Breaking news: Too Good to be true: This Just In: Corona Czar Says Facemasks Not Necessary Outdoors--still required but not enforced whatever that means By David Israel and Jewish muscleman who likely inspired the creators of Superman and Abrahamic Summit? The Real Reason No Jews Attended the Pope’s Interfaith Meeting in Iraq and The Emancipation of Texas by Jeffrey A. Tucker and A wonderful walking tour with Shalom Pollack next Monday the Ides of March (15th)
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.
The law faculty at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem argued in a position paper that regulating vaccination "is a matter of public health, and not a private medical issue".
Existing Israeli laws grant the health ministry the legal authority to impose restrictions on the unvaccinated, and even to obligate vaccination in certain cases, the position paper says.
"Those who fulfil their obligation to vaccinate should not be asked to bear the cost of others choosing not to," said David Enoch, a professor in the philosophy of law at Hebrew University.
A wonderful walking tour with Shalom Pollack next Monday the Ides of March (15th)
Jaffa Gate 10:00 Finish, approx 4:00 120 shekels After learning interesting things about the Jaffa Gate area, we will walk to Mount Zion. There, we will visit the wonderfully refurbished Tomb of David and other sites in the vicinity. We will have an unusual opportunity to meet with an Armenian resident of the Armenian Quarter. We will learn about this ancient and unique community that has found refuge in our midst. We continue to the City of David where we shall visit the newest excavations and revelations in what are the very roots of historic Yerushalayim and the seat of the Jewish Monarchy. After learning about the wonders of the past and witnessing the Tanach unfold before us, we shall enter a "time machine" that will take us to the year 2021 and have the honor of meeting Jewish pioneers in their homes where David once lived They are returning the Jewish people to the seat of the Jewish kingdom for own "third Jewish Commonwealth". These pioneers are blazing the way for Am Yisrael back to our earliest roots, despite the enormous difficulties and challenges that they overcome. This is a classic day of the "past, present, and future" of Am Yisroel in Yerushalayim. Not to be missed! What a country!!
The Three Musketeers at the Kotel
Breakking news: Too Good to be true: This Just In: Corona Czar Says Facemasks Not Necessary Outdoors
By David Israel
Corona Czar Prof. Nachman Ash on Sunday told Reshet Bet radio that "it will be possible to give up the facemasks outside – their importance there is low."
He explained: "In such places, the importance of the masks is much lower and can be waived. The point here is not to create further confusion – where to wear and where not to – so the rules remain, but the police are not going to enforce it. In general, enforcement will be aimed at isolation, especially for people returning from abroad."
"We want at least at this point, when we don't know the degree of protection of the vaccine against infection, to maintain an additional safety factor, which is the masks, the social distance, and the rules regarding hygiene," Ash added.
"Over the coming week we will see the effects of Purim on the morbidity," the Czar said. "We are preparing for this mentally and preparing for the fast of Ramadan," he explained
When asked if a night curfew would be imposed on Passover, similar to last Purim's, he said: "I hope not, but I also can't say for sure before we see the data from the weekend, from Purim, and of course also from today's reopening. I hope we can celebrate Passover in a reasonable way with family."
At the end of the interview, Prof. Ash was asked about the Prime Minister's remarks in his interview with Fox News last week, when he boasted that Israel had, for all intents and purposes, defeated the pandemic. Ash explained: "We all understand that the Corona is still here and it is important to be careful. I think we are on the way out, but it is clearly still with us, and we must keep our guard up."
"We rely on the fact that there are more than 3.5 million twice-vaccinated Israelis, and I hope this will provide protection in terms of the number of verified infections and the number of patients who are in serious condition – but if that is not enough, we will have to go back," Prof. Ash warned.
After reading this story on a different website I got the following story:
Meanwhile, Israel's coronavirus czar, Prof. Nachman Ash, said on Sunday that wearing masks in the open air was not critical. However, he added in an interview with Kan Bet public radio that in order not to confuse the public and to encourage precaution, wearing masks in public will remain mandatory.
So the idea appears to be it is still mandatory but not enforced by the police. You still have to wear it indoors and on buses and trains!
The Emancipation of Texas Jeffrey A. Tucker
My family moved to Texas from Massachusetts in 1830, six years before Texas became an independent nation. I should say one man made the migration; he met his wife on the journey, in Tennessee. They first stopped to see his uncle in New Orleans, who gave him some horses, a deed to some property in Texas, and a new covered wagon. He landed in East Texas, got bored of farming, and moved further West, landing in Marfa and Alpine. Remnants of that decision are all over the region today.
He made this choice for one reason: freedom. He was the son of a Congregationalist minister, and tired of the overly compliant and restrictive culture of the Northeast. He wanted something new, something other than the stultifying strictures of his Yankee homeland. He craved adventure, even danger. He wanted choice. He wanted to find himself rather than forever live a defined and scripted life under a set doctrine of belief and practice.
That same spirit lives in Texas today. It's about being a pioneer in a land of opportunity. Everyone faces the elements (especially in Southwest Texas), and attempts to tame them. With freedom. With courage. With uncertain results. Equally. Yes, in an odd sort of way, the culture is egalitarian. Even the rich affect the mannerisms of the poor. This is for a reason. The freedom found in Texas ideally lets everyone have a chance. The strict class demarcation of the Northeast and Deep South are far less pronounced in Texas.
There's a deep culture of loving freedom in Texas, and with that comes a baked-in habit of civility. Texas has perfected hospitality, and the art of the smile. As for facemasks, those are for bandits and bank robbers, people who hide their identities because they mean you harm. The idea of the whole population masking up is inimical to what the state is all about. Forcing people to stay in their homes conflicts with the whole history of a people whose home is on the range and the gigantic skies serve as not only nature's ceiling but a passageway to the eternal.
This is why I was shocked when Texas shut down due to the advent of the coronavirus in 2020. The deep heritage of this state has faced far more severe threats and they did so while never giving up their rights. It's the last place I would have expected the citizenry to tolerate despotism in the name of safety. But it happened. And it happened because the governor lost courage. He chose control over liberty, cowardice over courage, imposition over trust. And the state suffered terribly as a result.
Last I visited my mother's town, it was in shambles. A third of businesses were closed. The people were sad. People were afraid even to go to the doctor, for fear of the virus but also the fear of being ostracized and isolated when testing positive. Her church was basically destroyed, the choir disbanded and most of the staff fired, as people were locked out and then stopped attending because they were fed up with the masks and the ridiculous strictures around "social distancing." The freedoms they had taken for granted, ever since the great battles for Texas independence, were taken away.
Feeling enormous political pressure, Governor Greg Abbott of Texas finally issued a sweeping proclamation that repeals the whole of his virus-mitigation measures that he issued on March 19, 2020. They are all gone. One fell swoop, and Texas is now fully open. That includes the mask mandate and all capacity limits.
Abbott offered various lame excuses concerning cases and vaccines and so on, but it is impossible to miss that this looks and feels like a wholesale repudiation of the entire lockdown agenda. It was a big mistake. He knows it. Most everyone in Texas knows it.
How does one do something so awful to the formerly free Texas and dial it back while saving face? You claim that conditions have changed. "It is clear from the recoveries, vaccinations, reduced hospitalizations and safe practices that Texans are using that state mandates are no longer needed."
No longer needed? They never were.
Let's look at the excuse that severe outcomes are down. The governor locked down the state when there were almost no deaths. Peak severe outcomes didn't happen until five months later. The next peak was in mid-January. Now deaths are back down again…to where they were in August. So in terms of minimizing deaths – there is zero relationship between lockdowns and avoiding virus deaths – this opening makes no sense.
The chart on cases looks almost identical. So the timing of the opening and the closing make no medical sense. It was just disease panic at work and the governor's fear that he would be blamed unless he did something.
Meanwhile all through the spring and summer, the state was crawling with SWAT teams arresting people who were merely trying to grab a beer and protested when the government tried to stop them. A local sheriff told the beer drinkers: "If you don't like what's going on, run for governor."
It couldn't last. I knew it at the time. Texans would revolt, in their way: through polite but persistent pressure on the elites who betrayed them. That's why the governor gave in. He wasn't listening to the science for once. He never cared about the science. He cared about his career. So there is a sense in which opening, though it was the right thing to do, was also a similar act of fear. It was reactive, an attempt to save his legacy and career. But if I know the people of this state, they will not fall for it. They know what he did and they know why. He will not be forgiven.
When the governor made the announcement, my 81-year-old mother was overjoyed. She texted me excitedly within minutes of the news. The lockdowns broke her heart. She feared it would be the year she died and she would have to do so alone, without her sons at her side. Nor could we have attended her funeral, given travel restrictions and quarantine rules. But she made it through. She feels grateful to see her ideals live again in the state she loves so much.
Texas is not about restriction, imposition, top-down mandates, and central plans. It's about the opposite. Even in the face of danger, Texas prefers the risk of freedom over the false security of obeying someone else's belief of how life should be lived. Now they have their freedoms back. May they learn once again, as my Texas ancestors did, that they must fight never to have their freedoms taken away again.
Abrahamic Summit? The Real Reason No Jews Attended the Pope's Interfaith Meeting in Iraq
The Vatican said it invited leaders of Iraq's "Jewish community" to a meeting with the Pope on Saturday, despite the fact that Muslims violently purged the Jews from the country decades ago.
By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel
For the interfaith gathering hosted by Pope Francis during his visit Saturday near the biblical site of Ur in Iraq, the Vatican made it a point of telling journalists that representatives of Iraq's Jewish community were invited to attend, the Associate Press reported.
The Vatican didn't bother telling the reporters why none showed up.
The Pope was in Iraq to strengthen its persecuted Christian community, and Vatican officials failed to explain that the Jewish community representatives didn't come to the gathering because Iraq's once thriving and proud Jewish community of 150,000 fled the country decades earlier in the face of massacres, rabid government-sanctioned anti-Semitism, and pogroms.
Only a handful of mostly elderly Jews remain in Iraq today, where for thousands of years Jews had lived peacefully among Arabs. That era ended beginning with World War II when the Iraqi government became allied with Adolf Hitler and pushed the Nazi's anti-Semitic message to the Iraqi people.
The British conquest of Iraq in 1942 thwarted plans to herd Jews into ghettos set up by the Iraqi Nazi sympathizers. However, the seeds of hate had already been planted as hundreds of Jews were slaughtered in the infamous "Farhud" massacre in 1941.
The anti-Semitic policies of the Iraqi government continued after the war and in the early 1950s Iraqi Jews working as secret agents for Israel helped 120,000 Jews escape to the young Jewish homeland.
Throughout the Middle East, the Jews were chased out of Arab countries like Iraq, Yemen and Syrian, where they had grown and thrived for thousands of years. All three of those countries have been hit hard by civil wars and the terror of the Islamic State, in addition to other Muslim terror groups like Al Qaeda, but with almost no Jews left in those countries, Christians are the terror factions' chief target.
The Pope himself noted years ago that Christians are being driven from the Middle East. His visit this weekend arrived as Iraq's once strong Christian community has now been decimated.
According to a 2019 interim study ordered by British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and led by Rev. Philip Mounstephen, the Bishop of Truro, "Christian persecution" is "at near genocide levels" in the Middle East. According to the report, Iraq's Christian population was slashed from 1.5 million before 2003 to below 120,000 as of 2019.
"Christianity is at risk of disappearing, representing a massive setback for plurality in the region," said the report.
The Jewish muscleman who likely inspired the creators of Superman
A popular Yiddish saying went, "If a thousand Breitbarts were to arise among the Jews, the Jewish people would cease being persecuted."
By TZVI SINENSKY
With "Superman and Lois," the newest TV series involving the
character, premiering last week on the CW network, it's a good time to recall that Superman was the 1938 brainchild of Jewish creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. Many have suggested that the pair were inspired by their own Jewish backgrounds to create Superman as the paradigm of a hero who defended vulnerable populations from their enemies. But there is reason to suspect that a more specific encounter may have inspired them to craft the Superman persona. The years 1923 and 1924 saw a phenomenon in the United States: tours by Siegmund Breitbart, known as "The Jewish Superman," across North America. Breitbart performed in Cleveland and Toronto, Siegel and Schuster's respective hometowns. While it is nearly impossible to prove — there are no records of Siegel or Shuster mentioning Breitbart — there is reason to surmise that the strongman may have served as something of an inspiration. He wore a cape and was advertised as capable of stopping speeding locomotives. Who was this man Breitbart, lauded during his lifetime as the strongest man in the world, The Iron King, Jewish Hercules, and a modern-day Samson? Siegmund "Zishe" Breitbart was born to a family of locksmiths in Lodz (now Poland, then Russia) in 1893. In his autobiography, he reports that his family discovered his unusual strength when, at age 3, he extricated himself from beneath an iron bar that had fallen on him in his father's store. By 4 he was casting iron in his family shop.
His early years were difficult. Expelled from a number of religious schools for using force against fellow students, Breitbart was captured by the Germans while serving in the Russian army during World War I. After the war he remained in Germany, subsisting on the money he earned by performing feats of strength at local markets.It was at one such 1919 performance that the German Circus Busch, famed for featuring Harry Houdini and other top performers, spotted Breitbart and brought him on board to perform its opening act.Breitbart's strongman routine, which had him dressed in hypermasculine costumes such as a Roman centurion, skyrocketed in popularity, and he quickly was moved from sideshow to the main event. Notwithstanding the fast-rising tide of antisemitism in Germany and Austria, Breitbart, who often wore the Star of David while entering the circus ring, achieved a mass Jewish and non-Jewish following in Berlin, Vienna, Prague, and Warsaw.Breitbart's act was based on his early experience working with iron. He bent rods into horseshoes, bit through chains and pounded nails into boards with his fist. He could draw chariots with his teeth. And his image undercut racial stereotypes about Jews. As musclemen were seen as representing the proud, strong German male throughout the opening decades of the 20th century, Breitbart was in effect also embodying quintessential images of German masculinity.As Breitbart's legend grew, he increasingly became the talk of each town in which he performed. One reporter noted that "Not only do gymnasia students and high school girls talk about him; even first graders know how strong Breitbart is."A tavern proprietor complained, "My tables are studded with holes because my customers test their strength by hammering nails into them with their open hands. All Viennese women are in love with this new Samson.
Racial hatred, pride or prudishness — all of it is useless here."Capitalizing on his popularity in Europe, Breitbart spent much of 1923 touring the United States. Ultimately the Breitbart craze resulted in product endorsements, a starring role in the 1923 film "The Iron King" and a Breitbart physical health correspondence course in which subscribers received guides detailing Breitbart's muscle-building and nutritional eating routines.Breitbart's career came to an abrupt end in 1925 when a stage accident involving a rusty nail led to a fatal case of blood poisoning. He was buried in Berlin. Unfortunately, the Nazi destruction of Polish Jewry largely extinguished the rich oral legends that perpetuated Breitbart's memory. But his legend has not fully disappeared. A 2001 movie, "Invincible," featured a fictional account of his life. A children's book titled "Zishe the Strongman" appeared in 2010.What do we make of this seeming paradox: a Jewish superhero who at a time of rising antisemitism, and during an era when Jewish men were derided as sissies, became a folk hero of able-bodied masculinity?Some saw Breitbart as a sort of vindication of the then-German and Austrian embrace of male bravado. In this view, that he was also Jewish rendered him something of a freak to the average German, making him all the more compelling as entertainment on the vaudeville circuit.Others saw Breitbart as a model for the new Zionist Muscular Judaism. A popular Yiddish saying went, "If a thousand Breitbarts were to arise among the Jews, the Jewish people would cease being persecuted."
Breitbart himself was a proud Jew and often performed while flanked by the Zionist flag. He refused to return to a Warsaw restaurant that declined to play "Hatikvah" to greet him. He supported Zeev Jabotinsky's idea of a Jewish army. Legend has it that Jabotinsky and Breitbart hatched a plan in which Breitbart would become the general of a one-day Jewish army in Palestine.But neither of these fully captures the story of Breitbart, who was more than just a proud Jewish strongman. He highly esteemed rabbis and Jewish intellectuals, and according to one report, he amassed a substantial personal library that contained 2,000 books on Roman history. He performed for a group of Yiddish thinkers and wrote a personal letter of support on their behalf. He met and performed personally on behalf of the Radzhiner Hasidic rebbe and donated 30 pounds of Passover flour to the rebbe's followers following the meeting.Even more remarkable, "Zishe" (literally sweet) was eulogized by numerous individuals as exceptionally sweet, highly emotional and filled with "edelkeit" (Yiddish for a sweet, caring person). One reporter who met with Breitbart expected a tough guy. Instead, he subsequently characterized The Iron King as "the embodiment of edelkeit."Similarly, the chief rabbi of the Orthodox Jewish Community (Adass Yisroel) in Berlin, Dr. Esra Monk, saw Breitbart as a "modern Samson the hero" who also possessed a tender demeanor."It is greatly symbolic," Monk declared in his 1925 eulogy, "that for a man who broke chains, it was enough for one person's good word to render his heart soft as butter."Like Clark Kent, Breitbart's persona was far richer and more well-rounded than his stage persona allowed. He was a mixture of elements — brains, brawn, a gentle nature, and fierce Jewish pride. And he's still inspiring nearly 100 years after his untimely death.