Monday, September 20, 2021

Angels - free will and punishment

 There seems to be a widespread belief that angels don't have free will and yet there are clear sources that state that they are subject to punishment for wrong behavior


Bereishis Rabba (68:12) 12. AND HE DREAMED. R. Abbahu said: Dreams have no influence whatsoever. A certain man went to R. Jose b. Halafta and said to him: ' I was told in a dream, " Go and bring your father's labour [i.e. wealth] from Cappadocia."’ ‘Did your father ever visit Cappadocia?’ he asked him. On his answering ' no ‘, he bade him: ' Go and count twenty boards in the flooring of your house and you will find it.’ ‘But there are not twenty boards there,’ he rejoined. If so, count from the beginning to the end and back again, and you will find it.’ He went, did so, and found it. And whence did R. Jose b. Halafta deduce this? From the word Cappadocia.1Bar Kappara taught: No dream is without its interpretation. AND BEHOLD A LADDER symbolises the stairway; SET UPON THE EARTH-the altar, as it says, An altar of earth thou shalt make unto Me (Ex. XX, 21); AND THE TOP OF IT REACHED TO HEAVEN-the sacrifices, the odour of which ascended to heaven; AND BEHOLD THE ANGELS OF GOD-the High Priests; ASCENDING AND DESCENDING ON IT-ascending and descending the stairway.AND, BEHOLD, THE LORD STOOD BESIDE HIM (XXVIII, 13)-I saw the Lord standing beside the altar (Amos IX, 1). The Rabbis related it to Sinai. AND HE DREAMED, AND BEHOLD A LADDER symbolises Sinai; SET UPON THE EARTH. as it says, And they stood3 at the nether part of the mount (Ex. XIX, 17); AND THE TOP OF IT REACHED TO HEAVEN-And the mountain burned with fire unto the heart of heaven  (Deut. IV, 11).4 AND BEHOLD THE ANGELS OF GOD alludes to Moses and Aaron. ASCENDING: And Moses went up to God (Ex. XIX, 3); AND DESCENDING-And Moses went down from the mount (ib. 14). AND, BEHOLD, THE LORD STOOD BESIDE HIM-And the Lord came down upon mount Sinai (ib. 20).Shalmoni said in the name of Resh Lakish: He showed him a throne of three legs.6 R. Joshua of Siknin said in R. Levi's name: [God said to him]: ‘Thou art the third leg.’ That indeed is the view of R. Joshua in R. Levi's name, who said: For the portion of the Lord is His peoplc, Jacob the cord1 of His inheritance (Deut. XXXII, 9): as a cord cannot be woven of less than three strands [so there were not less than three Patriarchs].2 R. Berekiah said: He showed him the world and a third of the world, for ASCENDING cannot refer to less than two [angels], while AND DESCENDING likewise must refer to two, and each angel is a third of the world [in size]. And how do we know that an angel is a third of the world?-His body also was like the beryl (tarshish), and his face as the appearance of lightning, etc. (Dan. X, 6).’R. Hiyya the Elder and R. Jannai disagreed. One maintained: They were ASCENDING AND DESCENDING the ladder; while the other said: they were ASCENDING AND DESCENDING on Jacob.5 The statement that they were ascending and descending the ladder presents no difficulty. The statement that they were ascending and descending on Jacob we must take to mean that some were exalting him and others degrading him, dancing, leaping, and maligning him.6 Thus it says, Israel 7 in whom I will be glorified (Isa. XLIX, 3); it is thou, [said the angels,] whose features are engraved on high8; they ascended on high and saw his features and they descended below and found him sleeping. It may be compared to a king who sat and judged in a judgment chamber; people ascend the basilica and find him sleeping, they go out to the judgment chamber and find him judging. In heaven, who speaks in his [Israel's] favour is exalted; in his disfavour, is debased; but on earth, he who speaks in his favour is debased; in his disfavour, is promoted. Those angels who escort a man in Eretz Israel do not escort him without the Land. Thus ASCENDING refers to those who had escorted him in the Land,1 while DESCENDING refers to those who were to escort him without the Land. R. Levi said in the name of R. Samuel b. Nahman: Because the ministering angels revealed God's secrets, they were banished from their precincts a hundred and thirty-eight years. R. Tanhuma expressed it in the word Kelah. R. Hama b. Hanina said: [They were banished] because they boasted and said, For we will destroy this place (Gen. XIX, 23). When did they return? On this occasion, ASCENDING first and then DESCENDING.

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Rabbinic Halacha - Consequence of violating or ignoring?

 Recently was asked whether aside from Rabbinic lashes there are consequences for violating or ignoring Rabbinic halacha. For example not keeping the 2nd day of Rosh HaShanna or a gambler serving as a judge or witness

Friday, September 17, 2021

Israeli study:3rd shot gives 10 times more antibodies protection

A serological study carried out at Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan has found that the antibodies levels in people who have received the third dose of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine are ten times higher than in people who received the second dose.

The study was conducted by the Weizmann Institute of Science, the Ministry of Health, the Technion, the Hebrew University, the Gartner Institute at Sheba Medical Center and the KI Institute, and measured antibody levels a week after the administration of the vaccine.

The findings were published today (Thursday) in The New England Journal of Medicine.

 According to the study, the third dose restores the vaccines effectiveness against the coronavirus to 95% after the level of protection drops in the months following the administration of the second vaccine dose.

Cyprus appeal opens for Briton convicted of falsely claiming Israelis raped her

 A Cypriot court’s conviction of a young British woman for lying about being gang-raped by Israeli tourists was a miscarriage of justice, lawyers appealing the ruling said on Thursday.

The unnamed woman, who was 18 at the time of her arrest, alleged that she was raped by up to 12 Israelis in a hotel room in the seaside holiday resort of Ayia Napa in July 2019.

She has accused Cypriot police of having forced her to sign a retraction statement, after which the Israeli suspects were released.

There’s no vaccine for hypocrisy: On Republicans’ opposition to COVID-19 vax passports

Despite the conservative outrage, there is nothing new about government mandates requiring proof of vaccination. All 50 states currently require some form of compulsory vaccination for children attending K-12 schools, and various states also mandate vaccination for college students, as well as employees in nursing homes and health-care facilities. There are also branches of local government that have already announced they will mandate the COVID-19 vaccine in certain venues, and more are likely to follow. For example, Erie Country N.Y. Executive Mark Poloncarz announced that starting in the fall all fans and staff attending home games of the Buffalo Bills and Sabres must be vaccinated. Some conservatives oppose already existing vaccine mandates, and it is logically consistent that they would similarly oppose government-mandated proof of COVID-19 vaccination in the same or similar contexts.

Eitan Biran’s grandfather questioned, sent to 5 days of house arrest

 Shmuel Peleg, the maternal grandfather of the six-year-old boy who was the sole survivor of a cable car crash in Northern Italy in May, was questioned by the police on Tuesday and sent home to five days of house arrest after he illegally took the grandchild to Israel, The Jerusalem Post has confirmed.

Earlier in the day, the boy’s paternal relatives, who were assigned the custody of the child, petitioned a family court in Tel Aviv to ask for his return.
Eitan Biran was picked up on Saturday at his Pavia, Italy, home for a routine visit by his grandfather, but it later emerged that the boy had been illegally brought to Israel on a private flight.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Republican Covid denial

Forgiveness of sins against G-d depend on being forgiven for sins against man?

 It is clear from Yoma (85b), Rambam and Shulchan Aruch O. 606 that Yom Kippur alone atones for sins against G-d. There is a view that Yom Kippor will not atone for sins against G-d  when the sins against man have not been resolved. Does anyone know of the source of this view which seems to contradict clear halacha?

Yoma (85b)With regard to one who says: I will sin and Yom Kippur will atone for my sins, Yom Kippur does not atone for his sins. Furthermore, for transgressions between a person and God, Yom Kippur atones; however, for transgressions between a person and another, Yom Kippur does not atone until he appeases the other person. Similarly, Rabbi Elazar ben Azarya taught that point from the verse: “From all your sins you shall be cleansed before the Lord” (Leviticus 16:30). For transgressions between a person and God, Yom Kippur atones; however, for transgressions between a person and another, Yom Kippur does not atone until he appeases the other person. 

Rambam Tshuva (2:9)   Neither repentance nor the Day of Atonement atone for any save for sins committed between man and God, for instance, one who ate forbidden food, or had forbidden coition and the like; but sins between man and man, for instance, one injures his neighbor, or curses his neighbor or plunders him, or offends him in like matters, is ever not absolved unless he makes restitution of what he owes and begs the forgiveness of his neighbor. And, although he make restitution of the monetory debt, he is obliged to pacify him and to beg his forgiveness. Even he offended not his neighbor in aught save in words, he is obliged to appease him and implore him till he be forgiven by him..

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Perceiving the reality of G-d only by prophets and the holy tzadikim

 ספר מאור ושמש - פרשת חוקת

והנראה בזה דהנה מתחילת הבריאה עד עולם אי אפשר להשיג מציאות ה' יתברך כי אם על ידי עבדיו הנביאים והצדיקים הקדושים אשר על ידיהם נפעל נסים ונפלאות ומשדדים המערכת, על ידם רואים כל אפסי ארץ כי יש אלהים בישראל כמו שמצינו בכל תנ"ך ובגמרא כמה מעשיות שעל ידי הנפלאות שעשו הצדיקים נתקדש שמו יתברך שמו וכל הגוים הודו שאין אלהים כי אם בישראל:

The claim: Almost 45,000 people who got the COVID-19 vaccinations died in 72 hours

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the agency tasked with tracking and preventing outbreaks, has not reported 45,000 vaccine-related deaths on any of its reporting systems.

Martha Sharan, a spokesperson for the agency’s vaccine task force, told USA TODAY the claim that 45,000 died has no merit.

Fact Check-There is no evidence to suggest COVID-19 vaccines will kill people by causing antibody- dependent enhancement, current evidence demonstrates the opposite


False. Reuters was unable to find any instance of Montagnier saying the cited quote. His actual comment about ADE is inaccurate and does not reflect real-world evidence.


Vaccine designed to kill?!

 Recently overheard on a Jerusalem bus from  English speaking Chareidi woman talking on her cell phone.

"The vaccine was made to kill people but not immediately. It comes in color coded bottles that indicate whether it kills after 2, 3 or 5 years."

Study does not determine COVID vaccines kill 2 for every 3 they save

 The study, "The Safety of COVID-19 Vaccinations — We Should Rethink the Policy," was done by three European researchers, led by Harald Walach, professor at Poznan University of Medical Sciences in Poland. The study used data from an Israeli field study which calculates the number of people who needed to be vaccinated to prevent one death. The study authors then used that number to contrast with a number they calculated from the Adverse Drug Reactions database. The data on adverse reactions can’t be used on its own to conclude whether a vaccine caused death. The Adverse Drug Reactions database explicitly says the data counts "suspected side effects" and they are not necessarily related to or caused by the medicine. Even the European Medicines Agency, which manages the Adverse Drug Reactions database, warns that its data on adverse reactions can’t be used on its own to conclude whether a vaccine caused death.

Defiant to the end, prominent anti-vaxx activist dies of COVID

A vocal opponent of vaccines against the coronavirus died Monday, days after he was hospitalized in serious condition with COVID-19.

Hai Shoulian, 57, remained defiantly opposed to vaccines until his death, urging fellow anti-vaxxers “to continue fighting” in a Facebook post Saturday that included a photo of him hooked up to an oxygen concentrator.

“The situation is most critical. I’m incapable of speaking or responding to people. I have no oxygen and am unable to stabilize,” he wrote.