Breaking News: Study: COVID booster recipients 20 times more protected against serious illness and The Ingathering of the Exiles Is NOT Over By Maj. Gen. Gershon Hacohen and Moon Mass compared to Earth Mass and Anuradha Mittal Who Spearheaded Ben & Jerry’s Boycott on Israeli Settlements Accused of Fiduciary Deceit By David Israel and Rabbi Stav: Residents of Lod Don’t have to Sleep in the SukkahBy David Israel
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.
A new study conducted in Israel shows that individuals are given a third COVID-19 vaccine dose are nearly twenty times more protected against serious illness and more than ten times more protected against infection, compared with those who received their second dose at least five months previously.
The research, published on Wednesday by The New England Journal of Medicine, showed that 12 days after receiving a booster shot of a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, the chance of infection was 11.3 times less than among those eligible for a third shot but didn't get one.
And the chance of suffering serious illness as a result of COVID-19 among those who had received a booster shot was 19.5 times less, the research said.
The study was conducted by researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science, the Ministry of Health, the Technion, the Hebrew University, Sheba Medical Center, and the KI Institute.
Even with a more conservative analysis, which attempted to control possible behavioral differences between the two groups, the infection rate was at least 5 times lower in the group that had received the booster shot, the Health Ministry said in a statement.
The research includes data from more than 1 million Israelis. Among those who hadn't received a booster shot despite being eligible, there were 4,439 confirmed infections, including 294 serious patients. Among those who received the booster at least 12 days previously, there were 934 infections including 29 serious cases.
An Israeli woman receives a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at a Clalit clinic on September 1, 2021 in Jerusalem. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
The Israeli data could not say how long the boosted protection lasts.
But a separate study conducted at Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, outside Tel Aviv, has stoked optimism as to the amount of time for which the booster shot retains its protection.
The study found that the antibody levels a week after the third COVID-19 vaccine dose was administered to its staff were ten times higher than their levels a week after the second dose was administered.
Israel — the first country to officially offer a third dose — began its COVID-19 booster campaign on August 1, initially rolling it out to those over the age of 60. It then gradually dropped the eligibility age, eventually expanding it to everyone aged 12 and up who received the second shot at least five months ago.
As of Thursday, nearly 3 million Israelis had received their third dose.
Meanwhile in the US, influential government advisers will debate Friday if there's enough proof that a booster dose of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective — the first step toward deciding which Americans need one and when.
The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday posted much of the evidence its advisory panel will consider.
Pfizer's argument is that while protection against severe disease is holding strong in the US, immunity against milder infection wanes somewhere around six to eight months after the second dose.
More important, Pfizer said, those antibodies appear strong enough to handle the extra-contagious Delta variant that is surging around the world.
A man receives his third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at a temporary health care center in Jerusalem, on August 29, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
To bolster its case, Pfizer pointed the FDA to the new data from Israel.
Pfizer said the data published on Thursday translates to "roughly 95% effectiveness" against Delta — comparable to the protection seen shortly after the vaccine's rollout earlier in the year.
In Israel, the R-value — the reproduction rate of the virus measuring the average number of people each positive person infects — rose to 1.14 on Thursday, after it had hit a 4-month low of 0.81 just days earlier.
Any number over 1 indicates infections are rising, while a figure below that signals that an outbreak is abating.
There were 8,601 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed on Wednesday, according to the Health Ministry.
Of the 83,704 active cases, 654 are in serious condition. Since the start of the pandemic last year, 7,465 people have died of COVID-19 complications in Israel.
The Three Musketeers at the Kotel
Rabbi Stav: Residents of Lod Don't have to Sleep in the Sukkah
Rabbi David Stav, Chief Rabbi of the city of Shoham, Chairman of the Tzohar organization, and Rabbi for the Ezra youth movement, absolved Jews who live in cities with Jews and Arabs of the obligation to sleep in the sukkah during the holiday.
The question was posed on Sunday by a resident of Lod, following several shooting incidents in recent days in the diverse cities of Lod and Ramla.
The commandment to sleep in the sukkah is one of the components of the commandment to sit in the sukkah which is learned from the verse (Lev. 23:42): You shall dwell in booths seven days. The obligation to eat in the sukkah includes only large meals (with bread) and not snacking, but the obligation to sleep in the sukkah includes every type of sleep: sleeping through the night and napping.
Rabbi Stav posted on his Facebook page: "My essential response was that where there is danger one is not obligated to sleep in the sukkah. Of course, one should not infer from this local ruling, which referred to certain circumstances, to all the diverse cities and neighborhoods. The security personnel who are qualified to offer true security assessments for each locale should be consulted.
Rabbi Stav established the Tzohar organization after the Rabin assassination, together with Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, and Rabbi Rafi Feuerstein. Since 2009 he has served as the organization's chairman. In 2013 he ran for Chief Rabbi of Israel but was rejected by Haredali rabbis over his reputation as being too lenient in halachic matters.
"These days are challenging to the residents of Lod and other communities in the diverse cities," Rabbi Stav wrote and extended his blessing to them for the "mighty pioneering enterprise of which you are a part."
Anuradha Mittal Who Spearheaded Ben & Jerry's Boycott on Israeli Settlements Accused of Fiduciary Deceit By David Israel
Anuradha Mittal, the founder of the Oakland Institute, a progressive think tank, and head of the board of directors of Ben & Jerry's, has been the subject of a complaint to the IRS regarding her alleged funneling of thousands of dollars in cash from "her" corporation to her foundation.
The group that launched the complaint is the National Legal and Policy Center, a right-leaning 501(c)(3) non-profit group that monitors and reports on the ethics of public officials, supporters of liberal causes, and labor unions in the United States.
The report noted that "Anuradha Mittal is a trustee at the Ben & Jerry's Foundation, which has awarded $170,500 in grants to the Oakland Institute, an advocacy group that Mittal founded and where she serves as the paid executive director."
According to the NY Post (Head of Ben & Jerry's board accused of alleged self-dealing), "Part of the Ben & Jerry's Foundation cash went to finance the BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights. The controversial human rights group in the West Bank received $3,000 from the foundation in 2017, according to tax filings."
The NY Post also noted that "last year, the European Union pulled nearly $2 million worth of funding from BADIL after it refused to sign an 'anti-terror' clause in its funding contract. The clause stated that none of the EU's funds would be diverted to members of terrorist organizations, such as the military wings of Hamas and Hezbollah."
According to NGO Monitor, "on December 30, 2019, BADIL and other Palestinian NGOs launched a 'Palestinian National Campaign to Reject Conditional Funding' which rejects new requirements in European Union grant contracts that prohibit grantees from working with and funding organizations and individuals designated on the EU's terror lists. In the campaign, BADIL labeled this policy as 'conditioned funding' and 'so-called anti-terrorism clauses and policies … on preventing terrorism that affects the history and struggle of our people, justified the use of violence, and claimed that the "Palestinian resistance factions are not terrorist organizations."
According to NGO Monitor, "on May 7, 2020, BADIL published a position paper calling EU measures that bar funding to organizations on the EU's terror lists "not only morally and politically unacceptable, but also illegal in consideration of international law. BADIL is a member of the Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO), which also vehemently opposed the requirements. PNGO claimed that Palestinian terrorist organizations are "political parties."
Incidentally, in July, Anuradha Mittal's group published a 2006 article by Green Party Senate candidate Todd Chretien (Inside the Middle East Humanitarian Crisis), who wrote, while the second Israel-Lebanon war was going on: "It is not the American anti-war movement's job to lecture the people of the Middle East on how to conduct their resistance. You do not have to agree with all of Hezbollah's ideas to support their resistance to Israel. Condemning "both sides" in the Middle East is just like condemning 'both sides' in the American Civil War."
"The Ben & Jerry's Foundation grants to the Oakland Institute could run afoul of self-dealing laws, which prohibit private foundations from using funds to benefit their trustees, according to the National Legal and Policy Center, an ethics watchdog group," the Beacon wrote. "Ben & Jerry's and its parent company Unilever have been under increased scrutiny since the ice cream company's July decision to boycott Israel. Several states have moved to divest from Unilever following the backlash."
Also according to the IRS (Disqualified Person – Intermediate Sanctions), "a disqualified person is any person who was in a position to exercise substantial influence over the affairs of the applicable tax-exempt organization at any time during the lookback period. It is not necessary that the person actually exercise substantial influence, only that the person be in a position to do so."
"In response to anti-Jewish measures in Germany during the 1930s, Unilever replaced Jews on its supervisory boards. In 1938, the company even appointed Karl Blessing to lead Unilever NV's presidium. Blessing was a member of the Reichsbank executive board, the central bank of the German Reich from 1876 until 1945. … As then-CEO of Unilever Paul Rykens put it, "In Germany, we are a German firm."
"Shortly after Kristallnacht, Rykens asked his board for permission to start negotiations to acquire an interest in A.E. Wasserman, a Jewish-owned bank. Unilever's stake in the bank was kept below 50% to keep its participation in Germany's Aryanization program under the radar. 'The fact that we are only a sleeping partner will restrict not only our actual liability to this amount but also our moral responsibility,' Rykens wrote. 'The actual facts will only be disclosed to the Government Bank Controller, whereas for the outside world our participation will be given in the name of a third party.'"
"While Israel, the Middle East's only democracy, has been singled out for punishment, Unilever continues to do business with Iran, Iraq, and Syria—countries committed to Israel's destruction," Ridenour wrote. "Although Ben & Jerry's ice cream isn't sold in those countries, until December it operated in Malaysia, the most anti-Semitic country in Asia. In 2019, Malaysia banned Israeli athletes from participating in Paralympic Games it was hosting, prompting the International Paralympic Committee to move the games elsewhere. Its prime minister at the time, Mahathir Mohamad, said, 'The Jews are not merely hook-nosed, but understand money instinctively' and 'I'm glad to be labeled anti-Semitic.'"
With that in mind, Ridenour recommended: "Getting rid of the Ben & Jerry's brand may be the only way Unilever can prove it has broken from its anti-Semitic past."
Diaspora Minister Nachman Shai is not the only public figure to have stopped seeing the ingathering of the exiles as a national goal. This is a negation of the essence and purpose of Zionism as understood and emphasized by the vast majority of the leaders of the founding generation. The most prominent of those leaders was David Ben-Gurion, who considered the redemption of Israel to be the state's reason for being. He explicitly cited the words of Chazal in Tractate Brachot and consciously and consistently used religious Jewish expressions to explain his position on this issue.
Ben-Gurion said, "Neither security nor the development of the country are the essence of the state. They are but essential conditions. The State of Israel is not like any other state … The Jewish People has carried the yearning for redemption in its heart [for millennia]. The State is just the beginning of this redemption whereas the ingathering of the exiles is the yearning, destiny, and mission of the State of Israel. Without this destiny, it is devoid of its historical meaning and turns its back on the Jewish People today, in the generations that preceded us, and in the generations to come."
Returning to the Land of Israel is a national-religious obligation and also obliges the Jews who already live here. A state, like intimacy and love, is not a phenomenon that, once established, is on a static trajectory. It needs to be nurtured and regenerated daily. A state is in a constant process of establishment—especially the Jewish State, where the ingathering of the exiles is its "yearning, destiny, and mission." Being strong and prosperous is not an end in itself; the Jewish state must be strong and prosperous in order to accomplish its fundamental mission and destiny.
It is not for nothing that the term "עלייה (aliya)"—roughly meaning "ascent"—cannot be accurately translated, as it does not exist in any other language. As a concept, it is not equivalent to "immigration." The Hebrew word "aliya" refers to one thing only: Jews coming to Israel. A Jew who moved from the USSR to the US is an immigrant, but a Jew who moved from the USSR to Israel is an "oleh" ("one who ascends"). A Jew who leaves Israel for another country is a "yored" ("one who descends"). Until a few decades ago, this was self-evident to every Israeli Jew. This is the context in which Jewish immigration and emigration are defined: there is one and only homeland, and a Jew living anywhere else is outside it.
Even during the aliya of Ezra and Nehemiah, in the early days of the Second Temple, most Jews chose to remain in the Babylonian exile. As the sages said, "Because of our sins we were exiled from our land and moved away from our land." Jews pray three times a day: "May a great shofar sound our freedom and act as a miracle to gather our dispersed people."
The writer A.B. Yehoshua has described the Jewish temptation toward exile as an ancient genetic defect. Zionism exists to correct this defect, and the determination to do so must be restated every day by every Jew.
Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto.
Take a box and fill up that box with metal, such as iron. then check it's mass. After that, fill up the same box with plastic and measure it's mass. There would be a huge difference. The mass does NOT depend on size. It depends on what it is made of.
Earth's diameter is 7,918 miles (12,742 kilometers) and the Moon's diameter is 2.158 Miles (3,474 kilometers). By reading these numbers, you think the moon is 4 times smaller. Yes, the diameter is 4 times smaller but that does NOT make the whole moon 4 times smaller. Moon is even more smaller.
Look at the above cube picture. The big cube is 8 inches high and 8 inches wide. The small black cube at the right, is 2 inches high and 2 inches wide. By reading the number 2 and 8, you understand the big cube is 4 times bigger. But, in reality, 64 of that small cubes fit inside the bigger cube. That is 64 times bigger !!
The same way, the diameter of the Earth is just 4 times bigger than the diameter of Moon. But in reality, 50 moons can fit inside the earth. Again, the mass of something does NOT depend on it's size. It depends on what that is made of.
See you tomorrow bli neder
Succot starts on Monday night and is on Tuesday in Israel and Tuesday and Wednesday outside of Israel with some intermediate days finishing the following week.