email your photo to boneiolambaltimore@gmail.com for a chance to win a free photoshoot with Leba D Photography!
 As Maryland aims to boost immunity against the coronavirus, Gov. Larry Hogan announced those eligible for booster shots can "mix and match" their shots. "Eligible Marylanders may now choose which vaccine they want for a booster, even if it is different from what they received initially," Hogan said in a statement Friday, Oct. 22. This week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its recommendations around boosters. Previously, only some Pfizer and Moderna vaccine recipients were eligible to get a third shot. Now those who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine can also get a booster, as well. The CDC also authorized on Thursday "mixing and matching" booster shots, whether people got doses of the Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson...
Parsha Hashavua
Parshas Vayeira - Starting the Day with a Bang!

This week's shtikle is dedicated le'ilui nishmas my brother Efrayim Yechezkel ben Avi Mori Reuven Pinchas, whose 45th yahrtzeit is Sunday, the 18th of Cheshvan.


The Weekly Shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmas my father, Reuven Pinchas ben Chaim Yaakov, a"h.


The Weekly Shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmas my Oma, Chaya Sara bas Zecharia Chaim, a"h.


Rashi on 19:24 notes that the destruction of Sedom happened at daybreak, when the sun and moon were in the sky at the same time. This was because they used to worship the sun and moon. Therefore, HaShem brought the destruction when both were out as a proof to all the sun and moon worshipers that the sun and moon are powerless. Had the destruction taken place when they were not in the sky, one could have argued that they were not "there" to save them. This is a rather simple statement by Rashi but there is an interesting astronomical support for it.


We naturally associate the sun with the day and the moon with the night. But the moon's time above the horizon actually changes every day throughout the month. The moon rises and sets approximately 49 minutes later each day. This is a result of the moon orbiting the earth. Just as the moon's position is reset at the end of every month, so are its rising and setting times. (The math is as follows: Every full moon cycle (month), moonrise and moonset make a full circle of 24 hours such that the times are as they were precisely one month previous. The figure of 49 minutes is achieved by dividing 24 hours by the duration of the lunar cycle, known as the synodic period: 29.5 days, 44 minutes, 3⅓ seconds. More precisely, the figure is 48 minutes, 45.5 seconds.)


At the beginning of the month, the moon follows a very similar schedule to the sun. The moon rises at the beginning of the day and sets at sundown. As the month progresses, the moon rises and sets later and later. At the middle of the month, the moon has virtually the opposite schedule to the sun. It rises when the sun sets and sets when the sun rises. As we enter the second half of the month, the moon begins to rise later in the night and thus, becomes visible at the beginning of the day.


The midrash (Bereishis Rabba 50) teaches that Sedom was destroyed on the 16th of Nissan. As explained above, at that time of the month, the moon would have risen shortly after sunset and set very shortly after sunrise. Therefore, the only time in the entire day that both the sun and moon were in the sky at the same time was very early in the morning and that is why the destruction took place specifically at the very beginning of the day.



Have a good Shabbos.

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Baltimore, MD - Oct. 22, 2021 - The Star-K has just published its Fall 5782/2021 issue of Kashrus Kurrents. Click on the graphic below for a large, printable copy and enjoy!
Baltimore, MD – Oct. 22, 2021 - BJL wishes a hearty Mazel Tov to Baruch and Shana Gutow  on the birth of a son. Mazel Tov grandparents Mr. & Mrs. Bill Goldberg and Mr. & Mrs. Elliot Gutow (Cleveland, Ohio)   יה"ר שיזכו לגדל בנם לתורה, לחופה, ולמעשים טובים. אמן!
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Queen Elizabeth II spent a night in the hospital for tests after being forced to cancel a visit to Northern Ireland this week, Buckingham Palace said Thursday. "Following medical advice to rest for a few days, The Queen attended hospital on Wednesday afternoon for some preliminary investigations, returning to Windsor Castle at lunchtime today, and remains in good spirits," a palace statement said. Britain's domestic Press Association news agency said the trip to the hospital was unannounced as it was expected to be a short stay, and also to protect the 95-year-old monarch's privacy. The overnight stay was for "practical reasons," it added. Elizabeth was seen by specialists at the private King Edward VII's Hospital in central London, where her late husband, Prince Philip,...
Israeli scientists have halved the growth of cancer tumors in mice by using “GPS particles” to inject a well-known local anesthetic drug. Researchers at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology’s chemical engineering department have spent years developing complex drug delivery systems made from nanoparticles that use their own navigation system to find their target. They became increasingly interested in the fact that tumors seem to thrive when they become home to nerve cells, also known as neurons. They started asking whether they could halt this tumor-bolstering effect by killing the nerve cells. “We wanted to reduce the aggressiveness of tumors by killing the nerve cells that are inside the tumor tissue, and we succeeded in doing exactly this,&rdquo...
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An Army reservist became the first military service member charged in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot to be kicked out of the military. Timothy Hale-Cusanelli, 31, was an army sergeant working part time as a Human Resources soldier until May when he was demoted to private, the lowest rank, and given an other-than-honorable discharge, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday. Hale-Cusanelli, whom the Department of Justice called an “avowed white supremacist and Nazi sympathizer,” served for 12 years before being discharged. Before his arrest, Hale-Cusanelli frequently peddled hateful and extremist political opinions on the Based Hermes Show channel on YouTube, the DOJ alleged. Navy investigators interviewed 44 of his colleagues about his beha...
GORDA, Calif. (KABC) -- Gas keeps getting more and more expensive, especially in California. But perhaps nowhere is it pricier than the remote central coast community of Gorda.The town's only gas station is offering regular unleaded for $7.59. Premium is nearly $8.50.The town has long been known for having some of the highest prices in the country. A sign at the gas station notes the next nearest station is 40 miles away to the north and 12 miles to the south.Gorda is located along the Big Sur coast, about 40 minutes north of San Simeon.
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Baltimore, MD – Oct. 22, 2021 - BJL wishes a hearty Mazel Tov to Shlomo & Adina Berman on the birth of a daughter. Mazel Tov grandparents: Mr. Ronnie & Mrs. Estelle Berman and Mr. Shammai & Mrs. Lorraine Bernstein יה"ר שיזכו לגדל בתם לתורה, לחופה, ולמעשים טובים. אמן!
President Biden admitted during a CNN town hall Thursday night that he has no immediate solution to the problem of spiking gas prices and suggested that Americans would not start seeing relief at the pump until next year. “My guess is, you’ll start to see gas prices come down as we get by and going into the winter – I mean, excuse me, into next year, 2022,” the president told moderator Anderson Cooper at the Baltimore event. “I don’t see anything that’s going to happen in the meantime that’s going to significantly reduce gas prices. “I must tell you, I don’t have a near-term answer,” Biden added before musing on the possibility that he could “go in the [Strategic] Petroleum Reserve and take out a...
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Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said on Thursday that Democrats won’t reach an agreement on a wide-ranging social spending bill ”anytime soon,” despite ongoing negotiations within the party. ”This is not going to happen anytime soon, guys,” Manchin told reporters on Thursday. ”They’re trying to get a meeting of the minds.” He went on to say that Democrats are making ”good progress” on a deal. ”There’s a lot of details,” Manchin said. ”Until you see the text and the fine print, it’s pretty hard to make final decisions.” Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., and Manchin both met with White House officials on Thursday, but Sinema told CNN’s Manu Raju, when asked if a deal would be reach...
The expanded child tax credit payments may last for one more year instead of five in the Democrats’ new proposed spending plan, reports CNBC. Thousands of Americans have received monthly checks since July 2021 following passage of the American Rescue Plan. But policymakers are now deciding the future of the payments as part of the proposed reconciliation package, with some suggesting extending the benefit for just one year. Previously, the Biden administration proposed extending the enhanced credit through 2025. Sen. Joe Manchin, the Democratic lawmaker who said he won’t support a $3.5 trillion social safety net bill, wants to see a more focused enhanced tax credit program. He has proposed limiting it to families with income of $60,000 and adding a work requirement &ndas...
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