Among the most exciting moments in this process of Redemption is watching the pieces come together. Anyone can do this. (You don't have to be a prophet!) Just by being an observer of the human scene,...current events, talk radio, internet news and daily experiences,--all this can be eye-opening about how the Rebbe's prophecy is being fulfilled.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Clowns Prove Laughter is Part of the Cure in Israeli Hospitals

For hundreds of years the Code of Jewish Law said it was forbidden "to fill your mouth with laughter" since the Holy Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed. When the Temple stood, G-dly light went out to the whole world. The absence of the Temple brought darkness upon humanity. However, in 1991 at the time of the Gulf War, the Rebbe revealed his Messianic prophecy: "The time of your Redemption has arrived." Further the Rebbe said an unprecedented thing: Not only is it no longer forbidden to fill our mouths with laughter, but it is an obligation to fill our mouths with laughter. This means we are in a whole new era. And one of the high points of this era will be the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem.
Laughter,--and joy, are key to recognizing that G-d controls our destinies and that G-d is good. In Israel, laughter is being used as an adjunct to medical cures. And statistics show that healing is faster when the mood is upbeat.

With thanks to R.H.
Originally published Monday, August 20, 2012 at 11:43 PM     

Israeli clowns pioneer new medical treatments

Doctors in Israel are beginning to believe in the power of clowning around.
Associated Press

Doctors in Israel are beginning to believe in the power of clowning around.
Over the last few years, Israeli clowns have been popping into hospital operating rooms and intensive care units with balloons and kazoos in hand, teaming up with doctors to develop laughter therapies they say help with disorders ranging from pain to infertility.
This is not how things are done in most of the world's hospitals. Clowns often visit pediatric wards to cheer up young patients, but in most places the clowning ends where the medicine begins. When it comes time for a child to get a shot or go under the knife, the clowns step aside.
Israeli clowns thumb their shiny red noses at that approach. They quote studies which suggest that a clown's participation in treatments can help patients - especially kids - endure painful procedures and speed their healing.
They say it's time for the medical community to recognize medical clowns as legitimate paramedical practitioners, like occupational or physical therapists.
Israel's hospital clowning guild, Dream Doctors, founded 10 years ago, is the leading advocate for infusing more medicine into the artistry.
"It's not just putting on a red nose, floppy shoes, and playing a ukulele," said Dr. Arthur Eidelman, recently retired chief of pediatrics at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, and chair of the Dream Doctors' scientific committee. "We see medical clowns as an integral part of the health care team."
Over the last few decades, dozens of hospital clown guilds have formed in the U.S., Canada and Europe, drawing inspiration from New York's Big Apple Circus, which pioneered the first professional hospital clowning program, and from a 1998 movie hit starring Robin Williams as real-life hospital clown Dr. Hunter "Patch" Adams.
The idea behind these initiatives is that clowns in simple costumes - no caked-on makeup or squirting flowers - can parody the role of the doctor, making the hospital a less scary place for patients.
On a recent morning at the Jerusalem medical center, one such clown cut short his coffee break when a nurse called to say a boy was being wheeled into surgery to fix a ruptured eardrum.
Dr. Sababa - which translates to Dr. Groovy - rushed up the stairwell and through the double doors into pre-op, greeting Aaron Marziano, 13. They'd met earlier that morning in the pediatric ward, where he'd performed imaginary surgery on the boy's ear with a long kazoo.
"What's your favorite dream?" the clown asked Marziano among a group of nurses, prepping him with guided imagery before sedation. He quickly stretched nets around his floppy green shoes, threw on blue scrubs, and helped wheel Marziano into the operating room. The clown, not the anesthesiologist, placed the anesthesia mask over the boy's face.
"Eight years ago, going in the operating room was science fiction," said Dr. Sababa, who answers to his real name, Avi Cohen, when he's out of his polka-dot necktie and grapefruit vest.
Today, he estimated, a clown is present at about one out of five of the hospital's full anesthesia surgeries for children. A study led by doctors there found that a clown's presence in pre-op reduces the amount of anesthesia administered and speeds up a patient's recovery time.
It's one of a half a dozen studies the clowns and their physician advocates have conducted in recent years, a campaign to prove to the medical community that their therapies are working.
One Israeli study, published last year in a leading reproductive science journal, Fertility and Sterility, suggested that a woman's chances of getting pregnant after in-vitro fertilization rose from 20.2 percent to 36.4 percent if a clown was brought in to entertain and relax her immediately after the obstetrician implanted a fertilized egg.
Of the 219 women who participated in the yearlong study, about half received a surprise visit by a clown dressed as a bumbling chef. Dr. Shevach Friedler of Assaf Harofeh Medical Center said his study indicated that the laughter therapy might reduce stress or strengthen the immune system in the womb to increase the success rate of the treatment.
Another study, conducted by the head of pediatrics at a northern Israeli hospital, found that if there was a clown in the room, children with urinary tract infections didn't need sedation to keep still during an imaging scan. The clown would make a deal with a young patient that both would simply freeze during the scan. It worked: Out of 142 children studied, 137 did not need sedation, eliminating the risks of complications and side effects that often come with sedatives.
"In the last one or two years, there (has been) hard science, evidence-based data, generated that this does make a difference," Eidelman said.
About 25 Israeli medical centers keep professional clowns on hand. One Israeli university offers what it calls the world's first full-time degree program for medical clowning, part of an effort to standardize training for the profession.
Israel's clowns and their physician partners are presenting their studies in international medical conventions and meeting with hospital administrators around the globe.
In the U.S., reactions to the Israeli clowning philosophy are mixed.
Dr. Ernest R. Katz, director of behavioral sciences at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, said he doubts U.S. hospitals would be willing to pay for a whole new group of professionals, since child life specialists and play therapists already employ similar techniques.
Besides, he said, many Americans simply can't stand clowns.
"The term itself carries a whole lot of baggage here," he said. "The term `clown' has a connotation of Bozo, or less of a professional ... you say medical clown, and I say, what the heck does that mean?"
The man widely regarded as the father of hospital clowning, Big Apple Circus's Michael Christensen, said Israeli clowns' integration into the medical team is "really inspiring," but that there's also value in clowns relying purely on artistry.
"I want both worlds. I want the world in which the medical clown is an extension of the medical team . and the ability of a medical clown to be an artist. To be able to stand in the doorway, in a clinic, not knowing what's going to happen next," Christensen said.
In Europe, Eidelman said, hospitals are more willing to let clowns incorporate the Israeli approach into their acts. This summer, clowns from Holland, Brazil, Germany, Russia, the U.S. and Canada shadowed Israeli clowns at a hospital in the northern city of Haifa.
One Dutch clown peeked into an examination room where her Israeli colleague hopped up onto an examination table next to a wailing child with a needle in his arm. The Israeli clown inflated a white medical latex glove into a makeshift balloon animal.
The boy's shrieks turned to giggles.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Best Selling Author Slips the Rebbe into Spy Novel.

Suggested by Rabbi A. Milchtein

A world-famous author, Robert Ludlum, creates a cameo appearance for the Lubavitcher Rebbe in his best selling spy novel, The Janson Directive. The hero of the story, Janson, a master spy,
disguises himself as a Chossid, complete with card-carrying photo of the Rebbe. In the following scene, Janson is on the deck of a ferry and from time to time gazes at the picture of the Rebbe, identified here as Moshiach, the Messiah.

Uncannily, perhaps, the scene takes place in Chapter Eighteen, which in Hebrew is the numerical equivalent of the word "alive" (chai). And furthermore, if the page number 344 is added up, it comes to eleven, which is a number that for many reasons, mystical and revealed, is associated with the Rebbe.

The Janson Directive

Chapter Eighteen.

Page 344.
The Rebbe

A figure like him, Janson knew, became invisible by virtue of standing out. If the spirit gum on his cheeks itched, and the woolen cloak was uncomfortably hot, it was easy to produce the low-grade anxiety that his role called for. He let the breeze cool him, dry his sweat. There wasn’t any reason to doubt that he was who his passport said he was; from time to time he took out a small plastic encased photograph of the late Rabbi Schneerson, considered by many Hasids to be the messiah, or moshiach, and regarded it lovingly. Such details mattered when one is in character.  

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Neo-Nazi Reveals His Jewish Roots, Asks Forgiveness

In the end of days, it says in the Torah that G-d will take each Jew by the hand and bring him back. The great Jewish sage Maimonides, in his laws about Moshiach and Redemption, quotes from Deuteronomy, "And the Lord your G-d will...have compassion on you. He will return and gather you (from among all the nations)..."

Israel National News

After Discovering Jewish Origin, Hungarian Neo-Nazi Meets Rabbi

After being ousted from far-right Hungarian Jobbik party over his Jewish roots, Csanad Szegedi has reconciled to meet with orthodox rabbi.

Csanad Szegedi (left)  Rabbi Shlomo Koves (righ

By Rachel Hirschfeld  
8/7/2012, 8:12 AM

Hungarian politician Csanad Szegedi, who was forced to resign as a member of the far right Jobbik party following uproar over the discovery of his Jewish roots, has met with Hungary’s chief orthodox rabbi, TheWall Street Journal reported.
Csanad Szegedi revealed in a June interview that his grandparents were orthodox Jews, an announcement that angered many Hungarian politicians and supporters of Jobbik, considered to be a radical neo-Nazi party and which has 45 seats in Hungary’s 386-seat parliament.
Szegedi maintained that his grandparents, who both survived the Nazis, had chosen to remain silent about their Jewish heritage, and he had only found out about his family’s religious background in December 2011.
Szeged agreed to step down from all party positions, due to mounting pressure from internal rivals, but said that he will continue to hold on to his seat in the European Parliament.
Speaking at a press conference late July, Jobbik’s leader Gabor Vona said Szegedi’sresignation was not connected to his Jewish roots but the fact that Szegedi had kept them secret. Vona also said that the party only looks at “what its members do for Hungary,” and called on Szegedi to resign amid corruption allegations.
Many onlookers, however, doubt the party’s official line.
“Had he not lied about his origins, then – whether this is a nice thing or not, that is a different question – he would never have become an MEP,” Novak, the Jobbik vice-president, wrote in an internal letter cited by Hungarian daily Nepszabadsag.
His parliamentary status notwithstanding, Szegedi appears to have befriended his “controversial” heritage, The ex-Jobbik vice-president has met Hungary’s chief orthodox rabbi and promised to visit Auschwitz, where his grand mother had been held by Nazi soldiers, The Wall Street Journal reported.
“Had I made any comments in the past years that offended the Jewish community, I ask for forgiveness,” Szegedi told Rabbi Slomo Koves, according to Nepszabadsag. “Now that I have been faced with my Jewish roots, that I do not regret at all, keeping in touch with the leaders of the Hungarian Jewish community has become especially important for me,” he said.
“I was stunned,” Koves said, recalling his reaction after Szegedi’s initial request for a meeting. “But as a rabbi, it is my duty to receive anybody who requests advice or help,” he said. “I wish for him that he be able to redeem the past years. He can do that best, if, apart from getting to know his own roots, he does everything in his power to keep others from being led astray, like he had been,” the rabbi said.