Breaking news--what's opening today on Sunday in Israel and The coronavirus experts were wrong, now they need scapegoats by Daniel Greenfield and Jerusalem to get a new museum and How did people see without glasses in ancient times and survive? and the Hebrew Letters and Hillary on Trump in 2013
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.
Most eye problems are refractive, and we now treat them with glasses. Of these there are those with:
Astigmatism. Usually, this is "with-the-rule". This is a problem mainly with dim illumination and a big pupil. Being outside in the sunshine eliminates it. Even in the dusk, with-the-rule astigmatism is controlled by squinting. The ancient farmer didn't spend much awake time after sunset. When he got up early before dawn, he squinted.
Far sighted (hyperopia). This doesn't cause much of a problem until the patient is 40 years old. Not many ancient farmers made it that far, mostly because of shorter life spans. And after age 40, the problem is mainly for seeing things closer up. Views at distance remain good. After 40, he let his kids or grandkids sharpen his sticks or do other up-close work. In ancient times, there wasn't much need for up-close work.
Presbyopia. This one affects most of us with age. Around age 50 you can't see up close anymore. As mentioned above, our ancient ancestors probably didn't live past 50. If he did, like the hyperope, he would have needed help for any close work.
Near sighted (myopia). This is a biggy. If he had myopia, your ancient ancestor, around age 14, would not see well at distance. If he was a hunter or warrior he would have been a failure and died. Hopefully, he was part of a larger tribe and had a skill set that allowed him to work up close. He may have become the flintknapper. She would have sewed up the skins. If so, the tribe was in luck. When either turned 50, they would STILL be seeing well up close since myopia counters presbyopia. They would become the esteemed elders who passed along their skills to the next generation.
Serious non-refractive eye problems that can't be fixed with glasses anyway:
Glaucoma. Mostly a disease of age that blinds you after age 65. Few made it to that age.
Macular Degeneration. Mostly a disease of age that blinds you after age 75. Very, few made it to that age.
Diabetic retinopathy. They didn't have much diabetes back then. Not enough sugar or refined carbohydrates in the diet. And if you had diabetes, you weren't going to get insulin and live the 20 years that it usually takes before you lost vision from diabetic retinopathy.
An an assortment of infections, injuries, etc. that are much less common but can take out an eye. These probably did lead to the loss of one eye and in the wild would have been fatal. But in a village, there are others to "watch your back". And with one eye, and some friends, you can do rather well.
Cataract. Another biggy. This is common after age 70 and the elders could have been blinded in both eyes. But only advanced cataracts really blind. Early ones cause milder visual impairments. And if someone made it to this advanced age, they must have had something else going for them. Their wisdom of village affairs and the local flora probably made them valuable and taken care of.
Obviously, there were other eye conditions that might have come up. But the above list accounts for 99% of what would have produced visual impairments. Part of civilization is the tending and caring for those individuals who would not have survived on their own. As you will note, few problems would have affected people in their youth and few people made it to old age. So most villages and tribes could have afforded to nurture the one elder who was blind and who had already earned the love and trust of that tribe.
The coronavirus experts were wrong, now they need scapegoats
The problem isn't just the China Virus. It's that the US adopted the China Model to fight it but lacks the ability to enforce it. Op-ed.
Daniel Greenfield , 15/10/20
(JNS) The problem isn't just the China Virus. It's that we adopted the China Model to fight it.
Public health experts adopted China's draconian lockdowns without knowing how well they really worked and in the USA, a country that, fortunately, lacks the power to truly enforce them.
China's deceptiveness and lack of transparency meant that we did not know how well anything that the Communist dictatorship did to battle the virus that it spawned actually worked. Despite that, American public health experts, and those of most free countries, adopted the China Model.
We don't know how well the China Model worked for the People's Republic of China, but it failed in every free country that tried it. Lockdowns eventually gave way to reopenings and new waves of infection. This was always going to happen because not even the more socialist European countries have the police state or the compliant populations of a Communist dictatorship.
Desperate, the public health experts adopted China's compulsive mask wearing, a cultural practice that predates the virus, as if wearing a few flimsy scraps of fiber would fix everything.
It hadn't and it didn't.
But by then the public health experts and the media that had touted them were moving fully into the scapegoat portion of the crisis. The China Model had failed, all that was left was shifting the blame to more conservative and traditional populations, and away from the cultural elites.
In New York City that meant falsely blaming Hassidic Jews for the second wave. From Maine to San Francisco, Democrat leaders and their media blamed conservative Christian gatherings. Their national counterparts loudly blamed President Trump for not wearing a mask all the time.
A New York Times headline captured the cynical broad-spectrum cultural scapegoating: "N.Y.C. Threatens Orthodox Jewish Areas on Virus, but Trump's Impact Is Seen."
The uncomfortable truth was that the lockdowns had failed economically, socially, and medically.
Even blue states and cities were no longer able to carry the impossible economic burden much longer. The Black Lives Matter riots and the onset of summer broke the #StayHome taboos, and medically, the lockdowns had been useless efforts to meet a fake crisis of hospital overflows.
America, like too many other countries, put the experts in charge and they failed. Miserably.
Democrats claimed that they were superior because they were "listening to the science." They weren't listening to the science, which is not an oracle and does not give interviews. Instead, they were obeying a class of officials, some of whom weren't even medical professionals, who impressed elected officials and the public with statistical sleight of hand. And little else.
The entire lockdown to testing to reopening pipeline that we adopted wholesale was a typical bureaucratic and corporate exercise, complete with the illusion of metrics and goals, that suffered from all the typical problems of bureaucracy, academia, and corporate culture.
The system that determines reopenings and closings is an echo chamber that measures its own functioning while having little to do with the real world. Testing has become a cargo cult exercise that confuses the map with the world, and the virus with the spreadsheet. It gamifies fighting the pandemic while dragging entire countries into an imaginary world based on its invented rules.
When the media reports a rise or decrease in positive tests, it's treated as if it's an assessment of the virus, rather than an incomplete data point that measures its own measurements.
The daily coronavirus reports have become the equivalent of Soviet harvest reports. They sound impressive, mean absolutely nothing, and are the pet obsession of a bureaucracy that not only has no understanding of the problem, but whose grip on power has made it the problem.
The smarter medical professionals understand that the theories have failed, while the administrators who put the theories into practice confused their system with science. The politicians listen to the administrators and when they tell us to trust the science, they mean the bureaucracy. The medical professionals can't and won't backtrack now. It's too late.
The best and brightest spent the worst part of a year shuffling rationales like a gambler's trick deck, wrecked the economy, and sent tens of thousands of infected patients into nursing homes to infect the residents, accounting for at least a third of the national coronavirus death toll.
Like most national leadership disasters, it was a combination of misjudgment, understandable mistakes, tragic errors, and acts of incomprehensible stupidity or unmitigated evil.
A lot of people are dead, a lot more are out of work, and the problem is far from solved. Someone will have to be blamed and they certainly don't want it to be themselves.
The lockdown and the rule of the public health experts have become too big to fail.
Mistakes were made, as the saying goes. Projections were built based on bad and incomplete data. Everyone followed the path of least resistance by doing what China had done. And everyone in the system, from the experts to the administrators to the politicians to the media, is complicit. That makes the massive error the world has been living under too big to fail.
There are only two choices left. Admit the magnitude of the mistake or find someone to blame.
The establishment that touted the experts is blaming its political and cultural enemies, the people it has been priming the public to see as strange, selfish, irrational, and dangerous. And also the very people who have been the loudest opponents of lockdown culture.
Given a choice between admitting the system was wrong or blaming the system's failure on its critics, the establishment has followed the same pattern as every authoritarian leftist regime.
The lockdowns didn't fail, they were failed by conservative Christians and Jews, by President Trump, by people who were too selfish to give up their lives, businesses, and religion for the greater good. And if only they had, the coronavirus would be gone and everything would be fine.
The China Model promised something that its proponents quickly knew it couldn't deliver. Everything since then has been a scam to cover up the original quackery and hackery. The louder they blame critics and dissenters for the failure, the more obvious the coverup becomes.
Lockdown culture needs patsies to take the fall for why it didn't work. Like every leftist social and economic experiment, its defenders are left to argue that it was never properly tried. If only it weren't for Trump, and for the dissenters, for the Chassidic Jews in Brooklyn, for Christian weddings in San Francisco and Maine, for gyms, bars, and beaches, it would have worked.
Yet the simple truth is that the China Model hasn't worked in any country that isn't China.
It doesn't matter who the leader or the ruling party are, whether the public wore or didn't wear masks—the resurgence is not a political phenomenon, science doesn't speak and the virus doesn't listen. But of all the countries in the world, America was especially ill-fitted to adopt an authoritarian public health model. The sheer size, openness, and diversity of the country makes us unique and should have made it abundantly obvious that no such system would work.
Anyone but an expert or administrator would have understood that these plans were doomed.
But what the system failed to accomplish in battling the virus, it made up for by providing the leadership that had enacted it with a wonderful opportunity to settle its political scores.
The lockdowns don't exist anymore as a prophylactic policy but as a political vendetta. The more people die, the more businesses are ruined, the more everyone suffers, the more vicious the vendetta grows as it hunts for scapegoats, political and religious, for the great error of terror.
Leftist regimes turn to political terror as their policies fail. When the idealism dies, and the theories fall apart, the organizers pursue misery for the sake of misery, using fear, deprivation, and hate to maintain their grip on power while crushing the political threats to their rule.
The rule of the experts isn't fighting the virus. It has become the virus.
Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.
Jerusalem to house new museum celebrating Jewish heritage
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Israel21C via JNS By Abigail Klein Leichman
Empty for 12 years, a former orphanage will be transformed into Beit HaKehillot museum and community center dedicated to Jewish heritage.
For a dozen years, Jerusalem's landmark Schneller Compound on Malchei Yisrael Street has lain dormant and abandoned.
Now, the 19th-century cluster of edifices is undergoing a massive renovation to become Beit HaKehillot (House of the Communities), an interactive Jewish heritage museum and cultural center.
"This isn't going to be another boring museum filled with artifacts you forget about after 10 minutes. It will be a celebration of Jewish culture that will leave visitors feeling excited about being a part of the Jewish nation," says Hanan Benayahu, director of Kehillot Yisrael Institute.
He tells ISRAEL21c that the future museum aims to bring to life inspiring historical events, stories and folklore representing "the radical ideas and core values that Jews brought to the world throughout the diaspora" and how those ideas and values united and strengthened the widespread communities.
"Their culture wasn't just gefilte fish and cholent," says Benayahu. "For 2,000 years, they connected to each other and influenced one another, and came up with ways to handle all kinds of situations, not just antisemitism but also issues like encroaching modernity."
For the past 50 years, Kehillot Yisrael has been collecting what Benayahu says is the largest private archive of original Jewish manuscripts, letters, books, songs and stories. The institute has digitally documented 1.8 million pages, certificates and historical documents, and published more than 700 books.
"We all have roots from different communities, but do we have any idea how to connect to those roots? Being able to experience the richness of each community—its customs, literature, poetry art, music, liturgy and folktales—will create a sense of connection, no matter where your family came from."
A time capsule of history
German Protestant missionary Johann Ludwig Schneller built the first building in the Schneller Compound in 1860 by to care for Syrian orphans. The campus gradually was expanded to include a school for the blind, several factories, a printing press, pottery workshops, dormitories, stables and more.
In 1940, British forces deported all German personnel and turned the compound into a closed military camp containing the largest ammunition stockpile in the Middle East. The building changed hands again in 1948 after the British abandoned the camp.
The Haganah—the precursor to the Israel Defense Forces—used it as a base of operations during Israel's War of Independence. The Schneller Compound continued to serve as an IDF base until 2008.
Meanwhile, a bathhouse, winery and other structures dating from the Second Temple and early Roman period have been discovered around the compound. And the restoration and excavation work inside the compound has revealed evidence of a Turkish bathhouse and several ancient wells.
"The Schneller Compound is a virtual time capsule of a 150-year period in Jerusalem's history," said Moshe Shapiro, lead architect for the project.
"It contains the story of the Jewish people, from the time of the destruction of Jerusalem to pre-state, British, the underground, and more. This new project, housed in what was formerly a non-Jewish building, honors Jewish heritage and culture and closes the circle."
The construction project is expected to take approximately two years.
Skimmers, swimmers, deep divers
The museum is being designed by Berenbaum Jacobs Associates (BJA), which creates digital-media installations, original video content and advanced AR+VR experiences for museums, special exhibitions, visitor attractions and memorials across the globe. The firm has offices in Israel, New Jersey and California.
BJA partner and project designer Edward Jacobs tells ISRAEL21c that the design will focus on engaging school-aged visitors "who want to understand why a museum of Jewish heritage is relevant to their lives. Cutting-edge technology is just one part of that."
He wants all types of museum patrons—he calls them "skimmers, swimmers and deep divers—to go through together and experience the various elements at the level each one desires.
Beit HaKehillot will offer augmented reality glasses rather than VR headsets, Jacobs says. "I hate headsets because they take away the exceedingly important social element of experiencing the space together."
He envisions the journey beginning with a ride in "a crazy huge elevator with walls of liquid crystal" leading down into an ancient water cistern where a film will introduce "all the 'radical' ideals first promulgated by the Jews, like human equality and environmental awareness."
Benayahu says Beit HaKehillot will complement, not compete with, Beit Hatfutsot-The Museum of the Jewish People (formerly called the Diaspora Museum) on the campus of Tel Aviv University, which opened in 1978 as "the National Center for Jewish communities in Israel and around the world."
Another project in the works is World's Jewish Museum, expected to open in 2023 to highlight major Jewish achievements in modern history.
Designed by world-renowned Jewish architect Frank Gehry, World's Jewish Museum proposes to become a starting point for a Tel Aviv "Avenue of the Museums" like Museum Mile in New York City. It will encompass the Eretz Yisrael Museum, the Rabin Center, the Palmach Museum, Beit Hatfutsot and the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History.
To learn more about the Beit HaKehillot project or get involved, click here.
Caption: Concept for a room in the Beit HaKehillot Jewish heritage museum in Jerusalem. Illustration: courtesy of BJA Associates.
We will read the first portion from the book of Genesis - בראשית (B'RESHIT).
It starts with the verse:
BE'RESHIT BARAH ELOHIM ET HASHAMAYIM VE'ET HA'ARETZ.
Thus, our initial understanding is that Heaven and Earth were the first creation of this universe.
But, let us examine the first verse more thoroughly.
This opening sentence is constructed of seven Hebrew words.
In Judaism number seven (7) is recognized as a very special number. It is a number that speaks of spiritual completeness and fullness.
Now let's look at the first verse even more closely.
The fourth word את (ET) is an untranslatable word.
It is a unique Hebrew preposition not having an equivalent one in many other languages.
The unique thing about this word is that it actually consists of two Hebrew letters: the Aleph and the Tav.
The aleph-tav (את) does serve a grammatical purpose in that it points to the direct object of the sentence.
Let us now read gain the first verse:
BE'RESHIT BARAH ELOHIM ET..
In the beginning God created ET
According to Kabbalah, in the inner layer of the Torah these two letters do not actually form the word את (ET), but rather they express a certain perspective and understanding of the process of the world creation.
The aleph (א) is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and the tav (ת) is the last letter of the alphabet.
The placement of these two very significant letters at strategic locations within many sentences of the Hebrew Scriptures expresses a total completeness.
It is equivalent to saying "from a to z, from first to last, from beginning to end."
Thus, one can interpret the beginning of the first verse as:
"In the beginning G-d created the aleph-tav (first to last letters…)".
In other words, it means that the very first creation was the entire Hebrew alphabet.
Then, God proceeded with the creation of everything else in the universe using the spiritual Hebrew letters as the building blocks of everything in the entire creation.
See you tomorrow bli neder
We need Mosiach now!
Love Yehuda Lave
Yehuda Lave, Spirtiual Advisor and Counselor
Jerusalem, Jerusalem Israel
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