What’s green and rocks? The Shabbat planned by Beth Am

September 28, 2010 Leave a comment

SAN DIEGO (Press Release)–Congregation Beth Am invites the community to sing and dance at its  Community Rock’n Shabbat Service.  Held every second Friday of the month, the service features live music by Yochanan Sebastian Winston and his band.  The service starts at 7 p.m.

The community is also invited to join us prior to the Rock’n Shabbat Service at Shabbat dinner.  Each month the kosher dinner is a different theme. The next Rock’n Shabbat is Friday, October 8 with the dinner for October, catered by Sima Ross,  themed “Go Healthy- Go Organic –Go Green.”  Reservations and payment are required for dinner only.  Adults are $18; Children ages 2 through 12 are $6; and children 2 and under are free.   Please RSVP by October 4.

Congregation Beth Am is located in the Carmel Valley area of San Diego at 5050 Del Mar Heights Road. To make reservations please call Debra at 858-481-8454 or debra@betham.com.

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Preceding provided by Congregation Beth Am

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On Stephen Hawking, genius and music

September 28, 2010 1 comment

By David Amos

David Amos

SAN DIEGO–Most of us know about Stephen Hawking. He is no less than the greatest mind in physics living today, and has done as much as Albert Einstein in expanding our understanding of the complexities of the universe and theoretical physics. He is 68 years old, and since the age of 21, has suffered from a degenerative motor-neuron disease. 

In spite of his severe handicaps and almost total paralysis, he raised three children in his two marriages, and has written several best selling books on the subjects of time, and the size and nature of the cosmos.

On September 13, Parade Magazine ran an interview with Hawking, asking him interesting questions about space exploration, his abilities to explain deep scientific concepts to the general public, and his personal life.

I have always been intrigued by his genius, and the reading of this article connected me with some of his insights and how they relate to music and the arts. At first, it may appear to be far-fetched, but, read on.

Read more…

Palestinians should realize Israel willing to withdraw for peace, settlements or none

September 28, 2010 1 comment

By Rabbi Ben Kamin

Rabbi Ben Kamin

SAN DIEGO — It’s not hard to agree that the settlement movement in Israel—a hybrid of indigenous religious zealots and immigrant fundamentalists from places like Chicago, Toronto, and Johannesburg—is something of a complication for the peace process.  This is true even though the overwhelming majority of Israelis—people making car payments, trying to keep their jobs, and maintain their health benefits—are neither settlers, would-be settlers, or even particularly observant Jews. 

The Palestinian obsession with the settlements is peculiar and out-of-touch with a) the far more urgent issue of salvaging their own state (deserved) from a smoldering splinter of terror groups and ostensibly more “moderate” factions that remain in bloody stalemate among each other (primarily Hamas v. Fatah) and b) the more cogent realization that to ask Israel to stop building communities when you haven’t even offered to stop destroying communities is absurd and disingenuous.

The Palestinians, with their funny caveats, and the Obama imposers, with their tongue-clucking demands that Israel “take risks for peace” (as if every single day since Israel was created in 1948 has not been a risk) don’t seem to grasp the bigger picture: Israel is about life and growth and science and creativity.

Over 80% of the nation consists of secularists who watch cable news, shop in trendy malls, love to linger in fashionable coffee shops, drive late-model cars across a national freeway system, and like to travel to Turkey, India, Hong Kong, and North America.  They want college, not conflagration. Read more…

For Mideast plants, it’s dew or die

September 28, 2010 Leave a comment

TEL AVIV (Press Release)― When the scientific and spiritual worlds collide, they do so in the most surprising ways. Classical meteorological and plant science has, in the last century, insisted that dew negatively affects plant life, leading to rot and fungus. But in the Judeo-Christian tradition, dew is most welcomed as an important source of vegetative and plant life, celebrated in poetry and prayer.

Now Prof. Pinhas Alpert of Tel Aviv University’s Department of Geophysics and Planetary Sciences has developed an explanation for the perplexing paradox with his colleagues. According to scientific literature, he says, dew that accumulates through the night has a negative effect on vegetation and fruits because it creates a “spongy” effect. But in a recent issue of the Water Resources Journal, Prof. Alpert demonstrates that dew is an important water source for plant life in climates such as those in the Eastern Mediterranean, where the Judeo-Christian tradition originated, and parts of the U.S. Great Basin Desert.

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New software may help physicians repair your RNA’s

September 27, 2010 Leave a comment

TEL AVIV (Press Release) – About ten years ago, the discovery of microRNAs ― tiny cellular molecules that regulate our genetic code ― unlocked a world of scientific possibilities, including a deeper understanding of human disease.

One new analytical technology is “deep sequencing,” which gives scientists the ability to discover invaluable information about human diseases at a genetic level. Now, Tel Aviv University researchers have developed the cutting-edge technology to better analyze these results.

The software, called miRNAkey, was developed by Roy Ronen as part of a team of researchers headed by Dr. Noam Shomron of the Sackler Faculty of Medicine. Dr. Shomron says that miRNAkey searches for microRNA patterns in both healthy and diseased tissues, improving scientists’ understanding of the data collected from deep sequencing technology.

The software package was recently described in the journal Bioinformatics

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However well meaning, Obama has blundered in Middle East

September 27, 2010 Leave a comment

By Ira Sharkansky

Ira Sharkansky

JERUSALEM — It was they who put on the table the demand for a total freeze in Jewish construction throughout the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The result was to increase the political demands of the Palestinians, as well as the Israeli settlers and their supporters. 
Increasing demands of both sides before the start of intense negotiations is not my understanding of wise guidance.
Perhaps the damage was slight, insofar as there never were great chances for a full blown agreement on the issues separating Israel and Palestine. However, the flub distracted the leaders of Palestine and Israel from domestic concerns. For Palestinians of the West Bank, the great advances of recent years came from foreign investments in housing, infrastructure, and industry, plus the upgrading of security forces with the help of the United States and Jordan. More effective security allowed Israel to reduce its own military incursions and restrictions of travel, and those provided further boosts to Palestinian development. 

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New bill introduced to penalize bias against students from religious ethnic groups

September 26, 2010 Leave a comment

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Press Release)–U.S. Senator Arlen Specter and U.S. Congressman Brad Sherman on Friday, Sept. 24, announced the introduction of legislation to protect students from religious discrimination. 

Recently, there have been multiple incidents involving anti-Se­mitic, anti-Muslim, and anti-Sikh epithets, slurs and obscenities, and even physical vi­olence towards students at American school.

 “All students should be protected from discrimination and harassment on the basis of their religion as well as their race, color, and national origin,” said Senator Specter. “We need to close the loop-hole that allows students to be harassed and threatened because of their religion.  The law specifically forbids discrimination on the basis of religion in virtually every other area, including employment and housing, and it’s about time it protects our students as well.  This legislation will give the Department of Education clear jurisdiction over all incidents involving harassment on the basis of religion and will assure all of our students are equally protected.” Read more…