ספירת העומר : 41 - היום אחד וארבעים יום שהם חמשה שבועות וששה ימים לעומר
BJL News Ticker
Texas School Shooter Entered Door Propped Open by Teacher Texas School Shooting: Could Israeli School Security Methods Serve As Model For US Schools? Parshas Bechukosai - Growth Mindset BJL Traffic Alert: - Traffic Lights at Corner Of Park Heights & Glen Ave Parshas Bechukosai / Shabbos Mevarchim Sivan / Baltimore Zmanim / Eruv is UP! Maryland 529 Match Reminder – May 31st Application Deadline 60 MPH Winds Possible: Baltimore County Under Severe Thunderstorm Warning Mazel Tov to Moshe Yitzchak Bloom and Shoshana Vita Bader on their engagement. Rabbi Yisrael Motzen: It's Time to Whisper Parshas Bechukosai - Lighten Up! 1,000 Gap-Year Students Join World Mizrachi & Masa “Fly The Flag” Event, Primed To Be “Ambassadors” For Israel (Photo Essay) CDC: Baltimore City has High COVID-19 Community Transmission Levels Minister Of Transport And Road Safety Merav Michaeli MK Inaugurated The New Tel Aviv-Boston Route At Ben Gurion Airport This Morning Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott Responds After Gov. Hogan Demands Answers On Crime Prime Minister Naftali Bennett Receives Operational Update ahead of Yom Yerushalayim and the Flag Parade Tornado Watch Issued Friday For Much Of Maryland HaRav Yissocher Frand Celebrates 40th Anniversary of Delivering the Thursday Night Shiur (Video & Photos) Parshas Bechukosai: Miracle On Ice - When the USA Olympic Hockey Team Stunned the World Listen: Zera Shimshon - Lecture # 69 - Shavuos by Daniel Balsam Rabbi Shmuel Silber - Parsha Perspectives - Bechukosai: Personal Worth
Cops responding to the Uvalde, Texas school massacre “made the wrong decision” when they waited to breach the classroom door where a gunman had barricaded himself inside with children, a top law enforcement official said Friday, the NY Post reports. The on-scene commander made the call that the carnage at Robb Elementary School on Tuesday had gone from an active shooter situation to a “barricaded suspect” situation, Col. Steven McCraw, director Texas Department of Public Safety said in a briefing Friday. McCraw said with the benefit of hindsight, it was clea...
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Baltimore, Md - May 27, 2022 - Please be advised that applications for the MD Match (529 State Contribution Program) are due on Tuesday May 31st. Even if you have received the Match in a previous year, you must still re-apply for it in order to receive it again. If you have an existing account, you can access the application by clicking here. Several notable changes to eligibility for the Match were made during the last two legislative sessions. Here are a few important points to remember:   The lifetime cap on one account holder was set at $9,000 from all of their beneficiaries – NOT per beneficiary. (but that account holder can still receive the state tax deduction on their 529 investments). Only account holders above 18 years old are eligible to receive the ...
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This is a BJL Exclusive:MUST Baltimore – Mothers Unite to Stall Technology Dear fellow Baltimore parents,                                                   A few months ago, we heard about an organization called MUST, which stands for Mothers Unite to Stall Technology. The organization was started by mothers in New York who realized how technology was affecting their children and decided to join together to postpone their children's personal ownership of smart devices. The program has since spread to communities throughout the co...
Jerusalem, Israel – Shooting attacks on schools in Israel are rare and the Jewish state’s preventive security measures could be a helpful starting point for improved school security in the U.S. This comes at a time of public debate on how best to secure schools in the wake of the Texas school shooting that left 19 students and two teachers dead at the Robb elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. There have been six terrorist attacks on Israeli schools since 1974. That low figure can be explained by the multiple layers of security Israel employs and the engagement of civil society in aiding the nation's law enforcement. David Hazony, a writer, and commentator on Israeli and American affairs and a father to eleven children, told Fox News Digital that t...
One of the few players to go straight from college baseball to the MLB was left-handed pitcher, Jim Abbot. Through the 1990s, Abbot played for the Angels, Yankees, and the White Sox.  In his tenure in the MLB, Abbot became one of the greatest pitchers to play the game. In 1991, he won a whopping 18 games for the Angels. In 1993, he pitched a no-hitter, one of the hardest feats for a major league pitcher. His record as a pitcher was nearly .500. He won almost 100 games!  All of these facts attest to the greatness of Jim Abbot as an incredible pitcher in the MLB. But there was something else about Abbot that makes all of these stats even more significant. My friends, Jim Abbot had no right hand!   A reporter once asked him, “How did you learn to play baseball at the m...
Baltimore, MD - May 27, 2022 - 1:41PM - The traffic lights  at the corner of Park Heights & Glen Ave are out.
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The National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Baltimore County, as storms with 60 mph winds approach the area. A tornado watch remains in effect until 2 p.m. on Friday. The severe thunderstorm warning runs from 12:30 to 1:15 p.m. Forecasters issued the warning after radar detected severe thunderstorms with 60 mph winds on a line from Sykesville to the Columbia area to Beltsville. The storms were moving northeast at 40 mph, officials said. These towns in Baltimore County specifically may be impacted, according to the warning: Cockeysville, Middle River and Pikesville. During the severe thunderstorm warning period, people should go inside to an interior room on the lowest floor to stay safe.
Baltimore, MD – May 27, 2022 - BJL wishes a hearty Mazel Tov to Moshe Yitzchak Bloom and Shoshana Vita Bader on their engagement. Mazel Tov parents Dovid and Miriam Bloom and Zev and Mushka Bader יה"ר שיזכו לבנות בית נאמן בישראל. אמן!
Baltimore, MD - May 27, 2022 - I was once walking through the streets of Yerushalayim with a chassid on a Friday night. A car passed by, and he whispered, “Shabbos, Shabbos, Shabbos.” At first, I thought I was hearing things but then this continued. Being a tactless teenager, I turned to him and said, “What on earth are you doing?!” He explained: “Every car that I see drive by on these holy streets of Yerushalayim desensitize me just a tiny bit to the sanctity of Shabbos. Some people yell and scream, I don’t believe in that. But I also can’t just walk by. So how do I ensure that I remain sensitive to the serenity that Shabbos is meant to entail? Every time I see a car, I whisper, ‘Shabbos, Shabbos, Shabbos.’” *** We have witn...
Parsha Hashavua
Parshas Bechukosai - Lighten Up!

We are promised that if we follow G-d’s decrees and observe all His commandments G-d will grant us prosperity, peace, children, and the Temple. Yet, in contrast to these very specific and practical blessings, there is one aspect of the multiple promises that seems undefined.

ופניתי אליכם (ויקרא כו ט) — I will turn My attention to you.

Rashi sees the word ופניתי rooted in the word פנאי, availability, 'I will turn away from all My other involvements’

Is it possible to describe G-d as having a need to momentarily forsake his other preoccupations to be solely attentive to His people?

Others — among them the great 13th century Italian Kabbalist, Rav Menachem Recanati — interpret the word more literally, as פנים — face, referring to G-d promising to ‘face’ us with His פנים המאירים — radiant face.

But what is the implication of this ‘radiant face’ in practical terms? Is it merely in contrast with the state of הסתר פנים — hidden face, when G-d conceals His involvement in our lives, clothing His presence behind a ‘veil’ of natural events, indicating that we will be privileged to see with clarity His attentiveness and direct guidance in every facet of life?

Rav Shlomo Wolbe, the legendary Mashgiach, presents in his seminal work Alei Shur a fascinating explication of this notion of הארת פנים — radiant face.

The very first time G-d revealed his ‘radiant face’ to us as a nation was after the king of Egypt died and the Jews groaned from the work, crying out and G-d heard their moaning remembering His covenant with the Patriarchs.

‘God saw the children of Israel; and G-d knew’.

Rashi adds, ‘He set His heart upon them: and did not conceal His eyes from them.

The Ramban says this is G-d turning His attention to them by coming out of concealment and ‘enlightening them with His countenance’. G-d ‘knowing’ them indicates His focusing on them.

Similarly, G-d endowed man, being fashioned ‘In His image’, to emulate this power of radiance, that by concentrating on another individual, validating, caring, and conveying genuine concern, can uplift that person from the doldrums and empower towards greatness.

We are each born with an innate need to ‘be smiled upon’. Therefore, Rabbi Masya Ben Charash instructs us ‘to initiate a greeting to every person’. (אבות ד כ)

An infant can distinguish between an angry face and a positively radiant one. If we gaze at the child with love, he responds with playful joy. Look at him with anger — he begins to cry. A child who grows up without an illuminated countenance is akin to a plant that grows without the sun.

The reverse is also true. The child learns early on with his very first smile — the radiance of his soul breaking out from the depths of his body — creates an atmosphere of vibrant charm and joyous life.

All humanity longs for that illumination; the student for the light of his teacher, as well as the teacher for the students enlightened interest; children for the compassion of their parent, just as the parent hungers for the child’s bright rays of appreciation.

The buyer awaits the sellers understanding of his need and ability, just as the seller seeks the purchaser’s appreciation for his merchandise.

These two forces, the thirst for positive recognition and the desire to flex our strength of giving, is implanted deeply within our souls.

The gap between man will widen if we withhold our radiance from one another. We can elevate the world by unleashing this awesome power of validation, infusing the world with much needed light. (עלי שור ח"א ד' קפט)

There is not much known about the author of this Mishna, Rabbi Masya Ben Charash.

Yet there is one fascinating tale regarding the magnificent countenance he possessed that was compared to the face of an angel. This was due to his ‘never having set his eyes on a woman’.

The Midrash goes on to describe how the Satan appealed to G-d to permit him to seduce Rabbi Masya. G-d conceded telling him he would fail. The Satan appeared to Rabbi Masya in the form of a beautiful woman tempting to goad Rabbi Masya to gaze at her beauty. Each time he tried Rabbi Masya turned the other way. Fearing he might succumb he instructed his student to bring nails with some fire. He proceeded to heat up the nail and poked his own eyes out. Defeated, the Satan admitted to G-d he failed. G-d dispatched the angel Refoel to cure Rabbi Masya. At first Rabbi Masya refused out of fear he might one day weaken in his resolve. G-d promised he would never fail, and his sight returned.

Perhaps within this episode lays the seed to his greatness.

There are people who radiate warmth outwardly but only as a tool for self-gratification. Although they captivate people with their smiles and ‘sincere’ interest, their agenda is really to ‘win’ friends and ‘influence’ people, for their own personal gain.

Rabbi Masya never utilized his radiance for anything other than to emulate this attribute of G-d to illuminate others towards personal growth and inspiration.

It is only when it is purely motivated that it reflects this remarkable attribute of G-d.


צבי יהודה טייכמאן

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We are promised that if we follow G-d’s decrees and observe all His commandments G-d will grant us prosperity, peace, children, and the Temple. Yet, in contrast to these very specific and practical blessings, there is one aspect of the multiple promises that seems undefined. ופניתי אליכם (ויקרא כו ט) — I will turn My attention to you. Rashi sees the word ופניתי rooted in the word פנאי, availability, 'I will turn away from all My other involvements’.  Is it possible to describe G-d as having a need to momentarily forsake his other preoccupations to be solely attentive to His people? Others — among them the great 13th century Italian Kabbalist, Rav Menachem Recanati — interpret the word more literally, as פנים &mdas...
Jerusalem, Israel - May 27, 2022 -  More than 1,000 gap-year yeshiva and seminary students celebrated Yom Yerushalayim at a pep rally sponsored by Masa Israel and hosted in partnership with World Mizrachi, designed to inspire and energize them into ambassadors for Israel as many plan to return home and get ready for college campuses in the Fall. The back-to-back events at Heichal Shlomo, held separately for men and women, were awash with music, singing, dancing and food to commemorate the anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem. The event and new program are part of Mizrachi’s “Flying the Flag” initiative, an ongoing campaign aimed at solidifying the spiritual connection gap-year students develop with the Jewish state in order to cultivate a generatio...
SimchasSimchas Simcha
According to the Center for Disease Control, the Baltimore region has transitioned from Medium to High on the CDC’s Covid-19 Community Transmission Level. The re-categorization took place Thursday evening. New data indicates there are 283 cases per 100,000 people in the region over the last seven days, and the hospitalizations per case rate grew to 11.8 admissions per 100,000 cases.
“The most important thing to remember is that we have the tools to fight this,” Dr. Dzirasa said. “Vaccines, tests, and masks coupled with a solid hygiene routine are enough to keep many healthy people out of the hospital as we work to determine whether we are at the end, middle, or launch point of this surge in cases.”
Baltimore City Commissioner of Hea...
The inauguration of the route today, Friday 27 May at Ben Gurion Airport, was also attended by US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides, the management of the Israel Airports Authority, of Ben Gurion Airport, and of Delta Airlines.At the beginning of her remarks, Minister Michaeli said: "Congratulations to all of us on the new route between Israel and Boston. This connection has many benefits. It is another sign of the recovery from corona, it is important for strengthening and developing our civil aviation and it is another sign of the deep friendship with our US ally."She added: "The connection between Israel and Boston symbolizes the unique connection between our innovation and startups, and a place of academia, achievement and progress to which the whole world comes for the betterment of huma...
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Gov. Larry Hogan is applying a new round of pressure in the city's fight to control crime. In a stinging letter to Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, the Governor demanded an accounting of how the city is spending state crime dollars and requested a progress report since the two met to discuss crime strategy in February. "In February, you assured us that there was a comprehensive plan in place, but at this point, I don't believe anyone, including you, believes it is working," wrote Governor Hogan. The governor said Maryland State Police has repeatedly offered to assist city police with investigating crime but their offer has repeatedly been rejected. "It's very concerning that all this state's money, a 50% increase, is flowing into the city's coffers but the city i...
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett held a discussion to receive an update, this afternoon (Friday, 27 May 2022), ahead of Jerusalem Day and the flag parade that will be held this Sunday, 29 May 2022. The Prime Minister was fully briefed on the police deployment ahead of the events, particularly on the intelligence efforts and the reinforcement of units on the ground in order to allow Jerusalem Day to be celebrated and the flag parade to be held in a safe and orderly manner. Prime Minister Bennett agreed that the flag parade will be held as usual according to the planned route, as it has been for decades; therefore, the parade will end at the Western Wall and will not go on the Temple Mount. Normal routine on the Temple Mount will continue as usual. Regular assessments and consultations wil...
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Baltimore, MD - May 27, 2022 - TORNADO WATCH: A Tornado Watch has been issued for much of Maryland until 2 p.m. WHAT: Heavy thunderstorms with scattered severe weather possible THREATS: Scattered damaging winds, isolated large hail and isolated tornadoes WHEN: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Baltimore metro area LIGHTNING SAFETY: If you can hear thunder, that means the storm is within 10 miles, and you are at risk of being struck by lightning. The safest place to be during lightning is inside a sturdy building that has plumbing and electricity. If that building happens to be struck, the wires and pipes tend to disperse the energy more safely into the ground. If you are outdoors, without a building nearby, your car is the next safest place to be during lightning. The outdoor metal frame dispe...
Baltimore, MD – May 26, 2022 - This evening Rabbi Yissocher Frand, shlita, celebrated the 40th anniversary of delivering his Thursday night shiur to the Baltimore community - and beyond - at the Agudah of Park Heights.  Along with the shiur's stalwarts, in attendance for this major milestone were HaRav Moshe Heinemann, shlita, Rav of the Agudah of Park Heights, Rabbi Dovid Heber, Rav of KAYTT, and Rabbi Yaakov Frand. After Rabbi Frand offered words of thanks and a heartfelt yasher kochachem to the oilam who attended the shiur tonight, and who have been attending this shiur for many years, everyone was invited to the front of the Beis Medrash to partake in a L'Chaim and mezonos in honor of the occasion.                ...
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This week we conclude sefer Vayikra with parshas Bechukosai, which is commonly referred to as the parsha of “tochacha” – rebuke. Why? Because it is full of frightening threats of unimaginable punishment to be meted out to those who brazenly refuse to observe the Torah’s laws. Each curse seems worse than the one before it. It is curious to note that just after concluding this startling section of tochacha, the parsha abruptly switches to a section dealing with the laws of “Arachin” – the dedication of the value of oneself or another person to the Bais Ha’Mikdash (27:1-8). This section seems completely misplaced. What relevance could there possibly be between the tochacha & severe punishments - which dominates the rest of the parsha - &am...
Baltimore, MD - May 26, 2022 - Zera Shimshon - Lecture # 69  - Shavuos by Daniel Balsam  Click on the arrow below to listen:
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