ספירת העומר : 20 - היום עשרים יום שהם שני שבועות וששה ימים לעומר
The Weekly Shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmas my Oma, Chaya Sara bas Zecharia Chaim, a"h. This week's shtikle is dedicated for a refuah sheleimah for my father. Please include Reuven Pinchas ben Yehudis in your tefillos. This year has already seen a number of unique circumstances in the calendar. Yet another consequence of this rare configuration is the fact that the 5th of Iyar, the anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel, lands on Shabbos. Of course, the actual commemoration is moved (as it is most years) to avoid chilu...
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Baltimore, MD - Apr. 10, 2021 - Unfortunately, many people who need help are afraid to come forward because of the stigma around substance use and addiction. When we were faced with our own daughter’s battle with addiction, we were overwhelmed with fear and desperate for help. Thinking back to that time (which was not so long ago), we reflect on what type of resources, support or conversations would have been helpful to us. There was so much we did not know, and so much we had to learn on our own in order to face this crisis and help our daughter and our family through this struggle. We first told our family’s story publicly at an event almost exactly 3 years ago. We did it to shatter the stigma around addiction and let other people facing this issue know they are not alone. Ou...
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Baltimore, MD - Apr. 14, 2021 - Kesser Torah of Baltimore (KT) has always been devoted to instilling in its bochurim a true love for learning.  An essential ingredient in achieving this goal is ensuring that its talmidim enter into Bein ha’Zmanim with a cheishek to continue their limudim even outside of the structured yeshiva schedule.  As in the past, in true KT fashion, talmidim experienced a four-hour retzufos seder to cap off an unprecedented Winter Zman of growth in Limud ha’Torah and Yiras Shamayim.  Bochurim removed their watches and learned without interruptions with their chavrusas.  The only break in learning was halfway through the seder when the Rosh Mesivta provided words of chizuk to the Bnei yeshiva. Following this impressive accomplishm...
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Baltimore, MD - Apr. 15, 2021 - Testing this Motzaei Shabbos, Apr. 17, will take place from 9:30PM-10:15PM. Click here to view the complete schedule.
Baltimore, MD – Apr. 16,  2021 - BJL wishes a hearty Mazel Tov to Dovie & Yaffa Censor  on the birth of a son. Mazel Tov grandparents Rabbi & Mrs. Zvi Holland. יה"ר שיזכו לגדל בנם לתורה, לחופה, ולמעשים טובים. אמן
A mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis late Thursday night left at least eight people dead and several others injured, police said. The shooter who opened fire at the facility near the city’s airport also died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to investigators. Authorities later identified him as Brandon Scott Hole, 19, and said they were searching an Indianapolis home he was associated with. Police say five people have been hospitalized following the gunfire, but are in stable condition.  Join BJL on WhatsApp Status: Click here to Join BJL status for engagements, births, deals, levayos, events & more Join BJL on WhatsApp Groups: Click here to Join an official BJL WhatsApp group for breaking news as it happens...
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Baltimore, MD - Apr. 13, 2021  - Last night at midnight, the Maryland General Assembly adjourned it's 90 day legislative session. Here Rabbi Ariel Sadwin provides a brief update on items of interest to the community.
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Baltimore, MD - Apr. 7, 2021 - The Baltimore community COVID-19 testing is back to regular schedule. Click here to view the complete schedule.All our tests provide documentation that can be used for travelling. NEW:  Rapid PCR tests are now available. This is NOT a regular rapid test. It is a full PCR test with special technology that produces results in within 2-3 hours. This test is accepted for international travel destinations. Please note, insurance only partially covers the rapid PCR test, there is still a cost of $125. Without insurance, the cost is $200. Regular PCR tests are free.If you need a Rapid PCR, please fill out these forms and come to any of the testing sessions. When you arrive, be sure to let them know you are specifically requesting a Rapid PCR. No appointm...
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Baltimore, MD - Apr. 16, 2021 - Baltimore County Public Schools will return Elementary school students to in-person learning for four days a week beginning May 10.
Parsha Hashavua
Parshas Tazria/Metzora -Bayamim Haheim Bazeman Hazeh

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


This week's shtikle is dedicated for a refuah sheleimah for my father.


Please include Reuven Pinchas ben Yehudis in your tefillos.



This year has already seen a number of unique circumstances in the calendar. Yet another consequence of this rare configuration is the fact that the 5th of Iyar, the anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel, lands on Shabbos. Of course, the actual commemoration is moved (as it is most years) to avoid chilul Shabbos. It seems the most glaring lesson to be gleaned actually comes from the haftarah – certainly one of the more captivating stories we read.


The story of the haftarah has its own interesting backstory, some of which is covered in the haftarah of Tazria which is very seldomly read (approximately 16% of years, credit: Shaarei Zemanim.) There is an important preamble which is only read in the Yeminite tradition. The prophet Elisha declares in the midst of a terrible famine and a siege from the nation of Aram that tomorrow there will be such bounty that the price of wheat and barley would drop to unbelievably low rates. So unbelievable, in fact, that one of the king's aides declares it impossible, at which point Elisha informs him that it will happen but he will not get to enjoy it.


The rest of us then pick up the story with the 4 metzoraim (traditionally assumed to be Geichazi and his sons) who have been left outside the city as per the rules stated in the parsha. In an act of desperation, facing what they believed to be a die-or-die situation, they dangerously entered the camp of Aram, only to find that it had been completely abandoned due to some miraculous delusions of an impending attack. The entire camp was there for the taking, including more than enough produce to alleviate the famine in the city. The skeptical aide was appointed to guard the gates where he was trampled to death, thereby fulfilling Elisha's prophecy.


With imminent death by hunger along with the sword of Aram at their throat, one is inclined to be somewhat sympathetic to the skepticism of the king's aide. But there is still no excuse to doubt the word of HaShem. One can only imagine a navi walking into Auschwitz on January 26, 1945 and proclaiming that not only will you be liberated tomorrow by none other than the Soviet Red Army but in just a matter of years, the nations of the world will decide to grant the Jews an autonomous homeland in Israel. Who would have had the strength to believe it? But so it happened, further evidence of what we proclaim every year at the sedervehaKadosh Baruch Hu matzilaynu miyadam.


The haftarah ends in a rather puzzling manner. The introductory story which us non-Yemenites had skipped is repeated nearly word-for-word as we are told of the demise of the king's aide. Why is this necessary? What is the purpose of the last three pesukim? Perhaps, the lesson is that when the going is good, even after a great salvation, it is all too easy to forget our previous circumstances and how far we've come. As I have noted previously, the maror at the seder is meant to remind us of the bitterness of the subjugation in Mitzrayim. But it is clear (Shemos 12:8) that even the korban Pesach eaten on their way out of Mitzrayim was eaten with maror! Remembering our previous dire circumstances and how distant salvation seemed helps us continue to appreciate the deliverance that ensued.

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Baltimore, MD - Apr. 16, 2021 – BJL wishes a hearty Mazel Tov to this week’s Baltimore Bar Mitzvah Bochurim and their mishpachos:Avi AmbinderYonatan BarkhordarYechezkel CaplanEphraim GoodmanShlomo NewmanAkiva Weinberger If you know of any bochurim not mentioned above for this week, pls send their names here.
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President Biden is facing a series of fresh obstacles in getting the coronavirus pandemic under control in the United States. Several states have seen an uptick in cases even as millions of Americans are vaccinated each day, which can be attributed in part to the lifting of restrictions on masks and businesses and general pandemic fatigue more than a year after the virus began to spread widely. More contagious variants are spreading throughout the country, and experts warn that new variants could pop up until the country reaches a greater degree of immunity.  Join BJL on WhatsApp Status: Click here to Join BJL status for engagements, births, deals, levayos, events & more Join BJL on WhatsApp Groups: Click here to Join an official BJL WhatsApp group for breaking news as it happ...
A majority of Americans — 59 percent — approve of President Biden's handling of his job as he approaches 100 days in office, according to a Pew Research Center poll released Friday. The poll found Biden's job approval is up 5 percentage points from 54 percent in March, while 39 percent of those surveyed said they disapprove of his work thus far. Biden's 59 percent approval rating is 20 percentage points higher than that of former President Trump's in a Pew poll from April 2017 and is similar to the approval ratings of former Presidents Obama and George W. Bush in April of their first terms. Biden has been buoyed by support for his tone and rhetoric, as well as his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.  Join BJL on ...
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Italy – The Italian high-end fashion house Giorgio Armani recently removed from sale a blazer that resembled a Holocaust concentration-camp uniform following a request by the pro-Israel organization StandWithUs. Roz Rothstein, CEO and co-founder of StandWithUs, first shared a photo of the “offensive” black-and-white vertically striped jacket on April 4 on Twitter, after being displayed outside an Armani store in Beverly Hills, Calif.  Join BJL on WhatsApp Status: Click here to Join BJL status for engagements, births, deals, levayos, events & more Join BJL on WhatsApp Groups: Click here to Join an official BJL WhatsApp group for breaking news as it happens A photo of the blazer, part of the fashion label’s spring-summer 2021 Men’s Colle...
President Joe Biden’s administration is allocating $1.7 billion in funding to track the spread of Covid-19 variants, which are proving dangerous as they spread quickly and risk dragging out the pandemic. Biden will direct $1 billion to genomic sequencing, which helps federal agencies and states track which version of the virus is spreading. They also announced $400 million for epidemiological research and $300 million for health data and training.  Join BJL on WhatsApp Status: Click here to Join BJL status for engagements, births, deals, levayos, events & more Join BJL on WhatsApp Groups: Click here to Join an official BJL WhatsApp group for breaking news as it happens The announcement, with funding from the aid package Biden signed a month ago, comes as mutations of t...
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The Biden administration will keep the target of refugee admissions for this year at the historically low level set by the Trump administration, walking back an earlier pledge to welcome more than 60,000 refugees into the United States. President Biden in February committed to welcoming those fleeing persecution around the world, and to raising the cap of 15,000 refugees set by the prior administration. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken notified Congress on Feb. 12 that the administration planned to allow up to 62,500 refugees to enter the country in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30.  Join BJL on WhatsApp Status: Click here to Join BJL status for engagements, births, deals, levayos, events & more Join BJL on WhatsApp Groups: Click here to Join an official BJL WhatsApp group ...
Baltimore County, MD - Apr. 16, 2021 - Since taking office, one of the things we have been pushing for is the return of bulk trash pickup. The county discontinued this service years ago, but many residents have asked for this service to be restored. This was especially true during the county’s solid waste work group meetings that took place over the last several months. I am pleased to share that the county executive announced yesterday during his budget message that bulk trash pickup will be reinstated. As more details become available, we will make sure to keep everyone posted. This is great news. I am confident the return of this convenience will help cut down on illegal dumping and be another tool in our toolbox to push back against those who take part in this activity. Many t...
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Baltimore, MD - Apr. 16, 2021 - Earlier this week, the Maryland General Assembly completed the 2021 legislative session in Annapolis. After COVID cut the 2020 session short, no effort was spared by the executive and legislative branches of our state government to ensure that the 2021 session would go on in a safe and effective manner. While our participation as “distance-lobbyists” certainly had its share of challenges, we watched - day in and day out - the impressive dedication and perseverance that was on constant display from the legislators and their staff. The 2021 session was Agudah Maryland’s fourteenth, but it was one which primarily saw the most intense debate focused on issues where our community does not have an established political philosophy (eg. police re...
Preventing cheating in elections is more important than expanding ways to vote, according to a majority of likely voters, who by a large margin also believe voter identification laws are not discriminatory, according to a Rasmussen poll. Moreover, most Americans now believe cheating in November helped Joe Biden win the presidency, including a majority of non-affiliated voters.  Join BJL on WhatsApp Status: Click here to Join BJL status for engagements, births, deals, levayos, events & more Join BJL on WhatsApp Groups: Click here to Join an official BJL WhatsApp group for breaking news as it happens The Rasmussen poll released Tuesday noted that, of 1,000 likely voters surveyed on Sunday and Monday, 60% thought it was more important to protect against voter fraud th...
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