All Israel Arrivals to Quarantine Until Testing Negative for COVID Starting July 16 and Zionism has EVERYTHING to do with Judaism By Justin Amler and Hebrew U Reveals Impact of Medical Marijuana on Children and Israeli Scientists Invent Artificial ‘Nose’ to Detect Bacteria and What's My Line? - Edgar Bergen & Charlie McCarthy (Dec 26, 1954) and US authorities say no need for booster shots yet, and Looking at delta variant, Pfizer to seek FDA authorization for 3rd vaccine dose
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.
All Israel Arrivals to Quarantine Until Testing Negative for COVID Starting July 16
The rule will apply to all travelers entering Israel, even if they have been vaccinated against the coronavirus
All travelers arriving in Israel must quarantine for 24 hours or until receiving a negative coronavirus test result as of next Friday, July 16, the Health Ministry has announced.
Arrivals from countries that have a severe travel warning will be required to enter a 10-day quarantine. These countries include Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, Kyrgyzstan, Namibia, Paraguay, Seychelles, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
The Health Ministry said that if the pandemic worsens in these countries, they may be added to the list of countries with the highest travel warning, to which Israelis cannot fly at all as of July 12. These countries include Russia, Brazil, and India.
Friday was the last day that Israelis could receive their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine since the inoculations that are in storage are set to expire next week.
Some 450 Israelis tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday, marking a slight downward trend in coronavirus cases in recent days, when over 500 tested positive for the virus. Fifty-five percent of those who tested positive on Thursday had been vaccinated, 38 percent had not received the first jab, five percent had not received the second jab and three percent of had recovered from the virus.
The rate of positive tests stood at 0.7 percent Thursday, as 71,261 tests were carried out, according to figures from the Israeli Health Ministry. The R number – the average number of people each coronavirus carrier infects – currently stands at 1.37.
Seventy Israelis are currently hospitalized with the virus, with 39 in serious condition, 16 in critical condition and 12 on ventilators. The death toll stands at 6,434. Two patients died last night; one was a 48-year-old man who was not vaccinated against the virus; the second was an 84-year-old man who was vaccinated.
Over 20 percent of 12-year-old Israelis are vaccinated, and 30 percent of Israelis aged 13-15, according to the Health Ministry.
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, together with the health and finance ministers, will on Sunday present a plan to the cabinet to form a panel that will examine the possibility of opening a local vaccine manufacturing site.
The coronavirus cabinet also said this week that rapid COVID testing will be conducted at the entrances of geriatric facilities and at summer camps with more than 100 participants.
The Three Musketeers at the Kotel
Hebrew U Reveals Impact of Medical Marijuana on Children
In recent years, the use of medical cannabis to treat sick kids is on the rise, although questions remain about the benefits and safety of such treatments. Now, a team of researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has completed the first-ever meta-analysis of pediatric patients treated with medical cannabis to understand better the risks and benefits of cannabis use among young patients.
The meta-review was led by Professor Ilan Matok at HU's School of Pharmacy and the David R. Bloom Center for Pharmacy, along with Ph.D. candidate Nir Treves. They will present their findings at the 31st Annual International Cannabinoid Research Society Symposium (ICRS) being held in Jerusalem this week, for the first time. The conference host is HU's Multidisciplinary Center for Cannabinoid Research (MCCR), a leading research center on cannabinoids, endocannabinoids, and medicinal cannabis.
Matok and his team found that medical cannabis is particularly successful at treating severe epilepsy and chemotherapy's pernicious side effects. However, the side effects of these treatments in kids are still an open question. As Matok explained, "since medical cannabis isn't widely recognized as an accepted or regulated drug, there simply haven't been enough studies to know whether it's appropriate for children."
The team looked at seven clinical studies involving approximately 500 young patients (under 18 years of age). Despite the limited number of participants, they were able to glean both positive and negative effects of medical cannabis use on kids' mental and physical health. For example, the team found that CBD (cannabidiol) is effective at decreasing the number of severe seizures in children, especially those with hard-to-treat epilepsy. However, CBD also greatly suppresses their appetites. They also found that several cannabis plant ingredients used in medical treatments adversely affect children's mental state, causing fatigue, apathy, dizziness, and lethargy.
"Children aren't small adults," shared Matok. "Medical cannabis affects kids differently, and doctors need to pay close attention to those differences". On the plus side, medical cannabis proved very helpful for children undergoing chemotherapy, reducing the severity of nausea and vomiting which often accompanies this treatment.
The study of medical cannabis in children is still in its infancy. Since cannabis is not registered as a medication, it is often prescribed to children on an as-needed basis with limited clinical evidence. "Whereas Pfizer and Moderna were able to conduct clinical trials for their COVID-19 vaccine on kids, few top-notch clinical trials exist for cannabis use in children. The goal of our meta-analysis is to shed light on this area and provide doctors and parents with a more informed view of the potential of cannabis to help or harm their young patients," Matok concluded.
Matok's next research project is to study the effectד of medical marijuana on young patients, looking specifically at whether it raises their rates of depression, cardiovascular incidents, and involvement in car accidents.
What's My Line? - Edgar Bergen & Charlie McCarthy (Dec 26, 1954)
MYSTERY GUESTS: Edgar Bergen & Charlie McCarthy PANEL: Dorothy Kilgallen, Fred Allen, Arlene Francis, Bennett Cerf
US authorities say no need for booster shots yet
Looking at delta variant, Pfizer to seek FDA authorization for 3rd vaccine dose
Bid to get OK comes even as studies indicate that two-dose regimen still protects and many places continue to struggle to get first shot to people
Pfizer is about to seek US authorization for a third dose of its COVID-19 vaccine, saying Thursday that another shot within 12 months could dramatically boost immunity and maybe help ward off the latest worrisome coronavirus mutant.
Research from multiple countries shows the Pfizer shot and other widely used COVID-19 vaccines offer strong protection against the highly contagious delta variant, which is spreading rapidly around the world and now accounts for most new US infections.
Two doses of most vaccines are critical to develop high levels of virus-fighting antibodies against all versions of the coronavirus, not just the delta variant — and most of the world still is desperate to get those initial protective doses as the pandemic continues to rage.
But antibodies naturally wane over time, so studies also are underway to tell if and when boosters might be needed.
On Thursday, Pfizer's Dr. Mikael Dolsten told The Associated Press that early data from the company's booster study suggests people's antibody levels jump five- to 10-fold after a third dose, compared to their second dose months earlier.
In August, Pfizer plans to ask the Food and Drug Administration for emergency authorization of a third dose, he said.
Why might that matter for fighting the delta variant? Dolsten pointed to data from Britain and Israel showing the Pfizer vaccine "neutralizes the delta variant very well." The assumption, he said, is that when antibodies drop low enough, the delta virus eventually could cause a mild infection before the immune system kicks back in.
An Israeli man receives the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a coronavirus vaccination center in Tel Aviv, Monday, Jan. 25, 2021. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)
Hours after Pfizer's announcement, US health officials issued a statement saying fully vaccinated Americans don't need a booster yet.
U.S. health agencies "are engaged in a science-based, rigorous process to consider whether or when a booster might be necessary," the FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a joint statement. That work will include data from the drug companies, "but does not rely on those data exclusively," and any decision on booster shots would happen only when "the science demonstrates that they are needed," the agencies said.
But FDA authorization would be just a first step — it wouldn't automatically mean Americans get offered boosters, cautioned Dr. William Schaffner, a vaccine expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Public health authorities would have to decide if they're really needed, especially since millions of people have no protection.
"The vaccines were designed to keep us out of the hospital" and continue to do so despite the more contagious delta variant, he said. Giving another dose would be "a huge effort while we are at the moment striving to get people the first dose."
Currently only about 48% of the US population is fully vaccinated — and some parts of the country have far lower immunization rates, places where the delta variant is surging. On Thursday, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that's leading to "two truths" — highly immunized swaths of America are getting back to normal while hospitalizations are rising in other places.
"This rapid rise is troubling," she said: A few weeks ago the delta variant accounted for just over a quarter of new US cases, but it now accounts for just over 50% — and in some places, such as parts of the Midwest, as much as 80%.
A visitor to a clinic leaves after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine in Taylorsville, Ky., on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Dylan Lovan)
Also Thursday, researchers from France's Pasteur Institute reported new evidence that full vaccination is critical.
Israeli Scientists Invent Artificial 'Nose' to Detect Bacteria
A multidisciplinary team of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev scientists has invented an artificial nose that detects a variety of bacteria.
There are numerous potential applications for an artificial nose capable of continuous bacterial monitoring – an accomplishment that was deemed elusive until now.
The great American civil rights warrior, Martin Luther King, said way back in 1968 in response to a question from a student attacking Zionism, "When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You're talking Antisemitism."
Today there are many people who say they are only anti-Zionistic and not anti-Semitic. They try to defend it by saying they have nothing against Jews, only Israel.
Often this is done under the banner of so-called liberal and progressive movements that supposedly fight for freedoms and human rights. Groups such as Black Lives Matter or Jewish Voice for Peace or the United Nations Humans Right Council. The great irony of this is that true liberals who share progressive values should be at the forefront of supporting Israel with its freedoms for all its citizens, rather than leading the charge against it. But their minds are so clouded with hatred and antisemitism that they have lost all sense of what liberal values even mean. These are not groups of freedom but groups of hate.
And anti-Zionism is a movement of hatred, fuelled by the darkness of humanity, not the light. It brings out the worst in people, not the best. Its supporters are not driven by a sense of the lack of justice in the world, but rather by a sense of a reinforcement of long-standing injustice directed against only one particular group of people. They wave the banner of morality, while conveniently ignoring the absolute lack of morality of their own cause.
They try to 'educate' us by saying Zionism has nothing to do with Judaism – that somehow Zionism isn't a Jewish movement at all, so you can therefore be anti-Zionist without being anti-Semitic. Of course Israel can be criticised and there are no bigger critics than Israelis themselves, but these people are not against any policy at all – they are against the very existence of the country.
They want to confuse you into thinking it's some kind of evil movement by throwing in emotive and inflammatory terms such as colonialism, white supremacism, ethnic cleansing and apartheid.
So let me unconfuse you by setting the record straight:
Zionism has EVERYTHINGto do with Judaism.
Before there were any Jewish laws at all, there was the Land of Israel. It is absolutely a Jewish movement, and one that is as old as the Jewish people themselves. It began almost 4000 years ago when Abraham, the first Jew, started his journey to the Land of Israel, a place in which he made his home. And from that moment the Land of Israel and Jews have been intertwined with each other, so much so that the love and commitment to the Land of Israel is a core value of what being a Jew is all about.
And while there are non Jews who support Zionism – some very famous ones too who do amazing work, whenever you see any hate speech out there against Zionism or Zionists in particular, they are not referring to Muslims who support Israel, or Christians who support Israel, or Indians who support Israel, they are referring quite specifically to Jews:
When those who attack Israel compare Zionists To White Supremacists and Neo-Nazis, they mean Jews;
When the fascist BDS and other similar movements call for the liberation of palestine, they mean getting rid of the Jews;
When anti-Israel movements complain about the Zionist lobby in America, they mean Jews.
The leader of the terrorist group Hezbollah, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, doesn't even try to disguise it, such as when he was quoted with the following in the New York Times in 2004, "If Jews all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide."
So yes, while there are still some Jews who think that if they join forces with movements who accuse Israel of genocide, maybe they'll be liked, the reality is they are nothing more than poster children for self-hatred and self-flagellation. Should Israel ever disappear, so would the protective shield that provides their security to live openly as Jews anywhere. And Jews know all too well what it means to not have our own country.