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[Sent from the sukkah] 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. I couldn't ignore the irony when going through my Sukkos archives. The following Shtikle was first written in 2005 following tragic events of Hurricane Katrina and the Tsunami in Japan. I re-sent it once again 8 years later in 2013 after a year which began with Hurricane Sandy and ended with devastating floods in Colorado. Yet another 8 y...
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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...
Baltimore, MD - Sept. 24, 2021  - Dear Community Members, During the overnight hours of 09/23/21 through 09/24/21, the Pikesville Precinct experienced multiple thefts from motor vehicles. Most of these thefts occurred in the Milford Mill Road corridor.    Please lock your vehicles and remove all valuables from your vehicle.  This includes vehicle keys, house keys, and garage door openers. Keep your residences secured at all times.  Lock your windows, doors, and use your residential alarm system if available. The Pikesville Precinct Community Outreach Team offers free residential security surveys, where a uniformed officer will respond to your home and provide ideas to better secure your residence.  Officers from the Pikesville Precinct are actively patrolli...
Baltimore, MD - Sept. 24, 2021 - Garden of Life - Vitamin Code Raw Antioxidants, distributed by Garden of Life of Palm Beach Gardens, FL, bearing an expiration date that is prior to September 1, 2022, is NOT KOSHER even when bearing a STAR-K symbol. The product contains a non-kosher ingredient. Corrective action is being taken. 
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Today, 211 years ago, Rebbe Nachman of Breslav passed away. Here is one of his most powerful thoughts: "I am a wonder, my soul is a great wonder; there never was anyone unique like me".This idea is likely to seem arrogant and haughty. How can anyone speak like that about himself? But the first time I heard it, a Breslav chasid explained that Rebbe Nachman meant to teach every one of us to look upon himself or herself in this way. In each of us there is a unique potential that must be realized. Now read these words again as they are transformed into an encouraging and reinforcing message, a message that is the essence of Rebbe Nachman's thought: Does everyone of us feel that he is a wonder, that his soul is a great wonder? Does everyone remember that there was never anyone as unique as...
Baltimore, MD – Sept. 24, 2021 - BJL wishes a hearty Mazel Tov to Mr. & Mrs. Eli Hochberg  on the birth of a daughter. יה"ר שיזכו לגדל בתם לתורה, לחופה, ולמעשים טובים. אמן!
Baltimore, MD – Sept. 24,  2021 - It is with regret that BaltimoreJewishLife.com informs the community of the petira of  Mrs. Frieda Fischer, a'h, Mother of Mrs. Jody (Hal) Crane. Details forthcoming Bila HaMaves LaNetzach…
Parsha Hashavua
Sukkos 5782 - Flood, Sweat & Tears

[Sent from the sukkah]


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.


I couldn't ignore the irony when going through my Sukkos archives. The following Shtikle was first written in 2005 following tragic events of Hurricane Katrina and the Tsunami in Japan. I re-sent it once again 8 years later in 2013 after a year which began with Hurricane Sandy and ended with devastating floods in Colorado. Yet another 8 years on, after Hurricane Ida wreaked havoc on the East Coast, I felt it was once again most appropriate.


The mishnah (Rosh HaShanah 1:2) states that the world is judged on four matters at four different times of the year. On Pesach, we are judged on the grain crops. On Shavuos, we are judged on the fruit. On Rosh HaShanah, the whole world is judged as individuals. On Sukkos, we are judged on water.


P'nei Yehoshua raises an interesting question, based on a pasuk in parshas Eikev. Towards the end of the parsha, we are told (Devarim 11:10-12) that Eretz Yisrael is not like Mitzrayim where rain rarely falls and you need to bring the water from the river yourself. Rather, it is a land of mountains and valleys and is fed by rain water. The next pasuk asserts that it "The eyes of HaShem, your God, or on it from the beginning of the year until the end of the year." The pasuk uses the word shanah to refer to year and offers no further explanation as to the definition thereof. Whenever we refer to a year without defining it, states P'nei Yehoshua, it refers to the calendar year which begins on Rosh HaShanah. This pasuk therefore implies that the beginning of the "rain year" is in fact Rosh HaShanah. How then can it be that the year for rain begins on Sukkos as is stated in the mishnah?


A careful reading of the mishnah yields an interesting linguistic nuance. The introduction states that at four times the world is judged. On Pesach for crops, Shavuos for fruit, Rosh HaShanah we all pass in front of Him like sheep in a flock and on the chag we are judged on water. The word nidonim, judged, is repeated with respect to Sukkos. I have long wondered why this was and had resigned myself to accepting that there is nothing much to be made of it. However, it is well-known that although the judgement is sealed on Yom Kippur, the judgement still extends in some way until Hoshana Rabba. Perhaps we may understand that the mishnah's insertion of the word nidonim is meant to connect the judgement of Sukkos back to that of Rosh HaShanah. The world passes in front of HaShem in judgement and is subsequently judged on matters of water. Sukkos is not merely one of the four listed in the mishnah but is in fact connected directly to Rosh HaShanah.


This would answer P'nei Yehoshua's difficulty as well. Indeed, the judgement on rain begins, in some way, on Rosh HaShanah but extends all the way until Sukkos. There is no discrepancy between the mishnah and the pasuk.


Ra"n is bothered by a different aspect of the mishnah. One would assume that the judgement on Rosh HaShanah is complete, in that we are judged and inscribed in "the book" regarding all aspects, including water, fruit and grain. What then is the meaning of the other judgments at other times of the year? He answers that the world is judged at large on the other times of the year. The worldwide allotment of rain, fruit and grain are decreed at their respective times. One's own individual portion of that allotment is what is decreed on Rosh HaShanah.


It is common, in order to evoke a true feeling for the gravity of the judgement on Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, to reflect on the tragedies of the year gone by. But how often is this done on Sukkos? It should be noted that the term chag in the mishnah clearly refers to all of Sukkos and not Shemini Atzeres when we pray for rain. It should also be noted that the mishnah does not state that we are judged on geshem, rain, but rather it is water which is the subject of the judgement on Sukkos. Keeping that and the Ra"n's understanding in mind, it is quite likely that water-related tragedies, are in fact decreed on Sukkos. Whether or not we were directly affected by these tragedies, this is certainly something to keep in mind as we focus and direct our tefillos on this Yom Tov.


Have a chag samie'ach and good Shabbos!

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The head of the Baltimore County Police Union says the county is down officers with no sign of beefing up the force.  The county is down 14% according to the Fraternal Order of Police president David Rose, especially with an anti-police sentiment in many areas.   “A lot of people are finding the job not attractive," Rose said. He said many officers are leaving to go to nearby jurisdictions for better pay and higher signing bonuses.    Police Chief Melissa Hyatt said they are now offering "A $10,000 hiring incentive for new police officers and for lateral police officers." Rose said that officers are also leaving over working conditions, such as a lack of a dedicated training facility. He said with being down so many officers, officers...
Gov. Larry Hogan announced that Maryland is taking additional steps to increase nursing personnel. Hogan says the new efforts aim to give hospitals more flexibility to address staffing needs amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “This week, Maryland reported the nation’s lowest COVID-19 case rate, and we continue to withstand the Delta variant surge better than just about any other state,” said Hogan in a statement. “While our hospitalizations remain well below all of our pandemic surge capacity triggers, we are taking proactive steps to maximize the ability of our hospitals to increase their nursing workforce.” Maryland Department of Health Secretary Dennis Schrader issued a notice stating that registered nurses or licensed practical nurses who hold a current active...
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A man struck early Friday morning on Interstate 83 died, Maryland State Police said. State police said troopers were called shortly before 2:50 a.m. to I-83 just north of Northern Parkway in Baltimore City for a report of a crash. Police said a man walking across the highway from the median was struck and died at the scene. The driver remained at the scene. About 20 minutes prior, a ride-share driver traveling north on I-83 called 911 to report an unruly and suspected intoxicated passenger who was physically assaulting him and trying to get him to run off the road, police said. The driver pulled over on I-83 at Ruxton Road and the passenger fled from the vehicle. Police said the ride-share driver described the passenger to troopers and the description matched that of the deceased victim...
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Baltimore, MD – Sept. 23, 2021 - BJL wishes a hearty Mazel Tov to Mr. and Mrs. Avi Charloff on the birth of a son. Mazel Tov grandparents Mr. and Mrs. Ahron Katz and great-grandparents Mr. & Mrs. Larry Katz. יה"ר שיזכו לגדל בנם לתורה, לחופה, ולמעשים טובים. אמן!
Baltimore, Md – Sept. 23, 2021 – The Baltimore community was honored to participate in the Siyum HaShas for Reb Shmuel Yehuda Stern, father of Mrs. Miri (Reb Binyamin) Blackman.Joining in the simcha was HaRav Nesanel Kostelitz, HaRav Yissachar Dov Eichenstein, HaRav Simcha Wein, and Rav Yaakov Frand, as well as many friends and family. The siyum took place in the Blackman's Sukkah.At his customary 4 blatt a day, BJL looks forward to posting Reb Shmuel Yehuda’s next Siyum HaShas in 3 years, B’Azer HaShem.
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Baltimore, MD – Sept. 23, 2021 - It is with regret that BaltimoreJewishLife.com informs the community of the petira of Yitzchok Sheffield, z'l, son of Rabbi and Mrs. Yehoshua Sheffield.  The levaya will take place tomorrow, Friday, September 24th, at 1:30 pm graveside at the Agudah cemetery in Rosedale  Shiva will be observed after Yom Tov. Details are forthcoming. Shiva begins after Yom Tov Bila HaMaves LaNetzach…
Baltimore, MD - Sept. 23, 2021 - 1st Day Chol HaMoaid Sukkos 5782 - Baltimore City Mayor Brandon Scott joined Councilman Yitzy Schleifer today in celebration of Sukkos. Joining the festive gathering in the Councilman’s Sukkah were elected officials, Delegate Dalya Attar (41-D), and City Councilman Zeke Cohen (1-D), along with Rabbi Dovid Heber, of  Congregation Khal Ahavas Yisroel Tzemach Tzedek, and other prominent community leaders. Mayor Scott listened intently as Rabbi Heber explained the meaning of the Sukkah, Lulav and Esrog and the holiday in general. Rabbi Heber expressed gratitude for the work the Mayor does on behalf of our community and focused his comments on the unique joy felt by our community during Sukkos.  While spending time in the Sukkah, Mayor Sc...
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Washington, DC, Sept. 23, 2021 — Coalition for Jewish Values, representing over 1,500 traditional, Orthodox rabbis in matters of public policy, today castigated the ADL for once again avoiding a needed effort to address blatant antisemitism, and instead pursuing charges of "supremacy" for partisan purposes. ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt criticized "The Squad" in Congress for blocking funding for Israel's defensive Iron Dome system as part of the budget reconciliation process, and celebrated passage of a standalone bill restoring that funding. But it was Fox News host Tucker Carlson whom Greenblatt insisted "must go." CJV President Rabbi Pesach Lerner issued the following statement: In January, Greenblatt correctly stated that Tlaib's depiction of Israel as 'apartheid&#...
A majority of Americans now say that President Biden is not “mentally sharp,” according to a new poll from the Pew Research Center. The survey, which like other polls shows Biden’s overall approval rating sinking, found that just 43 percent said the phrase “mentally sharp” described him either “very well” or “fairly well,” an 11 point drop from the same poll in March, while 56 percent said the phrase describes him “not at all well” or “not too well.” This was his worst showing in any of the personal characteristics surveyed. This is evidence in support of something I have suspected for weeks, which is that the Afghanistan blunder does not alone explain the collapse of Biden’s appr...
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