Studying the new rules and Jewish men in UK are twice as likely to die from coronavirus than the overall population, study shows, so I guess if I convert, I won't die so fast? and Carmel fossils show prehistoric humans migrated to Israel during Ice Age and Socially distanced Hasidic dancing and today the third of Tammuz is the 26th anniversary of the passing of the "Rebbi"- Chabad's Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson
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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The Rebbe of Chabad passed away 26 years ago today-Third of Tammuz
The Rebbe—Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory—passed away on the third day of the Jewish month of Tammuz in the year 5754 from creation (June 12, 1994).
Traditionally, this is a day, like Yarseits for all great Torah figures, for reflection, learning, prayer, re-commitment and, above all, positive action.
While I am not a Chabadnick, The Rebbe has had a great influence on Modern Orthodox Jews, of which I am one. His teaching and his followers are a big part of Judaism in today's world.
The impact of the novel coronavirus, if anything, only serves to further expand the reach of this meaningful day, say organizers of events around the world. But it also means reimagining how one goes about marking the day in non-conventional ways, like Zoom classes and conferences taking place around the world.
Among the many innovative ways that people around the world will be commemorating the 26th anniversary of the passing of the Rebbe thousands of people around the world will be congregating on Zoom this Wednesday, June 24, at 2:30 p.m. EDT, for a global program focusing on the Rebbe's teachings and ongoing influence. I have attached the flyer.
"This will be the world's largest interactive Zoom event," said producer Ronen Peled, explaining that each community joining from North America, South America, Europe, Israel, and South Africa will be hosting a Zoom room. Thousands of participants will be joining each room, and then that room will be connected to the broadcast.
The event, which will feature speakers from around the world, is not without logistical difficulties—notably, that Zoom meetings are generally restricted to 500 participants per meeting, and organizers are expecting to welcome dozens of groups of 500 onto their online presence.
Peled is no stranger to the challenges of crafting simultaneous experiences for many thousands. He serves as the creative director of the annual International Conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Emissaries (Kinus Hashluchim), where more than 5,000 celebrants enjoy a sit-down gala dinner together, replete with state-of-the-art audio-visual presentations, multiple courses and the joy that comes from enjoying a meal with friends and colleagues.
"The staff at Zoom told us that they've never had a single event with so many virtual rooms connected with the same broadcast," he said. "Until now, their platform had a cap of 1,000 people in a single room, or a webinar with 300 cameras, but the rest are passive viewers and are not seen."
The program is expected to include Torah teachings and inspirational thoughts from around the world, including a musical presentation from Cantor Berel Zucker, whose 39-year-old wife, Raizel, recently passed away, leaving him to raise their eight children, the oldest of whom is still a teen.
Here are ways to remember his Yarseit, similar to many other great Torah figures.
1. Light a Candle
Late Wednesday afternoon, light a 24-hour candle. If it is not difficult, this should be of beeswax. (The Hebrew word for beeswax—שעוה—is an acronym for the verse הקיצו ורננו שוכני עפר, "Those who dwell in the dust shall rise and sing," a reference to the resurrection of the dead.)
2. Study the Rebbe's Teachings
After each of the three daily prayers, Maariv, Shacharit and Minchah, study a portion of VeAtah Tetzaveh, the last Chassidic discourse the Rebbe personally distributed, and which is seen as a sort of final will and testament.
3. Study Tanya
Study a chapter of Tanya before you start your prayers in the morning, and then study another chapter after the afternoon prayers.
4. Give Charity
Donate (online or by placing money into a charity box) to institutions and causes related to the Rebbe. The Rebbe emphasized that you should do this on behalf of yourself and every member of your household.
5. Study Mishnah
Mishnah is spelled with the same Hebrew letters as neshamah, the Divine soul within each of us. Thus, over the 24-hour period, study chapters of Mishnah related to the Rebbe's name. This means that each chapter begins with a letter of the Rebbe's name.
6.Make a Plan
Introspection is nice, but action is vital. Now is the time to make concrete decisions regarding things you can improve, in terms of both your Divine service and how you interact with those around you.
But don't limit yourself to yourself.
The Rebbe taught us to take Judaism to the streets and share it with others. In these challenging times, it may not be possible to physically approach people and offer them Shabbat candles to light or tefillin to put on, nor may people be comfortable inviting you into their home to affix a mezuzah. But through the gift of digital communication, with some perseverance and creativity, we can surely share one or more of the Rebbe's 10 mitzvah campaigns with others. Now is the time to make this a reality!
Jewish men in UK are twice as likely to die from coronavirus than the overall population, study shows, so I guess if I convert, I won't die so fast?
In a statistical analysis of deaths from the coronavirus in England, Jewish males were shown to have double the risk of dying from COVID-19 than the general population.
The report published Friday by the United Kingdom's Office for National Statistics looks at the breakdown of deaths according to religion in England and Wales. Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs also were more at risk than Christians or those with no stated religion, according to the report.
A "substantial part of the difference in mortality" between religious groups, the report says, owes to "the different circumstances in which members of these groups are known to live; for example living in areas with higher levels of socioeconomic deprivation and differences in ethnic makeup."
The report means that "Jewish males are at twice the risk of Christian males, and Jewish women are also at higher risk," The Jewish Chronicle of London quoted Nick Stripe, head of a department at the kingdom's Office for National Statistics, as saying.
Jewish males had a mortality rate of 187.9 deaths per 100,000 compared to 92.6 deaths overall per 100,000 in the general population, which is primarily Christian. For Jewish females, the rate was 94.3 deaths per 100,000 compared with 54.6 overall.
The report looked at deaths from the virus between March 2 and May 15. At the time there had been 453 deaths of people identifying as Jewish in the census.
I always heard the joke that Jesus saves, but Moses invests!!!
Studying the new rules
"The 'rules' and 'exceptions' of contemporary groupthink:
Shut all houses of worship and schools. That's the rule. Blue angel spectators? No problem. That's an exception.
AA meetings banned. That's the rule. Liquor stores open. That's the exception.
Small local businesses are strictly closed. That's the rule. Major multinational corporations open. That's an exception.
Family funerals are strictly prohibited. That's the rule. G. Floyd's funeral with thousands in attendance? That's an exception.
Communal prayer in the streets? Intolerable! That's the rule. "Peaceful protests" in the streets? Of course. That's an exception.
American flags and seeds for planting? Non-essential! That's the rule. Coffee and ice cream? Exception!
Children in the park or beach? No way! That's the rule. Thousands looting and pillaging? Understandable. That's an exception.
No mask in the street? Horrendous! That's the rule! Rioters with no masks? Look the other way. That's an exception.
Flag burning? Free speech -- that's the rule! Censorship on social media? Turn a blind eye. That's an exception.
We must worry about the minority immunocompromised! That's the rule. Died of hypoxia from wearing a face mask? Par for the course. That's an exception. It's only a tiny minority.
We must social-distance in order to protect the elderly! That's the rule. Elderly left to die of neglect or abuse in hospitals? Nothing we can do about that. Exception.
Elective surgeries: non-essential. They must wait. That's the rule. Abortion clinics open for business. That's an exception.
Speaking of which:
Abortion: My body, my choice! Vaccines and masks? You don't have a choice!
Super-size cokes? No problem. Land of the Free. Cannabis? No way. That's too dangerous.
Hydroxychloroquine and zinc? Not enough testing. Ban it. Covid vaccine? Expedite it! No testing necessary!
A disproportionate number of blacks arrested? Racism. Disproportionate number of blacks died of covid? Unavoidably tragic.
Glyphosate? Can't ban it. Capitalism. Free medicine for all. Socialism!
Discriminate against a person's skin color? Racism. Discriminate against "whites?" Understandable rage. Exception.
Attack someone because of their religion or ethnic identity? Hate crime. Attack a Jew? No big deal. Just protesting 'apartheid occupations.'
Don't dare add "all lives matter" when someone declares "Black Lives Matter." Want to protest antisemitism? Make sure to lump it together amorphously with all other oppressed minorities.
Are you confused yet? If not, you're just not paying attention."
Carmel fossils show prehistoric humans migrated to Israel during Ice Age
Before the jawbone from the Carmel was found, modern humans were thought to have left Africa around 100,000 years ago.By ROSSELLA TERCATIN
Prehistoric modern humans first left Africa to migrate north during the Ice Age and were able to adapt to the cold climate persisting in Israel and the Middle East back then, new research conducted by scholars at the Israel Antiquities Authority and at the University of Haifa has shown.The study, whose findings were published in the Journal of Human Evolution on Sunday, analyzed fossils unearthed in the Misliya Cave in Mount Carmel dating back about 200,000 years.
Remains of specific species of rodents typical of northern and colder regions were identified close to a human jawbone – the earliest known evidence of the presence of Homo sapiens outside of Africa. The jawbone was found in the cave about two years ago in a groundbreaking discovery.The results of the analysis offer new insights into human evolution and the life of our ancestors in the region, Dr. Lior Weisbrod of the IAA explained to The Jerusalem Post."Among the species discovered, we found remains of what is generally known as a mole vole," he said. "We can state that they are used to cold conditions because today the populations which live the closest to us today are in the Zagros Mountains in northwestern Iran, in the Caucasus and further north. For this reason, we can assume that back then they were able to expand all the way here because the climate was colder."Rearchers believe that the rodent disappeared from the region about 150,000 years ago. Before the jawbone from the Carmel was found, modern humans were thought to have left Africa around 100,000 years ago. The harsh climate of the Ice Age was believed to have discouraged them to move further north. The new research suggests that this was not the case, strengthening the belief that the ability to adapt has characterized humanity since its dawn.Weisbrod pointed out that while it is hard to be precise about the climate conditions of specific areas and specific times, according to estimates during the Ice Age global temperatures were five or six degrees lower than current ones and as a consequence, the sea level also dropped by tens of meters."For this reason, the landscape of Israel looked very different from what we are used to now. For example there was a big lake stretching from the Dead Sea of today to the north, almost reaching the Kinneret," he highlighted.Questions like how and when human migration from Africa started happening, what its dynamic was, and especially how early ancient humans developed the ability to adapt, allowing them to expand from their original homeland to different habitats have long been debated by experts, the archaeologist pointed out."Now we see that they were able to do it even in a period when the conditions were even more challenging because of the cold," he said."Prehistoric discoveries in Israel, and in other regions of North Africa and southeastern Europe, are changing existing perceptions on human evolution," Prof. Mina Weinstein-Evron of the Zinman Institute of Archeology at the University of Haifa explained in a release. "These discoveries shed light on the origins of modern humans and the development of their physiological and behavioral capabilities. These capabilities enabled us to reach each of the continents in a relatively short time, in evolutionary terms, accelerated the extinction of earlier human species, and actually led our ancestors to dominate the world."Weisbrod told the Post that in the next few years, more revolutionary discoveries are to be expected, which will have a deep impact on the study of human evolution."What I find amazing is that after eighty and more years of research here in Israel, new caves are still being discovered and scholars are finding new elements which are going to change the picture of what we know, to add information and to show that some ideas we had before are not true," Weisbrod concluded. "This is the beauty of science."