Breaking news: Bennett: No Vaccine? No Synagogues, Movies or Soccer Games! and Israel brings back Green Pass and Faith After Surfside By Tzvi Freeman and Biden Nominates Daughter of Jew Who Fled Nazi Germany as Ambassador to Berlin By David Israel and Goodbye Multifocals – An Israeli Company Changes Focus Via Software By Brian Blum and Who's on First? and Ice cream 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.
Bennett: No Vaccine? No Synagogues, Movies or Soccer Games!
If these one million Israelis continue to refuse to get vaccinated, it will force the other eight million to go into lockdown."
By World Israel News Staff
In a prime time address, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett bluntly urged unvaccinated Israelis to get inoculated, saying they endanger the country.
Those who don't get immunized, he warned, would face the choice of paying for their own Covid tests or being cut off from synagogues, cinemas, sporting events and other such gatherings.
"We would like Israel to be an open and safe country. And for that to happen, every Israeli who is eligible to get inoculated, must do so," Bennett said.
"The Israeli government is investing billions in order to supply vaccines all over the country. And still, about a million Israelis simply refuse to get vaccinated. Anti-vaxxers are putting their health at risk, and the health of those around them. They impede the freedom of all Israelis, endangering our work, our children's studies and our freedom to celebrate the upcoming holidays with family," he added.
"If these one million Israelis continue to refuse to get vaccinated, it will force the other eight million to go into lockdown," Bennett warned.
Before Bennett's address, the corona cabinet enacted several measures.
It decided that eligible Israelis who don't vaccinate will have to pay for their own Covid tests as of August 8. Covid tests are currently paid for by public money, except for people who are testing to travel.
Events of 100 or more participants — indoors and outdoors — are now restricted to people with a Green Pass, have recovered from Covid or present a negative test result. Children under 12 will be exempt from the Green Pass requirement.
The United Kingdom, Cyprus, Turkey and Georgia were added to a list of countries Israelis are prohibited to travel to. Those travel restrictions take effect July 29.
The Ministry of Health also announced that as of August 1, Israel's four health care providers will begin administering the Moderna vaccine to the public. Hebrew reports said that Israel has several hundred thousand doses of Moderna, and expects a shipment of six million more from the Massachusetts-based drug company next year.
Till now, Israelis have been immunized with Pfizer.
In other news, Israel is due to begin the world's first clinical trials for a Covid vaccine that can be taken orally. Nadav Kidron, CEO of the Jerusalem-based Oramed Pharmaceuticals, hopes the vaccine will be a "game changer." Because the vaccine does not need to be stored at low temperatures or be administered by medical professionals it could be rapidly distributed in countries that have not yet launched vaccination campaigns.
According to figures released by the Health Ministry, 901 new cases of Covid were diagnosed on Thursday. Overall, Israeli is dealing with 9,742 active cases, of which 72 are serious.
A total of 6,457 Israelis have died of Covid since the pandemic broke out.
Israel Resurrects COVID-19 Green Pass, BGI Airport Plans
The Three Musketeers at the Kotel
Biden Nominates Daughter of Jew Who Fled Nazi Germany as Ambassador to Berlin By David Israel
President Joe Biden plans to nominate the president of the University of Pennsylvania Amy Gutmann, 71, as his ambassador to Germany, Deutsche Welle reported Wednesday, citing German government sources who confirmed a report in Der Spiegel magazine.
Gutmann's father, Kurt, grew up in an Orthodox Jewish family in Feuchtwangen, Germany, and fled Nazi Germany in 1934 after Adolf Hitler had risen to power in 1933. He was denied asylum in the US, so he brought his family, including four siblings, to Bombay, India, where he founded a metal fabricating factory. In 1948, Kurt Gutmann met Beatrice, Amy's future mother, on a visit to New York City and they married a few weeks later.
Amy Gutmann told Adam Bryant of The New York Times in June 2011: "The biggest influences on me for leading preceded my ever even thinking of myself as a leader—particularly my father's experience leaving Nazi Germany. Because I would not even exist if it weren't for his combination of courage and farsightedness. He saw what was coming with Hitler and he took all of his family and left for India. That took a lot of courage. That is always something in the back of my mind."
As president of the University of Pennsylvania, Gutmann has been a leading national advocate for financial aid based on need, to promote socioeconomic diversity in higher education. She made Penn State one of only a few American universities that substitute grants for loans for any undergraduate student with financial need. In September 2009, for the first time in Penn's history, all undergraduates eligible for financial aid received grants rather than loans.
From 2005 to 2009, Gutmann served on the National Security Higher Education Advisory Board, a committee that advises the FBI on national security issues relating to academia.
Gutmann's appointment as US Ambassador to Germany requires confirmation by the Senate and approval by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
Johann Wadephul, deputy parliamentary leader of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative alliance, told Reuters that "with Amy Gutmann, Joe Biden is relying on an experienced bridge builder. She is taking on a difficult legacy after Richard Grenell."
The Germans did not hide the fact there was no love lost between Berlin and former President Donald Trump's envoy Richard Grenell.
Gutmann is married to Michael Doyle, professor of law and international affairs at Columbia University. They have one daughter, Abigail Doyle, the A. Barton Hepburn Professor of Chemistry at Princeton University.
Who's on First?
Abbott and Costello perform the classic "Who's on first?" baseball sketch in their 1945 film "The Naughty Nineties" first performed as part of their stage act. Still find this really funny
Goodbye Multifocals – An Israeli Company Changes Focus Via Software
(Israel21c via JNS) Slide your finger here on the side of the frame," Alex Alon is telling me.
I'm sitting in the "Bistro"—not some trendy Tel Aviv café, but a room set up for demonstrations in the offices of DeepOptics, where Alon is the chief scientist.
DeepOptics has developed a proprietary lens technology that seamlessly switches between far and near vision by reorienting the pixels in the glass.
So, when I run my finger over the touch-sensitive side of the thick black sunglasses frame and I look through the Bistro's window, I can clearly see the building across the parking lot.
Another swipe and the distant scene blurs. I am magically able to read a page on Alon's Kindle.
I swipe my finger back and forth, gleefully swapping close for distance and back again. For this long-time wearer of progressive (multifocal) lenses, DeepOptics' 32°N-branded sunglasses are nothing short of an addictive, adaptive miracle.
Unlike when I wear progressive lenses, there's no distortion with the 32°Ns. Moreover, rather than being limited to a small strip where I can see clearly for reading (tilting my head uncomfortably to look down), with DeepOptics the entire lens is available and clear.
The price is also nice: just $250 for a pair. When I buy new progressive lenses, the cost in Israel can easily top $1,200. DeepOptics' sunglasses can be preordered (at a discount) as part of a Kickstarter campaign; shipping is expected in about 10 months.
How it works
DeepOptics sunglasses feature liquid crystal layers that are split into tiny pixels, capable of rotation at every point of the pixel.
When the wearer swipes, a tiny processor embedded in the temple calculates the user's personal prescription and commands millions of tiny pixels inside the lens to change their electrical state to bring close objects into focus.
There are no moving parts and no extra weight. The tiny rechargeable battery should last a full day. If the battery runs out, the lenses default to the "plano" (uncorrected) setting, so you can still use them for distance.
DeepOptics is starting with sunglasses because of the frustrations people over 45 have with presbyopia – a natural part of aging that causes eyes to lose the ability to change focus easily. It affects some 1.8 billion people and is the main reason middle-aged people may suddenly need reading glasses.
For such people, sunglasses pose a problem. When you want to look at your mobile phone, you have to take your sunglasses off. Given that the average person looks at their phone up to 58 times a day, the hassle factor is not insignificant.
Following the presumed successful launch of DeepOptics' sunglasses, two more products are in the pipeline: A pair of glasses with separate prescriptions for distance and close (the version being sold on Kickstarter will have plano for distance) and one that works for all kinds of frames, not just sunglasses.
The latter won't be ready for another couple of years, DeepOptics CEO Yariv Haddad tells ISRAEL21c. These glasses will have a built-in eye tracker so that users won't have to swipe to change to reading mode and back again. The software will "see" where you're looking and rotate the pixels accordingly.
DeepOptics launched 10 years ago with the aim of creating glasses that would work with 3D TVs. The market for such TVs never really took off. But utilizing the same technology for vision correction "was a much bigger and more valid opportunity," Haddad realized.
Dynamically adjustable lenses have been "the Holy Grail of glasses," Haddad says.
Only a few companies have tried so far. One firm, PixelOptics, went bankrupt. Its Japanese partner, TouchFocus, bought the technology and sells its own version of software-adaptable lenses—for $3,000 a pair.
Why so much? The Japanese-made glasses have to be custom coded to an individual's eyesight. Compare that with DeepOptics which sells an off-the-shelf product that's the same for everyone when you take it out of the box.
Using software also means that, as one's eyes deteriorate further over time (sorry, another "side effect" of aging), users don't have to buy a new pair of spectacles. They can simply dial up the new prescription on the DeepOptics' iPhone or Android app, which connects to the glasses via standard Bluetooth.
There is some setup required to get the prescription right, but it's one and done. You can even share a pair of 32°Ns with another person; DeepOptics' mobile phone software can have multiple users. In the future, the glasses will recognize the phone in closest proximity and choose the correct profile without any user intervention.
Before the Apple drops
DeepOptics was founded by Haddad, Alon and a third executive, Yoav Yadin, who is the company's CTO. Serial entrepreneur and investor Saar Wilf was an early backer of the company and was actually the one to come up with the idea. He reached out to Haddad and the others to create what would become DeepOptics.
Haddad and Yadin had both worked in Alon's previous startup, Dblur, which developed a software lens technology for mobile phone cameras, security systems and medical devices.
"Dealing with human vision was a new thing for us," Haddad admits.
DeepOptics, which employs 15 in its Petah Tikva headquarters, has backing from Samsung Ventures and international eyewear conglomerate Essilor International. Dan Katzman, former CTO of Israel-based Shamir Optics, is an adviser to the company. Essilor acquired 50 percent of Shamir in 2011.
DeepOptics' current business model is to sell direct to the public, although that doesn't exclude possible business-to-business partnerships with players with deep pockets. Players such as Apple.
Apple is widely rumored to be working on smart AR glasses as its next killer product. "Apple will be dominant in this market," Haddad believes. "And they'll need to give you a prescription."
Is Haddad worried about Apple? "Yes, but that means we're in a good place," he says.
Haddad suggests that DeepOptics product will hit the market long before Apple's does.
My time in the Bistro was coming to a close. I took off the demo frames and reluctantly returned to my old-school glasses. I had one more question for Haddad, though: What's up with the name?
32°N, it turns out, refers to the latitude of Israel (as well as some of the world's most weather-friendly spots, including San Diego and Casablanca). "This latitude means it's sunny. All the cities at 32°N are sunny. And we make sunglasses."
Sometimes translated as "faith," but certainly not blind.
On the contrary, it is a vision that sees beyond anything the eye can see, grasps that which the mind cannot begin to fathom, knows that which even the heart cannot contain, to an inner reality that breathes within all things, where there is nothing else but G‑d, and all is good. Very good.
Each one of us has that capacity of vision. It is the very essence of our souls and it lies beneath all we think, feel and do. It needs only to be allowed entry past the gateway of our limited, body-bound perception.
If I had spoken things as I saw them, I would have brought an entire generation to rebel. I tried to understand, but it only became uglier in my eyes.
Until I came to the Temple of G‑d, and I understood the end of all things.
Think of the vision of an astronaut looking back toward Planet Earth. He sees all its oceans, its forests, its deserts, and its cities condensed within a single frame, as a magnificent gemstone in the heavens. From our place on earth, we never conceived of the vision we saw once we left its gravitational pull.
So emunah sees the whole of life—its trouble and its joy, its pain and its pleasure, its success and its most miserable failures, its beauty and the unspeakable ugliness it has witnessed—all as a single, perfect jewel, reflecting in so many facets endless points of ever-shifting light. For, the sages tell us, the core of the soul hovers beyond the body, and from there it shares its vision of reality from above.
There is nothing bad or ugly in that vision, no life that ended before its time, no suffering that was not worth every drop of blood, no travesty that wasn't a pathway to a great good, in a way absolutely impossible for us to imagine, perhaps even blasphemous to suggest, from within our time-bound, body-bonded context.
Blasphemous to suggest, because from within our world, the pain is real—the pain of those whose bodies were crushed and, perhaps more so, the torment of those who loved them so much and mourn for them now.
It is a pain we must feel, a pain that must be healed, until we have healed humanity itself. Until no such tragedy could ever happen again.
That is why it is a fundamental belief of the Jew that the soul will return to live again within these bodies, but this time forever. And in that time to come, we will see with physical eyes, comprehend with a physical brain, and feel with a palpable heart, all the truth and beauty through which we lived on this earth.
That is why life on this earth is so precious that we will spend every resource we have if there is any chance for one more breath of it.
Our entire world, after all, is a crumbled structure. Everything has a place where it is meant to be, nothing is here without reason and meaning—but it's frame has collapsed, its modules have come apart and fallen. We are all trapped under a mess of stones and debris where we struggle to find the meaning of the fragments of a broken world.
Yet we don't give up—not on ourselves and not on any human being that may still have breath in his or her nostrils. We don't give up because belief in G‑d is belief in life.
And for those who we now know did not survive—it is with that same emunah that we mourn so deeply. Because we so deeply believe that all that occurs in this life is good. Very good. But the time has ultimately come when a soul must travel onward, beyond this earthly life.
We will all see each other once again. In this life or in the next. We will embrace and we will understand.
My Ice Cream gets tested positive for Covid. They've put it straight into iceolation… Oyyyy
Joe and Bob are sitting outside a cafe enjoying a couple cigars when a young Jewish boy walks out of the ice cream parlour right next door.Joe says "see that Jewish kid Yankel over there, he's dumbest kid I ever met, watch this...." and he calls the kid over.Joe puts 50 cents in one of his hands, and a dollar bill in the other and holds them both out to the boy. Joe says "which do you want, 50 cents, or a dollar?" Yankel quickly snatches up the 50 cents, says thank you, and happily walks on his way eating his ice cream.After the boy leaves, Joe says to Bob "I see that kid once a week, I always see if he takes the dollar, he never does, he ALWAYS takes the 50 cents! I told you, he's the dumbest kid I've ever seen!"Next week, Bob is sitting outside the cafe by himself and sees the same boy come out of the same ice cream parlour, and calls him over.Yankel comes over and Bob says "my buddy who I was with last week, he always offers you a dollar or 50 cents, why do you always take the 50 cents? You know a dollar is worth more, right?"Yankel says "Of course I know it's worth more, but if I take the dollar, he'll quit asking altogether!"