Latest breaking news: Israel to Lift COVID Travel Restrictions on All Countries From Midnight and Health Ministry: Antigen tests miss many positive COVID cases Coronavirus Health Ministry data: over 50% of negatives found to be positive by PCR test. Why take a test that is 50% inaccurate and First evidence of social beer consumption found in 7,000-year-old Israeli town and JERUSALEM 1928: Rare color footage from Jerusalem and The Orthodox Jewish cop who was NYPD's undercover detective in Israel and Nothing human is ever permanent by Rabbi Wein and The Portion of Bo -tomorrow in the synagogue-A Double Death
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.
Health Ministry data: Antigen tests miss many positive COVID cases
Ministry data indicate antigen tests miss 50% of cases found to be positive by PCR test.
Internal data from the Health Ministry published tonight by Channel 13 News revealed that about half of the antigen tests which return negative results come pack positive when PCR tests are used.
According to the data, among the general public, the antigen tests miss results about 50 percent of the positive cases recorded by the PCR tests. Among those aged 18 and over, the antigen tests missed 61 percent of positive cases. For the unvaccinated, the antigen test misses 72 percent of those who are subsequently verified through a PCR test.
A team within the Health Ministry determined in the last few days that the PCR test was more reliable both medically and economically, throwing the results of the antigen test into doubt. However, Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz has decided to adopt the home antigen test, which is even less reliable than the standard antigen test.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett held a series of talks with hospital administrators and heard from them that the current wave will result in 1,500-2,500 patients hospitalized in serious condition. He asked them to be prepared to deal with up to 4,000 patients in serious condition.
The Health Ministry has decided to allow vital health workers who are not vaccinated or do not have a valid green pass to work anyway to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed. The ministry also announced that starting tomorrow it will be possible to perform antigen tests in primary schools.
11,978 people have been diagnosed with the corona virus in the last day, setting a new 24-hour record for the pandemic in Israel. The percentage of positive test results stands at 6.65% and the coefficient of infection continues to rise, reaching 1.94.
The number of patients in serious condition rose to 125, 38 of whom are on ventilators. The death toll stands at 8,247.
Israel to Lift COVID Travel Restrictions on All Countries From Midnight
Travel between Israel and the U.S., U.K., Canada, along with a host of other countries, will be permitted
Israel will lift its travel restrictions on all countries, the Health Ministry's director-general announced Thursday, as local omicron infections render travel bans futile in preventing the spread of coronavirus.
Starting Thursday at midnight, Israel will scrap it's "red list" of high-risk destinations, fully opening its skies, Prof. Nachman Ash said. The decision is pending government approval.
Israel therefore will permit travel to and from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, Ethiopia, Turkey, France, Switzerland, Mexico, Hungary, Spain, Portugal, Tanzania and Nigeria.
-Vaccinated and recovered tourists from these countries will also be allowed to visit
Ash also warned that Israel will soon reach 50,000 coronavirus cases a day, as recent data shows a surge in infections. Though hospitalizations are increasing, Nash noted that the number of critically ill patients connected to ventilators remains stable.
Ash added that most cases of serious illness belong to the delta variant, but as "the wave progresses, omicron will take over" infections.
The former "red" countries will be moved to Israel's "orange list," a collection of countries to which the Health Ministry recommends against unnecessary travel due to high coronavirus infection rates.
All vaccinated or recovered travelers from these countries must quarantine for 24 hours upon arrival in Israel, or until they receive a negative test result. Unvaccinated arrivals must receive two negative tests: one upon arrival, and one after seven days of quarantine. High-risk groups must receive a negative PCR result to exit quarantine, while the rest of the population need only take a rapid antigen test.
Last week, the country lifted its travel ban on most African countries and some destinations in Europe, but the ban on the 'red' destinations, defined as destinations with high coronavirus infection rates, remained in place.
An expert panel advising the government on the pandemic said last month that Israel was rapidly approaching a point at which travel ban restrictions will be rendered useless.
"When Israel becomes a 'red' country, with thousands of local infections with omicron, there is no reason to fear a person leaving another 'red' country – after all, here he would be exposed with the same likelihood," the committee's report said. It called on the government to prepare for revoking travel restrictions altogether.
On Wednesday, the Health Ministry announced changes to its testing requirements amid a spike in demand for PCR swab tests. Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz announced that beginning on Friday, vaccinated, healthy Israelis under the age of 60 who have come into contact with coronavirus carriers can take a rapid home test to be exempt from isolation, thereby avoiding long lines at testing sites. According to the new guidelines, the ministry will reserve PCR tests for people aged 60 and older, as well as for high-risk groups.
The R number – the average number of people each coronavirus carrier infects – has risen to 1.99, the highest since June. Ash noted that this means daily infection rates will double every 2.7 days.
The Portion of Bo
A Double Death
In last week's portion we read the first seven of the ten plagues. As Pharoh remained stubborn and refused to let the Children of Israel leave Egypt, G-d brought upon the Egyptians the final three plagues about which we read in this week's portion.
Moses unleashes the Doomsday Weapon.
"At about midnight I will go out within Egypt and every firstborn in Egypt will die, from the firstborn of Pharoh who sits on the throne to the firstborn of the handmaid" (Exodus 11;4-5).
"And as for the Children of Israel, not one dog will whet its tongue" (Exodus 11;7).
It seems that in addition to the death of the Egyptian firstborns, the dogs pulled the firstborn who had already died out of their graves, and this day was as difficult as the day of death itself.
All this is alluded to in the letter "vav" in the word "umet" (and will die) with the additions above and beneath the letter, thereby implying that there were two "deaths", one above and one below. (Rokeiach on the Torah)
The Three Musketeers at the Kotel
The Orthodox Jewish cop who was NYPD's undercover detective in Israel
Mordecai Dzikansky, one of NY's Finest's finest, is dubbed 'the terrorist cop'. He searched for Kahane's killer, liasoned with Israel.
Much of the credit for the incessant and dangerous cacophony of anti-police bile permeating and swirling throughout the U.S., poisoning the atmosphere and the body politic - should be given to Marxist-driven Black Lives Matter ( BLM) and ANTIFA,. Supported by radical left forces ensconced within the Biden regime, blue state leadership, media, educational, legal, and cultural fronts - it is akin to a breath of fresh air to read the recent uplifting news re the NYPD(New York Police Department) at Israel National News. More specifically, it was reportedon December 15, 2021:The highest ranking Religious Jewish NYPD officer was promoted to Inspector. Mazal tov!
"NYPD Deputy Inspector Richie Taylor, the highest-ranking kippah-wearing officer on the force, is being promoted to Full Inspector in an NYPD ceremony scheduled to take place next week, reported Yeshiva World News as well.
"Taylor made history last year when was promoted to Deputy Inspector as the highest-ranking kippah-wearing officer in NYPD history. Taylor, who lives in Flatbush, currently serves as the Commanding Officer of Community Affairs, and previously served as the Commanding Officer of the Manhattan South Investigations Unit....."
Indeed, this celebratory news should be viewed as a "badge" of honor for the the entire Jewish community, wherever one resides. Despite the continuous tarring of police in general, there is no doubt that the NYPD is considered the gold standard in policing in America, as well as beyond.
It is alongside this Jewish pride-inducing moment that it is entirely appropriate to introduce another NYPD trailblazer - who happens to be a brother, Mordecai Dzikansky (a/k/a Morty), (retired) NYPD Homicide Detective, First Grade.
In 1993, after a rash of synagogue burglaries in the Metropolitan area, Detective Dzikansky was selected as lead investigator of the then newly formed specialized Torah Task Force. The task force affected numerous arrests and successfully recovered many of the sacred Torah scrolls.
In addition, Detective Dzikansky was selected to work on terror related investigations, including the murders of MK Meir Kahane and Ari Halberstam (Brooklyn Bridge murder).
From January 2003 through September 2007, Detective Dzikansky was posted in Israel as the first NYPD Intelligence Division Overseas Liaison to the Israel National Police. His main focus was intelligence gathering and the immediate relay of key information back to NYC to enhance the Department's ability to recognize, react to and prevent or recover from terrorist acts.
He responded in person to and analyzed 21 bombing scenes in Israel and several attacks globally, including events in Turkey, Russia, Spain, and Egypt. Detective Dzikansky worked with senior members of the Israeli intelligence community on joint investigations which connect NYC and the State of Israel.
Currently, Detective Dzikansky lectures and consults on global security and policing topics and is called upon by various law enforcement agencies, academic/think tanks, and community organizations to provide first-hand analysis of the current terror trends, lessons learned, and world-wide applications in preventing and responding to terrorism. His expertise has also been tapped by various media outlets, including for appearances on Fox News, The Media Line, Chasing News, and Jewish Broadcasting Service (JBS TV).
Atop it all, whenever one takes the time to listen to select video interviews on a pressing global topic, there is a particular benefit accrued. This is especially the case because the lessons learned spring back to life; as time passes by and they fade down the rabbit hole. Not only that, it forces one not to look away, that is, when confronted by subject matters that most would rather forget, as opposed to remembering. Wishing doesn't make it disappear.
Even more so, when it comes to the mass horrors inflicted upon America on that fateful September morning, 9/11/01, the only ones who gain from our collective amnesia are Islamic jihadists and their supporters.
Never forgive. Never forget.
It is in the spirit of the aforementioned that this writer gifts the readership the following 3 video interviews, out of many. This abbreviated "library" of truth-telling encompasses the main lessons learned from an NYPD hero, as mentioned, a real trailblazer.
The information contained within is not meant to be maudlin. Rather, it should be considered empowering. They are vivid reminders of what transpires when uncomfortable issues become relegated to the dustbin of historical memory.
The next time that toxic bile is spewed towards America's first-line defenders, namely, police officers, it is the hope and prayer within that those who place their lives on the line everyday, yes, unsung heroes, are treated with the respect and decency they deserve.
Do think about the lawlessness enveloping too many cities to count across America - cited here, here, here, here, here, here, and too many others to name - and what it means when the police are not around to come to the rescue.
Conclusively, it goes without saying: nations which claim to be civilized cannot, on the one hand, degrade the very agencies which ensure the public safety, and, on the other, scream loudly when said law enforcement are either spread too thin to make a difference, or have their hands tied into so many knots it becomes impossible to execute their duties and maintain law and order.
Think about that.
Adina Kutnicki is an investigative journalist, living in Israel since 2008. Her work concentrates on militant Islamic jihad and its western knock-on effects. She is the co-author of BANNED: How Facebook Enables Militant Islamic Jihad, She blogs at: Adina Kutnicki, A Zionist & Conservative Blog (www.adinakutnicki.com).
First evidence of social beer consumption found in 7,000-year-old Israeli town
Archaeologists say discovery at Tel Tsaf in the Jordan Valley is first known instance of alcohol being imbibed inside a community in the ancient Middle East
A view of the archaeological site at Tel Tsaf, in the Jordan Valley (Courtesy University of Haifa)
Israeli researchers say they have discovered the first evidence of social beer consumption within communities in the ancient Middle East, after finding the remains of cereal grains used to produce alcohol in a 7,000-year-old town.
Beer is known to have been used in ancient times for ceremonial and religious purposes, but the find is the earliest indication of social drinking in the Levant prior to the widespread appearance of alcohol in the Bronze Age (circa 3300 BCE).
In the study, archaeologists from the University of Haifa found starch residue from wheat and barley grains in ancient pottery at Tel Tsaf, located in the central Jordan Valley. The town dates back to the Chalcolithic era, from around 5000 BCE.
Studied under a microscope, the starch showed signs of a fermentation process, pointing to its use in alcohol production.
The university's Prof. Danny Rosenberg said the evidence for beer production joins "the evidence we've previously uncovered of Tel Tsaf's prosperity, expressed in its accumulation of agricultural produce, and particularly cereal, in large quantities."
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He added: "We can imagine Tsaf's developing community holding largescale events in which large quantities of food and beer are consumed in a social context — and not just in a ceremonial context."
A previous 2014 study in which Rosenberg was also involved found evidence of beer production at a Natufian burial site located in Mount Carmel, from some 14,000 years ago. But in that case the beer was only apparently used as part of the burial rituals.
Rosenberg said that beyond the 2014 and 2021 finds, there had been scant evidence of beer consumption in the region prior to the Bronze Age.
Tel Tsaf is particularly interesting, Rosenberg said, as it is one of the only known communities in the region from the Chalcolithic era, a period of transition from agricultural societies living in tiny communities to those building larger cities.
Microscopic residue shows evidence of fermentation in ancient grains (Courtesy University of Haifa)
He stressed that beer production and consumption was likely continuous since the Natufian period, but that evidence for it is hard to come by due to the breakup of organic compounds over time.
"It's unknown at the moment whether the beer whose remnants we found in Tel Tsaf was produced on a regular basis or specifically for major social events," Rosenberg said.
"We hope that in the near future, when we can isolate further evidence of beer production at the site and at other sites, we will be able to better understand the role of alcohol in ancient societies, and particularly in those that — as in Tel Tsaf — were on the cusp of significant changes in their social structure as it became more and more complex."
Nothing human is ever permanent. Perhaps the only exception to this rule is human nature itself, which, seemingly, has never changed from the days of the Garden of Eden until today. So, we should not be surprised by the narrative of the Torah in this week's portion.
The Jewish people have been in Egypt for centuries. They have lived
off the fat of the Land in Goshen. They were highly respected,
apparently affluent, and thought themselves to be secure in their land
of exile. The memory of their leader Joseph, who was the savior of
Egypt, still lingered in their minds, and also in the minds of the
general Egyptian public. But Joseph was gone already for centuries, and
as the Jewish people multiplied and continued to succeed within the
Egyptian population its government, through the Pharaoh, began to look
askance at them. They were no longer fellow citizens or loyal subjects,
but, rather, were now seen as a dangerous and insidious minority that,
because of its birthright and success, could endanger Egyptian society.
There now arose a new era, different from the centuries that
preceded it. When the Talmud teaches us that there arose a new Pharaoh,
one of the opinions is that a new attitude towards the Jews, one of
suspicion and jealousy was apparent. The Jews were now seen as being an
internal enemy, a disloyal section of society, an existential threat to
the pharaohs of Egypt specifically, and to Egyptian society generally.
The Midrash seems to indicate that the Jews were not sensitive
enough to realize how dangerous the change of attitude towards them was,
in the general Egyptian society. When Pharaoh requested volunteers to
come forth to help him in his great building projects, we are taught
that the Jews came en masse to help build those symbols of might and
wealth of ancient Egypt. The Pharaoh then, and undoubtedly with the help
and acquiescence of much of Egyptian society, removed from the Jews
their voluntary status, until suddenly they found themselves slaves and
servants of Egypt, and no longer merely sojourners in the country.
And there were Jews who were willing to cooperate with the
governmental authorities in policing the Jewish slave society.
Eventually, these Jews also found themselves to be the victims of the
Pharaoh and his cruel decree. It is no wonder that so many Jews –
according to various opinions of the rabbis of Talmud and Midrash –
never were able to extricate themselves from Egypt, even when Moshe
successfully led the Jewish people out of Egyptian bondage, and out of
There is, undoubtedly, a pattern that the Torah introduces which
will apply to all later exiles of the Jewish people throughout the
world. The end of an era always occurs suddenly and unexpectedly,
illogically, and shockingly. The story of the end European Jewry that
occurred almost a century ago is a sobering reminder of this pattern of
exile. Jews should be wise enough to realize that ignoring the lessons