Photo Credit: Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90
Israelis protest the vaccination and Green Pass policies in Tel Aviv, October 2, 2021.

What is it about the combination of government healthcare programs and the internet that makes things hit bedlam? Remember the early days of Obamacare? The federal government’s website that offered health insurance for all crashed on opening day and suffered endless problems. It finally stabilized, but word is not all the planned features are complete even today.

This morning, Israelis who rushed to the link that was offered by the Health Ministry to receive their code which they can show at the entrance to every indoor establishment to be allowed in, greeted them with this announcement:

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The 402 error message landing page reads:

We are getting stronger and upgrading.
All certificate issuance services in all the Health Ministry channels are under maintenance work, we will soon be up…
Health Ministry’s 404 message / Screenshot

Of course, soon is not soon enough, considering that Sunday is when the updated “green pass” came into force and the conditions for eligibility changed from two to three vaccine shots. So, right away, one million seven-hundred thousand Israelis have lost the certificate that allows them to enter event halls, event gardens, or any venue where joyous events take place (No joy for you!); conferences and exhibitions, cultural and sports events, cinemas, entertainment, music, dance, clubs and parties, restaurants, bars, cafes, tourist attractions, museums, old age facilities, gyms, studios, country clubs, indoor pools, prayer houses for over 50 worshipers, and hotels.

Add to that those 3.5 million energetic, stick-with-the-program Israelis who did get the booster shot, who followed the link to the Health Ministry’s website only to learn that they, too, will remain in limbo until further notice.

I looked up Balagan on Wiki: its root is in the Persian word bala’khaneh which means porch or attic. The word migrated to Turkey, where it came to mean storage places, and over the years, when traveling comic shows started using those storage places as their venues, the Turkish word balahan for storage place became associated with a happy mess. Then Russian and Polish speakers adopted the word in its current meaning of mess, and since the Russian H sound is G, the first olim arrived in the late 1800’s already equipped with balagan.

Mind you, for more than a week, the Health Ministry bombarded the media, both news and social, with loud declarations and warnings about how the entire system of boundaries and regulations would change come Sunday morning, in order to scare as many Israelis as possible into joining those impossible lines in front of vaccination stations – and it worked, at a steady clip of about 70,000 a day.

The only ones who didn’t hurry, it appears, were the IT folks at the health ministry, who came up instead with the attractive image for their 402 message above.

Fun.

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.