Israel, A Zoom Kabballat Shabbat, Class Reminder, & Last Week's Parashah

1. Israel -- Today is Yom ha-Zikaron -- Israel's Memorial Day for its fallen soldiers -- sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, relatives and friends. The War of Independence (1948), the Suez Campaign (1956), the Six-day War (June 1967), the Yom Kippur War (1973) and defending against various uprisings and terror attacks. Tonight begins Yom ha-Atz'ma'ut -- Israel's Independence Day -- May 14, 1948, but the Hebrew Iyar 5. This year, as in the US, the celebrations will be private. The rebirth of the State of Israel is, in my view, the second greatest story in history -- after the Exodus. Form what was created, how people unfit for its climate worked the land and died th

Interesting News Items, A Personal Reflection and Jeremiah (the prophet, not the bullfrog)

1. Tonight begins Rosh Chodesh Iyar, the month Israel officially became a modern state -- 5 Iyar 1948. Rosh Chodesh begins tonight, for 2 days, through Shabbat. Today is the 14th day of the Omer, meaning it was two weeks ago last night that we celebrated with our first seder. Time goes forward. 2. I first saw this on NBC News: Clean(er) air: Los Angeles, India -- Here are some articles: https://calmatters.org/health/2020/04/as-californians-stay-at-home-air-quality-improves-for-now/ India’s lockdown gives world’s most polluted capital clean air 3. Fox News: Dr Marty Makary from Johns Hopkins, based on testing in Los Angeles -- Bad News: The number of actual cases (as opposed to report

Yom ha-Sho'ah, more figures with personal reflections, a teaching from the Talmud

Good morning, A. Today we observe Yom ha-Sho'ah -- Holocaust Memorial Day. Today is also the 12th day of the Omer. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, communal Yom ha-Sho'ah gatherings, some which were scheduled for Sundays, were cancelled this year. To memorialize, some light a yahrzeit candle, read a book or articles about the Sho'ah, and recite Psalms. There is abundant material on the internet. Yom ha-Sho'ah was not without its controversy. Some observant Jews wanted to commemorate it on Tish'a b-Av as part of several national tragedies -- the destruction of the Temples and the accompanying disaster of war -- death, injury, economic devastation and social disruption -- and included

Pesach eve during Coronavirus 2020 -- with 2 artistic videos to enjoy

I send you four sections, on Pesach eve -- (a) News, (b) Rate Figures, (c) Seder, and (d) Creative Videos A. News -- Although apparently no members of Traditional Congregation or their immediate families have been infected, some extended family members either have contracted COD-19 or family members are in the medical trenches, diverted from their usual medical responsibilities into the front lines where they are especially susceptible. As for us, a cousin's mother may have contracted coronavirus and a UTJ rabbi's ex-wife (in her late 60's) died. B. Figures The rate seems to be slowing noticeably -- US: total reported coronavirus cases: 400,539; deaths from coronavirus: 12,857 Israel: 9,

2-3 Weeks into Physical Distancing from Covid-19; Prayer & Pesach, and more

Good afternoon, Shabbat Shalom, and chag Kasher v-sam'ech, A. As we are now into weeks of physical distancing due to Covid-19, and as the news unfolds with huge numbers people who have been infected -- over a million world-wide -- a harsh, sad reality is beginning to sink in. US: total reported coronavirus cases: 257,773; deaths from coronavirus: 6,586 Israel: 7,030 reported cases, and now 39 reported deaths. World: 1,056,777 reported cases, and now 55,781 reported deaths. Perhaps some truly and immediately understood the true impact of the virus, but admittedly I was not one of them, and I was not alone. There are always those who leap to assume or predict the worst, so why leap? But

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