Tzfat Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu Calls For Dialogue Between Doctors And Hadassah – High Court Appoints A Mediator

Tzfat Sephardi Chief Rabbi HaGaon HaRav Shmuel Eliyahu Shlita is calling on Hadassah pediatric oncologists and hospital administration to enter into dialogue, which should also include Health Minister Yaakov Litzman. He added that physicians responsible for children should not be striking, bringing pesukim from Parshas Hashavua, Chukas referring to the ‘nachash hanechoshes’, healing and how pikuach nefesh supersedes Shabbos – showing the significance of saving lives as being of paramount importance. Rabbi Eliyahu fears the strike may lead to loss of life among the pediatric victims chas v’sholom, citing police and soldiers are other groups of professionals prohibited from striking. In a related matter, on Tuesday 3 Tammuz, the parents of the children rejected an arbitration recommendation from the High Court of Justice, which heard the case during the morning hours. However, Justice Yoram Danziger would not hear of it, appointing recently-retired High Court Justice Elyakim Rubinstein as mediator between the sides, adding Rubinstein has already informed the court of his willingness to act in this capacity without a fee. The case was filed by attorney Shraga Elad, who represented the parents, who explained, “The petitioners are willing to attend arbitration efforts as there were many suggestions. There was an agreement towards mediation, including within the Health Ministry, and despite the fact that the ministry’s Director-General gave the green light, the next day, the minister shot that down”. After hearing Justice Danziger appointed Justice Rubinstein to mediate between the parties, Health Minister Yaakov Litzman issued the following statement: “I am asking you to put the past behind us and to provide a real opportunity for this step, for the benefit of the children, and we are seeking to bridge honestly and transparently, in order to find a solution to the difficult crisis as quickly as possible for the good of the dear children.” (YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

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A New Island Has Formed Off North Carolina’s Coast

A new island has emerged off North Carolina’s Outer Banks and it’s pretty big.

According to the Virginian Pilot, the island is a mile long and about three football fields wide.

The new island sits along the coast of Cape Point, not far from Cape Hattera’s Lighthouse but is not expected to last longer than a year.

While the new attraction is bringing in waves of tourists, Cape Hattera’s National Seashore Superintendent, Dave Hallac, says that people should not enter the water in between the coast and island due to its large rip current. Read more at AOL.

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Venezuela Crisis: Helicopter Launches Attack On Supreme Court

Venezuela’s Supreme Court has been attacked by grenades dropped from a helicopter in what President Nicolás Maduro called a “terrorist attack”.

Footage on social media shows a police helicopter circling over the city before shots and a loud bang are heard.

In an address from the presidential palace, President Maduro said the helicopter had flown over the Supreme Court and also the justice and interior ministries.

Officials quoted by Reuters said four grenades were dropped on the court and 15 shots had been fired at the interior ministry. No injuries were reported from the attack.

The police officer said to have piloted the stolen aircraft issued a statement denouncing the “criminal government”.

President Maduro has faced months of mass protests amid a political and economic crisis. Read more at BBC.
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Food Under Bed

By Rabbi Berach Steinfeld

Anybody familiar with the summer camping experience is aware of the lack of space in most bunkhouses. I therefore would like to discuss the topic of food that is kept under the bed.

The laws concerning a person who dies in a tent is discussed in this week’s parsha, Perek Yud Tes, posuk yud daled. Is there a correlation between death and sleep, which is one sixtieth of death? The Shulchan Aruch in Yoreh Deah, siman kuf tes zayin, seif koton heh based on the Gemara in Pesachim, daf kuf yud bais paskens that a person may not eat food that was kept under the bed as they have a “ruach ra’ah.” The Toras Chaim in Bava Basra explains that the reason one may not put food under the bed is because we know when a person sleeps he is like one sixtieth of death. The neshama leaves his body therefore enabling a ruach ra’ah to enter that void. That is the reason why one must do netilas yadayim in the morning; to remove the ruach hatumah. While one is sleeping he is “ma’hil “ (like a tent over) the food like an ohel of a dead person; thereby rendering the food tamei.

The Poskim argue whether this is only lekatchila or even b’dieved. The Shvus Yaakov in Chelek Bais, siman kuf heh says that putting food under a bed is davka assur lekatchilah. However, if food was kept under the bed already, it may be eaten. The Chida and the Divrei Yatziv hold that this applies even b’dieved and under no circumstances may one eat food that was kept under a bed.

One may wish to differentiate whether the following scenario would have the same ruling or not. Is food that was under the pillow a person was laying on considered the same as being under the bed or not? Similarly, one may wonder about food that was in one’s pocket and they fell asleep with it there. Does it have the same halachic ruling as food that was under a bed?

The Shailos U’teshuvos Ein Yitzchok in Orach Chaim, siman chof daled, ois tes brings proof that food under the bed is not forbidden b’dieved. The Midrash in Eicha says that a “chemes” (flask) has two purposes. First, it can store flour. Secondly, you can use it under your head. From this midrash we see that a flask can be used as a pillow. Therefore the same ruling would apply to food under a bed. The same logic may be applies to food kept under a bed. There is therefore no difference between food under the bed or pillow and having some food in your pocket.

The Sdei Chemed argues with this and says that since the midrash says it serves two things it is as if it said it serves as a holder for flour “or” a pillow, but it does not say you could use the flour as a pillow. In addition, he argues with the Ein Yitzchok that there is definitely a difference between under the bed and under the pillow. He holds that under the bed is a place of ruach ra’ah similar to a bathroom where some hold even if you just enter you must wash your hands. This machlokes would also bring about another difference in halacha. What is the halacha if one did not sleep in the bed and food was kept under it? According to the Ein Yitzchok it would not be tamei as he would say like the Toras Chaim that the reason it becomes tamei is because sleeping is like one sixtieth of death. Conversely, the Sdei Chemed would say it has nothing to do with sleeping; it is a makom of tumah whether one slept there or not. The Sdei Chemed brings a proof from the Gemara in Bava Basra that says that a bed of a Talmid Chacham should only have shoes underneath it, and the Gemara does not differentiate between a Talmid Chacham sleeping on it or not.

The bottom line is that the bottom of the bed is not a place for food.

Do you have a topic or discussion you want to read about? Please send comments or questions to hymanbsdhevens@gmail.com or Berachsteinfeldscorner@gmail.com

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House Votes Overwhelmingly To Back NATO Mutual Defense Pact

The House has overwhelmingly approved a resolution reaffirming the U.S. commitment to NATO’s mutual defense pact. Lawmakers passed the measure Tuesday, 423-4, roughly a month after President Donald Trump failed to explicitly state his support for Article 5 during a visit to NATO headquarters. Article 5 is the alliance’s “one for all, all for one” agreement. Trump did eventually back the collective defense accord. House Speaker Paul Ryan sponsored the resolution, which was also backed by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. The resolution also voices strong support for a decision made at a NATO summit in 2014 calling for each member to spend at least 2 percent of its nation’s gross domestic product on defense by 2024. Trump lectured NATO members about increasing their defense spending. (AP)

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U.S. To Impose Additional Tariffs On Canadian Lumber Imports

The U.S. will impose further punitive tariffs on imports of softwood lumber from Canada, escalating a longstanding trade dispute that’s already led to higher timber prices.

Preliminary anti-dumping duties of as much as 7.7 percent will be levied on Canadian producers, the U.S. Department of Commerce said Monday in a statement. The move follows the government’s decision in April to slap countervailing tariffs of up to 24.1 percent on shipments from Canadian companies including West Fraser Timber Co. and Canfor Corp.

Until Canada and the U.S. reach a negotiated solution on softwood lumber, the nation will continue to “vigorously apply” the anti-dumping and countervailing duties to “stand up for American companies and their workers,” U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said in a statement.

The trade spat, which has been going on intermittently for decades, was reignited in November when the U.S. lumber industry filed a petition asking for duties. The group alleges Canadian wood is heavily subsidized and imports are harming U.S. mills and workers. Since then, trade between the two countries has become an increasingly fraught issue, with President Donald Trump seeking to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The tariffs turned out to be less severe than some analysts had predicted. The U.S. Department of Commerce in a preliminary determination Monday said it has calculated that Canfor is selling product in the U.S. at 7.72 percent less than fair value, Resolute FP Canada at 4.59 percent, Tolko Industries at 7.53 percent and West Fraser at 6.76 percent. It set a preliminary dumping rate of 6.87 percent for all other producers in Canada.

Canada is the world’s largest softwood lumber exporter and the U.S. is its biggest market. Lumber futures in Chicago have jumped this year amid concerns that the trade battle will disrupt supplies.

While the additional duties are on the “lower end of the range” the industry was expecting, no tariffs are warranted, said Susan Yurkovich, the president of British Columbia’s BC Lumber Trade Council. Protectionist duties hurt Canadian companies and communities and also hurt U.S. consumers who choose to build, buy or renovate a new home, she said.

“We find it incredibly frustrating the U.S. industry continues to use litigation as a means to enhance their position and benefit from price volatility that their trade actions create,” Yurkovich said on a conference call with reporters.

The U.S. Commerce Department made a preliminary ruling earlier on Monday that the Atlantic provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia will be excluded from the punitive tariffs. A final decision is expected by late summer.

(c) 2017, Bloomberg · Jen Skerritt

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Washington – Supreme Court Term Ended Much Different Than It Began

Washington — The Supreme Court began its term nine months ago with Merrick Garland nominated to the bench, Hillary Clinton favored to be the next president, and the court poised to be controlled by Democratic appointees for the first time in 50 years. Things looked very different when the justices wrapped up their work this […]


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Child Diagnosed With Organic Phosphorus Poisoning Brought To Emek Hospital In Afula

A mother and her 5-year-old son are in intensive care following organic phosphorus poisoning. A mother and her five-year-old son from one of the northern communities were evacuated on Monday, 2 Tammuz to the Emek Hospital in serious condition, suffering from organic phosphorus poisoning. One hypothesis is that they were exposed to the dangerous pesticide after eating the sprayed grapes they picked and did not wash before eating. “The mother and child were rushed to us by the father when they were in very serious condition, in a compromised state of consciousness and signs of phosphorus poisoning, including respiratory secretions, rapid pulse, sweating, red light and dizziness,” said Dr. Gilad Chen, director of pediatric emergency medicine at the Emek Medical Center. The mom required immediate respiratory support and admitted to the respiratory intensive care unit, and the son was transferred to the pediatric intensive care unit.” Dr. Chen said the cause of the poisoning was not clear at first. The father could not explain what had happened and it was impossible to talk to the woman or the child because of their condition, but the tests confirmed the diagnosis of phosphorus poisoning. “The son’s condition was slightly better than that of the mother, and after we stabilized him, he said that he and the mother ate grapes they had picked, and that may have been exposed to phosphorus,” Chen said. During the night and day, both of them improved, and they were out of danger. In the last few hours the mother began breathing on her own. “Organic phosphorus poisoning is a real and immediate danger to life, and pesticides are used in agricultural communities,” said Dr. Chen, stressing that fruit and vegetables harvested from orchards are thoroughly washed with soap and water before eating. Photo: Dr. Gilad Chen Director of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Emek Hospital (YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem/Photo Credit: Emek Hospital)

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Photos: Dushinsky Rebbe visiting the Home of R’ Nachman Fruchter (JDN)

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House Panel Weighs Privatizing Air Traffic Control

A House panel on Tuesday weighed legislation that would split off management of the nation’s skies from the Federal Aviation Administration and give that responsibility to an independent, nonprofit company. The idea is to remove air traffic control from the vagaries of the government budget process. Proponents say Washington dysfunction hampers the FAA’s efforts to update equipment designed to make flying quicker and safer. The FAA would maintain its role in issuing and enforcing regulations designed to enhance safety. The union representing about 18,000 air traffic control workers and engineers supports Rep. Bill Shuster’s bill. The union said the legislation will protect the workforce and provide predictable funds for the aviation system. President Donald Trump supports the effort, but aviation groups that often rely on smaller airports for business travel, recreation, pilot training and crop spraying oppose it. The effort also faces opposition in the Senate, where several key GOP senators and many Democrats oppose the plan. “This bill is about American jobs and competitiveness. It gets Washington out of the way of aviation and innovation,” said Shuster, R-Pa., chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. To secure support, the House bill would exempt general aviation flights from the new user fees established to fund the new company’s operations. Still, many in the civil aviation industry are opposed. The Senate bill reauthorizing the FAA maintains air traffic control operations within the agency’s bailiwick. A Senate panel will take up its reauthorization bill Thursday. Rep. Todd Rokita, R-Ind., parted ways with Republicans on the panel in voicing concern that a powerful minority could still control the new corporation’s board on a range of issues. “It’s the corporatization of a monopoly where one part of the ecosystem can take over the rest,” Rokita said. Canada, Great Britain, France and Germany are among the dozens of countries around the world that have commercialized their air traffic navigation systems while keeping the government in the role of safety regulator. Still, the sheer size of the U.S. system, with its more than 300 air traffic facilities and more than 210,000 aircraft, complicates the effort. Rep. Peter DeFazio, the top Democrat on the panel, said a few years ago that he would have been willing to “roll the dice” on privatization because the FAA was doing so poorly in its procurement of critical new systems, but that track record has much improved. “If we privatize air traffic control, we won’t create the world’s finest system. It will be inherited by the private corporation,” said DeFazio of Oregon. The bill deals with more than creating a new entity to oversee air traffic control. It also would beef up some protections for the flying public. For example, the legislation prohibits airlines from involuntarily bumping passengers once they have already boarded a plane, a nod to the troubling images of the passenger who was violently dragged off a United Airlines flight out of Chicago in early April. DeFazio said the bill is generally supported on a bipartisan basis, with the major exception being the issue of privatization. DeFazio said Democrats would prefer to address the influence of congressional gridlock on the FAA through legislation that would exempt certain FAA funds from sequestration budget cuts or government shutdowns. Proponents sought to emphasize that the transition would be gradual. Rep. […]

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