Hebrew U Study: Israel Could Control Covid-19 Without Lock-down By David Israel and If Half the Country’s Deaths Were In Georgia, Would New York Shut Down?By Dennis Prager and Don't Tread On US!!! and Judaism doesn't believe in Infallible leaders
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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Judaism has no equivalent to the Catholic doctrine of papal infallibility
. There is an entire tractate of the Talmud, called Horiut, predicated on the assumption that even members of the ancient Sanhedrin, they greatest Rabbis of the generation were capable of erring, even in halachic matters.
But it is nonetheless a principle of Jewish thought that those most imbued with Torah-knowledge and who have internalized a large degree of the perfection of values and refinement of character that the Torah idealizes are thereby rendered most qualified to offer an authentic Jewish perspective on matters of import to Jews. Expert doctors, too, even if they are fallible, as they must be, are still the most qualified people to offer medical advice.
Torah leaders, like parents, may seem to children, might seem unreasonable at times. But, just as parents always remain parents, Torah leaders remain Torah leaders.
Two people can study exactly the same sources and have diametrically opposed approaches to them, because they have completely different worldviews. The Rambam, who had a believe in the natural, believed in naturalizing miracles - others see that as heretical.
There is no reason why the leadership of a "great Torah authority" who is entirely locked into a particular worldview should be accepted by someone with an entirely different worldview.
There is a comparison to "expert doctors"; it's more like saying that an average, scientifically-educated Western person should submit to an "expert healer" in China. It's a completely different system of thought.
It is simply not the case that a great Torah sage is always a great leader. Leadership is much more complicated than that. Rav Eliezer Melamed (Eliezer Melamed is an Israeli Orthodox rabbi and the rosh yeshiva of Yeshivat Har Bracha, rabbi of the community Har Bracha, and author of the book series Peninei Halachah) says
"Gadlute be Torah (Torah greatness, eminence) necessitates anall-embracing, fully accountable handling of serious issues facing the generation, including the attitude towards Am Yisrael in all its diversity and various levels – both religious, and non-religious; the attitude towards mitzvoth of yishuv Haaretz (settling the Land) andthe on-going war which has surrounded it for over a century; the attitude towards science and work, and the contemporary social and economic questions."
Expertise in Torah does not even necessarily make one wise in worldly affairs.. The Sages themselves pointed out that one can be a Torah scholar (by their standards!) and yet lack da'at (knowledge)- and they described such a person as being worse than a putrid carcass!
It is important in Judaism however, not to air our dirty laundry in public. In the Jewish world, it is accepted that there can be differing points of view. To the outside world which does not understand the nuance of what is being discussed, it looks like the entire religion is based on falsehood, because the outside world doesn't have the concept of these, and these both being the world of the eternal G-d.
In the past, before the world of the internet, people had the good sense to have Jewish discussions privately. In the Torah world, it was understood that learned people could have a different point of view.
Today, Halacha is dragged into the newspaper, and since the more controversial something else the more readers it gets, the writers go out of their way to trumpet unaccepted positions as being the accepted position. They try in the press to make out the Torah scholars as fools.
The most recent example during Passover was the Zoom controversy. While there were initial discussions over whether electricity would be allowed over Shabbat over 100 years ago, the majority of the Orthodox Rabbis decided electricity was similar to fire and therefore could not be used on Shabbat and Holiday days.
Where there other viewpoints over the years? Yes. Some Rabbis initially allowed electricity over Yom Tovs (Jewish holidays) as opposed to Shabbat. Everybody had their say, but it was all part of the discussion process with final majority opinion. That is how Judaism works.
We follow the majority opinion, because one can nearly always find a dissenting minority opinion that disagrees. If we followed the minority there would never be a consensus on practically anything. So, as a result, we follow the majority on deciding the bottom line.
The newspapers and press, however, love to play up controversy as I said before. It is therefore important to give respect to a Torah leader, even if you don't follow his opinion, because of the importance of his point of view. On some items, you are forced to follow the majority, even if you don't agree.
The official COVID-19 lockdown started March 23 and will likely start to peak around May 1st. That is EXACTLY 40 days.
The Latin root of the word "quarantine" is "forty". So, what does the Bible say about 40?
The flood lasted 40 days.
40 years Moses fled Egypt.
40 days Moses stayed on Mount Sinai to receive the Commandments.
Exodus lasted 40 years.
40 days for a woman to rest after giving birth.
The optimum number of weeks for human gestation is 40.
A group of theologians thinks the number 40 represents "change". It is the time of preparing a person, or people, to make a fundamental change.
Something will happen after these 40 days. Remember, whenever the number 40 appears in the Bible, there is a "change".
Please know that during this "quarantine" rivers are cleaning up, vegetation is growing, the air is becoming cleaner because of less pollution, there are less theft and murder. Healing of our earth is happening, families are getting more in touch and connected, better appreciating loved ones and what they have, and most importantly, people are turning to their faith. The Earth is at rest for the first time in many years and hearts are truly transforming.
Remember we are in the year 2020, and 20 + 20 = 40.
Lastly, 2020 is a perfect vision. May our sight focus on the Lord and living according to his perfect vision for us knowing he holds us in the palm of his hand.
May these days of "quarantine" bring spiritual renewal to our souls, our nation, and our world.
As we learned above there are always a couple of points of view as we learn from this story:
A Jewish Success StoryA young man asked Morris, an old wealthy man, how he made his money.
Morris took off his glasses and said, "Well, son, it was 1932 during the heart of the Great Depression. I was down to my last nickel.
"So I invested that nickel in an apple. I spent the entire day polishing the apple and, at the end of the day, I sold the apple for ten cents.
"The next morning, I invested those ten cents in two apples. I spent the entire day polishing them and sold them at 5:00 pm for 20 cents. I continued this system for a month, by the end of which I'd accumulated the sum of $1.60.....
"Then my wife's uncle Bernie died and left us two million dollars."
Hebrew U Study: Israel Could Control Covid-19 Without Lockdown By David Israel
In theory, authorities can stop an epidemic by using the medieval method of quarantining all the population for a prolonged enough period. However, the economic and social toll of a long lockdown these days is catastrophic in any dimension. Expected consequences include enormous unemployment and social aspects of quarantine, such as isolation and loneliness, low access to healthcare, drug abuse and domestic violence, hunger and social unrest and on top of it the destruction of the economy will cause an enormous deficit that will weigh down the economy for years. It is expected to ask if the lockdown is really necessary or is it an act that governments triggered too late when the pandemic has already spread out massively. Often governments state that the purpose of the lockdown is "to flatten the curve", or in simple words to ensure that the health system does not exceed its full capacity. In the case of COVID-19 the likely measure is if the number of beds in the intensive care unit (ICU) is enough for all the patients that require ICU.
Prof. David Gershon and Prof. Alexander Lipton from the Jerusalem Business School at the Hebrew University, both well-known experts in Finance and Fintech and Prof. Hagai Levine from the School of Public Health of the Hebrew University, a leading infectious diseases epidemiologist and public health physician, developed a very detailed and precise model to calculate the consumption of ICU beds and hospital beds in general during the spread-out of the pandemic. The model considers each of the stages of the disease and separates between different population groups (for example by their vulnerability to the disease, residential density, behavioral characteristics, etc) and calculates the rate of infection, hospitalization and ICU beds for the different populations.
The model was calibrated with real time data from recent research articles about COVID-19 in different countries with information about infection rates, hospitalization and death cases as well as number of patients in ICU.
According to the model, if a country adopts a policy of social distancing as much as possible, including at work, 14 days self-quarantine of every person with symptoms such as fever or cough, testing all individuals with symptoms and hygiene measures including facemasks in public places, then in most cases there is no need in lockdown. By now, all the high risk population is aware of the danger and the need to over protect itself in general more than the low risk population. Naturally, frequent testing is an advantage that improves the control on the infection but the model assumes that there are limitations with the number of tests that can be provided.
One of the conclusions of the model is that in countries where the number of ICU beds for COVID-19 patients is above 60 ICU beds per million (depending on the ratio between the high and low risk population and the level of compliance of the population to the hygiene measures) then no lockdown is necessary and when the number of ICU beds for COVID-19 per million people is below 60 then a temporary partial quarantine of the high risk population may be required but in any case the economy and society can continue to operate.
When the numbers that correspond to Israel are plugged into the model then under the worst assumptions and without any lockdown the number of ICU beds for COVID-19 patients will not exceed 600. It was published that before the COVID-19 burst there were 2000 beds in Israel and currently around 3000 beds. This means that the lockdown was unnecessary and could be stopped and replaced with a responsible policy of hygienic behavior in public places mentioned before.
One can explore the results of the model one countries like Sweden, Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea. In all these countries there was never a lockdown and the health system never got close to full capacity, even though the number of ICU beds per population is less than in Israel. Another evidence is provided by the Gertner Institute research of the Israeli Ministry of Health, showing that in March 9, when the disease just started in Israel, the infection rate was very high (the reproduction number was 3.0) and thanks to awareness of the population to the disease and the caution measures taken by the majority of the population the infection rate decreased significantly (the reproduction number was 1.3 on March 22), before the start of the lockdown period. Since the beginning of the lockdown the further reduction in the infection rate was minor and most likely is a result of the behavior of the population and not the lockdown itself.
With regard to countries like Italy, Spain and the United states where despite the lockdown thousands of people died, the explanation is two-fold. First, in these countries the number of people that die every year from seasonal flu is extremely high, among the reasons is the exceptionally high percentage of high risk population due to aging, and second, most likely when the lockdown was placed the number of infected people was already enormous, and no hygiene measures were adopted before, which could have reduced the infection rate significantly.
Prof. Gershon, Levine and Lipton call for a systematic investigation of the death cases that are caused by the lockdown itself in the short and long term. Such an investigation might show that the growth in the number of death cases related to lockdown is higher than the death cases related to COVID-19. It may have a similar effect to "Iatrogenesis" in medicine, a phenomena where the medicine is more detrimental than the disease itself. It is important that all decisions regarding public policies and restrictions be taken based on real time data, and published to the public.
If Half the Country's Deaths Were In Georgia, Would New York Shut Down? By Dennis Prager
According to The New York Times coronavirus report, as of Sunday afternoon, April 19, there were 35,676 Covid-19 deaths in the United States. Of those deaths, 18,690 were in the New York metropolitan area. That means that more than half – 52 percent – of all deaths in America have occurred in the New York metropolitan area.
What makes this statistic particularly noteworthy is that the entire death toll for 41 of the other 47 states is 7,661. In other words, while New York has 52 percent of all Covid-19 deaths in America, 41 states put together have only 21 percent of the Covid-19 deaths. And all the 47 states other than New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut have less than half.
Now let's imagine that the reverse was true. Imagine that Georgia and North Carolina – two contiguous states that have a combined total of 21 million people – had 18,690 Covid-19 deaths, while metro New York had 858 deaths (the number of deaths in North Carolina and Georgia combined).
Do you think the New York metro area would close its schools, stores, restaurants, and small businesses? Would every citizen of the New York area, with the few exceptions of those engaged in absolutely necessary work, be locked in their homes for months?
Would New Yorkers accept the decimation of their economic and social lives because North Carolina and Georgia (or, even more absurdly, Colorado, Montana or the rest of what most New Yorkers regard as "flyover" country) had 18,960 deaths while they had a mere 858?
It is, of course, possible. But I suspect that anyone with an open mind assumes that New Yorkers would not put up with ruining their economic and social lives and putting tens of millions of people out of work because of coronavirus deaths in North Carolina and Georgia, let alone Montana and Idaho (and, for the record, I would have agreed with them).
And the media, which controls American public opinion more than any other institution, including the presidency and Congress, would not be as fixated on closing down the country if it were killing far more people in some Southern, Midwestern, Mountain or Western states than in New York City.
The media is New York-based and New York-centered. New York is America. The rest of the country, with the partial exception of Los Angeles (also a media center) and Silicon Valley, is an afterthought.
Having grown up and attended college and graduate school in New York, and having lived in three of the city's five boroughs, I know how accurate the most famous New Yorker magazine cover ever published is. The cover's illustration depicted a New Yorker's map of America: New York City, the George Washington Bridge and then San Francisco. The rest of the country essentially didn't exist.
One would have to visit people who had never left their rural village in a developing country to find people more insular than New York liberals, which is what nearly all New Yorkers are.
One of the turning points of my life occurred when I was 24 years old and went to give a talk in Nashville, Tennessee. My assumption, having lived all my life in New York, was that I would be meeting and talking to what essentially amounted to country bumpkins. Not only were they not New Yorkers; they were Southerners.
What I found instead was a beautiful city with kind and highly-sophisticated people. No one I met was as cynical as most New Yorkers, who confuse cynicism with sophistication. It was on that trip that I decided to leave New York. When I moved to California two years later, my friends, and every other New Yorker I spoke to on visits back to New York, asked why I left and when I was coming back. To most New Yorkers, to leave New York is to leave the center of the world; it is leaving relevance for irrelevance.
In his latest column, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman inadvertently revealed how New York-centric his view of America is. Friedman, like virtually all his colleagues at The New York Times, opposes opening up any state in America at this time. He writes: "Every person will be playing Russian roulette every minute of every day: Do I get on this crowded bus to go to work or not? What if I get on the subway and the person next to me is not wearing gloves and a mask?"
Only a New Yorker would write those two sentences. In the 40 years I have lived in the second-largest city in America, I have never ridden on the subway or any other intra-urban train or bus. The vast majority of Americans everywhere outside of New York City go to work, visit family and friends, and go to social and cultural events by car – currently the life-saving way to travel – not by bus or the subway.
But Friedman is a New Yorker, and because his fellow New Yorkers walk past one another on crowded streets and travel in crammed buses and subway cars, South Dakotans should be denied the ability to make a living.
Watch: Rabbi Yeshayahu Heber laid to rest
Gift of Life chairman, who died of coronavirus, laid to rest in Jerusalem. His son: Dad suffered a lot but never stopped smiling.
Rabbi Yeshayahu Heber, chairman of the "Gift of Life" organization who died from the coronavirus at age 55, was laid to rest in Jerusalem overnight Thursday.
The funeral procession left from the Shamgar funeral home and headed towards Har Hamenuchot in Givat Shaul.
The 55-year-old Rabbi Heber was hospitalized in serious condition at a Jerusalem hospital two weeks ago. On Thursday evening, doctors pronounced him dead. He is survived by his wife and two children.
"How much dad helped everyone endlessly, with marital harmony, money, good advice, by listening," his son eulogized him over the phone, due to the fact that the family is still in isolation. "He contained everyone in his huge heart. Anyone can say he is his best friend."
"Dad went through a lot of suffering in his life, it was many years before he had children. The period of the dialysis, kidney transplant, and even when stories were told about the association - the smile never came off his face. He was always strong, always strengthened everyone. Even people who did him wrong, he forgave them."
The son said: "He would say 'Jews who need me - I can't say no.' Everyone felt he was there just for them. Mom wanted to say thank you to all the people who prayed for his health, who were there during this time and to the Hadassah Hospital, the wonderful staff and Rothstein who did everything they could for him."
The Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi David Lau, eulogized Rabbi Heber and said, "What a friend you were, you were full of heart, full of Torah, a big smile, filled with goodness. You said that the Blessed One gives a person one heart, one liver, but two kidneys so he can donate one. You donated yours and you caused given others to give theirs to others."
"What a person you were, a whole person in the Torah, a whole person at heart, a whole person in dedication, what a wonderful person. You walked between us here and always with a smile on your face."
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu eulogized Rabbi Yeshayahu Heber earlier on Thursday.
"I wish to express deep regret over the passing of Rabbi Yeshayahu Heber, the founder and director of the Matnat Chaim Association, which helps patients in need of a kidney transplant. Rabbi Heber himself underwent a kidney transplant, and he instilled in the general public the awareness of the importance of donation. At the same time, he worked to connect donors with recipients, and accompanied the process throughout. Thanks to him, hundreds of people in Israel have been given a new life," Netanyahu said.
"Rabbi Heber was an exemplar of humanity, kindness and mutual responsibility. We all hoped he would recover from the coronavirus, but unfortunately, he passed away tonight. My deepest condolences to his family. May his memory be for a blessing," the Prime Minister added.
The Biggest Media Lies During the Pandemic , "Fake News" is Alive and Well
Breitbart news, compiled some of the biggest misleading news pieces and outright lies over the course of the COVID-19 Pandemic. The reporting is getting so insane, it is impossible to keep up with the constant stream of lies, misquotes, Chinese propaganda, left wing opinion disguised as news and intellectually dishonest "click bait".
For example the N.Y Daily News, posted a story linking The Poison Control Center,managing a total of 30 cases of possible exposure to disinfectants between 9 p.m. Thursday and 3 p.m. Friday, and comparing this to last year when poison control responded to 13 cases of the same issue, linking this somehow to Trump's question about the possibility of injecting disinfectants, which itself was twisted into a international media panic suggesting that Trump instructed people to inject Lysol and bleach. The click bait headline declared "A spike in New Yorkers ingesting household cleaners following Trump's controversial coronavirus comments", upon reading the story, there is no evidence suggesting anyone who called into poison control , injected anything because of the president, they called in exposure to disinfectants, something which is frequently reported to poison control hotlines. The result of the deceptive news, thousands of people re-post the story on social media, spreading a story which essentially proved nothing and sole existence of writing the piece was to connect Trump to something negative.
Here are some of the incredible things Breitbart reported on .
New York Times: Trump Ignored Experts Who Wanted Country Closed in February
The far-left New York Times blasted President Trump on Easter Sunday with a litany of serial lies that claimed the president knew the coronavirus was coming and ignored medical experts who were urging him to close the country all the way back in February.
Dr. Anthony Fauci debunked this lie (and this entire narrative) the following day when he informed the public that Trump not only took the advice of his medical team the very first time he was advised to shut down the country, but that he has always accepted their recommendations and has done so immediately.
What's more, the very idea that medical experts were urging Trump to shut down the country in February is absurd. On the last day of February, Fauci said it was still safe to go to the movies, malls, and gyms. As late as March 9, Fauci was telling everyone it was still okay to hold campaign rallies in certain areas and safe for the healthy to take a cruise.
CNN's Chris Cuomo Remained Heroically Quarantined Until Cleared
After he was diagnosed with the China virus, for weeks and weeks and weeks, CNN and Chris Cuomo was selflessly holed up in his basement as a means to protect his family and the rest of us from infection. This bald-faced lie extended to CNN event programming that showed Fredo triumphantly exiting his basement for the first time.The truth, though, is that Cuomo violated his quarantine on Easter Sunday with a 30-minute trip to some property he's developing. The trip included his wife and kids. Cuomo's wife and 14-year-old son were both eventually infected. As of today, Chris Cuomo is the only American while knowing he was infected and, therefore, infectious, deliberately violated his quarantine and put others at risk of a deadly disease.
3. Trump's Council on Reopening the Country Is Staffed with Only Donors and Supporters ABC News hid from the public the names of those on the council who do not support Trump. This was a case of literal "fake news"
4. Biden Adviser Claimed 100 Million Americans Would Be Infected by Now
During a March 27 appearance on MSNBC's Morning Joe, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, a member of Joe Biden's coronavirus advisory group, shrieked about how 100 million Americans would be infected within four weeks.
"Right now, if you look at the numbers, we probably have a million COVID-19 cases in the country," he said while no one pushed back. "And if this is doubling every three to four days, that means that we'll have 100 million people who have COVID-19 in about four weeks, and that's a frightening thought." He was only off by 99 million and change. Not a single reporter will refer back to this interview and ask Dr Emanuel or Joe Biden about this
5. Trump Hired a "Labradoodle Breeder" to Lead Coronavirus Task Force
On Wednesday, fake news wire service Reuters fired off this horseshit headline: "Special Report: Former Labradoodle Breeder Was Tapped to Lead U.S. Pandemic Task Force," which quickly flew around the world. More desperate lies. Describing Brian Harrison as a "labradoodle breeder," someone who served at the Department of Health and Human Services under both George W. Bush and President Donald Trump, is like describing Walt Disney as a newspaper boy. Yes, for a time Harrison worked in the family breeding business. Yes, for a time
6. Dr. Rick Bright Was Fired over Opposition to Hydroxychloroquine
Some guy named Rick Bright is claiming he was booted by the White House over his opposition to hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for coronavirus.
Naturally, the fake media ran wild with this story. The truth, though, is that Bright's removal was in the works all the way back in January over his incompetence. Oh, and we now have internal emails proving he praised hydroxychloroquine. During Thursday's coronavirus briefing, CNN's Kaitlan Collins and her crone face shrieked at and heckled Trump over this, even though the far-left Politico had debunked it hours earlier.
Protesters In Pennsylvania Say Coronavirus Lockdown Is An 'Overreaction' | NBC News NOW
Hundreds of people broke social distancing rules to rally in Harrisburg, Penn. It's one of several protests nationwide against the coronavirus stay-at-home orders. NBC News' Maura Barrett reports from the rally where many are frustrated with the transparency of the governor.
Don't Tread On US!!!
Don't tread on us our protests around the country # work.