Photo Credit: Gila Brand via Wikimedia
Cholent, slow-cooked Shabbat stew.

The Bnei Brak Municipality has launched a campaign to encourage vaccinations among yeshiva and Kollel students age 16 and up: everyone who gets vaccinated on Thursday receives an Erev Shabbat care package that includes cholent, a bun, and a bottle of cola.

Cholent is a traditional Jewish stew that simmers overnight for 12 hours or more and is eaten for lunch on Shabbat. This slow-cooking dish conforms with Jewish law that prohibits cooking on Shabbat and still offers a nice warm meal on the holy day. The cholent pot is brought to a boil on Friday before candle lighting and is kept on a source of low heat. It has been suggested that a variant of cholent originated in ancient Judea, possibly as far back as the Second Temple era. The hamin is a Sephardi version of the Ashkenazi cholent and works on the same principle.

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It should be noted that Bnei Brak has been successful in its efforts to vaccinate its population, with 40 thousand residents so far (out of about 200 thousand, but with a high population of children) reported to have rolled up their sleeves and taken the life-giving shot.

Social media for its part received the Cholent news with a whirlwind of jokes, some of them pretty good:

  • Bnei Brak first to record gas as a side effect of the vaccine
  • Reports of a yeshiva student who received five doses of cholent by mistake
  • Second dose to include p’tcha

The cholent campaign reportedly brought in 2,000 vaccination seekers on Thursday, so kudos to Bnei Brak Mayor Avraham Rubinstein.

Israel’s Health Ministry on Friday morning reported 4,922 new Corona patients based on 75,574 test results obtained Thursday. The number of patients in serious condition went below 1,000, to 985, of whom 304 are on respirators. 5,286 have died from the virus since the outbreak of the pandemic. And, with or without cholent, 3,765,771 have received the first dose of the vaccine, and 2,396,547 the second.

Finally, a treat to our readers who can follow spoken Hebrew, newsman Guy Zohar spent 12 minutes tearing down the anti-vaccination campaign of Rabbi Yuval Asherov, which has been used by some religious Israelis as an argument against becoming vaccinated. Watch Zohar taking down every part of Asherov’a message and exposing it as fake news:

And for your entertainment:

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.