Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Breaking news: Official update: Who can enter Israel and how? (but why it is like going to Prison) and 66% of coronavirus patients infected at home, just 2% at synagogue and B’nai Brith, Jackie Robinson, And Barney Ross By Saul Jay Singer and Cancellation Of Masa, Birthright Due To COVID-19 To Cost Israel $200m AND Israeli scientists develop self-disinfecting face mask and Isolation by Rabbi Wein and We dwell alone by Rabbi Kahane and there is nothing more complete that a broken heart

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Yehuda Lave, Spiritual Advisor and Counselor

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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There is nothing more complete that a broken heart

The Chapter of Pinchas in the Bible

There Is Nothing More Complete Than a Broken Heart

The Children of Israel are exposed to the immoral conduct described at the end of the portion of Balak. A prince of Israel takes an Aramean woman and has sexual relations with her in front of the entire people. Moses, who can't believe what is taking place before his very eyes, is in shock and doesn't know what to do.

Pinchas, the grandson of Aaron, takes a spear and kills both the man and the woman. The problem is he did it on his own without court approval. Six miracles were done for him by G-d to make this action happen.

Rabbi Yochanan said: Six miracles were wrought for Pinchas: — [i] Zimri should have withdrawn ­[from the woman] but did not; If he had he could have defended  himself instead of being killed [ii] he should have cried out [for help], but did not; He was the prince of the tribe and had many men outside his tent [iii] he [Pinchas] succeeded [in driving his spear] exactly through the sexual organs of the man and woman; This was important as he lifted them up like a shis ka bob for all to see and the miracle was obvious [iv] they did not slip off the spear; this should have happened by gravity[v] an angel came and lifted up the lintel; How was it possible for Pincus to carry a spear with two people on the top of it. The weight should have broken the spear or been too heavy for him to carry [vi] an angel came and wrought destruction amongst the people.

Was Pinchas' action worthy and justifiable? Or was he a Zealot? This question is debated by the Rabbis for thousands of years.  Following this act is he still permitted to continue his priestly duties in the Mishkan (Tabernacle)?The six miracles should have been enough proof but it was not for the people.

The Almighty Himself answers our question: "Pinchas the son of Elazar the son of Aaron has turned my anger away from the Children of Israel…" "Therefore say: "I hereby give him My covenant of peace". (Numbers 25;11-12)

Pinchas is complete and worthy of continuing his tasks in the Mishkan. And from this, we learn that every Kohen who serves in the Temple must also be complete. We learn this from the unique letter that is found only once in the entire Torah. The letter "vav" in the word "shalom" is broken and is found in two parts. From this Rav Yehudah learns in the name of Shmuel that what is written here is not only "shalom" but also "shalem" (complete) (tractate Kidushin 66).

There are times when in order to be complete one must be broken, and this is just what Pinchas did. In the words of the rebbe from Kotzk:

"There Is Nothing More Complete Than a Broken Heart".

Subject and sender Breaking news: Official update: Who can enter Israel and how? (but why it is like going to Prison)-Only those who are coming back to stay with their family on a permanent basis will come--as you have to have a 14 day quaratine and pay for Health insurance for COVID which will cost $50 a day. No tourist in their right mind will come now.

Pursuant to the decision of the Ministry of Interior and at the recommendation of the Ministry of Health, as part of the struggle with the Coronavirus pandemic, the entry of aliens into Israel is forbidden, excluding exceptions.

  • Those who enter the state of Israel gates must sign an isolation form containing an obligation to a guidance for isolation of 14 days from the date of entry into Israel.
  • A foreigner who leaves the country before the end of isolation with no special approval, violates the laws of the state of Israel and his next entry will not be approved.
  • No boarding will be permitted without obtaining a preliminary approval from the Population and Immigration Authority.
  • The entry of foreigners into Israel is subject to presentation of health insurance (including section covering the Coronavirus disease).
  • In the event of discrepancy between the procedures of the Population Authority and the mitigations specified above, the prevailing decision will be in accordance with the Authority's procedures.

As follows are the cases in which the entry into Israel of foreigners will be approved, exceptionally and following examination:

1. A foreigner who is married to an Israeli citizen or a permanent resident (who are not under a step-by-step process) and their minor children, who comply with the following aggregate conditions:

  • The marriage is registered with the Population Registry.
  • The center of life of the spouses (in the year preceding the submission of application to enter into Israel or during the year 2019): If the Israeli stayed in Israel 180 days and the foreign spouse stayed in Israel 90 days at least, or if both spouses live abroad (meaning, they have not stayed in Israel as required in the previous articles) and the foreigner visited Israel during the three years preceding the application – the application will be submitted as required and after it is reviewed and approved, the foreigners will be allowed to enter.

In the event that the Israeli is in Israel and the foreigner is abroad, the application will be made through the attending bureau of the Population Authority.

In the event that the spouses stay abroad, the application will be made directly through the Israeli representativeness where the foreigner stays:

2. A foreigner staying abroad who is married to an Israeli citizen or to a permanent resident (who are under a step-by-step process), as well as their minor children – the foreigner and the minors will be allowed to enter, provided that the foreigner holds or held a B1, B2 or an A5 license by virtue of the step-by-step process.

  • In the event that the Israeli is in Israel and the foreigner is abroad, the application will be made through the attending bureau of the Population Authority.
  • In the event that the spouses stay abroad, the application will be made directly through the Israeli representativeness where the foreigner stays:
  • The entry of minors who are not a part of the step-by-step process will not be allowed.

3. Minor children of parents whereas one of the parents is an Israeli citizen who lives in Israel and the other parent is an foreigner who lives abroad, and the children live abroad and carry foreign passports - In such cases, the child's entry to visit the Israeli parent, will be approved following presentation of the birth certificate, while it is original and duly verified (apostille), which proves the relation to the Israeli citizen and the signing of the foreign parent before the consul on a consent letter which approves the travel of the minor to Israel.

Application will be made directly through the Israeli representativeness where the foreigner stays:, and as much as it is approved, the consul will issue a boarding pass.

A certification for exemption from apostilles, in unusual cases, will be given by the Chief of the Consular Section at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or her deputy.

The parent must procure to register the child within 90 days from the date of entry into Israel, in accordance with the law provisions.

4. Foreign students who began their studies in Israel and stay abroad – the application will be made by the academic institution rather than by the student, in accordance with the guidelines sent to the chiefs of the academic institutions.

5. Married Yeshiva Students who began their studies in Israel and stay abroad – application will be made by the Yeshiva where they study rather than by the Yeshiva students, in accordance with the guidelines sent to the Rosh Yeshivas.

6. Experts – the entry of a limited number of experts, who are defined as being necessary for national infrastructures and/or functional consecutiveness of the economy, will be allowed. The approval will be given subject to the recommendation of the relevant government ministry and with the approval of Foreign Workers Administration at the Population and Immigration Authority, as specified in the procedure (Procedure of Experts' Entry). Application will be made by the client, directly to the relevant government ministry and after obtaining the approval for the necessity of the foreign expert, it is required to apply online at the following address:

7. Approval of exit of foreign experts for a homeland visit and their return to Israel – foreign experts who wish to fly for a homeland visit jointly with their relatives, holding a permit rendered for a year, their application to leave and return to Israel will be approved. The application for a reentry approval will be submitted by the expert with the Population Administration bureaus before he leaves Israel.

8. Artists, culture people and sportsmen – will be allowed to enter, subject to presentation of recommendation of the Ministry of Culture and Sports. The application will be submitted to the bureaus of the Population and Immigration Authority by the ordering entity.

9. Volunteers in the field of welfare – the ordering organization will approach the relevant government ministry to get a professional recommendation for the entrance of foreign volunteers. The recommendation letter enclosed by a list of names of the invitees, will be delivered to the Population and Immigration Authority ( for follow-up.

10. Medical tourism – applications will be submitted by the hospital manager directly to the Ministry of Health, which will transfer the application to the approval of the Population and Immigration Authority and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

11. Weddings – arrival at the wedding of Israeli citizens, permanent residents or foreigners, whose center of life is in Israel by law, will be approved for the foreign spouse if necessary and for first degree relatives, jointly with their spouses and their children (up to the age of one year). In addition, the grandfathers and the grandmothers of the groom and the bride will be allowed to enter. The application for entry will be made by approaching the Israeli representativeness where the applicant stays:

12. Bar/Bat Mitzvah – arrival at a Bar/Bat Mitzvah of an Israeli citizen will be approved for first degree relatives jointly with their spouses and children (up to the age of one year), as well as for grandfathers and grandmothers. The application will be made by approaching the Israeli representativeness where the applicant stays:

13. Births – arrival for a birth of a grandson/granddaughter will be approved for the grandfathers and the grandmothers of the grandson about a month prior to the estimated date of birth, up to one month following the date of birth. Application will be made by approaching the Israeli representativeness where the applicant stays:

14. Funerals – arrival at a funeral which is held in Israel, will be approved only for first degree relatives and their spouses.

15. Lone soldiers – arrival in order to visit a lone soldier will be approved for spouses, parents and siblings. The application for entry will be made by approaching the Israeli representativeness where the applicant stays:, or through the attending bureau of the Population Authority.

All what has been stated about married people also applies to common-law spouses, proof of intimate relations will be made at the Israeli representativeness where the spouses stay or at the Population Administration bureaus in Israel, as the case may be.

Cancellation Of Masa, Birthright Due To COVID-19 To Cost Israel $200m.

The cancellation of heritage trips like Birthright-Taglit and Masa Israel Journey as a result of the coronavirus pandemic will result a loss of around $200 million for the Israeli economy, the Israeli financial daily Calcalist reported on Sunday.

The heritage tourism industry typically brings some 80,000 Jewish teenagers and young adults from around the world for trips and tours, internships and volunteer work across the country. This industry usually brings in around $300m. annually for the State of Israel, and that's excluding the revenue from flights.
Full Story (The Jerusalem Post)

Ideas, that help explain how the world works

A smile is the light in your window that tells others that there is a caring, sharing person inside. Denis Waitley motivational speaker  

As soon as you get over caring what people think, you can have a nice time. Lara Flynn Boyle actress.

Cure yourself of the affliction of caring how you appear to others. Concern yourself only with how you appear before God, concern yourself only with the idea that God may have of you. Miguel de Unamuno philosopher.

Without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community. Anthony J. D'Angelo Educator

From caring comes courage. Lao Tzu philosopher of ancient China,
I suspect that no community will become humane and caring by restricting what its members can say. Derek Bok educator and the former president of Harvard University.  

 Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.Leo F. Buscaglia, American guru, tireless advocate of the power of love.

I feel the capacity to care is the thing which gives life its deepest significance. Pablo Casals Spanish Cellist and Conductor, known for his virtuosic technique, skilled interpretation and consummate musicianship.  

 In the silence of night I have often wished for just a few words of love from one man, rather than the applause of thousands of people. Judy Garland actress and singer.  
Nobody really cares if you're miserable, so you might as well be happy. Cynthia Nelms Author  

  Want of care does us more damage than want of knowledge. Benjamin Franklin Inventor.  

  You know what, rip me off once, shame on me. But twice? I'm coming after you and taking back what's mine. Billy Mays William Darrell " Billy" Mays, Jr. was an American television direct-response advertisement salesperson.

Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life so. Aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something.Henry David Thoreau  Henry David Thoreau was an American author, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, historian, and leading transcendentalist.

  Each of us has been put on earth with the ability to do something well. We cheat ourselves and the world if we don't use that ability as best we can. George Allen, Sr.  George E. Allen, Sr. was a Virginia state senator.

  No, we don't cheat. And even if we did, I'd never tell you. Tommy Lasorda baseball player and manager..

The first and worst of all frauds is to cheat one's self. All sin is easy after that. Pearl Bailey actress and singer.

The monsters of our childhood do not fade away, neither are they ever wholly monstrous. But neither, in my experience, do we ever reach a plane of detachment regarding our parents, however wise and old we may become. To pretend otherwise is to cheat. John le Carre author of espionage novels

'Tis no sin to cheat the devil. Daniel Defoe  Daniel Defoe was an English trader, writer, journalist, and pamphleteer, who gained fame for his novel Robinson Crusoe. Defoe is notable for being one of the earliest proponents of the novel.   

You must never actually cheat the customer, even if you can. You must make her happy and satisfied, so she will come back.Alexander Turney Stewart entrepreneur.


When I returned to my home in Jerusalem from a three-month long sojourn with my children in the United States, I observed a self-imposed quarantine of fourteen days in my home.  I discovered that isolation from personal contact with other human beings is truly a form of mental and physical distress. I fully understand now why house arrest, let alone solitary confinement, are viewed by criminal law as being forms of punishment. I could still talk on the telephone, and I conducted regular Zoom classes online, but the absence of personal face to face contact with other human beings proved to be quite stressful. People, by their very nature, are social creatures, and being alone and isolated from others is an unnatural experience that runs counter to human nature. Our natural soul cries out for companionship and societal contact.  

  Judaism does not approve of monk-like behavior, and often views loners as dangerous to society as well as to themselves. There are too many warped memories and ill-conceived fantasies that are present within one who is isolated and alone.  And these are certainly byproducts of enforced isolation from social contact with other human beings.  The strain on family life is even greater than with individuals who live alone. Isolation leads to stress and stress always leads to family dysfunction in one way or another. One of the many sad byproducts of the Corona pandemic lockdown will be the shattering of previously tenuous family relationships. Without normal social relationships, there is a buildup of frustration that now must be acted out in the home and within family. Emerging from isolation carries with it the necessity of flexibility.    No matter how much we would wish it not to be so, society today is far different than the one that existed a half year ago. Because of the attrition of time and sometimes due to the virulence of the virus itself, there are friends and acquaintances of mine that are no longer here.  In various ways, I had always relied upon their being there for me, and because of their absence, I am faced with a new and different society that I used to interact with. The Talmud relates to us the story of Choni Hamaagel who was asleep for seventy years before he miraculously awoke.  When he awoke he found himself in a new, unfamiliar, and strange world. He had no one with whom he could interact and even sensibly converse. Despairing of his situation, he cried out to Heaven "Either grant me society or end my life." And, thus, he passed away.    His may very well be an extreme reaction to the new situation, but it certainly illustrates the poignancy of such a circumstance. It also reinforces within us the necessary human interaction with other human beings.     Shabbat Shalom  Berel Wein


Kahane on the Parasha

Rabbi Meir Kahane- Parashat Balak


To be alone is the destiny of the Jew ever since it was decreed "Hen, am l'vadad yishkon," "Lo, it is a people that shall dwell alone" (Numbers 23:9). But the word "hen," which is generally translated as a poetical "lo," is much more than that, since the Torah isn't primarily a book of poetry. So the Rabbis, noting that the Hebrew word "hen" is composed of the letters hei and nun, state:

"Take all the letters and you will find [that if one wishes to add two of them together to get the sum of 10] each letter has a partner, but hei [the number 5] and nun [the number 50] have no partners. [For example, the letter aleph (one) and tet (nine) add up to 10; bet (two) and chet (eight) add up to 10; gimel (three) and zayin (seven) add up to 10; daled (four) and vav (six) add up to 10. Only hei (five) has no partner [except for a second hei. Similarly the letter nun (50) has no partner other than another nun to get the sum of 100]" (Yalkut, Balak 23).

This remarkable Midrash emphasizes more than anything the halachic injunction of isolation. Not only must the Jew not be afraid of being isolated, he is commanded to choose isolation. THAT IS WHY ALL JEWS MUST LIVE IN ERETZ YISRAEL- SO AS TO BE ISOLATED FROM THE NATIONS AND THEIR CULTURES!!! In the words of the Rabbis: "separated from the nations of the world and their abominations" (Mechilta, Yitro, Bachodesh Hashlishi 2:3).

But there is another lesson to be learned from the requirement of isolation, and that is that the Jew is NOT ALLOWED to seek allies- that the very act of seeking allies is one of faithlessness to G-d. Thus, we find the prophet Isaiah condemning the Jews of his time for turning to Egypt for aid against the Assyrians who were threatening them: "Woe to the rebellious children, says the L-rd, who take counsel, but not from Me; and who prepare a plan, but not of My spirit, in order to add sin upon sin; who go down to Egypt but did not inquire of My Mouth, to seek strength in Pharaoh's stronghold and to take shelter in the shade of Egypt!" (Isaiah 30: 1-2).

And again: "Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and who rely on horses; they trust in chariots because they are many and in horsemen because they are very strong, but they look not to the Holy One of Israel, neither do they seek the L-rd" (Ibid. 31:1).

Consider the words of the prophet, and the context in which they were said. Assyria, the mightiest empire of its time, the empire that had vanquished nation after nation, is descending on Israel. Is it not normal to seek allies? What would religious Jews and rabbis say today about seeking help from the United States? Surely they would all cry out the need for "practicality." But the prophet does not. He condemns it.

And the great Biblical commentator, the Radak, explains: "It is not enough that they have sinned and erred, but they add the sin of asking besides me help from someone else without My permission? And this is a great rebellion of the servant against his master, as he places his trust in someone else besides him" (commentary on Isaiah 30:1).

The fear of man, of human flesh and blood, rather than trust in the Almighty, has ever been the cause of tragedy for the Jewish people! Let's consider the national tragedy that befell the Jewish people when its kingdom was split into two after the death of Solomon. Why did this occur? Because Solomon sinned by marrying Pharaoh's daughter who turned his heart from G-d, as it says (1 Kings 11:11), "And the L-rd said to Solomon, ' have not kept My covenant and My statues which I commanded upon you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you, and will give it to your servant.'"

But why such a harsh punishment for marrying Pharaoh's daughter? It hardly, at first glance, seems to fit the crime.

The Seder Olam writes that the original decree was only to last 36 years "in line with the 36 years that Solomon was married to Pharaoh's daughter...The Kingdom was due to have been restored in the reign of King Asa...but Asa ruined it by sending a bribe to the king of Aram [when he was attacked by Basha, King of Israel], not relying on the Almighty but on the king of Aram." The Radak cites the Seder Olam and writes similarly, "The decree was that the kingdom should be split for 36 years corresponding to the 36 years that Solomon was the son-in-law of Pharaoh."

Consider the odd language of the Radak: "the son-in-law of Pharaoh." Why not say: "the husband of Pharaoh's daughter"? Because the real sin was that Solomon married the woman in order to be the son-in-law of Pharaoh! Egypt was the most powerful nation of its time and Solomon hoped to neutralize her and make her an ally by marrying the monarch's daughter, a common method of diplomatic alliance throughout history. Solomon feared man, not G-d, and sought through this marriage to guarantee his kingdom. Therefore, the Almighty punished him with the perfect and most fitting punishment: the splitting of his kingdom.

And that is the reason for the following remarkable statement in the Talmud (Sanhedrin 21b): "When Solomon married Pharaoh's daughter, Gabriel came down and struck a reed in the sea which gathered about it a sand-bank upon which was built the great city of Rome." The point made by the Rabbis is clear. On the day Solomon showed fear of man rather than faith in G-d and made an alliance with Pharaoh to save his kingdom, the ultimate destruction of the Kingdom- Rome- was born. What a remarkable underlining of the foolishness and sin of trusting in humans when all flesh is in the hands of G-d! What a remarkable example of how history is created and guided by G-d!

"Lo, it is a people that shall dwell alone." L'vadad! Alone! THAT IS THE JEWISH WAY!

The Jewish Press, 1989

66% of coronavirus patients infected at home, just 2% at synagogue

While those that don't go to the synagogue are saying that the synagogue is a dangerous place, the truth is different

The study finds that 2/3 of people with the coronavirus were infected at home. Just 2% were infected at a synagogue.

Most coronavirus patients in Israel were infected at home, according to a report by Israel Hayom Tuesday morning.

According to the report, research conducted by the Knesset Research and Information Center, nearly two-thirds (65.8%) of people infected with the coronavirus were infected at home, while just 2.2% were infected at synagogues.

The government rejected calls by the Health Ministry and National Security Council to close all synagogues in the country, but did impose new restrictions, limiting the number of worshippers to 19 at a time.

The Knesset Research and Information Center also found that 10.3% of coronavirus patients were infected at school, at university, or at a yeshiva.

A further 5.8% were infected at a medical facility, while 3.9% were infected at an event or conference.

Just 2.0% were infected at shopping centers or stores, with 1.8% infected at nightclubs and other entertainment venues. With regards to the remaining 8.2%, it is unclear where they were infected.

The statistics used in the report cover about one-third of the total number of infections reported in Israel, or just under nine thousand cases.

B'nai Brith, Jackie Robinson, And Barney Ross By Saul Jay Singer

An appeal to the U.S. government by B'nai Brith in 1958 resulted in the passage of legislation prohibiting American businesses from participating in the Arab League boycott of Israel. That same year, the New York Sports Lodge of B'nai Brith held its annual Awards Dinner at the Roosevelt Hotel, where several prominent athletes were honored, among them Jackie Robinson and Barney Ross, who autographed the cover of the dinner program exhibited here.

Also present and signing the program were Althea Gibson, Joe DiMaggio, Gil McDougald, Willie Hartack, and Chaplain David Eichhorn, who was a key figure immediately following the liberation of Dachau in 1945. On May 5, 1945, he famously conducted a service for 1,500 survivors, which included reading the weekly sedra from a Torah that had been hidden at Dachau and had also survived the Holocaust.

The Jackie Robinson (1919-72) story is to Americans what the Passover story is to Jews in that the chronicle of Robinson's incredible heroism, perseverance, and athletic skill in integrating Major League Baseball continues to be passed down with great reverence from generation to generation.

Not well known, however, is the great breadth of Jewish support for Robinson, including support from Jewish groups such as the American Jewish Committee, the American Jewish Congress, the Anti-Defamation League, and the Union of American Hebrew Congregations.

Robinson's arrival in Brooklyn was particularly well-received by Brooklyn Dodgers Jewish fans, and he would hear many shouts of encouragement from the stands – in Yiddish – as Jews filling the stands at Ebbets Field would often cheer him using his "Yiddishized" name: "Yankel, Yankel, get a klap" ("Jackie, Jackie, get a hit").

Many commentators argue convincingly that the great "Jackie Robinson experiment" to integrate Major League Baseball could only have taken place in Brooklyn where the huge Jewish population – more than a third of Brooklyn's population was Jewish – and general support of minorities and for civil rights was instrumental in generating support for Robinson.

Robinson's biographer, Arnold Rampersad, noted that Robinson found Jews to be much more socially accepting of him and his wife than other demographic groups, and Robinson's friendships with Brooklyn Jews was such that he joked that his son was starting to think he was Jewish.

The tale of Robinson's integration of baseball in 1947 provided Jews with a reference for their own experience of post-WWII assimilation into American society. Jews, who identified with Robinson as a victim of oppression, romanticized him as a heroic figure whose success proclaimed the possibility of an end to all bigotry.

Strong Jewish support for the desegregation of baseball reflected a long-standing Jewish commitment to promoting African-American civil rights, but the prominent role that Jews played in the struggle to eradicate major league baseball's color line has been almost entirely overlooked – though, to its credit, the African-American press did credit Jewish contributions at the time.

The support and encouragement that Robinson received at a critical point in his rookie year in 1947 from superstar Hank Greenberg – himself the subject of race-hatred and anti-Semitism – underscored the solid backing of the Jewish community for Robinson. Greenberg's support, which deeply moved Robinson, was widely praised in the black press. In his autobiography, Greenberg emphasized his keen admiration for Robinson and his disgust for the racist behavior of his own teammates, but he was not alone among Jewish major league ballplayers who embraced Robinson.

When Cal Abrams joined the Dodgers two years after Robinson (1949), he physically shielded Robinson with his body to protect him from missiles hurled from the stands. Another Jew who welcomed Robinson from the very beginning was Ralph Branca who, though raised as a devout Catholic, discovered in 2011 that he was the son of a Hungarian Jewish mother much of whose family was murdered at Majdanek and Auschwitz.

Later in his life, Branca became close to several Lubavitcher chassidim, had a bar mitzvah at age 84, and donned tefillin; as one writer beautifully wrote, "His right arm made him famous, but his left arm had allowed him to pray as a Jew, connecting to his Jewish soul deep inside."

Because few white sportswriters covering sports criticized baseball's color line, Jewish sportswriters became especially important in bringing Robinson's case to the American public. Walter Winchell, though not observant, was raised in East Harlem by Russian, Yiddish-speaking parents and had Jewish feelings that ran deep, according to his biographer. He was one of Robinson's most ardent supporters, and his views had considerable impact because he was syndicated in over 2,000 newspapers.

The sports editor of the Washington Post, Shirley Povich – who had been raised as an Orthodox Jew – notably wrote a 15-part feature on the African American contribution to baseball (1953) and not only supported Robinson, but also pressed the baseball establishment to accelerate its pace of desegregation.

Robinson, in turn, broadly and publicly acknowledged the support of his Jewish friends and "went to bat" for the Jewish community. A frequent speaker at benefits and rallies for Jewish causes, he was a vociferous enemy of anti-Semitism and, in particular, he publicly and passionately condemned anti-Semitism in the black community.

In one famous 1962 incident, angry black crowds carrying anti-Semitic posters and chanting racial epithets marched outside Harlem's Apollo Theater protesting the plan of Frank Schiffman, a Jew, to open a steakhouse. The only black leader to respond to Shiffman's call for assistance was Robinson, who drew considerable criticism from the black community for comparing the actions of the protesting black nationalists to those of Nazi Germany in his syndicated column. However, Robinson's principled stance earned support from some black leaders, including particularly Martin Luther King, Jr. and the protests ended.

Later, he wrote in his autobiography that he was "ashamed to see community leaders who were afraid to speak out when blacks were guilty of anti-Semitism" and asked, "How could we stand against anti-black prejudice if we were willing to practice or condone a similar intolerance?"

He continued to defend Jews and to categorically reject black nationalism even when the relationship between the black and Jewish communities began to deteriorate significantly in the late 1960s, and he made a point to include Jews in his efforts to economically empower the black community.

Robinson was the first to call for the removal of a CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) official who publicly announced that Hitler hadn't murdered enough Jews (1966); he openly sided with American Jews facing employment discrimination from ARAMCO (the Arabian-America Oil Company); and he took on his own people in touting the important role played by Jews in the NAACP. A vocal supporter of the United Jewish Appeal, he raised money for Israel and played a key role in deepening the cooperative relationship between the Anti-Defamation League and black civil rights groups.

* * * * *

Champion boxer, gunrunner, and war hero; petty thief, runner for Al Capone; and a man who conquered morphine addiction (developed while recovering from war wounds). The Barney Ross (1909-67) story is the stuff of legend. Born Dov-Ber "Beryl" Rasofsky to Isidore – a Talmudic scholar, rabbi, and kohen who immigrated to America from his native Brest-Litovsk after barely surviving a pogrom – he is one of the few boxers in history to earn championships in three boxing divisions: lightweight, junior welterweight, and welterweight.

Known as a smart fighter with great stamina, he was never knocked out in 81 fights and held his title against some of the best competition in the history of the divisions. A symbol of valor and defiance in an anti-Semitic era, he came to personify the dream of Jewish power and might.

Ross' ambition to become a Talmudic scholar and Hebrew teacher was changed forever when, shortly after his bar mitzvah, he watched his father recite Shema after being shot dead resisting a robbery at his grocery on the West Side of Chicago; saw his grieving mother's suffering a nervous breakdown; and experienced the dispersal of his siblings to various orphanages. Though he turned his back on his late father's Orthodoxy in the wake of the tragedy, even marrying a non-Jew, he remained a proud and loyal Jew who never lost sight of his Jewish identity and never abandoned Jewish causes.

Notwithstanding his abandonment of traditional Judaism, he continued to say Kaddish for his father; openly recited the Psalms when fighting Japan during World War II; frequently wore tzitzit under his shirt; and, as the newly-crowned lightweight world champion, was quoted in the September 17, 1933 Jewish Daily Bulletin as boasting that he is "religious." In his memoir, No Man Stands Alone, he writes that his entire family would travel to be together for Purim, which was his favorite holiday.

After witnessing his father's murder, Ross began associating with local toughs – including one wayward Jewish ghetto youth later known as Jack Ruby – and developed into a thief and money runner for Al Capone. (He would later testify as a character witness for Ruby in his murder trial for killing Lee Harvey Oswald, and Capone would later financially back his first professional fight.)

His goal was to earn money sufficient to purchase a home so that he could reunite his scattered family. Seeing boxing as his best route to that goal, he began training with his friend Ruby and, after winning amateur bouts, he pawned the awards and set the money aside for his family.

Strong, fast, and possessed of a powerful will, Ross was soon a Golden Gloves champion, and he went on to dominate the lighter divisions as a pro. Claiming that fury at his father's murder fueled his every fight, he retired with 72 wins (22 by KO), 4 losses, 3 draws, and 2 no-contests.

During the rise of Hitler, Ross took a strong public stand against Germany and the Nazis and, idolized by virtually all Americans and representing the idea of Jews finally fighting back, he was cherished by American Jews as one of their greatest advocates. Understanding that Americans loved their sports heroes and aware that winning boxing matches was displaying a new kind of strength for Jews, he openly embraced his role as a leader of his oppressed people even though he'd lost personal faith in Judaism.

In retirement in his early 30s, Ross, though beyond draft age, decided to fight in World War II and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. The Marines wanted to keep him stateside and use his celebrity status to boost morale, but Ross insisted on fighting for his country. Before being sent overseas, however, he faced a court-martial for assaulting an anti-Semitic NCO, but a high Jewish officer on the panel convinced his colleagues not to convict him.

Ross was sent to Guadalcanal in the South Pacific, one of the most brutal World War II battles, where he was awarded the Silver Star, Purple Heart, and a Presidential Citation awarded by FDR in a Rose Garden ceremony for single-handedly fighting and killing two dozen Japanese soldiers and carrying a wounded soldier, the only other survivor of the battle, to safety. He later wrote that he had recited Jewish prayers in Hebrew throughout that night ("there are no atheists in foxholes").

Before going into battle, Ross would play "My Yiddishe Mama" on his pump organ, which reportedly brought many of his fellow (non-Jewish) soldiers to tears. He helped arrange for Shabbat services while on Guadalcanal and, in April 1943, he was a key participant in a Passover Seder broadcast.

Original March 29, 1948 newspaper photograph showing Ross signing the roll for the "George Washington Legion for Palestine" at the offices of the American League for a Free Palestine.

A passionate Zionist who publicly championed Zionist causes, Ross ran guns to Eretz Yisraelafter World War II; offered to lead a brigade of Jewish American war veterans to fight for Israel in its War of Independence; and signed up over 2,000 volunteers to fight for Israel (the State Department ultimately denied them all passports). He also traveled widely, raising money for Israel Bonds and running guns for the Irgun.

Ross also became active in the American League for a Free Palestine, which sought to marshal American support and resources for the creation of a Jewish homeland in Eretz Yisrael. He spoke frequently at its public rallies and served as leader of its George Washington Legion, which recruited American volunteers to aid the Irgun.

One of the more interesting Zionist rallies at which Ross appeared was a 1947 fundraiser for the American League for a Free Palestine held by a group of St. Louis Jewish gangsters associated with mob boss Mickey Cohen, who agreed to hold the fundraiser only if Ross, "the living symbol of Jewish toughness," agreed to serve as the keynote speaker. League officials later estimated that, thanks to Ross, the event generated over $100,000 in support for Israel.

Israeli scientists develop self-disinfecting face mask

New self-cleaning reusable face mask developed at Israel's Technion Institute.

Israeli scientists have developed a self-disinfecting, reusable face mask as the demand for protective masks has risen dramatically since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The mask was developed at the Haifa-based Technion-Israel Institute of Technology's Faculty of Materials Science and Engineering by a team of scientists led by Professor Yair Ein-Eli.

A patent application has been submitted in the United States, the Technion said in a statement. The research team is talking to industrial companies about mass producing the masks, according to the statement. In some countries, demand has far outstripped the supply of face masks amid the pandemic.

Here's how the mask works: A layer of carbon fibers can be heated using a USB port with a low current source such as a phone charger in a process that destroys viruses that may have accumulated on the mask.

In Israel, wearing a mask in public is mandatory, and those not in compliance can be fined.

See you tomorrow bli neder. We need Mosiach now

Love Yehuda Lave

Rabbi Yehuda Lave

PO Box 7335, Rehavia Jerusalem 9107202


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