Monday, July 27, 2020

Tisha B’Av In 2020, Tisha B'Av begins at sunset on Wednesday, July 29 and Why Everyone Who Wakes Up From a Respirator Needs a Mental Health Professional By Their Side By Eli Beer and The Zionism Of Rosa Parks And Bayard Rustin By Saul Jay Singer and Five Arguments Against ‘America Is A Racist Country’ By Dennis Prager -and Something’s rotten at the Supreme Court By Andrea Widburg and a new Jewish holiday COVID19-is it biblical or Rabbinic?

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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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Is COVID19 a new holiday?


WE'RE WALKING AROUND IN SLIPPERS LIKE IT'S TISHA B'AV. We have to do all of the other Black fast day (prayer, mourn the temple, etc--see another article on this blog--but we aren't fasting this year if we are over 60 or medically challenged )

WE'RE WEARING MASKS LIKE IT'S PURIM; Even on Purim we can take off the masks sometimes and we can breathe.


WE'RE ONLY ALLOWED TO EAT OUTSIDE LIKE IT'S SUKKOT; The government wants to close all the restaurants, so we eat outside. Many restaurants have already set up sukkot.


WE'RE EATING FRUITS LIKE IT'S TU B'SHVAT;-fruit is good for you, so maybe it will keep off the Virus!

EVERYONE IS WALKING AROUND WITH CLEANING WIPES LIKE IT'S PESACH-cleaning wipes, washing their hands with alcohol gel thirty times an hour-G-d forbid a germ like we are worried about Chamutz!

AND WE'RE EATING MEALS WITH OUR FAMILIES AND SLEEPING UNTIL NOON LIKE IT'S SHABBAT.-and not just on  Shabbat--since we are home and can't go to synagogue it is every day--A Super Shabbat. -Seven days a week, not one.




Tisha B'Av 2020 In 2020, Tisha B'Av begins at sunset on Wednesday, July 29

Tisha B'Av 2020 In 2020, Tisha B'Av begins at sunset on Wednesday, July 29

Tisha B'Av Rituals and Practices

Mourning the destruction of both temples, as well as a number of other Jewish tragedies.

Tisha B'Av, the ninth of the month of Av, is a day of mourning for Jews. It is the day Jews remember the destruction of both Temples that once stood in Jerusalem as well as a number of other tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people over the course of history.

three-week mourning period preceding Tisha B'Av began on the 17th day of the month of Tammuz.

According to the Mishnah, this was the day the Romans succeeded in breaching the walls of Jerusalem in 70 C.E.; the Mishnah also mentions other tragic events that occurred on this day in Tammuz . This three-week period leading up to the major fast of Tisha B'Av is called "Bayn Ha-Metsarim"–"in the Straits." Traditional Jews do not get married or celebrate other joyous festivities in these three weeks.

Before the Holiday

Nine days prior to Tisha B'Av, a new period of more intense mourning begins.  Jews do not eat meat, cut their hair, or wash their clothes unless they are to be worn again during the nine days. All these actions are considered signs of joy or luxury inappropriate for this time of mourning.

The Shabbat immediately preceding the festival is Shabbat Hazon (vision). The name derives from the haftarah (prophetic reading) for the day. Taken from Isaiah 1, the reading describes Isaiah's vision of national disaster befalling the Israelites because of their sins.

Tisha B'Av cannot be observed on Shabbat, so if the date falls on Shabbat , the festival is postponed until Sunday. On such occasions, there are some small changes to Maariv (the evening service) on Shabbat. Also, during havdalah (the concluding ceremony of Sabbath), the blessing over the wine is postponed until after the fast on Sunday night, though the blessing over the havdola candle is still said at the close of Shabbat.

The Fast Begins

Tisha B'Av is a full fast day, so the last meal must be eaten before sunset prior to the ninth of Av. This meal marking the boundary between periods of eating and fasting is called the "seudah ha-mafseket." The meal often is comprised of round foods like eggs or lentils, which symbolize mourning in Jewish tradition because they evoke the cycle of life. Some people eat an egg or bread sprinkled with ashes, and some Jews may sit on the ground during the meal. The birkat hamazon (grace after meals) is said individually and in silence. As I have written several times before, this year becasue of COVID, as the other biblical fasts have been canceled because of health, so is this fast cancelled for people over 60 or with health challenges. However, the other parts of the rituals for Tish A'bov should be kept.

In addition to abstaining from food or drink during Tisha B'Av, Jewish tradition also mandates refraining from wearing leather, engaging in sexual relations, washing one's body, and using perfume or other such ointments. Visiting cemeteries on this day is encouraged, as if to heighten the sadness.

Uniquely on Tisha B'Av, Torah study, meant to be joyful, is not permitted. Some parts of the Bible or Talmud are allowed, like Job or Jeremiah, or sections of the Talmud or Midrash that discuss the destruction of Jerusalem. In the synagogue, the lights are dimmed and the ornamental parokhet (covering) is removed from the ark as a sign of mourning before the evening service. Congregants remove their leather shoes and do not greet each other.

Prayers & Customs

Megillat Eicha (the Scroll of Lamentations)–which is a lament for the destruction of the First Temple — is chanted during the Maariv service, along with several kinot, elegies or dirges written at different periods of Jewish history. The kinot speak of the suffering and pain of Jewish tragedy through the ages. An extended set of kinot are traditionally recited during the morning service, and some communities repeat the chanting of Eicha in the morning as well. The traditional Torah reading is Deuteronomy 4:25-40 and the Haftarah is Jeremiah 8:13-9:23, which is chanted to the same tune as Lamentations the night before. This year again, many people will not be in the synagogue and will pray at home or at outdoor minyans.

Tallit (prayer shawl) and tefillin (phylacteries), which areusually worn during morning services, are instead worn during Minchah (the afternoon service). During Mincha, prayers that were omitted in the morning are recited. The Torah and Haftarah are the same as on other public fasts.

The meal ending the fast traditionally omits meat and wine, in acknowledgment of the fact that the burning of the Temple continued until the next day. Finally, the sorrow that began on the 17th of Tammuz comes to a halt and the Shabbat immediately following Tishah B'Av is called Shabbat Nahamu (Shabbat of comfort) because the Haftarah begins with the words "nahamu nahamu ami" ("comfort, comfort my people"). This begins a period of consolation and comfort leading up to Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.

Five Arguments Against 'America Is A Racist Country' By Dennis Prager -

The left-wing charge that America is a racist country is the greatest national libel since the blood libel against the Jews. America is, in fact, the least racist, multi-racial, multi-ethnic country in world history.

Neither the claim that America is a racist country nor the claim that it's the least racist country can be empirically proven. Both are assessments. But honest people do need to provide arguments for their position. I have found every argument that America is racist – let alone "systemically" racist – wanting.

For example, the police almost never kill unarmed blacks, and on the rare occasions that they do (about 15 times a year), there is almost always a valid reason (as in the infamous 2014 case in Ferguson, Missouri). Furthermore, police kill more unarmed whites than blacks, and the reason there are proportionately so many more blacks in prison than whites is because blacks disproportionately commit violent crimes.

Meanwhile, there are very powerful arguments against the charge that America is a racist society. Here are five of them.

No. 1: As I wrote last week, if there is so much racism in America, why are there so many false claims of racism and outright race hoaxes?

I offered 15 recent examples last week. There were probably no racist hoaxes when America really was racist, just as there were no anti-Semitic hoaxes in 1930s Germany, when there was rampant anti-Semitism. You need hoaxes when the real thing is hard to find.

No. 2: If there were a great deal of racism in America today, there would be no reason to constantly invoke slavery and the Confederacy. And yet, just recently, The New York Times – the leader in racist dishonesty – felt it necessary to issue its "1619 Project," which seeks to replace 1776 as the founding of America with 1619, when the first African slaves arrived in America.

No. 3: If there were a great deal of racism in America today, there would be no need to lie about it. "The 1619 Project" – which will now be taught in thousands of American schools – is based on lies. It was labeled false by the leading American historians of that era (all of whom are liberals and at least one of whom led a campaign to impeach President Donald Trump). Even regarding the past, the promoters of the "America is racist" libel need to lie to paint America as bad as possible.

All Americans who care about America and/or truth should inquire if their children's school will teach "The 1619 Project" and, if so, place their child in a school that will not.

Two other lies related to racism are: preserving slavery was the real cause of the American Revolution and slavery is what made America rich. Even the charge of endemic racist police brutality is a lie. There are undoubtedly racist police, but racism does not characterize police interactions with blacks.

No. 4: Nearly two million black Africans and more than one million blacks from the Caribbean have immigrated to the United States in just the last 20 years. Why would so many blacks voluntarily move to a country that is "systemically racist," a country, according to the promoters of the "America is racist" libel, in which every single white is a racist?

Are all these blacks dumb? Are they ignorant? And what about the millions more who would move here if they were allowed to? How does one explain the fact that Nigerians are among the most successful immigrant communities?

No. 5: Why the preoccupation with "microaggressions"? According to the University of California's list of racist "microaggressions," saying, "There is only one race, the human race," is a "racist microaggression."

This is, of course, Orwellian doublespeak. Anyone who believes there is only one race is not, by definition, a racist. If everyone in the past had believed there was one race, the human race, there would never have been racism, let alone a slave trade based on racism.

The very fact that the left came up with the intellectual farce known as "microaggressions," like the race hoaxes, proves how little racism there is in America – because the entire thesis is based on the fact that there are so few real, or "macro," aggressions.

The race riots, the ruining of people's careers and lives over something said or done at any time in their lives, the ruining of professional sports (especially basketball and football), the tearing down of America and its history, the smearing of moral giants like Abraham Lincoln – all of this is being done because of a lie.

As I wrote in a column three years ago: "The Jews survived the Blood Libel. But America may not survive the American Libel. While the first Libel led to the death of many Jews, the present Libel may lead to the death of a civilization. Indeed, the least oppressive ever created."

Something's rotten at the Supreme Court By Andrea Widburg

Justice Gorsuch wrote a one-paragraph dissent attacking the Supreme Court's decision to reject a Nevada church's emergency application. The application sought an injunction stopping the Governor of Nevada from shutting down meaningful church services, even as he allowed vast assemblies at casinos, movie theaters, and other secular sites. What should be more important than a pithy dissent, though, is the Supreme Court's – and, more specifically, Chief Justice Robert's -- appalling behavior. It is another reminder of how desperately important it is to return President Trump to the White House.

Calvary Chapel contends that, in response to the Wuhan virus, Governor Sisolak issued Directive 21. This directive allows large groups to assemble in close quarters for unlimited periods at casinos, gyms, restaurants, bars, indoor amusements parks, bowling alleys, water parks, pools, arcades, and more subject only to a 50%-fire-code-capacity limit. But the directive limits gatherings at places of worship to 50 people max, no matter their facilities' size or the precautions they take.

The Church included this photograph in its brief:

The Church further alleges that it serves a community of roughly 9,500 people in Dayton, Nevada. Directive 21, which prevents "anything resembling" normal religious services, has affected the Church for three months now. The Church believes that this situation has "caused real spiritual harm" because "Some people who attend Calvary Chapel are unable to view online services, leaving them vulnerable and alone."

The Church believes that online or drive-in services violate "the Bible's command that Christians gather for corporate, prayer, worship, and scriptural teaching." The Church, therefore, "views church gatherings as sacred assemblies that embody Christ on earth…."

Its belief in the sacredness of church attendance has not stopped Calvary Chapel from taking steps to keep its parishioners safe. These steps include, but are not limited to, allowing only 50% church capacity (90 people, instead of 180), imposing social distancing, holding fewer services, requiring face masks, and cutting service lengths in half. Despite all this, the Governor is adamant that the Church may not allow more than 50 people inside at a time, regardless of the church's available space.

The Governor offers two primary defenses to the charge that he's negatively singling out the Church. First, he alleges that churches have been the source of major virus outbreaks (a contention that does not take into account Calvary's significant steps to limit the virus's spread). Second, he says that the Church is getting treatment that's equal to or better than other venues. Directive 21 "imposes limits to the lesser of 50% occupancy or 50 people on number activities and venues within Nevada." As for the casinos, they had to submit "detailed reopening plans."

The Supreme Court rejected the application out of hand. However, Justices Alito, Kavanaugh, Thomas, and Gorsuch dissented. Gorsuch's dissent was brief and to the point:


That dissent doesn't remove the intellectual stain of Gorsuch's adding the fantasy of "gender identity" to the 1964 Civil Rights Act, something that will haunt religious America for decades to come, but it's still a good statement.

It's so good that it is impossible to understand how Chief Justice Roberts could have sided with the leftists on the court. That the leftists would refuse to hear the matter was predictable. However, there is an important constitutional issue here that should concern a true judicial conservative.

Religious worship is among the most essential inalienable rights, as indicated by its place in the First Amendment. Here,we have a situation in which the Nevada order is drawn with such a broad brush that its practical effect is unfair insofar as it allows hundreds of people to pack casinos but bars 90 people from a church that has in place every possible measure to protect parishioners. It clearly elevates mammon, which can be taxed, over God, which cannot.

It's worth noting that the state has lost only 732 people to the virus, or 0.02% of its population. Most of the cases have been concentrated in Las Vegas, which is more than 400 miles away from Dayton. The recent increase in the number of reported cases seems tied to more testing rather than to an increase in the number of people presenting with serious symptoms.

This is a constitutional no-brainer. Nor is it enough to say that the matter could quickly resolve in any event as the situation on the ground changes. Since the first dissenters arrived in America, religious worship free from discriminatory government orders has been a matter of extreme importance to Americans. Ministering to people's souls shouldn't have to wait for the Governor to fiddle around until he gets it right.

(And don't get me started on the fact that these executive orders have ceased to be emergency responses to an urgent situation and have now, six months later, morphed into long-term tyranny. The virus has been around long enough for state legislatures – that is, the people's elected representatives – to have a say.)

Justice Roberts was sold to Americans as a conservative. He isn't. He's also not a leftist. Instead, he has a very peculiar habit of hewing conservative on the narrow legal issues that are relevant only to a few interested parties and going full-bore leftist on those issues that matter greatly to constitutional liberty in America.

There's something very wrong at the Supreme Court, and Justice Roberts seems to sit at the heart of the problem. The only way to address the problem is to get one more solid conservative on the Supreme Court. That won't happen if Biden is elected. Instead, the Supreme Court will abandon the Constitution entirely for the foreseeable future.

Love with Coffee

Coffee Kindness

As Rachel was getting to know Jacob and his family, she was very impressed by how much his parents loved each other.

"They're so thoughtful," Rachel said. "Your dad even brings your mom a cup of hot coffee in bed every morning."

After a time, Rachel and Jacob were engaged, and then they married. On the way from the wedding to the reception, Rachel again remarked on Jacob's loving parents and even the coffee in bed.

"Tell me," she said, "does it run in the family?"

"It sure does," replied Jacob. "And I take after my mom."

The Zionism Of Rosa Parks And Bayard Rustin By Saul Jay Singer

During the last few decades of the 20th century, many American black organizations, including the Black Panthers and the Student Nonviolent Cooperating Committee, denounced Israel as "genocidal," proclaimed the need for all blacks to unite behind the Arab cause against the Jewish State, and accused black leaders who supported Israel of being traitors to their own people. One black leader, Stokely Carmichael, even said, "The only good Zionist is a dead Zionist."

Although many American blacks sadly remain vehemently anti-Israel, it is very important to acknowledge our friends in the black community and their contributions to the welfare of Israel. Two such often-unheralded friends who frequently and publicly spoke out in favor of Israel and Zionism were Rosa Parks and Bayard Rustin.

Rosa Louise McCauley Parks (1913-2005) – "the first lady of civil rights" – was an American activist who became an international icon of resistance to racial segregation for her critical role in the Montgomery bus boycott when, on December 1, 1955, she refused an order by a bus driver to relinquish her seat to a white passenger.

Iconic signed photograph of Parks seated on the bus.

Her celebrated act of resistance was far from the first; in fact, nine months earlier, 15-year-old Claudette Colvin became the first person arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus. Parks earned renown because the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) chose her to serve as plaintiff in its test case for a court challenge after her arrest for civil disobedience in violating Alabama segregation laws.

However, while Parks' case lagged in the state courts, the Alabama federal district court in Browder v. Gayle, 142 F.Supp. 707 (Ala. 1956), ruled bus segregation unconstitutional, and Parks was not a plaintiff when the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed that decision later that year. It wasn't until the 1964 Civil Rights Act that all public accommodations nationwide were desegregated.

Parks, however, did become the leading figure in the Montgomery bus boycott and she played a key role in organizing and collaborating with civil rights leaders, including Martin Luther King Jr., earning her the title "the mother of the civil rights movement." Among other honors, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal, and after her death she became the first woman to lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda.

In the November 8, 1993 correspondence exhibited here, Parks writes:

Thanks for your kind letter expressing your appreciation for my stand against racial segregation. I think the actions and speeches of skinhead Nazi people are a serious threat to freedom of all of us who believe in peace and justice.

Later in life, Parks frequently and vociferously spoke out against skinheads – who typically manifest neo-Nazi beliefs regarding Jews – and the Ku Klux Klan, whom she blamed for "keeping the flames of prejudice flickering" and for much of the continuing racism in America.

Her concern about the skinhead threat was such that she filed suit against LaFace Records and OutKast, a rap music duo who recorded "Rosa Parks," a song in which they misappropriated her good name ("Ah, ha, hush that fuss, everybody move to the back of the bus…"). Parks argued that if OutKast were permitted to use her name in this revolting manner, "the Ku Klux Klan, skinheads or any race supremacist group can exploit the names of others."

However, in Parks v. LaFace Records, 76 F. Supp. 2d 775 (E.D. Mich. 1999), a federal court ruled against her, finding that this type of hateful speech is precisely what is protected by the First Amendment, "which would be a poor refuge for free expression if public figures could censor the use of their names whenever they found the speech to be distasteful."

Though Parks' heroism on that Montgomery bus has become the stuff of legend, not as well known is her strong support of Israel as a Jewish state and determined opposition to anti-Israel boycotts. In 1975, she joined a list of over 200 black leaders organized as the Black Americans to Support Israel Committee (BASIC) in signing an open declaration of admiration and respect for Israel.

BASIC was born just after the Arab League recognized the PLO as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" and after the United Nations passed its shameful Resolution 3379 equating Zionism with racism. Civil rights leader Bayard Rustin responded in a column that "Zionism is not racism, but the legitimate expression of the Jewish people's self-determination…. From our 400-year experience with slavery, segregation, and discrimination we know that Zionism is not racism."

Throughout his life, Rustin remained a champion of Israel who manifested ultimate faith in Israel's democracy. He expressed great antipathy for Arab governments and for the PLO, which, he said, used Israel as a facile excuse to divert the attention of the Arab masses away from their own treachery and political failures: "Marx once said that religion is the opiate of the masses. In the Middle East, Israel is the opiate of the Arabs."

Rustin characterized anti-Semitism as "history's oldest and most shameful witch hunt," and he was particularly disturbed by black anti-Semitism, which he publicly acknowledged: "We cannot sweep it under the rug…it is here, it is dangerous, it must be rooted out." Such statements earned him the enmity of many in the "Black Power" movement, which he bitterly criticized for its anti-Semitism and Israel hatred. He faced vicious accusations from the radical left, who called him an "Uncle Tom" who had been "bought out by Jewish money."

He argued to often unreceptive black audiences that, unlike the Arabs, Jews had never been slave traders; that, unlike the Arab nations, Israel was sending financial aid and providing important technological expertise to black African countries; and that, even today, Arab countries oppress their own black citizens. In contrast, Jews had always stood side by side with the black civil rights movement, and Israel was a strong and progressive democracy.

Rustin also condemned the PLO as "an organization committed to racism, terrorism and authoritarianism" that actively promoted hatred of Israel so that Palestinian leaders wouldn't be answerable to their people for their failure to do anything to ease their poverty and misery. In response to an increase in black support for the PLO, which was anathema to him, he published an article in the New York Times called "To Blacks: Condemn PLO," in which he argued:

First, we risk causing serious divisions within our own ranks [by supporting the PLO]; second, we risk the forfeiture of our own moral prestige, which is based on a long and noble tradition of nonviolence; and third, we risk becoming the unwitting accomplices of an organization [committed] to the bloody destruction of Israel – indeed of the Jewish people.

When the Ford administration held up the delivery of important aircraft to Israel and began to speak of a "reassessment" of American policy toward the Jewish State, Rustin snapped into action, quickly setting up a meeting with Jewish leaders to discuss which leaders of the American black community could be invited to begin an effort to come together in Israel's defense.

When he held a press conference in New York on September 11, 1975 to announce the formation of BASIC, he was joined by Roy Wilkins, NAACP Executive Director, and Eleanor Holmes Norton, then NYC Commissioner of Human Rights, both strong supporters of Israel.

Rustin decided to publish an advertisement in the New York Times to proclaim the birth of BASIC and to spread its Zionist message and, after raising an ambitious $13,992 to pay for the ad – no mean sum at the time – the ad appeared in the November 23, 1975 edition of the Times.

Signers included well-known personalities, including business and labor leaders, academics and attorneys, politicians, clergymen, and sports and entertainment figures. Famous signers included Parks, Hank Aaron, Arthur Ashe, Roy Campanella, Count Basie, and Ralph Ellison.

Tellingly, two leading black public figures refused to put their names to the ad: Jesse Jackson, a well-known anti-Semite, and John H. Johnson, the publisher of several leading black publications, including Jet and Ebony. (Johnson explained that he feared being murdered by black Muslims were he to publicly sign on to such a pro-Israel statement.)

In the outstanding New York Times ad, the signers began by noting that throughout the long struggle for racial equality, they have been guided by a commitment to democracy; opposition to all forms of racial, religious, and sex discrimination; and the belief that the denial of equal rights to any minority threatens every minority and, indeed, democracy itself. They went on to list seven conclusions regarding the Israeli-Arab conflict.

First, they unambiguously condemned the anti-Jewish blacklist and, citing their own great suffering from such hatred, proclaimed their refusal to sit idly by while Palestinians and Arabs bring their bigotry and intolerance to America. They characterized as "repugnant" the attempt by the Arabs to use the oil weapon to boycott businesses that deal with Israel or have Jewish owners.

Second, they expressed a fundamental belief that blacks and Jews share common interests in democracy and that Jews have always been the strongest supporters of the black struggle for civil rights and equality.

Third, expressing great admiration for Israel's impressive social achievements; for its securing of religious and political freedoms and civil liberties for all, unique in the Middle East; and for its highly advanced social welfare systems, social idealism, creative innovation, cooperative spirit, and freedom of religion, they unequivocally and enthusiastically joined with other Americans in "reaffirming the rights of Israel to exist as a sovereign state."

Fourth, they castigated the Arab countries for their use of oil as a weapon, arguing that the adverse impact of Arab price-gouging falls disproportionately upon American blacks and that massive increases in oil prices has had a disastrous effect upon black Africans, to whom the Arabs give lip service regarding their commitment to African solidarity. Israel, on the other hand, "small and isolated as it is," has "done much to aid the economic development of Black Africa through creative technical programs."

Fifth, while expressing support for an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict through mutual acceptance and reconciliation, they noted that Israel unfailingly demonstrated the desire to make concessions for peace, but the Arabs have refused to accept Israel as a legitimate and independent sovereign nation.

Sixth, while expressing deep support for the Palestinian right to self-determination (Rustin and BASIC were always very careful never to use the term "independent state"), they made clear that such support could not come at the cost of Jewish independence and statehood and not at the cost of yielding to "economic blackmailers" or "terrorists who would force their own 'solution' at the point of a gun."

They held the Arab regimes responsible for allowing the Palestinian people to wallow in abject poverty and blamed the leaders of the "so-called Palestinian Liberation Organization" for acting only in their own self-interest. Characterizing the PLO as "a terrorist group," they cited with contempt, among other Palestinian atrocities, the murder of Israeli athletes at the Olympic games, the airplane hijackings, and the massacre of innocent civilians at the Tel Aviv airport.

Seventh, they proclaimed their intention to continue to work hard to achieve a true peace between the two belligerents and to help launch an era of cooperation and good will between Israel and the Palestinians.

Shortly after the ad appeared, Rustin wrote to Prime Minister Golda Meir to advise her that more than 800 people had already filled out the attached mail-in coupon to President Nixon demanding that he provide aircraft to Israel. He became a close friend of Golda's, who once made him her famous chicken soup to help him recover from a bad cold.

On September 9, 1975, Rustin formally registered BASIC with the IRS as a social welfare organization, listing seven purposes for the group: (1) to foster better understanding of Israel as a democracy; (2) to sponsor exchange visits of American blacks and Israelis; (3) to publish literature; (4) to make speakers available to black audiences who are knowledgeable about Israel; (5) to work for improved understanding between Israel and black Africa; (6) to work for Middle East peace; and (7) to refute anti-Israel propaganda. Nonetheless, in a great travesty of justice, the IRS denied tax-exempt status to BASIC.

BASIC undertook a broad outreach program, including sponsoring joint black-Jewish receptions for visiting Israeli officials; funding black speakers at Jewish conferences; organizing study trips to Israel for black leaders; and awarding a scholarship for study at The Hebrew University.

Rustin's work for Jewish and Israeli causes seemingly had no bounds. He was appointed by President Carter as a member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Commission and as chair of its "Committee on Conscience" and, among other activities, he put pressure on the Ethiopian government to permit the black Jews of Beita Israel to leave Ethiopia for Israel.

He was a frequent and active participant in demonstrations supporting Soviet Jews and, after one of his many visits to Israel, he participated in writing a report concluding that Israel's 1982 incursion into Lebanon was a legitimate act of self-defense and not a violation of international law.

Sadly, at the end of the day, Rustin, Parks, and BASIC essentially failed in their mission. Two years after the New York Times ad, statistics showed that only 14 percent of American blacks supported Israel, and hatred for Israel and anti-Semitism among black extremists continues today unabated.

Nonetheless, we must never forget the extraordinary assistance that Israel has historically received from its supporters in the black community and we must always remember to acknowledge gratefully the support we receive today from our black friends.

Why Everyone Who Wakes Up From a Respirator Needs a Mental Health Professional By Their Side By Eli Beer

By now, it is fairly common knowledge that in March while I was in Miami, I contracted Covid-19. I was put into an induced coma on a respirator twice, for nearly 30 days. By far the worst part of my experience was the dreams and the emotional and mental reaction I had to the drugs used to induce me into a coma as well as the time I missed.

When I woke up, both times, I was confused. I was heavily dosed with very powerful drugs that often cause horrible dreams. I thought that these dreams were my reality. At one point, I thought that I was in Switzerland and that everyone around me was dying. Another time I thought that I was being chopped up into little pieces. The dreams were absolutely horrific, and throughout it all, I thought that I was going to die. I didn't know it at the time, but I was suffering from something called ICU Delerium.


Over the past few years, hospital staff all over the world have been discovering and documenting that patients who are kept in the ICU for long periods of time often suffer from this condition. ICU Delerium can cause a patient to have horrifying, violent hallucinations to the point where they feel that they are going crazy. When they talk about it to others, their feelings are often overlooked or ignored, something which can cause them to feel very much alone and depressed.

When I finally woke up the second time, I needed to re-learn how to walk, how to eat, and even how to use the bathroom. It was a terrible experience. My body was so weak I couldn't do anything by myself. What was worse than all of that, is that I kept asking the doctors and nurses when Pesach would be as I desperately wanted to be home and spend the holiday with my family. Everyone was afraid to tell me the truth. Pesach had already come and gone and I had missed an entire month of my life. I missed celebrating the holiday with my wife and children. When my wife Gitty finally told me, it was a serious blow.

Between the feelings of deep disappointment of having missed spending Pesach with my family and having lost a month of my life,  plus suffering from ICU Delerium, I was in dire need of someone by my side. I needed someone to counsel me, to ground me and to help me recover from the effects of the drugs that were still running through my system and making me doubt everything and everyone around me. At one point, I even recall telling my friends Mark Gerson, the Chairman of the Board for United Hatzalah and Dr. Joel Sandberg how the medical staff at the hospital were trying to kill me. The medical staff at Miami University hospital was absolutely terrific. They are some of the best doctors and nurses I have ever met. I cannot praise them enough for the high level of care they provided me. To think they were trying to hurt me was simply absurd and both of my friends knew that. I was hallucinating wildly and I needed help.

At one point one of the doctors, Dr. Maria Carolina Delgado-Lelievre, noticed my distress and came over to me to help put my mind at ease. She sat with me for an hour and explained everything that had gone on and everything that I was going through. This helped me a lot. But this was not something that was common there or anywhere else.

ICU Delerium is sudden and intense confusion that can include hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia. According to a recent study that was published in the Annals of Intensive Care Medical Journal, "Delirium is extremely common in the intensive care unit (ICU), especially amongst mechanically ventilated patients… and it is frequently undiagnosed unless specific diagnostic instruments are used."

Tens of thousands of people have been put on respirators around the globe as a result of Coronavirus. Those who are lucky enough to wake-up and recover from the disease often suffer from ICU Delirium as I did. However, many times this condition goes undiagnosed,  leaving many people with fear and mental trauma following the physical trauma of the disease. This is compounded by a recovery process that is tumultuous and traumatic.

A different report that appeared in STAT news about ICU Delirium stated that "Anywhere from a third to more than 80 percent of ICU patients suffer from delirium during their hospital stay. And one-quarter of all ICU patients suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder once they leave, a rate that's comparable to PTSD diagnoses among combat veterans and rape victims. Patients with ICU delirium are less likely to survive and more likely to suffer long-term cognitive damage if they do."

In order to ease the patients out of their induced comas, whether those comas were corona-related or not, there needs to be someone by their side who can guide them and help them through the process. As a patient who went through this, I can attest that this is a vital need for all patients and can greatly ease the suffering of recovering patients. The emotional distress of waking up after such an experience can be overwhelming and people need help to get through it. I needed help to get through it. Thanks to Dr. Delgado-Lelievre, I got that help. And when the hospital saw what happened, they instituted a new protocol that requires a trained professional to be present with patients after they are woken up from induced comas on respirators to help them through the process.

I strongly urge all hospital managers and staff to do what the University of Miami Hospital has begun doing – to be aware of the emotional state of your patients who are recovering from this terrible disease and to have someone by them and help them emotionally. Patients need help in overcoming and healing from this. Please, I implore you to provide that aid and care and have a mental health professional by the side of the person recovering. It is incredibly necessary and often overlooked in many places. It will help speed the recovery process along and make it far less traumatic for the patients.

See you tomorrow bli neder We need Moshiach now

Tish A'bov Starts tomorrow night

Love Yehuda Lave

Rabbi Yehuda Lave

PO Box 7335, Rehavia Jerusalem 9107202


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