The Great Rabbi Akiva Tatz debunks the conspiracy theories against the Vaccine and says you need to take the Vaccine and Rav Mohilever And The Origins Of Modern Rabbinic Zionism By Saul Jay Singer and TAU, IAA in Research Revealing Evidence of Trade between India and Israel 3,700 Years Ago By David Israel and Mladenov Resigns from the United Nations By Hana Levi Julian and The Juice Keepers: Technion Students Use Viruses to Stop Juice from Spoiling By Hana Levi Julian and Parsha Bo and some end of the year jokes
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.
My Goal was to lose 10 pounds. Only have 14 to go.
Ate salad for dinner. Mostly croutons and tomatoes. Really just one big round crouton covered with tomato sauce, and cheese. FINE, it was a pizza.... OK, I ate a pizza! Are you happy now?
Senility has been a smooth transition for me.
Remember back when we were kids and every time it was below zero outside they closed school? Yeah, Me neither.
I love approaching 80, I learn something new every day and forget 5 other things.I think I'll just put an "Out of Order" sticker on my forehead and call it a day.
Just remember, once you're over the hill you begin to pick up speed. It's weird being the same age as old people. When I was a kid I wanted to be older…this is not what I expected. Chocolate is God's way of telling us he likes us a little bit chubby. It's probably my age that tricks people into thinking I'm an adult.
Marriage Counselor: Your wife says you never buy her flowers. Is that true? Him: To be honest, I never knew she sold flowers.
Never sing in the shower! Singing leads to dancing, dancing leads to slipping, and slipping leads to paramedics seeing you naked. So remember…Don't sing!
I see people about my age mountain climbing; I feel good getting my leg through my underwear without losing my balance.
So if a cow doesn't produce milk, is it a milk dud or an udder failure?
If you can't think of a word say "I forgot the English word for it." That way people will think you're bilingual instead of an idiot.
I'm at a place in my life where errands are starting to count as going out.
Cronacoaster: noun; the ups and downs of a pandemic. One day you're loving your bubble, doing workouts, baking banana bread and going for long walks. The next you're crying, drinking gin for breakfast and missing people you don't even like.
Don't be worried about your smartphone or TV spying on you. Your vacuum cleaner has been collecting dirt on you for years.
I don't always go the extra mile, but when I do it's because I missed my exit.
You don't realize how old you are until you sit on the floor and then try to get back up.
We all get heavier as we get older, because there's a lot more information in our heads.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it
The Portion of Bo
Unleavened Bread and Bitter Herbs in the Exodus from Egypt
The plagues fall upon Egypt one after one- each from a different direction and each more destructive than its predecessor. But Pharaoh does not give in. He remains adamant in his intransigence even while his own people suffer.
With the plague of darkness Pharaoh finally seems ready to concede: "And Pharaoh called to Moses and said "Go worship G-d" (Exodus 10;24)".
Moses' response "And also our cattle will go with us; not a single] hoof will remain... (Exodus 10;26)".
Pharaoh becomes irritated and says to Moses "You shall no longer see my face… (Exodus 10;28)".
At this stage comes the Almighty's command to observe the Passover sacrifice while still in Egypt- before the exodus.
And on the very night when all the Israelites are assembled in their homes and eating of the sacrifice, the Egyptians suffer the deaths of their firstborn and Pharaoh orders the Children of Israel to leave Egypt posthaste. With no time remaining for the dough to rise they take it together with the remains of the sacrifice and the bitter herbs on their shoulders and prepare to leave Egypt (Rashi on the verse).
The letter "reish" in the word "misharotam" (leftovers) (Exodus 12;34) is written with two "horns", alluding to the leftovers of the matzah and maror of the very first Passover sacrifice celebrated in Egypt even before the plague of the slaying of the firstborn.
I've also emphasized the letter "lamed" in the word "besimlotam" (their garments) for perhaps this too is related but I have not found a source for this.
The Juice Keepers: Technion Students Use Viruses to Stop Juice from Spoiling
Students at the Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, The Technion, have harnessed a virus — a bacteriophage — found in the environment of fruit trees to prevent spoilage of fruit juices – a phenomenon that causes tens of millions of dollars' worth of damage each year.
The development earned the students from the Technion's Faculties of Biotechnology & Food Engineering, and Biology first prize in a competition held as part of the MicroBiome-Push project conducted within "Food Solutions", an educational program of the European food consortium, EIT Food.
Professor Marcelle Machluf, dean of the Faculty of Biotechnology and Food Engineering, said, "International projects such as this are the very essence of the Faculty and its way of teaching future generations to think outside the box, to be entrepreneurial, and to broaden the knowledge we are able to provide in the classroom."
The international competition was held in the framework of the MicroBiome-Push project, which is part of the Food Solutions educational program. The goal was to solve problems in the food sector by connecting companies in the food industry (PepsiCo, Puratos and Agricolus) with undergraduate and graduate students from four universities – the Technion, the University of Turin in Italy, the University of Reading in the UK, and the University of Helsinki in Finland. Nine groups of students competed, including two from the Technion.
The two Technion groups chose challenges posed by the global PepsiCo corporation.
The first was to solve the problem of spoilage of fruit juices, while the second was to utilize the potato peels that are left over from the production of potato chips.
The groups were accompanied by four mentors from the Faculty of Biotechnology and Food Engineering: Professor Yoav Livney, who headed the Technion's activity in the project, Professor Yechezkel Kashi, Assistant Professor Avi Shpigelman, and Associate Professor Uri Lesmes.
According to the mentors, "The two Technion teams did an amazing job, and despite the limitations posed by COVID-19, they succeeded in creating original, effective solutions. What's more, they presented the viability of the ideas to the corporations and showed their inherent business potential."
Members of the winning team, the Microbes, are Itzik Engelberg, Alon Romano, Leechen Mashiah, and Rachel Bitton, and members of the second Technion group, Biomy, are Omer Sabbah, Yuping Kao, Or Shapira, Michael Buzaglo, and Lior Kaufman.
The Microbes chose to address the acute problem of spoilage of natural fruit juices, which in the US alone causes damage estimated at around $32 million each year. The culprit is ACB, or Alicyclobacillus acidoterrestris.
This bacterium, found in the ground in which fruit trees grow as well as in all parts of the tree itself, although not harmful to humans, releases a natural substance called guaiacol into the juice, spoiling its taste and smell.
This occurs in a broad variety of juices, including orange, mango, pear, grape, tomato, and others, and leads to the loss of large quantities of juice, as well as massive financial losses.
In the course of evolution, the bacterium has developed high resistance to hostile environmental conditions, enabling it to also survive the processes involved in juice production – cleaning, extraction, pasteurization, and filling.
As a rule, pasteurization is efficient in destroying bacteria that are harmful to health or adversely affect juice quality. But this is not the case with ACB, since the juice cannot be heated to higher pasteurization temperatures or for a longer time without compromising its quality and nutritional values.
PepsiCo has been looking for a creative solution that will prevent this harmful phenomenon.
"Since the problem has its origins in nature – a bacterium that lives in the soil – we looked for a natural solution," explain doctoral students and team members Alon Romano and Itzik Engelberg.
"After all, nature is a 'laboratory' that has been perfecting its solutions for billions of years, and our assumption was that solutions that developed in the evolutionary process could also serve us as a solution for dealing with the problem of ACB in the food industry."
After much searching and numerous analyses, the choice was a bacteriophage, a virus that infects bacteria naturally and in a very specific way.
Bacteriophages are abundant in nature, and following strenuous research, the group succeeded in isolating and identifying a bacteriophage that destroys the harmful bacteria. It takes just a small dose to efficiently eliminate the bacteria, and because it does so selectively, it is safe for use and it has no harmful effects on human health.
The fact that this is a natural, inexpensive solution that does not involve genetic engineering is expected to expedite the application of the technology in juices and to reduce the need for preservatives. Moreover, the addition of the virus to the juice does not affect it in terms of religious dietary laws – Jewish (kashrut) and Islamic (halal).
The second Technion group, Biomy, also tackled a far from simple challenge and developed the PotatALL concept, which includes a number of creative solutions for treating potato peels left over in the process of producing potato chips.
Team members presented a process to produce from the peels a raw material used to create eco-friendly packaging, as well as a dip made from potato peel. This comprehensive and creative solution also met with the judges' praise. The intention is for the dip to be served in small packs similar to ketchup, along with fries, and to package it in the eco-friendly packaging made from the peel. The solution provides a perfect way to fully utilize all parts of the potatoes while mitigating the environmental impact.
United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov has informed UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that when he concludes his service to the region on December 31 he will not be available to take up a role as UN envoy to Libya.
Mladenov cited "personal and family reasons" for his resignation, according to a statement by UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric.
The Middle East envoy was to replace Ghassan Salame, who stepped down as the UN Libya envoy this past March due to stress, according to the Reuters news agency.
Instead, Acting Libya envoy Stephanie Williams will continue in the position, Dujarric said.
Norwegian Tor Wennesland has been appointed to succeed Mladenov as the new UN Special Envoy to the Middle East.
TAU, IAA in Research Revealing Evidence of Trade between India and Israel 3,700 Years Ago
A new study by an international team that included researchers from Tel Aviv University and the Israel Antiquities Authority reveals that as early as the 16th century BCE there was significant global trade between India and Southeast Asia, and Israel. The trade included exotic foods such as soybeans, bananas, and turmeric – almost a thousand years before the first evidence of the presence of these foods in the Middle East.
The study focused on food scraps identified in the dental plaque of people buried in the 16th century BCE in Tel Megiddo in northern Israel, and the 11th century BCE in Tel Irani near Kiryat Gat in the south.
The remains of various foods were found in the teeth of these people, including food from Southeast Asia such as soybeans, bananas, and turmeric.
The study was conducted by Prof. Philipp Stockhammer of the University of Munich, and researchers from various institutions around the world including, from Tel Aviv University, Prof. Israel Finkelstein and Dr. Mario Martin of the Jacob Alkov Department of Archeology, and Dr. Yanir Milevsky and Dmitry Yagorov from the Department of Ancient Near Eastern Cultures at the Israel Antiquities Authority.
When we imagine the urban market in Megiddo 3,700 years ago, we think of local ingredients such as wheat, dates, and sesame, and, indeed, according to the researchers, ancient proteins and micro-fossils from these foods were found in the jaws of the ancient residents of the city. But with them were also found remnants of soybeans, bananas, and turmeric, and, according to the researchers, nowhere in the world has older evidence of soybeans, bananas, and turmeric been found outside of South and East Asia. The recent discovery predates their presence in the area of the Land of Israel and in the Mediterranean Basin by hundreds of years (turmeric) and even by a thousand years (soybeans).
This means that as early as the second millennium BCE, long-distance trade in exotic fruits, spices and oils existed between South Asia and the Land of Israel, through Mesopotamia or Egypt – suggesting globalization in the Bronze and Iron Ages. Of course, bananas would not have survived the journey from Southeast Asia to Megiddo, which suggests they were sold and consumed as dried fruit – very much like the lovely banana chips on your supermarket shelf.
"This is clear evidence of trade with Southeast Asia as early as the 16th century BCE, much earlier than the researchers have assumed so far," explains Prof. Finkelstein. "We discovered similar evidence for long-distance trade a few years ago in a study of molecular remains in pottery vessels from that period in Megiddo, a study that yielded evidence of vanilla root imports. But more is hidden than known in terms of details about the ways of trade and the manner of transferring the goods."
"In the excavation, we conducted at Tel Irani, we discovered, surprisingly, a cemetery from the Early Iron Age – about 3,100 years ago," said Dr. Yanir Milevsky and Dimitri Yagorov of the IAA. "In some of the graves we found families buried together – children buried next to their parents. Alongside the buried, we discovered burial offerings: bowls, jars, and jugs, buried with the dead in the belief that the vessels would be used by them in the next world. Animal bones were also found in some of the vessels, mainly sheep and goats, food for the dead. We intend to investigate these excavated vessels to examine whether in some of them there are remnants of bananas and sesame seeds, as found in the teeth of the buried. In addition, we are conducting research with Prof. Stockhammer with DNA testing to try and understand who these people were and where they came from."
Researchers believe soybeans were first domesticated in today's China in the seventh millennium BCE. The banana was first domesticated in New Guinea, in the fifth millennium BCE, and it arrived in West Africa 4,000 years later. But so far, no earlier spread of the fruit in the Middle East has been known.
The turmeric and soy proteins were found in the jaw of one man from Megiddo, and banana proteins in two jaws from Tel Irani, therefore it isn't known to what extent these foods were available to any consumer from any social class. But the researchers estimate that these were people who probably belonged to a relatively upper class in the city-state of Megiddo. This is evident in the structure of the tombs and the offerings placed in them.
In addition, the researchers found evidence of sesame consumption in the jaws from both Megiddo and Tel Arani, showing that sesame became a significant part of the local cuisine as early as the second millennium BCE.
"The study demonstrates the possibilities inherent in combining the exact and natural sciences in modern archaeological research," concludes Prof. Finkelstein. "Traditional archaeology, which can be called macro-archaeology, provides visible data, such as buildings, pottery, jewelry, and weapons. But a whole world of other data, of great importance, is revealed only under a microscope using advanced analytical methods."
Rav Mohilever And The Origins Of Modern Rabbinic Zionism
As a passionate Zionist and the founder of modern religious Zionism, Rav Samuel Mohilever (1824-1898) was at the forefront of the philosophy and theology of settling Eretz Yisrael, and it was his conception of Eretz Yisrael as a mercaz ruchani (spiritual center) that later became Mizrachi, the foundation of the modern religious Zionist movement.
Throughout his life, he was committed to the goals of attaining a deep attachment to the mitzvah of settling Eretz Yisrael; tolerating non-observant Jews as a prerequisite of achieving unity among the Jewish people; and rebuilding the Jewish homeland.
Rav Mohilever was attracted to the idea of settling Eretz Yisrael even before the infamous 1881 Russian pogroms but, in their wake, his efforts to that end became stronger. He traveled to Brody and Lvov to encourage the mass of refugees who fled Russia to make aliyah and to urge philanthropists to direct greater financial support to migration to Eretz Yisrael. He remained faithful to the importance of aliyah even after many Russian rabbis withdrew their support of Chovevei Tzion because the movement was headed by maskilim (modern Jewish intellectuals influenced by the Enlightenment).
Chovevei Tzion (literally "the lovers of Zion") was founded as a loose confederation in Eastern Europe to promote aliyah and advance Jewish agricultural development in EretzYisrael. Credited with building the foundations of modern Zionism, it became officially constituted as a group in 1884 when 34 delegates met at a historic conference in Kattowitz, Germany and elected Rav Mohilever as its first president.
As the leader of Chovevei Tzion, Rav Mohilever influenced Baron Edmond Rothschild to extend aid to the first settlement in Eretz Yisrael and convinced him to establish a settlement there for Jewish farmers arriving from Russia. As rav of Bialystok (1883-1898), he persuaded his community to settle in Petach Tikvah and, through his influence, a board of rabbis was appointed to ensure that the settlement work there was carried out in accordance with halacha.
In an important, but controversial, halachic decision, he ruled that Jewish farmers could work the land of Eretz Yisrael in 1889, a shemittah year. The Bible prohibits tilling the land on shemittah, so the Jews who had returned to Eretz Yisrael in the early 1880s and supported themselves primarily through the production and export of agricultural products – particularly wine and citrus fruits – theoretically were required to let their land lie fallow.
Most the leadership of Chovevei Tzion, however, argued that the entire "Eretz Yisrael project" would fail if Jewish farmers failed to work the land for an entire year, and Baron Rothschild threatened to pull his support for an enterprise that he believed would be destroyed through shemittah observance.
When the leading rabbinic authorities in EretzYisrael – Rav Shmuel Salant and Rav Yehoshua Leib Diskin – refused to issue any exception to permit farming work, the settlers turned to their religious leaders back in Europe and beseeched them, given the exigencies of the economy of Eretz Yisrael and as a matter of their very survival, to find a way around the strict shemittah laws.
The threat of the collapse of the Jewish settlements and the withdrawal of Baron Rothschild's support led to a meeting in Vilna of three preeminent European halachic authorities: Rav Yehoshua Trunk of Kutno, Rav Shmuel Zanvil Kleppfish of Warsaw, and Rav Mohilever of Bialystok. The three great rabbanim fashioned an exception, which came to be known as a heter mechirah, pursuant to which a one-year sale of Jewish farmland to non-Jews would be permitted as a means to bypass the shemittah prohibitions (which all halachic authorities agree only extend to working land in Eretz Yisrael owned by Jews).
This exception, on its face, was specifically designed to be temporary and conditioned on the approval of the great Rav Yitzchak Elchonon Spector who, in a long responsum, did approve. Nonetheless, the greater Jerusalem rabbinate, as well as most leading European rabbinic leaders, were passionately opposed to the heter mechirah, including most prominently the Brisker Rav, Rav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik; the Netziv, Rav Naftali Tzvi Yehuda Berlin of Volozhin; and Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch of Frankfurt. The use of the heter mechirah remains controversial to this day.
After speaking at the Chovevei Tzion conference in Odessa (1891), R. Mohilever went on to lead a group tour of Eretz Yisrael and, upon his return, he published an open letter in which he urged Jews to work toward the settlement of the land. He joined the World Zionist Organization upon its founding by Theodor Herzl and, though he could not attend the First Congress (1897) because of his old age and frail condition, his letter of greeting to the delegates was formally read at the Congress, which was one of its highlights.
In the last letter he wrote before his death, Rav Mohilever called upon the Jews of Russia to support the Jewish Colonial Trust, the first Zionist bank. Founded at the Second Zionist Congress and formally incorporated in London in 1899, it was intended to serve as the financial instrument of the Zionist Organization and to obtain capital and credit to help attain a charter for Eretz Yisrael.
Exhibited here is an original sketch of Rav Mohilever by fervent Zionist Herman Struck (1876-1944), considered one of the most important print artists of Germany and EretzYisrael in the first half of the 20th century. His favorite artistic technique was copper etching and its related processes, though he also was a master of the lithograph, and his artistic legacy originates from his love of the print medium as well as from his landscape and portrait drawings. He later turned to the use of color to represent the stark beauty of the Levant and to better reflect the ever-changing nuances of light in the landscapes of Eretz Yisrael.
Born into a rabbinical family in Vilna, R. Mohilever was ordained by the Volozhin Yeshiva (1842) before assuming rabbinic posts in his native Glebokie (1848), Szaki (1854), Suwalki (1860), and Radom (1868). In each place, his hallmark was total involvement in community affairs.
In his articles, which were published in Ha-Levanon, he stressed cooperation with the maskilim for the welfare of the community and demanded that the rabbinical leadership combine Torah with secular wisdom. He also notably attempted to unite rabbis and maskilim in response to the summons issued by the Russian Ministry of Education under Count Uvarov to attend an 1873 St. Petersburg conference to discuss the Russian plan to reform Jewish education.
In this handwritten 1892 letter on his embossed Bialystok letterhead, Rav Mohilever writes to Rabbi Chaim Yosef Yafeh (Jaffe) congratulating him on his marriage and discussing land in Eretz Yisrael:
Friday, eve of the Holy Sabbath 8th Teveth 5612
The honored one, friend of my soul, the industrious rav, your mouth is most sweet, and you are altogether lovely, who loves your Land with all your heart and soul, standing out among the many in your fear of G-d, Chayim Yosef Yafeh, may your light shine and to all that is yours, much peace and blessing.
I have received your precious correspondence with deep pleasure. I have drunk from your tidings that you have found a wife, found a good thing in all the particulars, may G-d consent that you and she live in pleasance and quietude to long days. Likewise, I am praying that G-d in His mercy send speedy, swift and complete healing to his dear son Yesha'yah, may he live amongst all the other sick Jews, amen! – Regarding what you wrote to me that the clerk there will not set his eye upon him. What can I know from afar? For as it seems to me that there is. In particular, a hospital and a physician and a department certainly is there. Also, surely your son-in-law, the perfect Mr. Horwitz, is in the Holy Land. And when he writes to the clerk in Zichron Yaakov, there is no doubt that the clerk will heed his words.
As to the matter of the lands that they purchased in the Holy Land. I have already received letters from my honored and exalted friend R. Moshe Bramson, may his light shine, and the fellows of his society in Kaunas [Kovno]. Also, from the society in Riga. I have already written in this matter to the committee in Odessa and shall hope that it will all be peacefully settled, even though perhaps it will drag on some more time. Is not the Land of Israel one of the things that come through tribulations? But hope to G-d that the ban by the government of Turkey against the coming of our brethren the children of Israel through the gates of the Holy Land will soon expire.
And, thus, I am your friend who pursues your well-being and wisher of your success.
Rav Jaffe (1845-1898), the "Maggid of Vekshne," was one of the founders of the Chovevei Tzion and a renowned orator in Vilna on behalf of the movement. Moshe Bramson was a political activist who represented the Jews of Kovno at the Chovevei Tzion Congress at Kattowitz (1884).
Much to the chagrin of the local Arabs, the First Aliyah, which began in 1881 and lasted until about 1903, brought about 30,000 Jews, mostly from Eastern Europe and Yemen, to Eretz Yisrael. In discussing the Ottoman ban on Jewish immigration and his fervent hope that the Turkish government would reverse course on its anti-aliyah policy, R. Mohilever was almost certainly referring to the petition sent only a few months earlier by a group of Arab notables to the central Ottoman government in Istanbul calling for the cessation of Jewish immigration and the end of all land sales to Jews.
Exhibited here is the original tragic public notice by the gabbaim (managers) of Sha'arei Torah announcing the death of R. Mohilever.
"And Samuel died, and all of Israel gathered to mourn him." [I Samuel 25:1] On the death of our faithful shepherd, the leader of our nation, Will eulogize and cry with mourning distress, all lovers of Zion and our holy land, will howl with broken spirit and tears that flow like water.
The announcement goes on to proclaim a gathering on the 2nd of Tammuz, 1898 (the originally scheduled printed date, which was overwritten, was for three days later) at 11:00 for a eulogy to be delivered by Rav Naftali Hertz Halevi on the great loss sustained by the Jewish people and Eretz Yisrael. The document closes with "He who comforts Zion and Jerusalem will comfort all who mourn [R. Mohilever's] loss."
A disciple of the Maharil Diskin, Rav Naftali Hertz HaLevi Weidbaum (1852-1902) made aliyah in 1884 from his native Lithuania to Jerusalem, where he lectured at the Degel Torah Yeshiva and taught classes on Kabbalah which were attended by the leading Lithuanian Kabbalists at the time. In 1886, Rav Shmuel Salant appointed him to the rabbinate of Jaffa and settlements in Eretz Yisrael, and he became the first rav of the Ashkenazi community in Jaffa.
R. Mohilever was buried in the Bagnowka Cemetery, which he had established in 1892 as Chief Rabbi of Bialystok. However, in 1991, almost a century after his death, his remains were exhumed and reburied in Israel. A large funeral was held on November 10, 1991, and was attended by a Knesset delegation, Chief Rabbi Avraham Shapira, an Orthodox youth delegation, and about 1,000 people from across Eretz Yisrael.
Gan Shmuel, a kibbutz established in 1913 in northern Israel east of Chadera, was named for him.