Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Breaking news-More lockdown restrictions added and How the Grinch stole Yom Kippur and Sukkot, my Jewish Press article, and The Meaning of "Life" | Manis Friedman | TED Talks and JONATHAN S. TOBIN writes It wouldn’t have happened without Trump and Carolyn Glick writes the story of the two White House ceremonies and Russian businessman gives $10 million to Wharton School for Israeli students

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Yehuda Lave is an author, journalist, psychologist, rabbi, spiritual teacher, and coach, with degrees in business, psychology and Jewish Law. He works with people from all walks of life and helps them in their search for greater happiness, meaning, business advice on saving money, and spiritual engagement.

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COVID-19 Infection Rate Soars to 16.6% – More Restrictions Added

By Hana Levi Julian- 9 Tishri 5781 –  Photo Credit: Nati Shohat / Flash 90
A woman sits at the empty Mahane Yehuda Market in Jerusalem on September 25, 2020, during a nationwide lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Health Ministry announced Saturday night several additional restrictions to the lockdown that began Friday at 2 pm in the wake of reports showing an exponential rise in the number of newly confirmed daily cases of the coronavirus.

It is precisely the nightmare scenario that officials at the Health Ministry and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeatedly warned about in each televised news briefing, and in each meeting behind closed doors.

On Wednesday and Thursday, the daily count of confirmed new cases of COVID-19 skyrocketed past the 7,000 mark; on Friday and Saturday, it jumped again, leaping past the 8,000 mark.

Almost 9,000 New Cases
On Saturday evening the Health Ministry announced a total of 8,687 new cases were diagnosed since Friday afternoon, out of the 23,387 tests that were carried out — putting the infection rate at 16.6 percent.

The figure raises the total number of active cases to 67,628. Of those, 728 Israelis are listed in very serious condition, including 200 who require ventilator support to survive.

Also from Friday afternoon to Saturday evening, 16 people lost their lives to the virus, raising the coronavirus death toll to 1,441. Since the start of the pandemic, a total of 226,586 Israelis have been infected by SARS-CoV-2.

More Restrictions Added
The restrictions listed below are in addition to those already approved by the Knesset and the Coronavirus Cabinet.

A. Leaving one's place of residence for a permitted objective (for example, going to the supermarket or pharmacy) shall only be within the community in which one's residence is located except for those actions or objectives that are unobtainable without leaving one's home community (for example, essential workers leaving for their places of work outside their communities, or people going to assist those with difficulties who live in other communities).

B. People shall not be permitted to leave their places of residence for flights except for the following reasons:

* For actions or objectives permitted by the regulations (such as for medical reasons)

* So as not to harm travelers who purchased tickets until yesterday, flights were permitted for those who purchased tickets by yesterday for any reason.

* A system for exceptional permits by the Transportation Ministry Director-General for flights not one of the permitted reasons and for those who purchased tickets after yesterday shall be established.

C. The possibility of going out for treatment by "complementary medicine" shall be canceled. The possibility of opening public places or businesses to provide complementary medical treatment shall be prohibited.

The foregoing shall not detract from the possibility of receiving medical treatment, according to law, by professional health practitioners: Psychologists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech therapists, dieticians, clinical criminologists, podiatrists, surgical podiatrists, and chiropractors.

D. Operating venues for athletic training shall be possible only for international athletes and not for competitive athletes.

E. Going to a circumcision or funeral shall be permitted only for close family members (grandparents, parents, spouses, parents of spouses, siblings and their children, or aunts and uncles).

F. Disabled people whose disability requires that they go out into the public sphere for distances beyond 1,000 meters from their place of residence may do so together with one person accompanying them.

2. Decision to allocate soldiers to assist the Israel Police in enforcing instructions pursuant to the law on special authority to deal with the coronavirus

The Cabinet approved the allocation of an additional 500 soldiers to reinforce the Israel Police in its enforcement mission so that the overall number of soldiers now stands at 1,500. According to the system established in the decision, the Cabinet will be able to add an additional 500 soldiers upon the consent of the Defense Minister and the Public Security Minister.

The Three Musketeers at the Kotel
How the Grinch stole Yom Kippur and Sukkot

I wrote this story on Thursday morning, before Yom Kippur and before the final details were known.

Netanyahu, Gantz said, to bypass the coronavirus cabinet vote on full lockdown. New restrictions said to ban prayer services outdoors, too

The Kan public broadcaster is reporting that the new restrictions will limit protests, shutter synagogues, and only allow essential businesses to carry on working.

"I am ashamed that this is your approach, to prevent prayer," Minister Deri is quoted saying.

Webster's Dictionary Definition of the grinch

1): a grumpy person who spoils the pleasure of others: killjoy, spoilsport It was a Christmas only a grinch could appreciate.

2) In between indulgent wine collectors who ignore price tags and frugal wine grinches who live by them are those wine lovers who know quality when they taste it, but refuse to spend a small fortune to get it.

3) the sheer delight of watching Britain's Got Talent judge and notorious grinch Simon Cowell grow a heart right before the audience's eyes.

The Grinch is a fictional character created by Dr. Seuss. He is best known as the main character of the children's book How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1957).

The Grinch has become an anti-icon of Christmas and the winter holidays, as a symbol of those who despise the holiday, much in the same nature as the earlier character of Ebenezer Scrooge.

I am sorry to use a Christmas analogy to describe the loss of our most important Jewish High holidays, but being an American transplant to Israel, it is the best analogy I can use to describe the loss of joy in Israel at our most important time to communicate with G-d, Yom Kippur. No one really looks forward to Yom Kippur, because it is judgement day and anybody in their right mind tries to avoid appearing before the King and getting a judgment, but if you survive it, you get to them most joyous time of the Jewish year, Sukkot, with its party atmosphere and family time.

This is Thursday morning in Israel. We don't know the final details yet, but a full lockdown as opposed to a partial lockdown we are currently in is supposed to start tomorrow morning on Friday September 25, 2020.

We just finished the crowning of the King on Rosh Hashanah, but the King of Israel politically has decided we aren't suffering enough, and there have been too many protests, so let us ruin the rest of the year as well, by throwing us out of the synagogue on Yom Kippur and stopping the fun and friendship of the week of Sukkot. The Government had already taken away our right to travel more than a kilometer on Sukkot which killed any holiday plans for travel, and now with a lockdown it will be illegal to go to someone else's Sukkah locally and have a shared meal or a toast.

This is of course all in the name of a mysterious virus that has shut down our strong economy and brought us into a rescission. I am not a Doctor. Maybe the government isn't telling us everything about the virus and it is going to kill everybody, although no more people have died in Israel this year then in a normal year. If it is going to kill everybody let us at least have a final holiday!

On the Beach is a 1959 American post-apocalyptic science fiction drama film from United Artists, produced and directed by Stanley Kramer, that stars Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Fred Astaire, and Anthony Perkins. This black-and-white film is based on Nevil Shute's 1957 novel of the same name depicting the aftermath of a nuclear war.Unlike in the novel, no one is assigned blame for starting the war; the film hints that global annihilation may have arisen from an accident or misjudgment. As everybody dies with a final scene of a banner waving "there is still time brother", people have their final holidays.

To predict last year that the Government of Israel would stop the majority Jewish population in the world from celebrating Yom Kippur in the Synagogue and shutting the country down on Sukkot, is more mind boggling that can be imagined. Can the Moshiach be far behind?

I have to end this sad report with a joke. The Politicians are the Grinch of course as we learn in this story:

Jury's Out

Ethel Rubinstein was celebrating her 80th birthday when she received a jury-duty notice. She called the clerk's office to remind them that she was exempt because of her age.

"You need to come in and fill out the exemption forms," the clerk said.

"I've already done that," Ethel replied. "I did it last year."

"You have to do it every year," the clerk said.

"Why?" Ethel asked. "Do you think I'm going to get younger?"



It wouldn't have happened without Trump

Only an administration staffed by amateurs who didn't play by the rules could have orchestrated the Abraham Accords. Don't expect the Democrats to build on this success.

The gala signing of the normalization agreements between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain was a bitter pill for the diplomatic establishment to swallow. The people who are counting on taking back control of American foreign policy after a Joe Biden victory in November could only look on with dismay as President Donald Trump presided over the sort of ceremony that they would have liked to have pulled off, but failed to do so when they had the chance.

The importance of the event as a game-changer in Middle East politics couldn't be denied. But the general reaction from veteran diplomats and the media was nothing like it would have been had a Democratic administration done as much. Most put a better face on it than the bitter and petty dismissal of a momentous event of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who initially dismissed the accords as a "distraction." But since there was no way to spin it as a negative event or to fit it into a narrative in which the president can be labeled as an irresponsible leader destroying the country and alienating the world, most of his opponents did their best to avoid having to discuss it.

That's why the most pertinent question to ask is how a man whose detractors regard him as ignorant on foreign policy and the details of the region could have accomplished such an important feat.

The answer is simple. Trump and his foreign-policy team succeeded because they ignored the experts and the conventional wisdom the establishment has been peddling for decades.

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The president was confronted by two myths at the heart of U.S. policy in the Middle East.

One was the belief that ending Israel's conflict with the Palestinians was the key to solving the problems in the region and that a failure to satisfy their ambitions doomed the Jewish state to everlasting conflict with the Arab and Islamic world, while also complicating America's relations with those states.

The other is the conviction that the only way to produce progress towards peace was to exert pressure on Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians. Part of that formulation was the notion that it was also necessary to turn a blind eye to the Palestinian Authority's outrageous conduct, such as its corruption and financial support for terrorism.

All of Trump's predecessors accepted both of these positions as correct with the Obama administration being the most single-minded about putting the screws to the Israelis as part of its opinion that more "daylight" was needed between the United States and the Jewish state.

Trump rejected both of these ideas. But that was only made possible by his decision to assign the job of promoting Middle East peace to people with zero experience in diplomacy.

After Trump took office in 2017, few of his appointments were regarded with as much scorn as his decision to appoint Jared Kushner as his senior adviser and to have him lead the administration's Mideast peace efforts. But no matter what else he does in his life, Kushner should be remembered for helping to essentially end the Palestinian veto on the Arab world's making peace with the Jewish state.

Giving the Middle East portfolio to a wealthy former real estate magnate and part-time publisher struck the country's foreign-policy wise men as a joke. Kushner's primary qualification was his status as the husband of the president's daughter, Ivanka. All of the smartest foreign-policy hands of the last 50 years tried and failed to succeed in the region. Giving his son-in-law the job of realizing Trump's ambition to be a peacekeeper was treated as the stuff of satire.

The contempt wasn't limited to Kushner. Rather than provide him with veteran backup, the rest of his peacemaking team—chief negotiator Jason Greenblatt, Kushner's top aide Avi Berkowitz and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman—had no more diplomatic experience than he did.

All were also Jewish. While they weren't the first Jews involved in American Middle East diplomacy, those who did so generally came to their jobs as critics of Israel's government. None were outspoken supporters of Israel, as was the case with Kushner and his team.

Kushner persuaded Trump to work to hold the P.A. accountable for its support of terrorism. The Trump team also stood behind the president's decisions to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and to ignore the expert's warnings that doing so would set the Middle East on fire.

When Kushner eventually unveiled the "Peace to Prosperity" plan earlier this year, it still offered the Palestinians an independent state and economic aid. But faced with the same kind of Palestinian rejectionism that had stumped previous negotiators, he focused on accomplishing the possible rather than the impossible.

Unlike Obama, who rejected the concerns of Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf states about his efforts to appease Iran, Trump and Kushner listened to them. Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal and implemented sanctions aimed at forcing Tehran to negotiate an end to its nuclear program and support of terrorism.

The Arab states had already established under-the-table ties with Israel, which they now view as a strategic ally against Iran. But by establishing a rapport with America's allies in the Gulf, including controversial Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, who could have thwarted moves by his neighbors, Kushner helped persuade them to take the next step and work towards full diplomatic and economic ties.

Only American officials who didn't play by the rules embraced by the foreign-policy establishment would have done any of that. And only a president like Trump, who distrusts "experts," would have agreed to go along with such a strategy. And it was only their choice to reject the tactics of the past that brought representatives of the UAE and Bahrain to the White House with the possibility that other Arab nations will do the same.

If Biden defeats Trump, can his team build on this success?

Perhaps, though the problem is that anyone who would be picked by Biden is almost certainly a believer in establishment conventional wisdom. The next administration is likely to return to efforts to create a rapprochement with Iran and to resume futile efforts to pressure Israel to persuade the Palestinians to make a peace that they have no interest in establishing.

If next January marks the end of the era of foreign-policy amateurs running things in the White House, the experts and their fans in the media will breathe a sigh of relief. But it is precisely because Trump and his team were amateurs not educated to treat establishment myths as revealed truth that the celebration at the White House was made possible.

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

A tale of two White House signing ceremonies

The Abraham Accords underscore the failure at the core of the Oslo Accords: You cannot make peace with people who seek your destruction. You can only make peace with those who accept you.Republish this articleSpread the word.
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(September 16, 2020 / JNS) Attending the White House signing ceremony on Tuesday of the Abraham Accords—which normalize relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain—was both moving and jarring. Standing at the South Lawn, just meters from the Rose Garden where the Oslo Accords were signed 27 years ago on Sept. 13, 1993, the comparison between the two agreements was inescapable.

That ceremony was an act of political theater unsurpassed in the history of Israel. Yasser Arafat, chairman of the PLO and architect of modern terrorism, grinned ear to ear as he received the royal treatment on the White House Lawn.

Seeking peace, Israel's then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin promised the PLO land, money and weaponry, which Arafat used to build a terror state on the outskirts of Jerusalem. Arafat in turn promised to end terrorism, accept Israel's right to exist and resolve all outstanding issues through peaceful negotiations. Arafat was lying.

I wanted to believe in the fake peace of 1993. But the grim facts made it all impossible. For the past 27 years, first as a member of Israel's negotiating team during my service in the Israel Defense Forces and then as a writer and a lecturer, like thousands of other Israelis and friends of Israel in the United States and around the world, I devoted myself to exposing the lies and warning about the danger of empowering those who seek Israel's destruction. I wrote hundreds of articles, briefed hundreds of politicians and community leaders in the United States and worldwide. I wrote a book.

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And as I sat in the garden at the White House today, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. President Donald Trump, UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Bahrain Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani standing in the portico before me, the names of the victims of that previous peace agreement rushed through my head. David Biri, Nachson Waxman, Kochava Biton, Ohad Bachrach, Ori Shachor, the Lapids, the Ungars, the Fogels, the Schijveschuurders, Madhat Yusuf, Shalhevet Pas and on and on and on.

I have been demonized as an "extremist," a "far right-winger," an "enemy of peace" and a "fascist" by members of the so-called "peace camp." Think tanks and professionals with ties to the European Union—the co-sponsor of the fake peace process—were afraid to invite me to speak, cite my articles or to review my book.

Now, 27 years and two days later, the Palestinians were outside the White House with Israeli "peace activists" protesting the peace ceremony at the White House. The European Union is boycotting the peace ceremony. And sitting in the audience with me are politicians and leaders like Zionist Organization of American President Mort Klein; Sen. Ted Cruz; radio host Mark Levin and former presidential candidate and evangelical leader Gary Bauer, whom I met with over over the past decades to discuss the dangers of fake peace to Israel, and who like me devoted themselves to ending the lie that peace is possible with people who justify the murder of innocent Israelis as a form of "legitimate resistance," only to be reviled by the "peace camp" for speaking the truth.

Many of the guests made the effort to come to the White House even in the midst of the global pandemic because it is clear that this peace is something else. As people like Mossad director Yossi Cohen have said, it only seems like this event happened suddenly. It didn't. It is the outgrowth of years of work by dedicated officials from all sides who quietly and carefully cultivated ties based not on lies but on real common interests and common concerns. The UAE, Bahrain and Israel have come together because of the courageous leadership of President Trump and his advisers who were willing to acknowledge the reality on the ground and listen to the voices of those who opposed what happened at the White House 27 years ago. Trump and his team were willing to break ranks with generations of American policymakers who insisted that terrorists are the true peacemakers, that the road to peace is appeasement and that those who look for mutual respect, human decency and shared interests as the basis of peace are right-wing warmongers.

This peace is not a function of Netanyahu changing his tune, as his Likud predecessors Ariel Sharon, Ehud Olmert and others did, and joining the chorus of the fake peace camp. This peace owes to Netanyahu staying true to the core truths at the root of the anti-Oslo protests: You cannot make peace with people who justify your murder and seek your destruction. You can only make peace with those who accept you as you are for what you are.

This peace is real peace. It is a peace to celebrate and cultivate. It is a peace based on respecting, and missing and loving and never forgetting the victims of the political theater that happened here 27 years ago. Where this peace will lead is unclear. The sky's the limit. But unless something goes terribly wrong, it will not lead to more Jewish victims of fake peace.

Caroline Glick is an award-winning columnist and author of "The Israeli Solution: A One-State Plan for Peace in the Middle East."

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.

Russian businessman gives $10 million to Wharton School for Israeli students

Those who have completed Israeli military service, attended an Israeli undergraduate institution or worked at an Israeli company are eligible.

Israeli-Russian entrepreneur Yuri Milner is donating $10 million to the Wharton School to create scholarships for Israeli MBA students, announced the University of Pennsylvania on Tuesday.

It will fund degrees over the next decade for 60 Israeli students in the business school, whose MBA program is two years.

Those who have completed Israeli military service, attended an Israeli undergraduate institution or worked at an Israeli company will be eligible for the fellowship from the Friends of Israel MBA Fund.

"We are thrilled by the foundation's commitment to supporting the best and brightest MBA candidates from the Israeli community," said Wharton School dean Erika James in a statement.

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Also in the statement, Milner said "my hope is that this scholarship will support talented individuals to look beyond the horizon and pursue their vision of what the world can be, and that the State of Israel will benefit from the expertise in business and entrepreneurship that Wharton program graduates will bring back home."

Born in Russia, Milner graduated from Moscow State University in 1985 with a degree in theoretical physics and attended Wharton in the 1990s, though he did not graduate with an MBA.

The 58-year-old was a commencement speaker at the Wharton MBA graduation ceremony in 2017.

Milner has a net worth of $4.4 billion, according to Forbes, and is known to be Russia's most influential tech investor. He was an early investor in Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, Airbnb, Alibaba and other major companies.

An Israeli citizen, he currently lives in the Bay Area in California.

The Meaning of "Life" | Manis Friedman | TEDxBeaconStreet

Chassidic scholar, social philosopher and inspirational Maggid (preacher), Rabbi Manis Friedman turns ancient biblical and talmudic wisdom into tangible modern lessons. By clarifying the simple definitions of the words Live and Exist, Rabbi Friedman presents the keys to satisfaction, fulfillment and peace of mind. World-renowned author, counselor, lecturer and philosopher, Rabbi Manis Friedman combines ancient Torah wisdom with modern wit to captivate audiences around the world. He hosts his own critically acclaimed cable television series, Torah Forum with Manis Friedman, syndicated throughout North America and is known as "Youtube's Most Popular Rabbi".

Rabbi Friedman's first book, Doesn't Anyone Blush Anymore? published by Harper San Francisco in 1990, was widely praised by the media. Following the publication of the book, he was featured internationally in over 200 print articles, and interviewed on more than 50 television and radio talk shows. He has appeared on CNN, A&E Reviews, PBS, and BBC Worldwide, and has been the subject of articles in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Seventeen, Guideposts, Insight, Publisher's Weekly and others. Blush is currently in its fourth printing distributed exclusively through The Bookmen, Inc. His latest book, The Joy of Intimacy is empowering thousands of couples to replace their loneliness and unfulfilled expectations with a deeply soulful and satisfying relationship.

In his private practice Rabbi Friedman has helped thousands of couples and individuals achieve fulfilling, balanced relationships, through in-person meetings or remote video consultations.

Rabbi Friedman is a noted Biblical scholar, recognized for his sagacious grasp of Jewish mysticism. In 1971, he founded Bais Chana Institute of Jewish Studies in Minnesota, the world's first yeshiva exclusively for women, where he continues to serve as dean. From 1984-1990 he served as simultaneous translator for the Lubavitcher Rebbe's televised talks.

Born in Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1946, Rabbi Friedman immigrated with his family to the United States in 1950. He received his rabbinic ordination from the Rabbinical College of Canada in 1969 and is a professionally ranked member of the National Speakers Association. His speaking tours take him to every part of this country as well as Israel, England, The Netherlands, South Africa, Australia, Brazil, Venezuela, Peru, Canada, and Hong Kong.

With the launch of itsgoodtoknow.org, Rabbi Friedman is now using the latest technology to spread morality to a wider audience throughout the world through his books, videos and personal meetings. He has made it his mission to reach every one of the billion people on youtube in order to help them improve their relationships and deepen their connection with G-d. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx

I hope you had a meaningful Yom Kippur yesterday whether you fasted fully or not, and are looking forward to whatever joy we can find out of Sukkot this year.

See you tomorrow bli neder

We Need Moshiach now!

Love Yehuda Lave

Yehuda Lave, Spirtiual Advisor and Counselor

Jerusalem, Jerusalem

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