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.
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Shuk to stay open during the lockdown and
Transportation Regulations Released for Lockdown During the lockdown set to begin this coming Friday at 2 pm, buses will operate at 50 percent capacity and will cease to run on the weekends. In addition, buses will not be allowed to fill with passengers beyond the halfway point.
According to a plan released by Transportation Minister Miri Regev, buses will run Sunday through Thursday, 5 am 10 pm. Intercity service will stop running on Friday and Saturday evenings and prior to holidays. Buses within cities will continue to operate on Fridays and Saturdays.
Israel Railways will also operate Sunday through Thursday from 5 am to 10 pm — but tickets must be purchased in advance.
For those with private vehicles and ideas that it might be possible to get to one’s family and back despite the lockdown, be warned: Israel Police plan to have hundreds of roadblocks “out there” to stop folks with exactly these kinds of plans, and who are in their vehicles traveling beyond that 500-meter limit set by the government. Police say there will be a fine of NIS 500 for each individual in the vehicle traveling outside their district.
The only exception to the above will be someone with a valid ticket to fly out of the country, four hours before their flight — and then they will be allowed to travel to the airport. Those returning from a “green” country likewise will be allowed to travel towards their home; those coming back from a “red” country will be told to go into quarantine
Is Tzom Gedaliah canceled for 2020? — Pros and Cons on the idea
Do you need to fast or not on the Monday following Rosh Hashana (September 21)? Like everything else in the Jewish world, it depends on who you are. We have had three Rabbinic fasts since the Pandemic has started ( Fast of Esther (Ta'anit Esther), Seventeenth of Tammuz (Shiva Asar B' Tammuz) and Tisha B'Av ) This will be the fourth one, so we have had some guidance before.
Only a Jew has to keep 613 mitzvahs, a Gentile does not, just the Noahide laws. A woman keeps fewer stringencies than a man about many religious practices as she is not obligated in many (some she is) time-bound mitzvah, and a Slave (though we don’t have anymore) even less.
Now we have a new fourth class of people. Those over 60 years old. The Pandemic distinguishes between those under 60 and those over.
Judaism is the world’s oldest monotheistic religion, dating back nearly 4,000 years. Followers of Judaism believe in one God who revealed himself through ancient prophets. The history of Judaism is essential to understanding the Jewish faith, which has a rich heritage of law, culture and tradition.
Over the 4000 years, we have had many times questions about whether a fast is canceled or not either for medical conditions or over the safety of the Jewish People as other nations like to threaten us with either loss of our lives or property.
Judaism believes in the principle that life comes first in most instances (not all as there are three primary exceptions–violating beliefs in Idolatry, Harming others, or sexual immorality may supersede life).
So when life is at stake, the fast may have to go. The fast of Tzom Gedaliah is a Rabbinic Fast, not a Torah Fast, (Only Yom Kippur is a Torah fast), so since it was created by the Rabbis, the Rabbis have the right to make the rules about who has to keep it.
So to answer the question, about keeping the fast we turn to history. The Place we start is about the most serious Torah Fast, Yom Kippur. If that fast can be put off, because it is the Torah fast, then certainly a less serious fast can be put off, as the Rabbi’s job is to make that decision with the help of Doctors.
Rabbis and doctors have always considered the weighty issue of fasting.
Whether an elderly person or sick person should eat or drink on Yom Kippur or the lesser fasts, depends on whether he is healthy or fragile.
Although religion should promote good health, sometimes the two can clash. In such cases – for example, religious fasts – Rabbis and Doctors should intervene to ensure that patients are not harmed.
“The fast was initiated by the G-d (or in the case of Tzom Gedaliah the Rabbis), “but it is meant for healthy adults, not for the sick or for children or pregnant or lactating women. If you can’t fast for health reasons, it’s just as good to give charity instead.”
One well known Orthodox Rabbi, RABBI YOSEF Zvi Rimon, the rabbi of JCT (The Jerusalem College of Technology, an Orthodox Jewish educational institution in the Givat Mordechai neighborhood of Jerusalem) and head of its Beit Midrash, noted that “medicine develops all the time. Doctors may have said something 20 years ago, and rabbis gave halachic rulings on the basis of that, but maybe the information is obsolete. The principles of Jewish law are the same, but conclusions may be wrong because doctors made statements based on medical evidence and research at the time.
One has to go deeper.” The rabbi produced a pamphlet with guidelines for patients on Yom Kippur fasting.“It there is doubt, one must consult with a rabbi. If it is impossible and there is a real doubt [about whether the fast will cause harm], one should not fast and not endanger life, even if there is no immediate danger but only one that is distant. A patient must not risk his or her health and fast in contravention of doctor’s orders.”
We are in such a time, with the Pandemic. There has always been a way to avoid the issue of fasting in the past, by a technique called “sherim” Eating or drinking a small amount over a period of time is not defined by the Rabbis as eating or drinking. A sick person, who, in the doctor’s opinion, fasting for a few hours will cause him to require eating regularly, later on, should begin eating “shiurim” from the beginning of the fast. Now we move to the question of eating regularly or via an IV. The prohibition to eat on Yom Kippur or the other Rabbinic fasts is only when the food intake is via the mouth and throat. Nutrition introduced intravenously or via a nasogastric tube etc. is, strictly speaking, also not prohibited. Nevertheless, a healthy person should not use this technique to avoid fasting. Having said this, a sick person who does need to eat on Yom Kippur is not required to receive his food via an IV in order to negate the necessity to eat regularly; rather he may eat in a normal fashion. There are opinions that state that a sick person, who is not currently in danger and is eating only to prevent potential danger, should begin receiving nutrition via an IV from before the onset of Yom Kippur, thereby not introducing something new on Yom Kippur.
“Shiurim” as we said above is to drink small amounts of water every nine (or even six) minutes. The permitted amount of water is easy to measure. Fill your mouth with as much water as you can and then spit it out into a cup. Half of that amount can be drunk every nine minutes by chronic patients who need to hydrate themselves. The average amount is 38 milliliters and should be less than 44 milliliters. Similarly for food. This is not called eating or drinking.
A patient is allowed to take a shower on Yom Kippur to refresh himself (it is forbidden to healthy people).
It is preferable to stay home, pray and fast, if permitted by a doctor or rabbi, rather than go to synagogue and forgo the fast. Pregnant and lactating women who are healthy usually are bound to fast (unless the new mother cannot produce enough milk for the baby), but pregnant women should consult with authorities on whether going without food and drink would harm them or the fetus. Chronically ill patients who must take pills during the fast are advised to take them without water, but if this is impossible, they should do so in a different way, such as adding a bit of salt or something bitter, the rabbi suggested.
DR. EPHRAIM Jaul, director of complex geriatric nursing at Jerusalem’s Herzog Hospital, said that ironically, there were many recommendations for vaccination for babies and children up to the age of 18, but only one recommended vaccination (against pneumonia) for those over 65.
“Old age is the most heterogeneous condition, but it is treated as homogeneous.” He urged pensioners to walk fast to improve their heart, brain, and gastrointestinal systems, as well as to do mental exercises.
Before this Pandemic, calling a person “old” should not be determined by his chronological age but more exactly by his biological age, said Prof. Tzvi Dwolatzky, an expert in geriatrics and internal medicine at Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center. “It used to be that kidney-failure patients were not sent to dialysis after the age of 75. Today, one can be 85 or more and still undergo it. The decision is made according to the biological age of the patient,” he said, showing a photo of an 89-year-old woman who piloted a plane, and of Jeanne Louise Calment, a French woman who lived to the age of 122 and of a Holocaust survivor and Israeli named Yisrael Kristal, who died recently at the age of 113.
Before this Pandemic or on Yom Kippur where there are different rules than for Tzom Gedolia, whether an elderly person should eat or drink on Yom Kippur, said Dwolatzky, depends on whether he is healthy or fragile (living at the edge of his abilities and could fall at a slow walking speed). “From my experience, most old people fast better than young people.
”DEHYDRATION FROM fasting is a significant risk in elderly patients, noted Dr. Ephraim Rimon of the Hartzfeld Geriatric Hospital in Gedera, who happens to be the older brother of Rabbi Rimon.
“One should drink three liters of water during the 24 hours before a fast, but it’s hard for the elderly to drink so much. If a patient is dehydrated, the risk of a heart attack or stroke is higher. An elderly person who wants to fast and drink at intervals may forget to drink water and then harm himself.
”He told the story of Rabbi Chaim Sonnenfeld of the Eda Haredit who learned of a blind woman who was fasting and endangered her health. “He came to her and blew the shofar during the fast and told her it was night and the fast was all over.
But every case is different.”Dr. Rabbi Mordechai Halperin, head of Jerusalem’s Schlesinger Institute for Medical-Halachic Research, added that a patient with irregular heartbeats can even die if he fasts.
“If we make an error in our guidelines, we are spilling blood. If a person is sick and at risk, he doesn’t need to drink at intervals. He should eat. If based on medical evidence, a person could be harmed by the fast, he must eat.
”THE ONLY part of the body that needs carbohydrates is the brain, said Prof. David Zangen, a senior endocrinologist at Hadassah University Medical Center.“When you haven’t eaten for hours and the blood sugar level is low, the liver will release sugar from the liver to reach the brain rather than to remain in storage.
If there isn’t enough, a patient can fall and be seriously hurt.”Working with observant adolescents with type-1 diabetes, Zangen asked if they intended to fast on Yom Kippur. Thirty-nine of 190 said they would fast no matter what the doctor said.
“They want to be like all the others, but it could be dangerous. Those who nevertheless insist on fasting are advised to check their blood sugar every 2.5 hours and to start eating if they have nausea, vomiting, or hyperglycemia. A diabetic should always consult their personal physician, as he or she knows the medical condition well.”
Now let us turn to the current issue, not just of health, but of an epidemic condition. During the Holocaust, for the sake of life, one ate or drank, and there was no dispute, but we turn to an epidemic many years before the Holocaust for guidance as that is more similar to the current time. One of the most famous cases was:
It was for this reason, even on Yom Kippur, which is not a rabbinic fast but a biblical one, Rabbi Salanter CANCELED YOM KIPPUR FAST.
Following Shacharit on Yom Kippur of 5610, in September 1849, Rabbi Yisrael Salanter, the famous and pious Vilna rabbi -founder of the Mussar Movement, dedicated to injecting the pursuit of ethical excellence into traditional Jewish observance, ascended to the bimah of the Vilna synagogue.
He explained to the congregation that because of the raging cholera epidemic in Vilna,
they must not spend the day gathered together in the synagogue, but should leave the building and walk outside -fresh air was believed to prevent the spread of the disease. Furthermore, he said, it was imperative that everyone maintains their strength so that they would not fall, victim,
to disease. And so, on that Yom Kippur, Rabbi Yisrael Salanter explained, everyone should break their fast, eat and drink so that they could protect their health and survive the disease. And his whole point was to break the fast not in the permitted way of “sherim” but literally to eat and drink, because he was afraid people might take the restrictions of “sherim” to literally and endanger themselves.
Cholera is a horrific disease. It is painful, terrifying, and deadly. The Hebrew word for cholera- רעחולי sounds similar to “cholera” but more literally can be translated as “evil disease. ”Over the course of the 19thcentury, modern medical science learned how to prevent the spread of cholera, and also how to effectively treat cholera. However, in 1849, in Eastern Europe, nobody knew how the disease spread and there were no effective treatments.
Rabbi Yisrael Salanter was one of the most famed rabbis of Vilna. He threw himself into the fight against the disease. He volunteered to care for the sick, and was instrumental in organizing the Jewish community to take care of the sick and to watch over orphans left behind in the wake of the disease
Today during our current epidemic, Doctors and Rabbis have stated that anyone over 60 is at great risk from this new flue (younger people don’t seem to be as affected). It is not much of a stretch than using common sense, that even if you are in good health, anyone over 60 should not fast, and of course, if you are not in good health, no matter what your age you should not fast.
It will be very strange for people who are in jeopardy (and the medical experts say that anyone over 60 is at much higher risk as well as younger people with pre-existing conditions) to skip the fast of Tzom Gedila this year, but they must to protect their health. Someone can be machmir (strict) on something that doesn’t affect their health, like reading more Tehillim or doing more prayers, but if they put themselves at risk by reducing their resistance, they are breaking the Torah not keeping it.
Either go to the synagogue or not (some are afraid of the potential virus in crowds), but as my Grandfather who lived to a ripe old age used to tell me, Stay home, take a bath, save money and be healthy!
Rabbi Yehuda Lave
Jerusalem’s Great Synagogue will be closed for the High Holidays for the first time
SEPTEMBER 14, 2020
(JTA) — Jerusalem’s Great Synagogue will be closed during the High Holidays for the first time since it opened more than 60 years ago.
In a statement on Sunday, the synagogue cited the risk of worshippers passing the coronavirus to others. Israel is currently in the process of implementing a second nationwide lockdown in response to an alarming rise in COVID-19 cases.
“The deciding consideration was the personal safety of every one of you,” the statement said. “Even if we stand by these [lockdown rules], there is still a risk. One person makes a mistake; one person is positive [for the coronavirus] and did not know; one person who can infect another. The Great Synagogue wants to prevent this risk [from affecting] every one of you.”
The Orthodox synagogue, which first opened for prayer in 1958, seats 850 men and 550 women.
The congregation was founded in 1958 within the Heichal Shlomo building, which was at the time the seat of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. As the number of worshippers grew, a larger synagogue was built on the property next to Heichal Shlomo, in the style of the Temple in Jerusalem, and dedicated in 1982. Chief Rabbis, Israeli presidents, Prime Ministers, Knesset members and judges have attended services at the synagogue. Tourists frequently visit on Friday night to hear the Orthodox synagogue’s cantor and choir.
The government on Sunday evening announced the regulations for the upcoming three-week lockdown, which wall start on Rosh Hashanah and last until after the Sukkot holiday in early October.
BY MARCY OSTER
I wish the Corona Virus had started in Las Vegas,
because what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas
Charles Bukowski, poet, novelist, and short story writer.
His writing was influenced by the social, cultural, and economic ambiance of his home city of
Los Angeles. His work addresses the ordinary lives of poor Americans, the act of writing,
alcohol, relationships with women, and the drudgery of work. Bukowski wrote thousands of poems, hundreds of short stories and six novels, eventually publishing over 60 books.
Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us. I don't hate people. I just feel better when they aren't around. An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way. An artist says a hard thing in a simple way. The free soul is rare, but you know it when you see it - basically because you feel good, very good, when you are near or with them. You begin saving the world by saving one man at a time; all else is grandiose romanticism or politics. If you're losing your soul and you know it, then you've still got a soul left to lose. Of course it's possible to love a human being if you don't know them too well. To do a dull thing with style-now that's what I call art.Humanity, you never had it to begin with. The difference between a democracy and a dictatorship is that in a democracy you vote first and take orders later; in a dictatorship you don't have to waste your time voting.
Charles Bukowski In my work, as a writer, I only photograph, in words, what I see. Charles Bukowski
The West is One Vast Social Engineering Experiment
Many decades ago, I worked for a while in one of the old Victorian lunatic asylums in England. They were by then called ‘long-stay mental hospitals’ and the patients were all highly institutionalized, conditioned by years of dull routine to an existence of passive compliance. Psychotropic medications helped, and if a patient displayed some reluctance to follow routine, the usual response was to instigate a short program of behavioral conditioning. It was all designed to be very humane. The days of violent confrontations were largely in the past, and the dreaded glass syringe containing paraldehyde was becoming only a memory, as were the straitjackets and the padded cells. But we still wore white coats and walked the wards as if monitoring for any signs of deviance, and the psychiatrist’s verdict was final.
What is happening today in the West increasingly reminds me of what I saw in that long-stay mental hospital many decades ago, but is less humane. Today, when a person displays signs of deviating from political correctness, the cultural overseers leap into action and denounce the behavior and the culprit, whose guilt is incontestable. If confession, contrition, and penance are not instantly forthcoming, the only sentence is to be declared a ‘far-right bigot’, with the likely result that the mainstream news media will then pick up the story and try to ruin what is left of the pitiful target's life. Only the most courageous and resourceful will stand fast to their values and principles and defy the modern Maoist cultural revolutionaries of the radical progressive liberal-Left. The task of enforcement by the latter is, however, made considerably easier by the almost ubiquitous smartphone, which makes social conditioning extremely easy.
The smartphone functions as a virtual Skinner box. The original Skinner box was constructed of clear perspex inside which a hungry pigeon pecked at a lever. A reward of grain was delivered only for the desired behavior. Today the box is virtual, as humans tap the keys of their smartphones. Usage of social media from these smartphones appears to be highly addictive, and can turn even previously well-adjusted people into obsessive narcissists who crave ‘likes’ and will leap onto any bandwagon in an attempt to increase their virtual popularity.
Combine this with the credulousness and gullibility of willingly impressionable youth and one has the ideal material for social conditioning. Hence the smartphone as a virtual Skinner box. The radical progressive liberal-Left have -- with great enthusiasm -- seized upon this opportunity to socially-condition the young, and anyone else with high suggestibility, and are intent on turning tens of millions of people into compliant instruments of their political will.
The astonishing feature of all this is that the involuntary but mostly compliant subjects of this vast experiment in social engineering appear to lack any insight into what is being done to them. They have surrendered their critical faculties to invisible minders who program them to feel emotions, think thoughts, deliver utterances, and commit acts at the behest of hidden controllers who can avoid taking any responsibility for what ensues. And, perhaps most alarming of all, these cultural automatons are voluntarily giving up their cultural history, allowing it to be replaced by political propaganda which misrepresents the past. The result is that such people live in a present that is created and controlled by someone else, as is their future. Their lives are no longer their own, yet they are oblivious of this.
All this takes my thoughts back to that long-ago time when I worked in that long-stay mental hospital. My instructor used to tell me that insight was neither necessary nor desirable in those we were behaviorally conditioning. How true that is of the indoctrinated supporters of radical progressivism today! And if one politely asks such individuals why exactly they hold their opinions, one is often met by a discomfited mystified expression hinting that the problem lies with those who disagree. If one persists with such questioning the cognitive dissonance soon becomes evident and the resulting outrage may be directed at the questioner, as if asking questions is now considered a counter-revolutionary act.
On one of the wards in the old asylum there was a remarkable old lady, with a charming smile if a little vague at times (especially as to the reasons that had brought her there). Her clinical records revealed she had been committed to the asylum in 1915 for ‘giving birth out of wedlock’. There was actually nothing wrong with her mentally, apart from being considered a little ‘dull-witted’ at the time of admission. Despite numerous pieces of reforming legislation on mental health since that time, no one had considered releasing her in 65 years. In the basement of the hospital I found enormous leather-bound photograph albums, the earliest dating from the 1880s, which contained pages of small portrait photographs of every new admission, arranged in date order (this practice had ceased only in the 1920s).
Every new inmate had a mugshot, with name, date of birth, date of admission, and reason for admission detailed in neat hand-writing below. The mugshot was considered necessary in those days because if an inmate absconded, a sketch artist from the local newspaper would visit, draw a likeness, and then this would appear in the local newspaper to aid recapture. The old lady I researched had her picture in the 1915 volume, a composed young woman looking strangely out-of-place and a little anxious and bemused. She had never absconded -- she seemed quite content with her life in the asylum. Perhaps it was better than the one she had before. We’ll never know.
In today’s open-air asylum that is the West, the monitoring of the inmates is much more sophisticated. A smartphone allows the user to be tracked every minute of the day and night, phone-calls, emails, and texts can be monitored by the service provider, as can all social media and internet use. Counter-terrorist legislation enables the government to acquire such records with ease, and the social media companies themselves are already censoring content they disapprove of. Which, strangely enough, almost always seems to consist of opinions that the radical progressive liberal-Left dislikes. It wouldn’t take much by way of legislative change to make such censorship official -- on counter-terrorist grounds, of course.
It is no wonder, then, that we live in an age of increasing conformity. Most of those who conform often have no idea of why they do so, viewing any attempt to inquire more deeply into the origins of their opinions and behavior as a sign of hostility. People who hold views counter to their own are seen as a threat, and the wrong choice of words can be perceived as a violent act. This is the pathologically irrational world of radical progressivism, where insight is considered neither necessary nor desirable, and any deviation from the permitted ideological tropes is viewed with suspicion and elicits intolerance.
The West is now one vast social engineering experiment with virtual Skinner boxes for conditioning the inmates.
Those determined to retain their insight and critical faculties, their intellectual independence and their moral sovereignty, may well become a minority within a generation.
Why is this not a matter of serious public concern?
Wen Wryte is the pseudonym of a retired teacher of philosophy who likes a quiet life.
Flint Tools Testifying to Humans Leaving Africa 100,000 Years Ago Discovered in Dimona
Recent excavations conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority together with local youths from Dimona in southern Israel, discovered a Middle Paleolithic flint knapping site that, according to researchers, existed between 250,000 and 50,000 years ago.
Knapping is the shaping of flint or other stones through the process of lithic reduction to manufacture tools, strikers for flintlock firearms, or to produce flat-faced stones for building or facing walls and flushwork decorations.
The excavations were conducted in preparation for the construction of a solar energy field and funded by the Electric Company. The prehistoric site was uncovered with the help of youths from the city, who worked in summer jobs at the excavation during the economically challenging period of the Covid 19.
The newly discovered site is small. Prehistoric humans seemingly arrived here in order to access the abundant natural flint, from which they made their tools.
The site is unique because of the flint knapping technology, known as “Nubian Levallois,” which originated in Africa. Researchers trace the path of this technology in order to understand the migration routes of modern humans from Africa to the rest of the world, about 100,000 years ago.
According to the excavation directors Talia Abulafia and Maya Oron from the Israel Antiquities Authority, “this is the first evidence of a ‘Nubian’ flint industry in an archaeological excavation in Israel. The knapped flint artifacts remained right in the original place where the humans sat and created the tools.”
“This manufacturing is identified with modern human populations who lived in East Africa 150-100 thousand years ago and migrated from there around the world,” they said. “In the last decade quite a few Nubian sites have been discovered in the Arabian Peninsula. This has led many scholars to claim that modern humans left Africa through the Arabian Peninsula. The Dimona site appears to present the northernmost example of Nubian flint output found in situ, thus marking the migration route: from Africa to Saudi Arabia, and from there, perhaps, to the Negev.”
The excavation took place while dealing with the challenges presented by Covid 19. According to Svetlana Talis, Northern Negev District Archaeologist at the Israel Antiquities Authority, “Dimona is one of the most severely affected towns in the second wave of the Corona outbreak and was even on the verge of a lockdown. After wondering what to do about summer holidays, local youths from Dimona came to the excavation to work and help their families, and to uncover a site of particular importance. All of this is part of a project promoted and directed by the Israel Antiquities Authority in recent years, which seeks to bring our youth closer to their own cultural heritage.”
In an interview with Jewish Press Chief Editor Elliot Resnick last week, radio talk show host Eric Metaxas said: “when you know enough science, you see clearly that a planet like ours perfectly situated and prepared for life should never have happened.”
Indeed. University of New South Wales Professor John Webb has stated: “If [the electromagnetic force] were only a few per cent different…the chemical evolution of the universe would be completely different and life may never have got going.”
Albert Einstein said: “there are no arbitrary constants…nature is so constituted that it is possible logically to lay down such strongly determined laws that within these laws only rationally determined constants occur.”
The “constants” of nature – the speed of light, electromagnetism, the gravitational pull, the mass of sub-atomic particles, and others – are the fundamental forces of our universe. If they had different energy levels, the universe as we know it wouldn’t exist.
But scientists have no idea how or why these constants have the precise values they do. The space and astronomy news website, UniverseToday.com, puts it this way: “[Our theories] don’t explain physical constants. We don’t know why the speed of light is 299,792,458 meters per second…. The same is true with every universal constant.”
At an obvious loss to explain the origin of the universe and its properties, scientists have come up with a “multiverse” theory: universes are constantly coming into existence and we just happen to live in the one that worked out.
Aside from the fact that other universes cannot be detected or proven to exist, the multiverse concept only adds to the dilemma. If we don’t know, from a scientific perspective, where our universe came from, how do we explain where many universes come from?
Additionally, the problem with pointing to a physical force as the source of our universe is that, as far as we can tell, everything in a physical world goes through a cycle of beginning and end; stars, galaxies, planets, life, vegetation, zumba classes. Any physical source would be subject to the same question, “Where did it come from?”
So the only possible source of our universe would have to be something that does not itself have to come from anywhere. And the only thing that meets that description is G-d.
Meanwhile, while quantum physics shows the precision with which our universe was created, cosmology shows the uniqueness of life on earth. Our galaxy, the Milky Way, is estimated to contain between 100-400 billion stars. The number of galaxies in the visible universe, which gets updated periodically, was recently estimated to be around two trillion.
Scientists believe there are around 50 billion planets in our galaxy alone that may be similar to earth and possibly capable of supporting life. Multiply that by two trillion. What do you get? A mathematician’s nightmare.
With such great numbers, though, the chances of life evolving on other planets in the way scientists believe it got started on earth would seem pretty good. Yet, a program called SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) set up by NASA in 1984 found no evidence of it. The program’s primary mission was to scan the skies with powerful radio telescopes for transmissions from intelligent civilizations. In over 40 years, it has detected no such transmissions. Not even a text message, “What’s happening!”
Life on earth, according to scientists, began billions of years ago when a soup of chemicals was struck by lightning (or something) which turned inanimate matter into the initial stages of life. Experiments to duplicate this seminal event in the lab have never succeeded and there is no empirical evidence that it ever occurred.
The cosmos, however, is a huge “laboratory” billions of light years in diameter, and it shows very clearly that scientists’ understanding of life is sorely lacking. Life doesn’t just magically pop up from inanimate matter.
With our inability to detect life anywhere else in the universe, the question is not, “Why not?” The question is, “Why is there life on earth?” The only rational explanation is: Because G-d put it here.
How a corrupt elite disregards Americans’ health for political and financial advantage.
By Joseph Hippolito, FPM Fri Aug 28, 2020
Andrew Wilcow, a host on Sirius XM’s “Patriot” channel, routinely makes a perceptive observation about the conflict between President Donald Trump and the Democratic Party.
Trump could cure cancer, Wilcow said, and the Democrats would defend the rights of tumors.
Wilkow’s observation is not so absurd when applied to the Covid-19 pandemic.
A coalition of “progressives,” the Democratic Party, government bureaucrats and media refuses to promote or make an effective, inexpensive treatment available. Why? So they can politically exploit the pandemic for as long as possible and get the Presidential ticket of former Vice President Joe Biden and California Sen. Kamala Harris elected.
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman inadvertently revealed that strategy when CNN’s Wolf Blitzer interviewed him Aug. 3. Blitzer began by expressing hopelessness about the pandemic.
“I mean, it’s a sad situation what’s going on right now, and I don’t see any end in sight,” Blitzer said. “Hopefully there will be a therapeutic that comes out that can prevent people from getting really sick and dying. Hopefully, there will be a vaccine at some point that will ease this. But right now, it doesn’t seem to have any end in sight. Do you see an end in sight right now?”
Friedman issued a surprising response.
“Oh, I do see an end in sight,” Friedman said. “It’s in November, Wolf. And let me be very clear about this. Wolf, I will walk, I will crawl, I will slither, I will bike, I will hike, but I will be going to the polls to vote for Joe Biden. Because until and unless we replace this president and this administration, we’re going to be having this same conversation every day, all right?”
“That is what this is about. This is about power. It’s about removing this man who has no business being president, who is incapable of navigating us out of this crisis. And there is only one thing to do, and that is vote for Joe Biden.”
As FrontPage Magazine exposed in “Leftist Masquerade” and “Socialist Distancing,” the Democrats promote their agenda by ignoring scientific studies that warn against continuous 41 wearing and social distancing. So which effective, inexpensive treatment for Covid-19 is being suppressed?
Hydroxychloroquine, which the Food and Drug Administration approved in 1955. As a result, doctors can prescribe hydroxychloroquine at their discretion. The FDA allows doctors to so to discover new remedies for new conditions.
Hydroxychloroquine proved effective in China against the SARS and Covid-19 viruses, so scientists wondered if they could replicate those results elsewhere.
Numerous studies conducted worldwide during the pandemic showed that they could, whether before or after a patient contracted Covid-19.
In one of those studies — conducted by the Henry Ford Health System in Michigan and published last month in the International Journal of Infectious Disease — hydroxychloroquine “significantly” reduced the death rate in hospitalized patients. In doing so, the drug produced no adverse side effects affecting the heart. Among 2,541 patients hospitalized between March 10 and May 2, 87 percent of those who received hydroxychloroquine survived, compared to 74 percent of those not treated with it.
In other words, hydroxychloroquine enabled 331 more patients in the study to survive Covid-19.
“Our analysis shows that using hydroxychloroquine helped save lives,” said Dr. Steven Kalkanis, a neurosurgeon who serves as the system’s senior vice president and chief academic officer. “As doctors and scientists, we look to the data for insight. And the data here is clear that there was benefit to using the drug as a treatment for sick, hospitalized patients.”
Dr. Harvey Risch, professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health, argued for hydroxychloroquine’s widespread use in a column Newsweek published July 23.
“When this inexpensive oral medication is given very early in the course of illness, before the virus has had time to multiply beyond control,” Risch wrote, “it has shown to be highly effective, especially when given in combination with the antibiotics azithromycin or doxycycline and the nutritional supplement zinc.”
Yet the FDA rejected the Henry Ford Health System’s ensuing request to include hydroxychloroquine as a treatment option. Why? Blame the reaction to Trump.
When the president suggested in March that hydroxychloroquine could be a “game changer,” ridicule immediately followed. Three Democratic governors — New York’s Andrew Cuomo, Nevada’s Steve Sisolak and Michigan’s Gretchen Whitmer — quickly placed severe restrictions on its use. When Trump said in May that he took hydroxychloroquine and zinc as a preventative measure, opposition failed to relent.
State governments even refused to release nearly 50 million doses of hydroxychloroquine that major drug manufacturers donated to the Strategic National Stockpile.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, also dismisses hydroxychloroquine:
“We know that every single good study — and by good study I mean randomized control study in which the data are firm and believable — has shown that hydroxychloroquine is not effective in the treatment of Covid-19.”
Instead, Fauci recommends wearing masks continuously and adding plastic face shields. Fauci also promotes remdesivir, a drug manufactured by Gilead Sciences, as what he calls “the standard of care.”
Fauci’s own agency conducted a clinical trial for remdesivir, which the FDA approved unusually quickly for use as an emergency treatment in hospitals. The trial’s findings have yet to be analyzed independently.
“It is unusual to call a drug the ‘standard of care’ until peer review of data and publication, and before studies have shown benefit in mortality,” said Dr. Michele Barry, director of Stanford’s Center for Innovation in Global Health.
But remdesivir holds greater potential for profit. Remdesivir costs an insured patient $3,120 for a five-day treatment regimen under Gilead Science’s recommendations. The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review, a non-profit organization that establishes cost criteria for medications, stated that treatment could cost as much as $5,080 per patient.
However, 200 mg of hydroxychloroquine in 60 tablets cost an average of $149.19, without discounts.
“I think we have to look at the money,” said Dr. Jane Orient, executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. “There’s no big profits made in hydroxychloroquine. It’s very cheap, easy to manufacture, been around for 70 years. It’s generic. Remdesivir is a new drug that could be very expensive and very lucrative if it’s ever approved. So I think we really do have to consider there’s some financial interest involved here.”
Among those with a possible financial interest are members of a government panel devising guidelines for treating Covid-19. Out of 11 with ties to drug companies, nine have a relationship with Gilead Sciences. Two of the panel’s leaders were among seven who hid their links to Gilead for 11 months before disclosing them. Two others sit on Gilead’s advisory board.
Punctuating Gilead’s links with government is George Shultz’s presence as an emeritus director. Shultz served as President Richard Nixon’s secretary of labor and secretary of the treasury, and as President Ronald Reagan’s secretary of state.
“If remdesivir is used to treat Covid-19, Gilead shareholders, not the taxpayers, will profit,” said Dr. Elizabeth Lee Vliet, a former director of the AAPS.
Doctors had seen enough.
In June, the AAPS sued the FDA for arbitrarily interfering with doctors’ ability to prescribe hydroxychloroquine. But not until July 27 did physicians demonstrate mass resistance in public.
On that day, a group calling itself America’s Frontline Doctors — who have treated Covid-19 patients — held a press conference at Capitol Hill as part of their two-day meeting about the pandemic. During that press conference, the doctors demanded that bureaucrats allow them to prescribe hydroxychloroquine at their discretion, and that reporters stop spreading disinformation about it.
“If it seems like there’s an orchestrated attack going on against hydroxychloroquine, it’s because there is,” said Dr. James Todaro. “When have you ever heard of a medication generating this degree of controversy?”
Social and broadcast media were not amused.
Facebook, Google and YouTube immediately deleted videos of the press conference and stopped providing streaming coverage of the group’s meeting. Anyone tweeting the videos — including Donald Trump Jr. — faced Twitter censorship. Twitter even posted old, inaccurate information from the FDA’s website about hydroxychloroquine as a counterattack.
On July 28, Fauci went on ABC’s “Good Morning America” to repeat his opposition to hydroxychloroquine. On July 29, former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb did likewise on MSNBC. On July 30, Dr. Simone Gold, one of the organizers of America’s Frontline Doctors, was fired from her position as an emergency-room doctor.
On July 31, the Washington Post provided the piece de resistance. Media columnist Margaret Sullivan proclaimed America’s Frontline Doctors to be “fringe doctors spouting dangerous falsehoods about hydroxychloroquine as a Covid-19 wonder cure,” she wrote.
In his farewell address before leaving the White House — the same one in which he warned against the “military-industrial complex” — President Dwight Eisenhower also warned against the budding relationship between government and science:
“…research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government. … the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity.
“The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded. Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”
Include the complicity of reporters, social media and left-wing activists, and you have our current conundrum. Only not just public policy is held captive. So are Americans’ very lives.
The Covid-19 pandemic makes Eisenhower’s admonitions prophetic.
See you tomorrow bli neder
We need Moshiach now
Rosh Hoshana is on Saturday and Sunday with Tzom Gedaliah on Monday
Love Yehuda Lave
Yehuda Lave, Spirtiual Advisor and Counselor
Jerusalem, Jerusalem Israel
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