Breaking news: Traveling to Israel? Here’s the New Entry PlanBy Hana Levi Julian and Reflections On My Rebbe, Rav Moshe Dovid Tendler, zt”lBy Rabbi Shimshon HaKohen Nadel and attitude is everything and Ben-Gvir in Action: Arab Rapper Who Compared Israel to the Nazis Dropped from Govt. Campaign By David Israel and the Torah portion of Vayera
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.
Abraham waited 100 years for the Almighty to fulfill His blessing that a son would be born to him and Sarah. Isaac grew and Sarah, like her son, had to contend with the influence of Abraham's other son Ishmael. Sarah demands that Abraham banish Ishmael, a demand that does not find favor in Abraham's eyes. However, the Lord makes known to Abraham that Sarah's demand is justified. "Everything which Sarah says to you, you must listen to her voice" (Genesis 21;12).
Sarah is the first of the seven prophetesses chosen by G-d and therefore Abraham must abide to her demand.
The seven prophetesses are: Sarah, Miriam, Deborah, Chanah, Abigail, Chuldah and Esther (Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Megillah 14a).
An allusion to the seven prophetesses and the pronouncement to listen to Sarah can be found in the seven crowns that appear atop the letters "shin" in the words "Sarah" and "Shema" (listen). (The Rokeiach on the Torah)
All Israeli officials related to the travel industry met Thursday (Oct. 21) with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to determine the country's policy regarding tourism and entry to Israel.
Participating in the discussion were the ministers of Health and Tourism and the director generals of their ministries, the Transportation Ministry Director General, the national coronavirus project manager, the Director of the Public Health Services, the national crossings project manager, the Deputy Attorney General, the Assistant to the Defense Minister on Civil Defense, the Deputy Director of the National Security Council, the Finance Ministry Budget Director, the Director of the Israel Airports Authority, the Director of the Population and Immigration Authority and other professional officials.
Below is the plan that was approved. It will take effect on November 1 and be updated in accordance with developments and the discovery of new variants.
Of special note is the welcome news that visitors to the Jewish State no longer need a first-degree relative to enter the country.
The guidelines are to be brought to the approval of the government "in the near future," the Prime Minister's Office said.
The following persons are eligible to enter Israel under the new plan:
• Foreign nationals who have been inoculated with two doses of the Pfizer vaccine at least seven days prior to their day of entry into Israel (7 days must have passed since their second dose upon their arrival into Israel, but no more than 180 days upon their leaving Israel).
• Foreign nationals who have been inoculated with two doses of the Moderna vaccine at least 14 days prior to their day of entry into Israel (14 days must have passed since their second dose upon their arrival into Israel, but no more than 180 days upon their leaving Israel).
• Foreign nationals who have been inoculated with one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least 14 days prior to their day of entry into Israel (14 days must have passed since their second dose upon their arrival into Israel, but no more than 180 days upon their leaving Israel).
• Foreign nationals who have been inoculated with the Pfizer booster and at least seven days have passed, on the day of their entering Israel.
• Foreign nationals who have been inoculated with the Moderna, Sinovac Astra Zeneca and Johnson & Johnson booster and at least 14 days have passed, on the day of their entering Israel.
• Foreign nationals who have recovered from COVID-19 and who present proof of the results of a positive NAAT test at least 11 days prior to their day of entry into Israel (11 days must have passed since their NAAT test upon their arrival into Israel, but no more than 180 days upon their leaving Israel).
• Foreign nationals who have recovered from COVID-19 and have received at least one dose of the WHO-approved vaccines.
Groups exempt from quarantine on the basis of functioning as a capsule that stays together within their own groups:
• Tourists who have been inoculated with a WHO-approved vaccine.
• The group functions in Israel like a ״capsule״, meaning they are only in contact with the people in their group – these groups will not have leisure time and their movement will be restricted in areas in which there is an increased risk of infection.
• Up to 2,000 tourists in a capsule per day (a more stringent plan will apply to mixed groups).
• Either a daily antigen tests or a PCR test every two days must be administered for 14 days from the day of entry into Israel.
• Tourists who have not been in red countries or countries under severe travel warnings in the 14 days prior to entering Israel.
• These groups are not required to undergo serological tests.
The Three Musketeers at the Kotel
ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING!
A famous writer was in his study. He picked up his pen and began writing:
** Last year, my gall bladder was removed. I was stuck in bed due to this surgery for a long time. ** The same year I reached the age of 60 and had to give up my favorite job. I had spent 30 years of my life with this publishing company. ** The same year I experienced the death of my father. ** In the same year my son failed in his medical exam because he had a car accident. He had to stay in the hospital with a cast on his leg for several days. ** And the destruction of the car was a second loss. At the end he wrote: Alas! It was such bad year!!
When the writer's wife entered the room, she found her husband looking sad and lost in his thoughts. From behind his back she read what was written on his paper. She left the room silently and came back shortly with another paper on which she had written her summary of the year and placed it beside her husband's writing.
When the writer saw her paper, he read:
** Last year I finally got rid of my gall bladder which had given me many years of pain. ** I turned 60 with sound health and retired from my job. Now I can utilize my time to write better and with more focus and peace. ** The same year my father, at the age of 95 without depending on anyone and without any critical conditions, met his Creator. ** The same year, God blessed my son with life. My car was destroyed, but my son was alive and without permanent disability. At the end she wrote: This year was an immense blessing and it passed well!!
See!! The same incidents but different viewpoints.
Moral: In our daily lives we must see that it's not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy. There is always, always, always something to be thankful for.
ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING!
Ben-Gvir in Action: Arab Rapper Who Compared Israel to the Nazis Dropped from Govt. Campaign
Tamer Nafar, an Israeli Arab rapper, actor, screenwriter, and social activist, was dropped on Thursday by Israel's Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Social Services headed by Minister Meir Cohen (Yesh Atid) from a campaign that encourages Israeli Arabs to contact the authority if they have been assaulted.
"Were you hurt? Were you attacked? Tamer Nafar has something to say to you," the campaign video featuring the popular rapper urged viewers. "For assistance and advice call *9519 (Arabic) or 118 (Hebrew)."
Otzma Yehudit Chairman MK Itamar Ben-Gvir wrote a letter to the Welfare Minister Cohen, warning him: "The State of Israel has enlisted for an official campaign, using taxpayers' money, an anti-Semitic supporter of terrorism who has called for its boycott. This is nothing but a spit in the face of the Israeli public."
Ben-Gvir explained that "this is an extremist, nationalistic, and instigating musician, known for his anti-Semitic and anti-Israel messages, who openly supports BDS, a movement that calls for boycotting the State of Israel, and defines himself as 'a Palestinian with Israeli citizenship' while comparing Israel to the Nazis."
In 2001, Nafar and his band DAM (Da Arabian MC's) issued their song "Who is the terrorist," accusing Israel of terrorism against the Arabs, Justifying Arab terrorist acts, and even comparing Israel to Nazi Germany.
MK Ben-Gvir noted that "Nafar was documented about two years ago during a performance in the United States saying 'I cannot be anti-Semitic alone, let's try it together.'"
In response, Welfare Minister Cohen issued a statement saying that in light of the information that MK Ben-Gvir had passed on to him and detailed in his letter, Minister Cohen instructed his people to stop the item that was shared on the ministry's website, and in the future to show great sensitivity to anything related to collaborations with parties whose very participation can lead to harm to the Israeli public.
So it's all good. MK Ben-Gvir praised Minister Cohen for taking the proper action, saying, "Let every Israel-hating artist know that it's impossible to spit on the state and our soldiers, incite, defame, and slander on the one hand and on the other lead a campaign on behalf of a government ministry. Those who hate the IDF and the people of Israel do not deserve to receive a campaign from the State of Israel."
Reflections On My Rebbe, Rav Moshe Dovid Tendler, zt"l
The Talmud (Mo'ed Katan 25b) relates that following the death of Rabba and Rav Yosef, the bridges over the Euphrates collapsed into one another; and following the death of Abaye and Rava, the bridges over the Tigris collapsed into one another. These great Sages were "bridges" – ba'alei mesorah – connecting one generation to the next. And their deaths marked the end of an era.
Moreinu HaRav Moshe Dovid Tendler, zt"l, was a living link in the chain of tradition. He connected us to the gedolim of the previous generations, all the way back to Sinai. And his death too marks the end of an era.
Rav Tendler was many things: A posek and a professor. A rosh yeshiva and a scientist. A world-class talmid chacham with a Ph.D. in microbiology. A communal leader and synagogue rabbi. But to me, he was a rebbe.
His shiur was unlike any other in the yeshiva. Rav Tendler wouldn't get lost in abstractions, pilpulim, or lomdus. Instead, his shiur focused on the practical application of halacha. The sugya would come to life – pirouetting off the page of the Gemara – as Rav Tendler would share real questions and cases he was involved in, drawing on years of experience as a posek. We would often look together at the teshuvot of his beloved shver, HaGaon Rav Moshe Feinstein, zt"l, with Rav Tendler providing fascinating footnotes and important background information to the teshuvah.
Rav Tendler defined Torah l'shmah – the study of Torah for its own sake – as "l'shem hora'ah," for the sake of being able to rule; to render p'sak halacha. He would invoke Kiddushin 30a: "The words of Torah should be sharp in your mouth, so should someone ask you a question you will not stammer [but] answer him immediately." He was critical of those who study in yeshiva or kollel for many years, but when asked how to make a cup of tea on Shabbos, "don't want to pasken."
It was not uncommon for me to be sitting with him in his office at Yeshiva University, or at his home in Monsey, NY, when he would receive a phone call, usually from across the globe, on some serious matter. And it was also not uncommon for him to gesture to me to pick up the phone and listen in on the conversation, so I could hear how he navigated the complex question.
He wanted his talmidim to be competent and confident in answering a shayla.
He was also the address when the answer was unclear, or the question too great for a newly-minted rabbi. We knew we could turn to him and he would guide us, always generous with his time.
Talmidim Were Like Family
Rav Tendler treated us like his own children, and our children like his grandchildren. Our s'machot were his s'machot, and our successes were his successes. He was deeply invested in his talmidim, and was so proud of their accomplishments. Together with his late Rebbetzin Shifra, a"h, he would open up his home to us for Shabbat, Yom Tov, and Chanukah.
For decades, Rav Tendler served with distinction as a rosh yeshiva at Yeshiva University's Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary and professor of Biology and Jewish Medical Ethics at Yeshiva College. He entered the yeshiva at the age of 13 in 1939, and in his own words, "never left." YU's motto of Torah U'Madda was his personal mantra. He brought science into the beit midrash and Torah into the laboratory. Sophisticated sugyot were illuminated by scientific material, and his biology classes were peppered with statements of Chazal.
As a preeminent posek and pioneer in the field of medical halacha, Rav Tendler ruled on the most difficult and delicate areas of halacha: Complicated questions of pikuach nefesh, end-of-life issues, organ donation, agunot, abortion, and reproductive medicine. He answered them all with surgical precision, great finesse, and a great sense of responsibility.
Rav Tendler also developed a cancer drug he named Refuin. A Time magazine article in 1963 described how "the discovery made by Dr. Moses D. Tendler… took on an aura of romance because he spends only part of his time in the laboratory, the rest in his study as a Talmudic scholar."
His saintly father-in-law, Rav Moshe, turned to his beloved son-in-law with questions of medical procedures or innovations in science and technology. Rav Tendler is quoted in dozens of teshuvot in the Igrot Moshe, providing the necessary information needed.
Rav Tendler saw no conflict between Torah and science. For him, they lived together in perfect harmony. He was equally at home quoting Galen as he was quoting the Rambam.
A Long Lost World
Born in 1926, he would often say that he was born in a "small shtetl in Europe, known as the Lower East Side of Manhattan."
"Hitler killed more than six million Jews, he destroyed a culture that you kids don't even know about," he would remark. And in his shiur we were transported to a long lost world where a man dressed in tatters knew every Tosafot by heart and could be asked any question on any page of the Talmud.
Rav Tendler would share stories of how as a child he would accompany his maternal grandfather, Rav Shalom Baumrind, known as the Boyaner Mohel, to the fish market for kapporos, where he would buy a live carp and place a piece of bread soaked in schnapps in its mouth. He shared how the same grandfather would take him to the Boyaner Rebbe's tish, which he remembered as being regal and majestic, but to his grandfather's chagrin, still refused to take the Rebbe's shi'rayim. He recalled how his grandmother used to cut the bottoms of carrots first, as it's not nice to chop off the head.
He connected us to the gedolim of previous generations. As a bachur, he would read the Gemara for an elderly, blind Rav Yosef Eliyahu Henkin, zt"l, who sat on wooden orange crates so as not to take money from the yeshiva for furniture. He shared stories of his father, Rav Yitzchak Isaac Tendler, zt"l, who served as a rosh yeshiva at RJJ and the rav of the Kaminetzer Shul for decades, and his father's rebbe, Rav Boruch Ber Leibowitz, zt"l. Often, while relating a story about his beloved shver, Rav Tendler would have to hold back the tears.
For Rav Tendler, sharing these stories and anecdotes was not bittul Torah. "Even the mundane conversations of talmidei chachamim requires study" (Avoda Zara 19b), he said. He was connecting us with the mesorah. He taught his students more than just a blatt Gemara; he gave us a glimpse into greatness.
Rav Tendler was a towering intellectual giant, but at the same time very down to earth and easily approachable. Famous for his wry sense of humor, he possessed a sharp wit and biting sarcasm. Once, when asked by a student if a certain decadent dessert made with dairy equipment can be eaten after meat, he scratched his beard and wondered aloud if it should be eaten at all, given how unhealthy it is.
As a posek he could be unyielding, uncompromising, and unapologetic. He lived the Torah's charge to the dayan: "You shall not tremble before any man" (Devarim 1:17). Whether it was brain death, metzitza b'peh, or ascending the Temple Mount, he was unafraid to take a controversial position, even at great personal cost. He strove for truth, often quoting the Maharshal's comment that any distortion of the Torah is yehareg ve'al ya'avor (See Yam Shel Shlomo, Bava Kamma 4:9) or Rav Soloveitchik's comparison of a posek who errs to a false prophet.
His illustrious career spanned decades dedicated to Jewish communal life. As a rosh yeshiva and the rabbi of Community Synagogue of Monsey, he helped shape Orthodoxy in America in the 20th century. His books and dozens of scholarly articles on the intersection of halacha, science and medicine guided generations and will continue to guide generations to come. He was blessed with arichut yamim, and continued giving shiurim until his most recent illness made it too difficult. He drew strength from his great love for the Torah and his great love for his talmidim.
"From Moshe to Moshe, no one arose like Moshe." Like Moshe Rabbeinu, Moshe ben Maimon, and Rav Moshe Feinstein, Rav Tendler taught Torah to generations, connecting them to our mesorah.