One year ago, I decided to
live a healthier life. Though I think that it is essential to state that living
a healthier lifestyle is not necessarily synonymous with weight loss, for me it
was. I was significantly overweight. I felt that God had a different plan for
the life that I was living and that my weight was becoming an every day
obstacle for me to overcome. I needed to make a change. -> Read more
The first time I ever ran was in June. This October, I completed the Chicago Marathon in 4 hours and 48 minutes. I started running as part of my journey to live a healthier life. For me, that largely meant losing significant weight. As I have shared my journey with others, I worry that I haven’t adequately expressed how difficult the journey truly is. Every day, every meal, is about choice. Do I choose to be the healthiest version of myself today, or do I choose otherwise? Sometimes I accept the struggle; sometimes I am angered by it. Always, I’m forced to engage with it. -> Read more
"Other Peoples Bodies"
A new book has been published by an MRJ affiliate leader which touches on issues of genetic
disease. “OTHER PEOPLES BODIES” by Arthur Gershman cites Albert Einstein:
“It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.”
When the movie “Frankenstein’s
Monster” first appeared in 1931, few took Dr. Frankenstein’s efforts to create
life using human material as anything more than an entertaining science-fiction
“horror” film. Then came World War II and the Nazi massacre of six million Jews and others
they termed genetically “undesirable.” Particularly gruesome were the medical
experiments carried out on slave camp inmates by Dr. Joseph Mengele and his
colleagues, ostensibly in an effort to perfect the human body.
An outraged world cried, “Never Again!”
But, as this ground-breaking analysis makes disturbingly clear, the science of
experiments using human material, or DNA is no longer “fiction.” In fact,
thanks to the decoding of the human genome, it is rapidly becoming big
business. Many discoveries in this area, especially those that have become commercial
successes, have been patented, and patents to protect new medications and
variations of old ones are now are now regularly awarded by the U.S. Patent
But, as Arthur Gershman points out, the more recent developments of patents
involving material from animals, and even human genes (DNA), are leading to
what he describes as the edge of a slippery slope of ethics that society needs
to confront. Gershman notes that DNA research has been aggressive in efforts to combat
cancer, where researchers have isolated and patented a mutated gene that is
used in the detection of the disease.
So, where do we go from here? The question of patents and property rights on
processes involving the basic building blocks of human beings is not just
theoretical. Billions of dollars rides on the answers. This has led to another key question: If the process whereby a human cell is
created can be patented, what else that is created of humans in the laboratory
can also be patented?
A corollary question regarding the genetic engineering of a mouse that would be
used in laboratory experiments was put to a panel of rabbis, the Central
Conference of American Rabbis' Responsa Committee. Their response: The process
whereby the “new” animal was created could be patented, but not the animal
Gershman reveals the existence of what he calls an “Iron Triangle” involving
the Biotech industry, patent lawyers and the National Institutes of Health and
the U.S. Patent Office that has largely escaped public scrutiny. These are the
heavyweight players when it comes to setting policy on the patenting of
research involving the genes of animals and humans, often with little or no
input from the general public.
Gershman argues that Congress needs to legislate a framework for the ethically
balanced commercial utilization of the results of newly patented processes
involving cells of animate creatures, both animal and human. If the public
remains ignorant of, or indifferent to, the potential misuse of research
discoveries, and the ownership of those discoveries, the result could be an
outcome that most Americans would find appalling.
About the Author
Gershman has 26 years of practice as a registered patent attorney. He is currently registered to practice before
the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
He is a congregant at Beth El Hebrew Congregation of Alexandria
Virginia, a Reform Jewish synagogue affiliated with the Union of Reform
Judaism. He holds a Bachelor of Science
degree from Drexel University and a Juris Doctor degree from George Washington
University Law School. His first brush
with the biotechnology field occurred in 1980 with the publication of his paper
“Patents on Microorganisms” in Idea, the law review journal of the
Franklin Pierce Law Center. He has
continued to write in the field and has published about a dozen articles on the
ethics of patents on biotechnology. He
is the owner of the website koshergoldfish.com,
dedicated to the topic. All of the
opinions expressed in this book are his own and not necessarily those of any
group with which he is affiliated. He
resides in Alexandria Virginia with his wife and son.
book is available on Amazon.comand discounted on LuLu.com.
The American Society of Addiction Medicine new definition of addiction
Last month The American Society of Addiction Medicine released their new definition of addiction. This new definition is radical departure from how the medical community has viewed addiction up to this point. This new definition will change the way we view addiction and the way addiction is treated. > Full Article
MEN'S HEALTH MODULES
To request a Health Module or more information -> Click Here
MODULES FOR LOCAL AFFILIATE USE:
MRJ has initiated the highly successful Men's Health Initiative modules. "Men's Health Initiative" is an on-going program of MRJ, designed to help our Brotherhoods provide an important service to our members, one that speaks specifically to men. This program provides vital information on men's health issues. Information, preventative care, and early detection can make a tremendous difference. The Talmud instructs us that when a man is in pain, he should visit a physician (B.BK 46b). Through "Men's Health Initiatives" we can fulfill the important mitzvah of saving lives. ->top
The following programs or activities are currently
downloadable by MRJ Affiliates: To enroll in the MRJ Affiliates group
and have access to this page, register
as normal, then send an email with your name and club affiliation to
email@example.com. Within 48 hours you will be added to the Affiliate Member
group and have access to this page
NOTE: You MUST be logged in to access the download page.
Click here to be directed to the download page.
The first module in the series deals with Prostate cancer, one of the deadliest diseases among men in America. This module includes informative brochures on the nature and detection of prostate cancer, a PSA/DRE Diary, a Prostate Cancer fact sheet, a list of Prostate Cancer Websites, and a reprint of the article "This Can't Happen To Me," from ACHIM Magazine. Also included are ideas for publicity, programming, and sample letters to the congregation and members of the local brotherhood. ->top
This second health module deals with stress and stress management. Often referred to as the 'silent killer,' stress affects all of us. Too often the symptoms of stress are ignored, until they result in high blood pressure, heart disease, ulcers, or depression. Learning to manage stress can minimize and perhaps even eliminate its impact. This program offers a variety of techniques and suggestions for controlling stress. This module contains several helpful and informative pamphlets on heart disease, Jewish ways of handling stress, a reprint of the article, "Plain Talk About ..... Handling Stress," reprinted from ACHIM Magazine, and other useful programmatic and public relations material. ->top
Our third health module deals with Heart Disease. By far one the leading killers in the United States, heart disease affects millions of people. Easily accessible and user friendly, this module is ideal for programming within the brotherhood or congregation. The module contains a Heart Disease Fact Sheet, Recommended Websites on Heart Disease, a reprint of the article, "Vulnerable Hearts Face Advice Crisis," reprinted from ACHIM magazine. This kit also contains various slicks and sample letters for publicity and promotion.
Men and Aging
Keys to Staying Healthy As You AgeBy Hu Caplan, MDHaving had the privilege to
treat thousands of men over the past 50 years, I would like to share a few
thoughts on men’s health. First and foremost, men must accept that as they
get older they have risk factors and habits not usually shared to the same
extent by women. -> Read More
Whadya mean I need a Whooping cough shot; I'm an Old Guy.
During the past year Northern California has experienced its worst outbreak of pertussis(whooping cough) in 65 years. From January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2010 there were 9,477 confirmed, probable and suspected cases. Of these 663 cases were hospitalized. 415 of the hospitalized cases were infants under 3 months of age. 10 patients died, 9 of whom were under 2 months of age, too young to be immunized. This disease is one that is worse for the youngest amongst us. The problem is that none of our immunizations are 100% effective. If a child has a significant exposure to somebody with whooping cough, even if immunized, there is a risk of coming down with the disease. In adolescence and adults whooping cough is more of an annoyance than anything else. You wind up with a nasty cough that may last for 3-4 months, but eventually goes away. As you may gather from the statistics, young infants aren't so lucky. They become quite ill. The problem in our country is that for many years we saw whooping cough as a disease of infants, protect them with our immunizations and they should be fine. Our policy for decades has been to stop immunizing against whooping cough after age 5. What we are learning is that since the immunizations do not confer life long immunity this immunity wanes and adults become the source for whooping cough. They come in contact with infants, their own, their grandchildren, friends' children and pass the bacteria on to the infant.
In Northern California there is a big effort to be sure that any adult who lives with an infant or will be sure to come in contact with an infant is properly immunized against whooping cough. California is often the "leader" in disease outbreak. There is no reason to expect this to remain confined to this area. If you are a parent or a grandparent of an infant under 6 months of age, if you live in a household where there is an infant under 6 months or you have a reasonable expectation of coming in close contact with an infant under 6 months of age any time in the near future I urge you to contact your physician and ask that they give you the whooping cough vaccine. It generally comes in a multivaccination with diphtheria and tetanus. It certainly never hurts to be sure your tetanus is up to date either.
So, yeah, you are an "Old Guy", but you need to protect yourself and others against whooping cough. ->top
Jeffery J Rabinovitz
Brotherhood Congregation B'nai Israel
Three Basic Dishes We Should All Know How to Cook
A generation or so ago, Dads were expected to know how to cook hot dogs and burgers on the backyard grill, as well as the occasional steak. For many men, that was about it. Perhaps they could open a can of soup or boil an egg in an emergency, but whipping up dinner in the kitchen was generally Mom’s domain.
These days, more men are skilled cooks. But there are still plenty of us who find the idea of cooking dinner intimidating. Either we don’t know how, or we consider it too time-consuming.
As a recent article in the New York Times by Mark Bittman points out, a reluctance to cook carries serious consequences. When we lack the skills or time to prepare a meal, we often rely on takeout food and processed meals that are high in fat and salt and low in nutrients. As we all know, a steady diet of hamburgers, fried chicken, frozen pizza, etc., can lead to obesity, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and many other health problems.
However, the point of the article, titled “Chop, Fry, Boil:Eating for One, or 6 Billion,” isn’t just to highlight the dangers of fast food. Instead, Bittman aims to get more people making home-cooked meals by providing directions for three basic dishes: a stir-fry, a chopped salad, and the basic combo rice and lentils.
The article provides links to sample recipes for each dish, but it’s up to you whether you want to follow these specific recipes or just use them as general frameworks for your own inventions. For example, you can make the stir-fry with or without chicken and you can toss in a range of vegetables in the salad. But the bottom line is that all of us should know how to make these basic dishes, none of which take much more than half an hour to prepare.
Writes Bittman: “These recipes have sustained scores of generations of societies worldwide, using traditional farming methods and producing little negative impact on the earth. (Almost without exception, your ancestors relied on something like one or more of these dishes.) All of them can be made with meat, poultry or fish, but they can be satisfying and delicious when made vegetarian or even vegan. In fact, if you cooked only variations on these three dishes you’d be well on your way to becoming an intuitive, fluid cook, eating more healthfully and with a lighter carbon footprint.”
Bittman also points out that these home-cooked meals are generally the same price or cheaper than takeout, and if you factor in the time of driving to a fast-food restaurant, they don’t take much more time. You just have to have a standard working kitchen and remember to pick up basic ingredients at the supermarket or farmer’s market.
Can you make all three meals? If not, here’s hoping the article inspires you to add something new to your culinary repertoire. ->top