US President Biden Urges Self-reflection Ahead of Jewish New Year; Israeli Conjoined Twin Girls Separated in Complicated 12-Hour Operation

Reprinted from Honest Reporting.




US President Joe Biden released a statement in honor of the upcoming Rosh Hashanah holiday that marks the Jewish New Year. In the statement, Biden reflected on how the High Holy Days urge people to reflect on the previous 12 months: “It is a time to undertake an inventory of the soul, a cheshbon hanefesh, and to ask of ourselves and of each other questions that go beyond our own individual faiths: Who do I want to be? What type of nation do we want to forge? What type of world do we want to create?”

Biden wrote that this new year is “a reminder of our infinite capacity to transform our lives and begin anew. To partner with the Divine and our fellow human beings in the ongoing work of creation. To rebuild our communities through empathy, acts of kindness, and compassion. To seek repentance, or teshuva, when we have fallen short of our values…. May the year 5782 be a year of health, healing, and progress. And may we all be inscribed in the Book of Life.”

Closer to home, Egyptian President Fattah el-Sisi on Sunday called Israeli President Isaac Herzog to congratulate him on taking office and send greetings for Rosh Hashanah.

Earlier it was reported that Sisi will be leading an effort to revive peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.



Health Ministry officials believe Israel could be heading towards herd immunity against COVID-19, arguing that if the high rate of vaccinations continues alongside likely high levels of new cases as many Israelis mark a series of Jewish holidays, “there is a good chance that in the next month or two, we’ll reach a situation that is very similar to herd immunity.”

Health officials believe that tens of thousands of Israelis will test positive for the contagion in the coming weeks and that many more will receive a third booster dose of the vaccine. Combined, over 80 percent of the population will be relatively protected from the disease, a situation similar to that seen in early June, when the number of new cases plummeted.

Last year, Israelis celebrated Rosh Hashanah under lockdown, but the current government has resisted reimposing sweeping restrictions to contain a recent surge in morbidity, instead relying on vaccinations and more limited curbs on gatherings.



A set of Israeli twins who were born conjoined at the back of their heads can finally see each other after surgery was performed to separate them.

The one-year-old girls underwent a 12-hour operation at the Soroka Medical Center in Beersheva, which was the culmination of months of planning and consultations with medical experts from Israel and abroad.

“This was a rare and complex surgery that has been conducted only 20 times worldwide and now, for the first time, in Israel,” said Mickey Gideon, Soroka’s chief pediatric neurosurgeon.

The babies, whose names have not been released, both received cranial reconstruction and scalp grafts during the procedure.

Eldad Silberstein, the head of Soroka’s plastic surgery department, said: “They are recovering nicely. They are breathing and eating on their own.”

Conjoined Israeli twins
The conjoined Israeli twin girls underwent a 12-hour separation procedure (photo: Reuters/handout)



The number of Jews worldwide has risen by 100,000 to reach 15.2 million, according to the Jewish Agency.

Figures released this week show there are 8.2 million Jews living outside Israel, with the largest population of approximately 6 million residing in the United States.

The research, which was compiled by Professor Sergio Della Pergola of Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, shows 45.3 percent of world Jewry lives in Israel.

After Israel and US, the largest Jewish populations are in France (446,000), Canada (393,500), Britain (292,000), Argentina (175,000), Russia (150,000), Germany (118,000) and Australia (118,000).

The statistics are based on those who self-identify as Jewish and not any other religion.

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