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October 24, 2016 / 22 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘health’

Israelis to Have Long-Term Care Insurance Next Year, Says Litzman

Thursday, January 21st, 2016

Health Minister Yaakov Litzman said on a national broadcast network Thursday that by early next year Israelis will have long-term care insurance.

The current situation in which families are forced to pay huge sums for private long-term care insurance policies for such coverage is “intolerable and must not continue,” he said.

Litzman stressed that Finance Minister and Kulanu party chairman Moshe Kahlon supports him in this matter.

The health minister said on the Channel 2 program, “Seder Yom,” that he has no doubt the coalition agreement applies to the creation of national long-term care insurance.

Hana Levi Julian

Research Links Being Religious with a Happy Life – but only for Jews

Friday, December 25th, 2015

Observant Jews are happier with life, and Jews living in Hareidi cities can expect to live longer than others, according to a new study by the Taub Center for Social Studies.

However, the researchers cautioned:

It is important to note that the relatively positive self-reports of Hareidim may also be due to a social norm that frowns on complaining, and would particularly disapprove of ‘airing one’s dirty laundry’ in the context of a secular survey.

Previous studies have concluded that religious involvement is a factor in satisfaction with aspects of living, and Taub researchers reported:

Relatively high percentages of Hareidim attest to being very happy with their relationships with family members: 80.2 percent versus 62.7 percent or less in other population groups….

A relatively low percentage of Hareidim report feelings of loneliness. Only 11.4 percent of Hareidim said that they were lonely, compared with at least twice that amount among other groups.

The link does necessarily apply to non-Jews. The researchers stated::

A rise in satisfaction levels moving up the religiosity scale does not appear among non-Jews. About 37.7 percent of non-Jewish respondents in the study who identified as very religious or religious felt lonely – more than the not very religious (30.7 percent) and the non-religious (30.0 percent).

The report also stated that Hareidim can expect to live three years longer than others in Israel.

A direct link was found “between a city’s socioeconomic and the life expectancy of its residents” but the trend is different for Hareidim in Beit Shemesh, Bnei Brak and Jerusalem, according to the study.

The researchers also noted a study carried out in 1996 that showed that national religious Jews living on kibbutzim have a lower mortality write than secular kibbutzniks.

The 1996 study stated:

These findings indicate that, even in closed and highly-structured communities such as kibbutzim, level of religious observance has an impact on health status.

The latest Taub study noted that then-Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s drastic reduction in child welfare payments more than a decade ago, in addition to the global financial crisis in 2008, “hurt Hareidi families financially” but also ” led many Hareidim to vocational study and employment.”


Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Litzman Pressures Reluctant Hospitals to Shorten Wait for MRI Scans

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

At least two medical centers in Israel are locked in a power struggle with the Health Ministry over funding support for MRI procedures.

The number of MRI exams carried out in the afternoon and evening hours was seriously reduced beginning December 1 by the Clalit HMO at Beilinson Medical Center in Petach Tikvah and Be’er Sheva’s Sorokah Medical Center, Galei Tzahal Army Radio reported Tuesday.

This, despite a reform announced by Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman that was supposed to sharply cut the long wait for such procedures.

Because the MRI machine-hours have been slashed in the afternoon and evening hours at the two hospitals, many clinics have been unable to schedule patients for MRI exams as well.

Officials blamed a lack of state funding was responsible for the cut in services.

“Unfortunately we ran out of funds to operate the second shift, so we were forced to reduce our services by 30 percent,” said a spokesperson for Beilinson Medical Center.

“Operating the MRI in afternoon and evening hours is only possible with funding from the state,” said Soroka Medical Center. “The budget just could not stretch far enough, and therefore our services were reduced.”

The Ministry of Health has responded that the “availability and quality of services in the health basket are dependent upon the financial situation of the specific health fund; the ministry will review the matter with the director-general.”

However, Litzman added bluntly that if the hospitals did not cooperate and shorten the wait for MRI exams, he would “not hesitate to cancel their arrangements of choice.”

Such arrangements refer to agreements between the HMOs and hospitals to determine which medical center receives patients for which particular treatment.

Such a decision can exert major influence on an institution’s economic development.

Bottom line: if the hospitals don’t step up and cooperate, the health ministry is not likely to provide them with the support they need for further growth — at least, as long as Ya’acov Litzman remains health minister.

Hana Levi Julian

Russia Invents Bubonic Plague Epidemic in US

Monday, December 7th, 2015

Russia has invented a supposed widespread epidemic of Bubonic Plague in the United States to advise citizens to stay home during the December holiday period.

Very little happens in Russia without political overtones, and it does not seem coincidental that Russia decided to invent an epidemic and single out the United States while not mentioning security concerns and the wave of terror in Israel.

More than one million former Soviet Bloc residents live in Israel and frequently are visited by relatives and friends.

Russia and the Obama administration are in a mini-Cold War, even colder since Vladimir Putin filled the power vacuum in Syria and sent in Russian planes and troops to fight the Islamic State (ISIS) and also to take the opportunity to bomb rebels opposing its puppet Basher al-Assad.

On the other hand, Israel and Russia have been coordinating remarkably over the combat that touches the northern border at the Golan Heights.

The country’s consumer protection agency stated that 10-15 cases of Bubonic Plague have been reported in the United States this year. That is true, but it is far from an epidemic. Although the average number of cases is six a year, there were 17 cases in 2006.

Bubonic Plague usually strikes in areas far from the path of tourists. Cases this year have been reported in rural and semi-rural areas in eight states, mostly in New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado. Georgia, Utah, Oregon, California and Michigan each have reported one case, but two of the victims were infected in Colorado and California.

Although it can strike at any time, the disuse usually occurs in from late spring to early fall and not in the dead of winter. The last reported case was in October in Oregon.

Moscow also warned travelers of security risks in Egypt, Thailand, and Turkey, favorite vacation spots for Russians, according to the Associated Press.

Russia also advised everyone to spend their money at home instead of taking a risk to their health by traveling to Europe, where it said Syrian refugees have brought infections with them.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Israeli Salt Maker to Push Sodium Reduction at Paris Food Ingredient Fare

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015

JNi.media) Israeli manufacturer Salt of the Earth, a global industry leader in salt and salt-related products, launches Umamix, its new sodium reduction ingredient for hamburgers and processed meat at Fi Europe, Paris, December 1-3.

According to the Harvard School of Public Health, In most people, the kidneys have trouble keeping up with excess sodium in the bloodstream. As sodium accumulates, the body holds on to water to dilute the sodium. This increases both the amount of fluid surrounding cells and the volume of blood in the bloodstream. Increased blood volume means more work for the heart and more pressure on blood vessels. Over time, the extra work and pressure can stiffen blood vessels, leading to high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. It can also lead to heart failure. There is also some evidence that too much salt can damage the heart, aorta, and kidneys without increasing blood pressure, and that it may be bad for bones, too.

High blood pressure is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease. It accounts for two-thirds of all strokes and half of heart disease.

Salt is widely used in meat processing as a flavor enhancer as well as a functional ingredient. Hamburgers or meatballs typically contain 1.2-2% salt. But according to the latest lab tests results, Umamix can help decrease sodium by 45% in hamburgers and meatballs, and by 33% in frankfurter sausages, without affecting the taste of the final product. It is heat stable, pH stable, kosher, halal and has no artificial ingredients.

“Consumers are concerned more than ever about sodium content in their foods, but refuse to compromise on taste-and, of course, they also demand a clean label,” says Revital Ben Shachar, Marketing Manager for Salt of the Earth. “Our sodium reduction ingredient is designed to address these needs and keep the consumer-craved salty, savory flavor. This highly cost-effective ingredient thus allows processors to meet all consumer demand targets.”

Food Ingredients Europe and Natural Ingredients 2015 is a global food & natural ingredients exhibition, that attracted 1,300 exhibitors and some 23,000 visitors in 2013. The event is held bi-annually in different cities throughout Europe, and alternates with “HIE – Health Ingredients Europe.”

Salt of the Earth has been producing sustainable sea salt solutions for the global food industry since 1922, with customers in more than 30 countries on five continents.

Look for them at Fi Europe, booth #6N105.


Ben Gurion U. Students’ Cancer Therapy Wins Boston Competition

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

The student team from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev has won the Best Health and Medicine Project category in the prestigious 12th annual iGEM 2015 Giant Jamboree competition with their cutting-edge biological cancer therapy called “Boomerang.”

IGEM is considered one of the most important ventures in the global sphere of science. Nearly 4,600 students competed in this year’s event in Boston.

The BGU project Boomerang is based on advanced methods of genetic engineering and synthetic biology. It has many applications that rely on the special characteristics of cancer cells to identify and alter cells as well as treat the disease at the molecular level.

The name “Boomerang” mirrors the actions in which the synthetic system uses cancer cells’ own genetic alterations against them.

As a cancer therapy, Boomerang works as a modular system. It can cause disruption of genes essential for cancer survival or activate suicide genes so that the cancer or tumor kills itself. Boomerang can also produce color proteins for cancer cell detection so that the edges of a tumor are visible to ensure complete surgical removal.

In addition to winning the grand prize in the Best Health and Medicine Project in the “Overgraduate” category (graduate level), the BGU team was a first runner-up in the overall competition, the first Israeli team to reach this level in iGEM.

The BGU team also won the Best New Basic Part Award for developing and submitting the best new functional DNA sequence to this year’s competition.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Kapparot ‘Sacrificial Chicken’ Ritual Gets Green Light in New York

Sunday, September 20th, 2015

The much-embattled Jewish ritual of using a purchased, donated live chicken as a “kapparah,” or sacrifice with which to absolve one’s sins before Yom Kippur has been given a green light in New York.

The purchased chicken is returned to the organization after completing the prayer and is then ritually slaughtered and donated to the poor for food. In some communities money has replaced the rite where chickens have become unavailable or where politics have made the issue so unpalatable that it community leaders no longer have the energy to cope with the fallout.

State Supreme Court Justice Debra James decided against a petition by The Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos, ruling there was insufficient evidence to prove the ritual a public nuisance, the New York Post reported last week.

The lawsuit was filed this past July and named several rabbis, synagogues, the New York Police Department and New York City as well. It accused the NYC Health Department and the NYPD of aiding and abetting in the ritual by blocking off streets and sidewalks, and not enforcing city and state health and animal cruelty laws.

Various animal rights organizations, including PETA at one point, have annually made the same attempt.

Rabbi Shea Hecht, chairman of the board of the Chabad-Lubavitch-linked National Committee for Furtherance of Jewish Education (NCFJE), told JewishPress.com in a phone call on Sunday the organization is greatly relieved the judge upheld the ancient custom.

“We are very happy and proud that the Judge held up our Constitutional rights, which are based on freedom of religion, and has allowed us to keep this ancient minhag (custom). Although we recognize that this issue is not over,” he added, “we are thankful to God that we have the opportunity to carry out this important mitzvah to its fullest measure.”

The ritual is carried out as follows:

The live chicken is held above one’s head, and then slowly moved around in three sets of three circles as the petitioner recites a prayer that speaks of the “shadow of death… foolish sinners, afflicted because of their sinful ways and their wrongdoings.”

At no time is it considered permissible to handle the bird roughly, nor is it permissible to torment or upset the bird in any way, which itself is considered the separate sin of tza’ar ba’alei chaim (causing distress to a live creature of God).

The prayer (a brief excerpt follows) goes on to urge repentance, and describe how to expiate one’s sins on the day before Yom Kippur.

“They cry out to the Lord in their distress; He saves them from their afflictions. Redeem him from going down to the grave; I have found expiation [for him]… This is my exchange, this is my substitute, this is my expiation. This rooster/hen shall go to its death and I shall proceed to a good, long life and peace.”

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/kapparot-sacrificial-chicken-ritual-gets-green-light-in-new-york/2015/09/20/

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