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December 8, 2016 / 8 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘phone’

Survey Finds Opening for Israeli Advocacy in Non-Western Countries

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

A BBC Sponsored Public Opinion Survey by the Globespan group has found openings for Israeli PR in the non-Western World.

The survey, conducted annually for the BBC, asked 24,090 people from 16 countries to rate countries from “mostly negative” to “mostly positive” on a scale. While Israel itself was rated, no one from the state of Israel was asked to rate other countries. Interviews were conducted either by phone or in person, depending on country.

While Israel’s favorability was rated most positive in the United States with 50% of participants viewing Israel very favourably, strong neutral or positive opinions were found in Nigeria (54% favourable), Kenya (49% favourable), India (54% neutral), Japan (52%) and Russia (49%).

As expected, The Islamic world viewed Israel in negative terms, led by Egypt (85% negative) and Indonesia (63%). The view was followed by Europe and Western Countries, with Canada (59%), France (65%), Great Britain (68%), Germany (69%) and Spain (71%) portraying negative viewpoints. The only countries with worse ratings then Israel were Iran, North Korea and Pakistan.

When asked to justify the ratings, citizens around the world viewed Israeli foreign policy (45% of participants) as a controversial factor. In contrast, Jewish traditions and culture were cited as the lead positive factor by participants.

The survey challenges Israel’s traditional Western-centric foreign policy, and finds openings for development of relations with other countries. In 2011, Israel’s main trade partners were with the United States and European countries, followed distantly by the Far East. In addition, Israel traditionally considers the Western bloc to be its closest ally, often relying on the block’s political power for support in bodies such as the United Nations. This survey finds an opening for Israeli advocacy in non-Western countries where Israel is viewed more favourably.

Gil Lavie, Tazpit News Agency

The Tenth Man

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

I know what you’re thinking. You have already concluded that this is one of those heartwarming stories about the anonymous tenth man who completes a minyan in some far-off region, under mysterious, if not downright miraculous, circumstances. Likely as not, he turns out to be Eliyahu Hanavi.

I love those stories. They leave me feeling all warm and fuzzy and starry-eyed. This is not one of those stories. But it is about the tenth man. More accurately, it is about several of them.

My father was the tenth man that my mother dated. Twenty years later, my older sister married her tenth as well. And many years after that, my kid sister married her tenth too. Somewhere in- between, I embarked on “the parshah.” That is what this story is about.

As hard as we try to keep our “files in order” and not overlap bachurim we are slated to date, sometimes, despite our most sincere efforts and intentions, the opposite occurs. We chalk this up to the reality of “The best laid plans of mice and men sometimes go awry” and make the best of the situation. This happened at least once during my older sister’s dating career, and once during mine.

Unfortunately, my tandem-dating mix-up occurred when I had reached my ninth and tenth potential dates. I was spooked. The magic number ten was up for grabs, and I felt totally powerless to determine who would seize it. I had responded in the affirmative to a shidduch suggestion, but some time had elapsed and I had not yet heard from the boy. So when another promising shidduch was offered, I again answered in the affirmative.

That is the perfectly logical and innocent reason that both boys phoned on the same day – within minutes of each other. Boy number nine sounded very nice over the phone. He was reputed to be a fine bachur, a budding talmid chacham, and an all around mensch. Besides, I was assured that he actually had personality and a keen sense of humor. We had a nice conversation and arranged to meet the following Sunday.

I had barely returned the phone to its base when it rang again. This time, the conversation did not go as smoothly. The boy was taken aback when I informed him that, contrary to what the shadchan had said, I was not in fact available to go out with him on Sunday. I offered some lame excuse about beginning a computer course on Monday morning, which was true but not particularly convincing as far as being busy on Sunday was concerned. Then, I am not quite sure whether the phone connection was poor, my enunciation was abysmal (my father would definitely vote for that one) or a combination of the two, but he asked me to repeat virtually every word I said, including my hard-to-pronounce home address. Eventually, we set our first date for the following Sunday.

I hung up, overwhelmed by a feeling of utter frustration. Although this bachur was apparently a tremendous masmid and a first cousin of my brother-in-law’s outstanding chavrusah, the conversation had left much to be desired. Worse yet, by some freak accident, he was number ten! A mere few minutes may have changed my destiny forever. Well, there was nothing to be done about it now. The die had already been cast.

Fast forward to Sunday. The day dawned bright and sunny, and my date and I enjoyed a pleasant afternoon of soaking in the sunshine while getting acquainted. The young man appeared to be everything the shadchan had promised, and he was easy on the eyes too. He asked me for a second date and I accepted. However, he was a bit surprised when I told him that I would not be available to go out with him the following Sunday as he had hoped. We set the date for Monday evening instead.

Are you still with me? Now, we skip to the next Sunday – and my date with number ten.

This time the day was overcast, and the young man arrived carrying a large umbrella. Undeterred by the gloomy skies, however, we traveled by subway to Central Park and spent a total of nine hours getting to know one another. (I guess this bachur had neglected to read the rulebook.) Despite the unencouraging start during our initial phone conversation, the date was incredible. The boy was smart, witty, charming and nice looking. The hours flew by and we barely made it back home before my concerned parents had put out an APB! In a word, I was smitten.

Naama Klein

Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

A Reader’s Compelling Argument:
Is Dor Yeshorim obligated to release one’s lost ID number?

Dear Rachel,

My name is Sholom and I’d like to share with you my ongoing experience with Dor Yeshorim. I believe strongly in my position but I would appreciate a reasoned response from a dissenting point of view.

I took the Dor Yeshorim test last year together with my friend. I lost my ID number. As you probably know, Dor Yeshorim is a genetic testing program to determine genetic compatibility between potential shidduchim. Test results are not disclosed but rather a unique ID number is attached to the file and given to the tested.

In addition to this number, the file contains some bits of personal information, such as home phone number (from which you must call to check compatibility), date of birth, gender and time and place of testing.

If the ID number is lost, Dor Yeshorim’s policy mandates a new test be taken; there is no way they will disclose any information without the ID number present. If I provide my phone number (and call from that number), as well as my date of birth, gender and date and location the test was administered, and all these pieces of information collectively only match one file, then what doubt could exist that this file is mine?

Certainly no reasonable doubt, and I believe none at all, but still Dor Yeshorim insists this is too risky and they are not comfortable going by this, which brings me to my next point: I have autonomy. If DY is not comfortable skydiving, I may skydive. If DY is not comfortable with this “risk,” which in my opinion is non-existent, why should they be allowed to impose upon me? If all my information matches only one file and I am prepared to shoulder the responsibility from here on in, so why then should DY make such a decision for me? This decision should be mine to make.

Lastly, and I would like to hear a rabbinic response to this, I believe that DY is obligated to return my number which has the status of a lost object after I provide two identifying signs. Any ideas on how I could convince Dor Yeshorim legally or rabbinically to release my ID number would be very appreciated.

Thanks for reading and looking forward to hearing any response.

Fairness in numbers

Dear Fairness,

The way we understand it, Dor Yeshorim runs a tight ship and has upheld its rules since the day of its inception in the 1980s. One rule put in place specifies that a person who loses his or her identification number will need to be retested. The entire system is based on anonymity and DY can therefore not connect one with his or her test result file without that vital ID number.

Even if, as you say, you can provide your phone number, date of birth, etc., technically an individual other than you can be in possession of all of this personal information and pose as you. Remote as this may actually be, it seems that the rules instituted by this organization are ironclad and not meant to be broken.

Still and all, your argument is a most persuasive one. Since this column submits to being neither a speaking head for Dor Yeshorim nor a rabbinical authority in any sense of the term, readers are welcome to contribute their views on this young man’s delicate quandary.

Refraining from Vaccinating our Children against Chickenpox: Prudent or ill advised?

Dear Rachel,

My 10-month old recently came down with a full-blown case of chickenpox, and while I was trying to be vigilant in not having it spread to other children, I was floored by how many moms commented that they wished their children would catch it. This is one of those infectious diseases children receive immunizations for (my older children have been vaccinated), yet these moms do not allow their tots to receive this protection. (The vaccine is not administered to babies in their first year of life.)

I questioned one mother about her attitude and her take was that she felt safer with her children contracting chickenpox rather than being injected with lab-induced chemicals. She argues that we’ve all had the chickenpox as kids and survived it.

Rachel

Rethinking My Social Connections

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

Internet usage is something many of us have been thinking about in this post-Asifa world. I am not writing this to debate the effectiveness of Asifa-type events but only to suggest that since the Citi Field Asifa people aren’t as reluctant to talk about the Internet as they use to be. We are discussing, in a positive manner, Internet safety while projects such as the Internet Shiur series created by Rabbi Gil Student and Dovid Teitelbaum are educating and informing people about Internet use.

While I am not as active as some people, I do spend time online. I am told I have a “web presence” and my digital footprint does include blogs, Facebook, and a little Twitter. I have decided, however, that I need to become less socially connected.

Over the past number of weeks I have heard and read several ideas I believe are worth sharing.

Rav Moshe Weinberger (Congregation Aish Kodesh, Woodmere, New York) has mentioned in several of his shiurim over the years that one of the greatest problems facing us today is the effect of shallowness and depression. He says, quoting the author of Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh, that atzilus (depression or sadness) is really the feeling of not being connected to the Makor Chaim, the true source of life.

When Rabbi Zechariah Wallerstein (founder and director of Ohr Naava) spoke at the Asifa for the Five Towns, he described the Internet as being an artificial world that becomes attractive because we don’t find meaning in this world.

Most recently I heard Rabbi Jonathan Rosenblum (founder and director of Jewish Media Resources) address a group in Chicago and he mentioned that in a study of high school students in Israel more than half the respondents said their goal in life was “to be famous.” He observed that one of the attractions of Facebook and Twitter is that we want people to pay attention and notice us.

His words hit home. Most of my own activity on Facebook wasn’t spent searching for people who needed Tehillim said on their behalf (Facebook happens to be a great way for people to let others know if and for whom tefillos are being requested) but rather to validate my own life. While I think there is value in social networking, connecting with old friends and sharing good news, I realized I was becoming a little too socially connected.

I decided to take action. The small steps I’ve taken so far are not original in any way but they do seem to be working for me. I deleted the Facebook and Twitter apps from my phone (but not Facebook Messenger). Getting rid of those two apps has not only made me feel like less of an eved, a slave, to my phone, it has helped me reclaim the power of bechira, free will.

When I come home from work in the evening I have started putting my smartphone in “airplane” or “flight” mode, which turn off all wireless signals. I do this so that I am not distracted by my phone when I am with my family. After my kids go to sleep, I either turn my phone back on to look at my e-mails or I check the old fashioned way, on a computer. And I now only go onto Facebook every two or three days.

As the days get closer to Tisha B’Av and I mourn the loss of the place where Knesses Yisrael had the strongest connection with Hashem, I can’t help but think about the importance and the value of true connections.

Neil Harris lives in Chicago, where he works in the healthcare industry. When time allows he maintains a blog called Modern Uberdox at www.uberdox.blogspot.com.

Neil Harris

Yitzhak Rabin Assassin to Be Released from Solitary Confinement

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

Yigal Amir will finish 17 years in solitary confinement after shooting Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin to death in 1995.  The assassin will join between one and three other inmates in a locked cell and be allowed time to walk in the prison yard for just two hours a day.  Amir is serving a life sentence without parole.  In the coming days he will also be able to meet with other prisoners, watch television, and receive more phone calls and visitors.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Israeli Chess Champion Loses Match, Wins Hearts

Sunday, June 3rd, 2012

Though a sudden-death match led to his defeat, a new Israeli hero has gained international recognition– and local celebrity – as a chess champion.

Belarus-born chess grandmaster Boris Gelfand, 43, lost Wednesday’s world chess championship in Moscow to title holder Viswanathan Anand of India.  Gelfand came one point shy of victory in a rapid tiebreaker, after playing 12 games with Anand.

Yet the title match earned Gelfand thousands of fans in Israel and around the world, with so many Israelis logging on to the website of the Israel Chess Federation to view the match that the site crashed.

Thousands of new friends have signed up for Gelfand’s fan page on Facebook, including many Russians, who came out in droves to support Russian-speaking Gelfand at the Moscow match.

Despite his loss, Gelfand’s efforts made the front pages of Israeli newspapers and topped the evening news.  Gelfand received congratulatory phone calls from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres.  According to the Associated Press, chess enthusiast, former Prisoner of Zion and current head of the Jewish Agency Natan Sharansky – who helped Gelfand immigrate to Israel in 1998 – received several phone calls from the prime minister during the match, to discuss Gelfand’s moves and strategy.

Israel is a top five chess nation, boasting 50 chess grandmasters and medals from the Chess Olympiads. Almog Burstein, executive director of the Israel Chess Federation told the Associated Press that some 3,000 Israelis play in chess leagues throughout the country, with dozens of people having won international tournaments.

Malkah Fleisher

The Face That Launched A Thousand Apps: Yours

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Israeli startup Umoove will soon offer a gesture-recognition technology for mobile devices that will control and steer devices by reading gentle facial and head movements, according to a report by NoCamels.

The mechanism uses a front-end camera, which is available on most smartphones, to detect and read facial and eye movements such as smiles, winks, or stares in real time, using those signals to operate games, TVs, computers, applications for reading, tablets, or phones.

According to the NoCamels report, Umoove CEO Moti Krispill told Israeli website Newsgeek that the company hopes to revolutionize the use of mobile devices like Kinect technology did with gaming.  The company is currently focusing on optimization for Android platforms, and is cooperating with Microsoft for the upcoming Windows 8 operating system.

Malkah Fleisher

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/the-face-that-launched-a-thousand-apps-yours/2012/05/31/

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