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17 Tammuz, 5780 - July 9, 2020 | Mordecai Plaut, director | Pinchos-5780 Published Weekly
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Israel Ministry of Health on the At Risk Environment of the Covid Virus

A new study from New York including 500 epidemiologists examined what they felt were the dangerous places, most conducive for contagion from the Covid virus. The experts treated certain variables such as place open or closed areas people contained within that space, length of time occupying that area and scope of the security rules kept in that duration.

The results of the survey upset part of the myths involving contagion from the virus, showing that places and activities with the lowest threat of contagion were in outdoor parks and the low risk activity was refueling at gas stations. Higher up, but still considered low risk were outdoor dining, single visits to shops and leisure time at the beach, even if it was crowded. Medium risk was assessed as visits to swimming pools, closed shopping malls and hair dressing salons. High risk was scored by the epidemiologists on airline flights, exercise halls, public transportation and indoor eateries.

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Israel Spy Satellite Launched

The Ministry of Security and Aeronautics Industry launched the Ofek 16 spy satellite into space this past Monday 14 Tammuz. A highly sophisticated electro-optic surveillance satellite, it entered its orbit shortly after launching and began broadcasting data.

Prime Minister Netanyahu related to this launching at the opening of a government meeting and said, "We are not being lax for a moment in our efforts regarding security. The success of Ofek 16 greatly heightens our capacity to operate against Israel's enemies, both near and far. It significantly broadens our ability to function on the land, at sea, in the air as well as in outer space."

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The Attitude of HaRav Shach to Medical Advice

The phenomenon of scoffing at danger, as grotesque as it seems, surfaces before our very eyes every once in a while. We are privy to this mad devil's dance with regard to the Corona virus, expressed by various people. It is astounding to hear their claims and so-called scientific proofs to justify the irresponsible conduct of ignoring the directives of medical bodies according to the directives of our Torah leadership. People who in their private lives obey every doctor's order and frequent his clinic, suddenly become `professors' on the subject of Corona. Thus, for example, they claim that it is precisely the mask that causes contagion. Surely, they will eventually claim that those who are infected or are carriers are not at all afflicted with the virus.

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The Kapischnitzer Rebbe zt'l: Malchus Shel Chesed

The sixteenth of Tammuz marks the yahrtzeit of the Kapischnitzer, Rebbe, Reb Avrohom Yehoshua Heschel zt'l. Renowned for his supreme kindness and great ahavas Yisroel, the Rebbe was already a legend during his lifetime. On his weak and frail shoulders, he carried the pain and suffering of countless individuals, and often when he heard of the problems of others he would break down weeping uncontrollably. The grief of his fellow Jews tormented him much more than his own afflictions, and indeed the Rebbe often put his name and honor at risk in an attempt to help others.

A man once came crying hysterically to the Rebbe. He had just arrived from Europe and was hoping to settle in America. His wife however had been refused entry due to her ill health and was on Ellis Island awaiting deportation. "Don't worry," the Rebbe told him, "I promise you that by next week your wife will be here together with you." Hearing the Rebbe's words the man calmed down and went away a new person.

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From Our Archives


Antisemitism is Unstoppable

by Mordecai Plaut

The world is sliding down a slippery slope greased by the yetzer hora.

Fifty years ago, it seemed that the West, and especially the United States, was a society that was fairly moral in the specific sense that it upheld the Seven Laws of Noach. The largely Protestant country was free of avoda zora, there was a very developed legal system that enforced laws against murder in all its forms, 80 percent of all households were headed by a married couple, and all public, acceptable behavior upheld reasonable moral principles. People were not perfect but public standards were high and they were not under constant assault.

In those days, when the norm was that human life generally should not be ended by other humans, HaRav Yaakov Weinberg zt"l shocked us all by suggesting that the efforts to legalize abortion that were starting then would lead to mercy killing becoming socially acceptable. People felt that he was making a point about attitudes towards human life by exaggerating.

How things have fallen since then!


Our Torah, Our Prayers And Our Tears: Our Torah

by HaRav Chaim Pinchos Scheinberg

Part I

The sefer Kuzari teaches us that there are four basic groups of entities in the world; inanimate objects, plant- life, animal-life, and verbal/thinking human beings (domeim, tzomei'ach, chai, medaber -- mineral, vegetable, animal and human). From the most basic to the more advanced, these four classes make up the world. Each group has specific qualities, which are so significantly different from the previous level that each group has a completely different realm of experience. The Hashgochoh protis of each group is infinitely greater than the previous group in the hierarchy. Therefore, the specialized existence that it experiences is entirely different from the others.

HaKodosh Boruch Hu, in His infinite Wisdom, blessed each entity with exactly what it needs to fill its place and purpose in Creation. The attributes it possesses give it the ability to play its role in the perfection of this whole world. No group is in any way like the other, not in purpose, essence or potential. They are utterly different.

The virtues of one class compared to the next are not just improvements. The essence of each ascending class is unique and the distinctions of each class are not transferable. The unique virtues that each class possesses are for it alone. This advancement of one class after the next allows each group's perfection to combine and thus to produce a total perfection for all.

The Kuzari mentions another final class. Its virtues are far beyond the previous four. This is Klal Yisroel -- the fifth group.


Tarnished Gold: Rabbi Yaakov Yosef in the Land of Opportunity

by R. Hofner

At the end of the 19th century, hundreds of thousands of Jews fleeing the horrors and pogroms of Czarist Russia streamed toward the shores of what came to be known as the Goldene Medinoh. Every month thousands of Jews were added to New York's population until at the beginning of the 20th century Jews comprised more than one-fourth of the city's total residents.

Yet they soon discovered they had come to the Treifene Medinoh. Spiritually, New York was in a state of abject poverty and something had to be done. In their innocence the leaders of 130 separate kehillos in New York City decided to import the chief-rabbinate system, which had proven itself in Europe. This form of organization would mean a united body that could uphold shemiras hamitzvos, provide direction, and oversee job appointments in the Jewish community.

The plan's backers intended to fund the learned Chief Rabbi brought from Europe (known as the Rav Kollel) by levying a tax on kosher meat. The very idea that the Chief Rabbi would have the authority to exercise power in New York's prevailing atmosphere of unfettered freedom revealed what greenhorns those activists really were.




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