The virtual Kehilla of Orthodox Jewry of Greater Montreal

SICK: High School Published Yearbook Glorifying Oct. 7 Attack On Israel

Officials from Glenbrook South and Glenbrook High School District 225 in Illinois have denounced a student entry in the 2023-2024 yearbook that appears to praise the October 7, 2023, attacks on Israel. The entry, titled “October 7 War in Gaza,” quotes a student as saying, “The first day, I woke up and I saw what Palestine did, and I was happy because they’re finally defending themselves.” The student also refers to the area as their “home country.” District officials expressed their “profound regret” over the entry in a letter to students and families, stating, “The statements in the piece in no way represent the views of Glenbrook South or District 225.” The letter acknowledged the district has received a “tremendous number of inquiries and feedback” on the topic and assured that they are in conversation with students, families, staff, and community members about the situation. However, the Student Press Law Center, a Washington, D.C.-based organization, despicably defended the entry, arguing that it protects the yearbook’s editorial decisions under the Illinois’ Speech Rights of Student Journalists Act. The district says it has launched an internal investigation into the matter and will continue until a resolution is reached. In a separate incident at another Illinois high school, officials confiscated all student yearbooks after a student or students signed them with swastikas. (YWN World Headquarters – NYC)
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TRAGEDY STRIKES LAKEWOOD: Two Fatalities In Jackson Crash, Including 5-Year-Old Boy

YWN regrets to inform you of the tragic petirah of Shmuel Brog z”l, who was niftar following a horrific accident in Jackson today. He was approximately 5 years old. Shmuel z”l is the son of R’ Avrumy and Ayala Brog. R’ Avrumy is well known as one of the directors of Oorah’s summer camp, The Zone. His grandfather is Harav Yisroel Brog, the rosh yeshiva of Tiferes Avigdor in Wickliffe, Ohio. Shmuel z”l, was riding in a van when it collided with another vehicle on E. Veterans near Cleveland Court. The young boy was critically injured, and went into traumatic arrest. Hatzolah paramedics were able to regain a heartbeat at the scene and rushed him to Jersey Shore University Medical Center, where he was tragically niftar a short time later. Levaya details will be published when available. The driver of the other vehicle involved in the crash also went into traumatic arrest. She was rushed to Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus in Lakewood, where she was sadly pronounced dead. Her identity has not yet been released and additional information regarding her will be published when available.
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Massive Police Sweep Across Europe Takes Down Ransomware Networks and Arrests 4 Suspects

Police coordinated by the European Union’s justice and police agencies have taken down computer networks responsible for spreading ransomware via infected emails, in what they called the biggest-ever international operation against the lucrative form of cybercrime. The European Union’s judicial cooperation agency, Eurojust, said Thursday that police arrested four “high value” suspects, took down more than 100 servers and seized control of over 2,000 internet domains. The huge takedown this week, codenamed Endgame, involved coordinated action in Germany, the Netherlands, France, Denmark, Ukraine, the United States and United Kingdom, Eurojust said. Also, three suspects were arrested in Ukraine and one in Armenia. Searches were carried out in Ukraine, Portugal, the Netherlands and Armenia, EU police agency Europol added. It is the latest international operation aimed at disrupting malware and ransomware operations. It followed a massive takedown in 2021 of a botnet called Emotet, Eurojust said. A botnet is a network of hijacked computers typically used for malicious activity. Europol pledged it would not be the last takedown. “Operation Endgame does not end today. New actions will be announced on the website Operation Endgame,” Europol said in a statement. Dutch police said that the financial damage inflicted by the network on governments, companies and individual users is estimated to run to hundreds of millions of euros (dollars). “Millions of people are also victims because their systems were infected, making them part of these botnets,” the Dutch statement said. Eurojust said that one of the main suspects earned cryptocurrency worth at least 69 million euros ($74 million) by renting out criminal infrastructure for spreading ransomware. “The suspect’s transactions are constantly being monitored and legal permission to seize these assets upon future actions has already been obtained,” EU police agency Europol added. The operation targeted malware “droppers” called IcedID, Pikabot, Smokeloader, Bumblebee and Trickbot. A dropper is malicious software usually spread in emails containing infected links or attachments such as shipping invoices or order forms. “This approach had a global impact on the dropper ecosystem,” Europol said. “The malware, whose infrastructure was taken down during the action days, facilitated attacks with ransomware and other malicious software.” Ben Jones, CEO at Searchlight Cyber, a company that provides intelligence on the dark web, hailed the operation as an example of how international cooperation can crack down on cybercrime. “Where cybercriminals previously used their ability to operate across borders to evade the arm of justice, operations like Endgame — coordinated across multiple jurisdictions — demonstrate that this evasion tactic is increasingly untenable,” Jones said in comments emailed to The Associated Press. “Law enforcement’s net is widening and the ‘safe zones’ for cybercriminal activity are becoming harder and harder to come by.” Dutch police said that the actions should alert cybercriminals that they can be caught. “This operation shows that you always leave tracks, nobody is unfindable, even online,” Stan Duijf, of the Dutch National Police, said in a video statement. The deputy head of Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office, Martina Link, described it as “the biggest international cyber police operation so far.” “Thanks to intensive international cooperation, it was possible to render six of the biggest malware families harmless,” she said in a statement. German authorities are seeking the arrest of seven people on suspicion of being members of a criminal organization whose aim was to […]
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From the Daf – The Muzzler and the Muzzled – Are They the Same?

by Chaim Weber The Gemara in Bava Metzia (88b) discusses two sets of mitzvos when it comes to feeding workers. The first is the negative prohibition not to muzzle an animal while it’s working – lo sachsom shor b’disho. The second is the positive commandment to allow human workers to eat from the produce they are working on, as long as the produce is harvest-ready. As these mitzvos both relate to feeding a worker, the Gemara compares these mitzvos and derives halachos from one to the other. However, R’ Chaim Soloveitchik (Me’ila 8:1) explains that these two mitzvos are still different at their core. The prohibition against muzzling an animal is a commandment to be benevolent and not prevent a hard-working animal from eating. However, when it comes to the positive commandment allowing a worker to eat from produce he is working on, this isn’t just a mitzvah on the boss to be benevolent. Rather, it’s a monetary obligation that a worker is entitled and owed this produce. The produce belongs to the worker. Not to his boss. Can a Worker Eat Hekdesh Produce? R’ Chaim uses this to explain a difficult Gemara in Bava Metzia. The Gemara (87b) learns from a dedicated verse that although a worker is allowed to take produce, he cannot take produce if he is working with consecrated property (hekdesh). Tosfos and the Tosfos Harosh explain that the same way a worker is allowed to take produce from the owner despite the potential prohibition against stealing, we would have thought that he can similarly take produce from hekdesh. This is why we need a dedicated verse prohibiting it. The obvious question is: Why? Why would we have thought that a worker can take hekdesh produce? When it comes to hekdesh, there is a prohibition of me’ila – that one is forbidden to derive benefit from hekdesh property. Unlike ordinary theft, this carries a penalty of misah bidei shamayim – death carried out through Heaven – if performed willingly according to some Tana’im and at the very least, requires a special korban when done accidentally. Why would I think that the same way a worker can circumvent the prohibition against stealing, he can also circumvent the prohibition against me’ila? R’ Chaim explains that although the penalty of me’ila is severe, it’s essentially a theft-related prohibition. It’s a prohibition against benefiting (and thereby stealing) from hekdesh. What Tosfos means to say is the following: The same way a worker is entitled to take food from his boss and it’s not considered stealing – because the produce belongs to the worker – similarly, when working with hekdesh property, it’s not considered me’ila to take hekdesh produce because the produce no longer belongs to hekdesh. It belongs to the worker. This is why I would have thought to permit it without a dedicated verse telling us otherwise. R’ Yehonason of Lunil seems to disagree. He learns that the Gemara never had any thought to permit produce that was actually hekdesh. The Gemara only thought that the Torah might obligate the Temple treasurer to release produce from its hekdesh state in order to feed the worker. Similarly, the Ritva learns that the Gemara was dealing with a case where the hekdesh was made conditionally. Otherwise, there would be me’ila and […]
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Blinken Assails Russian Misinformation After Hinting US May Allow Ukraine to Strike Inside Russia

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday assailed Russian attempts to sow discord in democracies with misinformation after hinting the Biden administration may soon allow Ukraine to use American-supplied munitions to strike inside Russia. With an increasing number of officials saying Ukraine must be able to defend itself by attacking targets in Russian territory, Blinken joined NATO foreign ministers for a meeting in Prague, where he said Moscow’s use of misinformation and disinformation was a “poison” and signed an agreement with the Czech government to combat it. He also toured a Czech military base, where he saw armored vehicles that Prague is sending to Kyiv to help fight Russia’s invasion and received a briefing on a Czech initiative to supply Ukraine with a million rounds of ammunition by the end of the year. “We know that a major front in the competition that we have, the adversarial relationship that we have, notably with Russia, is on the information front,” Blinken said. He said the agreement with the Czechs — the 17th such accord the U.S. has signed with partner nations — would help “to effectively deal with misinformation and disinformation, which is a poison being injected into our democracies by our adversaries.” “The more we’re able to do together both between our countries but also with other countries, the more effective we’re going to be exposing it and dealing with it,” Blinken told reporters at a signing ceremony with Czech Foreign Minister Minister Jan Lipavsky. Lipavsky agreed, noting that Czech authorities had recently exposed a major Russian-backed misinformation campaign. “We are facing confrontation between democracies and autocracies,” Lipavsky said. “The Kremlin has started targeting targeting democracies all around the world with cyber warfare, propaganda and influence operations and this danger simply cannot be underestimated any more.” At a separate NATO-related event on Thursday, Lipavsky said Ukraine needs resources to counter Russia’s relentless assault. “Ukraine cannot fight against Russia with one hand tied behind its back,” he said. “Ukraine must be able to fight against Russia’s barbaric invasion even on Russian territory. Political resolve must be backed by credible capabilities.” Norway’s foreign minister, Espen Barth Eide, told Norwegian broadcaster NRK that his country believes Ukraine “has a crystal-clear right under international law to attack Russia inside Russia as part of the defense of its territory.” Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and support for Ukrainian attempts to repel it will be a major focus of the NATO foreign minister meetings on Thursday and Friday — the alliance’s last major diplomatic gathering before a leaders’ summit in Washington in July to mark the 75th anniversary of its founding. On Wednesday in Moldova, Blinken said that U.S. policy on how Ukraine deploys American weapons is constantly evolving, suggesting that Washington may rescind an unwritten prohibition on Ukraine’s use of them for attacks on Russian territory. Although U.S. officials insist there is no formal ban, they have long made clear that they believe the use of American weapons to attack targets inside Russia could provoke an escalatory response from Moscow, something that Russian President Vladimir Putin has promised. That position appears to be being reconsidered, and Blinken noted that it was a “hallmark” of the Biden administration’s stance on Ukraine to “adapt and adjust” as needed. Blinken visited Kyiv earlier this month and heard a […]
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