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October 26, 2016 / 24 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘save’

Israeli Innovations That Could Save Your Life

Sunday, September 25th, 2016

While most people were soaking up the sun this summer (hopefully, with sunscreen), researchers in Israel were busy cracking the code of the human body. It’s not by chance that there are over 250 major R&D Centers in Israel owned by multinational companies, including Apple, General Electric, Johnson and Johnson, and Google. Known worldwide as the start-up nation for its technological innovations, Israel is also a leading country in medical innovation.

Helping people in wheelchairs stand with ReWalk, using breathing to detect life-threatening diseases with NaNose, screening for cervical cancer with smartphones from MobileODT, and even a special drinking cup that helps keep track of individual hydration needs called Pryme Vessyl, Israel is paving the innovation path with thousands of medical breakthroughs.

NaNose and ReWalk were invented by professors and alumni of Technion Institute of Technology, one of the leading Israeli hubs developing technology and medical innovations. With Technion’s American Medical Program, that provides students from abroad the opportunity to learn in a cutting-edge environment, and the opening of Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute (TCII) in New York, Israeli innovations will make an even bigger impact around the world.

2016 Technion American Medical Program graduate, Allen Pimienta, from Toronto, matched at Mayo Clinic in Family Medicine. While studying at Technion, Pimienta published papers in four different journals and is the first author on two. “I can’t get this research opportunity anywhere else,” Pimienta said. “Not only do renowned researchers teach our classes, but they also give us their cell phone information and say, ‘Please contact us with any questions.’ ”

Another Israeli-American partnership that has already seen promising results is a recent study conducted by Technion and Harvard University. Through a time-lapse video, they have captured the study that illustrates bacteria mutating to overcome drugs meant to stop and destroy them. This is the first time antibiotic resistance has been documented in such a clear way and will have enormous ramifications on understanding antibiotics and bacteria.

Another Technion alumni, Dr Amit Goffer, invented ReWalk, the ‘bionic’ suit, which relies on motion sensors to help paralysis victims to stand upright and even walk again. Just less than two weeks ago, 36 year-old Claire Lomas used a ReWalk suit to walk the Great Northern Run; the largest half-marathon in the world. In 2007 Clair Lomas was paralyzed from the chest down in a riding accident. Although it took her 5 days to complete the run, she never expected to walk again. “It felt surreal,” Lomas described. “When I was walking the last bit it was really hard not to start crying.”

Goffer was inspired to invent ReWalk, after an accident in 1997 left him in a wheelchair. However, due to limited function in his arms, he was unable to utilize his own technology, so he invented a new product; UPnRIDE Robotics. UPnRIDE is an innovative, upright, self-stabilizing chair that goes from sitting to standing with the push of a button and can handle rough terrains and inclines. “I was able to stand with my colleagues and drink coffee,” Goffer said. “Being able to stand was an experience out of this world, the psychological effect is dramatic.”

Other Israeli innovations that are having an enormous impact are NaNose and Mobile ODT’s device to screen for cervical cancer. Early detection is the key to saving lives when it comes to the big C word and these technologies are doing the job.

NaNose was created when Technion professor, Professor Hossam Haick set out to non-invasively discover traces of cancer in the human body. When there is a cancerous growth in the body, it releases distinctive volatile organic compound (VOC). Upon release they travel in the bloodstream and when these molecules reach the lungs they are emitted to the breath. The number of molecules is extremely small and detecting them is like trying to find the one 5 petal tulip in a massive field of 6 petal tulips.

When they leave the mouth with the exhaled breath is when NaNose can identify the molecules and detect the cancer. In four out of five cases, the device differentiated between benign and malignant lung lesions and even different cancer subtypes. It is currently being customized to detect other diseases, to ensure early detection and help save lives.

Unlike other types of cancer, cervical cancer is relatively easy to identify and treat, but is responsible for the deaths of more than 270,000 women annually, and is a leading cause of death in developing nations. Thanks to routine Pap smear screening, cervical cancer rates in the U.S. have been drastically reduced, but this kind of medical infrastructure is hard to come by in developing countries, especially in rural areas.

Ariel Beery, CEO and co-founder of Tel Aviv-based startup MobileODT wanted to increase life expectancy in developing countries. “There’s no reason a woman should die of cervical cancer just because she’s not screened on time,” said Beery, “so we make sure that women get screened on time.”

MobileODT develops and sells relatively small and cheap colposcopes, designed for developing countries without a strong healthcare infrastructure. Their secret weapon? They integrated the colposcopes with smartphones, which are readily available everywhere in the world and have built-in imaging technology. Co-founder David Levitz helped design the mobile colposcope. “With a smartphone, you’re getting a much better camera with much better specifications than you are on this expensive medical device,” said Levitz. “It seems counterintuitive, but there’s just so much more innovation happening on the phone side that the phone cameras are just better, and going to get much better.”

New Israeli innovations continue to emerge daily and R&D centers, Technion’s American Medical Program and many other institutions are helping bring the life-changing technology to the rest of the world.

If you aren’t paying attention yet, keep an eye on the Middle East for the next innovation that will change your life and may even save it.

Raizel Druxman

Haredi Interior Minister Plans Closing TA Businesses on Shabbat Save for 3 Malls

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016

After several years in which Israel’s coalition governments have not been rocked by battles over the status of Shabbat, the past two weeks have seen a possible reemergence of those old barricades, with both secular and religious politicians mouthing predictable platitudes about holiness and tradition vs. freedom and rights. In that context it should be noted that until Tuesday this week the Haredi parties did not look particularly eager to return to those tiresome confrontations, seeing as they had turned a blind eye for ten years on Shabbat works carried out by the Ministry of Transport, until the same ministry, intentionally or due to political myopia, made public its intentions to conduct massive works on Shabbat, complete with blocking off many of Tel Aviv’s vital traffic arteries.

Now Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas) has launched his own campaign in an attempt to torpedo the recommendations of a committee of experts that examined the Tel Aviv municipality’s bylaw which permits operating businesses in the city on Shabbat. Deri is advancing legislation to impose a sweeping ban on all businesses in Tel Aviv, including newsstands and kiosks, with the exception of three open air malls: Tel Aviv Harbor, Jaffa Harbor, and HaTachana Mall in Jaffa. The bill will also permit keeping open convenience store attached to gas stations.

The commission of directors of government ministries that was appointed to look at the Tel Aviv municipal bylaw will submit its findings sometime this September, and according to leaks in Israel’s media, those will include three recommendations: the first one recommends accepting a new bylaw crafted by the Tel Aviv municipality allowing 160 businesses to operate on Shabbat; the second recommends reducing the number of businesses currently permitted to operate by 20%; and the third recommendation, proposed by former Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar, to designate specific areas where businesses are permitted to stay open on Shabbat.

Once the committee recommendations are delivered, and the new Tel Aviv bylaw goes into effect, Interior Minister Deri will have 60 days to respond, after which the new law stays. Deri apparently plans to fight all three recommendations, even at the cost of eroding the Netanyahu coalition, and his staff has also been instructed to craft an atomic solution, to be used only if the coalition is certain to collapse, declaring Shabbat as the day of rest for all of Israel and barring everything that moves from doing it on Shabbat.


How Much Money Should You Save For Retirement?

Friday, September 2nd, 2016

How much money do you need to save for retirement? Labor economist Teresa Ghilarducci, author of “How to Retire With Enough Money: And How to Know What Enough Is,” explains how to make this decision, based both on rules of thumb and your personal situation. Find out how to avoid the most common mistakes that people make when planning for retirement.

Doug Goldstein, CFP®, talks about withdrawing from your retirement savings. Learn about the adverse results of not taking “required minimum distributions” on today’s show.
The Goldstein On Gelt Show is a financial podcast. Click on the player below to listen. For show notes and contact details of the guest, go to www.GoldsteinOnGelt.com

Doug Goldstein, CFP®

Kurdish Jews Scrambling to Save Prophet Nahum’s Crumbling Tomb in ISIS Territory

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

Jewish officials in Kurdistan are trying to save an ancient tomb believed to belong to the biblical prophet Nahum and his sister in the Christian town of Alqosh, some 30 miles outside the ISIS controlled city of Mosul. According to local news reports, Nahum’s tomb has been deteriorating and is in danger of collapsing. The town of Alqosh has been protected by Peshmerga forces since ISIS overran the Iraqi army in the region.

Sherzad Mamsani, a Jewish representative of the Ministry of Endowment and Religious Affairs of the Kurdish Regional Government, has asked UNESCO, the semi-independent Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq, and all foreign diplomats serving in the KRG to help preserve the ancient Jewish site.

“This site does not only belong to Jews. It’s part of human history, therefore saving it is everyone’s responsibility,” Sherzad pleaded in a statement, adding, “We only ask for the renovation of the site, we have previously asked the KRG to renovate it but the work was suspended due to the financial crisis that hit the Kurdistan Region.”

Nahum, whose biblical book (seventh on the list of 12 shorter works by the prophets, between Micha and Habakkuk) identifies him as Nahum of Elqosh, predicted the fall of the Assyrian Empire and its capital Nineveh. His 47 prophetic verses contain no rebuke of the Jews, only comforting promises that they would soon be freed from the Assyrian yoke. Jewish sources are split on the location of Elkosh: some believe it was in Israel, others identify it as the town of Alqosh in northern Iraq.

Nahum’s tomb is located inside a synagogue in Alqosh.

David Israel

Did You Save Enough for Your Empty Nest?

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

When you retire, will you spend all day at home in your “empty nest?”
What do you want to do after you retire, and do you have the funds to do it? Roger Whitney, “The Retirement Answer Man,” talks about how to plan life after retirement. Find out how to get ready to live your dreams and how to avoid some of the most common retirement mistakes on the way.

Since it is now “wedding season”, remember that making a wedding should empty your house, not the bank account. Get tips and advice on how to make a budget conscious wedding that is well-planned, fun, and a great foundation for a secure future.

The Goldstein On Gelt Show is a financial podcast. Click on the player below to listen. For show notes and contact details of the guest, go to www.GoldsteinOnGelt.com

Doug Goldstein, CFP®

Democrats Try To Save Israel From Itself

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

It bears noting that the positions taken by the two contenders for the Democratic Party presidential nomination regarding Israeli foreign policy are at odds with those of the elected government of Israel.

Thus, Senator Bernie Sanders and former secretary of state Clinton, whose party used to pride itself on almost total support for Israel, are sharply critical both of Israel’s alleged failure to make greater efforts to entice the Palestinians into renewed negotiations and its policy on settlements.

In fact, both Mrs. Clinton and Senator Sanders are hewing to the Obama/Kerry/J Street line that Israel’s judgment concerning what’s in its best interests must take a back seat to the views of others who are more realistically attuned to Israel’s needs.

While disputes between Israeli governments and U.S. administrations have been far from rare, the Obama administration and candidates Sanders and Clinton no longer dwell on U.S interests in their criticism of Israel but rather on how much more they know than Israelis themselves about what’s best for Israel.

This form of preachiness is unknown in the ordinary interactions of nations but has become quite de rigueur when American officials come down hard on their Israeli counterparts.

The latest manifestation of this phenomenon was evident in the contretemps that developed this week between Israel and the U.S. after Prime Minister Netanyahu declared that the Golan Heights, captured from Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War, would never be turned over to the Syrians.

Mr. Netanyahu, speaking during a Cabinet meeting held on the Golan Heights, said Israeli control of the Golan was essential to its security interests:

We are here on the Golan Heights. This is the first time that the government of Israel has held an official meeting on the Golan Heights in the 49 years that they have been under Israeli rule. The Golan Heights have been an integral part of the Land of Israel since ancient times; the dozens of ancient synagogues in the area around us attest to this. The Golan Heights are an integral part of Israel in the new era. During the 19 years that the Golan Heights were under Syrian occupation, when they were a place for bunkers, wire fences, mines, and aggression, they were for war. In the 49 years that the Golan Heights have been under Israeli rule, they have been for agriculture, tourism, economic initiatives, and building. They are for peace. In the stormy region around us, Israel is the stabilizing factor; Israel is the solution, not the problem…. The Golan Heights will forever remain in Israel’s hands. Israel will never come down from the Golan Heights.

The State Department quickly responded. On Monday night, spokesman John Kirby said the Obama administration does not consider the Golan Heights to be part of Israel:

The U.S. position on the issue is unchanged. This position was maintained by both Democratic and Republican administrations. Those territories are not part of Israel and the status of those territories should be determined through negotiations. The current situation in Syria does not allow this.

But what about the Golan’s obvious impact on Israeli security interests? They were not even alluded to by Mr. Kirby. Yet according to Aaron David Miller, who served both Democratic and Republican presidents as a Mideast negotiator and was involved in attempting to fashion an accord between Israel and Syria on the Golan issue, said that had an agreement been reached, “the results might have been catastrophic for Israel and for the U.S.”

In a column published in the Wall Street Journal Mr. Miller went on to explain,

What we failed to realize was that of all of Israel’s peace efforts…any deal to return the Golan Heights occupied by the Israelis in 1967 was likely to be fraught precisely because Mr. Assad was so cruel in his policies and that his regime consisted of an Alawite minority governing a Sunni majority…. [so] perhaps it would have only been a matter of time before Syria experienced real instability…. What can be said with certainty is that had Israel given up the Golan, the situation today would have been much more complex. In response to the Syrian civil war and the rise of Islamic State, Israel would have faced a hot front confronting Hezbollah, Iran, and a range of Islamist jihadis. Given the Golan’s strategic importance, Israel would have had to reoccupy it and would have found itself in the middle of Syria’s civil war…

Thus, Miller’s common sense message is that in areas of great instability, political settlements are problematic for the simple reason that nothing agreed to can be reliably viewed as authoritative. Yet Israel is constantly rebuked in the United Nations for not making the concessions necessary for a settlement of the issues between it and the Palestinians.

Editorial Board

A Rabbi’s Unusual Passover Message: ‘Eat Bread and Save Jews’

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

{Originally posted to the United with Israel website}

Ordinarily, a rabbi would be impressed to hear that a Jewish congressman had taken matzohs with him to an international conference that took place during the week of Passover.

Meyer Nurenberger, however, was not at all impressed by Congressman Sol Bloom’s boast about bringing matzohs to the Anglo-American conference on the refugee problem, held in Bermuda in April 1943.

It was the peak of the Holocaust. The Allies had confirmed that the mass murder of European Jewry was underway, but refused to take any concrete action to intervene.

To counter mounting public criticism of their hands-off policy, the British and American governments announced they would discuss the issue in a conference on the island of Bermuda, far from the prying eyes of demonstrators and the news media. Their intention was that “it will take place practically in secret, without pressure of public opinion,” the Zionist leader Nahum Goldmann surmised.

Congressman Sol Bloom of New York City, a former vaudeville entertainer, chaired the House Foreign Affairs Committee and strongly supported President Roosevelt’s restrictionist immigration policy. When Bloom was chosen as a member of the American delegation to the Bermuda conference, many in the Jewish community saw the choice as a ploy to deflect criticism of U.S. refugee policy. Assistant Secretary of State Breckinridge Long privately wrote in his diary that he chose Bloom because the congressman was known to be “easy to handle” and “terribly ambitious for publicity.”

The conference lasted 12 days, yet neither the U.S. delegation nor their British counterparts managed to come up with any serious rescue plans. The Roosevelt administration would not agree to the use of any trans-Atlantic ships to transport refugees, not even troop supply ships that were returning from Europe empty. There would be no increase in the number of refugees admitted to the United States. And the British refused to discuss Palestine as a possible refuge, because of Arab opposition. When the conference adjourned, the two governments decided to keep the proceedings of the conference secret, to mask how little they had achieved.

Congressman Bloom, however, announced that “as a Jew,” he was “perfectly satisfied” with the results. In his autobiography, published after the war, Bloom continued to defend the outcome of the Bermuda conference, arguing that any announcement of aid to the Jews would have led “to intensified persecutions.” Congressman Emanuel Celler (D-New York) characterized Bloom as “a sycophant of the State Department.”

Cong. Sol Bloom

Cong. Sol Bloom

Rabbi-turned-journalist, Meyer Nurenberger

Rabbi-turned-journalist, Meyer Nurenberger


It was shortly after Bermuda that Bloom encountered Meyer Nurenberger. The Polish-born Nurenberger, who had earned rabbinic ordination but opted for a career in journalism, arrived in the U.S. in 1939 and began working as a reporter and columnist for the Morgen Zhurnal, a leading Yiddish daily.

As Nurenberger later recalled, Bloom “told me that he took along matzohs when he left for Bermuda—it was the Passover season—because he was such a good Jew. So I told him that I thought it would have been more important for him to eat bread there and save some Jews rather than to eat matzohs. He was very angry and told me he was through talking to me.”

I asked Nurenberger’s daughter, the Canadian-Israeli journalist Atara Beck, about her father’s unusual choice of words. “My father was an ordained Orthodox rabbi, and of course he would never have wanted any Jew to eat bread on Passover,” she said. “He was making a point—and it was a powerful moral point—saving lives is more important than rituals such as eating matzoh. Every Jew, even a congressman, needs to be reminded of that from time to time.”

Nurenberger later cited a Talmudic anecdote to explain the phenomenon of prominent Jews who were more interested in fame and honor—such as serving on a U.S. government delegation—than in their welfare of the Jewish people. Nurenberger called it the “Mi BeRosh” [‘Who will be first?’] Syndrome.”

The anecdote, which appears in tractate Sanhedrin, concerns a Jewish king, Jeroboam, who caused a division of the Jewish commonwealth and even introduced idol worship, yet was given one last chance to repent. When Jeroboam died, the Talmud relates, God said to him, “If you repent, you and I and the Messiah will stroll together in the Garden of Eden.” To which Jeroboam replied, Mi beRosh? Who will be the one to walk at the head of the line? When God replied that Messiah would walk first, Jeroboam responded that he would not repent.

To which Nurenberger added this poignant commentary: “Since the days of Jeroboam, Mi BeRosh? has been the primary cause of lost opportunities and the greatest tragedies in Jewish history. Who will march at the front?  Who will sit on the dais? Who will be Man of the Year? Who will be the leader? Who will deliver the main speech? Who will introduce whom at a meeting? Who will be applauded by the ladies’ auxiliary? Mi beRosh? How many Jews would have been saved during World War II if it had not been for Mi beRosh?”

Dr. Rafael Medoff

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/a-rabbis-unusual-passover-message-eat-bread-and-save-jews/2016/04/19/

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