Bar Kamtza and COVID-19

What possibly does COVID-19 have to do with Kamtza and Bar Kamtza? The key to the puzzle is Shalva Zalfreund, of blessed memory, a kindergarten teacher in Petah Tikva, passed away from coronavirus this past Friday, July 17, 2020. Shalva was an amazing teacher who educated several generations of Petah Tikva's children. Before she died, she wrote a letter to the parents of the children in her kindergarten. If you take a close look, the letter should be required reading for all of us, especially during the Three Weeks, a time when we're supposed to feel the lack and loss of our Holy Temple. Here is the letter and its mindboggling message to all of us.

Healthy and Holy

There are two aspects to eating - qualitative and quantitative. Eating natural food of the quality is so important to our health, but so is the way we eat and the amounts we eat. Here's a plan that's super-healthy for the body and just as healthy for the soul.

Coronavirus: Round 2?

For quite a few days, there were no new Corona outbreaks in Israel, then all of a sudden, over the Shavuot weekend, there has been an outbreak of new cases. There's a whole debate going on whether this is the continuation of Round 1 or the beginning of Round 2. Could this be a message from Above? What does it mean?

Coronavirus: Finding the Balance between Effort and Emuna

Today's podcast is entitled is a vital answer to what many people are asking now in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic about how much should we be putting effort into doing everything that the medical authorities tell us to do and how much we should be relying on faith and trust, what we call emuna and bitachon. A simple metaphor will help us understand...

Brave Spirit: Body & Soul Protection from Coronavirus

Today's video podcast not only gives advice on how to keep body and soul healthy in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic, but shows that King David dealt with a terrible plague in his time that his son King Solomon knew all about, which the holy Tanna Onkolos calls "Kurhana". See for yourself, and see how King David stopped the plague as well as a 950-year promise from Rashi about how to defeat this disease...

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Protection from Coronavirus

The world is in a near panic from the Coronavirus outbreak, as scientists and health authorities around the world are racing to halt the spread of this deadly virus that emerged from a live animal and fish market in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December, when it then jumped to humans. Once it jumped to humans, it was then transferred from human to human whenever they come in contact with one other.

At the time of this podcast, according to official Chinese statistics which many believe are downplaying the proportions of this health disaster, some 60,000 Chinese have already contracted the new coronavirus, which causes respiratory illness similar to pneumonia, and the death toll of nearly 700 is rising daily. This past January 30th, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak a “public-health emergency of international concern” — an alarm it reserves for events that pose a risk to multiple countries and that requires a coordinated international response.

The World Health Organization is correct – we need an international response. But what should that response be? Listen to today's podcast, which looks at current events through eyes of emuna.

The Self-Healing Prayer

I was lecturing at an IAF base, and my host - the assistant base commander - showed me where the bathroom was. When I came out, I washed my hands three times consecutively with a cup and said slowly and with intent the Asher Yatzar blessing that one says after visiting the toilet. My host looked at me wide-eyed, as if I'd suddenly sprouted peacock feathers. "Rabbi," he gasped, "you guys even make a blessing after relieving yourselves?"

We sure do! It's the best and cheapest health insurance policy anywhere. Hear this:

For your reference, The Asher Yatzar blessing and the practical Halachas of visiting the bathroom are posted here.