Sunday, May 31, 2020

The Wisdom of the Halacha - Fasting

Fasting Boosts Stem Cells’ Regenerative Capacity


As people age, their intestinal stem cells begin to lose their ability to regenerate. These stem cells are the source for all new intestinal cells, so this decline can make it more difficult to recover from gastrointestinal infections or other conditions that affect the intestine.

This age-related loss of stem cell function can be reversed by a 24-hour fast, according to a new study from MIT biologists. The researchers found that fasting dramatically improves stem cells’ ability to regenerate, in both aged and young mice.

In fasting mice, cells begin breaking down fatty acids instead of glucose, a change that stimulates the stem cells to become more regenerative. The researchers found that they could also boost regeneration with a molecule that activates the same metabolic switch. Such an intervention could potentially help older people recovering from GI infections or cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, the researchers say.

Read Fasting Boosts Stem Cells’ Regenerative Capacity

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Study: Flu shots in elderly don't cut mortality rate By Robert Roos

Study: Flu shots in elderly don't cut mortality rate  By Robert Roos
Feb 16, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – Researchers who tracked national data on influenza vaccination rates and mortality in elderly people from 1968 through 2001 say they could find no evidence that flu shots reduced death rates.
A number of previous studies have suggested that flu shots could reduce the number of community-living elderly people who die in winter by as much as 50%, according to the report by Lone Simonsen, PhD, of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and colleagues from NIH and other organizations.
But the authors say they could find no evidence that increasing flu vaccination coverage among people 65 and older lowered mortality rates. Further, they concluded that the number of flu-related deaths in the elderly from 1968 through 2001 was never more than 10% of all winter deaths, suggesting that flu immunization could have only a relatively small effect on total death rates.
"We conclude . . . that there are not enough influenza-related deaths to support the conclusion that vaccination can reduce total winter mortality among the US elderly population by as much as half," states the article, published yesterday in Archives of Internal Medicine.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends flu shots for everyone aged 50 and older, as well as young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health problems, healthcare workers, and people caring for small babies. (Because of the vaccine supply problems this season, the agency has advised healthy people in the 50-to-64 age-group to forgo the shots, though that restriction has been dropped in some areas.)
continue reading

Fully Vaccinated vs. Unvaccinated — Part 1

The most scientific study on vaccine safety would compare vaxxed to unvaxxed. Yet there are few of these and many of the ones we have show that vaccines are not safe

If I give 1000 people 20 types of poison and 1000 people 21 types of poison and don't see any statistically significant difference in the outcomes of the two groups, I haven't proven that poison isn't poison because everybody is already messed up. 

Fully Vaccinated vs. Unvaccinated — Part 1

Monday, May 25, 2020

Heresy is worse than idolatry

How many times has a Zionistic leaning person told you that the Gemara says it is better to live in Eretz Yisroel in a city mostly of idolaters than outside Eretz Yisroel in a city mostly of Jews? This is a standard Zionist propaganda line. The reference is given to push you to move to the 'medinah.' 

The Gemara is in Kesubos 110b:

ת"ר לעולם ידור אדם בא"י אפי' בעיר שרובה עובדי כוכבים ואל ידור בחו"ל ואפילו בעיר שרובה ישראל

(Steinsaltz translation, from the William Davidson edition on Sefaria:) The Sages taught: A person should always reside in Eretz Yisrael, even in a city that is mostly populated by gentiles, and he should not reside outside of Eretz Yisrael, even in a city that is mostly populated by Jews.

Response from Parsha Pearls:

The word "even" means that this is the limit, but more than that – i.e. something worse than gentile idolaters - is not permitted. Jewish heretics are worse than gentile idolaters, "for they afflict Israel and lead the people astray from following Hashem.” (Rambam, Laws of Idolatry 10:1) A person is naturally more influenced by one of his own kind. (See Vayikra, p. ??.) Furthermore, the evil inclination for idolatry was slaughtered long ago by the Men of the Great Assembly (Yuma 69b), whereas heresy remains a strong attraction (see Avodah Zarah 27b). One must distance himself more from heresy than from idolatry, as it says (Shabbos 116A): "Even if one is being pursued by a murderer or a poisonous snake, he may enter a house of idol worship but not a house of heretics, for the gentiles were never taught the truth, whereas the heretics are Jews who learned Torah and then denied it." Therefore, the Gemora in Kesubos does not mean that one should live in a city of mostly heretics.
In other words, that Gemara refers to gentile idol worshippers. What we have in Eretz Yisroel today are Jewish heretics, which is something far more dangerous. So rather than telling you to move to Eretz Yisroel in our times, this Gemara is telling you not to. 

I would add that Israeli society today isn't merely mostly heretical, the great majority, around 80% is heretical. 

Sunday, May 24, 2020

live shiur in English TODAY Rosh Chodesh Sivan (24th May)

Posek HaDor HaGaon Rav Moshe Sternbuch shlit”a will be saying a live shiur in English TODAY Rosh Chodesh Sivan (24th May), which can be heard worldwide by clicking the link below, or by dialing the numbers below. The shiur will be on the halochos of Yom Tov, at 5.30pm Israel time (4.30pm in SA, 3.30pm London).

Pls pass on to all interested!

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 795 0421 7530

Password: 3456

Call in from phone lines also available, depending on location:
ISRAEL:                     +97239786688
SOUTH AFRICA:       +27875507717
UK:                             +442036950088

USA:                              +16699006833     
Follow instructions on call (Enter ID, #, password, #).

For any other queries or questions related to topic which you would like answered by the Raavad in the shiur, please email

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

it's not misinformation

Professor Heidi Larson, PhD, Director Vaccine Confidence Project:

"I spend a lot of time talking particularly in the last six months with tech companies, Facebook, What'sApp, Pulsort, Twitter, Instagram, WeChat, Weebo. They have a lot of fingers pointing at them to fix the misinformation problem. But it's not so simple. One, the biggest problem is a lot of it's not misinformation. Our problem is as we've heard in the last 48 hours that there's not anything 100%. And what actually, can legally, without creating a censorship thing, can we absolutely say this is misinformation, because we have a lot of ambiguity in the safety field. And we have to come to terms with that. So we have to think about it differently than deleting misinformation but building trust so people are willing to put up with a certain amount of risk because they believe in it enough, they believe in our work, what we are doing, and that it's in their interest."

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

The hypocricy of Reagan

"Reagan’s vision of modern Federalism is to achieve the same goals of the original Federalists but from the opposite end of the spectrum. He realized that the national government was quickly becoming too powerful. He embraced the Federalist approach of checks and balances between the states and Washington DC that empowers either to properly represent their citizens. If someone in Michigan was being oppressed by the federal government, they could go to the state to seek protections. If it was Michigan that was oppressing this person, they could call on DC for help. Only through balance of powers can this country be properly managed. Only through balance of powers can the people’s freedoms be properly protected."

Monday, May 18, 2020

Behavior & Society The Real Reasons Autism Rates Are Up in the U.S.

Behavior & Society The Real Reasons Autism Rates Are Up in the U.S.


Autism didn’t make its debut in the DSM until 1980. In 1987, a new edition expanded the criteria by allowing a diagnosis even if symptoms became apparent after 30 months of age. To garner a diagnosis, a child needed to meet 8 of 16 criteria, rather than all 6 of the previous items. These changes may have caused the condition’s prevalence to tick above 1 in 1,400.

Then, in 1991, the U.S. Department of Education ruled that a diagnosis of autism qualifies a child for special education services. Before this time, many children with autism may instead have been listed as having intellectual disability. The change may have encouraged families to get a diagnosis of autism for their child. The number of children who have both a diagnosis of autism and intellectual disability has also risen steadily over the years.

In 1994, the fourth edition of the DSM broadened the definition of autism even further, by including Asperger syndrome on the milder end of the spectrum. The current version, the DSM-5, was released in 2013, and collapsed autism, Asperger syndrome and pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified into a single diagnosis.


Policy changes may have also played a role. In 2006, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended screening all children for autism during routine pediatrician visits at 18 and 24 months of age. This move may have led to diagnoses for children who would otherwise have slipped under the radar.

The prevalence of autism in the United States has risen steadily since researchers first began tracking it in 2000. The rise in the rate has sparked fears of an autism ‘epidemic.’ But experts say the bulk of the increase stems from a growing awareness of autism and changes to the condition’s diagnostic criteria.

Here’s how researchers track autism’s prevalence and explain its apparent rise.

How do clinicians diagnose autism?
There is no blood test, brain scan or any other objective test that can diagnose autism—although researchers are actively trying to develop such tests. Clinicians rely on observations of a person’s behavior to diagnose the condition.

In the U.S., the criteria for diagnosing autism are laid out in the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” (DSM). The criteria are problems with social communication and interactions, and restricted interests or repetitive behaviors. Both of these ‘core’ features must be present in early development.

What is the prevalence of autism in the U.S.?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1 in 68children in the U.S. have autism. The prevalence is 1 in 42 for boys and 1 in 189 for girls. These rates yield a gender ratio of about five boys for every girl.

How does the CDC arrive at this number?
CDC researchers collect health and school records for 8-year-old children who live in select U.S. counties. These researchers are part of the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, which the CDC set up in 2000 to estimate autism prevalence.

Every two years, trained clinicians scan the records for signs of autism features, such as social problems or repetitive behaviors. They focus on 8-year-olds because most children are enrolled in school and have had routine health assessments by that age2. They then decide whether each child meets the criteria for autism, even if the child does not have a diagnosis, and extrapolate the results to all children in the state.


Saturday, May 16, 2020

And the shuls?

Beaches, malls, schools, and zoos are all open but not shuls in the so-called Jewish state. That zoos are open really adds insult to injury. The atheists who founded the state have got their wish, at least for now. Active cases - around 3,500 - continue to drop. The great majority of those cases are minor or have no symptoms at all. 49 on ventilators. What's 49 divided by 9 million? .0005% What's 3,500 divided by 9 million? .03% The death toll, which is less than that of second hand smoking over the same period of time (no draconian measures about smoking have been proposed) has barely changed. But the shuls are closed and we haven't heard a peep about opening them.

Healthy girl paralyzed by flu shot


#ADEM is an auto-immune disease that occurs when the immune system "mistakenly attacks its own brain tissue," after a #vaccination or infection.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Rav Avigdor Miller on Internet For Business

Rav Avigdor Miller on Internet For Business

Can somebody have internet in the house for business? There are plenty of businesses that are on the internet today and people want to know if they can have it in the house if they work from the house?

If a person has an internet machine in his house he should have it under lock and key; two locks! And he should have both of the keys. He shouldn't leave it unattended for even one evening. The internet is Gehinom. That’s what it is. Even a computer in the house is a sakanah. Who knows what could happen! And therefore you have to keep it under lock and key! There’s no alternative to that; there’s no second choice.

TAPE # E-229 (April 2000)

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Salk no more

Vaxxers always reference (and exaggerate) the success of the Salk Polio vaccine. But the vaxxine industry isn't the same. It's very corrupt today. You can't say TV is wholesome just because it was in 1950. TV today is a cesspool and so is the vaccine industry. By 1986 law, vaccine makers effectively cannot be sued. Safety is in their hands and that of the CDC. Yet, the former head of the CDC made $20 million working for Merck and that's a serious conflict of interest. There are too many vaccines given to everyone for non-fatal and rare diseases. There is too little testing, particularly testing against non-vaxxed populations, which is the most important kind. You can't compare drunks to drunks. There's an epidemic of childhood neurological disorders and plenty of studies linking that to vaccines. Salk was a long time ago and the situation today is very different.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

How Plumbing (Not Vaccines) Eradicated Disease By Joel Edwards

After the fall of the Roman Empire, Europeans despised all things Roman, including bathing. There was a widespread belief that getting wet caused illness. This contempt and fear of bathing persisted through the Dark Ages. Some Europeans defied local customs by bathing, but this was usually done over great protest. When Queen Elizabeth bathed, her servants panicked, fearing she would become ill and die.

This resistance to bathing was brought across the Atlantic to America, influencing habits all the way into the 1800s. In 1835, Philadelphia almost passed an ordinance forbidding wintertime bathing. Ten years later, Boston did outlaw bathing, except by medical directive. (Though this law was not widely enforced, it does illustrate the American resistance to bathing as late as the mid 1800s.)
Before plumbing was widely used, indoor facilities consisted of a washstand and a washbowl, a pitcher, and a chamber pot or commode. Human waste was thrown into the street or anywhere convenient.

This total lack of sanitation in urban areas filled with rats and other vermin provided the perfect environment to spread disease. The Black Plague alone killed 75 million – 200 million people – including 1/3 of Europe’s population. Though this disease is not entirely eradicated, human infection has become a rare occurrence. The last plague epidemic in America was in the early 1900’s.
Polio thrives in fecal matter and is easily transmitted through human waste. Plumbing and water sanitation in India is way behind the rest of the industrialized world. In areas where sanitation and hygiene are good, polio is rare. In areas where sanitation and hygiene are poor, the disease can spread rapidly.

Immunization efforts have received a lot of publicity and have garnered most of the credit for India being declared “polio free” by the World Health Organization. As recently as 2009, India reported 762 cases of polio, and at that time, these numbers made India the polio capital of the world. In 2014, there are currently no “official” documented cases of polio, but without proper sanitation there is no way this can last.
India is the second most populous nation in the world, with an estimated population of 1.2 billion. Currently, 780 million Indians do not have a toilet; 96 million Indians do not have access to clean drinking water. In rural areas, open defecation is still more common than attempting to dispose of human waste in a more sanitary fashion, such as burying it.

There have been some efforts to improve sanitation, but they pale in comparison to the extensive efforts to vaccinate Indians. Over 9 billion has been spent in this vaccination public health campaign.

Monday, May 11, 2020

they are not “anti-science” or “anti-vaxxers”
I AM AN IVY LEAGUE-TRAINED physician who currently treats families of children and adults with developmental disabilities. I come in frequent contact with parents who use the religious exemption for vaccination.

I believe these parents are being unfairly marginalized and maligned. In my clinical experience, they are not “anti-science” or “anti-vaxxers” who deny the benefits of vaccination. They don’t base their decisions on Hollywood celebrities, discredited scientists, or “on-line conspiracy.”
Many witnessed adverse reactions to vaccination (high fever, seizures, prolonged screaming, acute behavioral changes) that may have had neurological and immune-mediated consequences.  Because of the dictates of their faith, to follow their moral conscience and protect their children from further harm, and the extremely narrow availability of CDC-recognized medical exemptions (one academic pediatric neurologist lamented to me, “It’s as if the guidelines were written by people without any clinical experience”), many of these families rely on the religious exemption.

I approach these parents with empathy and humility. Empathy in appreciating the overwhelming challenges they face. Humility from knowing medical practice is imperfect and science is continually evolving. History presents multiple instances when experts, including trusted health authorities, have gotten it wrong. The opioid crisis is but one recent and tragic example. Shaming those who believe they witnessed adverse events or who express concerns will only increase alienation and mistrust and erode vaccine confidence.
Vaccines have decreased the incidence and morbidity of vaccine-preventable illness and saved millions of lives worldwide. There are multiple epidemiologic studies that indicate the MMR is not associated with autism. Post-marketing surveillance studies support the safety of vaccination for the majority of people.

So why do these parents continue to question? Is it simply to assuage unbearable grief and loss? What do they find when they scour the science?

Multiple large reviews suggest that those who may be at increased risk of reacting to vaccines (vulnerable sub-populations) have been understudied. We may also be under-estimating who reacts in real-world settings. Reportable vaccine reactions may be as high as 2.6 percent.  Data-driven estimates suggest that 2.2 percent of the population will have a vaccine reaction leading to an ER visit. Recent data about possible non-specific effects of vaccination suggest that vaccines impact the immune system more broadly than previously understood, both positively and negatively. Emerging data regarding aluminum adjuvant also deserves attention, as has been recognized by the Cochrane Collaboration. Study of aluminum adjuvant is particularly important since vaccine safety trials are often conducted using aluminum adjuvant as the placebo.

It’s essential to note that Massachusetts is not facing a vaccination crisis, or even a vaccination problem. Massachusetts has the highest vaccination rates in the country, with 97 percent of kindergartners and 99 percent of seventh graders having two doses of the MMR.  Our rates of MMR vaccination have been increasing and are at all-time highs, despite modest increases in religious exemptions, which were used by 1.15 percent of kindergarteners in 2018.

In 2019, we had three cases of measles, two in adults. Over the past decade, we have had an average of four cases of measles per year, mainly among adults, in a population of 6.9 million.  That means we’re not at risk for large outbreaks. And schools have additional protections. Under-vaccinated students are excluded from school when vaccine-preventable illness is suspected among the school population, similar to sending a feverish child home to prevent transmission.

I urge the Legislature to emphasize non-coercive means to increase vaccine uptake. We should mandate reporting from schools; consider targeted education and outreach at schools with lower MMR vaccination rates; offer families school-based vaccination clinics, free of cost; and address the reality of waning adult immunity.

Adding the possibility of free, school-based vaccination for consenting families is a particularly important consideration.  The top 10 schools with the lowest MMR vaccination have zero exemptions on file.  And in almost 75 percent of the schools without ideal MMR vaccination rates, the number of children without adequate documentation (called the “gap population” by the Massachusetts Department of Health) exceeds the number of children with exemptions.

With further study, we may be able to ascertain if these gap populations may relate to socio-economic issues or some other unknown factor.  Small pockets of under-vaccination in Massachusetts are simply not being driven by the 1.15 percent of families that use the religious exemption, who, according to the Department of Public Health, “have an exemption to only one or two vaccines, and are otherwise immunized.”
If addressing gap populations is not adequate, then the Legislature should consider removing the religious exemption for the MMR only. Free and informed consent, a cornerstone of medical ethics since World War II, is not possible with coercion.  We should not be trampling religious liberties and violating the principals of free consent to mandate vaccines that pose little immediate public health threat and are not communicable in the school setting, like the Hepatitis B vaccine.

Finally, removal of the religious exemption would deny education to some of our most vulnerable children with severe neurological disabilities: non-speaking, self-injurious, behaviorally dysregulated. Children with special needs and their parents suffer higher rates of depression, anxiety, and suicidality. Their lives depend on critical specialized education and therapies, not replicable in a home-school setting. Denying these services could lead to tragic public health outcomes that would likely outweigh a speculative and marginal increase in vaccination rates.
We need to reconsider our assumptions about vaccine hesitancy, adverse events, and the religious exemption. Where there is marginalization and shaming, let there be empathy. Where there is coercion and censorship, let there be dialogue. Excluding families from school because they choose not to vaccinate is not the answer. We must retain the religious exemption for vaccination and focus on non-coercive measures to promote vaccination.
Dr. Sylvia Fogel is a psychiatrist who works with the parents of children with autism and other developmental disabilities at a major academic medical center in the Boston area.  She attended Cornell University Medical College and completed her residency at Columbia University.  These opinions are hers and do not reflect the opinions of her employer or academic affiliation.