18 Cheshvan (tomorrow) is the yahrzeit of Rabbi Meir Kahane HY”D and Giant 500,000-year-old Elephant Tusk Found in Southern Israel and a map with the word for Jew in different European languages and He captured rare images of Jewish life in Iran. Then he fled, fearing for his safety. BY LAUREN HAKIMI and Blood test spots multiple cancers without clear symptoms, study finds and The Portion of Vayera Equality Before the Law
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 the visit of the angels to Abraham's tent, they move on to their next divine mission- the destruction of Sodom and Gemora as punishment for the multitude of sins committed by their inhabitants. The Almighty Himself descended to see "with His own eyes", as it were, whether or not the seriousness of the sins merited such severe punishment. Perhaps in the future the Children of Israel would also sin in a similar manner, and then G-d would have to punish them in kind. Did the sin justify the punishment? Would there be equality before the law, where the same infractions committed by different people merit the same degree of punishment?
This question was raised in the Talmud (Sanhedrin 104b) "Is there favoritism or bias?"
And, in fact, the prophet Isaiah compares the sins of the children of Israel to those of Sodom "it's almost that we were like Sodom and resembled Gemora" (Isaiah 1;9).
The prophet Ezekiel also compares the sins of the Children of Israel to those of the Sodomites five separate times " Sodom thy sister hath not done, she nor her daughters, as thou hast done, thou and thy daughters" (16;48).
All of this is alluded to by way of the five crowns which appear atop the letter "tzadi" in the word "haketzakatah" (according to her cry). (Sefer Tagi of Rabbi Eliezer of Germiza.
I would also add that the five crowns atop the letter "tzadi" in the word "tzedakah" (justice) alludes to the justice practiced by the Almighty in rendering judgement.
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.
18 Cheshvan (tomorrow) is the yahrzeit of Rabbi Meir Kahane HY"D
Blood test spots multiple cancers without clear symptoms, study finds
Doctors hail new era for cancer screening as major research shows effectiveness of Galleri test
Doctors have told health services to prepare for a new era of cancer screening after a study found a simple blood test could spot multiple cancer types in patients before they develop clear symptoms.
The Pathfinder study offered the blood test to more than 6,600 adults aged 50 and over, and detected dozens of new cases of disease. Many cancers were at an early stage and nearly three-quarters were forms not routinely screened for.
It is the first time results from the Galleri test, which looks for cancer DNA in the blood, have been returned to patients and their doctors, to guide cancer investigations and any necessary treatment.
The Galleri test has been described as a potential "gamechanger" by NHS England, which is due to report results from a major trial involving 165,000 people next year. Doctors hope the test will save lives by detecting cancer early enough for surgery and treatment to be more effective, but the technology is still in development.
"I think what's exciting about this new paradigm and concept is that many of these were cancers for which we do not have any standard screening," Dr Deb Schrag, a senior researcher on the study at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, told the European Society for Medical Oncology meeting in Paris on Sunday.
In the Pathfinder study, 6,621 adults aged 50 and over were offered the Galleri blood test. For 6,529 volunteers, the test was negative, but it flagged a potential cancer in 92.
Further tests confirmed solid tumours or blood cancer in 35 people, or 1.4% of the study group. The test spotted two cancers in a woman who had breast and endometrial tumours.
Beyond spotting the presence of disease, the test predicts where the cancer is, allowing doctors to fast-track the follow-up work needed to locate and confirm a cancer. "The signal of origin was very helpful in directing the type of work-up," said Schrag. "When the blood test was positive, it typically took under three months to get the work-ups completed."
The test identified 19 solid tumours in tissues such as the breast, liver, lung and colon, but it also spotted ovarian and pancreatic cancers, which are typically detected at a late stage and have poor survival rates.
The remaining cases were blood cancers. Out of the 36 cancers detected in total, 14 were early stage and 26 were forms of the disease not routinely screened for.
Further analyses found the blood test was negative for 99.1% of those who were cancer-free, meaning only a small proportion of healthy people wrongly received a positive result. About 38% of those who had a positive test turned out to have cancer. Schrag said that the test not yet ready for population-wide screening and that people must continue with standard cancer screening while the technology is improved. "But this still suggests a glimpse of what the future may hold with a really very different approach to cancer screening," she said.
Fabrice André, the director of research at Gustave Roussy cancer centre in Villejuif, France, said: "Within the next five years, we will need more doctors, surgeons and nurses, together with more diagnostic and treatment infrastructure, to care for the rising number of people who will be identified by multi-cancer early detection tests."
Naser Turabi, the director of evidence and implementation at Cancer Research UK, said: "Blood tests for multiple types of cancer used to belong in the realm of science fiction, but now they are an area of cancer research that is showing promise for patients.
"Research like this is crucial for making progress against late-stage cancers and giving more patients the chance of a good outcome. The Pathfinder trial results give us a better understanding of how frequently cancer is found by this blood test in people who haven't been previously diagnosed.
"But we will need data from larger studies to fully assess this test and other similar tests in development, especially to understand whether people actually survive for longer after their cancer is picked up."
He captured rare images of Jewish life in Iran. Then he fled, fearing for his safety.
Giant 500,000-year-old Elephant Tusk Found in Southern Israel
A huge elephant tusk, extraordinarily well-preserved considering that it is half a million years old, has been discovered in southern Israel.
The tusk was found by Eitan Mor, a biologist from Jerusalem on a visit to Kibbutz Revadim. He was walking by a depression in the landscape where the sand was mined during the British Mandate times – creating a sort of crater whose walls collapse a little more every rainy season – and noticed something strange peeping from the soil.
Happily, Mor realized roughly what it might be and called in the Israel Antiquities Authority, says its head of prehistory, Ianir Milevski.
The tusk is extraordinary less for being 500,000 years old – we have a lot of elephant remains from that time at Revadim – and more for its sheer size: 2.60 meters (8 feet, 6 inches) long, some 20 centimeters in diameter at its widest, but mainly because it is almost complete after all this time.
The tusk is in the process of being painstakingly extracted by archaeologists from the IAA, led by Avi Levy, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, led by Ofer Marder, and Tel Aviv University, led by Israel Hershkovitz. It is extremely fragile.
"The more complete we get it out, the better it can be conserved," Milevski says.
Let us be clear that this isn't the first time a lovely great elephant tusk was found in Israel; it's the second. The first was found in a Lower Paleolithic site in Holon decades ago, during infrastructure works for a water system. But the new one emerging from the British sand quarry is bigger, the current team observes. The Holon tusk was a mere 1.78 meters long and may be seen at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.
In fact, the tusk was found at a site where a lot more elephant remains have been found since excavation there began decades ago. Revadim is a multilayer open-air site (not cave context) on the Coastal Plain. Two main periods of hominin occupation during the Lower Paleolithic have been identified at the site, likely from about half a million to 300,000 years ago, Milevski says.
A lot of fossil elephant remains have been found at the spot over the years, from skull fragments to ribs, jawbones and molars. Separate work, by Prof. Ran Barkai of Tel Aviv University and others, postulates that consumption of elephant (including at Revadim) was actually key to the path of human evolution.
Given the modern predilection for chicken and cow on our plates, it may seem strange that our ancestors had a taste for elephantids. Compared with a dainty domesticated bird or bovine, elephant was probably tough. But it was actually the perfect package for hominins and early humans alike: hunt one and you have tons of meat, fat, marrow and bones that could be fashioned into tools – or, like in ancient Siberia, used to construct huts. Archaeologists have found ample evidence of elephant hunting and consumption throughout prehistory, including in cave art.
But while the creatures had once existed throughout the African-Eurasian continuum and in North America as well, in the Levant they went extinct about 400,000 years ago – at which time the hominin population had to settle for eating other animals. In fact, the layers at Revadim above that with the elephants (meaning they are from a later time) feature bones of smaller animals, including gazelle and deer, and possibly aurochs too, Milevski clarifies.
What species of elephantid had sported the huge tusk? They don't know yet. The tusk hasn't even been extracted yet let alone analyzed by archaeo-zoologists, Milevski says, but it is known that the species known as straight tusked elephantPalaeoloxodon antiquus) had been around at the time – from 800,000 years until the whole lot went (locally) extinct about 400,000 years ago.
No remains of the hominins themselves have ever been found at Revadim. It may have been a type of Homo erectus, going by certain features of the tool sets, or a hominin variant more advanced than erectus, going by other features (or, erectus had better skills than is commonly thought). In May, a separate team published a paper on the stone tools at Revadim from 500,000 to 300,000 years ago, noting that about a fifth had been recycled – which means they would take an old tool and reshape it somewhat to create a new one.
Meanwhile, the team is working to strengthen the tusk in situ, including with polymers and plaster, in much the way broken bones are treated in hospital – it suffered some fractures, Milevski observes. They hope to remove it from the soil where it has lain for the last half-million years later this week.