Yeshiva World News

Bahraini Crown Prince Calls Netanyahu On Iran Nuclear Talks

Bahrain’s crown prince spoke with the Israeli prime minister on Thursday about the return to nuclear talks with Iran, Bahrain’s state-run news agency reported, as the U.S. administration tries to revive the tattered 2015 nuclear accord. Bahraini Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, also the country’s prime minister, stressed to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “the importance of the participation of regional countries in any negotiations on the Iranian nuclear file” to support “security and stability in the region,” according to the official Bahrain News Agency. The statement marks the first response from a Gulf Arab leader to President Joe Biden’s announcement earlier this month that he was seeking a return to nuclear negotiations with Iran. Nearly three years ago, former President Donald Trump abandoned the landmark accord and reimposed harsh sanctions on Iran. His withdrawal was welcomed by Gulf nations and Israel, Iran’s foes in the region that are most directly threatened and staunchly opposed the deal. The sheikhdoms in the Persian Gulf, along with Israel, were excluded from the last nuclear negotiations and remain highly skeptical of Iran’s intentions. They have indicated they would only be open to a deal if it included limits on Iran’s non-nuclear activities, including missile development and support for rebel groups and militias in the Middle East. A main reason Trump gave for withdrawing from the nuclear deal was that it did not address those issues. In Thursday’s call, the Bahraini crown prince urged that any nuclear negotiations with Iran “include broader issues,” without elaborating. The readout from Israel made no mention of Washington’s outreach to Tehran. It said only that the crown prince repeated his invitation for Netanyahu to visit Bahrain once the pandemic allows and that the kingdom is interested in investing jointly with other countries in a vaccine production factory planned to be located in Israel. The Bahraini Crown Prince noted that he was interested in examining the possibility of Bahrain joining the initiative to produce vaccines that is being planned to be established in Israel together with other countries. — PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) February 25, 2021 Following the United Arab Emirates, the island kingdom of Bahrain normalized relations with Israel last fall, an agreement forged out of mutual enmity for Iran. (AP)

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Mass Purim Party In Tel Aviv: “The Deaths Are On Your Consciences,” Health Minister Says

Hundreds of Israelis participated in a mass Purim party at the Carmel Market in Tel Aviv on Wednesday night, a day ahead of the government-imposed three-day curfew over Purim in order to prevent mass gatherings. Videos and photos of the party on Israeli media showed large crowds partying in the market, with no social distancing or wearing of masks. Police arrived at the scene and the partyers fled, avoiding fines, but the partyers then resumed the fun at Rothschild Boulevard. Health Minister Yuli Edelstein slammed the party revelers, telling Army Radio on Thursday morning that the future loss of lives and the closing of businesses will be on their consciences. “You see how young people are also becoming seriously ill, how death comes to all ages. Come to your senses! It’s not too late.” Coronavirus czar Prof. Nachman also condemned the “outrageous photos of irresponsible mass celebrations and gatherings. The responsibility is in the hands of the public, and it is very unfortunate that this is how they choose to behave these days when the morbidity figures are still high.” (YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

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Urgent Message from Rav Gamliel: Yerushlayim, We Did Not Forget About You!

  Dear Friend,   I know it’s been a long year. A year of tension and uncertainty, of school closures and lockdowns. But here in Yerushalayim, the situation is even more dire. Countless families struggle to put food on the table in the best of times. Now, meeting their children’s basic needs is a seemingly insurmountable task.   With Yom Tom looming, these families are at a loss. How will they buy matzah and wine? Food and clothing?   Ten years ago, we established our local Kupah for Zichron Moshe to assist needy families in the Zichron Moshe neighborhood of Yerushalayim with their Shabbos and Yom Tov expenses.   This year the number of needy families has grown to 600. We need to provide a minimum of $250 for each family so they will be able to put matzah and wine on the table this Pesach.   I echo the words of Esther Hamalkah to rally Klal Yisrael to help: Eichachah u’chal verai’si, b’avdan moladti – How can I sit back as my nation is lost?   Thank you for being there for the yidden in yerushalayim in the past. This year, we need your help more than ever!   In this zchus  I bless you with health, wealth, healthy children and parnassah.   You can watch his video and donate HERE.​   Rav Gamliel Rabinovitch   Kupas Zichron Moshe- Yerushalayim   ​PLEASE CLICK HERE TO HELP ​

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Facebook Says It Will Pay $1B “To Support” News Industry

Facebook, following in Google’s footsteps, says it plans to invest $1 billion to “support the news industry” over the next three years. The social networking giant, which has been tussling with Australia over a law that would make social platforms pay news organizations, said it has invested $600 million since 2018 in news. Google said in October that it would pay publishers $1 billion over the next three years. News companies want Google and Facebook to pay for the news that appears on their platforms. Governments in Europe and Australia are increasingly sympathetic to this point of view. The two tech companies suck up the majority of U.S. digital advertising dollars, which — among other problems — has hurt publishers. Facebook said on Tuesday it would lift a ban on news links in Australian after the government agreed to tweak proposed legislation that would help publishers negotiate payments with Facebook and Google. Facebook was criticized for its ban, which also temporarily cut access to government pandemic, public health and emergency services on the social networking site. Facebook said Tuesday that the changes allow it to choose which publishers it will support and indicated that it will now start striking such deals in Australia. Google had already been signing content licensing deals with Australian media companies, and says that it has arrangements with more than 50 publishers in the country and more than 500 globally. There may be more such regulation in other countries. Microsoft is working with European publishers to push big tech platforms to pay for news. European Union countries are working on adopting copyright rules that allow news companies and publishers to negotiate payments. (AP)

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PURIM WARNING: Purim In Central Booking? Not A Good Idea…

By: Rabbi Abe Friedman Law Enforcement Liaison/Community Activist No, not a good idea at all, not for the person behind the bars, nor for his family, and neither for those trying to help. Every year, early Purim afternoon, the phones of many askanim would start ringing off the hook. On the other side of the line there would be a frantic individual desperately seeking assistance for a spouse, parent, sibling, or friend, who drank irresponsibly and got themselves into trouble, and ended up in a police car, or in an ambulance. In most cases, the calls relate to cases of DUI or Driving Under the Influence, or in simple language, Drinking and Driving. Just the fact that we have to resort to writing such an OP-ED is painful enough. Why shouldn’t it be simple common sense that if you plan to drink, just plan ahead for alternative means of transportation? Yet, the unfortunate reality is, that we have no choice, but to raise our voices now, and hope that it will reach receptive ears, and save people some unnecessary anguish. Aside of the extreme dangerous situations that these irresponsible people create, and risking their own lives, the lives of their families, and the lives of others, what about the rest of the fallout from their irresponsible action. What about all the people whom they just deprived from their Simchas Yom Tov? What about their own family, who just got entangled in a mess they didn’t make? Why shouldn’t the askanim be entitled to the same Simchas Yom Tov, like everyone else, instead of being busy fixing someone else’s crisis of their own making? What about Chinuch Habanim, what kind of message are they conveying to their kids? What about the tremendous chillul hashem that they create with their ill-advised action? What about all the consequences they’ll be suffering from, as a result of this foolish decision? Potential jail time, loss of driving privilege, vehicle confiscation, lifetime criminal record, and more… State and City Law Enforcement agencies will be out in force, keeping a vigilant eye for drunk drivers. Is it really worth it? Would you rather destroy your life, rather than just handing your car keys to someone else, when you start drinking? Would you take a gamble with human life, rather than hopping into a taxi? No one is strong enough to override the power of alcohol, no one can have proper judgement when under the influence of alcohol, don’t try it, it’s not worth the ramifications. If you can’t drink responsibly, just don’t drink, and if you do drink, take the proper precautions, hand your keys to a friend or family member, hop into a cab, an uber, a bus a subway, anything, just don’t get behind the wheel. You deserve a true Simchas Purim, so does your family and friends, and so do all the askanim and their families, let’s make this Purim a happy and joyous day for all, and not a day of aggravation and misery that will end up being regretted the rest of your life. May we all be able to celebrate this Purim in high spirits, and may we all live to remembers the great memories of the day. Happy Purim. (YWN World Headquarters – NYC)

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Claims Conference and United Hatzalah Launch Nationwide Project To Transport and Vaccinate 20,000 Homebound Holocaust Survivors

On Sunday morning, the Claims Conference initiated a new project in partnership with United Hatzalah that will orchestrate a national operation with the goal of making sure that all 11,000 homebound Holocaust survivors living in Israel are able to go to their local vaccination centers and receive their Covid-19 vaccine. The survivors will be transported by United Hatzalah ambulances and medical teams and receive care throughout the process as needed. The operation kicked off with the opening of a new dispatch center that will be tasked with contacting each of the survivors and arranging special transport to take them to and from their local or regional vaccination center. The transporting ambulance team will wait with the survivors at the center during the time that is needed for them to receive their vaccine and the waiting period afterward. The Claims Conference in Israel has invested some 5,000,000 NIS in the project that will pay for all of the logistics involved in providing these transports for homebound Holocaust survivors. Ten United Hatzalah dispatch operators will be staffing the new dispatching center, built by the organization, for the duration of the project and will need to make contact with each of the survivors requiring assistance. They will then arrange for all of the logistics of the vaccination and the transport. The newly established dispatch center will be active from 8:00 a.m until 8:00 p.m. on a daily basis. The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, or Claims Conference, which represents the world’s Jews in negotiating for compensation and restitution for victims of Nazi persecution and their heirs, understands that during the Corona-era, problems have arisen, both with regard to the physical health of Holocaust survivors, and with regard to their mental health. Therefore, the Claims Conference leadership has decided to do everything in its power to bring a regular style of living back to the survivors as quickly as possible, so that they can return to their regular, pre-coronavirus, social routines. The joint operation between the two organizations aims at reaching every single survivor that is unable to physically arrive at the vaccination centers to receive the vaccine and assist them both in arriving at the center and in speeding up the process. This will hopefully enable the survivor to once again see their family, their caretakers, and their friends, without worrying about contracting the virus. Vice President of the Claims Conference in Israel Shlomo Gur praised the partnership and said: “Giving Holocaust survivors the ability to return to their daily and social routines is of the utmost importance for us. Together with United Hatzalah, an organization whose operational abilities are top-notch,  we will be able to bring each and every one of the homebound survivors in need of assistance, to receive their vaccine. After which, they will once again be able to reunite with family members, friends, and caretakers. We know that this past year has been incredibly difficult for all of the survivors, and we will do everything in our power to put an end to the social distancing for those who suffered through the travesties of the Holocaust.” President and Founder of United Hatzalah Eli Beer said: “We are proud to have partnered with the claims conference to provide this vital service for the homebound Holocaust survivors living in […]

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Ahead Of Purim Meshulash: Ramot Is Connected To Yerushalayim

In the outer Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramot, there has long been a debate about whether the neighborhood is halachicly part of Jerusalem, with Purim celebrated on the 15th, on Shushan Purim, or whether it’s halachicly separate from Jerusalem, with Purim celebrated on the 14th. Ashkenazim in Ramot celebrate Purim on the 15th, per the p’sakim of HaGaon HaRav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, z’tl, and HaGaon HaRav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, a p’sak later upheld by HaGaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky when the debate arose in more recent times. (Interestingly, HaRav Chaim’s father, the Steipler, z’tl, held that Purim in Ramot should be celebrated on the 14th.) However, there’s a machlokes among the Sephardim, with HaGaon HaRav Yitzchak Yosef holding that Purim should be celebrated on the 15th, with trailers set up to form a continuous line of homes between Ramot and Jerusalem, while HaGaon HaRav Shlomo Amar differs and holds that Purim should be celebrated on the 14th and a bracha on Kriyas Megillah on the 15th is a bracha le’vatala. Each year, residents set up trailers to form a continuous row of homes connecting Ramot to the neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo. This year, it was carried out at the request of HaGaon HaRav Shalom Cohen, Kikar H’Shabbos reported. Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Tzvika Cohen, with the support of Mayor Moshe Lion, led the initiative on Tuesday and seven trailers were set up between Ramot and Ramat Shlomo, and per the p’sak of HaGaon HaRav Yitzchak Yosef, each trailer was placed within 35 meters of each other, halachicly connecting Ramot to Jerusalem. (YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

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36 hours, You and 10K Batay Yisroel

10K Batay Yisroel is a project rooted in a horrific accident and the reaction of two ordinary– yet extraordinary– families who transcended that tragedy and transformed it into an incredible organization. Yisroel Levin a”h and Elisheva Kaplan a”h, were engaged and preparing to build their own Bayis Bi’yisroel when a terrible car accident took them from us and left the world a smaller place. At their levaya, R’ Shaya Levin beseeched that in exchange for these pure souls, 10,000 shidduchim be made. 10K Batay Yisroel was then created in order to make R’ Levin’s request a reality. The goal of 10K is to unite the klal and empower the individual to join the effort in creating ten thousand shidduchim, one suggestion at a time. 10k has been privileged to host numerous events that have been watched both live and on demand around the globe, enjoyed and appreciated by thousands of viewers. Some of our events include: a premiere event imparting the importance and significance of each shidduch suggestion; a Shadchanim Panel and Rabbonim Panels giving practical relevant guidance; numerous virtual shidduch meetings and our most recent event given by Mrs. Rochel Goldbaum, a sought after dating mentor, on how to properly redt shidduchim. The feedback received regarding the impact of these events and all 10k activities is constant and continuously reinforces the need for inspiration and guidance in the realm of redting shidduchim. Since the inception of the organization, 13,651 shidduch suggestions were logged, 1,965 first dates were facilitated and there have been 138 engagements; 138 future Batay Yisroel BE”H established in memory of the home we lost. The organization is committed to do more this year for singles and it is only with your help that it will be possible. Over these thirty-six very special hours of Ta’anis Esther and Purim, we are asking you to donate $36 (or any amount you can) and together reach our goal of $10,000 in order to make future events, more inspiration and more guidance a reality. Please help in building future Batay Yisroel by joining the Purim Campaign at: 10KBatayYisroel.org/PURIM Event sponsorship opportunities are available: email 10KBatayYisroel@gmail.com for details (sponsors to be included on all event materials) Tax ID: 83-4319211 Below: Read some of the incredible feedback we’ve received & feel free to share the flyer! Full a list of engagement stories, please visit: 10KBatayYisroel.org/10K-stories and view general feedback at 10KBatayYisroel.org/feedback A full listing and recording of our events can be seen at: 10kbatayyisroel.org/PURIM

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Germany Accuses Iran Of Undermining Potential Nuclear Deal

Germany’s foreign minister on Wednesday urged Iran to accept diplomatic overtures coming from the West in order to preserve the 2015 nuclear accord. Heiko Maas accused Tehran of further undermining the transparency it is required to show under the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, after Iran began restricting international inspections of its nuclear facilities Tuesday. Meanwhile, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported that Iran had added 17.6 kilograms (38.8 pounds) of uranium enriched up to 20% to its stockpile as of Feb. 16 — far past the 3.67% purity allowed under the JCPOA. “In the end, Iran needs to understand that what’s important is to de-escalate and accept the offer of diplomacy that’s on the table, including from the United States,” Maas said. Iran’s violations of the JCPOA pose a significant problem for U.S. President Joe Biden, who is seeking to reverse the Trump administration’s decision to pull the U.S. unilaterally out of the deal three years ago, triggering the re-imposition of crippling economic sanctions on Iran. Iran this week effectively set a deadline to lift those sanctions within three months, after which it said it would erase surveillance footage of its nuclear facilities Maas said the transparency required of Iran under the JCPOA wouldn’t be fulfilled during that period. “But we still want to use these three months, together with other partners in the nuclear agreement, to discuss step by step how the U.S. can return to this accord,” Maas said. “And in particular (the discussion) will be about the sequence of measures. That is, who needs to take which step so that a general agreement can be achieved at the end of which the U.S. are part of this agreement again.” Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made clear late Tuesday that his country doesn’t have confidence in the accord with Tehran. “We have already seen the quality of agreements with extremist regimes such as yours, in the past century and in this one, with the government of North Korea,” he said. “With or without agreements – we will do everything so that you will not arm yourselves with nuclear weapons.” (AP)

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Kol Haposhet Yad: A Timely Purim Message From Philanthropist Reb Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz

L’chvoid all the Purim Shluchei Mitzvah, As the events of this past year has caused all of us to alter our plans, traveling this Purim to collect for the Mosdos Hatorah and Chesed are unfortunately no different. As someone living on the west coast, although it may be a tad more difficult, I’d like to try and help in my own small way. Just over the last two weeks, between emails, voicemails and texts, I’ve received over a thousand requests to participate. It’s been hard for me and people assisting me to decipher most of the messages. Among the communications, there were duplicative, incoherent messages, some missing the names of the Mosdos, their addresses and a host of other pertinent information. I’ve therefore created a new email just for this Purim. The address is purimcharity2021@gmail.com These are the absolute guidelines to guarantee a response. 1. Send an email detailing the following:   A) Name of the Mosad the way it appears on its 501(c)(3) exemption. B) The mailing address. C) A general description of the type of Mosad. D) The amount of people that uses its services. E) The amount of money you received last Purim. F) The head administrator of the Mosad. G) In the subject line, write “Purim Charity 2021”. H) Do not send more than one email! This will substantially reduce your possibility of getting a response. However, should you not receive a response within 45 days, please send another email but add in the words “2nd request” into the subject line. I) Should you not have access to email, please fax the above detailed information to (323) 524-1322. If the charity request is for a Yochid, the Rav of his Shul should send a general description of the cause with all of the above pertinent information. A Freilichen Purim, SHLOMO YEHUDA RECHNITZ

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Purim Safety Guidelines From United Hatzalah

Ahead of the Purim holiday, United Hatzalah of Israel is once again publishing a list of health tips and safety regulations to ensure that everyone has a happy and safe Purim. Each year, the organization receives nearly three times the number of emergency calls on Purim as opposed to a regular day. In order to prevent catastrophes from happening, here is a list of dos and don’ts for the upcoming celebration. Costumes: It is best to refrain from making or purchasing costumes that are made from easily combustible materials. In the case of an emergency in which a costume has caught on fire, try to get the person wearing it to lie down and roll the person on the ground in order to put out the flames. You can also use a thick blanket or carpet to suffocate the fire. In any case of conflagration immediately call for help. Avoid costumes for children that contain small pieces such as buttons in order to prevent choking hazards. Avoid using sharp pins or other sharp objects as part of a costume. All paraphernalia such as swords, scepters etc… should be blunt or made of light plastic. Sharp objects cause injuries to the wearer and those in their vicinity. Explosives: Any type of explosive device, caps, flash-bangs etc… contain gunpowder and hence are highly dangerous and illegal in Israel. These types of “toys” can cause severe injuries and burns and it is strongly advised to avoid their use altogether. Toys with parts that shoot off such as guns, rifles, and even bows and arrows made of plastic can cause injuries and are best to not be given to children. Choking: With regards to choking hazards with babies, it is of the utmost importance not to dress a baby in any costume that has small round parts or any removable parts. Additionally, receiving candy, gumballs, nuts, almonds, or other small foods in mishloach manot can also lead to incidents of choking if young babies or toddlers should eat them. Parents are advised to look through their children’s mishloach manot to make sure that no such foods are eaten by young children. It is also advised not to send such foods to families with small children. Allergies and burns: Spray cans that shoot fake snow or body paint are highly flammable and once sprayed on another person can cause that person burns or allergic reactions. It is also advised to check all makeup prior to use to ensure that the wearer will not suffer an allergic reaction to the makeup. One should only use makeup that has received a stamp of approval from the Health Ministry. In the event of a burning sensation or an allergic reaction in the area of the eyes resulting from a spray, one should wash their eyes under running water until the burning sensation passes. If the burning sensation is particularly serious or continues for an elongated period of time, one should seek medical intervention. In the event of an allergic reaction from makeup, one should remove the makeup immediately. If the reaction is serious and includes symptoms such as a swelling of the tongue, lips, or difficulty breathing, one should immediately alert emergency services and request assistance as quickly as possible. The President and Founder of United Hatzalah Eli […]

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Tehillim United!

TEHILLIM UNITED TELECONFERENCE TONIGHT!TONIGHT, thousands of women and girls worldwide will UNITE to harness the power of Tefilla on the tremendous Eis Ratzon of Purim. The live teleconference will take place tonight at 10:15 PM. We will begin by jointly finishing Tehillim hundreds of times followed by short Divrei Chizuk from Harav Malkiel Kotler Shlita and Rebbetzin Rena Tarshish. For those who have not yet joined, join now with the thousands who are already part of this tremendous zechus. The following numbers can be used  to call in to the teleconference: 712-832-5656 Conference ID 5050#712-432-3566 Conference ID 5050#712-832-5702 Conference ID 5050# The goal of Tehillim United is to have Sefer Tehillim finished hundreds of times as a tremendous zechus for Klal Yisroel and all those saying it.The way it works, is that you sign up before Purim to receive your ‘Yom L’chodesh’ to say. The Tehillim should ideally be said during the allotted time on Leil Purim but for those not able, it can be recited any time over Purim.WITH THOUSANDS HAVING ALREADY SIGNED UP, JOIN NOW, THE POWER IS IN THE NUMBERS!Spread the word, multiply the zechusim and may Hashem be mekabel our tefillos!TO SIGN UP NOW:Call the automated system @ 732.334.0050 Ext 7  ORTEXT THE WORD ‘TEHILLIM’ TO 833-593-0047OR  EMAIL tehillimunited@kupasyomtov.org To find out about sponsoring and having a part in this tremendous zechus please call 732-334-0050 Ext 5.A Freilichen Purim!

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WATCH: New Music Video “Niggun Ohr Hatorah” Composed By Joey Newcomb

Simchas Purim cannot be stopped! Along with Klal Yisrael, Covid Purim 5781 will be different. No bochurim to go around raising funds, no merry making in people’s homes. But the simcha only grows! In Yeshiva Ohr Hatorah, no collecting means added time for learning – adding to the true Simchas Purim. “Simcha and Torah are brothers – they can never be separated!” Please watch the accompanying video for a flavor of the Ohr Hatorah Simcha and then give generously to help support our Yeshiva!

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Saudi Arabia Says Crown Prince Had ‘Successful’ Surgery

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman underwent a “successful surgery” to remove his appendix Wednesday, the royal court said, and he left the hospital soon after the operation. The 35-year-old prince had surgery for appendicitis at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital in the Saudi capital of Riyadh in the morning, according to the royal court. The official statement described the operation as laparoscopic, meaning that no large incision was made. Late Wednesday, Saudi state-run media published footage of the crown prince, surrounded by an entourage clad in traditional checkered headdresses, striding out of the fluorescent-lit hospital and into a waiting black Mercedes. “He has left the hospital in health and wellness,” the royal court announced, without providing further details. Prince Mohammed, the son of King Salman, has amassed immense powers in the kingdom since being appointed heir to the throne in 2017. His rapid rise, brash unpredictability and ambitious efforts to liberalize the deeply conservative society and overhaul the economy has shattered decades of tradition, attracting international attention and criticism. He has sidelined rivals to consolidate authority and moved to quash all dissent. As part of his push to diversify the kingdom’s oil-dependent economy, state-run media announced earlier Wednesday that the Saudi sovereign wealth fund was pouring $3 billion into a new project: the transformation of a southwestern province near the kingdom’s border with war-torn Yemen into a major tourist destination. The Saudi Public Investment Fund aims to build up to 2,700 hotel rooms and 1,300 homes, along with other “entertainment and tourism” projects, in the mountainous Asir region, the official Saudi Press Agency reported. Under the so-called Vision 2030 program, Prince Mohammed is aiming for tourism to contribute 10% of Saudi Arabia’s gross domestic product. The campaign to draw visitors and foreign investment has sputtered in recent months amid the surging pandemic, putting pressure on the national budget. (AP)

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Gedolei HaPoskim: Don’t Get Drunk This Purim Due To The Pandemic

As Am Yisrael prepares to celebrate Purim in the shadow of the coronavirus, the Gedolei HaPoskim in Eretz Yisrael wrote a letter calling for people not to drink to the point of drunkenness this year. The letter was signed by HaGaon HaRav Yitzchak Zilberstein, Rav of Ramat Elchanan and a member of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah, HaGaon HaRav Shimon Badani, a member of the Motetzet Chachmei HaTorah of Shas, HaGaon HaRav Shariel Rosenberg, Gaon Av Beis Din of Bnei Brak, and HaGaon HaRav Yehudah Silman, Av Beis Din in Bnei Brak. In a letter entitled: Drinking To The Point Of Drunkenness During The Coronavirus Pandemic, the Rabbanim wrote that “a state of drunkenness is very risky and unseemly. And during this difficult time of the coronavirus pandemic – as is known, as alcohol clouds the mind of the drinker, leading to drunkenness and a loss of clarity, it’s likely to lead to people not behaving with the required precautions and health regulations to preserve their health.” “And it’s likely to lead to a spike in the infection rate that will harm and endanger the public health, which is in the geder of ‘חב לאחריני’ [taking something for yourself while harming others].” “And especially this year, when [drunkeness] can, chalilah, lead to Chilul Shabbos – one should refrain from drinking to the point of drunkenness.” (YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

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CPA students at Touro Flatbush scored among the best in the state!

Enroll in our accelerated CPA program and put your career on the fast track. Learn more at las.touro.edu/cpa Our accelerated accounting CPA program offers: A B.S. in less than two years Financial aid and generous scholarships to academically qualified students Personalized attention and mentoring from faculty with real-world experience Flexible schedules A large selection of electives and courses in specialized areas of accounting Job placement assistance, including two annual career fairs featuring national accounting firms Our students join renowned companies including BKD, Deloitte, PWC, Grant Thornton, KPMG, RSM and EisnerAmper. Request more information and see how you can make more happen here.

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PURIM MESHULASH: What Mitzvah Is Performed On What Day?

The following is a brief overview of some of the halachos and customs of Purim Meshulash, drawing on several sources. As is well-known, Purim is celebrated in Jerusalem (and other cities that were walled at the time of Yehoshua), a day later than other cities, on the fifteenth of Adar – Shushan Purim. This year, there will be a Purim Meshulash, as the fifteenth of Adar falls out on Shabbos. Residents of walled cities will fulfill the mitzvos of Purim over a three-day period: Kriyas Megillah and Matanos L’Evyonim are fulfilled on the 14th, like in unwalled cities. On Shabbos, Al HaNissim [and additions to Kriyas HaTorah] are said, and on Sunday, shalach manos are given out and the seudah is held. Why do walled cities celebrate over a three-day period on Purim Meshulash rather than fulfill all the mitzos on Sunday? Kriyas Megillah is forbidden on Shabbos [lest one carries the Megillah in a public domain], and according to Chazal, since the Megillah says that the days of Purim “should not pass by,” it must be read earlier rather than later [unlike Tisha B’av for example, which is delayed to Sunday when falling out on Shabbos]. Matanos l’evyonim is fulfilled on the 14th and not delayed until Sunday since the Gemara states that matanos l’evyonim should be given on the day the Megillah is read because the poor expect it then and they’ll be able to benefit from it as early as possible. Seudas Purim is delayed until the 16th and not fulfilled on Shabbos so as not to mix one simcha with another simcha. Giving out shalach manos, while not forbidden on Shabbos, can lead to chillul Shabbos [carrying], so it is fulfilled on Sunday as well. Also, most poskim hold that shalach manos should be given out on the 16th since it is the main Purim day, based on the Rambam, who hints that the seudah and shalach manos are interrelated. However, some poskim hold that Yerushalmim should give out a small amount of shalach manos on Friday and Shabbos [if possible]. Other poskim say that guests at the table can fulfill the mitzvah of shalach manos. Although Friday is not Purim in Jerusalem, it is customary to wear Shabbos clothes in honor of the Megillah reading as well as to serve extra food and wine at the Shabbos meals, making the seudos more special in honor of Purim. (YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

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Lessons From a Pandemic Purim – By: Zvi Gluck

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to realize that Purim this year is going to be very different than usual. Normally, it’s tough to deal with the shortened day when Purim falls out on a Friday, but things are already a far cry from the status quo this year. The usual groups of dancing yeshiva boys in colorful costumes won’t be going door to door spreading simcha as they collect money for the institutions of higher learning in most communities. Large Purim mesibas, some of which have a history going back multiple decades have been canceled and the simple act of giving mishloach manos has become a complicated matter for those who are still socially isolated because of COVID. The contrast between this Purim and last couldn’t be more pronounced. It’s hard to believe that it’s been a full year since the pandemic hit. Many of us are marking our first anniversary of having come down with COVID and worse yet, far too many people will be observing the yahrtzeits of loved ones whose lives were lost to an unseen enemy. For just about all of us, Purim 2020 was that line in the sand, that last hurrah between life as we knew it and having our world turned completely upside down and as I scroll through the pictures on my phone, those costumed photos of my kids are the last ones I took before life as we knew it ceased to exist. Remember when the first quarantines were imposed, how unthinkable it was that there were people who would have to stay home from megila and kids whose Purims were about to be completely torpedoed? Having experienced every single yom tov pandemic-style, that idea seems almost laughable. We’ve had a year of solo Pesach sedarim, driveway weddings and a never-ending barrage of schools, shuls and businesses opening and closing at the drop of the hat. It’s a new normal, and I daresay it’s a normal that none of us want. Purim may be all about simcha, but happiness may be elusive for a lot of us this year. Dealing as we do in mental health, addiction, and abuse, we have seen firsthand at Amudim just how incredibly difficult things have been since the pandemic hit. We opened up a total of 2,652 new cases from Purim 2020 through today, almost exactly double the number of cases we opened over the same time period one year earlier. But despite those daunting statistics, we’ve all learned a lot over the past twelve months, giving all of us an opportunity to walk a few miles in the shoes of those who struggle with mental health issues. We have all faced anxiety, insecurity, isolation, and very real fears about our wellbeing on multiple levels and are seeing for ourselves just how daunting life can be when the unthinkable happens. With obstacles and restrictions thrown in our way, we have had to reimagine so many aspects of our lives that we used to take for granted so that we can keep going day by day. It’s been tough. But we’ve been doing it and we’re going to keep going for as long as it takes. That resilience is something that we see on a daily basis on Amudim, as we watch people […]

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Australia Passes Law To Make Google, Facebook Pay For News

Australia’s law forcing Google and Facebook to pay for news is ready to take effect, though the laws’ architect said it will take time for the digital giants to strike media deals. The Parliament on Thursday passed the final amendments to the so-called News Media Bargaining Code agreed between Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday. In return for the changes, Facebook agreed to lift a ban on Australians accessing and sharing news. Rod Sims, the competition regulator who drafted the code, said he was happy that the amended legislation would address the market imbalance between Australian news publishers and the two gateways to the internet. “All signs are good,” Sims said. “The purpose of the code is to address the market power that clearly Google and Facebook have. Google and Facebook need media, but they don’t need any particular media company, and that meant media companies couldn’t do commercial deals,” the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chair added. The rest of the law had passed in Parliament earlier, so it can now be implemented. Google has already struck deals with major Australian news businesses in recent weeks including News Corp. and Seven West Media. Frydenberg said he was pleased to see progress by Google and more recently Facebook in reaching commercial deals with Australian news businesses. But Country Press Australia, which represents 161 regional newspapers across the country, has raised concerns that tiny publications outside large cities might miss out. Sims said he was not surprised that the platforms would strike deals with the large city businesses first. “I don’t see any reason why anybody should doubt that all journalism will benefit,” Sims said. “There things take time. Google and Facebook don’t have unlimited resources to go around talking to everybody. I think this has got a long way to play out,” he added. Chris Moos, a lecturer at Oxford University’s Business School, said the latest amendments amounted to a “small victory” for Zuckerberg. Moos said the legislation would likely result in small payouts for most Australian news publishers. But Facebook could again block Australian news if negotiations broke down. The legislation was designed to curb the outsized bargaining power of Facebook and Google in their negotiations with Australian news providers. The digital giants would not be able to abuse their positions by making take-it-or-leave-it payment offers to news businesses for their journalism. Instead, in the case of a standoff, an arbitration panel would make a binding decision on a winning offer. Frydenberg and Facebook confirmed that the two sides agreed to amendments to the proposed legislation. The changes would give digital platforms one month’s notice before they are formally designated under the code. That would give those involved more time to broker agreements before they are forced to enter binding arbitration arrangements. Facebook Vice President of Global Affairs Nick Clegg said on Wednesday that the Australian law, without this week’s amendments, would have enabled media conglomerates to “demand a blank check.” “Thankfully, after further discussion, the Australian government has agreed to changes that mean fair negotiations are encouraged without the looming threat of heavy-handed and unpredictable arbitration,” Clegg, a former British deputy prime minister, wrote in a Facebook post. Facebook last week prevented Australians from sharing news, but also blocked access to pandemic, public […]

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