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Daily Briefing Feb. 17: Yiddish New Testament; virtual Chabad house; good COVID news

Health reporter Nathan Jeffay offers some rays of light from a waning Omicron wave; news editor Luke Tress dives into messianic Jewish missionaries and a virtual Chabad house

Welcome to The Times of Israel’s Daily Briefing, your 15-minute audio update on what’s happening in Israel, the Middle East, and the Jewish world, from Sunday through Thursday.

Health reporter Nathan Jeffay and New York-based news editor Luke Tress join Amanda Borschel-Dan for a packed, diverse program.

Jeffay starts us off right with some optimistic news about the waning Omicron coronavirus wave. We hear about the efficacy of vaccines on pregnant women and their babies after birth. We also learn about a new Omicron-targeted vaccine that is getting an Israeli trial.

Think you may have had COVID but aren’t really sure? A new study out of Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital indicates you probably weren’t infected.

We then turn to Tress and hear about the fascinating case of a proliferation of Yiddish-language New Testaments being delivered in ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities in New York. Who is behind this and why is it upsetting to some?

Tress then sheds light on an unusual location for a new Chabad house — the metaverse. What exactly is going on here?

And finally, we end the program with more medical good news. Jeffay spotlights a new spinal cord implant that has successfully been trialed at Tel Aviv University in 15 paralyzed mice, 12 of which regained mobility.

Discussed articles include:

CDC says COVID-19 vaccine in pregnancy may protect babies after birth

In first test outside US, Israeli hospital to trial Omicron-specific Pfizer vaccine

Undetected COVID infections are rare, Tel Aviv hospital finds in staff survey

Seeking converts, Christian missionaries pitch Yiddish Bibles to NY ultra-Orthodox

Enter the metaverse: Chabad pioneers the first Jewish outpost in a virtual world

World 1st: Hope for paralyzed as Israeli lab spinal cords restore mice mobility

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