Yeshiva World News

Mazal Tov! Orphaned Son Gets Engaged After Shloshim For Parents Who Died Of COVID-19

Leizer Porush, 22, the son of Rav Tzvi, z’l and Baila Porush, a’h, who passed away days apart after they both fell ill with the coronavirus, got engaged on Tuesday. The shidduch had already been suggested when the parents were still alive but before the two could meet, the coronavirus began to spread and the parents became ill, according to a Kikar H’Shabbos report. “It’s a great simcha,” said one of family members to Kikar H’Shabbat. “Because this was the will of the parents, who discussed the shidduch while they were still alive.” Leizer’s mother, Baila Porush, a’h, passed away first – only days after she began feeling ill – at the age of 54. Two days later, her husband, R’ Tzvi (Hershel) Porush, z’l, passed away at the age of 58, leaving their children, four of them not yet married, double orphans. Fortunately, another son in the Porush family, who had also contracted the coronavirus and was seriously ill, has completely recovered. Tragically, the family has suffered tragedy in the past, when the oldest son, Shmulik, z’l, passed away suddenly, failing to wake up one morning. (YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

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US Health Officials Quietly Release More Reopening Guidance

U.S. health officials have quietly released more reopening guidance that was created more than a month ago but initially shelved. As with other recently released guidance, religious organizations were not included. Instead, the document has advice for childcare facilities, schools, day camps, mass transit systems, restaurants, bars and other businesses and organizations that have workers at high risk of becoming sick from the coronavirus. The guidance discusses different steps organizations can take as they reopen from closures aimed at stopping the virus’s spread. On Sunday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention placed the information in a 20-page appendix to a document previously posted on its website. For example, the CDC suggests restaurants might transition from take-out only to reopening dining rooms with customers spaced six feet apart. Mass transit systems might shift from serving only essential workers to opening up to the general public with restrictions, such as closing every other row of seats and limits on how many riders can be on a bus or train. In a third step, the system might loosen some of those limitations, but keep tape markers on the ground or take other steps to help passengers stay 6 feet apart. The pages flesh out six one-page “decision tool” documents — posted by CDC last week — that use traffic signs and other graphics to tell organizations what they should consider before reopening. More than a month ago, CDC gave White House officials a more detailed version of decision tools and additional pages of guidance. Those early versions of the documents included detailed information for churches wanting to restart in-person services, with suggestions including maintaining distance between parishioners and limiting the size of gatherings. The White House initially shelved all the guidance. Since then, it’s authorized release of some of the information. But the faith-related guidance was taken out after the White House raised concerns about the recommended restrictions. (AP)

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Pompeo Denies Retaliation But Won’t Explain Watchdog Ouster

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday adamantly denied that he recommended firing the State Department’s independent watchdog in retaliation for investigations into Pompeo’s conduct as America’s top diplomat. But Pompeo again declined to provide specific reasons for Steve Linick’s dismissal as inspector general. Pompeo took an unusually harsh shot at the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez. Pompeo accused the senator’s office of being behind allegations that Linick’s ouster was motivated by revenge. Pompeo said he would not take ethics lessons from Menendez, who was once prosecuted by the Justice Department on corruption charges, but his trial ended in a hung jury and prosecutors decided in early 2018 not to retry him. “I don’t get my ethics advice from Sen. Menendez,” he said. Menendez responded by saying Pompeo’s use of “diversion tactics by attempting to smear me is as predictable as it is shameful.” He said in a statement that Pompeo faced an investigation “into this improper firing and into his attempt to cover up his inappropriate and possibly illegal actions,” Tand that it was no surprise Pompeo was lashing out against lawmakers for their congressional oversight. Pompeo told reporters that he was unaware of any investigation into allegations that he may have mistreated staffers by instructing them to run personal errands for him and his wife such as walking his dog and picking up dry cleaning and takeout food. Thus, Pompeo said, it would have been impossible for retaliation to have been the motive behind his recommendation to President Donald Trump to dismiss Linick. “It’s patently false,” he said. “I have no sense of what investigations were taking place inside the inspector general’s office. I couldn’t possibly have retaliated for all the things. I’ve seen the various stories that like, someone was walking my dog to sell arms to my dry cleaner. I mean, it’s all just crazy. It’s all crazy stuff.” Pompeo did acknowledge that he was aware of an investigation into his decision last year to bypass congressional objections to approve a multibillion-dollar arms sale to Saudi Arabia because he had answered written questions about it posed by Linick’s office, But Pompeo maintained he did not know the scope or scale of the investigation. Trump fired Linick late on Friday in what congressional aides have suggested was a move to preempt investigations into Pompeo’s personal conduct or possible impropriety in the Saudi arms sale. Pompeo, who previously told The Washington Post that Linick had been “undermining” the State Department’s work, said he had recommended Linick’s removal, but refused to cite specific reasons. Pompeo said he had been concerned about the inspector general’s work for some time and that he regretted not calling for his dismissal earlier. “I recommended to the president that Steve Linick be terminated,” he said. “I frankly should have done it some time ago.” Linick is one of several inspectors general that Trump has removed from office, sparking outrage among Democrats who say the administration is waging war on accountability. Democrats and some Republicans have questioned the firings, saying the watchdogs can only be removed for cause and that Trump’s explanation that he has lost confidence in them is not enough. Linick was an Obama administration appointee whose office was critical of what it saw as […]

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Trump Muses About Hosting G-7 Summit In US After All

President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he’s considering holding an in-person meeting in the U.S. with the leaders of the world’s major economies after all because it would be a “great sign to all” of things returning to normal during the coronavirus pandemic. Trump had scheduled the Group of Seven summit for June 10-12 at Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland. But in March, he announced he was canceling the annual meeting because of the pandemic and that the leaders would confer by video conference instead. But Trump has recently been making an aggressive push to see the U.S. economy humming again after many businesses were closed to help slow the virus. “Now that our Country is ‘Transitioning back to Greatness’, I am considering rescheduling the G-7, on the same or similar date, in Washington, D.C., at the legendary Camp David,” Trump tweeted. “The other members are also beginning their COMEBACK. It would be a great sign to all – normalization!” It was not immediately clear how such a meeting could be arranged so quickly. Formal White House preparations for the summit were halted two months ago when the summit was called off. And the Trump administration has maintained travel restrictions and quarantine requirements for travelers from Europe, home to four of the G-7 nations. And earlier this week the U.S. and Canada agreed to keep their shared border closed to nonessential travel through June 21. The District of Columbia remains under stay-at-home orders at least through June 8, though Maryland began relaxing stay-at-home restrictions last week. At the same time, leaders of the group’s member nations are in various stages of reopening their own societies. A senior White House official said Trump was seriously considering rescheduling the summit for some point in June, likely toward the end of the month, at either the White House or Camp David. The subject was discussed on a call between Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday morning, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. If the summit happens, the U.S. would request that delegations be pared back to minimum personnel and would curtail nonessential events like the spousal program. A final decision would be needed in the coming days to ensure adequate time to prepare for the high-level meeting, the official said. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called it an interesting idea, but said leaders need a lot more details. He said it’s important G-7 leaders meet in June so they can discuss the pandemic and restoring economic activity. “We need to keep meeting as leaders. Whether that’s virtual or in person we will certainly take a look at what the U.S. is proposing as host of the G-7 to see what kind of measures will be in place to keep people safe, what kind of recommendations the experts are giving in terms of how that might function,” Trudeau said. “There are a lot of discussions to come, but we look forward to having those discussions with the American hosts.” The U.S. holds the G-7′s rotating presidency this year and gets to determine where the meeting is held and set the agenda. Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan are the other members. Trump originally planned to hold the annual summit at his private […]

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Quest For ‘Super-Duper’ Missiles Pits US Against Key Rivals

They fly at speeds of a mile a second or faster and maneuver in ways that make them extra difficult to detect and destroy in flight. President Donald Trump calls them “super-duper” missiles though they’re better known as hypersonic weapons. And they are at the heart of Trump administration worries about China and Russia. For decades the United States has searched for ways to get ultra-fast flight right. But it has done so in fits and starts. Now, with China and Russia arguably ahead in this chase, the Trump administration is pouring billions of dollars a year into hypersonic offense and defense. The Pentagon makes no bones about their purpose. “Our ultimate goal is, simply, we want to dominate future battlefields,” Mark Lewis, the Pentagon’s director of defense research and engineering for modernization, told reporters in March. Critics argue that hypersonic weapons would add little to the United States’ ability to deter war. Some think they could ignite a new, destabilizing arms race. A look at hypersonic weapons: WHAT’S SPECIAL ABOUT HYPERSONIC? Two things make these weapons special: speed and maneuverability. Speed brings surprise, and maneuverability creates elusiveness. Together, those qualities could mean trouble for missile defenses. By generally agreed definition, a hypersonic weapon is one that flies at speeds in excess of Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound. Most American missiles, such as those launched from aircraft to hit other aircraft or ground targets, travel between Mach 1 and Mach 5. Trump occasionally mentions his interest in hypersonic weapons, sometimes without using the term. In February he told governors visiting the White House: “We have the super-fast missiles — tremendous number of the super-fast. We call them ‘super-fast,’ where they’re four, five, six and even seven times faster than an ordinary missile. We need that because, again, Russia has some.” And last Friday, Trump told reporters, “We have no choice, we have to do it, with the adversaries we have out there,” mentioning China and Russia. He added, “I call it the super-duper missile.” He said he “heard” it travels 17 times faster than any other U.S. missile. “It just got the go-ahead,” he added, although the Pentagon would not comment on that. HOW THEY WORK The Pentagon is pursuing two main types of hypersonic weapons. One, called a hypersonic glide vehicle, is launched from a rocket. It then glides to a target, maneuvering at high speed to evade interception. The other is sometimes referred to as a hypersonic cruise missile. Capable of being launched from a fighter jet or bomber, it would be powered by a supersonic combustion ramjet, or scramjet, enabling the missile to fly and maneuver at lower altitudes. On March 19, the Pentagon flight-tested a hypersonic glide vehicle at its Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii. It deemed the test a success and “a major milestone towards the department’s goal of fielding hypersonic warfighting capabilities in the early- to mid-2020s.” Unlike Russia, the United States says it is not developing hypersonic weapons for use with a nuclear warhead. As a result, a U.S. hypersonic weapon will need to be more accurate, posing additional technical challenges. As recently as 2017, the Pentagon was spending about $800 million on hypersonic weapon programs. That nearly doubled the following year, then rose to $2.4 billion […]

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Miracle In Modi’in Illit: Poisonous Snake, Almost 5 Ft. Long, Found In Talmud Torah

A Rebbe in the Brachfeld Talmud Torah decided to begin organizing his classroom on Wednesday morning in anticipation of the students returning to their studies in the near future and encountered a quite frightening surprise, B’Chadrei Chareidim reported. The Rebbe discovered an almost 5-foot poisonous snake in the caravan classroom. He quickly called the municipal hotline and within a few minutes, a snake catcher arrived and captured the snake. The B’Chadrei article warned that due to the current heatwave, many snakes are looking for shade and can appear in unexpected areas, especially in places that have been uninhabited for a prolonged period of time. Also, as YWN has reported, Magen David Adom stated last week that their data indicates that there has been a significant increase in snake bites in Israel, with 44 Israelis bitten by snakes from the beginning of March. In the same time period last year, there were only 23 Israelis bitten by snakes. (YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

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Teacher Forces 7-Year-Old Girl to Spend Day in Underwear For Breaking Dress Code

A 7-year-old girl attending a non-religious state school in Petach Tikva was made to spend the day in just her underwear and a T-shirt on Monday. Due to the extreme heat, the girl had arrived at school in a sleeveless dress which was against the school’s dress code. According to a report in the Israeli media site Ynet, the school claims to have called the child’s mother and asked her to bring new clothes. The mother, who was in a class of her own, was unable to come and told the school that the girl had an additional sweater in her backpack. The school said that this too was in violation of the code as it did not have the school’s crest on it. The school then informed the mother that they would provide a t-shirt for the girl. The teacher instructed the girl to go to the bathroom and remove the dress completely and put on the T-shirt. When the girl returned to class in just her underwater, the teacher did not say that anything was amiss. “I saw how the other kids were laughing at her,” the girl’s mother told Ynet. The girl had been made to spend the entire school day in her underwater. “I was in shock, I couldn’t believe it. I asked the teacher why she did it and she said that the rules stated it is forbidden to wear a sleeveless dress. I told her: ‘so just underwear is okay?'” the mother added: “My daughter doesn’t want to talk about it and doesn’t want to go to school anymore. I have started looking for a new school for her.” Attorney Victoria Roitman, who is representing the family, said: “A police complaint has been filed today, and we have a school meeting tomorrow. We are demanding an investigation and appropriate punishment as this is a serious case. How we proceed depends on the outcome of the meeting.” The Ministry of Education said in response: “The issue of the dress code lies with the school authorities. Nonetheless, the ministry very much regrets the incident and notes that there was room for more sensitivity. A conversation was held with the principal and things were made clear to her.” (YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

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Trump Threatens Funds For States Easing Voting In Pandemic

President Donald Trump on Wednesday threatened to hold up federal funds for two battleground states because they are trying to make it easier to vote during the coronavirus pandemic. The president’s tweets targeting Michigan and Nevada were his latest salvo against voting by mail, a practice that he has publicly worried will lead so many people to vote that Republicans will lose in November. Trump began by targeting Michigan, erroneously describing Democratic Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s announcement Tuesday that she would send absentee ballot applications to every voter in the state. “Michigan sends absentee ballots to 7.7 million people ahead of Primaries and the General Election,” Trump tweeted Wednesday. “This was done illegally and without authorization by a rogue Secretary of State. I will ask to hold up funding to Michigan if they want to go down this Voter Fraud path!” Trump later made a similar threat against Nevada, which has actually sent ballots to voters for its June 9 state primary, due to the coronavirus pandemic. A federal judge recently cleared Nevada’s decision to mail ballots, which were sent by the Republican secretary of state. “State of Nevada ‘thinks’ that they can send out illegal vote by mail ballots, creating a great Voter Fraud scenario for the State and the U.S. They can’t! If they do, ‘I think’ I can hold up funds to the State. Sorry, but you must not cheat in elections,” Trump tweeted. It was not immediately clear what funds Trump was referencing. The states are paying for their elections changes through coronavirus relief spending measures the president signed into law. Trump tagged his acting budget director, his chief of staff and the Treasury Department on the tweets. Trump’s threats drew an immediate sharp response from Democrats, who alluded to impeaching the president for his threats to withhold aid from Ukraine if that country did not help his reelection effort. “Trump has gone Ukraine on Michigan and Nevada, threatening to cut off funding for their audacity to not make voters choose between protecting their health and exercising their right to vote,” California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, a Democrat, said in a statement. “We will not allow our democracy to become a casualty of this pandemic.” Trump has been vocal about his opposition to voting by mail, claiming the practice is ripe for fraud although there is scant evidence of widespread wrongdoing with mail-in voting. Trump himself requested a mail ballot for Florida’s GOP primary last month and he has voted absentee in previous elections. While Republicans insist that Trump’s position on the issue is nuanced and not simply an effort to suppress Democratic votes, the president undermined those arguments Wednesday morning. Benson noted Trump was objecting to her doing something that Republicans are also doing in other states. ”‘Hi! I also have a name, it’s Jocelyn Benson. And we sent applications, not ballots. Just like my GOP colleagues in Iowa, Georgia, Nebraska and West Virginia,’” she tweeted at the president. On Monday, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel portrayed the party’s $20 million campaign against Democratic efforts to expand mail voting as principled stance to protect the sanctity of the ballot. McDaniel said she had no objection to a system like the one Benson would announce the next day because there is a difference […]

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Want To Daven By The Kosel On Shavuos? Enter The Lottery

Tens of thousands of mipallelim have visited the Kosel since it re-opened in accordance with Health Ministry regulations. During regular years, thousands of people show up for tefillas neitz on Shavuos morning and for Kaballas Shabbos, which falls out this year on Motzei Shavuos. Of course, a huge throng of mispallelim won’t be allowed in this year but the question is: who will be allowed in and who won’t? In order to minimize the agmas nefesh of those who walk to the Kosel on Shavuos only to be turned away, the Western Wall Heritage Foundation has decided that entrance to the Kosel on Shavous morning and Kabalas Shabbos immediately afterward will be allowed only to those with “tefillah tickets” which will be distributed through a lottery. Entrance to the Kosel before and after the two set tefillos will be allowed according to available space. Anyone who is interested can register for the lottery on the Western Wall Heritage Foundation website. Each individual age 11 or older can register for one tefillah only – either tefillas neitz of Shavuos morning or Kaballas Shabbos. Registration is open until Motzei Shabbos, May 23 at midnight. The lottery will be carried out under the supervision of the foundation’s attorney on Sunday morning, Rosh Chodesh Sivan, and the recipients of the “tefillah tickets” will be published on the fund’s website at 7 p.m. Entrance to the Kosel plaza will only be allowed to those bearing a “tefillah ticket” and a teudat zehut (identity card) or a photocopy of it and to children under the age of 11 accompanying a “tefillah ticket” bearer. (YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

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SUDDEN RESIGNATION: Dr Zev Zelenko Leaving Kiras Joel After 20 Years [VIDEO]

One of the leading physicians in Kiryas Joel, Dr Zev Zelenko, has announced that he is leaving the Village of Kiryas Joel where he has been practicing medicine for nearly two decades. Zelenko made national headlines recently by promoting Hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19. YWN began publishing videos of Zelenko in mid March as the COVID-19 pandemic began raging in the United States. Dr Zelenko stated in his videos that he had given the medication to hundreds of patients and was seeing tremendous positive results. Shortly after the release of his videos, the political leadership released public letters stating that Dr Zelenko was not one of the leading doctors in Kiryas Joel, and was just one of many. No reason for the release of this letter was ever given. Zelenko never backed down and kept releasing videos touting his results with his drug cocktail. Just this week President Trump stunned the world when he announced that he was taking the medication as a preventive to COVID-19. Trump even mentioned Zelenko (not by name) in a press conference. The anti-Zelenko PR campaign to tarnish his reputation continued in Kiras Joel which resulted in him releasing a video on Motzei Shabbos which blasted the political leadership of Kiryas Joel by name and listed everything they did to him. Today’s video came as a shock to his many patients and friends in Kiryas Joel. STAY UPDATED WITH BREAKING UPDATES FROM YWN VIA WHATSAPP – SIGN UP NOW Just click on this link, and you will be placed into a group. (YWN World Headquarters – NYC)

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2 Students At Rechovot School Test Positive For COVID-19

Two students at a Rechovot school who entered self-quarantine after a teacher at their school was diagnosed with the coronavirus tested positive for the virus, news reports said on Tuesday. The students are among 52 students and staff members who were sent to self-quarantine subsequent to the teacher’s diagnosis. Prior to the teacher being diagnosed, another staff member was diagnosed with the virus, sending 35 students into self-quarantine. On Tuesday, a toddler who attends a Tel Aviv daycare was diagnosed with the virus, sending 16 other toddlers into quarantine. (YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

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Charlene Aminoff Hosts Exclusive Cooking Demo! Cuisine For A Cause: Featuring @BusyinBrooklyn and @IcedbyGoldie

 Avigdor’s Helping Hand an incredible organization that provides financial assistance to orphans getting married and widow(er)s following the loss of the primary breadwinner. This Sunday May 24th at 1pm AHH will be hosting fantastic exclusive cooking demo’s from @BusyInBrooklyn herself Chanie Apfelbaum and Goldie Sebrow @IcedbyGoldie. Our Master MC Charlene Aminoff will be hosting! Register at Cuisine4ahh.org TODAY! Amazing Prizes such as a Bosch and Gift Cards will be raffled off!  Hurry and Register TODAY so you can have the ingredients to follow along with us!

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Youngest Israeli Victim: 33-Year-Old Dies Of Covid-19, Leaves Behind Wife & Baby

Israel’s youngest victim of the coronavirus, a 33-year-old man, died overnight Tuesday at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer. Avishalom Rosilio, a resident of Migdal HaEmek, was a recovered cancer patient of 12 years and also suffered from a chronic lung condition for which he needed breathing assistance even before he contracted the coronavirus. Avishalom left behind his wife, Lihi, and their baby, 11-month-old Raphael Nachman. Avishalom met his wife in the oncological department in Sheba when they were both receiving treatment for cancer. Both of them contracted the coronavirus and Lili recovered Baruch Hashem and was able to be by her husband’s bedside in his last weeks of life. For the past few weeks, Avishalom was unconscious but a few days ago he regained consciousness and was able to communicate with family members. Unfortunately, his condition then deteriorated further until he was niftar overnight Tuesday. “He fought like a lion,” said Avishalom’s relative, Shimon Suissa, the head of the Hatzor HaGlilit Council. “We thought he had won [after recovering from cancer] and then again, like a nightmare, the coronavirus broke out and affected the entire Rosilio family. Tefillos and more tefillos. The family recovered and only Avishalom remained ill. He fought for his life but unfortunately, he gave over his neshama to the Borei Olam tonight [Tuesday] after midnight.” Yehi Zichro Baruch (YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

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Thousands Of Iranians Implore Israel For Asylum

Amid reports of an Israeli cyberattack on an Iranian port earlier this month, thousands of Iranians have been turning to Israel for asylum in Israel, Israel’s Foreign Ministry stated on Tuesday night. Since the coronavirus pandemic began, there has been a sharp increase in the number of Iranian citizens appealing for asylum to Israel. “I grew up in a politically mixed family,” one Iranian wrote to the Foreign Ministry on one of the digital platforms that the ministry runs in Farsi. “Two of my uncles were executed by the Ayatollah regime. My father sat in prison for eight years and three of my other uncles – who were also imprisoned – escaped and live today in Australia.” “I am also in and out of prison for political reasons. I want to escape this slow death. Israel is my dream. Please help me, please.” According to the Foreign Ministry, Iranian requests to immigrate to Israel are on the rise on all possible platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and emails. Message friendship to all the peoples of the world,especially the people of Israel and the USA#IranIsraelFriendship @IsraeliPM @IsraelMFA @IsraelMaVie @Europe_Israel @IsraelPersian @IsraelFrancais @IranIsraelfr1 @israelipm_farsi @netanyahu @IsraelLovesIran @karine_meg @JoeKacew pic.twitter.com/VzNxPytKlp — Mahssâ (@Mahsajml) May 19, 2020 “It’s thousands of inquiries, all the time, every day, in lots of variations,” said Sharona Avginsaz, who is responsible for the Farsi media department in the Foreign Ministry. “We’ve come to the point that we no longer allow direct contact or Facebook or Twitter. I have to say that I once tried to answer each one personally – but the scope is so large that I can’t answer them all. We also have no way to help them.” Other applicants say they left Iran because they oppose the regime and fled with family members to Turkey and are now seeking help. Many inquiries come from Iranians who have fled to Turkey and Greece and are there in refugee camps. “There are also thousands of inquiries from within Iran,” Avginsaz said. “There’s no post [on social media] I look at that doesn’t have many Iranians asking how to immigrate to Israel. Some say that they discovered that their grandmother on their father’s side was Jewish and ask how it’s possible to come to Israel.” Some of them also request medical assistance. “Many times we tried to check if it’s possible to help from a medical standpoint but since it’s a hostile country there’s really no possibilities of helping,” Avginsaz added. Some of the requests are from known Iranian citizens who got in trouble with the authorities. One came from a well-known athlete who fled Iran after she got into trouble for being photographed with Israeli athletes abroad – and was seeking assistance from Israel. “When there are really extraordinary requests and we can verify the identity of the person, we pass the request on to other authorities to see if they can help. The requests are very emotional and indicate real distress. My heart really goes out to them,” Avginsaz concluded. Yiftach Curiel, head of the Department of Digital Diplomacy, said: “We are active in the various Persian social media channels ​​with close to a million followers and our content reaches almost five million people every week in Iran and abroad. Out pages receive a lot of […]

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Powerful Drasha from the great and holy Klausenberger Rebbe ZT”l , Slichos 5728 (1967)

Powerful Drasha  from the great and holy Klausenberger Rebbe ZT”l , Slichos  5728 (1967)Apropos to our present situation The Rebbe advocates for klal Yisroel, and beseeches that Hashem should first bring us the geulah shleima and then we will be able to return to him

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Thousands Evacuated As River Dams Break In Central Michigan

Rapidly rising water has overtaken dams and forced the evacuation of about 10,000 people from flooded communities in central Michigan, and the governor warned that one city could end up “under approximately 9 feet of water” Wednesday. For the second time in less than 24 hours, families living along the Tittabawassee River and connected lakes in Midland County were ordered to leave home Tuesday evening. By Wednesday morning, water several feet deep covered some streets, parking lots and parkland and had reached a hotel near the river in downtown Midland. On Wednesday morning, the river topped a previous record reading of 33.9 feet (10.3 meters) set during flooding in 1986, the National Weather Service said. Its flood stage is 24 feet (7.3 meters), and it was expected to crest by day’s end at about 38 feet (11.6 meters). The Weather Service urged anyone near the river to seek higher ground following “catastrophic dam failures” at the Edenville Dam, about 140 miles (225 kilometers) north of Detroit, and the Sanford Dam, about seven miles (11 kilometers) downriver. The evacuations come as Michigan remains under a stay-at-home order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. While Michigan has been a national hot spot for COVID-19, with more than 52,000 cases and 5,000 deaths, Midland County has had fewer than 80 cases and under 10 deaths. Still, some dealing with the flooding and evacuations remained aware of the dangers posed by the virus. rea schools were set up as shelters Tuesday, with cots spaced apart to adhere to social distancing guidelines.   Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said downtown Midland, a city of 42,000 people, faced an especially serious flooding threat. “In the next 12 to 15 hours, downtown Midland could be under approximately 9 feet of water,” the governor said during a late Tuesday briefing. “We are anticipating an historic high water level.” Whitmer was scheduled to provide an update early Wednesday afternoon. Dow Chemical Co. has been headquartered in Midland for more than 120 years, and its main plant sits on the city’s riverbank. It is a quintessential company town with downtown parks located at the confluence of the Tittabawassee and Chippewa rivers and is known among architecture buffs for its midcentury modern structures first introduced by architect Alden B. Dow. One high school is named after the company’s founder. The other high school’s mascot is the Chemics. A Dow foundation has funded many community amenities such as a botanical garden. Dow Chemical, with 9,000 employees and contractors in Midland, on Tuesday shut down all operating units except those needed to contain chemicals, spokesman Kyle Bandlow said. By Wednesday, floodwater was mixing with on-site containment ponds and the company and U.S. Coast Guard activated emergency plans, Dow said in a statement. Only essential staff was on site and no injuries have been reported, the company said. Steve Carlson, 61, said he and his wife, Patty, fled their Midland home about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday after an evacuation order was issued for a large swath of the city, and they noticed neighborhood creeks were spilling over local roads and threatening some homes. “They had risen a lot and the worst was yet to come,” Carlson said Wednesday morning. One couple in their neighborhood decided to stay put, but Carlson said everyone else had evacuated […]

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Biden On Trump Hits: ‘I Don’t Want To Get Down In The Mud’

Joe Biden on Tuesday night deflected questions about President Donald Trump’s allegations of improper behavior during the Obama administration and other conspiracy theories pushed by his top allies, saying, “I don’t want to get down in the mud with these guys.” Speaking at a Yahoo News virtual town hall, Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, said Trump is trying to distract voters from his inadequate response to the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 90,000 Americans. Trump has said the virus will disappear “like a miracle.” Broadly dubbing his allegations “Obamagate,” Trump has pointed to the legal case of his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, suggesting that the “unmasking” of Flynn’s name as part of legal U.S. surveillance of foreign targets was criminal and motivated by partisan politics. There is no evidence of that, and Trump’s accusations misrepresent the facts of the case. “Unmasking” of people in surveillance reports is a routine, legal activity in government — the Trump administration made 10,012 such requests in 2019. But they don’t often become public, and in the Flynn case, Trump supporters point to it as evidence that Obama loyalists were out to undermine Trump from the start. The president himself has called it the “biggest political crime and scandal in the history of the USA.” “This is his pattern. Diversion, diversion, diversion, diversion,” Biden said Tuesday. “The greatest crime? I mean, my Lord.” Trump’s cries of scandal come as the president and many top Republicans have used increasingly harsh rhetoric against Biden — hoping to foment doubt in voters’ minds as election season beings to heat up. On Wednesday, a Senate committee led by Wisconsin Republican Ron Johnson will vote on whether to issue a subpoena as part of an investigation into Biden’s son Hunter and his work for a Ukrainian natural gas company that grew out of Trump’s impeachment earlier this year. Over the weekend, Trump’s two adult sons appeared to spread baseless, online conspiracy theories suggesting other criminal activity by Biden. Asked about that Tuesday, Biden called online posts about the matter “sick.” “People know me. The good news is the bad news. They know me. They know my faults, they know my talents,” Biden said. Pointing to his decades in the Senate and eight years as vice president, he continued, “It’s hard to lay on me some of the things that are just totally out of sync with anything in my whole life that anyone has ever said about me.” Also Tuesday, Biden was asked about Trump’s firing of Steve Linick as the State Department’s inspector general. Some Republicans have defended the move, arguing that it was within the president’s rights, but Biden and other Democrats say it is part of a larger White House effort to undermine government oversight. Biden promised not to fire any inspector general should he be elected, saying those positions were “designed to make government honest.” (AP)

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Chareidi Man From Haifa Drowns In The Kinneret

A 64-year-old Chareidi resident of Haifa drowned in the Kinneret on Wednesday. The man was pulled from the water opposite the kever of Rav Meir Ba’al Haneis in critical condition and evacuated to the hospital while undergoing resuscitation. Unfortunately, later in the day, his death was pronounced by doctors in Poriyah Hospital in Tiveria. “We received a call about a man who collapsed due to a medical event after he left the water by the separate beach in Tiveria,” Magen David Adom stated. “MDA paramedics administered medical treatment and evacuated him to the hospital in critical condition while providing resuscitation.” Ichud Hatzalah volunteers said that when they arrived at the scene, they found a man without a pulse and not breathing after he was pulled from the water by passersby. “We administered first aid and he was evacuated in a mobile intensive care unit in critical condition,” they said. (YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

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