Good News Friday

Shabbat is approaching and with it, some relief from the annoyances of the usual everyday news. Talking of which, I will not be writing about the cabinet reshuffle, with all its associated politicking and analyses, until after Shabbat (bli neder).

So to give us a break from all the aggravation and tension, here is this week’s Good News Friday post.

My first item is a wonderful, heart-warming story of two American boys who came to celebrate their older brother’s barmitzvah in Israel, and, well, just watch the video – see how they turned what could have been a regular family celebration into an act of Hessed, lovingkindess, to show gratitude to our soldiers:


Kol hakavod to the Waks boys and a huge Yasher Koach to their parents who have done a brilliant job in giving them a true Jewish education. May we all see such nachat from our own children!

Speaking of education, a hearty mazal tov to the first graduating class of the joint Technion-Cornell University program:

Graduates with Professor Adam Shwartz, director of the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute (right) and Professor Mor Naaman, founder of the Connective Media program(left)

Talk about #BDSFail! How about that for a kick in the teeth to BDS? Kol hakavod to the two universities and to the entire graduating class. Long may such cooperation continue!

Say goodbye (maybe) to insulin injections

Since we’re on the subject of education, Israel is at the forefront of the biomedical field. About 6 months ago I wrote about an insulin pill that was undergoing clinical trials. It is not clear if the following story is about the same pill or another one. Either way, the news that a successful clinical trial has been carried out on an insulin pill to replace insulin injections is excellent news for diabetics (and for the Oramed company that developed it):

Israeli drug development company Oramed (Nasdaq: ORMP) announced Wednesday the success of its Phase IIb study for its insulin capsule. The primary goal of the trial to reduce blood insulin levels at nighttime was achieved, without a significant increase in hypoglycemic events (a drop in blood sugar below the healthy amount).

Oral insulin is not a replacement for injections but is meant to treat Type 2 diabetics before they become “insultin-dependent”. Currently some of those patients receive no treatment, some are treated with new medications like GLP1; at later stages, they receive delayed-release insulin (like Lantus) in the nighttime, to prevent any spikes. The oral insulin will replace the delayed-release insulin which is currently injected and works using a different mechanism.

“The current trial compared the product to a placebo, and it showed a significant reduction in sugar levels in the blood at night, without side effects or hypoglycemia.”

The study was conducted at 33 medical centers with 180 patients under protocols concocted by the US Food and Drug Administration.

Oramed CEO Nadav Kidron said, “These results are very exciting; this is the first time an oral insulin solution managed to achieve a significant drop in sugar levels in the blood during the nighttime. It is also proof of the feasibility of the technological platform developed by Prof. Miriam Kidron which also serves as the basis for the development of another of our products an oral GLP1 treatment which will soon start a large efficacy trial.”

Kol hakavod to Oramed and their team and to Prof. Miriam Kidron for the development of this wonderful new product. I wish them great success for the sake of all diabetics the world over.

And now, we take a journey to the bottom of the sea! An incredible treasure trove was found on Israel’s seabed off Caesarea (via Haya E):

The find, which is the largest assemblage of marine artifacts to be recovered in the last thirty years, was made by divers Ran Feinstein and Ofer Ra’anan of Ra’anana. They will be awarded a certificate of appreciation and a tour of the storerooms of the national treasures for reporting the discovery.

Divers Ran Feinstein (right) and Ofer Ra‘anan who discovered the sunken treasure

Feinstein and Ra’anan went diving in the ancient port of Caesarea before Passover, where they found the ancient marine cargo of a merchant ship that sank during the Late Roman period 1,600 years ago.

The artifacts, which were in an extraordinary state of preservation, included a bronze lamp depicting the image of the Roman sun god Sol, a figurine of the moon goddess Luna, a lamp in the image of the head of an African slave, fragments of three life-size bronze cast statues, objects fashioned in the shape of animals such as a whale, a bronze faucet in the form of a wild boar with a swan on its head, and more.

The archaeologists also found fragments of large jars that were used for carrying drinking water for the crew in the ship and for transportation at sea.

A highly unique find was also discovered among the items – two metallic lumps composed of thousands of coins weighing around 20 kilograms (over 44 pounds). The lumps of coins were in the shape of the pottery vessels they were transported in.

The coins bear the image of emperor Constantine who ruled the Western Roman Empire (312-324 CE), and was later termed Constantine the Great, ruler of the Roman Empire (324-337 CE). Other coins feature the likeness of Licinius, an emperor who ruled the eastern part of the Roman Empire and was Constantine’s rival until he fell in a battle between the two Roman rulers.

Watch this amazing video:

Kol hakavod to the divers on their integrity in reporting the find to the IAA. Isn’t Israel an amazing country! No matter where you go you find treasures and artefacts, if not on the ground or below the ground, then they are under the sea!

Moving back to terra firma, I will conclude this post with a gorgeous video which was part of the Independence Day show (at which my own grandchildren performed). The video simply shows the wonderful community of Karnei Shomron, with a particular focus on the children.  Enjoy!

I wish you all Shabbat Shalom everyone!

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1 Response to Good News Friday

  1. Reality says:

    This blog returned the smile to my face!especially that last clip!!
    I wish our newspapers would be fulled with news like this all the time!!!
    Thank you
    Shabbat Shalom

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