12 Beautiful Train Stations Across the World and Jewish Partisan Litman (Mor) Moravchik Passes Away at 104 By Hana Levi Julian and The Eternal Life of Blood Libels Against the Jews By Phyllis Chesler and Where does the Nile River originate? Why does it never dry? and new studies shows two vaccination shots does the job against Long Covid and Covid booster shots effective against severe illness from omicron, CDC studies say
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 shows a major reduction in the most commonly-reported long-term symptoms of COVID-19 among individuals vaccinated with two doses and infected with the virus compared to non-vaccinated previously-infected individuals.
Those vaccinated and infected individuals reported no more of these symptoms than individuals who were never infected with the virus.
These findings suggest that two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine protect against long COVID. These results were not observed in individuals who received just a single dose.
The study, involving over 3,000 participants, showed a 50-80% reduction in seven of the ten most commonly reported long-term symptoms, such as fatigue, headache, weakness, and muscle pain, four to 11 months after infection among vaccinated cases compared with unvaccinated ones. These vaccinated cases were no more likely to report these symptoms than people who reported never having been diagnosed with COVID-19.
"A double comparison of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated COVID-19 cases followed by comparing vaccinated COVID-19 cases to people reporting no infection enabled us to show not only that vaccinated people were experiencing much fewer long COVID symptoms than unvaccinated people, but that that they did not report any more symptoms than people never infected," says Prof. Edelstein, whose Ph.D. student Paul Otiku led the complex data analysis.
This study is the first of comprehensive research on a large cohort of patients — both infected and non-infected with COVID-19 – whose health Edelstein and colleagues will continue to analyze over the coming years to understand the long-term impact of COVID-19. The cohort is comprised of over 4,000 participants, and more are being recruited.
The finding that vaccination is likely to protect against long COVID may encourage countries to expand their vaccination drives, and persuade individuals not yet vaccinated to exercise their right to get vaccinated.
The Three Musketeers at the Kotel
The Eternal Life of Blood Libels Against the Jews By Phyllis Chesler
photo Credit: courtesy
It's getting worse, far worse. Now, it is almost everywhere, in most publications, in so many languages, in school and university curricula, at conferences, in demonstrations, in countless petitions, in the mouths of celebrities, and at the United Nations.
I'm talking about Jew hatred, anti-Zionism, and Very Big Lies. This cannot end well; at least, it never has.
But now, fast forward to 2021 and I'm stunned by what Navi Pillay and the United Nations are currently up to. As we all know, the U.N. has never stopped a single genocide or ended a single human rights atrocity.
The only thing it has really done is legalize and institutionalize Jew and Israel hatred. Pillay, former U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, now leads a well-funded "Commission of Inquiry." The Jerusalem Postdescribed the commission as "an unprecedented open-ended war crimes probe against Israel."
Pillay was a supporter of the Goldstone Report, which condemned Israel for defending itself from Hamas's attacks on civilians in Israel in 2008. Over time, Judge Richard Goldstone expressed regret that his report "may have been inaccurate." Goldstone revealed that Israel did not target civilians as a matter of policy. In 2011, Goldstone wrote: "If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a very different document."
Professor Anne Bayefsky, director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust, describes this latest UN initiative as "Pillay's Pogrom" and the "most hostile and dangerous anti-Israel body the U.N. has ever created."
In reports, speeches, and resolutions, the United Nations has long charged Israel with practicing "apartheid." It is a rallying cry meant to link Israel to South African racism. However, it is not Israel that practices apartheid—it is Arab and Muslim countries. For example, in most Muslim countries today, infidels such as Christians, are fiercely persecuted, segregated, and increasingly murdered.
In terms of gender apartheid, Muslim women have historically been segregated, forcibly face veiled, married as children, forced to enter polygamist marriages, subjected to female genital mutilation, and "honor" murdered by their families. Most Muslim female lives are lived apart from all men except close male relatives.
Yet, the U.N. has spent more than 50 years legitimizing this Big Lie. The U.N., and the just departed Archbishop of South Africa.
Yes, Archbishop DesmondTutu, perhaps, the most influential Jew and Israel hater of his time. His death has just garnered 6,444 words in the NewYorkTimes. He was never held accountable for his comparison of South African-style apartheid with alleged Israeli apartheid; of course not. But after quoting American LGBT supporters and the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King's youngest daughter, the Times states:
"Palestinian leaders also mourned Archbishop Tutu, a forthright critic of Israel's actions towards Palestinians."
"His support for Palestine was an embrace of love & empathy," said Hanan Ashrawi, a Palestinian former peace negotiator, praising his commitment to "our shared struggle for justice and freedom."
This too, is a blood libel with potentially terrifying consequences.
This latest U.N. attempt to demonize and delegitimize the Jewish state through Pillay's inquiry is also a Big Lie. We must understand it in the context of some other lethal lies.
In the mid-20th century, the alleged massacre at Deir Yassin was another fabrication – one that still is believed, certainly in the Islamic world, and among some Western elites.
Men fought and, for a variety of reasons, the Jews won. The numbers involved were small. There were, according to Tauber, "about 120 (Jewish) attackers and 70-80 (Arab) defenders. Arabs were "killed, not massacred." But they lost. The Arab village fought alone with no reinforcements and no support from neighboring Arab villages. Most of the Arabs who were killed in Deir Yassin were combatants, men of fighting age, not women, children, or the elderly as has been alleged.
However, the shame of losing was impossible for the Arabs to bear. What drove the Arabs out of Deir Yassin and almost everywhere else, was eerily similar to what many Arab/Palestinians do today. They embed themselves and their weapons among their women, children, and elderly. They surround themselves with vulnerable human shields, and then when Israel targets terrorist launching sites and infrastructure, claim that it viciously sought out women and children.
Such deceptiveness is true in Gaza in the 21st century.
But in April 1948, the Arab/Palestinians spread rumors of a terrible, truly ghastly massacre in Deir Yassin, one that never took place—and, they alleged, wildly, and falsely, that rapes had also taken place which, in Tauber's view is what led to the mass Arab exodus. Tauber writes:
"The impact of Deir Yassin went far beyond Jerusalem and the surrounding villages and spread all over Palestine, causing fear and driving people to leave. A woman from Safad related hearing of the rapes and killings in Deir Yassin. Another refugee woman attributed the flight from Haifa to the fear of what the Jews were going to do to women, as they heard that women and girls were raped in Deir Yassin and the bellies of pregnant women and girls were slashed."
Slashing pregnant bellies characterizes Christian pogroms and Muslim farhuds against Jews; it is not something that Jews have done.
However, in 1948, according to Tauber, Husayn Fakhri al-Khalidi, secretary of the Arab Higher Committee, insisted that "25 pregnant women, 50 breast feeding mothers and 60 other girls and women were slaughtered like sheep" in Deir Yassin. A native of the city "wrote to an acquaintance in Egypt that the Jews used axes in Tiberias and Deir Yassin to chop off hands and legs of men and children and did 'awful things' to women."
Once again, Arabs, Muslims, Christians, and Cossacks do this to Jews in pogroms and farhuds. Jews have not been known to do so.
In 1948, Israeli intelligence analyzed the causes for Palestinian flight and found that such false rumors and exaggerated beliefs were a "decisive accelerating factor" in the Arab exodus.
Israel did not exile the Arabs. Only Arab rumors, Big Lies, did. They provoked shame in a shame-and-honor culture and it worked.
Tauber's work has yet to be reviewed in all the venues that have welcomed the belief in this alleged massacre. Either his work on Deir Yassin will not be widely reviewed or it will be savaged. I hope that I'm wrong.
I am hardly a scholar in this area, but it seems to me that the myth of this alleged massacre may have functioned just as the 20th century Al-Duramyth has in our current century. The entire world wanted to believe that Israelis would purposely, wantonly, and viciously kill an Arab child, sheltering in his father's arms. It did not happen.
And yet, blood libels against the Jews never quit, they seem to live on forever.
A booster dose of the Covid-19 vaccine significantly reduces a person's odds of hospitalization from the omicron variant, new research released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds.
The three new studies from the agency are among the first to look at the vaccines' impact against omicron in the United States, which now accounts for more than 99 percent of new cases in the country.
The research underscores the importance of booster shots to protect against severe illness from the rapidly spreading variant. Though cases are beginning to decline in some hard hit areas, such as in the Northeast, much of the nation's hospitals remain overwhelmed with Covid patients.
"Protection against infection and hospitalization with the omicron variant is highest for those who are up to date with their vaccination, meaning those who are boosted when they are eligible," said CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky during a White House Covid Task Force briefing Friday.
"There are still millions of people who are eligible for booster dose and have not yet received one," Walensky said.
An NBC News analysis of data from the Department of Health and Human Services finds that Covid-related hospitalizations are up 35 percent within the past two weeks, and admissions to intensive care units are up 28 percent in the same time frame.
The new studies find that a booster shot can provide robust protection against needing emergency medical care or hospitalization because of Covid-19.
In one analysis of 259 hospitals and 383 emergency departments from late August through early January, a third dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine was found to reduce the odds of a hospital or emergency room visit by 94 percent during the delta wave, and by 82 percent once omicron started spreading.
The data included adults who'd received either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. The study authors were able to tease out the effects of the boosters during both the delta and omicron waves of Covid.
When delta was surging, the two doses of the vaccine were 86 percent effective against visits to emergency departments and urgent care centers for Covid illnesses. That effectiveness fell to 76 percent after 6 months, but a booster raised the effectiveness to 94 percent.
Earlier this month, the CDC and Food and Drug Administration greenlit a third, or booster, shot for everyone ages 12 and over, five months after their second dose.
While the new research shows a drop in protection against omicron for people who haven't received a third dose of the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech shots, the CDC doesn't plan to change the definition of what it means to be fully vaccinated, Walensky said Friday.
Jewish Partisan Litman (Mor) Moravchik Passes Away at 104
Photo Credit: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, The Jeff and Toby Herr Oral History Archive
It's the passing of an era.
One of the last Jewish partisans to fight the Nazis, Litman (Mor) Moravchik, passed away at the age of 104 this past Friday evening in his own home, in his own bed and surrounded by his family.
Born Litman Moravchik, he told interviewers in 1995 during his Oral History that he changed his name to Mor in the 1960s, when he was tasked with traveling to foreign countries from Israel.
Born in 1917 in David-Gorodok, Belarus, Litman Mor learned in Hebrew school, participated in the Zionist youth movement and subsequently traveled to Vilna, Poland (Vilnius, Lithuania) in 1931 to further his education.
To watch the Oral History video of Litman Mor Moravchik, click here.
During his Oral History, he spoke about the rising antisemitism in 1933, the presumed and assorted escape options from Vilna during the late 1939 to early 1940 period and interestingly, how at that time he was more afraid of the Russians who then deported Jews to Siberia than he feared the Germans.
Mor remained in Vilna, obtaining assorted jobs in order to be spared the forced labor deportation. He spoke of life in the Vilna ghetto and the crowded conditions, his membership in a five person underground cell working for the Judenrat and how they printed underground leaflets.
He told the story of his escape from the ghetto and going into the woods, where he joined the partisans; his assignments involving intelligence, getting food, collecting ammunition, and sabotaging airports and trains behind enemy lines.
He also spoke about leaving the partisans at the end of the war, and the attitudes of those partisans towards Jews; how he spent time as a POW interpreter, assisting refugees to emigrate.
Mor also described returning to his home and discovering the fate of his family, his feelings toward Germans, and Germany, and the emotional effects of the Holocaust.
On Friday evening, Mor closed his eyes for the last time, exactly 80 years after he witnessed the Vilna Ghetto rally where Abba Kovner famously declared, "We shall not go like sheep to the slaughter."
He was the last living witness to that event, where Jewish partisans called for an uprising against the Holocaust and its Nazi murderers.
One of the organizers and pioneers of the underground two weeks before the liquidation of the Vilna Ghetto, Mor joined the Soviet partisans after the rally.
In an interview with Israeli newspaper Yediot Achronot last March, Mor recalled the time he had received four explosives with which to blow up four railway tracks, and how the bullets of the German soldiers whistled around him while carrying out his mission.
"But we were imbued with a fighting spirit against the Nazi enemy," he told the news outlet. "We fought not only to survive, but also to take revenge on the Germans."
Once contact was made with the partisans, the local underground headquarters decided to move its combat bases from the ghetto to the forest, Mor related. "For the first time, we thought there was a chance not to fall in battle in the ghetto, but to survive in the forests – although fighting in the forest did not guarantee survival either.
"I belonged to the Markov Brigade," he said. "Our battalion numbered about 100, including three Jewish men and women. In my company I was the only Jew, along with a Jew impersonating a Russian."
The partisans were not aiming for direct combat with the Nazis, he explained, but rather for sabotage: blowing up railway tracks, attacking and eliminating police stations in small towns and villages, and most importantly to ambush the transport and supply routes of the Germans on the main arteries and secondary roads. "In most cases we achieved our goals at night, when transportation and supply lines were completely silent," he told the news outlet.
"I often ask myself how long the hatred for the Germans will last. Each of us has a general, and a private account with Germany," he commented. "I personally cannot forgive the Germans."
"He died healthy," Mor's daughter, Edith Pe'er, told Yediot Achronot this weekend.
"The day he died was actually the only day he did not get out of bed; a man who all his life never took any medication, and had no dentures, like a young man.
"Like a partisan."
12 Beautiful Train Stations Across the World
For the pictures please go to the link below. I can't put the pictures on because they are too big.
A train station can be so much more than a mere transport hub, a place where you briefly stop on your way to your destination. Many of the world's most beautiful and iconic buildings are, in fact, train stations. If you find yourself in any of these 12 cities, we urge you to take a train to your next destination. Or at the very least, spend a bit of your time exploring these railways stations. They're considered architectural masterpieces and noteworthy tourist destinations in their own right! And unlike many museums or palaces, they're absolutely free to visit and marvel at.
1. Antwerpen-Centraal railway station in Antwerp, Belgium Like Belgium is one of those countries one should definitely explore by train. Traveling through the railway stations alone is a pure delight for every aesthete. As a matter of fact, the first two train stations on this list - one historical and one very modern - are located in this small Western European country. The Antwerpen-Centraal railway station is a rare architectural gem that reveals the refined and artistic nature of the city immediately upon your arrival. Built at the turn of the 20th century (1895-1905), this train station has been often pronounced the finest in the country and even in the world. The tall waiting hall of the Antwerp station is particularly beautiful. It has a partly transparent glass roof that invites plenty of light, tall arched windows, as well as walls and floors decked with 20 kinds of stone and marble.
2. Liège-Guillemins Railway Station in Liege, Belgium Like Image Source: 16 Miles of String/ Wikimedia CommonsYou may not be particularly familiar with Liège, but it's a major commercial hub in the industrial region of Belgium, which is partly why it has one of the largest railway junctions in the entire country. The contemporary railway station was completed in 2009 by the renowned architect Santiago Calatrava, and it is one of the finest examples of his signature style. Made of steel, glass, and concrete, the railway station shaped like a massive wave. The all-white train station has a spacious, open, and almost aetherial look to it.
3. Rådhuset Metro Station in Stockholm, Sweden Like Image Source: Julian Herzog/ Wikimedia CommonsThe Stockholm metro is considered to be one of the most beautifully-designed subway systems in the world. The uniqueness of its design lies in the way the architects decided to embrace the organic look of the stations. A prime example of this is the Rådhuset station, where the bedrock is left exposed and uncolored, giving the metro station the appearance of a massive cave.But the interior of the station itself is not the only reason why all tourists visit the Stockholm metro. Of the 100 subway stations in the Swedish capital, 90 display paintings, engraving, sculptures, and other forms of art in what is often called "the world's longest art gallery." An art gallery everyone can visit and admire, how marvelous!
4. Union Station in Los Angeles, California, USA Like The Union Station is a massive travel hub. According to some estimates, the terminal is the largest in the Western United States. And the stunning design of the Union Station certainly reflects its importance too! The central building of Union Station was designed by architects John and Donald Parkinson and opened in 1939.The father-son architect duo married two prominent styles at the time - Art Deco and Spanish Colonial Style - within this structure. In the grand waiting hall, for example, the travertine marble floors and floral interior decorations are beautifully contrasted against what appears to be a wooden ceiling that is actually made of steel.
5. Amsterdam Centraal Station in Amsterdam, Netherlands Like Image Source: Millandasairas/ FlickrLooking at the photos of Amsterdam's Centraal Station, you may have noticed that it looks rather massive. If that thought ran through your mind, you would be right, as this is the largest railway station in the entire European Union. The neo-Renaissance building was designed by Dutch architect Pierre Cuypershas, and it has been operational since 1889.The tall, cathedral-looking building has an impressive cast-iron platform roof and accommodates around 260,000 passengers on a daily basis. Many consider the Centraal Station to be one of the most wonderful structures in Amsterdam.
6. Paris Gare de Lyon in Paris, France Like Parisian train stations are famously stunning, and the Gare de Lyon is a prime example of that. There are six train stations in the French capital, and the Gare de Lyon is located on the right bank of the Seine in the 12th district, or arrondissement.Gare de Lyon was constructed in preparation for the 1900 Paris World Exposition by Marius Toudoire and adorned with a fresco by the artist Jean-Baptiste Olive. The most notable feature of the railway hub is a large clock tower that's often compared to London's Big Ben. Another famous landmark at Gare de Lyon is the Le Train Bleu restaurant, which has been open since 1901.
7. Estación de Atocha in Madrid, Spain Like Image Source: Orse/ FlickrThe Estación de Atocha is no ordinary train station. It is part commuter hub and part greenhouse - there's a 43,056 square feet (4,000 km sq) tropical garden right in the middle of the waiting hall. The modern-day Atocha station was rebuilt in 1892 on the ruins of the original station that was badly damaged by a fire.Alberto de Palacio Elissagne and Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, who had finished the Eiffel Tower only a few years prior, have collaborated to create this unique beauty. The train station has a 27 meter (almost 90 ft) tall glass and wrought iron roof that helps sustain the tropical plants that grow within the stain. The Estación de Atocha is the largest train station in Spain.
8. Maputo Railway Station in Maputo, Mozambique Like The Maputo Railway Station is a historic building in the capital of Mozambique. Constructed at the beginning of the 20th century by Ferreira da Costa, Augusto Lisboa de Lima, Mario Veiga in the Neoclassical Beaux-Arts style, this station is a hidden gem that stands out against its uncluttered surroundings. The mint green and white building is an example of Portuguese colonial architecture, and it features a copper central dome, marble detailing, and wrought iron lattices. There's also a historic display of old steam locomotives in Maputo Railway Station.
9. Sirkeci Railway Station in Istanbul, Turkey Like Attention, all readers, we are now boarding the famous Orient Express and traveling to its eastern terminus - the historic Sirkeci Railway Station. Completed in 1890 by August Jasmund, the magnificent railway station marries Ottoman aesthetics with Art Nouveau. With its colorful stained-glass windows, a red brick facade that contrasts with the white interior, and antique clock towers, the stunning building looks more like an art gallery than a train station .Over the years, Sirkeci Railway Station became a symbol of the city of Istanbul and one of its must-see tourist destinations.
10. Kanazawa Station in Kanazawa, Japan Like Image Source: 663Highland/ Wikimedia Commons When you first arrive at the ultra-modern glass and steel terminal of the Kanazawa station, you wouldn't believe that it was built in 1898. The Tsuzumi Gate at the eastern entrance to the station is one of the few structures that hint at the long history of this building. A true marvel, the gate is built entirely from the wood of the Japanese cypress and is designed to be reminiscent of the traditional Tsuzumi drums.As you already suspect, the station was updated in 2005. Upon closer inspection, however, the new station has many other symbolic elements. For example, 24 wooden pillars decorated with traditional artworks support the central concourse of the building. These artworks represent Kanazawa's cultural heritage as Japan's center of artisanal woodwork, lacquerware, and ceramics.
11. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai, India Like It isn't often that a train station makes it on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, but the historic Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus made this list with ease. Formerly named the Victoria Terminus Station, this majestic structure is a blend of Victorian gothic architecture with traditional Indian motifs. Designed by architect FW Stevens and built over the course of 10 years, the station opened in 1887.The iconic facade of the building features domes, turrets, arches, and windows embellished with stone carvings of local plants and animals as well as legendary creatures. The interior of the building features has vaulted ceilings supported by tall columns and an octagonal masonry dome above the central hall. Fun fact - can you believe that 3 million commuters pass through the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus every day?
12. Grand Central Terminal in New York City, USA Like Image Source: MTA/ FlickrNo list of iconic train stations would be complete without mentioning the Grand Central Terminal in Midtown Manhattan. After all, it is the largest train terminal in the world and a symbol of New York City. Completed in 1913, the current building is the second iteration of the Grand Central Terminal that was designed by two architecture firms - Warren & Wetmore and Reed & Stem.The grand hall is famous for its domed celestial ceiling with painted zodiac constellations and a four-faced brass clock above the information booth. Then, there are also the marble staircases, the Tiffany clock on the facade at 42nd Street, and the Grand Central Oyster Bar, a beautiful restaurant famous for its authentic historical interior and terracotta ceilings. Even if you're not taking a train from Grand Central while visiting the City, you must see this marvelous train station