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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. Now also a Blogger on the Times of Israel. Look for my column

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Has Israel become a third world country?

Becoming a 3rd world country-collateral damage of the virus.

The news headline of the Jerusalem Post on July 28, before the Tisha A’bov fast on July 31, 2020, read: Past Redline: Hospitals report over 100% capacity.

I’m just reporting the news, and what does this mean to us? What it means that if you have a normal medical problem, you will have a hard time when you go to the hospital because it is already full. This is in addition to the fact that your medical provider doesn’t really want to see you anyway.

Here is what my medical provider told me in an email:

We apologize for the intrusion, but you will be asked when you call to make to

make an appointment the nature of your reason for needing to visit the office, so that we can try to prevent patients with active COVID infections from entering and possibly infecting other patients. We are trying to protect your health and the health of our staff so that we can continue to provide you service.

So don’t come if you are sick with COVID. I guess you should just wait to get better or die.

I lived a year of my life in Costa Rica when I was in my early 40’s. It was popular for Americans as a place to get away from it all and there were a lot of ex-patriots. I lived in a beautiful little house with views of the Pacific Ocean, with sunsets and monkeys. The only trouble was that you had to be self-sufficient. There were no hospitals within two hours. If you had an accident or emergency, you had to take care of yourself or die. That is the difference between a civilized country and a third world country. And now we are in the same position as a third world country. I am not saying that it is necessarily better anywhere else. I am just commenting on the collateral damage that has changed our lives because of the virus from just 5 months ago.

If something relatively minor happens and you need to get to a hospital, first you have to prove you don’t have COVID, and then you have to pray there is room for you.

I write this before Tish A’bov, but you will be reading it after the fast. I had said that because of the fact that fasting or not drinking will lower your resistance, if you were over 60 or had pre-existing conditions you should not fast or at least drink. As it turned out Tish A’bov was an especially hot summer day, and you could easily get heat stroke from not drinking.

And with the conditions of the hospitals, where you might have been treated easily before for the heatstroke, you would need G-d’s divine protection even more in these conditions.

The Torah says you must protect your health very much. It is the only mitzvah that is emphasized that you most do with great intensity and make special efforts to watch the health and body that G-d gave you. This translates to sometime breaking Shabbat if you have to go to the emergency room (this is not breaking Shabbat it is part of Shabbat), and not fasting on a fast day that you have fasted every day of your life before, because now there is extra danger. This was the reason that during the Cholera epidemic in the 1840s Rabbi Salanter said that even on Yom Kippur if there is a grave danger we don’t fast. Naturally, if it is a Rabbinic mitzvah that can be adjusted by the Rabbi’s there is more room for leniencies.

In the Torah Tibids of August First, Rabbi Shimshon Hakohen Nadel discusses the issue can we cancel Tisha B’Av based on the idea that since we now have the State of Israel, maybe that means all Rabbinic fasts are canceled. I will spare you the four page discussion, but whatever side you come out on, in our new country, which has dropped down several notches in its safety because of the overcrowded hospitals, any fast which lowers your resistance should not override the mitzvah of guarding your health.

Here is a joke that shows its age. We now have practically no flights going anywhere. This is a joke about a frequent flyer:

Flying the Friendly Skies

Shmuel was a frequent flier of the New York – Tel Aviv route and although his airline of preference was usually United, this time he decided to try out El Al.

After a few minutes trying to stuff his enormous bag into the overhead bin of the plane, a stewardess approached him and informed him that he would have to check his oversized luggage.

"When I fly other airlines," Shmuel said irritably, "I don't have this problem."

The El Al stewardess smiled and replied, "When you fly other airlines, I don't have this problem either."


Here's what coronavirus-era travel insurance will look like

Government approves PassportCard policy covering coronavirus-related incidents and charging differential rates.


Ido Ben Porat , 

Travelers in Dubai

Travelers in DubaiReuters

Israel's insurance commissioner, Dr. Moshe Barkat, allowed PassportCard, a travel insurance company, to begin selling a modular policy appropriate for travel during the coronavirus outbreak.

The new policy, which will be sold beginning August 10, will offer full medical coverage in case the traveler contracts coronavirus.

The policy will also cover additional coronavirus-related issues, such as the cost of extending the trip due to a requirement to quarantine abroad, financial loss during the trip due to quarantine or hospitalization, travel cancellations due to contracting the virus or hospitalization, and telemedicine services provided by the destination country to allow for medical treatment and prescriptions from the traveler's hotel room (available in the US, the euro bloc, Thailand, Russia, South America, and Israel).

PassportCard will also be able to be used to pay for medical expenses, and a daily stipend for travelers who are required to quarantine and extend their trips.

The existing travel insurance model, which used to be a set price, will now be priced based on the destination country and the traveler's health.

Travelers will be able to purchase the new insurance from one month prior to the planned departure to one day prior to the planned departure, and the price will be determined by how severe the outbreak is in the destination country, at the time the policy is purchased. Insurance will not be provided for countries which are considered "black."

Currently, PassportCard will only insure travelers under 60 years of age. However, the company is working on solutions for older travelers as well.

Alon Ketzef, president of the DavidShield group and PassportCard, said, "In the coming months, as was done in most airports around the world, a coronavirus lab will be opened at Ben Gurion International Airport, to allow everyone to board planes without worry and to avoid the requirement to quarantine in the destination country and upon return to Israel. Pre-flight testing and the insurance policy which was approved today and will cover coronavirus-related incidents, will allow the conditions to open the skies wide."

Liberal Jewish Leaders Accuse Jews of Racism While Covering Up Anti-Semitism

By Daniel Greenfield

{Reposted from the Sultan Knish website}

Ater Black Lives Matter – Los Angeles, a hate group which has partnered with the Nation of Islam and whose lead organizer praised Farrakhan, led a protest that resulted in mass attacks on Jewish schools, stores and synagogues, the leaders of 22 left-wing Jewish organizations signed letters condemning not the attacks, but the Jewish leader who spoke out against the antisemitism of the racist hate group. They made no reference to the BLM attacks on Jews.


The letters singled out Mort Klein, the President of the Zionist Organization of America, for describing Black Lives Matter as, among other things, “antisemitic,” “Israel hating”, and “extremist”. They did not offer a rebuttal to this accurate description because none is possible.

Instead, a letter signed by 16 members of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, accused Klein of hate and divisiveness. The letter’s signatories, including HIAS and Americans for Peace Now, included groups notorious for their hostility toward Israel.

A separate letter by a slate of militantly anti-Israel groups, including J Street, The New Israel Fund, which sponsors BDS hate groups, and T’ruah, which has led a soft BDS campaign against Israel, demanded Klein’s expulsion from the Conference. That aligns with their previous calls for the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Jews from historic parts of Israel.

The signatories to the letters by Conference members included the Women’s League for Conservative Judaism, National Council of Jewish Women, whose previous CEO had signed a letter in defense of Linda Sarsour and agreed to work with antisemitic and anti-Israel groups, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the Rabbinical Assembly, the Women of Reform Judaism, and Rick Jacobs, the anti-Israel head of the Union of Reform Judaism.

Jacobs had previously welcomed Ayman Odeh who heads Hadash, a merger of the local Communist Party, and whose current Joint List coalition includes a faction of the Muslim Brotherhood, and praised his, “inspiring vision”. But Jacobs doesn’t think that Klein has an inspiring vision, protesting that, “Black Lives Matter is at the center of one of the most critical fights for justice in our country”, while accusing Klein of “Islamophobia” and “racism”.

The Union of Reform Judaism has been a reliably anti-Israel voice in the Jacobs era.

Jacobs opposed moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem and whined that, “Israel’s decision to bar U.S. Representatives Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar from entering the country is wrong”.

Last year, Jacobs attacked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for stating that Israeli towns in Judea and Samaria were “not inconsistent with international law”. These rants, like so many others by Jacobs, were all issued in the name of the Union of Reform Judaism.

While the Union of Reform Judaism found time to issue multiple press releases in support of Black Lives Matter, against the Jewish State, on the vital Jewish issue of withdrawing US troops from the Turkish-Syrian border, and in defense of Rep. Ilhan Omar, Jacobs and the URJ failed to acknowledge or offer solidarity to the victims of black nationalist terrorist attacks against a synagogue in New York and a Kosher grocery in New Jersey.

The URJ and Jacobs did manage to issue a press release over the shooting in a Texas Walmart and will respond to bomb threats and synagogue shootings, as long as they’re carried out by white nationalists. If your synagogue is attacked by a Neo-Nazi gunman, Jacobs and the URJ will acknowledge it, but if a Black Hebrew Israelite swinging a machete attacks your synagogue on Chanukah, Rick and the URJ will rush out a press release blasting Israel over something.

That’s the fundamental problem that Mort Klein was getting at. Jewish lives don’t matter to the URJ. Not in Israel and not in America. The only thing that matters is its left-wing politics.

While the Jewish community of Los Angeles witnessed its synagogues and schools vandalized and stores looted over Shavuot, Jonah Dov Pesner, the director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, was praising the “national rage” which saw bigots chanting “F____ Jews” and defacing the statue commemorating the Holocaust heroism of Raoul Wallenberg.

A URJ statement declaring that Black Lives Matter is a “Jewish value”, falsely accuses “white Jews” of perpetuating “the systemic racial injustices on which the nation was founded.”

That’s a line that could have come from Farrakhan.

Even as Jacobs complains about divisiveness, the URJ is dividing Reform Jews by race.

The URJ’s embrace of Black Lives Matter includes the worst elements of its philosophy, including mandated intersectionality for Reform congregations, dismissal of colorblindness, and black supremacist resource texts that include Ta-Nehisi Coates and Ibram X. Kendi, as well as James Baldwin’s 70s essay, Negroes are Anti-Semitic Because They’re Anti-White.

There’s even a White-Ashkenazi Awareness Checklist.

The racist movement here isn’t the ZOA. It’s the signatories to the anti-Klein letter.

When Jacobs and 15 other Conference members sign on to a letter urging Jews to stand up “against senseless hatred and divisive bigotry” and “not to search for ways to keep us apart”, they might start by looking at their own embrace of divisive bigotry meant to keep us apart.

Mort Klein and the Zionist Organization of America are willing to address the everyday antisemitism that Jews in places like New York and Los Angeles have been experiencing. And they’re willing to do it even when the bigots aren’t members of a safely discredited ideology.

There’s no great courage in taking on Third Reich supporters in 2020. The time to do it was during the Holocaust while the FDR administration and Joseph Kennedy were warning American Jewish leaders to keep quiet about the mass murder of millions of Jews. Where were URJ’s marches, protests, and sit-ins while Jews were being shot and gassed?

Reform Jewish leaders had gone to Herbert Hoover and Roosevelt, asking them to issue a joint statement condemning the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany.

The Republican agreed and the Democrat didn’t.

Or take it from Morris Waldman, the former rabbinic leader of the prominent Temple Anshe Emeth, and the long deceased executive vice-president of the American Jewish Committee.

“Some Jewish groups have some too many times protested against Hitlerism,” Waldman complained.

Waldman is fondly remembered, within liberal Jewish organizational circles, as the “the first proponent of putting the human rights provisions in the United Nations Charter.”

There can hardly be a better summary of the utter moral bankruptcy of the same folks now accusing Jews of racism and white supremacy for fighting against antisemitism.

The Zionist Organization of America is part of the proud tradition of Jewish groups that refused to kneel to political correctness when Jews were being attacked by politically correct mobs.

Black Lives Matter is antisemitic. Its leaders declare that they’re Marxists. Portions of the movement are openly aligned with Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam. Synagogues and schools have been defaced and a Holocaust memorial was vandalized. But the organized kneelers are trying to silence any members of the Jewish community who speak out against antisemitism.

As the main targets of antisemitic violence, by either black or white nationalists, Jews and their synagogues need the police. By endorsing Black Lives Matter, the Union for Reform Judaism is undermining the safety and security of synagogues and worshipers across the country.

It’s time for URJ members to speak up and ask Rick Jacobs some hard questions.

Jewish history tells us that the real threat doesn’t come from those who speak too loudly about popular antisemitism, but those who remain too silent. There are far too many memorials and attacks on targets that carry no risk within their political cohort, and too little real resistance.

By speaking out, Morton Klein and the ZOA have offered real resistance to antisemitism.

Meanwhile, the Women’s League for Conservative Judaism, National Council of Jewish Women, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, Jewish Women International, the Rabbinical Assembly, the Women of Reform Judaism, and the Union of Reform Judaism are complicit in covering up antisemitism and silencing those Jews who dare stand up to the vandalism of synagogues, schools, and Holocaust memorials by smearing them as racists.

Organizations that claim to speak for the Jewish community have sold it out instead.

The Jewish community does not need leaders who will accuse it of racism to score points at their Manhattan cocktail parties for the Public Art Fund, but real leaders who will stand up for it.

In an article accusing the Jewish community of racism, Rick Jacobs claimed that, “fighting racism and fighting antisemitism go hand in hand”.

We’ve seen a whole lot of the former and very little of the latter.

Fighting racism and antisemitism doesn’t go hand in hand when synagogues and schools are attacked, and Jews are shot, slashed and beaten.

The ugly truth is that Jacobs and other leaders of leftist groups would much rather fight Jews, whether in Israel or in America, than get up off his knees and fight for them. Fighting Jews is safe. Rehashing the rantings of Ibram X. Kendi and other fashionable black nationalists won’t get leftist leaders in trouble. Standing up to them over black nationalist antisemitism will.

Like their counterparts in the FDR era, they’re cowards and traitors, and they know it.

That’s why they’re going after the ZOA. There’s nothing that cowards hate more than brave men who stand up for the truth. The only thing more humiliating than selling out is knowing that there was another way. Rick Jacobs and the organizations targeting the ZOA want everyone in the Jewish community to kneel before the pogromists, the bigots, and the supremacist racists.

Their message is that if you don’t kneel, they will destroy you.

Over 2,300 years ago, there was a Jewish leader named Mordechai who would not kneel. For thousands of years, on the holiday of Purim, Jewish children have sung the name of a man who would not kneel to an antisemite. Kneeling is not extraordinary, refusing to do so is.

Many other Jewish leaders no doubt knelt. Their names have been lost to history.

Those Jewish leaders with weak knees today might ponder how they will be remembered.

Former UN Ambassador: Biden Victory Would Be Disastrous for Israel

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has warned that a Democratic victory in November’s presidential election could undo all the progress made under the Trump administration, especially with respect to Israel and the Iran nuclear program.

Haley spoke in an online town hall forum hosted by the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) that the group later posted on its social media feeds.

Haley said President Donald Trump took office and wanted to make it clear, especially at the UN, that America had Israel’s back.

“He wanted everyone to know that Israel was our friend.”

“When he [Trump] saw the fact that we had to start partnering with Israel in a way that we showed not just the UN, but every multilateral organization, that if you’re gonna mess with Israel you have to mess with the United States – [it was] hugely important,” Haley said.

“Look at the difference between Joe Biden and President Trump,” Haley said. “Who is the person that moved the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem? Who is the person that pulled out of the Iran deal? Who’s the person that allowed me to call out Hamas for the first time in the UN?”

Kahane on the Parsha

Rav Binyamin Ze’ev Kahane

Parsahat Devarim

This Is Judaism, And Stop Apologizing!

By western standards, the book of “Devarim” would have to be defined as an ultra-nationalistic doctrine. Its concepts are the very opposite of liberal western concepts. Its laws are illegal by western standards. The book is based on conquest. Stressed over and over again is the uncompromising commandment to conquer the land of “Canaan” from the gentile nations who have lived there for thousands of years, and to change the name to “Eretz Yisrael”.

If this isn't enough, we are even commanded to disinherit (to expel), and if necessary to annihilate the inhabitants of the land. This is an inseparable component of the positive commandment of “settling the land”.

The Book of “Devarim” also centers around the choosiness of the Jewish Nation. The concept appears most prominently in Parsahat Vaetchanan (7: 6-8), in Parshat Eikev (10:15), Parshat Re'eh (14:1-2) and almost all other parshiot of the book. This “ultra-nationalism” continues right on through to the book of Joshua and beyond.

Judaism is not a Supermarket!

We want to now delve into the “morality” of all this. We do not do so in order to make the Torah more palatable for all the non-believers and Hellenists around who simply reject the book of “Devarim” as they do the rest of the Torah, considering it primitive and racist. Rather we direct our words to G-d fearing Jews who understand that the Jewish Nation is dependent on the Torah, want to fulfill it, and ask all the same: These are the enlightened traditional Jewish ethics and values that everyone speaks about? This is the Jewish morality we so often hear about: Conquering, expelling, chosen people?

The answer is yes. What can one do when the “traditional Jewish values” that so many Jews speak of simply do not exist! Do not exist? There is no such thing as traditional Jewish ethics and values? Of course there is! But they are something entirely different. At the core of Jewish ethics and morality setting in apart from the ethics of mortal man is the concept of the acceptance of the yoke of heaven. That is, we DO NOT pick and choose the “merchandise”. First and foremost, we accept upon ourselves the values of Hashem WITHOUT ASKING QUESTIONS. Only then do we “check the goods”. While it is true that in the world of business one does not buy until he examines the product, the mitzvot and concepts of Hashem are not a business negotiation. They must be accepted unconditionally. Thus it is written, “It is better than all other goods” - for it is a product that one does not “check” before “buying”.

Book of National Policy

The Book of “Devarim” is the national policy guideline for the Jewish Nation. It is the morality that G-d conveys to us on subjects connected to Israeli nationalism. If someone wants to call it “ultra-nationalism”, so be it, for it is true Jewish ethics. It is not a system of values that is subject to change according to the whims of one generation or another as another passing fad, but rather it is an eternal morality that we, our fathers and our forefathers clinged to for thousands of years. This value system withstood all the passing tides of the past thousands of years, while modern western culture which evolved during the last one hundred (100) years will melt away as did its “enlightened” predecessors: Greek, Rome, Assyria, Babylon, east and west, of one generation or another...

No Guilt!

Precisely today when the sabotaging of all Jewish concepts are intensifying; at a time when the so-called “national” camp is non-existent, it is an obligation to read the parshiot in the Book of “Devarim”, and in particular “Ekev”, to strengthen our “emunah” in these authentic Jewish concepts. We must do so in order that we, the spiritual right side of the spectrum, can speak our piece clearly, unequivocally, and without guilt: The Almighty is stronger than all the nations, and if we believe in Him and fulfill His difficult “immoral” mitzvot, so to speak, we shall overcome our enemies (both political and cultural), and re-establish the Torah Republic that we have dreamed of for 2,000 years!

See you Sunday, Shabbat Shalom

We need Mosiach now

Love Yehuda Lave

Yehuda Lave, Spirtiual Advisor and Counselor

Jerusalem, Jerusalem

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