Breaking News: Israel Drops Indoor Mask Mandate as COVID Wanes and Hebron Vandals Damage Rebbetzin Menucha Rochel’s Grave, Destroy Holy Books By Hana Levi Julian and One Israeli Couple’s Goal: To Spread the Word about Aphasia By Josh Hasten and What's My Line? - Peter, Paul & Mary; Woody Allen [panel] (Jul 7, 1963) [W/ COMMERCIALS] and Bar Ilan Management: OK to Hang Israeli Flags on Campus By David Israel and Nachum Segal Network’s New York Studios Destroyed in Electrical Fire By Hana Levi Julian and final and fifth day of Chul Hamoad Passover
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.
The decision to scrap the mask mandate comes amid a marked drop in COVID cases in Israel and will not apply to high-risk places, such as hospitals
Israel will scrap its indoor mask mandate on Saturday evening, according to a joint statement by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz, as coronavirus continues to recede.
The decision will not apply in high-risk places, such as hospitals, flights, nursing homes and assisted living facilities, while people on the way to quarantine will also be obliged to wear a mask.
Bennett and Horowitz said that the decision comes in light of a marked decline in coronavirus cases. On Tuesday, the Health Ministry recorded a four-month low of 4,583 daily COVID cases.
However, the Knesset's Health Committee, chaired by MK Idit Silman, needs to discuss the mandate before May 1. The committee has the authority to reverse the government's decision and reinstate the mandate.
At present, 220 people COVID patients are in a serious condition. Six weeks ago, the figure was almost six times as high.
The R number, representing the average number of people each coronavirus carrier infects, has risen slightly to 0.75, but remains low. The R number is based on statistics from 10 days earlier. Any figure below 1 indicates that the virus is no longer spreading.
Indoor mask-wearing was dropped in June and restored two weeks later due to a surge in cases of the delta variant.
This time around, Israel had originally set April 1 as the date to cancel the mask mandate, but with the advent of the BA.2 variant, which is 30 percent more infectious than omicron, the decision was postponed.
Prof. Roni Gamzu, head of the Ichilov Hospital and former COVID czar, said on Tuesday that "most Israeli travelers abroad these days are surprised to see how COVID has vanished from most countries. It's time to do the right thing in Israel too and remove the restrictions, in closed spaces too and naturally for schoolchildren – in fact everywhere, because the coronavirus today is not as dangerous as before."
The Three Musketeers at the Kotel
The Three are Rabbi Yehuda Glick, famous temple mount activist, and former Israel Mk, and then Robert Weinger, the world's greatest shofar blower and seller of Shofars, and myself after we had gone to the 12 gates of the Temple Mount in 2020 to blow the shofar to ask G-d to heal the world from the Pandemic. It was a highlight to my experience in living in Israel and I put it on my blog each day to remember.
The articles that I include each day are those that I find interesting, so I feel you will find them interesting as well. I don't always agree with all the points of each article but found them interesting or important to share with you, my readers, and friends. It is cathartic for me to share my thoughts and frustrations with you about life in general and in Israel. As a Rabbi, I try to teach and share the Torah of the G-d of Israel as a modern Orthodox Rabbi. I never intend to offend anyone but sometimes people are offended and I apologize in advance for any mistakes. The most important psychological principle I have learned is that once someone's mind is made up, they don't want to be bothered with the facts, so, like Rabbi Akiva, I drip water (Torah is compared to water) on their made-up minds and hope that some of what I have share sinks in. Love Rabbi Yehuda Lave.
Hebron Vandals Damage Rebetzin Menucha Rochel's Grave, Destroy Holy Books By Hana Levi Julian
photo Credit: Wikimedia / Orlili
Vandals in Hebron damaged the gravesite of Chabad-Lubavitch Rebetzin Menucha Rochel and destroyed holy books at the site, tearing and burning the sacred pages of the texts.
The damage was discovered Wednesday.
Rebetzin Menucha Rochel, a Chabad-Lubavitch matriarch whose family name was Slonim, was a daughter of the second Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Dov Ber and his wife, Rebetzin Sheina, as well as the granddaughter of Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, the "Alter Rebbe."
Rebetzin Menucha Rochel was born in 1798 on the day her grandfather was freed from a Russian prison. She moved to Hebron with her husband, Rabbi Yaakov Culi Slonim in 1845, and passed away at age 90 in 1888.
Her grave in Hebron is a treasured Jewish pilgrimage site.
She is revered by the Jewish community in Hebron as well as by members of the Chabad-Lubavitch Hassidic movement.
One Israeli Couple's Goal: To Spread the Word about Aphasia
On Aug. 6, 2017, Efrat residents Eitan and Leora Ashman and their four children were making their final preparations for a family vacation the next day. That night, Leora heard some rumblings from the kitchen downstairs. "I heard some chairs banging around, and I thought it was the dog," she told JNS. Leora rushed to the kitchen, where she found Eitan on the floor, unconscious. Medical personnel were immediately called, and Eitan was rushed to the hospital.
It turned out that Eitan had suffered a massive left-side ischemic stroke. Doctors determined that his carotid artery had torn, causing two major blood clots that cut off blood flow to the brain, causing the stroke. Dr. Eli Ben-David, a family friend and neuroradiologist at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, told JNS that the situation was touch and go as doctors fought to clear the blood clots.
Eitan, a young and healthy 42-year-old at the time, survived the ordeal. But the sudden episode changed their lives forever.
"Eitan lost the use of his right arm; he had right-side hemiparesis [weakness] and chronic pain, neural fatigue, memory loss and aphasia as a result of damage to the language center in the brain," said Leora.
Aphasia is a condition that robs a person of the ability to communicate. It can affect one's ability to speak, write, work with numbers and understand language, both verbal and written. Leora said that aphasia was a term that the family had no prior information about.
"We had to learn about it by living through it," she said.
A day after the stroke, Leora opened a Facebook page called "Koach Eitan" ("Eitan's Strength"), wanting to keep family and friends updated on Eitan's recovery.
But the page morphed from just a place to post updates to a tool used by the Ashmans to educate about what people living with aphasia go through, and perhaps even more importantly, to teach the general public how to communicate with those suffering from aphasia while simultaneously promoting their inclusion in society.
Fast-forward to last Wednesday night, about four and a half years after Eitan's stroke—after a long and still ongoing period of recovery, therapies, successes and setbacks—to an event in the Efrat Medical Center conference room. More than 100 community members had gathered to hear a presentation prepared by Leora and Eitan, titled "The Koach Eitan Initiative: Educating and Raising Awareness About Stroke and Aphasia."
Leora said it was held because "I decided we had to teach people, now that Eitan is ready to join the forces of teaching. You have to be extremely brave; you have to have a lot of courage to want to explain to people why you are the way you are—why you can't speak. You want to converse, but you have to teach them how. The person on the other side has to be patient and has to want to learn how to communicate."
Eitan struggled but succeeded in sharing with the room: "It's frustrating for me. I know what I want to say but I can't get the words out."
Leora stressed that "aphasia is loss of language, not intellect. Aphasia is the invisible disability. Everyone assumes he [Eitan] is OK. But at the bank or the supermarket, people like Eitan can't say what they want to say, and nobody knows how to help."
During the presentation, Eitan held up his notebook—detailed cards with pictures and words, with the cover saying "my name is Eitan Ashman, and I have aphasia." Eitan is able to point to the pictures and words to explain to those he's with what he wants or needs.
"Other people are the ones who need to take the initiative and ask the questions," said Leora. "At the supermarket, for example, if that supermarket employee knew Eitan had aphasia, he would know to ask the questions and not wait for Eitan to make the first move, which is harder."
'Empowering families and communities'
Tova Cern is a family friend of the Ashmans and also the founder of SiMedic Trauma, a company that provides emergency first-responders with unique training and simulation solutions. With over 25 years of field experience as an EMT herself, Cern has been developing educational tools to assist in emergency situations for two decades.
As a result of what happened to Eitan, she incorporated the topic of aphasia into her materials so that first responders can quickly recognize whether a person in distress has the disorder.
"Many times, even emergency caregivers don't know what aphasia is, and I really wanted to change that," Cern told JNS. "It's something that needs to be known; people need to know how to deal with it."
Cern and her company produced a short educational movie in collaboration with the Efrat Medical Center and its CEO, Eyal Zahavi, to be utilized by "Koach Eitan," which was screened at the event. It simulated a crisis in which a person with aphasia is injured and can't express what happened to him, or, for example, that his children are waiting to be picked up from school.
The film demonstrates how medical professionals must show patience and utilize tools at their disposal, including picture charts, so that individuals with aphasia can communicate and receive the proper care.
"What Eitan and Leora are doing is amazing. It is so hard to be in that position where you can't speak; it has to be so frustrating, and to find the strength to make that your mission, I can't tell you how much I admire them," said Cern.
Leora went on to share that "Koach Eitan" has expanded in leaps and bounds, becoming far more than just a Facebook page.
With the goal of "empowering families and communities to help those battling the effects of stroke and aphasia," the group's programs include providing educational workshops; utilizing social-media platforms with media resources and other content; educational events; and the creation of a support network for families.
"What we are trying to do is to teach the public and the world the word [aphasia], what it means and how to communicate with those people, and to give people with aphasia a better chance at life and living as an equal," said Leora.
"Aphasia is more common than Parkinson's disease," she continued. "A lot of people didn't know what Parkinson's was until actor Michael J. Fox had it. Five years ago, nobody really knew about ALS until the 'ALS ice-bucket challenge.' And then everyone knew. Our hope and goal is to educate the world, and have aphasia become a buzzword."
Leora said "Eitan needed these four years to figure out who he was again. He had to reinvent himself, and that takes so much strength and courage. He is the one teaching that you really have to be brave. Together, we are going to try to teach people through his life experiences. That's the only way people are going to understand."
What's My Line? - Peter, Paul & Mary; Woody Allen [panel] (Jul 7, 1963) [W/ COMMERCIALS]
Here's a real treat: a rare complete episode of WML with all the original commercials and transitions intact. Note that this video contains segments from several sources. Many thanks to epaddon for contributing a copy of the full episode. The first contestant segment and mystery guest segment were spliced in from an incomplete copy in better video quality. Note that at 15:10 a short bit with Woody Allen that was edited out for the "WML at 25" special has been restored here. The video quality drops considerably, but it's nice to have this back in the show it belongs in. NOTE: Frequent commenter SaveTheTPC alerted me in the comments to a glitch in the video that, somehow, no one noticed or commented on in the month and a half that this has been up: there's 20 seconds of repeated video around 24:58. I have no idea how this happened, and I feel it's minor enough that I don't see a need to correct this small glitch and repost the video, but I did want to make a note of it here. Thanks for the heads up, SaveTheTPC!
Bar Ilan Management: OK to Hang Israeli Flags on Campus
Bar-Ilan University on Wednesday issued a statement clarifying that Israeli flags can be put up anywhere on campus after the company managing the university's dormitories sent a letter to students prohibiting hanging Israeli flags.
The Electra Group company, which manages the dorms of Bar-Ilan University, sent an email at the end of February to students that prohibited them from hanging Israeli flags in the dorms.
The following are a few rules regarding hanging flags and other objects outside your apartment windows and door:
You may not hang on the exterior part of your apartment window a flag of any kind (uncluding the Israeli flags)
You may not hang on the exterior part of your apartment window any kind of objects and ornaments
You may not place on your windowsill pots and any other object
You may noy place any objects outside your apartment door
You may not take garbage out of your apartment
These instructions also pertain to the apartments whose windows are turned on the interior side of the building.
After the email was reported on by journalist Amir Ettinger of the Srugim news outlet, student activists of Im Tirtzu organized a demonstration on campus and distributed hundreds of flags in the dorms.
Following the outcry, Bar-Ilan University issued a statement assuring students that there was no prohibition on hanging Israeli flags.
"Following the reports of Amir Ettinger, the university administration would like to clarify: Israeli flags can be hung anywhere on campus, including in the dormitories. Bar-Ilan University is proud that Israeli flags have been accompanying its activities throughout the years. The message distributed to residents of the dormitories by the management company was not the opinion of the university administration."
Shai Rosengarten, Im Tirtzu's National Campus Coordinator, welcomed the university's announcement.
"This is an important victory for Zionism," said Rosengarten, "and we are glad that Bar-Ilan University clarified the issue."
"Anyone who views the Israeli flag as a provocation does not understand the essence of our existence here," Rosengarten added.
The Electra Group responded: "These are international dorms where students from different communities and countries live. Our directive that pertains to all flags and symbols is only valid for the dorm area to protect the delicate social fabric in which the students live."
You know it's code for Arab students. Who else would be offended by students who raise their national flag in their home country?
Nachum Segal Network's New York Studios Destroyed in Electrical Fire
The network is continuing its programming remotely.
Segal has hosted his Jewish Moments in the Morning – JM in the AM – radio program since September 1983 every weekday and non-holiday morning from 6 to 9 am local time.
The show first aired on FM radio but has since transitioned onto an app and online stream which includes a variety of different talk show programs throughout the day.
The walls of the studio were adorned with pictures illustrating the network's – and Jewish New York's – history through photos of notable interviewees over the last few decades.
JewishPress.com's Hana Julian has broadcast Israel News on the network's JM Sunday program with Mattes Weingast every Sunday for the past eight years at 8 am local time.
Leading rabbis, Jewish politicians at the forefront of New York and national politics, major league sports stars, a handful of Israeli cabinet ministers and leaders of countless Jewish world nonprofits have shared their views on the Nachum Segal Network.
Unfortunately, all were destroyed.
It was in the very same headquarters that Segal and his team founded the Jewish Unity Initiative, a nonprofit which seeks to amplify Jewish voices and promote religious identity and unity in areas that have experienced disasters.
"Our studio served as a home for the Jewish community to come and share with our listeners about their organizations and the top news impacting the American Jewish community," Segal said.
"It is where we planned several missions to Jewish communities impacted by disasters such as hurricanes.
"We have an important mission in providing information and entertainment to the Jewish community and we are hoping to build quickly. With the help of our listeners here and across the globe, we hope to build a stronger NSN than ever before," he added.
See you Sunday Bli neder-tomorrow is the 7th day of Passover which is like Shabbat, no work or computers, and then is Shabbat so bli neder we will have the next blog on Sunday when Passover is over both in Israel and out of Israel so you can celebrate with a wheat bagel In Israel bread made out of Potatoes is both popular and delicious so I really look forward to the holiday, but since I am in the Czech Republic visiting my wife's parents, I may have missed it for this year