Yehuda Lave is an author, journalist, psychologist, rabbi, spiritual teacher, and coach, with degrees in business, psychology and Jewish Law. He works with people from all walks of life and helps them in their search for greater happiness, meaning, business advice on saving money, and spiritual engagement.
Medical experts were asked if it is time to ease the lockdown. Allergists were in favor of scratching it, but Dermatologists advised not to make any rash moves. Gastroenterologists had sort of a gut feeling about it, but Neurologists thought the government had a lot of nerve. Obstetricians felt certain everyone was laboring under a misconception, while Ophthalmologists considered the idea shortsighted. Many Pathologists yelled, “Over my dead body!” while Pediatricians said, “Oh, grow up!” Psychiatrists thought the whole idea was madness, while Radiologists could see right through it. Surgeons decided to wash their hands of the whole thing and pharmacists claimed it would be a bitter pill to swallow. Plastic Surgeons opined that this proposal would “put a whole new face on the matter.” Podiatrists thought it was a step forward, but Urologists were pissed off at the whole idea. Anesthesiologists thought the whole idea was a gas, and those lofty Cardiologists didn’t have the heart to say no. In the end, the Proctologists won out, leaving the entire decision up to the rear ends.
COVID: Just 0.06% Israelis sick after two shots, no one serious – study
According to a Maccabi Healthcare study, immunity appears to further strengthen even after seven days from the second injection.
By ROSSELLA TERCATIN FEBRUARY 5, 2021
New data released by the Maccabi Healthcare Services has confirmed the effectiveness of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine.
As of Thursday, only 254 individuals out of the 416,900 who were already a week after the second Pfizer shot – the time where the immunity is considered to kick in – got infected with the virus, the organization reported. Moreover, those who were found to be positive only had light symptoms, with just four of them being hospitalized, all of them in light condition.
Over the same period of time, some 12,944 new cases of COVID-19 emerged in the control group of some 778,000 people having a diverse health profile.
A comparison between the data from the two groups shows that the vaccine is 91% effective seven days or more after the second injection is administered.
From a segmentation of the infections that did occur, it appears that the immunity increases as the days go by. Among the 254 people who contracted the virus, 76 of them were infected after seven days, 44 on the eight day, and 24 on the ninth day. Between day 22 and 24 – when the test period ended – no one was infected.
According to the studies conducted by Pfizer, the vaccine had an efficacy of about 95%, which is considered very high.
With some 2.5 million members, Maccabi is the second largest health fund in Israel. About 900,000 of its customers have already received the first shot, and about 500,000 the second one.
“The data continue to be very encouraging and to show that the effectiveness of the vaccine is high and stable,” Dr. Anat Aka Zohar, head of Maccabi’s Information and Digital Health Division said. “The findings clearly indicate that as the days go by after the second dose, the immunity becomes stronger.”
She also emphasized that the vaccine does not only protect against infection but also again developing more severe symptoms.
Coronavirus: Gov’t to meet on schools Sunday as lockdown ends
New daily cases decrease as over two million Israelis already got both shots of the coronavirus vaccine.
By MAAYAN JAFFE-HOFFMAN, ROSSELLA TERCATIN FEBRUARY 6, 2021
The cabinet is expected to extend the closure of the school system until Tuesday on Saturday night, as the government is set to meet again on Sunday to discuss the next steps in the exit strategy from the lockdown, including regarding educational institutions.
After a month of reinforced lockdown in Israel, several restrictions are set to be lifted on Sunday at 7 a.m. as the country saw a decrease in new cases and infection rate while over two million people had already received both coronavirus vaccines.
What changes on Sunday morning, according to what the government decided on Thursday night?
1 - Abolition of the 1,000-meter restriction on traveling away from home
2 - Opening of nature reserves and national parks, conservation sites and locations under the auspices of the antiquities authority that are visited in the open air
3 - Resumption of work-from-office for employees at companies that do not directly see the public
4 - Return of one-on-one services
5 - Allowance of takeaway from restaurants and cafes
6 - Welcoming of nuclear families to bed and breakfasts
"It is good that the cabinet has accepted the recommendations of the Health Ministry and my recommendation, with only minor changes,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement immediately following the meeting, which lasted around 12 hours.
“The lockdown will last until Sunday morning,” he continued. “I ask that the public take very strict care to follow the directives and to go and be vaccinated. The vaccines work. The more people who are vaccinated, with emphasis on the 50+ age group, the more we will be able to gradually, cautiously and responsibly open the economy.”
The cabinet decided that schools will open sometime in the coming week, once an outline for education is agreed upon by the Health and Education ministries.
The Health Ministry had said that only students in yellow and green zones should return to school, which would leave around 60% of the nation’s children to continue with online learning. However, no final decisions have been made.
The Three Musketeers at the Kotel
ID Tags Worn by Children in Sobibor Death Camp in Poland Unearthed
Chilling evidence has emerged from the Sobibor death camp in Poland as metal personal identity tags belonging to four children ages 5–11 who hailed from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, were retrieved from archaeological excavations conducted at the camp.
The metal pendants that were worn around the children’s necks bear their names, date of birth, and the name of their home town. The extraordinary excavation, begun before the construction of the new visitors center at the camp, is being conducted by the archaeological team of Wojciech Mazurek from Poland, Yoram Haimi from the Israel Antiquities Authority, and Ivar Schute from Holland, with the assistance of local residents.
The children whose identity tags were found are Lea Judith De La Penha, Deddie Zak, Annie Kapper, and David Juda Van der Velde.
According to Haimi, “as far as we know, identity tags with children’s names have only been found at Sobibor, and nowhere else. Since the tags are very different from each other, it is evident that this was probably not some organized effort. The children’s identity tags were prepared by their parents, who were probably desperate to ensure that the children’s relatives could be located in the chaos of the Second World War. Lea, Annie, Davis, and Deddie’s tags enabled us to link faces and stories to the names, which until now had only been anonymous entries in Nazi ledgers. The archaeological excavation provides us with an opportunity to tell the victims’ stories and to honor their memory.”
To discover the children’s details, the archaeologists contacted the Herinneringscentrum Kamp Westerbork, which was used as a transit camp in the Holocaust for Jews being deported from Holland to Eastern Europe and is now a visitors center and memorial site.
“I have been excavating at Sobibor for ten years,” says Haimi, “but this is the hardest day I have ever had. As we stood holding the tags in the field, beside the crematoria, we contacted the center and we gave them the names. They responded immediately. By phone, we received photos of smiling young children. The hardest thing was to learn that some of the children whose tags we held in our hands reached Sobibor on a children’s transport – 1300 little children, ages 4–8, who were sent here to die alone, without their parents. I looked at the photos and asked myself, how could anyone have been so cruel?”
These are the names of the children, with their photos and identity tags:
Lea Judith De La Penha, died at age 6.
<figcaption>Lea De La Penha (on right) with a family friend. / Photo from the Majdanek Museum archives</figcaption></figure> <figure>
<figcaption>Lea De La Penha’s identity tag. / Yoram Haimi</figcaption></figure>
Deddie Zak, died at age 8.
<figcaption>Deddie Zak (L) / Photo from the Joods Monument</figcaption></figure> <figure>
<figcaption>Deddie Zak’s identity tag. / Yoram Haimi</figcaption></figure>
Deddie’s name appears on a charred metal tag found in one of the crematoria. Engraved with his name, Deddie Zak, his date of birth, 23.02.35, and his family’s address, Amsterdam Uiterwaardenstraat 71 III. Deddie was deported to the camp on the so-called Kindertransport, named after the large number of children it carried to their death. About a third of the 3,017 Jews deported to Sobibor from the Vught Via Westerbork concentration camp were children ages 4–8, many of them without parents. Deddie was murdered with his family when they reached Sobibor camp on June 11, 1943.
Annie Kapper died at age 12.
<figcaption>Annie Kapper’s identity tag, showing the girl’s name and address on this side. / Yoram Haimi</figcaption></figure> <figure>
<figcaption>Annie Kapper’s date of birth. / Yoram Haimi</figcaption></figure>
Annie’s aluminum identity tag was found near one of the mass graves. The girl’s name is engraved on one side of the tag, with the family’s address in Amsterdam. AMSTERDAM Z. HOLLAND. On the other side of the tag is Annie’s date of birth: GEBOREN JANUARI 1931. The Kapper family was deported to Sobibor on March 30, 1943, in the fifth transport, which contained 1,255 Jews in 25 cars. The train reached Sobibor on April 2, 1943, and all those on board were murdered in the camp’s gas chambers.
David Juda Van der Velde died at age 11.
<figcaption>Identity tag belonging to David Juda Van der Velde. / Wojciech Mazurek</figcaption></figure>
Half a broken aluminum identity tag was found to the west of the gas chambers. David’s initials are engraved on it, D.J.V/D, and the address is engraved below, PRES.RD. Beneath the address is the city, AMSTERD. The lower line contains the beginning of David’s date of birth, GEB 21-, or 21 November 1932. David and his family were deported on transport number 5 from Westerbork to Sobibor on March 30, 1943, and reached Sobibor camp on April 2, 1943, where they were immediately taken to the gas chambers.
Tefillin Discovered in Hidden Bunker in Warsaw Ghetto
A bunker containing 100-year-old tefillin (phylacteries) hidden from the Nazis in World War II has been discovered in the ruins of the Warsaw Ghetto.
In recent years, Polish authorities have begun to demolish buildings inside the Warsaw Ghetto to turn them into residential buildings in a process of urban renewal. Following one such demolition, construction workers discovered an entrance to a bunker dug in preparation for the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. One of the Polish construction workers on the site who entered the bunker to clear it out discovered 10 phylacteries that had been hidden behind books and other items.
Hearing of the sensational discovery from their local contacts, European emissaries of the Shem Olam Faith and the Holocaust Institute for Education, Documentation and Research secretly contacted the construction workers. Following lengthy negotiations and a commitment to keep the transaction secret from Polish authorities, the phylacteries were handed over to the emissaries. They recently arrived in Israel, where they were transferred to the institute for disinfection and conservation.
Shem Olam announced it had the phylacteries ahead of a conference it is set to hold to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The virtual conference, which will be open to the public, will include panels on the memory of the Holocaust from an international perspective and will be attended by politicians, spiritual leaders, rabbis and historians from around the world.
According to Shem Olam director Rabbi Avraham Krieger, “The discovery of 10 phylacteries concentrated in one place testifies to the Jewish lifestyle they maintained in the ghetto. Despite the horrors and the cruel reality in which they lived, they continued to observe the customs and tradition they grew up with.”
He noted that “the number of phylacteries points to the underground minyans [prayer quorums of 10 people] they succeeded in holding inside the bunker, underground and under the Nazis’ noses. The phylacteries were hidden alongside weapons and hunting tools that served the Warsaw Ghetto rebels, which testifies to their importance in the eyes of the Jews.”
The Shoah's impact on survivor's post-war children
Prof. S. Juni, researcher of patterns among 2nd generation survivors: We often find it easier to treat survivors than their children.
Manfred Gerstenfeld interviews Prof. Sam Juni
“Given the enormity of the death camp survivors’ experience, some of their adaptations to maintain sanity in their lives inevitably engendered significant negative repercussions on the children they raised. Thus, psychiatric and personality pathology is usually more severe in the families of former death camp inmates. Survivors who were not in death camps – and their families -- often present no untoward adjustment problems.
“If Shoah survivors are uncomfortable with their identity, it will affect their children. These people are referred to as Second Generation Survivors in the literature, based on the fact that they are actually survivors due to their suffering and upbringing, even if they were not physically present during the actual Holocaust. A significant number of Second Generation Survivors suffer from identity issues, from being part of a lost heritage, and not being able to identify with the culture they actually live in.”
Dr. Sam Juni, Professor Emeritus at New York University, is a renowned diagnostician and researcher of psychopathology and psychiatric disorders. He established the Psychology Graduate Program at NYU Tel Aviv and headed it for close to a decade. Years ago he began to notice distinct pathology syndrome patterns among second-generation Holocaust survivors.
“When Holocaust survivors damage the identity of their children, it most frequently affects the oldest child, though the other children suffer consequences as well. Such problems will typically manifest themselves early on in life.
“There is often overprotectiveness of Holocaust survivors toward their children due to parents’ prolonged exposure to extreme threat and emergency situations. Clinical practitioners have shown that second generation Holocaust survivors have difficulties individuating from overbearing, over-concerned, and over-intrusive parents.
“There are tell-tale syndromes which are shared by many second-generation children. These often include problems with authority figures, religiosity, financial spending, and coping with parental pressure to succeed, as well as food and dietary issues. We generally label these repercussions as pathological when they exceed the ‘normal’ threshold by interfering with the person’s daily functioning.
“Paranoia is a recurring symptom of Holocaust survivors. This often correlates with a need to stick together with those of similar backgrounds and to avoid close relationships with ‘outsiders.’ Some second generation survivors adopt a similar stance, and practice excessive closeness with other children of survivors. In some cases, however, there is an excessive openness to those who are perceived as different. The latter mode is often not genuine, and represents a psychological reversal defense mechanism to counteract underlying paranoid tendencies.
“For many survivors and their families, the understanding of God’s role did not coincide with the imagery of a kind caring father. It is therefore not surprising that religious tension and dissonance occur frequently in Shoah survivors. In terms of emotionality, the straightforward reaction to the Holocaust is anger and disappointment, which can lead to an open revolt against God. In some, this can also manifest itself as denial of His existence. However, there is also another variant: some survivors actually become more religious resulting from their Holocaust experiences. This seems counterintuitive, and probably is a result of the psychological defense mechanism known as Reaction Formation.
“Quite often, second generation children are forced to confront their relationship with God early on in life, even if it is not expressed openly by their parents. This can lead to bi-directional results: some will become overly observant of religious principles, while others will abandon religion totally. A moderate response in this domain is unusual.
“Developmental theory posits that the God concept that children internalize is very much linked to their formative experience with parental figures. This is especially true in second generation survivors who often have a non-idealized ‘father image’ because of the perceived weakness of their parents during the Holocaust. This exacerbates the already problematic issues of religiosity based on reactions to the Holocaust per se.
“Survivors are often tightfisted. Here, too, second generation children often adopt a similar stance in their attitude toward money, while some behave totally in the opposite direction and become spendthrifts. Once again, moderation is unusual.
“A characteristic hallmark of Holocaust survivor parents is the intense pressure they often put on their children to succeed. Most second generation survivors assimilate this stance and gravitate toward high status and achievement careers.
“There are often specific problems in families of survivors between children born before and after the war if they live together in a family. There is a definite differentiation between the cohorts. One might liken it to children and stepchildren in reconstituted families.
“Survivors show a range of coping and reconciliation strategies that can be categorized into two major trajectories. One entails blaming oneself and internalizing some of the suffering; survivor’s guilt is prominent in this strategy. The other maintains a defiant and accusatory stance toward the aggressors for their heinous acts; toward society for allowing, condoning, or abetting them; and even toward God for His role. Each category entails a no-win strategy for the second-generation survivors who are raised in these respective family atmospheres.
“Many Holocaust survivors -- because they were adults at the time -- had the good fortune of a solid emotional upbringing. Through their personality constructions, they saw a father as one who can be relied upon and a mother as the one to run to when it hurts. Essentially, then, they had a coalesced personality foundation and a positive worldview. When all hell broke loose and the rug was suddenly pulled out from under them, their ingrained sense of humanity did not evaporate. Deep down, a basic belief in a just world still existed. They had many questions and even accusations, but their essential maxims were not preempted.
“By contrast, from their early childhood days, second generation survivors were exposed to a perceived unfair and hostile world, replete with horrible aggressors. Their personality and capacity for healthy interpersonal relationships were thus flawed in their very nature. Second-generation survivors are shown to suffer from pervasive personality difficulties and diminished capacity to relate appropriately to people (interpersonal object relations) and to God (theistic object relations). Highlighted difficulties of second-generation survivors include a negative worldview, weakened images of parents, and a view of the world as a dangerous place.
“Clinicians are often faced by a seemingly paradoxical situation, as we find it often far easier to treat survivors than second generation children. This is true, despite the fact that survivors suffer from more pronounced -- or visibly ‘abnormal’ psychiatric symptoms, while second generation survivors usually manifest milder personality disorders.”
To explain this paradox, Dr. Juni notes that modern psychiatry has developed medical and pharmacological tools to deal with clinical symptoms even when they are extreme and markedly disrupt normal functioning. He remarks: “Personality disorders – even though they are far less disruptive of basic day to day living --- are very difficult to ameliorate. Thus, second generation survivors find it harder to correct disruptive problems than their parents do, even though parents frequently present with severe psychiatric symptomatology.
“Second-generation survivors are typically fated to live in a childhood in which guilt combines with a negative worldview to yield barely manageable developmental challenges. Beyond that, they experienced often an unhealthy role reversal, in which they were not only their own caretakers but also those of their parents.”
Prof. Juni concludes that professional treatment often does not enable those second generation survivors -- who are negatively affected by their maladaptive family history -- to get rid of most of their problems. It is more advisable to design interventions to assist them in coping and living productive lives despite their inner turmoil.
Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld is the emeritus Chairman of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. He has been a strategic advisor for more than thirty years to some of the Western world’s leading corporations. Among the honors he received was the 2019 International Lion of Juda Award of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research paying tribute to him as the recognized leading international authority on contemporary antisemitism. His main book on the subject is: The War of a Million Cuts The struggle against the delegitimization of Israel and the Jews and the growth of New antisemitism.