Bar Ilan U. Researchers Link Elderly Who Give Too Much to Charity to Early Alzheimer’s Disease By David Israel and Rabbi Schwartz kosher jokes and Keeping Mitzvot In The (U.S.) Army By Israel Mizrahi -
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.
Following forty years of wandering in the desert, the Children of Israel are about to enter the Land of Israel. They are commanded upon entering the Land to establish cities of refuge to which one who unintentionally murdered someone can be exiled. These cities are to be established on both sides of the Jordan river. The people are told that the murderer may not be ransomed and is to remain in the city of refuge until the death of the High Priest. "And you shall not corrupt the land" Numbers 35;33). Accepting ransom is corrupt. Just as corruption distorts the proper functioning of society in the land, so does the non-observance of this commandment, as explained by Meiri in the tractate of Sotah:
Whosoever flatters the wicked by undeserved praise becomes like the wicked person himself, for all who listen to him will also begin to praise the acts of the wicked. And it is concerning this that it is said "From the day that flattery of the wicked became commonplace, judgment became distorted, and deeds became spoiled and out of order." (Meiri, Tractate Sotah 41)
All of this is alluded to in the accentuation of the letter "pei" in the word "tachanifu" (corrupt). (Rokeiach on the portion.)
And I would like to add that given the many curved letters "pei" in this portion it appears that exaggerated flattering leads to murder.
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.
Keeping Mitzvot In The (U.S.) Army By Israel Mizrahi -
Our history is filled with tales of decrees conscripting Jews, often young children to fight in the local ruler's wars. From Russia to Poland, to the Ottoman Empire, local folklore preserved numerous tales of those committed to their faith who under threat of death or torture persisted in their attempts to keep Judaism alive even in the harshest conditions. Many a young Jew had their names changed, escaped the country or self-inflicted disqualifying wounds to avoid the draft.
Even without the blatant antisemitism ever present in armies such as the Czar's military, a Jewish soldier who attempted to keep the mitzvot found it a near-impossible feat. A cache of documents I acquired this week tells of the efforts of a group that during World War II founded the organization Sabbath Observers in Civil Service to defend and support those in the U.S. Military who were Sabbath observant. Led by Mr. Abraham Goldstein and Miss Gertrude N. Zavin, members of Radio City Synagogue in New York City, the letters tell of the many scenarios and correspondences they attempted to assist with, with varying degrees of success.
One letter from the Dept. of the Navy dated Nov 11, 1942, states: "It is the desire of your committee that the records of persons who were suspended for absence on Rosh Hashonah and Yom Kippur, the Jewish High Holy Days, be cleared. I regret to inform you that this cannot be given favorable consideration. I think you will agree with me that this matter was a difficult one to deal with and that when the war effort could be furthered by the observance of regular working hours on these Holy Days … it has to be done in the interest of National Security…"
Another letter dated August 19, 1943 was sent to the Veterans Administration in New York. "Mildred Steinberg and Elaine Feldman, employees at your branch, have been requested to resign if they do not intend to start working on Saturday. It is with deep regret that we, and the other Orthodox Jewish Organizations, learned of this. These girls are willing to make up the time lost, or lose pay for the time lost or to make any other equitable arrangement possible just as long as they be able to observe their Sabbath in accordance with the precepts of their faith…."
I would take this next story with a large grain of salt.
First of all, people become more generous as they age, for many reasons. Primarily because they know they will not be here forever, they want to do some good with their money before they die.
Also, everyone who ages has some form of Dimensia or Early Alzheimer's disease. That doesn't make the correlation that they are crazy because they want to give some charity. I would imagine that there was a lot of built-in bias in the research, which puts a good value in Judaism-Zadukah into a bad light.
Bar Ilan U. Researchers Link Elderly Who Give Too Much to Charity to Early Alzheimer's Disease
Until now, studies have shown positive relationships between self-reported altruistic behavior and cognition. This study, however, observed the opposite pattern. The researchers found that giving away more money was associated with worse cognitive performances on tests of word-list learning and recall, delayed story recall, and semantic fluency (naming words belonging to a specific category), after accounting for age, education, and sex.
The Bar Ilan study examined the relationship between altruism and cognitive functioning in a sample of older adults without dementia, utilizing a behavioral economic measure of financial altruism with real monetary outcomes. Those who chose to give away more of their study earnings to an anonymous person demonstrated poorer performance on cognitive measures that are known to be sensitive to early Alzheimer's disease.
Participants completed a series of cognitive and behavioral assessments. In the behavioral altruism assessment, they were told that they could send a portion of their $10 study earnings to an anonymous person (Person B). They could send any amount between $0 and $10, and whatever they chose to keep would be added to their study earnings at the conclusion of the assessment. Participants selected one of ten options in $1 increments ranging from $0 to $10. Thus, those who selected to send $0 to Person B could be considered least altruistic and those who selected to send $10 to Person B could be considered most altruistic.
Participants also completed a comprehensive battery of neuropsychological assessments, including tests of memory, executive functioning, language, attention, and working memory.
In an additional set of analyses, the researchers divided the sample into three groups based on the amount of money they chose to give away. Those who gave more to Person B than they kept for themselves were in the "Gave More" group. Those who gave less to Person B than they kept for themselves were in the "Gave Less" group. Those who kept $5 and gave away $5 were in the "Gave Equally" group. The researchers found that the group who Gave More consisted of only individuals who gave all $10 to Person B. In general, the Gave More group demonstrated the lowest cognitive performance.
"Altruism plays an important role in financial decision making, a function critical for preventing financial exploitation," said Dr. Gali Weissberger, of the Interdisciplinary Department of Social Sciences at Bar-Ilan University, who conducted the study together with principal investigator Prof. Duke Han, of the University of Southern California.
"Additionally, a growing body of literature suggests that declines in financial decision making in older adulthood may be an early sign of adverse cognitive outcomes associated with Alzheimer's disease. The findings of this study provide insights into how some adults may become vulnerable to financial exploitation in older age," she added.
RABBI SCHWARTZ'S TERRIBLE KOSHER JOKES OF THE WEEK
Rabbi Bloom and Rabbi Levy are sitting in their local kosher deli and when the waitress comes over, and asks for two glasses of water. When the water arrives, they take out homemade sandwiches from inside their coat pockets and start to eat.
Moshe the deli manager is not happy with what he sees. So he goes over to them and says, "Look, I'll give you both one of our snacks free of charge. My customers won't mind, seeing you are Rabbis. But please, you can't eat your own sandwiches in here!"
Rabbi Bloom and Rabbi Levy look at each other with twinkles in their eyes. Without saying a word, they shrug their shoulders, exchange their homemade sandwiches, and carry on eating.
It was lunchtime at the Jewish nursery school and all the children were lined up by the teachers. Then, as usual, they were led into the canteen. Little Moshe quickly noticed that at one end of the dining table was a large pile of apples with the message, "Take ONLY ONE apple each, God is watching." At the other end he noticed was a large pile of kosher chocolate chip cookies.
Moshe then whispered to his friend Sarah, "We can take all the cookies we want. God is watching the apples."
Rachel had not seen her Israeli relatives for years, so she was very excited when her Aunt Leah and Uncle Yitzhak came to visit her in New York. To celebrate their visit, Rachel took them to an old-fashioned Kosher restaurant in Brooklyn.
"I'll have the kreplach," Rachel told the waiter.
"The kreplach is from last night," explained the waiter. "Better you should order something made fresh today. How about stuffed peppers?"
"OK, let it be stuffed peppers."
The waiter turns to Aunt Leah.
"Bring please the pot roast."
"The pot roast is strictly for goyim. If you want something special, try the flanken."
"All right then, so bring the flanken."
Uncle Yitzhak studied the menu carefully then said to the waiter, "I can't make up my mind. What do you suggest?"
"Suggest!" cried the waiter. "On a busy night like this who has time for suggestions?"
When he arrived in New York the customs official was perplexed as to why anybody would have 5 sets of gold teeth. So Moisha explained. "We Orthodox Jews have two separate sets of dishes for meat products and dairy products but I am so kosher and religious I also have separate sets of teeth." The customs official shook his head and said, "Well that accounts for two sets of teeth. What about the other three?"
Moisha then said "Vell us very religious Orthodox Jews use separate dishes for Passover, but I am so religious I have separate teeth, one for meat and one for dairy food.
The customs official slapped his head and then said,
"You must be a very religious man with separate teeth for food and dairy products and likewise for Passover. That accounts for four sets of teeth. What about the fifth set?"
"Vell to tell you the truth, once in a while I like a ham sandwich." .
Benjamin and Morris are sitting in a wonderful Kosher restaurant in Miami.
They are talking among themselves in Yiddish. A Chinese waiter comes up and in fluent and impeccable Yiddish asks them if everything is okay, can he get them anything, and so forth. Benjamin and Morris are dumbfounded.
"My God, where did he learn such perfect Yiddish?" they both think. After they pay the bill they ask the manager, an old friend of theirs, also fluent in Yiddish, "Where did your waiter learn such fabulous Yiddish?"
The owner looks around and leans over to them so no one will hear and says, "Shhhh. He thinks we're teaching him English."
Moshe goes to see his Rabbi. "Rabbi, last week I missed saying grace after meals."
"Why," asks the Rabbi.
"Because I forgot to wash my hands before the meal."
"That's twice you've broken the law but you still haven't told me why."
"The food wasn't kosher."
"You ate non-kosher food?" asks the Rabbi.
"It wasn't a Jewish restaurant."
"That makes it even worse," says the now angry Rabbi. "Couldn't you have eaten in a kosher one?"
"What, on Yom Kippur?"
Rabbi Levy is walking home from shul one shabbos when he sees Issy in front of him. Issy is a learned and respected man who can hold his own with the rabbi on Talmudic discussions. As Rabbi Levy tries to catch up with Issy, he is shocked to see him go into 'The Chinese Crab' restaurant. As he looks through the window, Rabbi Levy sees Issy giving his order to a waiter and a short time later sees the food arrive – a plate of shrimps, lobsters and crabs. As Issy picks up the chopsticks and starts to eat, Rabbi Levy bursts into the restaurant and confronts Issy.
"Issy, just what do you think you are doing coming into this restaurant and ordering this treif? You are not only violating everything we are taught about the dietary laws, but you also seem to be enjoying this food."
"Rabbi," says Issy, "did you see me enter this establishment?"
"And did you see me order this food?"
"And did you see the waiter bring the food to me?"
"And did you then see me eat the food?"
"Then I don't see a problem, rabbi. Everything was done under full Rabbinical Supervision."
A group of Rabbis was having lunch in "Isaacs White House" kosher restaurant. Unfortunately, Isaac served them watermelon spiked with whisky that he had prepared for another table and he realized his mistake too late to do anything about it. All Isaac could do was wait in his kitchen and expect the worst.
As soon as the waiter came back into the kitchen with the empty plates, Isaac grabbed hold of him and asked, "What did they say, please tell me, what did they say?"
"Nothing at all, Mr Isaac," replied the waiter. "They were all too busy searching for the watermelon seeds and putting them into their pockets."
Rachel and her husband Max are in their local kosher restaurant. Even though Rachel always seems to find something to moan about in this deli restaurant, they still regularly go there because the food is good and it's frequented by many of their fellow seniors.
As usual, within minutes of taking their seats, Rachel starts to bother their waiter. "Waiter," she says, "please turn up the air conditioning. You know I can't stand a hot atmosphere."
But then, five minutes later, she asks the waiter to turn down the air conditioning because she is too cold. Soon after, she wants it turned up again because she's getting too hot. But then their food arrives on the table and Rachel is at last silent as she eats her meal.
Maurice, who is sitting near Rachel and Max's table, can't help but notice that at no time does the waiter show any anger - in fact he is surprisingly patient. So as the waiter walks past his table on his way back to the kitchen, Maurice calls him over and says quietly to him, "I can't understand why you don't just throw this customer out of the restaurant."
"Oh, we don't really mind," says the waiter, "because not only do we have a customer focus program in operation where the customer is always right, but also, this restaurant doesn't have any air conditioning