The head of Israel’s Islamist Ra’am Party on Saturday downplayed the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program, saying that while the threat was real, it was not existential. “I don’t see the Iranian nuclear issue as an existential threat to Israel. There is certainly a threat, but we’ll leave that to the professionals,” said Mansour Abbas, speaking at a cultural event in Beersheva. The Ra’am leader also said at the event that he was not ruling out political collaboration with the Likud Party in the future, but declined to reveal what Likud head a...
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Nov. 28, 2021 - We are again pleased to repost the following at the request of our readers: Baltimore, MD - Dec. 8, 2014 - Maccabee Aish (www.jewishfireprevention.org) reminds you to be safe this Chanukah and follow these safety tips: Menorah Safety Never leave Chanukah candles unattended and never go to sleep while Chanukah candles are burning Place the Menorah on a sturdy heat resistant surface away from anything that can catch fire including walls, curtains, cabinets, wooden and plastic tables, tablecloths, etc Light candles out of childrens reach and where they cannot be knocked over Keep surfaces and surrounding areas clear from burned matches, wick trimmings, oil residue, and other debris Do not light “school project” Menora...
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Covid has been challenging for everyone.  It has been especially difficult for Goli. Goli Balakhani is a single, quadriplegic woman in our community, who has not been able to move for over 30 years. A few years ago, Goli lost her ability to speak.  She is confined to a bed and on a ventilator - an excruciatingly difficult situation to be in.  And then came Covid and very limited visitation, exacerbating her already painful isolation. Because of the past support from our wonderful community and others, we were able to hire an exceptional part-time aide for her who has helped offset her suffering tremendously.  Funds for this important need are almost depleted.  Please help us continue to provide Goli with this critical care. She needs YOUR help NOW! Please take...
As a self-described straight shooter, WBAL afternoon/early evening anchor and Baltimore-area native Robert Lang has been a part of the station for more than 17 years, with more than 35 years in the industry. “I thought about my own family in a synagogue on Shabbat,” Lang said regarding the Tree of Life synagogue killings. “My parents might typically be in a synagogue at Shabbat. My brother, his family, my nieces and nephews. I thought this could have been us. It’s very hard to cover a story like that, but you try to separate your own emotions from your professional responsibility.” Throughout the years, Lang has covered COVID-19, the death and trials around Freddie Gray, the Maryland general assembly, the approval of gay marriage, va...
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The tablecloths may be folded and the dishes washed but the impact of the 99th Agudah Convention this weekend will certainly last until next year and beyond. As they do every year, many members of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah joined the assemblage, along with Rabbanim and Roshei Yeshiva, to inspire and guide. A diverse array of rabbonim and community and lay leaders gathered to exchange ideas and compare notes on serving the needs of Klal Yisroel.  Thousands of people attended the sessions – which were open to the public – from Thursday evening through Sunday afternoon, and were treated to words of chizuk, inspiration, and hadrachah. Those attendees in the Parsippany Hilton were joined by over 150,000 additional people who joined by phone and livestream.   The A...
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Jerusalem, Israel - Nov. 28, 2021 -  In the second of a series of closer looks at artists originally mentioned in the original BJL column for the 5th Jerusalem Biennale of Contemporary Jewish Art, presenting: Yehudis Barmatz-Harris.   Barmatz-Harris describes herself as a "new media installation artist, using dimensionality to explore the human experience through personal narratives...using materials that hold no unique value but are basic materials in our environments. I study their characteristics, to tweak out their meaning." Throughout the years, she has loved doing site-specific pieces, especially in old buildings in Jerusalem - a perfect fit for the current Biennale site in the old Shaare Zedek Hospital. A room on the first floor to the left of the syn...
Over these eight nights, Jews in the United States, Israel, and around the globe will proudly celebrate Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights. They will light the menorah, spin the dreidel, eat latkes, and tell of how the Maccabees, guided by an abiding belief in their Creator and an inextinguishable commitment to their faith, prevailed against all odds. At its core, Hanukkah recounts a story at the heart of the human spirit – one that is inherently Jewish and undeniably American. It commemorates how even the most fragile flame can sustain a tradition and nourish the soul of a people. It teaches us that even a little bit of light, wherever it is found, can dispel the darkness and illuminate a path forward. And it reminds us that whether it is the Holy Temple in Jeru...
Leading U.S. health officials on Sunday cautioned Americans against jumping to conclusions about the omicron variant of the coronavirus as numerous countries outside South Africa, where it was first detected, report cases of the strain. Experts stressed that data on the omicron variant is extremely limited and that data on whether it can evade vaccine immunity should be available in the next few weeks, providing a clearer picture of how countries should be addressing omicron. Omicron was first detected in South Africa, and cases soon cropped up in neighboring African countries such as Namibia, Zimbabwe and Botswana. Countries outside the African continent have since reported cases, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and Australia. Although no cases hav...
President Isaac Herzog: "We must remember that we are not the only ones whose roots branch out from this tomb. Today, of all days; here, of all places, in this site sacred to all Children of Abraham—we must continue to dream about peace between all religions and faiths in his land, and to denounce all forms of hatred and violence." Today, President Isaac Herzog toured the Cave of the Patriarchs and lit the first Chanukah candle there. Hebron Jewish community head Rabbi Hillel Horowitz, Kiryat Arba local council leader Eliyahu Liebman, rabbis, IDF and Israel Police commanders, local residents, and yeshiva and ulpana students also participated in the candle lighting. President Isaac Herzog's full remarks: "I am glad to light the first Chanukah candle with you here, in this holy...
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Daily Dvar Halacha - Nov. 28 - 24 Kislev - A Beautiful Dvar Torah For Chanukah!

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Prime Minister Naftali Bennett lit the first Chanukah candle at the Kotel in Jerusalem, this evening (Sunday, 28 November 2021), with Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz and Western Wall Heritage Foundation Mordechai (Soli) Eliav in attendance. Before the lighting, Prime Minister Bennett toured The Great Bridge Route, which has just been opened to the public, and which in the time of the Second Temple led pilgrims to inside the Temple. During the tour, the Prime Minister visited the rooms and halls from that period and observed the ancient finds that served the people of that time. 
Jerusalem, Israel - Nov. 28, 2021 - Former Baltimorean, Marsha Grant, took a stroll around the Old City to shoot a few of the myriad menoros in this holy area of Yerushalayim.
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The lighting of the first Hanukkah candle in the Western Wall plaza was held tonight (Sunday) under the sign "A little light repels much darkness" - as a tribute to disabled IDF soldiers and their families in the belief and hope that the little light of the single candle will expel darkness and spread great light. The lighting of the Hanukkah candles took place in the presence of the Chief Rabbi of Israel, David Lau, Rabbi of the Western Wall Shmuel Rabinowitz, Defense Minister Lt. Col. (Res.) Benny Gantz, Science and Technology Minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen, Western Wall Heritage Foundation Director General Mordechai Eliav, Chairman of the Jerusalem District of the IDF Disabled Organization Alon Dahan, Chairwoman of the IDF Widows and Orphans Organization Tami Shelach, and CEO of the IDF...
Five members of the South African Jewish community who flew to Israel to offer consolation to the family of Eli Kay, HyD, who was murdered in the terror attack last Sunday, were detained at Ben Gurion airport. A new directive prevents foreigners from “red” countries including South Africa from entering Israel. The five were detained at passport control, transferred to a side room and forced to travel on to Dubai even though they are religious and the flight entailed chilul Shabbos. Ilana Smith, who had specially made the long journey from South Africa to console her close friend Devorah, the mother of Eli, landed last night in South Africa. After Shabbat, Smith said that “they treated us like criminals. They asked questions and told us to be quiet. I told them...
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The lawmakers argue the decision to halt West Bank sales could hurt Unilever shareholders A group of lawmakers from the United States House of Representatives are calling on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to examine the regulatory implications of Ben & Jerry’s decision to halt sales in the West Bank. Four legislators, Representatives Andrew Garbarino (R-NY), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), and Ritchie Torres (D-NY), wrote to SEC Chairman Gary Gensler about Ben & Jerry’s parent company, Unilever. In their address, the lawmakers urged the SEC instruct Unilever to alter it’s regulatory filings to reflect the “material risk factors” caused by Ben & Jerry’s decision to end sales of its product in the West Bank,...
Almost two years after the coronavirus first made its appearance, the business sector is still trying to recover from the difficulties imposed by lockdowns and other government regulations; the tourism industry has been particularly hard-hit. Now, with the the discovery of the Omicron variant, businesses are once again fearful for their livelihoods, Maariv newspaper reports. "There is concern among business owners that the government is about to impose new restrictions without allocating full compensation. We hope the economy will remain open with maximum activity and as few restrictions as possible. If restrictions are decided upon, we will fight for full compensation for business owners who are harmed," said Adv. Roi Cohen, representing the Chamber of Independent and Business ...
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Emirates Airline announced a postponement of the launch of its new route to Tel Aviv, which was scheduled to take place on December 6, until further notice. “Emirates announces the postponement of its planned new service to Tel Aviv, originally intended tocommence on 6 December, until further notice." the company announced. The company explained that the postponement comes as a result of recent changes in entry protocols issued by the Israeli government. "The airline is committed to launching services to Tel Aviv as soon as the situation allows, and will continue to work closely with all relevant authorities in this regard as conditions around entry evolve." the company statement noted. "We continue to monitor the situation, and take advice and directives from the relevant health...
The government on Sunday approved the use of GPS tracking to allow the Shabak (shin Bet) to monitor patients infected with the Omicron coronavirus variant. The government plans to use the tracking method to cut off the chain of infection of the new virus strain. This decision will be valid until next Thursday, December 2, 2021, at midnight. The measure will be effected through emergency regulations, in parallel with the advancement of the legislative process on the measure. The government specified that the measure would be used to monitor patients infected or suspected to be infected with the Omicron variant, not coronavirus patients as a whole as was the case during previous waves. The Shin Bet will not be involved in the enforcement of quarantine regulations. The decision will be r...
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Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis may be vindicated for his refusal to impose pandemic lockdowns, as well as vaccine and mask mandates, after the Sunshine State posted the lowest number of new COVID-19 cases and deaths per capita in the nation, The Daily Mail reports. On Friday, the Sunshine State reported 1,393 new cases of COVID-19, roughly six cases per every 100,000 residents. The state also reported just one death in the past week. By contrast, Michigan leads the nation in daily coronavirus cases per capita – with a 7-day rolling average of 560 per 100,000 residents – despite Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer imposing some of the harshest restrictions in the nation. DeSantis – an early favorite in the 2024 presidential race depending on what Do...
No cases of the new COVID variant identified in southern Africa have been reported in the US thus far, America’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Friday. In a statement, the CDC said that no cases of the new ‘Omicron’ variant of the coronavirus have yet been reported in the US, after the World Health Organization labelled Omicron a “variant of concern”. “No cases of this variant have been identified in the US to date,” the CDC said. “CDC is continuously monitoring variants and the US variant surveillance system has reliably detected new variants in this country. We expect Omicron to be identified quickly if it emerges in the US.” At least one case of the new strain has been reported in Israel,&nbs...
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