Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Breaking: Restaurants to open sooner than expected - maybe even this week and Synagogues to be open on Sunday and Shalom Pollock on Rav Kook and Jonathan S. Tobin on Does media bias against Israel still matter? and Censors won't let you discuss the Quarantine and what do we do now instead of shaking hands- More sexual behavior?

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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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What do we do now instead of shaking hands?

What do sniffing faces, poking tongues, bumping noses, clapping hands, and having sex as soon as you meet all have in common? Answer: these are accepted greetings in different cultures. Nevertheless, the most common greeting among humans worldwide remains the western handshake. All till Covid-19! These greetings will now all become passé out of fear of viral infection.  The field is now wide open for inventiveness and creativity to evolve new greeting protocols.

The handshake became a greeting by way of demonstrating the greeter was not carrying arms (you couldn't have a sword in your right hand if you were shaking with it). The Japanese bow evolved as a gesture of respect and deference for the other. The air kiss and cheek kiss represented a more intimate expression of affection. New Zealand's 'hongi' exchanged breath through the rubbing of noses and foreheads.

But the Post-COVID-19 greeting will negate any physical touch which will now be viewed as a gesture of active disrespect given the current viral climate.

Along with the common chimpanzee, the bonobo is the closest extant relative to humans. It may be instructive to study how they greet each other instead of shaking hands.

The bonobo, also historically called the pygmy chimpanzee and less often, the dwarf or gracile chimpanzee, is an endangered great ape and one of the two species making up the genus Pan; the other being the common chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes). 

Although bonobos are not a subspecies of chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes), but rather a distinct species in their own right, both species are sometimes referred to collectively using the generalized term chimpanzees, or chimps

The bonobo is distinguished by relatively long legs, pink lips, dark face, tail-tuft through adulthood, and parted long hair on its head. The bonobo is found in a 500,000 km2 (190,000 sq mi) area of the Congo Basin in Central Africa. The species is omnivorous and inhabits primary and secondary forests, including seasonally inundated swamp forests. Because of political instability in the region and the timidity of bonobos, there has been relatively little fieldwork done observing the species in its natural habitat.

 Sexual activity generally plays a major role in bonobo society, being used as what some scientists perceive as a greeting, a means of forming social bonds, a means of conflict resolution, and post-conflict reconciliation. Bonobos are the only non-human animal to have been observed engaging in tongue kissing.  Bonobos and humans are the only primates to typically engage in face-to-face genital sex, although a pair of western gorillas have been photographed in this position.

Bonobos do not form permanent monogamous sexual relationships with individual partners. They also do not seem to discriminate in their sexual behavior by sex or age, with the possible exception of abstaining from sexual activity between mothers and their adult sons. When bonobos come upon a new food source or feeding ground, the increased excitement will usually lead to communal sexual activity, presumably decreasing tension and encouraging peaceful feeding.

This sexual activity happens within the immediate female bonobo community and sometimes outside of it. Female bonobos engage in sexual practices and it is estimated that they engage in this practice "about once every two hours" on average.

As bonobos occasionally copulate face-to-face, "evolutionary biologist Marlene Zuk has suggested that the position of the clitoris in bonobos and some other primates have evolved to maximize stimulation during sexual intercourse".The position of the clitoris may alternatively permit GG-rubbings, which has been hypothesized to function as a means for female bonobos to evaluate their intrasocial relationships.

Bonobo males engage in various forms of male-male genital behavior. The most common form of male-male mounting is similar to that of a heterosexual mounting: one of the males sits "passively on his back [with] the other male thrusting on him", with the penises rubbing together due to both males' erections.

Takayoshi Kano observed similar practices among bonobos in the natural habitat. Tongue kissing, oral sex, and genital massaging have also been recorded among male bonobos.

More often than the males, female bonobos engage in mutual genital behavior, possibly to bond socially with each other, thus forming a female nucleus of bonobo society. The bonding among females enables them to dominate most of the males.

Adolescent females often leave their native community to join another community. This migration mixes the bonobo gene pools, providing genetic diversity. Sexual bonding with other females establishes these new females as members of the group.

Bonobo reproductive rates are no higher than those of the common chimpanzee The gestation period is on average 240 days.  Female bonobos carry and nurse their young for four years and give birth on average every 4.6 years. Compared to common chimpanzees, bonobo females resume the genital swelling cycle much sooner after giving birth, enabling them to rejoin the sexual activities of their society. Also, bonobo females who are sterile or too young to reproduce still engage in sexual activity. Mothers will help their sons get more matings from females in oestrus. Adult male bonobos have sex with infants, although without penetration.

Breaking: Restaurants to open sooner than expected - maybe even this week and Synagogues to be open on Sunday

Jerusalem Post Breaking News BREAKING NEWS Breaking: Restaurants to open sooner than expected - maybe even this week By JERUSALEM POST STAFF   MAY 17, 2020 14:18 The Israeli government is considering opening up restaurants earlier than planned, according to a report by the Hebrew website Ynet. Restaurants could open as early as this week or the beginning of next week. The move comes as the number of coronavirus patients continues to decline. I also reported yesterday that there is a plan to open the synagogues by Sunday as well with new regulations to keep us safe as we pray

Ideas, by Shalom Pollock

Almost one hundred years ago, a great man prophesied. Rabbi Avraham Yitzchok Hakohen Kook found himself at the center of continuing controversy as chief rabbi of Eretz Yisroel.

He was an original thinker and revolutionary in his synthesis of the values of the land of Israel, the people of Israel and the Torah of Israel.

In his tumultuous time, the Jewish world was divided into numerous and distinct camps. Some identified with the Torah and a lifestyle that was emblematic of isolated community life in the Diaspora. Life outside their local community was not contemplated. The Jewish people as a Nation or a people with land was at best a faded memory.

Ensuring their unchanged lifestyle wherever they happened to live at the time, protecting personal and community survival against the threats of a menacing world was their sacred world. As the modern era and "emancipation" began from the eighteenth century, there was an awakening amongst some to the idea of a Jewish Nation and Jewish land. Some Jews embarked on a "Reforming" of the faith Some Jews saw purpose and salvation in world movements such as Socialism and Communism. Others clung to a new and grudging acceptance in their countries and became zealous nationalists of various countries.Some developed a new Jewish identity that stressed "Jewish secular culture" that revolved around the Yiddish language and literature..

Some stressed the humanitarian and cosmopolitan mission of Judaism. Still, others sought the most direct way out of it all - through the church.With all the lurching twists and turns in this modern era, Jewish history found itself at a crossroads.Two movements emerged from the turmoil as the time claimants of what might claim authentically Jewish. They vied for leadership of the next phase of Jewish history.

The Agudah movement and allies in the "old world" fiercely championed the status quo. What was, must be. Ideas of a sovereign Jewish Nation, Land, or people were simply seen as a threat to all that was good and holy.

Then there were the Zionists who rebelled against what was, and sought a "new Jew"; sovereign and proud in its own country, working and defending the land., speaking its own language. In rejecting the status quo of a demeaning Diaspora, they also cut their ties to the one thing that guaranteed any Jewish existence during that long dark period. They rejected the very thing that brought them to where they were as Jews.

A Jewish nation and land, but without Torah! No longer will the Jewish people be a nation that dwells alone but a "normal' one, accepted by the family of peoples. This was their proclamation, and they were confident that the Jewish future was theirs.

The two camps glared at each other from distant corners. Unlike most of the rabbinic world, Rabbi Kook had a great appreciation for the young idealistic pioneers and dreamers. He shared a part of that same dream. He dedicated himself to working with them while trying to teach them why the Torah must be a part of their vision.

Rabbi Kook drew vicious criticism from the rabbinic establishment. How could a rabbi associate with sinners and scoffers? Rabbi Kook responded to them in a famous letter in which he asked them, "who tries to teach them if not me"? In the same letter, he then turned to his pioneer friends and made a dire prediction. He warned them that if they continue to be divorced from the Torah, their children will reject the very land of Israel for which they dedicate themselves.

This prophetic warning came to mind when I listened to a radio talk show this morning. The host is a well known Leftist. The caller was from Berlin. She left Israel because she objected to the "politics, racism, culture, and corruption in Israel." "There needs to be a civil war in Israel to defeat the forces of darkness!" Her grandchildren are native German speakers and she enjoys her career and the culture of Germany. The proud caller from Berlin is a Sabra. Her father was a pioneer and fighter for the land. Her family is the equivalent of the "Daughters of the Revolution " in Boston, real blue blood.

The host was appalled that she abandoned Israel - and for Germany! He asked her if it does not bother her that her grandchildren are raised in the language used to order our people into the gas chambers? What happened to you, he yelled at her! "You and I agree on most political issues in Israel but not this! How can you?"He said," I am jealous of the "National Religious" youth (the students of Rabbi Kook's legacy).I do not agree with their politics or religious beliefs, but no matter what their difficulties or grievances you will not find them in Berlin.If you and so many like you would remain in Israel, we the Left could run the country once again.

Instead, you take the easy way out and flippantly abandon a dream. He could not have described Rabbi Kook's warning any better.

Jonathan S. Tobin on Does media bias against Israel still matter?

The slanted headlines and stories by "The New York Times" are important not because they turn most Americans against Israel, but because they influence Jewish opinion.

(May 11, 2020 / JNS) For many years, supporters of Israel have feared the impact of media bias. Ever since the first Lebanon War in 1982—the historical turning point when the media's embrace of a false narrative in which the Palestinians became "David" and Israel became "Goliath" became the norm—there has been an expectation that the avalanche of unfair coverage would someday lead to most Americans demanding the end of the U.S. alliance with the Jewish state.

But after the last 38 years in which the bias of most leading print and broadcast outlets against Israel has become entrenched, that nightmare has not come to pass.

Polls consistently show that American support for Israel has not diminished, and instead has actually grown stronger in the past few decades. Though Republicans are far more likely to back Israel than Democrats, the overall figures demonstrate that a biased national media has seemingly had no impact on the views of most Americans.

If that is so, why then should anyone care about media bias?

This came into focus again this week due to two outrageous examples from The New York Times. In a piece that first appeared online on May 7, a story about the way the way the Israeli defense establishment has devoted its resources to fighting the coronavirus pandemic began with the following: "The Israeli Defense Ministry's research-and-development arm is best known for pioneering cutting-edge ways to kill people and blow things up, with stealth tanks and sniper drones among its more lethal recent projects. But its latest mission is lifesaving."

As Ron Dermer, Israel's ambassador to the United States, tweeted back: "The @nytimes, which buried the Holocaust, is best known for pioneering ways to libel and demonizing the Jewish state. Now it is doing the same."

The diplomat wasn't the only person complaining. David Harris, CEO of the liberal-leaning American Jewish Committee, called the Times's phrasing "vile." As numerous others responded, the goal of the Israel Defense Forces has actually always been to save lives by protecting Israeli citizens from terrorists and foes that sought to extinguish the sole Jewish state on the planet.

Nor was this an isolated example. Two days later, the paper published an article about the refusal of the Palestinian Authority to cease its "pay for slay" policies in which it provides terrorists who assault, wound or kill Israelis with salaries and pensions for their families. The story focused on an attempt to stop Palestinian banks in the West Bank from processing the payments.

The headline for the Times's story though, put it this way: "Israel Cracks Down on Banks Over Payments to Palestinian Inmates." A subhead further describes the issue as one about "payments the Palestinian Authority distributes to the families of Palestinians who have spent time in Israeli jails."

Phrased that way, it makes the effort sound like a way to punish poor souls who have had the bad luck to fall under the power of the Israeli military and whose families are being prevented from getting the help they need from a benevolent Palestinian Authority. The text of the article, which vastly overestimated the number of Palestinians who have been imprisoned by Israel over the last half-century, adopted the frame of reference of those who regard the terrorists as freedom fighters and "martyrs," and depicted those benefiting from "pay to slay" as victims of injustice. Nor did it detail the sliding scale of compensation offered by the P.A. in which the murderers of Jews get more money than those who merely wound or unsuccessfully attack their victims.

If media bias like this doesn't impact American public opinion about Israel, should anyone bother protesting it?

In the first place, it is vital that a newspaper like the Times, which calls itself the nation's "paper of record" and which does devote more resources to reporting foreign news than any other outlet, not get away with biased coverage.

Straight news reporting without a heaping serving of bias is a thing of the past at the Times. Their animus against the Trump administration has, whether or not you agree with them about the president, led the paper and other mainstream outlets to discard even the pretense of objective reporting with editorializing in headlines and in the text of articles becoming so routine as to be hardly worth protesting anymore.

Still, that doesn't absolve those of us who still care about ethics in journalism from the duty to point out such egregious practices.

It's true that most Americans couldn't care less what the Times, CNN or other legacy media outfits say about any topic. But when it comes to one particular group, what the media, and in particular, The New York Times, says about Israel, matters a great deal.

While support for Israel among Americans in general has risen in the past decades, it has declined among Jews with a growing split between their views and those of Israelis. There are a number of reasons for this, including assimilation and the resultant shifting demography. Some of it also has to do with politics, as many in a group that overwhelmingly votes Democratic has followed the rest of their party on this issue.

But there's more at play here than just that.

We know that praise for Israel's underdog victories in its struggles for survival and positive events like the 1976 Entebbe rescue made Jews everywhere feel better about themselves and more connected to Israel.

The opposite is also true.

While some Jews are outraged by biased coverage that unfairly depicts Israel as a villain, others internalize the calumnies and distance themselves from the Jewish state. An average consumer of news may not be influenced by the Times. But a not insignificant portion of American Jewry still regards the newspaper with the sort of veneration that observant Jews have for religious texts. The Times has been assaulting the Jewish community with the prejudices of its publishers, editors and reporters since the days when, as Dermer rightly notes, it "buried" the story of the Holocaust.

Media bias may not have turned Americans against Israel, but it has been doing a bang up job of turning Jews against each other for decades.

Jonathan S. Tobin is editor in chief of JNS—Jewish News Syndicate. Follow him on Twitter at: @jonathans_tobin.

Science And Data Are Dead | The Michael Knowles Show Ep. 545

Science and Data are dead. And we have killed them. What was holiest and mightiest of all that secular modernity has yet owned have bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? The unelected fake doctor dictator who now apparently runs LA County has extended the lockdown order by three months, even as cases and deaths in southern California remain low, all in the name of "science and data." Then, a drag queen raises six figures for abortionists on middle America's favorite game show. Something has clearly gone wrong in the culture. And the woman campaigning for Vice President finally endorses the guy she's asking to pick her.

Tucker: Big Tech censors dissent over coronavirus lockdowns

Big technology companies are using the COVID-19 tragedy to increase their power over the American population. #FoxNews #Tucker

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