Colors: Blue Color

The blood plasma of a recovered coronavirus patient has made significant strides in acting as a temporary Band-Aid to quell the virus in newly infected patients. On July 30, President Donald Trump held a roundtable discussion urging Americans with high levels of coronavirus antibodies to volunteer as soon as they can and seek local plasma donation centers to help others inflicted heal and vastly reduce mortality. Over 50,000 plasma transfusions have been given in the US to date. “Together we will defeat the virus; we will defeat the invisible enemy,” declared the president. The surgeon general also called upon young people to donate. “The seniors are showing us up,” Jerome Adams noted. “We need everyone to do their part, because we are in this together.” To combat the virus, Dr. Anthony Fauci called on large-scale donations of plasma. “In the hundreds of thousands,” would be necessary, he stated.

Back in March, as the reality of the lockdown set in, a caller to the Shalom Task Force (STF) hotline shared her fears about being trapped with her husband. After safety planning with her, we encouraged her to call back. She explained that she didn’t know if she could, in the presence of her abusive partner. Throughout the past several months, the increase of family abuse has surfaced as the pandemic within the pandemic. Leaving some more vulnerable than ever, and those who were unsafe calling a hotline were finding alternate ways to reach out for help. “I was presenting on a webinar with a panel of other professionals, when one participant used the private chat feature to reach out to me for help,” recounts Dr. Shoshannah Frydman, Executive Director of Shalom Task Force. “This highlighted the need to offer expanded means to reach out.”

Barukh Dayan HaEmeth, what a loss for Kelal Yisrael! The Hakham, Rabbi Ya’aqob Menashe (Ya’aqob Eliyahu ‘Abdallah Faraj Hayyim ben Rahel) a”h, founder and spiritual leader of Midrash Ben Ish Hai (named for Hakham Yosef Hayyim a”h of Baghdad), was laid to rest in Eretz Yisrael on Har Hazetim on the morning of the seventh of Ab (Tuesday, July 28, 2020). Rabbi Menashe’s passing is a tragic loss not only for the Great Neck community, but for Jewish communities as far as India where the Hakham kept the Jewish community functioning, as well as Australia, England, and across the globe, where his teachings are shared with adults and a new generation of children alike. On Monday afternoon, people from all walks of life joined in cars and in person, with social distancing, in the oversized parking lot at the Great Neck Synagogue, to remember the life and legacy of Rabbi Menashe a”h with hespedim.