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When Will The Masks Come Off?

Now that Pfizer has applied for emergency use of their COVID vaccine for children between the ages of 5...

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Having a business being synonymous with a city is a rather peculiar concept. We see it most of the time when it comes to sports franchises. For anyone remotely aware of any team sport, you can probably name a city that plays home to one, and someone else will be able to name the team associated with it. But there are other businesses that take on the same role as fixtures of the community. Ford and GM with Detroit, Starbucks with Seattle, Coca-Cola with Atlanta. Big businesses, like sports franchises, are often intrinsically tied to the city in which they are headquartered.

It is not uncommon for a member of a religion to seek the guidance of one particular individual. The concept of a rebbe muvhak, or primary teacher, refers to the person from whom one gains the majority of his knowledge.  We also frown upon so called “posek-hopping,” where one may go from rabbinic authority to rabbinic authority until the preferred answer is found. This concept is not exclusively found in Judaism. Evangelical Christians tend to stick to one church and pastor. Gurus serve the same purpose in many Far East religions. When it comes to dealing with spiritual matters, it is often easier and more intellectually honest to tie oneself to someone or a group of people whom you can revere.

On Monday, Facebook and all of its platforms stopped working. For a period, there was no Facebook, no Instagram, and no WhatsApp. As a matter of fact, at the time of writing this, they are all still down. Facebook and all of their subsidiaries embarrassingly and ironically had to update us through Twitter. During that time, millions of users around the world were without some of the tools upon which they had become so reliant. In fact, some of us had to resort to ancient technologies such as so-called short-message service, electronic mail, and something know as a telephone call.

Last week, the Texas legislature passed a law that would prohibit abortions past six weeks. In a controversial decision, the Supreme Court opted to allow the law to remain in place without judicial review. Without getting too much into the weeds of this law, Texas has basically allowed any citizen to sue anyone involved in an abortion in civil court, instead of abortion being policed by law. Since the law is now active, the only way SCOTUS will hear arguments about it will be if an actual lawsuit is brought up through the lower courts.

Now that Pfizer has applied for emergency use of their COVID vaccine for children between the ages of 5 and 11, you may have a lot of questions about what happens next. So I thought it may be prudent to issue some predictions regarding how the next several months will go in the fight against the pandemic. Please note that this information is not based on any secret information or a behind-the-scenes look at the CDC; it is merely based on observations over the last year-and-a-half and what previous actions can predict about the future.

Each year, around this time, we get the chance to look back at the previous twelve months and see how we fared. Last year at this time, we were reeling from what was an objectively atrocious 5780. 5780 gave us violent antisemitic attacks, the deaths of George Floyd and Kobe Bryant, Australian wildfires, BLM riots, and oh yeah, a global pandemic. But now it’s the end of 5781, and although with January 6, the Israel-Hamas war, and the disaster in Afghanistan, we have certainly had our fair share of issues over the past 12 months, there is more optimism to be found going into Rosh HaShanah this year. So why don’t we go through all we have going for us now?