Don't be a Jew with Trembling Knees! by Joan Swirsky and If the Hebrew name "YHWH" means "I AM THAT I AM" in English, which among the four Hebrew letters mean "I AM" and Young Adults’ Pandemic Mental Health Risks and Israeli government gives IDF access to citizens’ tax data and Heatwaves--now the new normal in Jerusalem and a Coronavirus Cynic ends up in a Corona clinic and Jerusalem frontiers and pioneers tour by Shalom Pollack on Nov 3
My email this morning didn't come out right. I am sending it again corrected.
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.
Jerusalem frontiers and pioneers tour by Shalom Pollack on Nov 3
Departure: 8:30 from the Inbal hotel Return: before 5:00 Cost: 200 shekels.
Our first stop will be the very best overview of Jerusalem and the Har Habayit from the Mount of Olives With the sun to our backs this is a unique sight .
We will next take the short walk to the ancient tombs of the last prophets, Zacahria, Malachi and Haggai. They are buried in a vast catacomb chiseled near the top of the mountain. Bring flashlights or your flashlight app.
We are invited to visit with Zippora Piltz who lives with her family on the slopes of Mt of Olives as guardians of the holy area. She and her family are pioneers guarding and expanding the Jewish presence in this threatened area of Jewish heritage .
We then visit the renewed Shimon Hatzadik neighborhood and meet with determined pioneers there who are returning Jewish life to a famous Jewish neighborhood that was conquered by Jordan in 1948. Arabs have since occupied the Jewish homes.Very special, brave Jews are returning and reclaiming our history. We will meet some of the history making pioneers.
We will pay our respects at the nearby memorial of the seventy nine Jews treacherously massacred in the last convoy that attempted to reach Hadasah hospital on Mt Scopus in April 1948.
Just down the road from the massacre, we will see the soon to be completed construction of a new Jewish community of 150 families being built on land that belonged to the infamous Haj Amin Husseini, ally of Hitler and leader Arabs pogroms in Eretz Yisroel
We will have lunch alongside the beautiful lake overlooking the Shamir park in Maale Adumim. You may enjoy a picnic lunch or have a quick bite in "Cafit '' the kosher dairy care on the site.
We shall drive to area "E- 1" . This is the land that has long been zoned for the expansion of Maale Adumim. However, despite an impressive cornerstone laying ceremony, it has not been built due to political pressure.We shall drive to the top and understand the geography, topography and politics of the area.
We will complete our day with a visit to "Tel El Ful" or the historic Givat Shaul where King Saul is believed to have his palace just north of Yerushalayim in the Shafat neighborhood.(Just across the road from Pisgat Ze'ev). King Hussein of Jordan was in the midst of building his palace on that same site that commands an unparalleled 360 degree view of Yerushalayim and beyond. The miracle of the Six Days War spoiled his plans. We will enjoy the view that he thought would be only his and thank Hashem for His miracles.
From this unparalleled vantage point we will be able to better understand the connection between history, geography, demography and politics for the future of Yerushalayim. To register: email@example.com
"Don't threaten us with cutting off your aid. It will not work. I am not a Jew with trembling knees. I am a proud Jew with 3,700 years of civilized history. Nobody came to our aid when we were dying in the gas chambers and ovens. Nobody came to our aid when we were striving to create our country. We paid for it. We fought for it. We died for it. We will stand by our principles. We will defend them. And, when necessary, we will die for them again, with or without your aid."
Unholy heat: Data shows Jerusalem's endless summer may be the fiery new normal
Hot days are getting hotter, sweltering nights are no longer rare and heat spells are lasting longer. Figures for Jerusalem, Israel, and the region point to a scalding trend
By JOSHUA DAVIDOVICH and SUE SURKES
For nine days, from May 13 to May 21, Jerusalem saw an unprecedented string of high daily temperatures above 33º C (91.6º F). The record stood all of two and a half months, until August 29.
That day, the high temperature in the city soared to a scorching 38.2º C. It would be 14 days until the high in Jerusalem would cool to a breezy 32.1º C on September 12, and it would take another 10 days until the high finally dipped below 30º C — barely — topping out at 29.4º C on September 22.
The fact that September 2020 was the hottest month in recorded history in Jerusalem likely comes as no surprise to anyone who sweated through the heatwave that blanketed the city. The unprecedented run included two days, September 3 and 4, during which the temperature hit 42.3º C and 42.7º C respectively, the highest temperatures Jerusalem had seen in over 100 years, bested only by the 44.4º C, reached on two days in August 1881, according to the Israel Meteorological Service.
While the extremeness of the temperatures was terrifying, scientists say that what is more ominous are the larger trends and how long the heat waves are lasting. A look at the daily temperature data compiled by the Israel Meteorological Service over the last 70 years provides a sweat-inducing peek at just how hot Jerusalem is becoming, and how temperatures and heatwaves once regarded as rare have become commonplace.
According to Prof. Yoav Yair, Dean of the School of Sustainability at the Interdisciplinary Center, a Herzliya-based university better known as IDC, a series of days with temperatures of 33º C (91.4º F) or higher is the threshold for a heatwave in Jerusalem.
Days of 33º C or higher are not overly common in the capital, which usually enjoys cooler temperatures than coastal Israel thanks to its elevation some 750 meters (2,460 feet) above sea level. The lack of humidity also helps make the city a refuge from the muggy climate that envelopes Tel Aviv and most of central Israel.
Most years see a few handfuls of days that reach above 33º C, and every few years the city may even see a string of six or seven days, according to an analysis of IMS data. At the same time, before 1990, it was not uncommon for whole years to pass in which the mercury only hit the milestone once or twice, if at all.
Now that has all changed.
According to data from the IMS, from 1950 to 1959 there were a total of 99 days in which the high temperature in Jerusalem hit 33º C or higher.
From 1960 to 1969 the number climbed to 119 days. The next two decades actually saw a cooling trend: From 1970 to 1979 there were only 64 heat wave days, and from 1980 to 1989 there were 98 such days.
And then the heat began to build again. From 1990 to 1999 there were 127 heatwave days. The next decade, Jerusalem experienced temperatures of 33º C or higher 137 times. and from 2010 to 2019 there were a whopping 230 days in which the temperature reached or surpassed the toasty threshold.
As of October 8, this year has seen 40 heatwave days. Assuming that the year is not a major outlier, this upcoming decade would see some 400 heatwave days in Jerusalem.
"None of this is surprising," said Yair. "Temperatures in Israel have gone up by around 1.4% between 1950 and 2017, with most of the increases happening over the past 30 years."
And it is only expected to get worse.
The month of September, which supplied 18 of the year's heatwave days, broke records across Israel, becoming the hottest September on record in Jerusalem and most of the rest of the country, according to a report from the IMS.
There are signs, though, that the heat seen in September was not an every year event. The extreme heat, which was felt throughout the region and in Europe as well, was registered as an anomaly, and in Israel was attributed to hot easterly winds blowing in from the Arabian peninsula, circling around a low-pressure system.
In Jerusalem, highs spiked to above 40º C (104º F) for three days in a row. The event appeared extraordinary, especially given that according to the IMS, temperatures in Jerusalem have only crossed the 40º C threshold seven times since 1950, including those three days.
It's not unprecedented, however. A report from the service released in mid-September noted that it had happened three times before in Jerusalem's history since 1860: June 1942, July 1888 and August 1881, when that record 44.4º C temperature was recorded. Those extremes could not be attributed to the global trends of climate change being seen now.
Part of a worldwide phenomenon
But there are many more signs that even if extreme temperatures are the result of local factors, the persistence and frequency of the hot days are part of a larger global trend.
"In recent years we're seeing temperatures pick up and continuing to increase," said Prof. Ori Adam, a Hebrew University climate expert. "It's always hard to differentiate that from local effects. But it's consistent [with] the global trends."
A 2017 UN report on climate change challenges in the Arab world predicted there would be 40 to 80 days per year with temperatures between 35º C and 40º C by the end of the century across the region, depending on carbon emissions models.
In Jerusalem, the average high temperature in September was 33.4º C, five degrees above the average between 1995 and 2009. Nationwide, according to the IMS, only three months have ever had higher average temperatures: August 2010, July 2015 and August 2017.
And those numbers might not even tell the whole story. The IMS was forced to base much of its data for September on a secondary weather station that recorded slightly lower temperatures. That's because on September 4, researchers were unable to reach the main monitor atop a central Jerusalem building to confirm its reading of 42.7º C, due to a work accident, leading the IMS to rely on the secondary monitor on Hebrew University's Givat Ram campus for that month only. (Most of the data in this report is based on the main monitor's findings, which the IMS has continued to publish.)
Of the 10 highest temperatures recorded in Jerusalem's main weather station over the past 70 years, only two predated 2010: 40.6º C on July 30, 2000, and 39.6º C on August 22, 1954.
It's not only the days. Temperatures in early September were so consistently high in Jerusalem, according to the IMS, that the daily low actually surpassed the average high at one point.
In May, IMS data shows that nights stayed so hot that low temperature remained above the average high for that period for a week straight.
Of the 22 times since 1950 that the low temperature in Jerusalem has remained over 28º C (82º F), only nine of them have come before 2000.
Jerusalem is far from alone in feeling the heat. A report from the European Union's Copernicus Climate Change Service Wednesday found that the month was the hottest September on record worldwide, helped along by an extreme heatwave that blanketed Siberia for much of the summer.
According to the climate monitor, May and January 2020 were also the hottest on record globally, and every month of the year so far has been in the top four heat-wise.
"The year-to-date global temperature anomaly shows that 2020 is on a par with 2016, the current warmest year on record," a statement from Copernicus said. "In addition, for the same period, 2020 is warmer than 2019 — the second warmest year currently on record."
Across Europe and the Middle East, cities have sweltered for days or weeks under record temperatures.
'Humanity-driven climate disasters'
According to Yair, the IDC expert, Israel — along with the rest of the Middle East and North Africa — is seeing temperatures rise faster than the rest of the world because the band of tropical climate to the north and south of the Equator is expanding.
Research published two years ago shows that it has been doing so by 0.5 degrees of latitude — equal to 55.5 kilometers (34.5 miles) — per decade since 1979.
According to an article published by the Yale School of Environment in October 2018, the tropics include both wet and dry regions. The wet regions are contracting and the drier ones are expanding, bringing ever-drier weather to places such as the Mediterranean.
These shifts, according to the article, are caused by changes such as the opening of the southern hemisphere ozone hole, warming black soot in polluted air from Asia, and rising air — as well as sea surface — temperatures caused by greenhouse gases [from burning fossil fuels].
As a result, between 1930 and 2013, the Sahara Desert grew in size by 10 percent, pushing north and south.
Yair, who researches atmosphere and extreme weather events, said the extreme heating in the region could not be untangled from climate disasters happening around the world, including devastating wildfires in California and Australia this year.
"What we are seeing are humanity-driven climate disasters, not natural disasters, " he said, blaming politicians for refusing to deploy policies that would help the country catch up to the rest of the world on fighting global warming.
"The human-driven contribution is clear, strong and undeniable," he said. "And this is only the beginning."
Israeli government gives IDF access to citizens' tax data
By Paul Shindman, World Israel News -
The government of Israel has authorized the IDF Military Intelligence division to have access to the country's civilian database, Haaretz reported Wednesday.
The head of Military Intelligence, Maj. Gen. Tamir Heyman, now can look into all the Tax Authority's confidential data on private Israeli citizens, and Heyman can authorize those under his command to use the data, the report said.
Haaretz said it was stonewalled when trying to find out what the data was to be used for, getting the general reply from the IDF that the tax information would be used for "security needs and for the purpose of safeguarding state security."
However, the magazine Israel Defense reported that the sharing of data between the IDF and the Tax Authority would involve private, financial information of those who are not citizens of Israel but have files in the Tax Authority system.
The magazine noted that the Israeli Tax Authority also collects tax data from Palestinians and tourists who carry out economic activity in Israel.
It is estimated that the IDF will be using the data for various purposes, including deterrence and legal actions against those who are not citizens but who endanger the security of the state. Israel in the past has managed to arrest couriers transferring cash for the Hamas terror organization.
Haaretz complained that the intelligence branch of the IDF "should not be involved in purely civilian matters," although the paper admitted that information was needed for helping it block financing for terrorism.
The data sharing was approved by the Knesset in legislation, Israel Defense reported.
WIFE SAYS: 'IT KILLS ME THAT I CAN'T HELP HIM'
'But there is no coronavirus,' shocked cynic told doctors, waking up in the hospital
Alin Zaraabel is praying for the life of her 51-year-old husband, in serious condition for a month now, at the mercy of a virus they both doubted was real
By NATHAN JEFFAY
In a single morning this week, four patients died in the coronavirus department where David Vodiansky has been hospitalized for more than a month. His wife says all she can do is pray.
Saturday will be his 52nd birthday, but Alin Zaraabel has resigned herself to the fact that she won't be able to congratulate him, and neither will the couple's two teenage children. He is sedated and connected to a breathing machine.
Zaraabel's teary interview with The Times of Israel took place Tuesday at the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya. She admits that both she and her husband were big coronavirus cynics until the morning of August 31, when he was raced from their home in Ma'alot-Tarshiha to the hospital. They don't know how he became infected.
"I just didn't believe in coronavirus," she said. "I thought it was all politics. I was sure it was nonsense, and even made faces when people mentioned it."
The effects of COVID-19, known to stubbornly stay with some patients for long periods, have refused to subside in her husband. And while he isn't currently getting worse, he isn't showing consistent improvement either.
"Things change from day to day, sometimes they get better and sometimes worse," Zaraabel said, noting that Vodiansky's symptoms extend beyond breathing problems. "On some days his kidneys are working well, on other days not so well."
Vodiansky's condition is classed as serious. When he came around after first being sedated, he didn't know where he was, and when told, had difficulty absorbing it.
"When they reduced his sedative and he came around, they said to him, 'Do you know where you are? You're in the coronavirus ward,'" Zaraabel recounted. "He said: 'It's not possible, there's no coronavirus; it's just politics.' They replied: 'So what are you doing here?'"
Vodiansky is a computer engineer with no known pre-existing health issues apart from high blood pressure.
"On August 30 we went and walked in Nahariya, we had a great day, and then at night he said he felt pressure in his chest," Zaraabel said. "Then, at 8 a.m. the next morning, he had difficulty breathing and we called an ambulance. He has been in the hospital ever since."
"It's the coronavirus intensive care and I can't go there, and anyway he can't talk. I just speak to the nurses, who kindly explain, over and over again, how he is doing. There is just me, him and the kids in our family and, of course, I'm worried.
"It kills me that I can't help him. I can do nothing but pray," she said.
Young Adults' Pandemic Mental Health Risks
In a new C.D.C. survey, 18- to 24-year-olds reported the highest levels of symptoms of anxiety and depression, and a quarter of them said they had seriously considered suicide.
In a recent survey, 62.9 percent of young adults reported symptoms of anxiety or depression, or both.
By Perri Klass, M.D.
Aug. 24, 2020
Yes, these are hard times, and everyone is stressed, but new data suggest that young adults — both those who are going back to college and those who are not — maybe suffering particularly hard when it comes to mental health.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released survey data on adult mental health, looking at a national sample of adults during the last week in June. Unsurprisingly, the stress level is high, with 40.9 percent overall reporting at least one "adverse mental or behavioral health condition."
One question asked whether the person responding had seriously considered suicide in the past 30 days, and more than one in 10 respondents said yes, with higher percentages among unpaid adult caregivers, essential workers, and Hispanic and Black responders. And 25.5 percent of the young adults surveyed — the 18- to 24-year-olds — answered yes.
The young adults also reported the highest levels of symptoms of anxiety and depression — 62.9 percent reported either or both. Their rates of having started or increased substance use to cope with pandemic-related stress or emotions were way up there as well at 24.7 percent (it was equal or higher only among the essential workers and the unpaid caregivers).
In all, 74.9 percent of those 18 to 24 years old reported at least one bad symptom. So the young adults are definitely not OK. And interestingly, the occurrence of these symptoms decreased with increasing age; among the respondents 65 and up, who have their own set of anxieties to deal with, only 15.1 percent reported at least one of these symptoms.
Rashon Lane, a behavioral scientist at the C.D.C. who was an author of the study, said symptoms of anxiety disorder and depressive disorder had increased significantly relative to 2019, with a disproportionate impact on young adults.
It's important to identify the populations at increased risk, Ms. Lane said, to provide them with services and support, and also to recognize that many people fall into more than one risk group — some young adults are also essential workers, members of the minority groups that are disproportionately bearing the brunt of the pandemic or people with pre-existing mental health conditions.
Coronavirus Schools Briefing: It's back to school — or is it?
Dr. Sarah Vinson, an associate professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at Morehouse School of Medicine, said that it's normal for older adolescents and young adults to be thinking seriously about what they are going to do with their lives. "Maybe they're not all anxious, but they're all thinking about this and feeling uncertain about next steps," she said.
And now they find themselves going through this transition at a moment when the ground feels shaky. "The people they normally go to for advice haven't gone through something like this before — parents, professors, mentors," Dr. Vinson said.
"Our college students are emerging adults," said Betty Lai, an assistant professor of counseling psychology in the Lynch School of Education and Human Development at Boston College. At this age, you are still learning, still figuring things out as you go, she said, including what career you are going to pursue, and "who are the people you are going to have as part of your life long-term? All of these important developmental tasks come up."
The pandemic is changing their opportunities to figure out those issues, and also, of course, changing their opportunities to go to school, to see their friends, to live away from home.
Dr. Lai studies mental health in the aftermath of disasters, like Hurricane Katrina or the Boston Marathon bombing. She said that in a recent study of college students, 91 percent reported moderate to high-stress levels, and 39 percent reported moderate to severe anxiety, while 53 percent reported moderate to severe depression.
The current pandemic, she said, is "a breeding ground for a mental health disaster," with unprecedented levels of risk factors. "This exposure period is prolonged, longer than anything we've seen before," she said, and the social isolation makes everything worse.
Some college students are going to be on campus this fall, but much of their learning will be remote, and they face strict safety rules limiting social activity. Other students face another semester of staying home. Either way, parents should be alert for signs of stress and isolation. Stressors are heightened, Dr. Vinson said, and many people find themselves without their usual coping strategies.
This combination of uncertainty about their personal future and worry about the larger future can leave some people without much sense of hope or promise about what is coming next. "Hopelessness is one of the big drivers of suicide," Dr. Vinson said. "It's normally not about wanting to be dead; it's about not wanting to live like this, whatever this is."
In addition, Dr. Vinson said, suicide risk can be related to impulsiveness, and "we know people will often act more impulsively if they are using substances, which exacerbate mental health issues."
Parents — or friends or family members — who are worried about young adults or adolescents should check in on them, ask how they're doing, and should not worry that by asking about depression, mental health, or suicide they are creating or exacerbating the problem.
"The most helpful thing you can do for somebody who might be struggling is to ask them," Dr. Lai said. "Parents often don't have as good a sense as they think they might of how their child is doing."
Parents can also help by encouraging young adults to find safe ways to stay connected. Even people who are physically apart, Ms. Lane said, can "stay socially connected, checking in with friends and family often to talk about these concerns."
Parents don't have to pretend to have answers. It's fine to acknowledge your own worries and uncertainties, Dr. Vinson said; it's important for young adults to understand that their parents haven't got it all figured out — and that they're willing to talk about it and try to work through their questions.
Dr. Maya Haasz, an assistant professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, said that for the past few years, every child over age 10 who comes to the emergency room at Children's Hospital Colorado, where she is an attending physician, is screened for suicide risk, using a questionnaire.
"Somewhere between 5 and 10 percent of our patients presenting for nonmental health concerns screen positive," she said — and this was true before the pandemic. Some of these children, who were perhaps coming in for injuries or abdominal pain, have needed to be hospitalized for mental health issues.
Screening children for suicide risk in the emergency room also gives the staff a chance to talk with parents about how to make the home safe, Dr. Haasz said. "It gives us an opening to talk to parents about restricting lethal means," she said. Try to make your home as safe as possible for someone who may be struggling. If you know — or suspect — that there have been issues with substance use, don't keep liquor or leftover prescription medications around.
"Guns are uniquely lethal," Dr. Haasz said. "They're used in 6 percent of attempts, but they account for 54 percent of deaths." If suicide has been a concern, it's especially important to get guns out of the home if possible, or at least to be sure they are safely locked up with the ammunition locked up separately.
If you are having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK). The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration maintains a 24/7 helpline at 1-800-662-4357 (HELP). Rashon Lane, a behavioral scientist at the C.D.C., recommended the C.D.C. web page on stress and coping.
Dr. Perri Klass is the author of the forthcoming book "A Good Time to Be Born: How Science and Public Health Gave Children a Future," on how our world has been transformed by the radical decline of infant and child mortality.
If the Hebrew name "YHWH" means "I AM THAT I AM" in English, which among the four Hebrew letters mean "I AM"?
None of them.
Your question relies on a misunderstanding of how Hebrew works.
The four letter name of God - often transliterated into English as 'yhwh' is, in Hebrew, four letters.
All the letters are consonants, because in Hebrew, all letters are consonants - vowel sounds are not, typically, letters in Hebrew and never appear.
That said, the word represented by 'yhwh' can, in normal Hebrew, be rendered in more than one way in Hebrew, depending on how you pronounce it - that is, which vowels you use and where.
ONE of the ways you MIGHT legitimately pronounce that word ends up as a single word which could mean 'I am' (in the sense of 'I exist').
It could also be rendered as 'I was' or even as 'I will be'.
All of those are single words in Hebrew, because that is how Hebrew works.
Hebrew works on a system of tri-literal (three letter) roots which 'build' into words of different meanings through prefixes, suffixes and changes in the vowels.
The 'root' of yhwh is the 'hwh' letters, which - at root, so to speak - mean 'beingness, existence'.
Bottom line, absolutely NOBODY knows what the four letter name 'means' except that it is the Name of God. Grammatically, it is a verb. That's important (most names are not verbs).
So the translation 'I am that I am' or 'I am, was, and will be' - those are all simply different readings, none of them any better than any other.
But none of the letters 'stand for' some other word. It isn't an acronym, and it isn't a phrase. In Hebrew, yhwh is ONE word, a verb, and the root of it is 'exist, being' - the verb 'to be' (in English). That it is first person singular is simply the grammatical form. (I am reminded - it is third person singular - probably. It's a verb - already an odd thing for a 'name'.)
The way Biblical Hebrew handles tenses is not the way English handles tenses. English divides time into 'past, present and future', but Biblical Hebrew divides time into the ideas of 'past action completed and over with', and 'actions not completed and over with' - which can include past, present AND future.
Grammatically, yhwh is -
singular, action not completed and over with' and the root meaning is 'exist, being' - the verb 'to be'.
So the word yhwh has something to do with existence and beingness, and that existence and beingness is not something over and done with, but exists 'now' and presumably existed 'before now' and also is going to exist 'after now' - always bearing in mind that, without knowing how the vowel sounds should apply, we don't actually know if we are quite exactly right - or not. However, there are not infinite possibilities, so we have a low number of possibilities.
So - do you kind of see how a translator might end up with 'I am that I am'?
It is not, I think, a particularly GOOD translation, but seriously, there really IS no particularly good translation into English to be had.
Too many people who speak only one language think every language works the same as the one they know, and all you have to do is plug in the appropriate word for the other word, and bingo, translated.
Sorry. That isn't how anything actually works, unless the languages are very, very closely related - and even then, there are differences. German and English are reasonably close, but in German I live in a street, not on it, and the idiomatic expressions are totally different.
See you tomorrow bli neder
We need Moshiach now!
Love Yehuda Lave
Yehuda Lave, Spirtiual Advisor and Counselor
Jerusalem, Jerusalem Israel
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