Breaking News: Health Ministry says to avoid all travel abroad and Pesach Sheni 2021 is observed on April 26 (14 Iyar starting tonight) and 22 Kosher Facts Every Jew Should Know By Menachem Posner and Hordes Of Demoralized Police Officers Are Quitting Their Jobs, And America’s Streets Are Less Safe As A Result and It's Finished! Ribblehead Viaduct Railway Engineering Maintenance
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.
Pesach Sheni 2021 is observed on April 26 (14 Iyar =starting tongiht).
Pesach Sheni means "Second Passover [Sacrifice]." It marks the day when someone who was unable to participate in the Passover offering in the proper time would observe the mitzvah exactly one month later. It is customary to mark this day by eating matzah—shmurah matzah, if possible—and by omitting Tachanun from the prayer services . .
How Pesach Sheni Came About
A year after the Exodus, G‑d instructed the people of Israel to bring the Passover offering on the afternoon of the fourteenth of Nissan, and to eat it that evening, roasted over the fire, together with matzah and bitter herbs, as they had done the previous year just before they left Egypt.
"There were, however, certain persons who had become ritually impure through contact with a dead body, and could not, therefore, prepare the Passover offering on that day. They approached Moses and Aaron . . . and they said: '. . . Why should we be deprived, and not be able to present G‑d's offering in its time, amongst the children of Israel?'" (Numbers 9:6–7).
In response to their plea, G‑d established the 14th of Iyar as a day for the "Second Passover" (Pesach Sheni) for anyone who was unable to bring the offering on its appointed time in the previous month.
What Pesach Sheni Means
The day represents the "second chance" achieved by teshuvah, the power of repentance and "return." In the words of Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak of Lubavitch, "The Second Passover means that it's never a 'lost case.'"
The Three Musketeers at the Kotel
Avoid all travel abroad, Health Ministry warns
Advisory applies to those vaccinated, recovered • 0.2% of tests positive, lowest in almost a year
The Jerusalem Post
23 Apr 2021
• By ROSSELLA TERCATIN
The Health Ministry has recommended that all Israelis, including those vaccinated or recovered, avoid unnecessary trips abroad to prevent new variants from entering the country.
"The situation in the world is such that we highly recommend not to travel abroad if you do not have to," the ministry's Director-General Chezy Levy said in a press briefing on Thursday. "At the same time, the Health Ministry identified seven countries where there is a very high morbidity and a good chance of getting infected or catching variants. We recommend as much as possible not to travel to these countries. Just don't go."
The seven countries where the morbidity rate is especially high are: India, Ukraine, Brazil, Ethiopia, South Africa, Mexico and Turkey.
The warning said that even people who are vaccinated might be at risk of getting infected with new variants.
In the past few days, health authorities have become increasingly concerned over a new Indian variant.
"I hope that within a few weeks this concern will no longer be relevant, as we can
prove that the vaccine is effective against this variant," said coronavirus commissioner Prof. Nachman Ash, speaking to Army Radio on Wednesday.
He said that the issue is being studied, but no results are available yet. In the briefing, Levy said that foreign workers and students from India will be
required to quarantine in a state-run facility.
Meanwhile, only 0.2% of the coronavirus tests processed on Wednesday returned positive,
the ministry said. The figure marks the lowest positive rate in almost a year – since May 15, 2020 – when Israel was just exiting its first lockdown, and when many believed that the country had managed to defeat the virus.
Only 5,000 tests were administered in 24 hours i n May 2020, compared with some 47,000 tests performed on Wednesday.
For the past week, the number of new daily cases has not exceeded 150, with 111 recorded on Wednesday, and 2,054 virus carriers.
The reproduction rate or 'R' remains constant around 0.7, showing that the infections are steadily declining.
The number of serious patients also continues to drop, reaching 166. There were as many as 1,200 a day for several days in January and February.
As of Thursday morning, only one person was reported to have succumbed to the disease on Wednesday. While sometimes it takes longer than one day for corona-related deaths to be reported to the ministry, if the number was confirmed it would mark the lowest toll since June.
Israel reached 4.99 million people vaccinated with two doses as of Thursday, while 5.37 million have received at least one shot.
Levy said that an individual booster will be probably administered about a year after the first two shots. He also reaffirmed that Israel will start vaccinating children only after the health authorities in the US and in Europe give their approval.
After an extensive program of maintenance Ribblehead Viaduct is now in prime condition for many years to follow. In this video we celebrate the success of a £2.1m TLC work. Drone image credit: Network Rail.
--You will appreciate this "work of art" 144 yrs old, 24 arches and over 100 feel high... and still standing.......
Hordes Of Demoralized Police Officers Are Quitting Their Jobs, And America's Streets Are Less Safe As A Result
The United States has never faced a more severe law enforcement crisis than it is facing right now. All over the nation, police officers are quitting in droves, and many of those jobs are going unfilled because of the difficulty in recruiting new applicants. Since the death of George Floyd, police officers have been relentlessly demonized by the corporate media, police budgets have been dramatically slashed in major cities all across the country, and many prominent politicians have publicly expressed disdain for their local law enforcement authorities. In such an environment, serving the community as a police officer is not an attractive option, and it makes perfect sense why so many officers have been throwing in the towel on their once promising careers.
In Portland, 115 officers have either retired or resigned since July 1st.
Exit interview statements are not mandatory for police officers that are leaving the force in Portland, but those that have filled them out have been quite frank about their reasons for leaving…
In 31 exit interview statements, the employees who turned in their badges or retired were brutally frank about their reasons for getting out.
"The community shows zero support. The city council are raging idiots, in addition to being stupid. Additionally, the mayor and council ignore actual facts on crime and policing in favor of radical leftist and anarchists fantasy. What's worse is ppb command (lt. and above) is arrogantly incompetent and cowardly," one retiring detective wrote.
I can't understand why anyone would still want to be a police officer in Portland at this point. There has been endless civil unrest in the city for months on end, and most of the politicians are far left radicals that are clearly on the side of the protesters.
Another officer that left the force stated that he has "never seen morale so low" among officers in Portland…
"What the city council has done to beat down the officers' willingness to do police work is unfathomable," he wrote. "I have never seen morale so low. Officers leaving mid-career and sometimes sooner to go to other agencies. Officers retiring when they would have stayed longer if the situation were different."
He said he knew it was time to go because he stopped looking forward to work that he once loved.
"It is no longer a fun place to work. … There is no end in sight and the negatives far exceed anything positive … hate what Portland has become.''
He is not alone in hating what Portland has become.
It should be one of the most beautiful cities in America, but now it has literally been transformed into a crime-ridden hellhole.
Seattle is another city that has seen over a hundred officers leave, and those that have moved on have also expressed very bitter feelings in their exit interviews…
Over 175 pages of exit interviews from more than one hundred SPD officers stating their reasons for leaving their jobs. The same handwritten complaints–often including the same phrasing–can be seen repeatedly. KIRO-7 obtained the exit interviews after a public document request.
One cop wrote: "I refuse to work for this socialist City Council and their political agenda. It ultimately will destroy the fabric of this once fine city."
Another outgoing officer cited: "An unwinnable battle with the City Council. It will be the downfall of the city of Seattle."
When I was growing up, working in law enforcement was considered to be a noble profession, and young people were taught to respect the police.
But now they are severely underpaid and are treated like trash in many parts of the country.
Sometimes a political decision can prompt a mass exodus. In Colorado, a new law that was signed by Governor Jared Polis prompted over 200 police officers to turn in their badges…
More than 200 law enforcement officers across Colorado resigned or retired in the weeks after Gov. Jared Polis enacted sweeping police reforms by signing Senate Bill 217 into law on June 19, according to state data.
Though it's unclear how many of the separations are the direct result of the new law — with its striking implications that include officers' personal financial liability for their actions — interviews with chiefs of police and union officials suggest a number of them are, and the state's largest police organization has launched a survey to find out.
As police departments struggle to fill scores of vacancies, crime rates have surged from coast to coast.
According to CNN, homicide rates rose by an average of 33 percent in major U.S. cities in 2020…
Major American cities saw a 33% increase in homicides last year as a pandemic swept across the country, millions of people joined protests against racial injustice and police brutality, and the economy collapsed under the weight of the pandemic — a crime surge that has continued into the first quarter of this year.
A 10 percent increase in one year would be cause for alarm.
A 33 percent increase in one year is catastrophic.
Our society is literally coming apart at the seams all around us, and it is difficult to know who to trust.
These days, just about anyone could be a murderer. For example, a 54-year-old woman went to buy a fridge from a 26-year-old man that was advertising one on Facebook, and she ended up getting murdered…
Investigators say a woman who was found stabbed to death in Geistown Tuesday was killed by a man whom she met on Facebook Marketplace to buy a fridge for her boyfriend.
Authorities say 26-year-old Joshua Gorgone was arrested Tuesday and has been charged with criminal homicide in the slaying of 54-year-old Denise Williams.
She just wanted to buy a fridge.
Sadly, the increase in violence in our society is causing people to keep their distance from one another more than ever. There is such a reluctance to interact with "strangers", because the next "stranger" that you meet could be a sex predator or a violent criminal.
I have written extensively about the moral crisis in our country, and it really matters on a practical level.
At this point, a large chunk of the population no longer cares about basic morality, and many people have quickly come to the realization that they can no longer trust others on a fundamental level.
The thin veneer of civilization that we all used to take for granted is rapidly dissipating, and crime rates are increasing dramatically.
In the old days, we could trust the police to restore order when things got out of hand.
But now police officers are quitting in droves, and America is headed for a very, very uncertain future.
The Hebrew word kosher literally means "fit." The laws of kosher define the foods that are fit for consumption for a Jew (as well as the ritual items or procedures that are valid and proper), but the word has come to refer more broadly to anything that is "above board" or "legit." The general rubric of kosher contains several requirements the Torah specifies for the food Jewish people are to eat.
2. 5% of the Torah's Laws Are About Kosher
Shortly after the Exodus from Egypt, G‑d communicated the mitzvot, commandments for the Jewish people to follow. Of the 613 mitzvot, approximately 30 are directly related to the laws surrounding the preparation and consumption of kosher food.1
3. Only Certain Animals Are kosher
Among land animals, only those that have split hooves and ruminate (chew their cud) may be eaten. These include cows, sheep, deer, and goats.
Among sea creatures, only fish that have fins and scales (which can be easily removed by hand) are kosher. These include salmon, whitefish, and tilapia.
The Torah provides a list of non-kosher birds. All others are kosher. Since we cannot know for certain which birds the Torah's list refers to, however, we only consume birds traditionally known to be kosher, including chicken, goose, duck, turkey, and dove.
4. There Are Some Kosher Insects
All shellfish, amphibians, reptiles, and insects are not kosher. The single exception is a group of four species of locusts singled out by the Torah.2 In practice, since it is difficult to know which species the Torah refers to, the vast majority of Jewish people do not eat locusts of any kind. The exception is certain communities (mostly Yemenite), which have carefully preserved traditions regarding which kinds of locusts may be eaten.
5. Bees Are Not Kosher, But Pure Honey Is
According to halachah, a derivative of a non-kosher animal is considered impure, so the obvious question arises: How can kosher honey be produced by the non-kosher bee?
Well, honey is actually not produced by a bee's body. The bees transfer the floral nectar through their mouths only as temporary "storage"3 until the sugar levels reach 80 percent, and then they store it in the honeycomb. Bees' honey indeed represents a unique kashrut phenomenon!
6. Kosher Meat Is Slaughtered in a Special Way
The Torah tells us that meat must be slaughtered "in the way that I have commanded you."4 What is this way? Tradition, dating back to Moses himself, tells us that the animals must be killed by having their trachea and esophagus slit in a sweeping motion with a perfectly smooth, sharp knife. Performed by a specially trained slaughterer (shochet), this is known as shechitah.
7. Blood Is Not Kosher
The blood of mammals and fowl is utterly forbidden for consumption according to the Torah.5 Within 72 hours of slaughter, all extractable blood is drained from the meat by a special soaking and salting process, known as koshering. (Today, most kosher meat is sold with the blood already removed.)
The liver, which has an especially high blood content, needs to undergo a special broiling process before it can be eaten.
8. Kosher Salt Is No More Kosher Than Table Salt
Blood is removed from kosher meat through soaking it and then coating it with relatively coarse grains of salt, which are then rinsed away (read the full procedure here). Technically called "koshering salt," this salt is commonly labeled as "kosher salt." However, it is essentially no more or less kosher than any other salt on the market. Salt is a mineral and pure salt is therefore always kosher. Some brands of salt have a kosher symbol on the package, and that way you know that a reliable kosher certification agency is checking to make sure that nothing else gets mixed into the salt and that it's 100% kosher.
9. Meat Is Never Mixed With Milk
The Torah tells us not to cook, eat, or even derive benefit from meat cooked with milk. In practice, this means that kosher food comes in three genres: 1) meat (including fowl), 2) dairy, and 3) parve, things which are neither meat nor dairy and may be enjoyed with either one of them. These include fish, eggs, nuts, and fruits and vegetables.
After eating meat, it is proper to wait six hours (the standard time between one meal and the next) before having dairy. The time to wait after dairy varies by custom and the specific kind of dairy eaten.
10. Fish Gets Special Treatment
Technically fish is parve and may be enjoyed with meat or milk. But the Talmud6 warns us not to eat fish with meat, asserting that the combination is unhealthy. This is mentioned in the Code of Jewish Law7 with the admonition that health concerns are to be treated with even greater gravity than ritual laws.8 So the accepted practice is to change dishes and rinse one's mouth between fish and meat courses.
11. The Kosher Kitchen Has Two (or Three) Sets of Dishes
We try to keep even the smallest traces of dairy out of meat, and the smallest bits of meat away from dairy. For this reason, a kosher kitchen has a completely separate sets of dishes, cookware, and other utensils for meat and dairy. Many also have parve dishes, on which they can prepare food that will later be served with either meat or dairy.
In the event of a mix-up, the offending substance can sometimes be purged from the dish by applying extreme heat.
12. Certifying Agencies Do Much of the Work for You
In the controlled environment of your own kitchen, you can ensure that only kosher ingredients are used and that meat and dairy are kept separate. But how do you know what happens in factories or restaurants? Enter the kosher certifying agency, often known as a hashgachah ("supervision").
They comb through ingredient lists, observe factory conditions, and make periodic (or more than periodic) inspections to make sure that the food produced is fit for the kosher consumer.
The agencies then provide a certification known as a hechsher.
All told, there are as many as 1,500 kosher certifying bodies worldwide. Some represent an individual rabbi, and others are international organizations. The five largest agencies account for nearly 80% of the certification in the US. They are the OU, OK, Star-K, Kof-K and cRc. 9
13. A Mashgiach Does All Kinds of Checking
The representative of a supervising agency who inspects and oversees is known as a mashgiach ("watcher"). Some mashgichim spend their weeks on the road, visiting remote plants and factories. Others may be permanently stationed in a specific restaurant or food establishment. A restaurant or catering mashgiach may spend a lot of time checking lettuce and other vegetables to ensure that they are free of bugs (which are not kosher).
14. A "K" May Not Indicate Kosher
When a product bears the seal (hechsher) of a reputable agency, you are relying on the agency, who attest that the product is kosher according to their standards. The presence of a "K" on a product just means that someone out there believes the product to be kosher. Who is that someone? It may be a reliable Orthodox rabbi, or it may just be the company's marketing department.
The lesson: Do your homework and only purchase food with a reliable kosher seal or guaranteed to be kosher by someone you trust to be in the know.
15. "Glatt" Kosher Does Not Mean Super Kosher
In common parlance, "glatt kosher" has come to denote something super-kosher, acceptable even to those with the most exacting standards. Its true meaning, however, is much more focused. Literally "smooth," this refers to an animal whose lungs have been found to be superbly healthy and free of adhesions. Since this is a higher standard of kosher, it has come to refer to food that is kosher according to the most exacting of standards.
16. Some American Prisons Serve Kosher
The unfortunate reality is that the American prison population includes kosher-keeping Jews, as well as non-Jews who have developed an interest in Jewish observance. To accommodate them, some American prisons, notably those with large kosher-keeping populations, provide kosher meals, sometimes cooked in a specially designated prison kitchen. Other prisoners get pre-packaged meals. While these meals may be on par with bad airplane food, they may also consist of primarily peanut butter, matzah, tuna fish, and little else.
17. More than 20% of Americans are Kosher Conscious
Jews make up less than 1.5% of the American population, yet 21% of Americans polled said they regularly or occasionally purchase kosher products because they are kosher. Why? The reasons vary. Most (55%) did so because they believe that the additional layer of kosher certification was likely to mean that the food was healthier or safer to eat. The next largest groups were vegetarians (38%) who knew that food marked parve or dairy could contain no meat. Another bloc were Muslims (16%) who accepted kosher food as being compliant with their halal needs.10
18. Chalav Yisrael Is Available in Many American Cities
Not all kosher dairy was created equal. Halachah states that dairy must be produced under Jewish supervision to ensure that no non-kosher milk is mixed in. This milk is known as chalav Yisrael, "Jewish milk." In the US and other Western countries, when supervision is not possible, some argue that government inspection is sufficient and that additional supervision is not required. This government-inspected milk is popularly known as chalav stam, "ordinary milk." Many are particular to use only chalav Yisrael, especially when it is readily available, as it is in most major Jewish population centers nowadays.
19. Kosher for Passover Is Different
During Passover (also known as Pesach), Jewish people avoid anything that contains grain that has risen or fermented—including breads, pastas, beers, liquors and more. In order for something to be kosher for Passover, even the minutest amount of the forbidden substance, chametz, is a problem. Dishes must be scoured and purged from any trace of non-Passover food in a specific manner before food that is kosher for Passover can be produced on them.
20. Kosher Wine Has Unique Rules
Even though wine rarely contains milk, meat, or other sensitive ingredients, it has its own set of guidelines: it may not be handled by non-Jews unless it is in a sealed bottle.
This creates challenges for vintners wishing to produce kosher wine with the help of non-Jewish employees. It is also problematic for one who wishes to serve wine at a meal where non-Jewish guests or wait staff will be present.
One important caveat is that once wine has been cooked (mevushal in Hebrew), it is of inferior quality and no longer susceptible to being disqualified through non-Jewish contact. As such, if you are unsure of who will be at your table, it is highly recommended that you only buy wines with a reliable kosher certification as well as the word mevushal (מבושל) "cooked".
21. Fruit and Veggies Are More Complicated in Israel
For the most part, plain, unprocessed produce is kosher. After all, what could possibly be wrong? However, there are some things to beware of. Bug infestations effectively render certain items (such as fresh raspberries) unkosher, and require extensive checking before other groceries (such as many leafy greens, nuts and grains) may be eaten. In addition, fruit from Israel must have been tithed and must be known not to have grown during the three's first three years of life. For this reason, Israeli produce is best bought only bearing kosher certification.
22. Eating Kosher Is Good for Your Soul
Whatever you eat becomes one with your body. When you eat kosher food, you can use that energy for good purposes, thus elevating the plant and animal products that you have imbibed. If, however, you have eaten something that is forbidden, it is "tied down," as it were, and even if you eat it with the noblest intentions and then go on to do the most heroic, G‑dly acts, it is still stuck, weighing you down like a spiritual ton of bricks.11
So make sure to eat only kosher. Your soul will thank you!
The Kosher Food Market, 2019, Compiled by LUBICOM Marketing Consulting LLC.
The Kosher Food Market, 2019, Compiled by LUBICOM Marketing Consulting LLC.
See Tanya, Chapter 7.
By Menachem Posner
Rabbi Menachem Posner serves as staff editor at Chabad.org, the world's largest Jewish informational website. He has been writing, researching, and editing for Chabad.org since 2006, when he received his rabbinic degree from Central Yeshiva Tomchei Temimim Lubavitch. He resides in Chicago, Ill., with his family.