Why Palestinians Celebrate the Murder of JewsBy Khaled Abu Toameh -and The Forgotten Jew Who Developed The Cholera And Bubonic Plague Vaccines By Saul Jay Singer and What's My Line? - Billy Graham; Anthony Quinn; Joey Bishop [panel] (Oct 9, 1960) and drinking seawater and Israeli, Italian Paleontologists Find Link Between Brain Size and Extinction and fourth day of Chul Hamoaed
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 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.
The celebrations that took place in the West Bank and Gaza Strip after the recent terror attacks in Israel are yet another sign of the growing radicalization among the Palestinians and their refusal to recognize Israel's right to exist.
The expressions of joy, when Palestinians took to the streets to hand out sweets and chant slogans in support of the terrorists, are reminiscent of the celebrations that took place when then Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein fired missiles at Israel in 1991 during the First Gulf War, or when Hamas, Fatah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other terror groups carried out suicide bombing attacks, murdering hundreds of Israelis during the Second Intifada, which erupted in 2000.
Apart from demonstrating the Palestinians' disrespect for human life and support for terrorism, the celebrations once again prove that a Palestinian who murders a Jew is a hero, whereas one who seeks peace with Israel is a traitor.
A public opinion poll published on March 22 found that Palestinian support for an "armed struggle" against Israel has risen from 42% three months ago to 44%.
In the lexicon of the Palestinians, "armed struggle" is a euphemism for various forms of terrorism against Israel, ranging from rock-throwing to shooting, stabbing, car-ramming, rocket salvos, and suicide bombing attacks.
The poll, conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, showed that a majority of 70% oppose a resumption of the peace process with Israel.
If new elections for the presidency of the Palestinian Authority (PA) were held today, Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of Hamas, the Iran-backed terrorist group that seeks to destroy Israel, would defeat PA President Mahmoud Abbas, according to the results of the survey. Additionally, a majority of Palestinians said that they would vote for Hamas in a parliamentary election.
Another 73% of the Palestinian public wants the 86-year-old Abbas to resign. Previous polls have indicated that nearly 80% of the public wants to see Abbas step down.
While most Palestinians are saying that they want to see their president depart from the scene, the US administration seems to be among the few parties in the international arena that continue to deal with Abbas and pin hopes on him regarding the so-called two-state solution and peace with Israel.
After his last meeting with Abbas in Ramallah on March 27, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken again repeated the Biden administration's "commitment to the basic principle" of the two-state solution:
"Palestinians and Israelis alike deserve to live with equal measures of freedom, of opportunity, security, of dignity, and we believe that the most effective way, ultimately, to give expression to that basic principle is through two states."
Here is an inconvenient truth for Blinken: the poll that was conducted one week before he arrived in Ramallah, the de facto capital of the Palestinians, showed that most Palestinians (58%) are opposed to the two-state solution. Why? They do not believe in Israel's right to exist.
These Palestinians want peace without Israel, not peace with Israel. The only peace they envision is one where Israel would cease to exist.
That is why — like this and previous polls have shown — most Palestinians continue to support Hamas, whose charter openly calls for the elimination of Israel.
For them, it is a religious duty to work toward the "liberation of all of Palestine, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. Article 11 of the charter states:
"The Islamic Resistance Movement [Hamas] believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Muslim generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered; it or any part of it, should not be given up."
"The day that enemies usurp enemies usurp part of Muslim land, jihad [holy war] becomes the individual duty of every Muslim. In face of the Jews' usurpation of Palestine, it is compulsory that the banner of jihad be raised."
The Hamas charter also reminds Muslims of the famous saying of the prophet Mohammed:
"The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews, when the Jew will hide behind the stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdullah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him."
Moreover, the poll found that a vast majority of Palestinians (73%) believes that the Koran contains a prophecy concerning the demise of Israel. However, the majority (57%) does not believe the assessment, stated by a few Muslim scholars, that verses in the Koran predict the exact year of the demise of Israel: 2022.
So, the vast majority of the Palestinians are convinced that the Koran does include a reference to the demise of Israel, they just are not sure what year that will happen. This conviction is a clear expression of wishful thinking on the part of most Palestinians, especially those who were cheering, dancing and distributing sweets to celebrate the terror attacks that took place in the Israeli cities of Be'er Sheva, Bnei Brak and Tel Aviv in the past few weeks.
Praising the recent wave of terror attacks in Israel, Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar said on April 9, "These recurring heroic operations prove a clear fact — that there is no future for the Jews on our Palestinian land."
As shown by the poll, it is leaders such as Zahar whom the Palestinians would prefer as their president. A Palestinian leader who talks about destroying Israel or murdering Jews has a better chance of being elected than one who states that he is opposed to terrorism and wants to work towards achieving a two-state solution.
For the Palestinians, it is much more important if one graduates from an Israeli prison than from any university. That is why former PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, a world-renowned economist and reformer educated in the US, won only two seats when his slate ran in the last parliamentary election in 2006. Fayyad's lack of popularity is mainly attributed to the fact that he never served time in an Israeli prison for murdering or wounding a Jew or engaging in terror activity against Israel.
One of the reasons behind the rising radicalization of the Palestinians is the vicious incitement by Abbas and the Palestinian Authority against Israel and Jews.
In the days and weeks before the wave of terrorism began, the Palestinian leaders were telling their people that Jews are planning to desecrate and commit crimes against the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. It is such libels that fuel the terrorists and increase their motivation to murder Jews. It is also this type of incitement that drives more Palestinians into the welcoming arms of Hamas and other extremists.
The Palestinians who are celebrating the murder of Jews have been told by their leaders that the terrorism aims to stop Israel from "committing crimes" against the Al-Aqsa Mosque. This of course is completely false because since the beginning of Ramadan, tens of thousands of Muslim worshippers have been freely and safely accessing the mosque for prayers.
That is another example of how Palestinian leaders have radicalized their own people to the point where the murder of young Jewish men enjoying their time in a bar in the center of Tel Aviv becomes a cause for public celebration. Palestinians have been radicalized and brainwashed by their leaders to the point where peace with Israel or a two-state solution is seen as an opportunity to murder.
The Biden administration, meanwhile, continues to pretend that Abbas and his government are credible partners and that Israelis and Americans can do business with them.
It would have been more useful had Blinken denounced the celebrations and publicly pressured the Palestinian leadership immediately to halt the massive campaign of incitement against Israel and the glorification of Palestinians who murder Jews.
Ignoring the scenes of jubilation on the Palestinian street and continuing to pretend that the Palestinian Authority is a reliable partner for peace will only lead to further violence and bloodshed. It is time for the Biden administration and other Western donors to start banging on the table and demanding an end to the poisonous campaign to delegitimize Israel and demonize Jews. Until that happens, we will continue to see Palestinians dancing and handing out candy because Jewish blood flows at their feet.
Israeli, Italian Paleontologists Find Link Between Brain Size and Extinction
In a no-brainer discovery, science finds that being stupid put you at greater risk of extinction – especially after humans arrived
During the Late Quaternary extinction of megafauna – which began roughly a million years ago – around half of all large-bodied animals went extinct. The contributory causes remain unclear: What part hunting by humans, what part climate change, what part other factors?
Now new research has detected a factor that escaped notice before. There was a correlation between brain size and survival of the species.
Having a smaller brain predisposed the relevant species to extinction and vice versa, Jacob Dembitzer and Shai Meiri of Tel Aviv University – with Silvia Castiglione and Pasquale Raia of the University of Naples Federico II – write in Scientific Reports. Their work is based on the crania of 291 existing mammals and 50 similar ones whose owners went extinct during the Late Quaternary.
The researchers' conclusion may sound intuitive: Big-brained animal adapts or gets out of the way, dummkopf sits there scratching its fleas and gets shanked by a hungry hunter or succumbs to bad weather. But there's much more to the story, lead author Dembitzer explains. It's not a given that a big brain confers evolutionary advantage.
Leaving the phenomenally successful microbes out of it, Dembitzer notes that various animals with tiny brains did brilliantly for countless millions of years, often until we came along. A classic example of a successful peabrain is the glyptodon, a two-ton relative of the dinky armadillo.
Living in the Americas, these great beasts that grew to the size of a Volkswagen Beetle and presumably tasted like chicken, first appeared in the Miocene Epoch, which began 23 million years ago. The adult glyptodons were covered in thick armored shells and had clubbed spikey tails to protect them from predators.
Hence they didn't need smarts. Nor did they have any. Then human beings arrived in the Americas at least 15,000 years ago; recent evidence suggests we may have been there as long as 23,000 years ago.
The last glyptodon died about 10,000 years ago. "It's likely that humans may have had an easier time killing glyptodons than other predators," Dembitzer says.
One small-brained animal still extravagantly extant is the shark, which is in danger from massive overfishing. But this animal remains somewhat protected since its habitat is inimical to our survival.
Big brains actually come at a cost because of the amount of energy they consume. Also, big-brained animals tend to live longer and have fewer offspring in which they make more of an investment – this can diminish survival probability under pressure. So it doesn't necessarily follow that species with big brains flourish while those with little brains vanish into the void.
Yet that very thing has now been shown for the Late Quaternary extinction, though Dembitzer stresses that the paper doesn't rule on climate change as a cause of the Quaternary extinction as opposed to human predation.
Also, he notes, megafauna survive to this day, megafauna simply being defined as "big animal." Rhinos, elephants, giant anacondas, Nile crocodiles, bison, horses and, yes, cows are all megafauna.
Ergo, Dembitzer explains, the impetus behind the research: The parameter behind the mass extinction couldn't have been body size alone. There had to be something else. This makes horse sense especially when humans enter the equation.
Have big brain, will hide it well
The Quaternary began almost 2.6 million years ago, with the Late Quaternary really going big on extinction starting around 130,000 years ago. In contrast to previous mega-extinctions over the eons, the large megafauna that died out in the Quaternary weren't replaced by new ones. (And no, de-extinction is not a thing and likely never will be.)
In the last 1.5 million years the average body mass of animals eaten in the southern Levant shrank by more than 98 percent, according to a previous meta-study by Dembitzer, Meiri and Prof. Ran Barkai.
That research was done in the Levant because of the abundance of data, but the researchers believe it applies elsewhere. They conclude that humans hunted the mega-fauna to extinction; once a giant species was gone (or all but gone), they would hunt the next biggest ones, and so on.
A key reason behind this human pattern of hunting the biggest animals first, Barkai and the team propose, is that biologically the members of the Homo line – at this point, Homo erectus – turned heavily carnivorous starting at least about 2 million years ago but could only eat so much lean-meat protein without poisoning themselves. They craved the fat layers so abundant on megafauna and so scanty in animals like rabbits.
Moving back to the latest paper: Species with bigger brains would theoretically be more flexible in their behavior and more competent to cope with the rapidly changing conditions – and armed early humans – in the Late Quaternary. In other words, the conditions selected for the smartest of the pack, or clowder or crash or whatever weird name is given to an animal's group.
This theory is supported by evidence that among birds and mammals today, relatively large brains have been found to improve survivability in novel conditions and when the animal is threatened, thanks to behavioral flexibility, Dembitzer says.
Take mammals. According to Dembitzer and the team, the ones that survived the slowly unfolding Quaternary cataclysm and live on to this day have brains that are on average 53 percent larger, when accounting for order as a random effect. Asked what on earth that means, Dembitzer asks in turn that we consider the elephant.
Surviving elephant species have bigger brains than the ones that died out in the Late Quaternary, such as mammoths and mastodons. The average difference in brain size among surviving mammals versus the extinct mammals works out to 53 percent.
Also, the surviving species' brains are, on average, 83 percent larger when fitting a single regression line, the researchers write. What? Five-ton elephants, for instance, have much larger brains than not-cloesly-related 5-ton giant ground sloths had, and larger than 5-ton mastodons had. By how much? An average of 83 percent.
The data shows that the animals surviving the Quaternary extinction generally had much bigger brains than ones of similar body size that died out, coauthor Shai Meiri stresses.
It bears stressing that this doesn't assert that climate change was innocent. But smarts can help a species adapt to climate change, not only hide from spear-brandishing people, Dembitzer notes.
And in some cases, we had help in our suspected hunting of animals to extinction.
The Tasmanian devil is extinct on mainland Australia and the thylacine is entirely extinct, and this may be due to being outcompeted by larger-brained dingoes.
And what are dingoes, exactly? They're dogs, pure and simple. They're smart mammals, not mentally challenged marsupials. The thinking is dingoes were brought to Australia by humans from Asia about 4,000 years ago. On boats.
The dogs and their big brains sailed to Australia with people. At least dingoes are off the hook for earlier Australian megafauna extinctions, which happened tens of thousands of years before the dogs touched land down under – but not before the first humans had arrived.
The Forgotten Jew Who Developed The Cholera And Bubonic Plague Vaccines
Most people can identify the developers of the world's most important vaccines, including Louis Pasteur (rabies, anthrax), Edward Jenner (smallpox), and Jonas Salk (polio and influenza), but the name Mordechai Wolff (Waldemar) Haffkine, an Orthodox Jew who is credited with the development and use of vaccines against cholera and bubonic plague, has been forgotten, even though he arguably saved far more lives than they did. He was hailed as "the Jewish Jenner"; he was characterized by Joseph Lister, the pioneer of antiseptic surgery, as "a savior of humanity"; and, in R. Joseph Hertz's well-known second edition of the Soncino Chumash, the influential chief rabbi of the British Empire noted that he was "a famous scientist."
The son of a secular merchant father and a devoutly Orthodox mother born in what is now Ukraine, Haffkine (1860-1930) was raised by his maternal grandmother after his mother died when he was a young child, and it was through her that he developed strong Jewish feelings. A young founder of the Jewish League for Self-Defense in Odessa, he was injured while defending a Jewish home during the Odessa pogrom of 1881.
Haffkine commenced his scientific career as a protozoologist and protistologist at the University of Odessa in 1879 under Elie Mechnikov, one of the "fathers of immunology" who shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Paul Ehrlich. He was expelled from the university in 1882 after protesting Mechnikov's forced resignation for being Jewish but, after waging a difficult battle against the administration, he was granted his Doctor of Science degree in 1884. However, he was barred from a professorship because he refused to convert to the Russian Orthodox Church, and the fact that he had always been openly proud of his Judaism, very rare at that time and in those circles, certainly did not help him. After leaving Odessa in 1888 for a brief teaching job in Geneva, he followed Mechnikov to Paris, where he joined his mentor and Louis Pasteur at the newly established Pasteur Institute.
In the early 1890s, when one of the five great 19th-century cholera pandemics devastated Asia and Europe, Haffkine's interest turned to practical bacteriology and he focused his research on developing a cholera vaccine. He produced an attenuated form of the cholera bacterium and risked his life by self-administering the first dose on July 18, 1892. He reported his successful findings to the Biological Society two weeks later, but his discovery was not generally accepted by his senior colleagues.
Determined to prove the efficacy of his vaccine, he decided that the best place to do so was in India, where hundreds of thousands of people were dying from the ongoing cholera epidemic. In early 1893, he finally obtained permission from the British authorities to go to India and test his vaccines at the deltas of the Ganges and Brahmaputra Rivers, the primary source for the spread of cholera, but he quickly encountered four daunting problems.
First, the British directed that all participation in his two-shot regimen trials be voluntary, effectively thwarting his ability to select a proper balance of subjects and controls so fundamental to scientific analysis. Second, relentless and vociferous protests by English anti-vaccinationists ultimately took their toll on the British military command and caused a decreased cooperation with – and sometimes obstruction of – Haffkine's efforts. Third, when Haffkine was grudgingly granted permission by the British government to test his vaccine in India, he received no financial support from either the British or Indian government and he had no choice but to fund the entire operation by himself.
But the principal problem proved to be Haffkine's own misunderstanding of the geographical unpredictability of cholera. He planned to choose a village with a history of cholera, vaccinate half the people, and wait for the next outbreak to test the results, but he soon discovered that he was unable to find the disease in sufficient concentration to make his testing meaningful. As he documented in his records, although he was able to vaccinate more than about 20,000 people throughout northern India that year, "no cholera appeared in their midst to show whether the vaccine was of value or not."
Haffkine's big break came in early 1894 when a medical officer in Calcutta invited him to examine cholera bacilli in a water tank in an isolated village where everyone drank from a shared water source. When cholera broke out in the village, the overwhelming majority of the deaths were among the unvaccinated. Calcutta health officials agreed to finance a wider trial, and he became the first person in history to bring laboratory medicine into the slums of a tropical country, as he traveled across India spending entire days vaccinating as many people as possible.
By the time he was forced to return to England in autumn 1875 because he had contracted malaria, he had vaccinated some 42,000 people in the face of monumental hardships, including surviving an assassination attempt by Muslim fanatics. Two years after his return to Calcutta in 1893 to continue his work, cholera cases decreased by 80 percent amongst the vaccinated.
When the bubonic plague hit Bombay in October 1896 with a mortality rate double that of cholera, the Indian government asked Haffkine to assist, and he commenced work in a crude laboratory and assumed the daunting task of developing the world's first vaccine against plague. Amazingly, working almost entirely by himself, he succeeded in developing a vaccine that was ready for testing only three months later and, again, he first tested it on himself on January 10, 1897. Soon after he announced his successful results to the authorities, plague broke out at Bombay's Byculla House of Correction. He conducted a controlled test there, the results of which were that the majority of deaths were among the unvaccinated.
With this astounding success, the Aga Khan provided a building to house Haffkine's "Plague Research Laboratory" where he offered himself and thousands of members of his community for vaccination; within a year, hundreds of thousands of Indians had been successfully inoculated. At her 1897 Diamond Jubilee Honors, he was named by Queen Victoria as an Order of the Indian Empire (CIE) for his bubonic plague vaccine, and the Jewish Chronicle noted with great pride the anomaly of "a Ukraine Jew, trained in the schools of European science, saves the lives of Hindus and Mohammedans and is decorated by the descendant of William the Conqueror and Alfred the Great."
Haffkine wanted to test his cholera vaccine in Russia, but the Russian Czarist government refused, preferring that countless thousands of peasants and laborers die rather than be treated by a Jew. Ironically, however, with the 1898 cholera outbreak raging through the Russian Empire, two of his Russian colleagues visited him in Bombay, with the result that the vaccine, called "Haffkine's lymph," saved many thousands of lives across Russia. By the early 20th century, the vaccine had been administered to over four million Indians.
Haffkine had many enemies, including envious and resentful "establishment" scientists and the British colonial bureaucracy, particularly the British officers who comprised most of the staff at his laboratory, who were all unhappy about a Russian Jew heading the operation. Sham, but nonetheless damaging, reports began to circulate, including rumors that he was a Russian secret agent and an enemy of the British colonial rule and reports that he had produced the vaccine with pig flesh, an anathema to both Hindus and Muslims.
The haters soon succeeded in finding a way to ruin him when, during a mass outdoor inoculation in the Punjabi village of Malkowal on October 30, 1902, 19 villagers died from tetanus. It was quickly determined that the cause of the deaths was the failure of an Indian assistant to follow Haffkine's established sterilization and sanitation procedures after he dropped a forceps that he was using to open the vaccine bottles and that all the deaths were from vaccines administered from this single bottle; all other subjects who had been inoculated that day were thriving.
Nonetheless, a kangaroo Indian Commission of Inquiry was convened to investigate the matter and, in what became known as "the Little Dreyfus Affair," he was railroaded by the Commission, which determined that the bottle of vaccine had been contaminated in his lab and that he was responsible. Relieved of his title and position, he was sent back to England in ignominy.
When the Indian government finally released its full inquiry in 1906 – four years later – much of the scientific community came to his support and, on July 29, 1907, the London Times published a letter signed by ten internationally renowned microbiologists, including Sir Ronald Ross, the winner of the 1902 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. The letter cited not only the injustice of wrongfully accusing one of mankind's and India's "greatest benefactors," but it also warned about the adverse repercussions that would arise out of false information eroding the public trust in vaccines – a warning that has particular resonance today with the misrepresentations and deceit by the Biden administration and Dr. Anthony Fauci.
In this regard, it is fascinating to note that once Haffkine's vaccine had been broadly administered throughout India, discussions commenced about mandating proof of vaccination in areas of high concern, particularly at Hindu and Muslim pilgrimage sites which, due to population density, were considered the most likely places for plague outbreaks to get out of control. At the annual pilgrimage to Pandharpur in Bombay province, government authorities decided to mandate such proof of vaccination but, unlike the Biden administration's unilateral issuance of vaccine mandates from on high, the government negotiated with religious authorities, the hospitality industry, the railway companies, and pilgrims' representatives.
Haffkine was finally exonerated in November 1907, when a Commission of the Lister Institute in Great Britain reversed the Inquiry Commission's miscarriage of justice and the matter was then brought by his supporters to the British parliament. He was given permission to return to Bombay but, eager to reassume his position at the Institute, he found that it had been taken by another scientist, so he accepted a position as director in chief of the Calcutta Biological Institute. However, even after his formal exculpation, his name and reputation remained tainted because the authorities barred him from carrying out any future trials. Even when he commenced research on developing a new "devitalized" vaccine, the Indian government denied his repeated applications to conduct experimental trials. Limited to conducting theoretical research, he worked for the Institute until 1915, when he reached the age of mandatory retirement and returned to France.
While there is no "smoking gun" evidence that antisemitic animus played a role in the years-long miscarriage of justice in the Little Dreyfus Affair case, there does not seem to be any other reason to explain the course of events in the matter and why, even when he was officially vindicated, he was prevented from continuing his work – the very work that had saved hundreds of thousands of lives.
Haffkine was a proud Orthodox Jew with close relationships with many Jewish and Zionist leaders, but it was his friendship with Baron Edmond Rothschild that gave him the idea for a plan to resettle Jews in Eretz Yisrael that involved the purchase of land by wealthy members of the Jewish community. In 1898, he presented his plan to his friend, Aga Khan III, but when the Aga Khan brought the proposal to Sultan Abdul Hamid II, it was summarily rejected.
Although Haffkine personally donated funds to purchase land in Eretz Yisrael, he was not a political Zionist who considered a Jewish state as necessary for Jewish survival; rather, he credited the spiritual leaders produced by the yeshivot with the unlikely Jewish survival through two thousand years of bitter exile and oppression. Accordingly, he devoted massive financial resources to the support of studies at yeshivot and Talmud Torahs; in particular, he established the Haffkine Foundation to foster Jewish education in Eastern Europe with a focus on reaching "enlightened" secular Jews, which still exists and still supports various religious institutions.
Haffkine's wide-ranging Jewish activism included drafting a petition for the civil and religious rights of the Jews of Eastern Europe, which was presented at the Versailles Conference; founding the Society for the Return of the Hebrew Language; supporting the Jewish Free School in Calcutta; pursuing a plan to found a microbiological institute in Eretz Yisrael; working to establish a faculty of Jewish studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem; and serving on the boards of trustees of both YIVO and the Alliance Israelite.
Haffkine also dedicated himself to helping Jewish refugees immigrate to the U.S. Well aware of the threat of worldwide antisemitism, particularly with the oppression of his fellow Jews in his native Russia, and having personally experienced antisemitism which all but destroyed his career and accomplishments, he was deeply appreciative of the uniqueness of the United States and how his co-religionists were being treated there. In this beautiful and rare May 7, 1907 note, he writes:
I am grateful to the American Nation for their receiving in their midst refugees of my people, the Jews. I hope the settlers will preserve in their new Home an unshaken fidelity to the creed of their ancestors; and that there will arise among them great citizens who will repay by their services the hospitality afforded to them and their kinsmen.
After his retirement in 1915, Haffkine decided to travel to the United States to observe and to personally experience Jewish life there. It was during this trip that he wrote an article for the Menorah Journal called "A Plea for Orthodoxy" (1916), in which he advocated for traditional religious observance, decried the lack of such observance among "enlightened" Jews, attributed all of science to Jewish piety and learning, and stressed the importance of the Torah's teachings and Jewish communal life. Topics included "A Plea for Old-Fashioned Kashrut"; "Hebrew as a Vital Bond"; "The Importance of Distinctive Dress"; "Youth Owes Deference to the Wisdom of Forefathers"; and "The Approach of Modern Science to the Adon Olam." Alarmed by much of what he saw across America, he concluded that assimilation was a far greater threat to the survival of the Jewish people than persecution.
In 1925, the Indian government renamed the Parel lab "The Haffkine Institute," which today serves as a respected teaching institution in the field of biological sciences, undertakes specialized testing for pharmaceutical and other health-related products, and is a leader in offering basic and applied biomedical science services. Pursuant to his will, the Haffkine Foundation for the Benefit of Yeshivot was established and fully funded and, although he never visited Eretz Yisrael, he bequeathed his extensive personal archive to the National Library of Israel. His memory was later commemorated by the planting of 1,000 trees in the Kennedy Forest near Jerusalem.
Finally, one of the original cholera vaccine glass ampoules from his first batch was found and displayed at the Migdal David Museum. This amazing historical artifact was wrapped in a little package containing a September 1, 1892, note written by Haffkine just a few months after he announced his vaccine and declared that the ampoule contained the antidote for cholera.
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What's My Line? - Billy Graham; Anthony Quinn; Joey Bishop [panel] (Oct 9, 1960)
Making seawater drinkable basically just involves filtering it and removing the salt. The simplest way to do that, the way nature does it, is to evaporate the water and then condense it. But that takes a huge amount of power. So the preferred method today is Reverse Osmosis, where we pump the water under a huge amount of pressure to force it through membranes that the water can get through, and the salt can't.
The problem is that this still takes quite a bit of energy at the scales we need, and more importantly, it takes a lot of equipment and infrastructure. As a result the water that's produced from this process is pretty expensive. (There are also issues like environmental impacts and such, but money always manages to be the main concern.
Now, these concerns aren't universally prohibitive. There are, in fact, desalination plants all over the world. But for them to be practical, you have to have a pretty large population on the coast, in a relatively dry area, with enough money and power access to build and operate these plants. Where those factors combine, we absolutely desalinate ocean water.
The thing is, though, these plants have to compete with a resource that literally falls out of the sky. If you build one during a drought, and then have a rainy year, it's pretty much always going to be cheaper to catch the rain than to make water out of the ocean. It's also usually much easier and cheaper to conserve and manage the water resources you already have, rather than run these things. And frankly, that's a good thing, because the amount of water we use for farming, watering our lawns, and maintaining outdoor landscapes is so high that we couldn't afford it otherwise.
Desalination plants may be useful as a guarantee that big cities are going to be able to keep the water on in the event of a bad drought, but using them as a primary option for water usually isn't such a great idea.
See you tomorrow bli neder the final day of Chul HaMoaed