Yeshiva World News

Vaccination Nation Opens Stations In Ikea, Machane Yehuda

In efforts to vaccinate as many Israeli citizens as possible, Magen Dovid Adom and the Health Ministry are bringing mobile vaccination centers to commercial areas nationwide. On Monday, vaccination stations in Ikea stores throughout Israel offered vaccines from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Stations have also been set up in the Machaneh Yehudah shuk in Jerusalem and in Big malls in Ashdod, Be’er Sheva and Eilat. “Our main goal is to get everyone vaccinated,” a MDA spokesman said. “The idea is that if you won’t come to us, we’ll come to you. We have special pop-up vaccination stations that can be set up quickly almost anywhere.” “The vaccine stand in the shuk for the storeowners, most of whom leave home before sunrise and return home exhausted, late at night, is great,” said Tali Friedman, the chairwoman of the Machane Yehuda Market Merchants’ Committee. “I thank Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion, for heeding our request and swiftly arranging it. Apart from the storeowners, everyone who comes to the shuk will be able to get vaccinated, and I call on everyone to come to the best market in Israel.” “Anyone who gets vaccinated will receive a pastry from the Haba bakery, or jachnun from the Jachnun Bar.” (YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

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Capitol Defenders Cite Missed Intelligence For Deadly Breach

Missed intelligence was to blame for the outmanned Capitol defenders’ failure to anticipate the violent mob that invaded the iconic building and halted certification of the presidential election on Jan. 6, the officials who were in charge of security that day said Tuesday in their first public testimony on the insurrection. The officials, including the former chief of the Capitol Police, pointed their fingers at various federal agencies — and each other — for their failure to defend the building as supporters of then-President Donald Trump overwhelmed security barriers, broke windows and doors and sent lawmakers fleeing from the House and Senate chambers. Five people died as a result of the riot, including a Capitol Police officer and a woman who was shot as she tried to enter the House chamber with lawmakers still inside. Former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, who resigned under pressure immediately after the attack, and the other officials said they had expected the protests to be similar to two pro-Trump events in late 2020 that were far less violent. Sund said he hadn’t seen an FBI field office report that warned of potential violence citing online posts about a “war.” Sund described a scene as the mob arrived at the perimeter that was “like nothing” he had seen in his 30 years of policing and argued that the insurrection was not the result of poor planning by Capitol Police but of failures across the board. “No single civilian law enforcement agency – and certainly not the USCP – is trained and equipped to repel, without significant military or other law enforcement assistance, an insurrection of thousands of armed, violent, and coordinated individuals focused on breaching a building at all costs,” he testified. The hearing was the first of many examinations of what happened that day, coming almost seven weeks after the attack and over a week after the Senate voted to acquit Trump of inciting the insurrection by telling his supporters to “fight like hell” to overturn his election defeat. Fencing and National Guard troops still surround the Capitol in a wide perimeter, cutting off streets and sidewalks that are normally full of cars, pedestrians and tourists. The joint hearing, part of an investigation by two Senate committees, was the first time the officials testified publicly about the events of Jan. 6. In addition to Sund, former Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger, former House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving and Robert Contee, the acting chief of police for the Metropolitan Police Department, testified. Irving and Stenger also resigned under pressure immediately after the deadly attack. They were Sund’s supervisors and in charge of security for the House and Senate. “We must have the facts, and the answers are in this room,” Senate Rules Committee Chairwoman Amy Klobuchar said at the beginning of the hearing. The Rules panel is conducting the joint probe with the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Even after the hearing, much still remains unknown about what happened before and during the assault. How much did law enforcement agencies know about plans for violence that day, many of which were public? And how could the Capitol Police have been so ill-prepared for a violent insurrection that was organized online? Sund told the lawmakers that he didn’t know then that his officers had received a […]

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Drug Executives: Big Jump In Vaccine Supply Is Coming Soon

COVID-19 vaccine makers told Congress on Tuesday to expect a big jump in the delivery of doses over the coming month, and the companies insist they will be able to provide enough for most Americans to get inoculated by summer. By the end of March, Pfizer and Moderna expect to have provided the U.S. government with a total of 220 million vaccine doses, up sharply from the roughly 75 million shipped so far. “We do believe we’re on track,” Moderna President Stephen Hoge said, outlining ways the company has ramped up production. “We think we’re at a very good spot.” That’s not counting a third vaccine, from Johnson & Johnson, that’s expected to get a green light from regulators soon. The Biden administration said Tuesday that it expects about 2 million doses of that vaccine to be shipped in the first week, but the company told lawmakers it should provide enough of the single-dose option for 20 million people by the end of March. Looking ahead to summer, Pfizer and Moderna expect to complete delivery of 300 million doses each, and J&J aims to provide an additional 100 million doses. That would be more than enough to vaccinate every American adult, the goal set by the Biden administration. Two other manufacturers, Novavax and AstraZeneca, have vaccines in the pipeline and anticipate eventually adding to those totals. Asked pointedly if they face shortages of raw materials, equipment or funding that would throw off those schedules, all of the manufacturers expressed confidence that they had enough supplies and had already addressed some of the early bottlenecks in production. “At this point I can confirm we are not seeing any shortages of raw materials,” said Pfizer’s John Young. The hearing by a House subcommittee came as U.S. vaccinations continue to accelerate after a sluggish start and recent disruptions caused by winter weather. More than 44 million Americans have received at least one dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, and about 1.4 million per day got a first or second dose over the past seven days, according to the CDC. But state health officials say demand for inoculations still vastly outstrips the limited weekly shipments provided by the federal government. “The most pressing challenge now is the lack of supply of vaccine doses,” Rep. Diana DeGette, a Colorado Democrat, said as she opened the hearing. “Some of the companies here today are still short of the number of doses they promised to initially deliver when they last testified before this subcommittee in July.” Both Pfizer and Moderna failed to meet delivery quotas for the initial doses of their vaccines late last year. That’s prompted Congress to scrutinize the companies’ plans for vaccine development and delivery, which they noted benefited from $16 billion in federal funding. “A significant amount of American tax dollars were invested to be able to produce the vaccine immediately upon approval,” said Rep. David McKinley, a West Virginia Republican, who questioned executives on why they were still unable to meet demand for the vaccines. Nearly 14% of Americans have received at least an initial dose of the two-shot-regimen vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna. The Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed focused most of its efforts on racing vaccines through research, development and manufacturing. But little planning or funding went to […]

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Help Reb Sinai And His Family Recover From Their Devastating Home Fire!

Reb Sinai Mauda has been struggling for years keeping up with the tremendous expenses his large family entails.Things are even tougher while caring for his disabled child, and the extreme expenses that come along. CLICK HERE TO DONATE NOW And then, a few weeks ago his rented apartment caught on fire! He lost everything! The little that he had! He was devastates!No home.. No clothing.. No place to live!Now he is trying to rebuild his home from nothing! No money.. No furniture.. Just a broken family!He is trying to get his family together after the trauma they went through. CLICK HERE TO DONATE NOW Reb Sinai is begging you to open your heart and help him and his family get back on their feet!Please help ease off the burden of debt and expenses, so he can recover from this recent tragedy!Help his family get back to normal. Help his children earn the normal life they deserve.Your help will prevent this family from drowning! CLICK HERE TO DONATE NOW Check you can make out to: Tomchei Tzedaka corp. Mail: P.o Box 1003, Lakewood NJ 08701 PLEASE SPECIFY FOR “FUND FAMILY MAUDA #10218” For Zelle: PLEASE SPECIFY FOR “FUND FAMILY MAUDA #10218” CLICK HERE TO DONATE NOW

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PURIM CURFEW: Israel Implements Nightly Curfew For Purim Weekend

just before the start of the Purim weekend, which is Thursday-Sunday this year, the government voted unanimously in favor of a night curfew to take place each night of the three-day weekend from 8:30 p.m. until 5:00 a.m. The purpose of the curfew is to hamper any possible spread of the virus over the holiday, which many point to as the holiday which began the spread of the pandemic in earnest last year in the country. According to the rules of the night curfew, people will not be able to travel beyond 1,000 meters from their home except for essential needs, and there will be a ban on being in another’s person’s home during that time. Public transportation will also severely limited and in many cases halted altogether.  Intercity bus service will not be running from Thursday at 8 p.m. until Friday at 5 a.m. and from Motzei Shabbos (after Shabbos) until Sunday at 5 a.m. Outside of those hours, public transportation will operate as usual. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday afternoon during a visit to a vaccination complex in Akko that, “We are still fighting the virus. The mutation is running rampant.” Previously, officials from the Health Ministry warned that should mass gatherings, parties, and large feasts, be held on Purim, then it could lead to a resurgence of the virus at a time when Israel was finally opening up, and even cause another elongated lockdown. (YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

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Takeaways From Congress’ First Hearing On Capitol Riot

Security officials testifying at Congress’ first hearing on the deadly siege of the Capitol cast blame and pointed fingers on Tuesday but also acknowledged they were woefully unprepared for the violence. Senators drilled down on the stunning security failure and missed warning signs as rioters loyal to former President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, in a misguided attempt to stop lawmakers from certifying President Joe Biden’s election. Five people died in the attack, including a Capitol Police officer. The security officials lost their jobs, and Trump was impeached by the House on a charge of inciting the insurrection, the deadliest attack on Congress in 200 years. Trump was ultimately acquitted by the Senate. Here are some takeaways from the testimony: FAILURE TO COMMUNICATE Intelligence warnings of an armed uprising by extremist groups heading to the Capitol didn’t rise to the level of alarm — or even get passed up the chain of command — in time for the Jan. 6 attack. Crucially, a key warning flare from the FBI field office in Norfolk, Virginia, of a “war” on the Capitol was sent the night before to the Capitol Police’s intelligence division. But then-Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund testified that he only learned about it the day before Tuesday’s hearing. Instead, Sund said he was bracing for demonstrations on par with other armed protests by mobs of Trump’s supporters in the nation’s capital in November and December after the presidential election. “No entity, including the FBI, provided any intelligence indicating that there would be a coordinated violent attack on the United States Capitol by thousands of well-equipped armed insurrectionists,” he testified in written remarks about a conference call the day before the attack. The Democratic chair of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, Sen. Gary Peters of Michigan, said, “There was a failure to take this threat more seriously.” HE SAID, HE SAID As hundreds of rioters stormed the Capitol, breaking into the iconic building’s windows and doors, sometimes in hand-to-hand combat with police, there are conflicting accounts from the security officials over what happened next. Sund, who had raised the idea of calling on the National Guard for backup days earlier, specifically recounted a 1:09 p.m. phone call he made to the then-sergeant-at-arms of the House, Paul Irving, his superior, requesting National Guard troops. Sund said he was told they would run it up the chain of command. Irving said he has no recollection of the conversation at that time and instead recalls a conversation nearly 20 minutes later. He said the 1:09 p.m. call does not show up on his cellphone log. As the riot escalated, Sund was “pleading” with Army officials for Guard troops in another phone call, testified Robert Contee III, the acting chief of the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department, whose officers had arrived for backup. Contee said he was “stunned” at the delayed response from the military. Defense Department officials have said they offered National Guard troops days earlier but were rebuffed. Pentagon officials are scheduled to testify to the Senate next week. COMMON FACTS: ‘A PLANNED INSURRECTION’ At the start of the hearing, coming 10 days after Trump was acquitted by the Senate on the impeachment charge of inciting the insurrection, some common facts were agreed to. Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar of […]

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Israeli Nasal Spray Reduced Infections During Rosh Hashana Tefillos In Bnei Brak

An Israeli-made nasal spray reduced the coronavirus infection rate among Chareidi members of a Bnei Brak shul during the Rosh Hashanah tefillos in September 2020, a preliminary study showed. The Israeli Nasus Pharma developed Taffix nasal spray, which creates a protective gel layer over nasal passages and blocks viruses from infecting nasal cells. Researchers approached the members of a 250-member shul in Bnei Brak ahead of Rosh Hashanah and interested some of them in taking part in a trial for the spray. Each shul member was eligible to pick up a bottle of Tafix at the shul on the day before Rosh Hashanah with written instructions to use the spray every five hours whenever leaving their homes for the next two weeks. At the end of the two-week trial, 81 out of 83 shul members, or 2.4%, who used the spray did not contract the virus, with the two who did contract the virus using the spray only occasionally. In contrast, 10% of the non-user shul members were infected with the coronavirus. “These important results conform with prior in vitro studies performed with Taffix™ that proved its robust activity against the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 ,” Nasus Pharma CEO Dr. Dalia Megiddo stated in October. “This is the first clinical real-life data showing that the use of Taffix is highly effective even in the worst-case scenario of a super spread event in the heart of the worst-hit city in Israel.” Taffix was previously shown to be 99% effective in blocking viruses in laboratory trials, including COVID-19, from infecting nasal cells. The study, which was carried out by Nasus Pharma in collaboration with scientists from the University of Haifa, the University of Virginia, and the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, was first published in November 2020, with an updated version published last month. (YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

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Video: Father of 8 with ALS, Your Kindness and Generosity Will Save His Life!

Dear Friends, This winter, as Covid-19 swept through our household the biggest worry was, of course, keeping R’ Dovid safe. Kent, his caregiver, valiantly volunteered to stay by his side for eighteen days straight, despite the risk of contracting the disease. His kindness and heroism, along with the help of friends and neighbors, brought home how much we are dependent on caring and compassionate people. We are forever indebted to our many supporters, some of whom we will never meet, but who have given of their time and money to sustain R’ Dovid and our family. Although the purpose of this appeal is to ask for your continued support, I want to thank each and every one of you for staying by our side and keeping R’ Dovid alive. Each one of you is a precious messenger from Above, sent to give us the strength to face the future and whatever challenges it may bring. Surely this outpouring of kindness will hasten the salvation we all so desperately need. CLICK HERE TO DONATE In the merit of your support, may you and yours be Zocheh to the powerful and timeless Bracha of the venerable Tzadik of Jerusalem, HaRav HaGaon Rav Gamliel Rabinowitz, Shlita who personally visited R’ Dovid: “Donate generously and in this merit you will never be sick, not you or your families for all generations!” Wishing everyone a safe and happy Purim! Warm regards, Rochel Frid SPREAD THE MITZVA! PLEASE BE SO KIND AS TO SHARE THIS APPEAL BY SENDING TO 5 FRIENDS. Endorsed by: HaMekubal HaRav Gamliel Rabinowitz Shlita, Jerusalem, HaRav Aryeh Shulman Shlita, Mara D’Asra Telz Stone, HaRav Michoel Sorotzkin Shlita, Rosh Kollel HaDeah V’Hadibur, Telz Stone, HaRav Yisroel Neuman Shlita, Rosh Yeshivas Bais Medrash Govoha, Lakewood, HaRav Yaakov Hopfer Shlita, Rav Kehillat Shearith Israel, Baltimore, HaRav Yaacov Haber Shlita, Rav Kehillas Shivtei Yeshurun, RBS. CLICK HERE TO DONATE R’ Dovid’s ALS History: In the year 2011 Rabbi David Frid was diagnosed with ALS, which causes complete deterioration of the muscles in the body. In the beginning, he heroically fought to function on his own, even after he was confined to a wheelchair. At present, the disease has progressed to the point where he is now fully paralyzed, on a breathing machine and although fully cognizant, can only communicate with his eyes. He needs 24-hour surveillance to survive. The ongoing costs are mind boggling.The family cannot continue without your support! Please pray for the Refuah Shlaima of Dovid Yehoshua Ben Leba Malka and all those who are struggling with illness. Tizku Le’Mitzvot. CLICK HERE TO DONATE

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70% Of Israelis Over 16 Are Vaccinated, Cases In Young People Drop By 50%

Over 70% of Israelis over 16 have been vaccinated, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said on Tuesday morning. A total of 4.5 million Israelis have received the first dose of the vaccine, of whom over 3 million received both doses. The IDF stated on Tuesday that about 85% of its soldiers and personnel will be vaccinated within the next couple of weeks. Vaccines have reduced infections among young people by 50%, according to a report by Prof. Eran Segal, who developed Weizmann Institute’s prediction model for the spread of COVID in Israel. “The first group to see a drop was the over 60s, which saw a dramatic decline in serious illness, followed by those aged 55-60,” he said. “We estimate that we will see a similar drop among those aged 40-55.” Segal said that the reduction in infections was seen five weeks after vaccinations were made available for IDF soldiers and anyone over age 16. “Both these groups have shown a decline of over 50%,” he said. Israel: Since the peak in mid-Jan. 60 y/o & above (vaccinated 1st):77% fewer cases65% fewer severely ill63% fewer deaths 55-59 (vaccinated 2nd):68% fewer cases44% fewer severely ill 0-54:54% fewer cases15% fewer severely ill — Eran Segal (@segal_eran) February 22, 2021 “Once we are able to reach those quarter-million people over 50 that have not yet been vaccinated, we will see a dramatic drop in the potential morbidity other variants pose – excluding the South African mutation,” Segal added. “We will not be able to eradicate serious cases completely, but we will be able to ease the burden on hospitals.” (YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

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Critics: GOP Measures Target Black Voter Turnout In Georgia

Fueled by Black turnout, Democrats scored stunning wins in Georgia in the presidential and U.S. Senate races. Now, Republicans are trying to make sure it doesn’t happen again. GOP lawmakers in the once reliably red state are rolling out an aggressive slate of voting legislation that critics argue is tailored to curtail the power of Black voters and undo years of work by Stacey Abrams and others to increase engagement among people of color, including Latino and Asian American communities. The proposals are similar to those pushed by Republicans in other battleground states: adding barriers to mail-in and early voting, major factors in helping Joe Biden win Georgia’s 16 Electoral College votes and Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff take the two Senate seats that gave Democrats control of the chamber. But one aspect of their plans, a proposal to eliminate early voting on Sundays, seems specifically targeted at a traditional get-out-the-vote campaign used by Black churches, referred to as “souls to the polls.” It’s led many to suggest Republicans are trying to stop a successful effort to boost Black voter turnout in Georgia, where they make up about a third of the population and have faced a dark history of attempts to silence their voices in elections. “It’s a new form of voter suppression, the Klan in three-piece suits rather than white hoods,” said the Rev. Timothy McDonald III of the First Iconium Baptist Church in Atlanta, which has participated in souls to the polls events. “They know the power of the Black vote, and their goal is to suppress that power.” In previous elections, souls to the polls campaigns were festive, with vehicles and people parading to election offices during early voting windows. Churches would sometimes playfully compete to see which could bring the most voters, said McDonald, who described the GOP legislation as “spiteful.” In Georgia and elsewhere, Republicans say proposals to tighten voting access are meant to bolster confidence in elections, though they have been some of the loudest proponents of meritless claims that the election was fraudulent. The Brennan Center for Justice, a public policy group, has counted 165 bills in 33 states this year meant to limit access to voting. In Georgia, Republicans control state government and have introduced dozens of legislative measures that would restrict voting access. GOP state Rep. Barry Fleming is chief sponsor of a wide-ranging proposal that would ban Sunday early voting, require a photo ID for absentee voting, limit the time when an absentee ballot could be requested, restrict where ballot drop boxes could be placed and curb the use of mobile voting units, among other changes. In committee hearings, Fleming has cast the legislation as “an attempt to restore the confidence of our public in our election system.” He didn’t respond to an email or phone message requesting comment. Nse Ufot, CEO of the New Georgia Project that Abrams founded in 2014, called the GOP measures a backlash “to our multiracial, multilingual progressive majority that is winning elections.” Biden beat former President Donald Trump by roughly 12,000 votes, becoming the first Democrat to win a presidential contest in Georgia since 1992. Biden received nearly double the number of absentee votes as Trump in a state that became a major target of Trump’s baseless claims of fraud. Biden’s win there […]

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The Purim Revolution Is Growing Every Year

This year, more than ever before, with the current difficult matzav for acheinu b’nei yisroel in general and B’nei Torah in particular, there is just so much negativity worldwide. We now have a unique opportunity to portray a beautiful and positive message about our simchas Purim. The zechus of the special simcha emanating from torah learning on the Yom tov of Simcha should encapsulate your life with all the brochos of Simcha! Twelve years ago on Purim night a mini-revolution happened that addresses this issue. A group of very special Baalei Battim sponsored 23 bochurim from Yeshiva Torah Temimah in Brooklyn, NY to sit and learn for two hours on Purim night. Each bochur received a $250 credit to a tzedokah of his choice. The bais hamedrash boomed with kol torah and this certainly was the ultimate in Kimu V’kiblu of the simchas hatorah. For Habochur Hanechmod Yeshayahu Dov Eckstein A”H it would be his last Purim. That year he came home with such simcha – he had learned with such ‘geshmak’ on Purim night, and through this unique learning program his group collected over $3,500. Every year, l’ilui nishmoso the family continues this beautiful program. It has been an amazing success. Last year there were over 250 bochurim and yungerleit who were committed to learn TWO hours on Purim by night in the bais hamedrash. Success breeds success, and many Roshei Yeshivos have called to emulate this program in their own yeshivas across the country and around the world. Each year we are B”H adding more bochurim and yungerlite. Many more Bochurim and Kollel Yungerlite have been calling again to continue this program this year. We must not say ‘No’… We need your assistance to continue… This year we have been presented with many new opportunities in both Eretz Yisroel and Lakewood. PLEASE help to support this beautiful program and sponsor a bochur learning Purim night, by clicking on the following link: With your kind donation, you will be creating DOUBLE zechus. 1) The money will go to bona fide Tzedokah 2) A bochur will learn in your zechus TWO hours on Purim by night.

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Seforim in Review: FOOD – A Halachic Analysis

Reviewed by Rabbi Yair Hoffman for Every so often a Sefer comes along that combines remarkably comprehensive research, astounding accuracy, and far-reaching clarity with a fourth element – it sparks intense as well.  Food – A Halachic Analysis by Rabbi Yehudah Spitz (483 pp. by Mosaica Press, 2021) is just such a sefer and more.  It also covers a broad range of complex and important contemporary topics in Kashrus. Rav Elyashiv zt”l once described Rav Nachum Yavrov zt”l, author of the Divrei Sofrim series on Halacha, that any area that he tackles – his sefer becomes an essential work on that topic.  The same can be said of Rabbi Spitz’s articles.  The work has extensive footnotes, but it is written with a clarity and a precision that even the layreader can thoroughly enjoy it. Rabbi Spitz’s “Halachic History of Chalav Yisroel” deals extensively with Chalav Yisroel both in the United States and in Eretz Yisroel and reveals that in Eretz Yisroel, there are greater leniencies than in the United States.  His discussion on Chodosh is very enlightening as is his treatment of gelatin, pas palter, overnight onions, and Quinoa.  Rabbi Spitz is not only a master of halacha, but somehow he managed to fully master researching recent history as well. In Rabbi Spitz’s discussion of the 5 and ½ hours versus 6 hours of waiting between meat and dairy )p.38), the author gives us an exhaustive list of who rejects the 5 and ½ hour reading of the Rambam and Meiri – a very useful resource when discussing the minhag with others.  What about the minhag of three hours? Alas, the only source for it, Rabbi Spitz reveals as a misprint – although he also provides theories as to how it developed.  One of these theories is that it was an uneasy compromise between one hour and six hours.   Rabbi Spitz also reveals to us that the Arizal would follow Mar Ukvah’s father’s practice of waiting a full day in between milk and meat. TWO CRITIQUES Although the sefer has a seven page index, it is not nearly what it should be, given the extensive footnotes throughout the work.  Hopefully, the index can be expanded in the next printing.  Doing so would make it an essential work for anyone learning Yore Deah to be applied in the ever-changing world of Kashrus today.  The second critique is that the sefer is so essential it should be printed in Hebrew as well. Rabbi Spitz is also an essential figure in Ohr Sameach’s Ohr LaGolah program, which trains Rabbonim for positions in Jewish communities across the world.  It is clear to anyone that learns this sefer that its author is a future gadol b’yisroel, if not already.  Both Ohr Sameach and his talmidim are blessed to have him.  The book is available at bookstores throughout the United States. The reviewer can be reached at

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Family Of Americans Held In Iran Want Any Deal To Free Them

The family of a father and son detained for years in Iran appealed Monday to President Joe Biden to make the freeing of Iranian American detainees a condition of any deals or concessions with that country. “It is beyond outrageous for Iran to continue playing with my father’s life,” said Babak Namazi, whose 84-year-old father, Baquer Namazi, is marking his fifth year under Iranian control. The Biden administration and Iranian officials have signaled to each other in recent months that they want to reenter a 2015 nuclear pact, in which Iran accepts limits on its nuclear program in exchange for easing of international sanctions. The Obama administration entered the deal, only to have the Trump administration pull out in favor of what the U.S. called a “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran instead. Baquer Namazi, a former UNICEF representative, was detained in 2016 when he traveled to Tehran to try to win the release of his son Siamak Namazi, a businessman detained in Iran a year earlier. The two Namazi men were sentenced to 10 years in prison in Iran on what the United States and United Nations says were trumped-up spying charges. Foreign governments and rights groups say Iran routinely detains foreign citizens to put pressure on foreign governments for various concessions. The Obama administration closed the nuclear deal without making the freeing of American citizens in Iran a prerequisite. The Trump administration then failed to push for the release of the Namazi father and son as hard as it did other Americans held by Iran, Babak Namazi said. Family members and supporters of the two men said they welcomed statements by the Biden administration so far, including a telephone call that Secretary of State Antony Blinken made to families of detained American citizens. Jake Sullivan, the U.S. national security adviser, called Iran’s continued detention of American citizens a “humanitarian catastrophe” on a news show this Sunday. “We will not accept a long-term proposition where they continue to hold Americans in an unjust and unlawful manner,” Sullivan told CBS News’ “Face the Nation.” At least four dual-citizenship Americans are believed held by Iran. “My family expects that President Biden and his administration will not make concessions or deals with Iran” absent a requirement that Iran free the father and son, Babak Namazi told reporters. The State Department had no immediate comment on the family’s request. The family also disclosed that Iran had commuted the sentence of the elder Namazi last year and said officials indicated then that he was free to leave the country. The 84-year-old found that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard had unexpectedly placed a new block on his travel out of Iran, however, Babak Namazi said. Baquer Namazi has urgent medical conditions that need treatment, including a vein to his brain that is almost entirely blocked and requires a stent, his son said. (AP)

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Frum man Arrested, Shocking Details

Yisroel Gurion is a young 31 year old lubavitch father with 3 young children, with serious mental illness that began several years ago out of the blue. The broken system put him in prison instead of a hospital leaving him untreated, allowing his condition to deteriorate. He is now facing a potential very heavy prison sentence. CLICK HERE TO DONATE! This is a rare opportunity to take part in one of the purest forms of pidyon shvuyim available. In Bava Basra (8b) it says that captivity is worse than starvation and death. Please open your heart and your pocket and give whatever you can to help this man get out of captivity and into a facility where he can get the treatment that he so desperately needs. CLICK HERE TO DONATE! ++LOCAL AND LEADING POSKIM INCLUDING:++ Hagaon Harav Aron Lankry, Hamekubal Rabbi Ariel Mekaiten, and the רחיבנט have all ruled that Halacha firmly considers this case pidyon shvuyim and a mitzvah of the highest magnitude. ​ תתפלל בשביל ישראל שמעון בן אדית רחל ​

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Cuomo Approval Plunges, Majority Believe He Botched Nursing Home Response, Don’t Believe He Deserves A 4th Term

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s approval rating for his pandemic response has plunged from just a few months ago. Forty-one percent of voters agree Cuomo has done something unethical – but not illegal – in his handling of nursing homes throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new results released by the Marist College Poll on Tuesday. Another 19 percent take it a step further in thinking he has done something illegal, compared to 27 percent of voters that think he has done no wrongdoing. New Yorkers are also not sold on granting the governor a fourth term — 36 percent of voters said they would elect him again compared to 39 of respondents asked three years ago. Marist’s findings also show a souring of Cuomo’s job performance since the summer — as just 49 percent of residents presently give him a thumbs up, a decline since he achieved a 66 percent approval rating in July. (YWN World Headquarters – NYC)

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Retired NYPD Officer Accused of Pipe Attack on Capitol Police

The man who surrendered at the FBI’s Hudson Valley office Monday to face charges in connection with the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol siege is a retired NYPD officer who had been assigned for a time to work perimeter security at City Hall and at Gracie Mansion, the mayor’s official residence, law enforcement officials with direct knowledge of the investigation told News 4 Tuesday. Thomas Webster, who is expected to appear in federal court in White Plains later in the day, is accused of using a pipe to attack Capitol Police that day, the officials said. Webster’s attorney, James Monroe, declined to comment Tuesday. The FBI had released an image, later identified by law enforcement officials as Webster, as part of their ongoing investigation into the violence last month. READ MORE: NBC NEW YORK New Photos: #FBIWFO is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying #145-AFO who made unlawful entry into the US Capitol & assaulted law enforcement on January 6th. If you have info on #145-AFO, call 1800CALLFBI or submit info to — FBI Washington Field (@FBIWFO) January 28, 2021

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State TV: Iran Imposes Curbs On UN Nuclear Inspections

Iran officially has begun restricting international inspections of its nuclear facilities, state TV reported Tuesday, a bid to pressure European countries and U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration to lift crippling economic sanctions and restore the 2015 nuclear deal. The state TV report gave little detail beyond confirming that Iran had made good on its threat to reduce cooperation with International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors. Iran’s move to limit international inspections underscores the daunting task facing Biden as he seeks to reverse Trump’s policies and return to the deal, the most significant pact between Iran and major world powers since its 1979 Islamic revolution. “The law has gone into effect from this morning,” said Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, reiterating that Iran would no longer share surveillance footage of its nuclear facilities with the U.N. agency. “We never gave them live video, but (recordings) were given daily and weekly,” Zarif said of the IAEA’s access to information recorded by camera monitors. “The tape recording of our (nuclear) program will be kept in Iran.” The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Tehran’s civilian nuclear agency, has promised to preserve the tapes for three months, then hand it over to the IAEA — but only if granted sanctions relief. Otherwise, Iran has vowed to erase the tapes, narrowing the window for a diplomatic breakthrough. Iran announced its plans to cease implementation of the so-called “Additional Protocol,” a confidential agreement between Tehran and the IAEA reached as part of the landmark nuclear accord. The agreement grants the U.N. inspectors enhanced powers to visit nuclear facilities and watch Iran’s program. Nearly three years ago, former U.S. President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America from the nuclear accord and reimposed sanctions on Iran that have squeezed its economy. To create leverage over Washington, Iran has announced gradual breaches of the agreement over recent weeks. The country has started enriching uranium up to 20% purity, a technical step away from weapons-grade levels, as well as spinning advanced centrifuges and producing uranium metal. Zarif stressed in a tweet Tuesday that Iran’s new limits on nuclear inspections and other violations of the pact are reversible, insisting that the U.S. move first to revive the deal. In a show of defiance, Cabinet spokesman Ali Rabiei outlined further developments in Iran’s nuclear program on Tuesday. Over the last three weeks, he told reporters, Iran has installed and started feeding gas into an additional 148 high-tech IR2-m centrifuges at its Natanz nuclear enrichment facility and its fortified nuclear complex at Fordo, bringing the total number of centrifuges to up to 492. Another set of 492 centrifuges will be installed in the coming month, he said. He added that Iran has installed two cascades of even more advanced centrifuges at its nuclear enrichment facilities, but did not specify where. On Monday, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also signaled Iran would refuse to capitulate to U.S. pressure over its nuclear program. Khamenei said that Iran could enrich uranium up to 60% purity if necessary, but stressed the country forbids nuclear weapons. Tehran has long insisted that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, such as power generation and medical research. The Biden administration has said it’s ready to join talks with Iran and world powers to discuss a return to the deal. Zarif responded to […]

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Not To Be Sniffed At: Agony Of Post-COVID-19 Loss Of Smell

The doctor slid a miniature camera into the patient’s right nostril, making her whole nose glow red with its bright miniature light. “Tickles a bit, eh?” he asked as he rummaged around her nasal passages, the discomfort causing tears to well in her eyes and roll down her cheeks. The patient, Gabriella Forgione, wasn’t complaining. The 25-year-old pharmacy worker was happy to be prodded and poked at the hospital in Nice, in southern France, to advance her increasingly pressing quest to recover her sense of smell. Along with her sense of taste, it suddenly vanished when she fell ill with COVID-19 in November, and neither has returned. Being deprived of the pleasures of food and the scents of things that she loves are proving tough on her body and mind. Shorn of odors both good and bad, Forgione is losing weight and self-confidence. “Sometimes I ask myself, ’Do I stink?’” she confessed. “Normally, I wear perfume and like for things to smell nice. Not being able to smell bothers me greatly.” A year into the coronavirus pandemic, doctors and researchers are still striving to better understand and treat the accompanying epidemic of COVID-19-related anosmia — loss of smell — draining much of the joy of life from an increasing number of sensorially frustrated longer-term sufferers like Forgione. Even specialist doctors say there is much about the condition they still don’t know and they are learning as they go along in their diagnoses and treatments. Impairment and alteration of smell have become so common with COVID-19 that some researchers suggest that simple odor tests could be used to track coronavirus infections in countries with few laboratories. For most people, the olfactory problems are temporary, often improving on their own in weeks. But a small minority are complaining of persistent dysfunction long after other COVID-19 symptoms have disappeared. Some have reported continued total or partial loss of smell six months after infection. The longest, some doctors say, are now approaching a full year. Researchers working on the vexing disability say they are optimistic that most will eventually recover but fear some will not. Some doctors are concerned that growing numbers of smell-deprived patients, many of them young, could be more prone to depression and other difficulties and weigh on strained health systems. “They are losing color in their lives,” said Dr. Thomas Hummel, who heads the smell and taste outpatients clinic at University Hospital in Dresden, Germany. “These people will survive and they’ll be successful in their lives, in their professions,” Hummel added. “But their lives will be much poorer.” At the Face and Neck University Institute in Nice, Dr. Clair Vandersteen wafted tube after tube of odors under Forgione’s nose after he had rooted around in her nostrils with his camera. “Do you perceive any smell? Nothing? Zero? OK,” he asked, as she repeatedly and apologetically responded with negatives. Only the last tube provoked an unequivocal reaction. “Urgh! Oh, that stinks,” Forgione yelped. “Fish!” Test complete, Vandersteen delivered his diagnosis. “You need an enormous amount of an odor to be able to smell something,” he told her. “You haven’t completely lost your sense of smell but nor is it good.” He sent her away with homework: six months of olfactory rehab. Twice daily, choose two or three scented things, like a […]

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Attention Lomdei Daf Yomi – Make This Year’s Seder Unforgettable!

Join Zichru, the revolutionary memory program for Daf Yomi, for Arvei Pesachim and remember all 23 blatt in 23 days! Imagine going into your seder and Yom Tov with the entire perek in your hands.  Experience the memory breakthrough that thousands of our members worldwide have discovered and who now remember what’s on every blatt in Masechta Berachos, Shabbos, Eruvin and most of Pesachim. Sign up for our special Arvei Pesachim Program and receive 14 days of memory coaching. Just go to or text 973-440-3013 to join via WhatsApp. It’s absolutely FREE! Almost every participant in Daf Yomi is familiar with the struggle to retain more from the Daf.  Day in and day out, the Daf begins to fade away soon after the shiur or the chavrusa ends. For some it’s a frustration they’ve come to accept as the price to stick with the program. For others it’s too hard to bear and they eventually give up. Forget no more! Zichru is a memory-focused program that is designed to significantly enhance one’s daf yomi experience and improve retention. It was developed by Rabbi Avraham Goldhar, a memory expert, and Mr. Barry Lebovits, a Daf Yomi Maggid Shiur, who believe lomdei Daf Yomi can get a much greater return on investment from their daily commitment. How much time does the Zichru program require? Just 20 minutes a day. That’s all. Sign up for our special Arvei Pesachim Program and receive 14 days of memory coaching. Just go to or text 973-440-3013 to join via WhatsApp. Our members experience breakthroughs in their memory. “Zichru is a total gamechanger. I review over 300 blatt every week with my chavrusa.” Mordechai Golombeck, Passaic “I am a kollel youngeman from Lakewood who just started doing Daf Yomi for the first time. Zichru has made this learning experience like no other! I can’t even imagine what it would be to do the Daf without Zichru. The clarity that I have gotten of the first perek so for is unreal! I haven’t known the pieces of an entire perek so well before, that in seconds can say over what topics of every single blatt! I highly recommend anyone doing the Daf to join Zichru ASAP!” Reuven M. Lakewood “I have an average memory and have always struggled with chazara methods or the lack thereof. But now I walk away from each daf of gemara with tangible, retrievable facts etched in my memory. My U’vlechtecha Badrech learning has never been greater!” “My ability to walk through daf after daf, without a sefer, knowing many things per page, has most pleasantly surprised me. This program is very out of the box and unconventional, and you will be asked to do things you never did before, but boy does it work!” Boruch Leff, Baltimore “I have always been conscious of the importance of chazoro and have therefore tried out many different programs on chazoro over the years, but I have to say that never have I experienced anything as effective and practical as this program especially due to the fact that as a Magid Shiur I have a very busy schedule and haven’t got that much time for chazoro. This program is time effective, practical and fun and above all it actually works!  “I am now able to review many dafim whilst driving, whilst sitting by a simcha, whilst […]

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New Feature Documentary on The Life of Rav Dovid Feinstein zt”l at MTJ Dinner

Can gadlus and pashtus really coexist? Can one guard every single word, but still have all the time in the world for anyone? Can one possess the strongest of opinions, but still be accepting of all? Can one need nothing for himself, but others’ needs have no limits? This film is an in-depth journey exploring the life and times of Maran Hagaon Rav Dovid Feinstein zt”l. Will we understand him? No. But exploring his life will definitely change ours. Rav Dovid Feinstein was born in 1929 in Luban, a small town located in present-day Belarus, where his father HaGaon HaRav Moshe Feinstein zt”l served as Rav of the community. The family emigrated to America in the winter of 1937 and ever since the boat carrying them arrived at New York harbor, the Jewish world has never been the same. This feature-length film contains never-before-seen footage, pictures, stories and recollections from the Gadol HaDor’s closest family and talmidim including his wife, tblch”t Rebbetzin Malke Feinstein, Rav Reuven Feinstein, Rav Shmuel Kamenetzky, Rav Dovid’s chavrusas and friends from his youth, R’ Reuven Wolf, and many more. With over 45 interviews and extensive research, this film is truly monumental. How was Rav Dovid able to pasken such complex shailos instantly? Hear about the time he needed to think about a shailah! Why did Rav Elyashiv zt”l send him shailos? Gain insight into why Rav Dovid did his own grocery shopping. What was his surprising P’sak Halachah he ruled on for Rabbi Dovid Ozeri? Which Roshei Yeshiva say Rav Dovid had Ruach Hakodesh? Everyone knows about Reb Dovid. We know he lived on the Lower East Side, we knew the pay phones where he answered shailos and the pizza shop where he often ate breakfast. We know all about him, but do we know who he was? Did the simplicity fool us? Did the relatability distract us? This film will explore how no matter where he was, who he was with, or what was at stake, his focus was to do exactly what Hashem wanted him to do at that moment, nothing more, and nothing less. Yes, it may be the ultimate simplicity – but that is what made him so great. Be a part of this once-in-a-lifetime experience, Wednesday night at 8:00 PM, right here, or on MTJ.EDU. If you would like to place an ad or donate to the yeshiva in memory of Rav Dovid Feinstein zt”l, please CLICK HERE to visit MTJ.EDU now, and express your appreciation for what Rav Dovid zt”l did for our entire community.

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