In Plain Language: The ghost of Judaism past, and my trip to the ghost of Judaism past, my trip to Prague, Czech Pictures one of four and RYO Piano Minute Tune and a Prayer for COVID and COVID Vaccine in Israel: Booster Shot Significantly Lowers Infections and Serious Cases and Sunday, September 12, Shalom Pollock tour Ammunition Hill, site of the key battle for Yerushalayim in the Six Days War. We will see the acclaimed sound and light presentation of the dramatic events and a tour of the battle field and memorial and Herodion tour the same day
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.
Sunday, September 12, Shalom Pollock tour Ammunition Hill, site of the key battle for Yerushalayim in the Six Days War. We will see the acclaimed sound and light presentation of the dramatic events and a tour of the battle field and memorial and Herodion tour the same day
Ammunition Hill, site of the key battle for Yerushalayim in the Six Days War.We will see the acclaimed sound and light presentation of the dramatic events and a tour of the battle field and memorial. Herodion , We will tour this most impressive mountain palace/fortress of King Herod and the Jewish rebels against Rome. The newest excavations unveiling Herod's opulent and hidden burial site are now on display.We will see an excellent movie about the site before our visit atop the famous half natural and half man made mountain. Pene Kedem,We will ride though biblical landscapes where few go today. On the periphery of the Gush Etzion territory is a small outpost securing the lands of Eretz Yisroel from encroachers. We will have the honor of meeting an idealistic pioneer family guarding our land by herding sheep over wide areas of this territory. Their presence and sacrifice is securing a corner of Eretz Yisroel for Am Yisroel. We depart from the Inbal hotel at 9:00 Return before 6:00
Save us, have mercy on us, and rescue us, because it is your way to do gratuitous
kindness in every single generation.
Master of the universe, bring recovery and healing for all our diseases, sufferings and
injuries, and send a cure for this disease.
Rescue the entire world from every pestilence and plague, and in particular from the
coronavirus. And receive our prayer with mercy and good will.
How I handle Adversity
Viktor Frankl used to emphasize that our lives are determined not by what happens to us but by how we respond to what happens to us – and how we respond depends on how we interpret events. Is this disaster the end of my world or is it life calling on me to exercise heroic strength so that I can survive and help others to survive? The same circumstances may be interpreted differently by two people, leading one to despair, the other to heroic endurance. The facts may be the same but the meanings are diametrically different. How we interpret the world affects how we respond to the world, and it is our responses that shape our lives, individually and collectively. That is why, in the famous words of Max De Pree, "The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality."
COVID Vaccine in Israel: Booster Shot Significantly Lowers Infections and Serious Cases and
Israel has found that a third COVID jab for the elderly offers five to six times greater protection after 10 days with regard to serious illness and hospitalization
A third dose of Pfizer 's COVID-19 vaccine has significantly improved protection from infection and serious illness among people aged 60 and older in Israel compared with those who received two shots, findings published by the Health Ministry showed on Sunday.
The data was presented at a meeting of a ministry panel of vaccination experts on Thursday and uploaded to its website on Sunday, though the full details of the study were not released.
Breaking down statistics from Israel's Gertner Institute and KI Institute, ministry officials said that among people aged 60 and over, the protection against infection provided from 10 days after a third dose was four times higher than after two doses.
A third jab for over 60-year-olds offered five to six times greater protection after 10 days with regard to serious illness and hospitalization.
That age group is particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 and in Israel was the first to be inoculated when the vaccine drive began in late December.
In recent weeks, the health ministry has said immunity has diminished over time for seniors and younger people as well. Most vaccinated people who fell severely ill in Israel were over 60 and with underlying health conditions.
Israel started administering third jabs to over 60-year-olds on July 30. On Thursday it dropped the age of eligibility for a booster to 40, and included pregnant women, teachers and health care workers below that age. Third doses are given only to those who received their second shot at least five months ago.
The United States has announced plans to offer booster shots to all Americans, citing data showing diminishing protection. Canada, France and Germany have announced booster campaigns.
Fighting an outbreak of the delta variant since June, Israel presently has one of the world's highest infection rates per capita. Close to 1.5 million people out of the country's 9.3 million population have taken a third jab.
My trip to Czech and Prague in the beginning in the August
In Plain Language: The ghost of Judaism past
Prague, by all accounts, is a charismatic and captivating city. Architecturally, aesthetically, historically, it is a feast for the eyes and heart.
Prague Synagogue 521 (photo credit: Courtesy: Susie Weiss) I don't believe in ghosts; never have. But it's hard not to believe in something when it surrounds you at every step.
Prague, by all accounts, is a charismatic and captivating city. Architecturally, aesthetically, historically, it is a feast for the eyes and heart.Majestic baroque and cubist buildings stare out at you from every corner. Medieval sculptures, carved into the corners and cornices of virtually every structure, follow your path as you tread down the ancient cobblestone streets. There is much here to appreciate and be amazed by, from the historic Charles Bridge connecting the old and new city, to the spectacular ninth-century Prague Castle – the largest in the world – to the magnificent Astronomical Clock on the Old Town square, which chimes each hour to the accompaniment of bugle players and quaint mechanical moving figures. Yet just beyond the imposing facades, in the silence of the narrow alleyways and in the shadow of the towering spires, I hear the voices of the past. Echoes of the Jewish communities that once filled these same streets, the men and women who long ago built grand synagogues and vibrant houses of study led by world-renowned masters of Torah and Talmud. Echoes of a rich and robust Jewry that persevered under the worst of circumstances, enduring centuries of both enviable achievement and desperate anxiety, until they were finally snuffed out, along with the other major centers of European Jewry. The first stop on our trip is the ancient Jewish cemetery in the heart of Josefov, the Jewish Quarter. Because the land allotted to the Jews was woefully insufficient to bury their dead, there are at least seven layers of graves lying deep beneath the surface, whereas many as 100,000 people are buried. But while the graves are invisible, the tombstones are ubiquitous, and stretch as far as the eye can see. They stand as silent, solemn witnesses to the past 1,000 years, from the time Jewish settlers first came to Bohemia, and they testify to a nation within a nation that included every conceivable vocation, from salesman to seamstress to scholar.The greatest of these scholars was Rabbi Yehuda Loew, the famed Maharal of Prague (1525-1609). In lesser intellectual circles – and certainly among the tour guides peddling fantasy to wide-eyed visitors seeking same – he was the progenitor of the Golem, a clay figure brought to life in order to protect the downtrodden disciples of the Maharal.Incessantly preyed upon by the locals, the city's heretofore defenseless Jews could count on their very own superhero to come to their rescue at the slightest sign of a new pogrom.
As the legend goes, the Golem overstepped his bounds one day and had to be de-humanized (not all that unknown a phenomenon in medieval Europe) and locked away in the upper attic of the Altneu (Old New) synagogue. He has not been heard from since, though a nearby restaurant – whose specialty is pork sausage – bears his name, and I overheard a guide telling his audience that, during the Nazi occupation, an overeager SS man tried entering his chambers, never to be heard from again. Would that it were so. The synagogues of Prague are unquestionably stunning, though spiritually sterile. The Spanish Synagogue, which rightly bills itself as "the most beautiful in all of Europe," is a marvel of Moorish design, flourished with arabesque and oriental motifs. Built-in 1868, it is now part of Prague's Central Jewish Museum and, because it is acoustically perfect, holds weekly classical concerts by members of the Czech National Symphony. We attended one such concert. The program said Vivaldi and Ravel were being played, but I closed my eyes and heard only Kol Nidre and Kaddish. The other synagogues are no less impressive, each highlighting a different chapter in Prague's rich Jewish story. The Maisel Synagogue, done in baroque style, recounts the checkered history of the area's Jewish population which, at its height between the world wars, numbered 360,000 souls. Alternately invited and evicted, the Jews lived at the whim of the duke or deacon of the time, forced to pay heavy taxes and, for many years, restricted to a Chinese-like policy of only one son per family. The Klausen Synagogue, down the street, holds a well-done exhibit on Jewish life from cradle to grave, as well as a tour of the holidays of the Hebrew calendar.Most striking in these houses of worship is the sheer amount of Jewish artifacts on display, the greatest collection anywhere on the planet. For it was here that Hitler planned to build the Museum of the Extinct Jewish Race, where he would showcase to the world a once-proud civilization that he and his "thousand-year Reich" had expunged from the Earth. And so he shipped tens of thousands of items – from circumcision knives to menorahs to Torah scrolls – to Prague, storing them in the synagogues, which he spared from destruction. Twelve years after his murderous reign began, Hitler was gone – along with almost all of European Jewry – leaving the holy silver artifacts orphaned and terribly alone.Which brings us to the Pinkas Synagogue, a place that haunts even the most stoic of visitors. There, on its whitewashed walls, are cataloged 80,000 names of Jews who perished in the Holocaust; 153 communities of Bohemia and Moravia that vanished into nearby Terezin (Theresienstadt) and the ovens of Auschwitz. The sheer volume of names and dates overwhelms you; you are helpless, speechless in that sea of red and black that surrounds you. And the ghosts are all around you. As you walk among the sites of Prague, the Jewish presence is everywhere – and nowhere. Flanking the Astronomical Clock are four figures representing the four faces of Fear, one of them being Greed, represented by a bearded Jew in the tall hat which Jews were forced to wear. And in the center of the Charles Bridge is the infamous statue of Jesus on the cross with the Hebrew words "Kadosh, Kadosh, Kadosh – Holy, Holy, Holy" encircling him. Though the current spin is that a Jew, centuries ago, spat on the statue and so was forced to supply the golden Hebrew lettering, one suspects that this was just another way of taunting and tormenting the powerless Jewish populace.While there are several kosher restaurants in the Jewish Quarter and Chabad struggles valiantly to provide a working synagogue – three of the four days we attended services, we brought the minyan to 10 – the vast majority of the Jews in this place are ethereal, their spirits floating from shul to deserted shul, pleading with us to ignore the glamorous facade and recognize the overwhelming tragedy that befell Jewish life in this place, when the world that once was, became eradicated forever.After four days of walking with ghosts, I board a plane to return to the place where Judaism is alive – and generally well; the place where, for the rest of time, Jewish history will be played out in the flesh, in all its vibrancy and vigor. The place I thankfully call Home. The writer, who leads Jewish tours around the world, is director of the Jewish Outreach Center of Ra'anana; firstname.lastname@example.org
RYO Piano Minute Tune
I had this Piano Minute tune in my head for quite some time and finally sat down and played it. I just uploaded it to YouTube and wanted to share it with you. It's called "Elul Reflections"