Breaking news: Leading Rabbi says treat the vaccinated first and Ruth Pearl, mother of slain Jewish journalist Daniel Pearl, dies at 85 and The Crucial Split-Second Decision By Saul Jay Singer and What the Media Tell You to Believe By Dennis Prager and Let's Visit Mainau, The Flowering Island! and the month of Elul by Rabbi Berel Wein
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.
Leading rabbi: Treat vaccinated coronavirus patients first
Rabbi Yuval Cherlow: If the situation is not urgent 'there is room to prioritize a vaccinated patient over one who refused.'
Rabbi Yuval CherlowArutz Sheva
Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, a leading Religious Zionist rabbi and the dean of the Orot Shaul Yeshiva in Tel Aviv, on Wednesday, ruled that medical staff may prioritize vaccinated coronavirus patients over those who refused the vaccine.
Discussing a situation in which two coronavirus patients are waiting for medical treatment - one who is vaccinated and one who could have received the vaccine from a medical standpoint but refused - Rabbi Cherlow said it is preferable to prioritize the vaccinated patient.
However, he clarified that his statement does not apply to urgent situations in which every moment matters, emphasizing that in such situations, only the usual medical considerations should be taken into account, and it should go in accordance with the urgency of each person's situation.
At the same time, when the situation is not urgent, it is best to treat the vaccinated patients first.
In a statement, Rabbi Cherlow, who heads the Tzohar rabbinical organization, said: "When we are discussing urgently saving lives, the considerations are put aside in favor of action. However, when we are not discussing absolutely urgent situations, there is room to prioritize a patient who was vaccinated over a patient who refused the vaccine."
"This stems from natural justice, and from the simple principle that a person is responsible for his actions, and that his personal choice must never harm others."
The Hebrew month of Elul has traditionally been the
month of intensive reflection and spiritual preparation. It is the month that precedes the holy days of judgment, and time of repentance and forgiveness. It personifies for us the preparations necessary for an individual who was about to go on trial regarding a serious matter, even one of life and death. No rational person would enter such a trial in a human court without preparation, proper representation, and a careful analysis of the evidence, both pro and con, that will undoubtedly be introduced during the duration of the trial. How much more so must our attitude and thoughts be sharpened for the heavenly trial that awaits us all on the day of judgment, Rosha Hashanah.
This intensification of attitude has become the hallmark of the preparatory month of Elul. We live in a frivolous time, where society generally is much more occupied with issues of meager substance, rather than with the serious business of life and society. Because of this, it is very difficult for us to achieve any sort of intensive mood regarding the month of Elul.
There was a time, not so far distant in the past, that it was said in Eastern Europe, that even the fish in the rivers trembled when they heard the announcement that the month of Elul had arrived. That certainly is not the case today. People are still on vacation, in the midst of trips and visits, that by their very nature are meant to be a diversion from the serious business of life itself. Tradition trembles when human beings are no longer serious.
The German iron Chancellor Bismarck reputedly once characterized the situation in the Austro-Hungarian Empire of his time, as being hopeless but not serious. There were many times in history when it was clear that governments and leaders embarked upon actions and provocations that ultimately led to war and disaster, simply out of a mood of almost frivolity and lack of seriousness.
In a permissive society such as ours is today, when people are not held accountable for their behavior when felonies are now only misdemeanors and misdemeanors are no longer punishable under any circumstances, it is difficult to really take a serious view of life.
Judaism holds every individual personally responsible for his or her actions, attitudes, speech, and behavior. Judaism is aware of mitigating circumstances, but never accepts excuses or blame of others for one's own faults and misdeeds. Judaism believes that human beings are responsible creatures, and that their behavior engenders consequences that cannot be ignored. We are judged on our behavior, and not on the quality of our excuses.
The month of Elul always imparted to the Jewish people this fundamental lesson of heavenly judgment and correct human performance. When understanding the full import of this message, it is no wonder that even the fish in the rivers trembled at the advent of the month of Elul.
The month of Elul also brings with it a note of optimism and goodness. The spirituality of the holidays that follow this month remain a source of strength for all of us during the forthcoming new year that will soon be upon us. We are confident that our sins and shortcomings will be forgiven and ameliorated, and that the Lord of goodness and kindness will embrace us and our actions and turn them into positive and fruitful ones.
Judaism is built upon optimism, good cheer and a balanced view of life and its vicissitudes. We may not be able to change the past, but we are certainly capable of improving our future. This is also one of the basic lessons of the month of Elul. We may tremble in anticipation, but even in our moments of trembling, there is an innate belief that eventually things will come right, and all will be well. Elul prepares us for the majesty of the holidays that will follow.
By realizing the impending moments of majesty and eternal memory, Elul transforms us into vessels that can receive holiness and eternal reward. Achieving this level of human character is itself a joyful experience that one can achieve in life. It is this mixture of trepidation and joyful expectation that the month of Elul produces within us that allows us to appreciate and treasure this final month of the Jewish calendar year of 5781.
Mainau is an island in Lake Constance (on the south shore of the Überlinger, near the city of Konstanz, Baden-Württemberg, Germany). It is maintained as a garden island and is a model of excellent environmental practices. Tourists come from all over Europe to see this gorgeous island dedicated to beauty, flowers and gardening. Is there a better place to spend a day in? We don't think so! PlayvolumeAdX Like The island belongs to the the Lennart Bernadotte Foundation, an entity created by Prince Lennart, Count Bernadotte of Wisborg, formerly a Prince of Sweden and Duke of Småland. It is one of the main tourist attractions of Lake Constance. Beside flowers, there is a park landscape with views of the lake. There is also a greenhouse with a tropical climate and thousands of butterflies. Like Mainau is a "flowering island" notable for its parks and gardens. Frederick I, Grand Duke of Baden, created the island's arboretum, which now contains 500 species of deciduous and coniferous trees, many exotic and valuable, including fine specimens of Sequoiadendron giganteum (1864) and Metasequoia glyptostroboides (1952). The island also contains about 200 rhododendron and azalea varieties. Like The Italian Rose Garden is laid out geometrically with pergolas, sculptures, and fountains, and includes some 500 rose varieties. The Mediterranean terraces contain exotic pot plants, including palm trees, agaves, cacti and Bougainvillea. The island as a whole contains about 30,000 rose bushes representing 1,200 varieties, and about 20,000 dahlias of 250 varieties https://www.ba-bamail.com/content.aspx?emailid=25091
This past weekend, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd added another column to the myriad irrational and hysterical pieces about the "existential threat" climate change allegedly poses to human life.
As I do after almost every piece I read on the Internet, I read comments submitted by readers.
One provided me with an epiphany.
It was a comment submitted by New York Times reader "Sophia" of Bangor, Maine:
"I have one child, a daughter, who told me age 8 that she would never have a child because of global warming. She's now 34 and has never changed her mind. So I will not experience a grandchild. For her wisdom, I am grateful. I would be heartsick if I did have a grandchild who would have to experience the onslaught of changing climate."
It is hard to imagine greater proof than that comment of the power of mass media and of the left. That a normal woman would celebrate her daughter's choice not to be a mother and not to make her a grandmother can only be described as deranged. No normal-thinking human being would think that way. Jews had children during the Holocaust and made sure to have children if they survived the Holocaust.
Does this deranged woman know how few people are dying due to weather-related incidents in the era of global warming?
Danish statistician and economist Bjorn Lomborg noted this past week:
"Over the past hundred years, annual climate-related deaths have declined by more than 96%. In the 1920s, the death count from climate-related disasters was 485,000 on average every year. In the last full decade, 2010-2019, the average was 18,362 dead per year, or 96.2% lower.
"In the first year of the new decade, 2020, the number of dead was even lower at 14,893 – 97% lower than the 1920s average …
"The preliminary estimate of 2021 climate-related deaths (is) 5,569 or 98.9% lower than the 1920s…
"The newest Lancet study of heat and cold deaths show(s) that cold 'vastly' outweigh heat, and that climate actually has dramatically lowered (the number of) total death(s)…"
Of course, none of that matters to Sophia – because she relies on The New York Times (and probably NPR and CNN) for her understanding of the world.
For more proof of how deranged many New York Times readers – and Washington Post readers, CNN viewers and NPR listeners – are because they rely on these sources for what they believe about the world, here are some replies to Sophia's comment from other New York Times readers:
Rothman, New York City: "I completely agree. I have 6 grandchildren and weep inside for the calamitous life that is ahead for them."
Ida Martinac, Berkeley, California: "I weep with you, Sophia. Whenever I look my 11 year old daughter in the eyes I feel so many emotions: guilt for bringing her into this dying world."
Liberal, Texas: "I feel your pain. I have 2 sons. Neither one will have children and their partners agree. I'll never have grandchildren. But I also realize that their decisions have in some way been molded by me. I am proud of their decision."
Liz, Portland: "Frankly, as someone who has been concerned about climate change, and observing what is happening over the last ten years with real dread, I do not understand why anyone in the last ten years would voluntarily have a child."
CC, Sonoma, California: "My only daughter shares your daughter's feelings. I will have no grandchildren. As I watch my peers enjoying their final years surrounded by grandchildren, I can't help feeling a little jealous. At the same time…our daughters are stepping up to the challenge. I'm proud of them."
Marisa Leaf, Brooklyn, New York: "I, too, am coming to terms and accepting that my 36 year old son will not have a child as well – for stated reasons. It is painful for me when I watch other young men and women his age going about town with their children. But I understand, and concur, on an intellectual level, that of course they're right. Bringing more children into the world these days is an existential worry. And irresponsible. So, as I grieve for our planet, I also grieve for the grandchildren that I will never have."
What do all these deranged reactions have in common? How could so many people living in the healthiest, wealthiest society in human history welcome not having grandchildren?
The answer is they have been brainwashed by the media (and college). They have read and heard nothing – absolutely nothing – by scientists and scholars (such as Steve Koonin of NYU, Richard Lindzen of MIT or William Happer of Princeton, to name just three) who have studied climate change and found the hysteria morally as well as scientifically indefensible. It is not possible to live a life insulated from left-wing ideas. But it is extraordinarily easy to lead a life insulated from all non-left-wing ideas.
So, then, the epiphany I had was this: A majority of people will believe anything the mass media tell them. This is especially true of those who received a college education. Colleges teach students not to question, not think for themselves and not to think rationally.
That is why many people believe the world is coming to an end; it is good not to have children or grandchildren; men give birth; Russia colluded with the Trump campaign; Israel is an apartheid state; all-black dormitories on college campuses are progressive; there should be fewer police; it is fair to women to allow biological men to compete in women's sports; and myriad other absurdities.
There is no other explanation for these deluded readers of The New York Times.
However, I do agree with them on one point. I, too, support their children's decisions not to have children. The world doesn't need more fools.
Ruth Pearl, mother of slain Jewish journalist Daniel Pearl, dies at 85
An electrical engineer and computer analyst, she survived the "Farhud" pogrom in Iraq as a child.
Ruth Pearl, the mother of slain Wall Street Journal journalist Daniel Pearl, died on July 20 at the age of 85.
In 2002, Ruth Pearl and her husband, Judea Pearl, were thrust into international attention after Al-Qaeda terrorists in Pakistan kidnapped their son, Daniel Pearl, and executed him nine days later.
Pearl, an electrical engineer and computer analyst, was born Eveline Rejwan in Baghdad on Nov. 10, 1935. According to the University of Southern California Shoah Foundation news release, her childhood was interrupted in 1941, when a coup attempt in Iraq left a power vacuum in the British-controlled territory, allowing thousands of Iraqi civilians, soldiers and paramilitary gangs inspired by Nazi propaganda and anti-Zionist fervor to start a pogrom against the Jews in what became known as the "Farhud."
Pearl spoke of this history in one of 20 interviews of the Visual History Archive about the Jewish experience in North Africa and the Middle East during World War II.
According to the release, at least 179 Baghdadi Jews were killed in the Farhud and hundreds of others raped, injured, or had their homes and livelihoods destroyed. Pearl recalled seeing a bullet fly past her mother while she held her baby sister and watched Jewish-owned shops being looted.
In 1951, she, her younger siblings and her parents were transported to Cyprus and then Israel as part of the mass exodus of Jews from Iraq, forfeiting their citizenship and possessions.
She met her husband, Judea Pearl, while studying electrical engineering at the Technion–Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa. They married in 1960 and moved to New Jersey to pursue graduate degrees. They had three children; Daniel Pearl was the middle child, born on Oct. 10, 1963.
When he was kidnapped, Pearl revealed that she had dreamt that he was in trouble. She woke up and sent her son an email.
"I said, 'Danny … please humor me and answer this email immediately,' " she wrote according to the Shoah Foundation.
Daniel Pearl never responded.
She and her husband went on to form the Daniel Pearl Foundation, which sponsors fellowships to bring journalists from Muslim countries to the United States, among other programs. They also started the Daniel Pearl Foundation Music Day project, held on their son's birthday.
Pearl served as the chief financial officer for the foundation, which aims to perpetuate Daniel's commitment to reaching across divides through journalism and music.
"Dehumanizing people is the first step to inviting violence, like Nazism and fascism," she said in her testimony. "It's very easy to dehumanize. I'm sure the killers of Danny didn't have any sense of identifying with the humanity that connects us. For them, Danny was an object. And that can happen only if you really don't have your own self-respect and your own respect for human beings. So we have to figure ways to educate the next generation differently."
In addition to her husband, she is survived by daughters Michelle and Tamara. She is also survived by her daughter-in-law Mariane; her sister Carmella; and grandchildren Leora, Tori, Ari, Evan and Adam.
Caption: A menorah belonging to the great-grandfather of Daniel Pearl is lit by Judea and Ruth Pearl, his parents, at a Hanukkah celebration on Dec. 10, 2007, in the Grand Foyer of the White House in Washington, D.C. Credit: White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian.
I was on my very first patrol when I shot and killed him, but it was not my fault.
I had been assigned to an early evening foot patrol in the seediest part of town, a known high crime area where several policemen had been murdered over the past few years. The late afternoon shadows had already dimmed the streets when I arrived for duty, some of the streetlights had been shot out, and visibility was very poor.
Suddenly, a man turned quickly from around the corner right in front of me and I saw him pointing what looked like a long rifle right at me. There was no time to issue a warning and my life was in danger, so I pulled my firearm and shot him. Seconds later when I approached his body, I saw to my horror that what I had perceived to be a weapon was a rolled-up newspaper that he had been holding under his arm.
Though badly shaken, I continued my patrol. Minutes later, I walked by a young woman who was clearly strung out on drugs, but I determined that I had no legal grounds to stop her. A few seconds after I passed her, she turned around and shot me in the head. I never had a chance.
I had been invited by a former police consultant on one of my legal cases to visit a police training site and to experience what it is like to have to make the kind of split-second decisions that officers must often make. I only wish that the "armchair police" who condemn the police while sitting comfortably in their cozy living rooms could personally share my experience that day. I am certain that it would change many minds or, at the very least, help them gain some important perspective on police shootings.
I have great affection for the police. Some of my friends and colleagues see this as particularly ironic, given that I have dedicated most of my professional career to representing plaintiffs suing the police in civil rights and wrongful death cases, including a case involving police misconduct in Columbine after the infamous school murders there in 1999 and a case against District of Columbia police officers who failed to protect a civilian undercover informant in a matter related to the D.C. Starbucks murders.
But my years of experience working with police officers have taught me that the overwhelming majority of them are dedicated and noble professionals who leave their loved ones to live with the fear of being killed every time they go on duty and risk their lives to "protect and defend" all of us. I came to understand that, over and above my duty to do my best to win the best possible outcome for my clients, I was making an important contribution to society by helping to remove the very few bad apples from the barrel.
If we are to believe the mainstream media, voicing support for the police has become unpopular across much of contemporary America, and even daring to express such support creates risk, both personally and professionally. But given recent sickening developments where even advocating for the murder of police officers is viewed favorably in some quarters – "Pigs in a blanket, fry 'em like bacon," etc. – it is past time for all of us to speak out.
There are incompetent teachers, lawyers, plumbers, accountants, reporters and media professionals, but they should only be disciplined if they fail to meet the established standard of care. And, yes, there are racists – white, black, and every other imaginable color, creed and religion – in every field of endeavor, including policing, and it is important that they be identified, removed from their positions, and punished appropriately.
There are incompetent doctors whose licenses should be revoked, but not one of them is G-d (although some may act that way); thus, a bad medical result does not necessarily mean that he or she has committed malpractice, and doctors should only be disciplined when they fail to meet the established standard of medical care. Similarly, the law does not, and should not, hold a police officer strictly liable in a shooting, even in profoundly sad cases where the victim dies. He or she must be shown to have violated the standard of care for a police officer under the circumstances – and that standard of care must account for the fact that these officers are often forced to make split-second decisions that may turn out to be wrong.
Another important thing that I have learned in my years of practice is that one must not draw conclusions from media accounts, even in increasingly rare instances where the media is fair and balanced. Even when the media try to be accurate, they often get it wrong. Videotapes are often unreliable because they only present a particular angle, or because they do not show what preceded the evidence depicted, or because they have been expertly tampered with. Recent studies also show that even first-hand testimony by eyewitnesses is often mistaken.
This is why we have trials. This is why defendants – yes, even police officers – have the constitutional right to the presumption of innocence. This is why every criminal defendant – yes, including police officers – can only be convicted if the prosecution proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the officer violated the standard of care under the exigencies of the circumstances.
It is not my intention here to discuss any of the recent cases involving police shootings; that is another subject for another day. I was not there – but neither were the leftists who have already convicted all police officers involved in shootings; neither were the rioters who advocate killing the police and, in some cases, have actually done so; and neither were Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other politicians who find it unnecessary to wait for a trial.
There are certain basic principles that must be restored to their fundamental place in the American legal system and in our media. First, black lives certainly do matter – very much – but so do facts. Second, trial by media and a rush to judgment is un-American and dangerous. Third, our communities and our nation cannot survive without the "thin blue line" and, as we are seeing with our own eyes, there is a direct correlation between disempowering and defunding the police and increased violent crime.
Not surprisingly, with declining numbers of police officers in many cities, many of whom are taking early retirement or simply leaving the force, and with those who – understandably – remain increasingly reluctant to put their lives and careers on the line by doing their jobs, the anti-Semites are emerging fearlessly from their ratholes. The result is that Jewish communities are becoming particular targets of crime and hate to the point that papers like The Jewish Press now report instances of Jews being afraid to go out in public wearing kippot, tzitzit, and other items that identify them as Jews – this, in the United States of America.
Much as Black protestors do not grasp that it is their own communities and their own people that will suffer most from defunding the police and making law enforcement virtually impossible, I find it incredible that so many leftist Jews support anti-police movements that will greatly increase their odds of becoming victims of serious crime.
Despite my professional experience with a few bad cops, I profoundly believe that Blue Lives Matter. That is why whenever I encounter a police officer in my community on patrol or protecting our houses of worship, I make a point to thank him or her for their service. You should, too; they very much need and appreciate the support.