No extended family allowed at Passover seders, Health Ministry rules, Random COVID-19 Tests To Begin At Israeli Supermarkets and Gal Gadot sings from Isolation and fun things to do at home before you go crazy and American Retires will get the $1200 stimulus check and the Zoom problem solved -- A Two Day SEDER , One with Zoom , One without Zoom
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
Love Yehuda Lave
Social Security recipients eligible
Individuals who are collecting Social Security benefits for retirement, disability or Supplemental Security Income will be eligible for the stimulus checks, based on their tax returns or Social Security Administration data.
Low-income Social Security recipients will receive the full $1,200 check, not $600 as originally proposed. If you are receiving Social Se curity benefits but didn't file taxes in 2018 or 2019, you will be eligible to receive a stimulus check without a tax return based on data available to the IRS from your annual Social Security benefits statement. The government will send you a direct deposit or check using the information from your Form SSA-1099 Social Security Benefit Statement or your Form RRB-1099 Social Security Equivalent Benefit Statement. You will not have to file a 2019 tax return to get a stimulus check. The bill does not set a date for when the direct deposits and checks will start to go out, saying only that the Treasury secretary will send the payments "as rapidly as possible." The money could be sent either by mail or direct deposit.
A Date to Remember
Moshe and Sadie, both in their seventies, are driving to the beach when they decide to stop at a nice restaurant for a bite to eat. After finishing their meal, they get back into their car and continue on their journey. But 15 minutes after leaving, Sadie suddenly says, "Moshe, you've got to turn around and go back to the restaurant. I left my glasses on the table."
"I don't believe it," Moshe shouts angrily at her, "you silly old woman! You'll forget your head one day."
Moshe turns the car around and starts driving. All the way there, he's grumpy and makes many snide comments like, "Your memory is getting really bad," and "Because of you, we won't make it to the mountain in time to see the sunset." The more he rebukes Sadie, the more agitated he becomes and he doesn't let up for the entire drive back to the restaurant.
To Sadie's relief, they finally arrive back at the restaurant. As she gets out of the car and hurries inside to retrieve her glasses, Moshe yells to her, "And while you're in there, Sadie, you might as well get my hat. I left it in the cloakroom."
A Two Day SEDER , One with Zoom , One without Zoom
Everyone is thinking their feet as to how to deal with a Passover as we have never had before. No Synagogue, no family and kids and friends and old and single people being in alone.
I wrote last week how it was not permitted to use Zoom on Passover night, because we don't use electronics on Shabbat or Yom Tov, but everybody wants to, in order to ease the pain of loneliness..
There are certain leniencies for Yom Tov over Shabbat for using electronics, especially in Sepharitic Halakhot, and as result, there is not a united front with the Rabbis and the newspapers do a wonderful (I am joking of course) of causing pain in the public by making fun of the fact that the Rabbis disagree.
It is a big Hillul Hashem (disgrace of G-d's name) to have Knowledgeable Rabbis disagree publicly. It makes it look to the layperson that there is no Masorah (tradition) and one can do whatever one wants, no matter if breaks the rules or not.
This is a real tragedy, because Passover, among all the holidays, is all about tradition. What are we doing on Passover night but celebrating our 3312 years of tradition of leaving Egypt.
If we don't keep our traditions on how to do the seder and update everything to modern rules, it loses much of the meaning. People search for meaning and children love tradition. It ties them to Grandpa and Grandma in a way that no people other than the Jewish people have.
Normally Grandparents and grandchildren have a little in common. But when it comes to Jewish tradition when a grandchild knows his grandfather did the same thing that he is doing as a child when he was a child, the generations are bridged. There is no generation gap when it comes to Torah.
I have not even argued yet about the fact that it is a sin to break Shabbat or Yom Tov and using electronics will do that under most circumstances. Those are pretty strong reasons to avoid electronics, but what about the emotional arguments that are raised about everyone not being alone?
Well, I have the perfect compromise. Two Days of Passover. I'm not proposing two days of Yom Tov like in chutz la'aretz, I'M JUST PROPOSING TWO SEDERS. One with Zoom one without.
It can be the night before (On Tuesday night) or on Wednesday afternoon for those that can't stay up late (like most of us seniors and children). We get together on Zoom and do a mock-up seder for an hour or two (the real one lasts too long anyway for most people to stay up or even for the kids to start)
Just go easy on the wine, so you will be prepared and don't any real brachot (so there won't be any taking of G-d's name in vain) and we are in business.
There is no problem in using Zoom or Skype on a weekday and all has been accomplished.
Now, why has no one proposed this before? Our situation this year is unique. Normally no one is home the day before or during the day because they are driving themselves nuts to get ready.
WELL GUESS WHAT. Everyone is home anyway and no one practically is going to work or classes or anything!! Who cares if we take an extra few hours for a practice Seder!! We used to do this as kids anyway
in school to practice!!
Now this year we take lemons and make lemonade. Set up the practice Seder whenever it works best for you and your friends.
Then you can do the real Seder in peace without any guilt and feel comfortable with it.
Write to me if you have any questions and Happy Passover.
Love Rabbi Yehuda Lave
Here is another creative solution:
A Friendly Sale
Shmuli Horowitz was having a garage sale and invited some of his neighbors to sell their wares at his place as well. One of Shmuli's neighbors, Brent Mathews, took four tires over and was asking $30 a piece. Brent needed to leave for a few minutes, so he asked Shmuli to watch the tires for me.
"Sure," Shmuli said, "but if someone offers less, how low are you willing to go?"
"Try your best for more, but I guess I'd be willing to accept $15," Brent said, and left.
When Brent returned, his tires were gone. "How much did you get for them?" Brent asked excitedly.
"Fifteen dollars each."
"Who bought them?"
Random COVID-19 Tests To Begin At Israeli Supermarkets
The plan to conduct COVID-19 random sample tests in supermarkets in Israel by the Ministry of Health and Weizmann Institute of Science has been delayed, but not canceled. Sources inform "Globes" that it will begin in the coming days. The sources added that the random samples would be taken from cashiers and shoppers by representatives of the IDF Home Front Command, with the tests being sent to laboratories of the Weizmann Institute.
The Weizmann Institute is operating under the auspices of the Ministry of Health in order to reach places where people are allowed to assemble and conduct tests there. The large retail food chains have been selected for this purpose. The goal of this joint initiative is to map Israel's population in order to find out where the coronavirus is located in Israel.
Poet, novelist, and dramatist Victor Hugo is considered the most important of the French Romantic writers. Though regarded in France as one of that country's greatest poets, he is better known abroad for such novels as Notre-Dame de Paris (1831; The Hunchback of Notre-Dame) and Les Misérables (1862).
To love another person is to see the face of God.
Life is the flower for which love is the honey.
Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.
The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved.
He who opens a school door, closes a prison.
Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.
Be like the bird that, passing on her flight awhile on boughs too slight, feels them give way beneath her, and yet sings, knowing that she hath wings.
Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.
There is nothing like a dream to create the future.
To the tune of Homeward Bound, we sing about our new reality.
No extended family allowed at Passover seders, Health Ministry rules
Relatives will not be permitted to travel to one another for traditional meal on first night of holiday, even if that means individuals will have to observe it alone By Jacob Magid
Israelis will be barred from celebrating Passover with family members who don't live in the same home as them, the Health Ministry's legal adviser said Wednesday.
This includes those living alone, who will be forced to celebrate the holiday's festive seder tradition solo on the holiday's first night on April 8, Uri Schwartz said during a press conference.
"You will have to stay in the house and make the holiday dinner with the nuclear family," he said. "Unfortunately, [this means that] people will be alone on Passover and the seder night."
Schwartz had been asked if the Health Ministry would be making any Passover-related exception to the new guidelines, which bar people who do not live together in the same family unit from traveling together in a car.
The legal adviser responded that no such exception would be made for the holiday. "It's a very difficult situation, of course, but there's nothing we can do," he said.
The annual matzah-laden retelling of the Jewish exodus from Egypt is traditionally attended by extended family and friends. A Jewish People Policy Institute survey for the Israeli Judaism project in 2018 found 97 percent of Israeli Jews said they participate in a Passover seder.
On Tuesday, several senior Orthodox rabbis issued a halachic (religious law) ruling that permitted the use of the Zoom video conference service on the holiday evening allowing separated family members to celebrate together.
The ruling was coordinated by former Jerusalem Rabbinical Court chief rabbi Eliyahu Abergel, and was focused on ensuring that elderly members would not feel obligated to risk their health in order to attend their family seder.
Abergel wrote that the goal of the ruling was "to remove the sadness from the elderly and to give them the motivation to keep fighting… and to prevent depression, which could lead them to despair."
Citing this "time of emergency," he added that Zoom would be allowed as long as the computer on which it is being used is turned on before the start of the holiday. Generally, religious law bars the use of electronics on the Sabbath and holidays.
One senior rabbi who subsequently expressed support for the ruling was the Kiryat Arba settlement's chief rabbi Dov Lior.
However, not all Orthodox rabbis were rallying around Abergel's ruling. Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi David Lau called it "irresponsible" in an Army Radio interview Tuesday, adding that its signees exhibited a "total misunderstanding of the meaning of a halachic ruling. It's a shame that they are… misleading the public."
At 5 p.m. on Wednesday, a raft of new restrictions went into effect for a seven-day period, including a prohibition on people venturing more than 100 meters from their homes, apart from under certain circumstances, and the shuttering of synagogues.
Anyone found in violation of the regulations will be committing a criminal offense and can be fined NIS 500 ($137) or imprisoned for six months. The regulations allow police to enforce the relevant provisions.
See you tomorrow bli neder--Getting ready for the Seder