Time for Change

Part of the preparations for the Jewish New Year involves an individual’s commitment to changing bad characteristics into good ones.  As I reflect on my personal improvement plan, I am pleased to report that on a national and global level, Israelis are definitely changing the world to the good with their innovations.
In the medical arena, many people find it impossible to change their diet to resolve physical obesity. So students from the Bio-design program of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have enforced a change to the metabolism with a gastric sleeve that blocks food absorption.  Doctors insert the sleeve down the throat and via the stomach to the duodenum, without surgery or anesthetic.  Israel’s NI Medical will certainly change the lives of cardiac patients. Following an agreement with Mobile Medical Services, NI Medical’s Non-invasive Cardiac System (NICas) monitors will be installed in nursing homes across the United States.  The monitors will dramatically reduce the number of unnecessary transfers to hospital.


Israeli biotech D-Pharm discovered that the parasite transmitted diseases malaria and sleeping sickness cause changes in the metal ions within brain cells.  D-Pharm has just announced that its revolutionary treatments are able to regulate the disrupted ions and provide a totally new therapeutic solution to these devastating diseases.  But the world will probably be more interested in the cosmetic changes that Israel’s EndyMed can make to the faces of aging women.  The US Food and Drug Administration has given its approval to EndyMed’s 3Deep treatment that applies radio frequency energy to the skin in order to remove wrinkles.
Change the radio frequency to the visible spectrum and you will find Israeli startup Gauzy, whose liquid crystal technology allows “smart” glass to change from transparent to opaque with just a touch. Too hot?  Then touch the glass to block out the sunlight.  It will change the construction market out of all recognition.

The recent launch of Israeli start-up Lingua.ly will change how we learn languagesLingua.ly’s personal educational service starts with a quiz and then it indexes the Internet, feeding you with appropriately selected texts based on your vocabulary.  But this is nothing compared to the changes we will see arising from the Brain Computer Interface developments that Israel is at the forefront of.  Tel Aviv’s Brainihack competition brings together neuroscientists, artists, designers, robotics experts etc. to see who can build the best viable product in one weekend.
As the Jewish Year 5773 comes to an end and the rest of the Middle East implodes, there has been a marked change in how Israel is viewed amongst the nations.  Not surprising, given Israel’s:
-         Regular discoveries of natural gas off its coast. (Even Egypt wants to buy some)
-         Advanced telecommunications. (Enhanced by its launch of the Amos 4 satellite).
-         Expertise in water technology. (IDE just sold another desalination system to Asia)
-         Agro technology (Kinneret College has developed a plant that survives extended droughts)
Even Israel’s wine industry has become one of the most respected of the New World.  Israel’s Golan Heights Winery picked up another award, on the eve of its 30th anniversary.  And you need to see the changes Israel is making to the Negev desert when planted with vineyards.  What better location to get a really dry wine.  Or possibly even a “dessert” wine?


Israel is certainly changing perceptions amongst ordinary Arabs.  The families of Syrian patients brought to Israeli hospitals for treatment suddenly realize that everything they have been told by their leaders and media about the Jewish State has been a lie.  Meanwhile, five Arab schools in East Jerusalem have decided to change from the PA curriculum to the Israeli curriculum.
For a change, an Israeli won a gold medal at the Judo World Championships when Yarden Gerbi, from Netanya, won the women’s under-63 kg class. But Israel’s soccer team did more in defeat to change sporting attitudes towards Israel.  In the blistering cold and rain of the Ukraine, as the national anthems were played, the Israelis removed their training jackets and shielded a group of children lined up in front of them on the field.
To conclude, here are some thoughts for those not already living in the Jewish State.  How about making plans to change your place of residence in 5774?  For those not already married, there is even a new Nefesh b’Nefesh on-line dating site for Aliya-minded individuals to “share their love of Israel”.  For the health conscious, Bloomberg has just confirmed that Israel has the fourth best healthcare system in the world, only surpassed by Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan. The UK came 14th and the USA 46th.
Finally, for those who cannot make the move, please continue to support the Jewish State whenever you can.  If you wish to make a change in 5774, then this article by P. David Hornick may initiate it. He asks “Why is Israel so bad at public relations?” His conclusion is, that no matter how much effort and money Israel spends on defending itself, those that hate us will always hate us.  Far better then to publicize all the good things that Israel does, to those willing to listen. 
Or, as I would put it ….
“Change the conversation.”
Michael Ordman writes a free weekly newsletter containing Good News stories about Israel.
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