Breaking news: Vaccine is 98.9% protective against death caused by COVID, Health Ministry says and what businesses and museums and hotels are opening today 02/21/21 and BIBI-Three reasons you need to get vaccinated NOW! and Technion to award Pfizer CEO honorary doctorate for coronavirus vaccine and Gene Wilder On His First & Only Argument With Mel Brooks - "Late Night With Conan O'Brien" and Ten of the most beautiful buildings in Jerusalem and mind-blowing facts
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.
BiBi: I want to turn to the 570,000 people over the age of 50 who have not yet been vaccinated," Netanyahu said shortly after Slazzen received his shot. "Almost 100% of the dead and seriously ill are part of this group."
There are three reasons to get vaccinated, he said.
The first is the danger of non-immunization, Netanyahu said.
"When you do not go to get vaccinated because of this little sting, which is meaningless – in the worst-case scenario there are side effects of discomfort that last a few hours – you take on the risk of death and the danger of serious illness with lifelong effects," he said.
The second is that Israel is now opening up its "green passport" program, Netanyahu said.
"Those who get vaccinated will be able to go out and enjoy theater, movies, sports events, flights abroad, restaurants and more," he said.
Thirdly, by vaccinating, "not only are you saving yourself, but if you are not going to get vaccinated, many will fall seriously ill, and then you will challenge our hospitals and we will have to impose a new closure," Netanyahu said.
"Save your life and allow us to come back to life," he said. "Go get vaccinated. Please, do it now and we will get out of the coronavirus – not with a green passport, not with any passport."
Health Ministry data show that there is a shift taking place, whereby more younger people are being hospitalized, and some are in serious condition.
As of Tuesday night, there were 32 people under the age of 30 were hospitalized with serious cases of COVID-19, the Health Ministry reported. Eleven of them were intubated.
"There is an alarming and significant increase in the number of young, severe patients in the coronavirus wards," Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba said in a statement.
Vaccine is 98.9% protective against death caused by COVID, Health Ministry says
The Health Ministry says its latest data shows the vaccine is 98.9% effective at preventing death caused by COVID-19.
The vaccine is 99.2% protective against serious illness, reduces morbidity by 95.8% and decreases the chance of hospitalization by 98.9%.
The data represents Israelis who have received both doses of the vaccine, 14 days after their second dose, versus people who have not received any inoculation.
The data is representative of findings up to February 13, the Health Ministry says
The Three Musketeers at the Kotel
Coronavirus: What opens on Sunday? The full list
The government approved the coronavirus cabinet's recommendations on Friday to open up more of Israel on Sunday, February 21.
The coronavirus cabinet voted last week to move to stage two of the country's exit plan, allowing more children to return to their classrooms and additional opportunities for commerce. Part of the exit strategy is the rollout of the green passport for people who have been vaccinated or have recovered from coronavirus. A green passport will be required to enter certain places and to participate in certain activities.
Starting Sunday, children in grades 5-6 and 11-12 will return to school. In addition, cultural and sporting events, gyms, swimming pools, and hotels will resume activities.
On Friday, the government approved the coronavirus cabinet's plans and several small additions. The Prime Minister's Office and the Health Ministry provided the details of the plan, including a list of fines to which establishments will be subjected if they break the rules.
Here is what life will look like in Israel on Sunday, February 21:
* Fifth and sixth grades and 11th and 12th grades in green and yellow zones, and in places classified as "light orange" with a grade of no more than seven according to the traffic-light model and at least 70% of people over the age 50 vaccinated - open
* Classrooms for new immigrants who need to learn Hebrew - open
* Post-high school technology programs in accordance with regulations from the Education and Health ministries, including those for youth-at-risk - open
* Groups of up to 20 students - allowed to study in an open area, regardless of traffic-light score
* Activities of members of youth groups and organizations - allowed to occur in an open space, also up to 20 children
* Extracurricular activities provided by outside providers - can resume in preschools
* Day trips within the educational framework - permitted
* Boarding schools, such as seminaries, can operate as they did before the lockdown, in groups of up to 19 students with staff and service providers allowed to enter, exit without restriction
Places that will operate without requiring a green passport:
1 - Mall and marketplaces
* One person per 15 square meters; operators must install a digital counter to ensure not too many people enter the mall
* Two to five "coronavirus trustees" must wander the mall and ensure regulations are being adhered to
* Malls must work to prevent crowds in central areas or at the entrance to stores
* Eating will be forbidden in the mall, there will be no tables and chairs for eating in the mall area, access to tables that are attached to the floor will be prevented; owner will hang signs cautioning people not to eat
* Food stalls - forbidden
* Entrances, exits will be separated to the extent that is possible
* Efforts will be made to air out the mall at least three times per hour
2 - Street shops
* Up to one person per seven square meters.
3 - Places used for training professional athletes, according to Purple Ribbon standards
4 - Libraries
5 - Museums
* Visitors must book in advance
* Guided tours - up to 10 people
* Museum routes mapped so as not too allow too much overlap between visitors
* Coronavirus monitor will circle the premises and ensure there is no crowding and that all other Health Ministry guidelines are being followed
6 - Zoos, safaris and tourist attractions in open areas, one person for every 15 square meters
Places opening but requiring a green passport:
1 - Gyms
* Devices should be spaced at least two meters apart
* Customers must inform the gym of when they are coming in advance
* Sauna, jacuzzi - closed
* Strict disinfection rules
2 - Culture and sports
* Up to 75% of the maximum capacity, but no more than 300 people inside and 500 outside
* Sitting during events only - no dancing or eating
* Seating will be spaced and marked
* In order settings, chairs should be placed two meters apart and divided into capsules of 20 people, divided by physical markers or barriers
* Distance between audience and stage - no less than four meters
* Masks - required during the whole event
* Food - forbidden, though personal drinking bottles will be allowed
* Complex must include at least two entrances
* Entry and exit will be conducted gradually
* Regular disinfection - required
* One usher per 50 attendees to remind people to follow the rules, signage must also be prominent
3 - Pools and mikvahs [ritual baths] for men
* One person per seven square meters outside the water and one to six inside
* Requirements for regular disinfection
* Food - forbidden
* Saunas or jacuzzis - closed
4 - Hotels
* Rooms only, open to anyone who is vaccinated or recovered from coronavirus and children under 16 with a negative coronavirus test result taken within 48 hours of arrival
* Dining rooms closed
5 - Synagogues
* Only those registered by the local authorities as following the green passport program
* Up to 50% capacity if there are fixed seats, otherwise one person per seven square meters - no more than 300 maximum
* A green passport certificate will be hung at the entrance to the synagogue
* Food - prohibited
* Social distancing of at least two meters between prayer goers required and at least one chair between people who do not live together
* Regular disinfection
* Operating a place in violation of government regulations - up to NIS 10,000
* Allowing a person who is not vaccinated to enter a green-passport establishment - NIS 1,000
* Failing to hang a green passport sign - NIS 3,000
* For malls - not placing enough monitors - NIS 5,000
* For malls - placing dining tables or not preventing access to them - NIS 5,000
* For malls - allowing food stalls to operate - NIS 2,500
* Failing to place a sign reminding visitors they cannot eat on premise - NIS 5,000
A green passport can be downloaded through the Health Ministry's special traffic-light website, accessed through the Apple or Google Play stores or can be emailed or mailed to its owner by calling *5400.
Last week, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein warned last week that people who try to forge a green passport will face criminal charges and may even be jailed.
"Anyone who thinks it is a child's game and will print a certificate even though he has not been vaccinated will eventually be caught and this activity could also end with a jail term," Edelstein said.
Over the weekend, the coronavirus cabinet also approved designating the Dead Sea resort area as a "green island" again. The move allows the hotels to re-open in full for both people who are vaccinated and those who can present a negative coronavirus test result from within the last 24 hours. The hotels will also accept people who can show they have had coronavirus and recovered.
The green island designation is specific to hotels in the Ein Bokek and Hamei Zohar areas. Reservations are required in advance.
In contrast, late Thursday night, the government voted to extend the closure on Israel's airport for another two weeks, until March 6. Up to 2,000 people can enter the country each day with special permission from the government's exemption committee.
The next stage of Israel's exit strategy is supposed to begin two weeks later, so long as the country's infection rate continues to decline and more people get vaccinated.
A kiss stimulates 29 muscles and chemicals that cause relaxation. Women like light and frequent kisses while men like more strenuous kisses.
A woman blinks nearly twice as often as a man.
A tear contains a natural pain killer called enkephalin, which reduces pain and improves your mood.
Your stomach's digestive juice hydrochloric acid can dissolve metals.
Your eyes can distinguish up to 7.5 million different colors.
Your skin's outer layer epidermis sheds every 2-4 weeks, amounting to roughly 0.7 kg of dead skin in a year.
Your body is made up of 0.2 kgs of bacteria, and up to 1 billion bacteria can grow on each tooth.
If you were to spread out all the wrinkles in your brain, it would be about the size of a pillowcase.
If all the DNA in your body were uncoiled and stretched, it would stretch out to about 10 billion miles, which is from Earth to Pluto and back.
Grapes explode when you put them in the microwave.
Blueberries will not ripen until they are picked.
Coconut water can be used as blood plasma.
A hard-boiled egg will spin, but a soft boiled egg will not.
Honey is the only food that never spoils.
Chewing gum burns about eleven calories per hour.
On average, a person waits for at least six months in traffic jams.
At any time at least one percent of the world's population is drunk.
Ten of the most beautiful buildings in Jerusalem
Israel21C via JNS By Danya Belkin
From the Dome of the Rock to Yad Vashem, these iconic structures in the Israeli capital represent a myriad of styles and eras.
Jerusalem is full of beautiful buildings—everywhere you walk, both old and new, religious and secular, ancient and modern.
While everyone has favorites, ISRAEL21c chose these 10 to best represent a variety of unique structures from different eras.
The Israel Museum's Shrine of the Book
Located on the campus of the Israel Museum, the Shrine of the Book was designed by Armand Bartos and Frederic Kiesler to house the first seven Dead Sea Scrolls found in Qumran in 1947.
The structure represents the scrolls that it houses. The white dome reflects the lids of the jars in which the scrolls were found. The contrasting colors of white and black are intentional, to represent the tension of the scrolls.
Jerusalem International YMCA
The Jerusalem International YMCA, constructed in 1933 by Arthur Loomis Harmon (the same architect who built the Empire State Building), was created with visions of peace and unity among varying religions and political outlooks.
Architectural traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam were incorporated through elements of Byzantine, Romanesque, Gothic and neo-Moorish styles. The many columns and windows add to the building's beauty and the "secret" garden behind it is filled with a fountain and stunning architecturally pleasing canopies. The tall tower in the center stands out above the Jerusalem skyline.
Located in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City lies the historic Hurva Synagogue, built in 1864 in a Byzantine Revival style.
Destroyed during Israel's War of Independence in 1948, it was rebuilt in its original Ottoman design by Jerusalem architect Nahum Meltzer in 2010.
The domed roof is supported by massive pilasters. On the interior, the large Torah ark stands out with its ornamental gates. As one of the tallest structures in the Old City, the Hurva Synagogue can be seen from miles away.
Church of the Holy Sepulchre
The circa-4th century Church of the Holy Sepulchre is a pilgrimage center for Christians everywhere and a piece of chaotic architectural artwork.
Much of its holiness stems from the belief that it is the place of Jesus's crucifixion and burial.
What stands today is the work of the Crusaders in their reconstruction of the church in 1149 C.E. The church has been influenced by Greek Orthodox, Catholic and Armenian Orthodox styles.
The beautiful art, mosaics and decorations—and magnificent ceiling—that cover the interior instill a sense of magic in all who visit.
Dome of the Rock
One of the most iconic Jerusalem images, the brilliant gold-wrapped dome can be spotted from myriad places around the city.
Constructed from 685-691 C.E. at the order of Umayyad Caliph Abd Al-Marik, this structure was built as a religious focal point for his supporters and marked the foundation of Islamic-style architecture.
Wall and ceiling mosaics cover the interior of the Dome of the Rock, which sits where the two Jewish temples stood in antiquity. It is also thought to be the location of the Foundation Stone—the rock at the center of the mosque where it is said that God created the world and the first human beings.
The Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Center is an architectural masterpiece first established in 1953.
In 2005, its newest structural addition opened and was designed by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie. From the purposeful use of lighting to highlight and underscore the exhibits to the prism-like structure of the building, there is a sense of elegance and beauty that embodies this building.
The entire structure is composed of reinforced concrete and penetrates Mount Herzl, with both ends cantilevering into the open air.
Bridge of Strings (Chords Bridge)
Although not a building, this architecturally pleasing bridge was designed by the famous Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. It is one of the most noticeable sites when entering Jerusalem from the west.
Construction began in 2008, and the bridge entered service in 2011 as a carrier for the light rail and as a pedestrian/cycling path.
The high mast supported by steel cables makes for a unique, abstract structure that is open to interpretation. The tallest structure in Jerusalem at the time it was built, it is especially beautiful at night when it has its own light show.
Safra Square—Jerusalem City Hall
If you take a walk on Jaffa Road, you will come across Safra Square, home to Jerusalem's City Hall complex. The main building is a blend of post-modern architecture and incorporates traditional Mamluk style.
The square itself is an open space typically used for community events. Weekly tours of Safra Square are available at no cost, in English.
Tower of David (Citadel)
Located near Jaffa Gate, this historic citadel and former medieval fortress contains archaeological finds dating back 2,500 years. The structure was built by Herod the Great as a palace and fortress, and was built and rebuilt many times over the years.
Most recently, this structure was converted into the Tower of David Museum, showcasing the history of the city.
Built from Jerusalem stone (a pale limestone-like stone used since ancient times), this structure is a classic historical building. The old, archaic look of the building adds to its beauty. The main tower sticks out above the rest of the structure and was used as a lookout point.
The Supreme Court
This impressive structure houses the chambers for 15 justices and serves as Israel's High Court of Appeal as well as High Court of Justice. Its outer beauty does not fall short of suggesting its importance.
The building was donated to Israel by Jewish philanthropist Dorothy de Rothschild and opened in 1992. The structure was designed by the brother-sister team of Ram Karmi and Ada Karmi-Melamede, who won a design competition in which 180 architectural firms from Israel and around the world vied for the opportunity.
The Supreme Court contains three main sections: a square library wing, a rectangular administrative wing and a wing with five courtrooms. The geometric shapes were inspired by biblical metaphors and influenced by ideals of justice, truth, law, charity and mercy.
During non-coronavirus times, free daily tours of the building are offered in English. Meanwhile, take a virtual tour here.
This article was first published by ISRAEL21C.
Caption: The Shrine of the Book at the Israel Museum. Photo by Danya Belkin.
Technion to award Pfizer CEO honorary doctorate for coronavirus vaccine
This is an emotional closure for me," says Albert Bourla, the son of Holocaust survivors from Thessaloniki.
The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology will be awarding an honorary doctorate to Pfizer CEO and chairman Dr. Albert Bourla for his "extraordinary achievement" in leading the record-time development of a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, Technion President Professor Uri Sivan announced this month.
"Dr. Bourla headed the trailblazing effort to develop a vaccine against the coronavirus," explained Sivan. "In his 27 years with Pfizer, Dr. Bourla promoted multiple areas within the company, among them technological innovation," said Sivan. "[His] family history, as a son of Holocaust survivors from Thessaloniki, is a symbol of the remarkable vitality of the Jewish people, their liveliness, and their capacity for renewal in the wake of the Holocaust."
Bourla said he was "moved and honored" to hear that he would be receiving a degree from "such an important and historical institution as the Technion. In my youth, I considered studying at the Technion; this is an emotional closure for me," he said.
This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.
Caption: Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla.
Gene Wilder On His First & Only Argument With Mel Brooks - "Late Night With Conan O'Brien"
(Original airdate: 04/29/05) Gene talks about "Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory," his first and only fight with Mel Brooks, and his chemistry with Richard Pryor. Watch more classic clips @ https://conanclassic.com.