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Verizon LTE Smartwatch - $50 Verizon is selling their LTE-enabled Android-Wear smartwatch for $50. While the LTE on it is locked to Verizon, you can use it with whatever android phone you'd like, but without the LTE Coverage.

While this is not a great-reviewed smartwatch, IMHO it's not a bad pickup for $50 - details below:

January 30, 2018, 09:28:55 AM
Re: Smart homes
Read your review, and thank you. I have several of the schlage  FE595 locks, and my understanding from the engineering department over there is that when set to mechanical mode it is fully mechanical, and there is no logging of any sort. In your research does that make sense?

The logging issue, AFAIK, is primarily for locks that are internet connected - i.e. those that you can open with your phone.

May 16, 2018, 09:57:31 AM
Re: Nespresso - Master Thread Don't know if anyone is still reading this thread, but recently Trader Joe's released their own nespresso capsules. They're the original syle capsules, and they're 10 capsules for $4. They have two varieties - ristretto and luongo, and both are O-u certified.
July 20, 2018, 09:12:47 AM
Re: Which hotels do Pro sports teams stay at on the road? I don't know if it's still the case, but I once happened to be staying at the Fairmont in San Jose and discovered that the NY Rangers were staying there to play the sharks.  Unfortunately, I didn't get to meet any members of the team (only one of the athletic trainers), but the clerk at the front desk confirmed that many other teams do stay there when playing the sharks, including the Red Wings who had been there the week before.

Teams visiting the Isles at the coliseum would stay at the LI Marriott - right across the street. However, I suspect that teams from the west coast that visit for the week (i.e. the LA Kings come in to play the Devils, Rangers and Isles in the same week) are more likely to stay at the same hotel in NYC for the week and not move.

August 14, 2018, 10:58:53 AM
Niagara + Toronto With Teens I've been a lurker here for quite a while, and thought I'd drop a TR for my recent trip to Niagara and Toronto.

Travelers - me and the wife plus three boys - two in HS, one in grade school.

Sunday, 8/19: After a 6+ hour drive, we arrived at our hotel - the Wyndham Gardens Niagara Fallsview. The best thing about this hotel is it's location - about a 10-minute walk to the falls via Murray Street (it was also close to Chabad ~ 5 min walk). Unfortunately, while the hotel may have had a falls view at some point, it no longer does, courtesy of some of the other hotels that are closer to the falls. Although we didn't initially request it, we received a 'falls facing' room upon check-in. While we couldn't see the falls, we did get good views of the nightly fireworks. We were also able to get a cot and a fridge in our room. The hotel was definitely not the ritz, but was clean, and relatively modern. The only downside to this hotel was that the pool was small and very crowded. The staff were helpful and accomodating, however, while checking out, I did notice an angry guest checkout early after complaining about the maid service timing -however, it was clear that he wasn't a native english speaker, and given I had a positive experience, it's possible his bad experience was due to a communication misunderstanding. All we managed to do Sunday night was to walk to the falls and up the strip of museums and attractions. There were huge crowds everywhere. Rather than try one of the rides or museums, we opted to swim at the hotel.

Monday 8/20: I woke up early before the family to get in a run. The Niagara Vistors Center (where the entrance to Journey behind the falls is) was just under a mile from the hotel, so I ran just past it and back for a nice 2-mile run. It definitely took longer than my usual runs as I stopped to admire the scenery and take some selfies. in sharp contrast to the crowds of the night before, the falls were essentially empty - save for a few more joggers and some early bird tourists. I also got pelted by a small rain shower and a lot of mist. It was awesome. Once everyone was up and ready, we went to the Horatio Hornblower boat tour, thankfully because we went early (around 10am) the crowds weren't big and we were able to go right away. It was an enjoyable little trip, and we all got a little wet.  Afterward our two teens did the Zipline alongside the falls. It was pricey at $59 CAD, but my kids said it was well worth it. The zipline starts directly above the Hornblower docks, at height of about 3 stories above the cliffs. It runs about 1/2 mile down to about a 100 yards from the Journey behind the falls caves. We then went to get tix for the Journey Behind the falls, but the wait was long. Two bits of advice to people considering this - the time they give you is the time you are allowed to start lining up to enter the caves, and you can pick that time in advance. I'd suggest you a) get your tickets early, even if you want an afternoon reservation, and b) pick a reservation time 10-15 minutes before you want to be in the caves, knowing you'll need to wait online. I think all 3 of my kids enjoyed the caves more than the boat ride, especially as the walls of the caves are decorated with facts, tidbits, and stories about the falls. That was our one day doing things 'Niagara' and we all enjoyed it. Next, off to Toronto.

Tuesday 8/21: We left Niagara in the morning and headed to the Outlet collection at Niagara for some school shopping. While we did manage to buy one or two things, and save a few $$, the prices weren't that much better than at American Outlet malls, even considering the exchange rate. My guess is that this mall is more geared towards tourists, and has a smaller selection. After shopping, we got to our Hotel on the far side of Toronto at 4pm or so. I got this hotel as a Priceline Express Deal for $115 (US) and I was quite pleased - the hotel was the Westin Prince. All things aside, I thought the location worked well for us. It was equidistant to downtown Toronto, the Jewish Neighborhoods of Bathhurst/Thornhill, and the Theme Park (Canada's Wonderland) that were on our itinerary.  After checking in, we headed down to the Toronto Blue Jays game at the Rogers Centre. Unfortunately, while there are a fair amount of restaurants in the Toronto Area, there aren't many downtown. We found that there is a branch of the King David Kosher Pizza chain in the food court of Mount Sinai Hospital. The Pizza was okay, not great. I also ordered the Poutine - which was also okay, but my kids didn't like (they had plain fries instead). While waiting online, a woman with a Quebecois accent told me that they only place to eat poutine is in Quebec itself. All told, I spent about $45 CAD for my family of 5- warning for the Kosher consumer, this is the only kosher restaurant in that food court. I thought that the Aroma Cafe was kosher, until I saw that they served bacon. From there we went to the Rogers Centre. Parking in Toronto (like any other major city) can be a royal pain. For the Hospital, I found street parking at $4/hr. For the baseball game, I paid $22 USD in cash to park across the street from the stadium. We managed to get $20 seats via - and we were located in section 140, directly over the Left-Field bullpen, with the hopes that we could catch a HR ball - while 5 of the 6 HR hit in the game came close, we weren't so lucky. The stadium itself is pretty nice, but I was told by regulars that it's nicer when they open the roof. They also have a set where they broadcast in-game and around the mlb updates for SportsNet (Canada's Answer to ESPN). Bonus - Former met Cliff Floyd is an analyst from them, and two of my kids got to meet him and take selfies. There is a kosher stand at the stadium, and prices (In CAD) are in-line with what you'd pay at other ballparks - i.e. $6 hot dogs. When the game was over and we walked out, the CN Tower (which is next door) was all lit up and beautiful. While I was upset about the amount of $$ I payed to park, I was very glad to be across the street when the game was over.

Wednesday 8/22: Our plan was to hit the Hockey hall of fame and the CN Tower, but because it was rainy and cloudy, and because we really loved the Hockey Hall of fame, we stayed there the whole day. Full disclosure - our family are huge hockey fans, and this is something we've wanted to do for a while. Not wanting to pay another $22 to park, I discovered a Municipal parking lot (Green P - apparently a very humorous name for teenage boys) on Church Street and the Esplanade, about a 5-10 walk from the HHOF. From the outside the HHOF is deceptively small. There is the small original hall of fame on the corner of Yonge and Front streets, but the building is attached to Brookfield place, a very large office complex with shops and restaurants on the ground and lower levels. This is where the HHOF entrance is, and in addition to that building, they have another 60,000 square feet of exhibit space. Beyond the traditional Hall of Fame stuff - memorabilia, jerseys, etc. They also have a lot of interactive games such as a Goalie challenge and a Shootout challenge. they also have a section devoted to the history of broadcasting hockey that allows you to call a play-by-play of famous moments in hockey history. All of the shootout/broadcasting challenges are also recorded and you can share them on social media or download them to your computer - free of charge. We also watched a 3D short movie where ice chips, body checks and the puck flew out at you from the screen. Finally we were able to get our picture taken with the Stanley cup (it's finished it's tour of Europe with Alex Ovechkin). After a long day at the HHOF, we headed to 'The Village' for a late lunch. We ate at Aish Tanoor - a Middle Eastern place. We all had Laffa sandwiches with different fillings - Shawarma, Koufta Kebab, and Schnitzel. The food and service were very good, all told the meal cost ~ $90 Canadian for the 5 of us.  At this point, one of my kids had a problem with his apple device, so we headed to the apple store to see if they could fix it. We decided to head to the Yorkdale mall. The mall is a very high-end one - this was obvious right away, upon noticing the plethora of high-end watch shops like IWC and Vacheron Constantin. While it was a very nice mall, clearly it was above my pay grade. We did, however help get my son's device fixed, and thankfully, parking was free. While we did eat a late lunch, we still wanted some dinner - unfortunately, it seems that many of the Kosher Restaurants in Toronto close early. We found Howie T's burger bar in Thornhill. This was a self-seat burger joint. Not the greatest, but the portions were generous, and the burgers and onion rings were enjoyed by all. The total was less than $60 canadian for all 5 of us.

Thursday 8/23: We visited Canada's wonderland in Vaughn Ontario. This is a theme park a la six flags - lots of exciting coasters and rides as well as a small water park. We learned that costco had discount tickets, and after several tries of trying to buy tickets on Costco's Canadian website, we decided to try to buy them in-store. Thankfully, there was a Costco about 5 minutes from the theme park itself, and we were able to buy our discounted tickets. We got to the park within the first half hour of opening, and it was already filling up. We decided to take on the water park first, and then the rides after lunch. The waterpark was underwhelming. The slides were pretty tame, and unlike most lazy rivers where you can keep floating in circles, here the Lazy river is discontinuous, and although they allow you to continue, they make you get out of your tube, and get back on again. After the water park disappointment, we ate lunch and went on the coasters. I personally rode three - The Fly, Wild Beast, and thunder run - all of which do not invert, but were enjoyed by me, and my thrill-seeking children. The three of them combined also managed to go on - Backlot Stunt Coaster, Behemoth, Flight Deck, the Mighty Canadian Mine Buster, and Vortex. All told, they would have loved to try other rides, but the lines were ridiculous. We only lucked out on one ride - it had an hour long wait, but it was shut down for about 30 minutes, and we got there just as it opened up. We also didn't really get to go on any non-coaster rides. Needless to say, a good time was had by all. Afterward, we went to Dr. Laffa - the Vaughn Location - it's about 20 minutes from the park. We had an almost identical meal to the one at Aish Tanoor, for almost the identical price. While the food at Dr. Laffa's was good, we all preferred the food at Aish Tanoor better.

Friday 8/24 - we left early to get home in time for shabbos. On the way we stopped at Duty Free, the deals weren't great, but with one caveat - they gave a preferred exchange rate for US cash of 0.70 (that's about 0.08 per USD). As an example, a $100 of liquor would be $79 USD if you charged it, but $70 USD in cash.

That's it for now - here are some links of the places I mentioned, comment if you have questions:


Dr. Laffa:
Aish Tanoor:
Howie T's:
King David Pizza:

Wyndham Gardens Fallsview:
Westin Prince:

Hockey Hall of Fame:
Canada's Wonderland:
Hornblower Boat Tours:
Journey Behind the Falls:
Wildplay MistRider Zipline:

Niagara Outlets:
Yorkdale Mall:

August 27, 2018, 03:28:11 PM
Re: Seasons supermarkets files for bankruptcy

Will believe it when I see it.

September 28, 2018, 09:31:24 AM
Re: Silvercar abruptly discontinues 30% off code VINFINITE
Hey Dan, I also was able to find that code NEXTTIME works for 50% off. One time use per account, though. I used it and my 6 day rental in a Q5 is now billed at around $230. Pretty good deal.

Also, apparently Audi owners get the following: “Enter promo code MYAUDI1 - 1 free day on reservations of 2+ days. Enter promo code MYAUDI2 - 2 free days on reservations of 4+ days”

But supposedly works for all users, but I haven't been able to verify.

Awesome - just booked at 10-day A4 @35 day! thanks!!!

November 21, 2018, 10:09:25 AM
Re: Jobs/careers for non-smartphone users
December 14, 2018, 09:15:37 AM
Re: Share your longest / craziest / most memorable DRIVES here Just found this thread, some crazy memorable drives:

- Most Memorable, driving down the California Coast from SF to LA with my wife when we were first married. We did it over parts of 3 days (yes, you could probably do it in one, but we wanted the scenic route). We started out mid-afternoon from SF, stayed in Carmel on Night 1 - which was beautiful. We then drove to Hearst Castle on Day 2, and spent the night in Santa Barbara. We didn't stay anywhere fancy on either night, and we brought our own food, but it was still fun and memorable nonetheless, and the centerpiece of a 10-day California road trip. Hard to believe it was almost 9 years ago

- Craziest drive #1 - in Israel, in 1993. Over bein hazmanim. I went to work on a farm in Gush Katif in Gaza for a week. I wasn't on one of those pre-arranged programs - but rather, my Uncle found someone who needed extra labor to harvest vegetables from his greenhouses before pesach, and I volunteered. I went down by bus. Of course, being a clueless yeshiva bochur, I didn't even bother to check the bus schedules, all I knew is that I had to take a bus to Ashkelon and switch there. I got to Ashkelon at about 10:15, only to find out that there were 3 buses a day to Gush Katif - 10:00, 14:00, and 17:00 - because I missed the bus by 15 minutes, i had to hang out for 4 hours. Someone mistook me for one of the mista'arvim (i.e. the unit fauda is based on) - despite my lousy hebrew and repeated denials. When I got on the bus, of the 60 people on it with me, no less than 50 were soldiers going to various bases in the Gaza area. For the first few minutes, I felt kind of safe. Then we crossed the border into Gaza, and almost simultaneously, all of the soldiers locked and loaded their various weapons. I totally freaked out and hit the floor, thinking we were under attack. A teenage girl told me it was okay to get off the floor, some of the soldiers laughed at the crazy american. they also explained to me that they are required to lock and load the minute they cross over the green line. B"H, I made it fine to my hosts - albeit 4-5 hours later than I thought. It was a crazy, poignant and memorable week.

- Craziest Drive #2 - last march (2018) in a wild windstorm on Friday. My wife and I work about 5 miles from each other, and about 30-35 minutes from home. There was a crazy rain and windstorm on Friday afternoon, and shabbos was due to start about 5pm. Normally, I'd leave about 2:30, but because of the weather, we both decided to leave earlier - about 1:45. Looking at traffic, and with the highway we normally took being backed up, both of us decided to use a different highway that seemed to be moving faster. Unfortunately while we were on the highway, a tree fell across the entire highway, blocking all lanes (unfortunately killing one person - thankfully no more). We were both stuck between two exits, so we literally sat on the highway for an hour. When I finally got off the highway, I used waze to navigate around the effected parts of that highway. It was terrible - every second turn was blocked by a tree. I kept pushing through, knowing I had to get home, and it was getting perilously close to shabbos. At one-point I made a turn on a street that led to a one-lane bridge that crossed a small lake. I looked up and realized that I was driving under a partially fallen tree that was being held up by power lines. (I called it into the police as I crossed the bridge). B"H - passed that one too, and finally made it back on the highway - which was practically empty because people were avoiding it because of the aforementioned accident. I got off the highway with about 20 minutes to licht bentching (mind you, I had been driving for nearly 2 hours on a trip that normally takes 35 minutes). I was in great shape, because it was only 5 minutes from home - or so I thought - several of the local streets were closed because of fallen trees - it took me nearly the whole 20 minutes to get to my house, but thank g-d I made it, and so did my wife (she was able to get back to the first highway and sat in that traffic - which was quicker than my ordeal).

January 02, 2019, 11:41:01 AM
Re: Mezuzah Fraud
Hashem might not be so proud of them (the Abba and Tatty that is).

Dan L'kav Zchus - Abba is his father and tatty is his step father (or vice versa).

January 07, 2019, 02:20:19 PM
Re: Do you daven out loud?

On the one hand the young Israel crowd always stand up for yehei shmay rabba but they are so timid.

As a member of the 'young israel crowd', when I daven Shabbos morning at a more yeshivish minyan and/or some chasidish minyanim, I miss the taam tefila - it's just moaning and 'krechtzing' - what happened to Ivdo es hashem b'simcha?

If you think davening is timid, I would suggest you've been to the wrong Young Israels :)

On the subject of kol ram -  I am one of those people who has a voice that carries (It's a mixed blessing, believe me). I don't need to put in effort to bring out my kol ram, I just need to talk. When I said kaddish for each of my parents, I hated walking into a shul where everyone was out of sync when it came to kaddish. You have one person flying through kaddish who is two 'amens' ahead of everyone else, and another (maybe a BT, or someone early in their aveilus where the emotions are strongest) who is struggling with it. I couldn't take it, so I took over. I said kaddish at a loud and deliberate pace (never too slow to cause tircha d'tzibura of course, but I did slow down if I knew that others needed a slower pace).

While I know that can be construed as arrogant and selfish, I try to think of it differently: hashem gave me the opportunity to be the metronome for the other avelim to enable all of us to say kaddish at the same speed so that the kahal can answer amen in unison - so that we merit a z'chus for all of the neshamos that we're saying kaddish for.

February 05, 2019, 08:52:59 AM
Virgin Atlantic to start LHR - TLV flights in Sept. Via Globes -
February 08, 2019, 11:08:11 AM
Re: Largest Dispute & Fraudulent Activity on your card Not a large dispute, but while in my 20's someone charged a meal on one of my cards. I called to dispute it. They asked me if I was sure it wasn't me. I told them I was an Orthodox Jew, and the charge was to a non-kosher restaurant on a Saturday.
February 14, 2019, 12:51:24 PM
Re: Man livestreams himself shooting up a mosque
They don't either understand that not all Jews are George Soros. They don't understand that not all Jews push an intersectional, interracial agenda or force people to accept that males and females are interchangeable. They don't understand that not all Jews are Karl Marx or Leon Trotsky. In fact, those so called "Jews" are not religious at all and don't care about Judaism in the least. Yet the meme propaganda that White Supremacist Nazis post are always of Jews with a beard, yarmulke and payos -- the Jews that are actually Right wing and Conservative.

These people hate Jews far more than they hate Muslims. They are angry and writing how this was all in vain because "he didn't mention the Jew" in his manifesto and that he didn't kill even one Jew.

I think about this a lot, even more now that there seems to be anti-semitic acts cropping up in the news daily. I work in a firm where, quite literally, I am one of two shomer shabbos people in the firm, and the only one to wear a yarmulka. There are many other jews in the firm, but very few of them have any kind of 'shaychus'.

I realized, that for most of these people, I am the ONLY Orthodox person they know, and possibly have ever known. I am the source of all of their questions about Judaism and the mideast.  I get asked questions (thankfully know one at work has asked me the 'sheet' question) ranging from - "Why is Israel killing Palestinian Babies'? to 'My daughter is going to a friend's bat mitzvah next week, how should she dress for synagogue?".

In a sense, I am the ambassador for the jewish people, and I do my best to be a good ambassador.

IMHO, most hatred comes from ignorance. If you do your best to educate the haters, some of them might just become non-haters.

March 15, 2019, 03:38:59 PM
Re: Moving Violation Tickets
I got pulled over in Montvale literally a block away from New York. Didn't think of it at the time but wondering what would have happened if I kept driving. Anyone know?

I am not a lawyer or a cop, but I am under the impression that:
- Out of Jurisdiction only applies if a Police officer from Jurisdiction A observed you committing a crime in Jurisdiction B. i.e. If a cop from Pearl River had driven into Montvale and saw you speeding in Montvale, he couldn't issue you a ticket.

- I believe that there are some elements of hot pursuit that allow cops from Jurisdiction A to pursue someone who committed a crime in their Jurisdiction to another one if they cross the border while being chased. Example - if NYPD is chasing a criminal from Riverdale into Yonkers, they don't stop (they might call Yonkers PD during the pursuit though).

- I would also imagine, if a cop saw you speeding in his jurisdiction and got your plate #, he could issue you a ticket by mail - doesn't really happen, but AFAIK perfectly legal. If you go to fight it, and your grounds for fighting it are that the ticket was written and issued in another jurisdiction, the judge can dismiss without prejudice, and then the cop can re-issue you a ticket right there in court. Since the courthouse is likely in his jurisdiction, your technicality is gone, and the cop will be less inclined to settle.

Along the lines of the last one, about 15 years ago, I got a ticket for speeding in White Plains, NY (officer said I was doing 38 in a 30). I decided to fight it. Never having gotten a ticket before, I misread the back of the ticket and thought that my plea response date was actually a court date. I showed up in the courthouse, only to be told I had to enter a plea. I went to the clerks window to submit my not guilty plea, and as I handed it in, she asked if I wanted the officer's deposition. I said yes and checked the box. Months went by. I was getting worried that I had missed the notice, would miss my court date and have issues with my license. I kept calling the courthouse, and they kept telling me that I would eventually get a date, and to keep trying. 18 months later, I got a court date, 3 months out, but no deposition. I called the courthouse about it, they told me to mention it to the judge.

I go to court on the court date. I wore a suit and tie - after all it is court - I was shocked at how many people were in shorts and t-shirts. I had a pre-trial meeting with the judge's clerk, and the officer. I told him I never received his deposition. They both looked at the ticket, and noticed that the box was checked. That's when he turns to me and says - that's okay, the judge will dismiss it - but without prejudice. Once he does, I will re-issue you the ticket. I assumed that he was using it as a chip to get me to pay a fine in lieu of points. Not knowing if he was correct or not, I very respectfully turned to him and said - 'excuse me officer, can you remind me what the statute of limitations is for a moving violation in NY?' He looked down at the date in my ticket, and then turned back to me and said - 'this is your lucky day'. Of course, he made me wait around another 30-45 minutes until the judge formally dismissed me - I think he was annoyed at having screwed up.

March 28, 2019, 11:10:17 AM
Re: RIP/BDE Master Thread
Didn't see this anywhere on the board but figured it should be posted anyways:

Zachary Baumel Z"L 37 years late.

About 25 years ago, I met his parents at an event to get college students to campaign for his and other Israeli POWs release. Sadly his father was niftar 10 years ago, without having the closure of burying his son. May both of them rest in peace.

April 05, 2019, 02:29:16 PM
Re: Moving Violation Tickets With my limited experience (5 moving violations tix in 20+ years of driving) I can safely say that NYC was the one place where there was no plea deal offered pre-trial - in any form. Thankfully the judge was sympathetic, and dismissed my case - here are the details:

Long story shot, my dad had a heart condition, and was scheduled to have surgery. Two days before the surgery, his heart acted up and he was taken to the ER. I was his health care proxy, and wanted to make sure I was there in person if any decisions needed to be made, as well as to make sure he was transferred to the hospital where the surgery was to take place. I got in my car and started driving. I was clocked at 80+ in a50mph zone in NYC. When I was pulled over, I explained the situation to the police officer in a very calm manner. He went back to his car,  wrote me a ticket with 6 points (2 points for every 10mph over the limit), and told me that he was sorry for the situation, but if I explained it to the judge with documentation, that the judge would take it under consideration.

Fast forward about 1.5 years - when I finally got my court date. I went to the judge with the following documents: An ER Admission letter, a letter from my Dad's doctor listing the surgery date and that he was admitted to the ER on the date of the violation and was transferred for the surgery. I also had a copy of my health care proxy letter, and my dad's Death Certificate as well (although the surgery was successful, he died a month later due to an adverse reaction to his medication). I explained my case to the judge, including my conversation with the officer, and here was my documentation.

The judge then turns to the officer, and asks " - do you recall if he told you that he was on the way to the hospital." To which the officer replied " No". I was livid, I used every ounce of my self-control to not completely go ballistic. The judge asked me what I had to say about this, I calmed down, and responded - " Your honor, with all due respect to Officer ____, he is a traffic officer, and stops dozens of other individuals for speeding on a daily basis, so I can only imagine that he'd forgotten the details of a case with a person he had pulled over 15 months ago. I don't get pulled over, and it was one of the worst days of my life - I know exactly what happened. I remember the conversation vividly, which is exactly why I brought this documentation with me today." He then questioned, why I, as a health care proxy, would need to be there if my dad was already in the ER. As the line of questions continued, I became more emotional, having to re-hash my dad's illness and eventual death. I am not sure what exactly did it, but I think ultimately he realized the sincerity, and dismissed the case.

April 08, 2019, 03:42:01 PM
Re: Selling Chometz This whole idea is interesting. My father z"l didn't have this minhag, but my in-laws do, and my wife insisted that we follow along. I usually give the Rav two checks when I sell chometz one for him, and one for Maos Chitim. I also generally don't share the amount I give with others for a lot of reasons.

I often wondered about how this evolved. In my limited anecdotal evidence, I think it has to do with the financial model of your shul (or of the shul the family member you inherited this minhag from)

Most shuls have one of two models:
- A membership model where you pay one big membership dues per year that covers all costs of the shul
- A pay-for-play model (for lack of a better term) - where you pay a small or no membership fee, but every little thing has a dollar value - i.e. aliyah auctions etc.

in the former, especially in a large shul, I would image tipping the Rav is a lot less prevalent, because the Rav is drawing a decent salary, and it's likely that the shtellar is a his main parnash.

in the latter, especially if it's a shtieble, I think people are more inclined to give, as every little dollar goes to help the Rav and/or Bedek habayis.


April 15, 2019, 12:52:25 PM
Re: Pesach Torah Can't remember where I heard this, whom I heard it from, or if I heard the whole thing, but here goes:

If you look at the words Matzah and Chametz in Hebrew:
מצה and חמץ

The letters are pretty consistent - both have the letters Mem and Tzadi(k) and the only difference is the "Hey" of Matzah vs the "Chet" of Chametz. Looking even further, you'll notice that the Hey and the Chet are very similar in form, with the only difference being that the lower leg of the hay doesn't rise as high as the leg of the chet.

That gap in the Hey represents both our humility and our ego. Should we let our ego rise (like the dough of the bread) we're trying to elevate ourselves above our fellow man. Should we contain it, and not let it rise (like the dough of the matzah) we're exercising our personal humility for the greater good of the community. In other words, Matzah is supposed to remind us to Be humble.

Incidentally - the "Chet" in Chametz - is like the hebrew word "Chet" - which refers to the english word sin, while the Hay in Matzah is for hashem's name - being humble brings us closer to G-d and further from sin.

April 15, 2019, 05:25:03 PM
Re: Re: Lakewood NJ Master Thread
All you guys giving heat, Do you relize the flag was hung in honor of Israeli independents day?

That's basically agreeing with Zionist Ideology (maybe unintentionally) which you may or  may not agree with,
But I'm sure u'll agree that it is not crazy to hold against.

Quote from: yonah
You've got to be flipping kidding me. The next time someone asks me why Moshiach isn't here - I'll print them this article.

Let me quantify two things:
- While I Vehemently disagree with them, I don't think it's unreasonable for some in the frum world to have an issue with the state of Israel (however misguided I think that they are).
- However secular the founders of Medinat Yisroel were, they've allowed for the tremendous growth of torah that now exists, and they built the state with that in mind. For example, we're only arguing about the drafting of yeshiva bochurim because they've been more or less exempt for 70 years

So while I don't agree with those who are anti-Israel, I respect their right to do so, and their right to choose not to shop at a store that supports israel.

Here is what is crazy, and what I feel is true sinas chinam - the KCL's threats to remove the hashgacha because of it.

The kashrus of the food at SSSS didn't change when the flag went up - it's not as if the flag was used as wrapping paper for a crate of bacon that was now being used by sandwiches. It is not as if the flag has special powers that render the mashgiach incapable. It's not as if being a zionist disqualifies the owner from running a kosher establishment - and if it does - the blame should be on the KCL for not having properly vetted the owner before giving him a hashgacha. In fact, if that's the case - i.e. a Tizoni person isn't fit to run a kosher restaurant, and the KCL gave them a hashgacha - then the KCL's vetting process is flawed, and we shouldn't trust ANY establishment that they've given a Hashgacha to, until we verify in beis din that not one of their staff said hallel on Yom Ha'atzmaut! .

I am tired of the political BS that creeps up into kashrus. Kashrus should be about the food, but oftentimes kashrus agencies try to flex their muscles to put pressure on the owners of restaurants. It's not just local vaads, but also large organizations. I'm not sure if any of you remember the Pepsi Scandal in Israel in the early 90's or the 'Pizza Mechitza' in flatbush in the late 80's. Then there was the whole Kinder Egg import thing in Israel a few years ago as well.

and before you go off on me about 'the integrity' of kashrus - think about all of the scandals where people with a so-called good hechsher and reputation were playing games and deceiving their customers?

Sorry for the rant, but I am getting worked up, because this hit a chord.

May 10, 2019, 09:37:38 AM
Re: Re: Lakewood NJ Master Thread
wrong wrong wrong. yes maybe the people who care about the flag, but i would say most wont eat in a store where the owner goes directly against the hashgacho he holds.
I'm sure the owner ignored the fine print in his contract that said '.... and if you hang the Israeli Flag outside your store on yom hatzmaut, your flag is no longer valid'.

then come the questions, if thats what he does, what else??

OMG - you're right - I mean if he hangs an Israeli flag - I'm sure his wife wears an Indian Hair Sheitel

May 10, 2019, 12:44:51 PM
Re: Found A Lost Passport What Do I Do? I'm just curious - while I imagine 99% of the people who use DDF are frum, this is still a public forum on the internet. In that case, wouldn't everyone's advice to not return it here constitute a hillul hashem?

In agreement with this one here.
Hence bringing it to the post office, that in itself is a kiddish hashem, is it not? The postal worker sees that you found a passport and you take your time to make sure the rightful owner gets it back.

This reminded me, on a smaller level of this story -

As far as the people who are talking about monetary value of a passport:
- It obviously has a monetary value to the owner, as several people have pointed out - the $120 or so to replace it
- It probably has some value on the black market
- For the sake of argument, does Machmas Chisaron Kis apply not just to the direct value of the item, but also to the potential greater loss of time and money that may be incurred if the passport is used to steal the holder's identity?

May 17, 2019, 09:29:24 AM
Re: Thoughts on abortion, religion, and morality I am a frum man - blessed with children. I clearly don't have a womb, so whatever I say should be taken with a grain of salt.

I've been thinking a lot about abortion and what's going in the news lately.
Me too
I'm a frum woman, mother of 2, and being pro-life seemed almost instinctual to me. But beyond my personal beliefs, debating the legality or illegality of abortion requires understanding the (euphemistically named) pro-choice position.

So the defense agains the common pro-abortion arguments are as follows:

1. "My body, my choice": This argument (which often gets intertwined with the viability argument) imagines that since the fetus is inside the mother's womb and cannot survive on its own, it's considered part of the mother. This would be the equivalent of assuming that a car parked inside a garage is part of the house. Or that a cake baking in the oven is part of the oven. The viability argument isn't too sure-footed either. A 3-month-old baby would also die if they were left alone. A toddler would also die if no one would feed them. Some adult husbands would die if they weren't fed ;) . The fact that someone requires care doesn't mean that they don't have the right to exist.
You analogy is false. That three month old baby can live if someone else were to feed it. If a 3-month old fetus was pulled out of the uterus - there is literally no way it can survive. (Yes we can fertilize embryos in a lab and implant them, but we can't move an already growing fetus to another womb).

2. "A fetus isn't a baby": Well, that's right, a fetus isn't a baby. Just the same way a baby isn't a child and a child isn't a teenager and a teenager isn't an adult. They're all at different developmental stages. But ultimately, they are all human. It's a human fetus. In fact, if you can handle it- take a look at these first trimester images and tell me that this isn't a human.
What it looks like is irrelevant. The bottom line is that it isn't a viable human being.
3. The rape/incest case: As horrible and as tragic as these cases are, getting an abortion doesn't take away the rape. Furthermore, the unborn child isn't guilty of the crimes of his father. How can we justify taking someone's innocent life for a crime he didn't commit?

What about the victim of the rape? This person was attacked and violated. She will probably have physical and psychological trauma for the rest of her life. As you have b"h been obligated twice in your life so far to say birchas hagomel because you survived childbirth, I imagine you understand that pregnancy brings both financial requirements and medical risks - we're going to victimize the victim of a crime even further?  We're going to make her risk her own life for a fetus that isn't even a 'ben kayama'?

For the offensive play, pro-lifers point out the brutality of abortion.
Many people don't even know that most surgical abortions involve at the very least the dismemberment of the fetus. While rare, late term saline abortions have the baby undergo chemical burns from the inside out. If you have the stomach for it, you can google other late term abortion horrors.
You can learn about the actual details of an abortion procedure here, it's not the same as having a cancerous, clump of tissue removed.

There is evidence that suggest that the fetus can feel pain from 16weeks and on:

On the scientific front things seem clear. A fetus is it's own human being, with it's own distinct set of DNA.
According to the CDC - which is probably the most accurate and unbiased source - 91% of all abortions happen before 13 weeks, and about 65% happen before 8 weeks. Generally speaking, the later term abortions are situations where the mother is at risk.

But things get murkier- what do we say to those babies being born into poverty, into immature and even neglectful families, those born with conditions that will make their life a struggle? What about those babies who are simply unwanted? Are they better off dead?

What if in the future we will have guaranteed pain-free abortions? What if scientists could find incontrovertible truth that babies are not conscious prior to birth? Would that change things?

Pro-life proponents would still argue "no". And that brings us to the heart of the matter: the sanctity of life. And this is the underlying answer to all of the pro-life arguments. This is why it doesn't matter what Life is, or when exactly it starts. Life is precious. Life is the most. precious. thing. Even the life of an unwanted, inconvenient baby. Even the life of a rapist's child. Even the life of a baby with Down Syndrome. Even the life of a baby who will grow up to live a poor, hard, obstacle-ridden, mostly miserable life.

At least that's how I see it.
While I can't be one to argue with your feelings. It's clear you value the life of the unborn more than the life and/or wellbeing of the mother!

 If g-d forbid a woman in pregnancy has a medical issue - and only she or the baby could survive - would you still feel that way? Would you be inclined to tell that woman to keep her pregnancy and die in order to preserve the life of the baby?

Can you imagine for a second, a 20-year-old girl, about to hit the shidduch circuit who gets raped by a non-jew on her way home from seminary? Are you advocating that she keep the baby of the criminal that impregnated her. I'm sure her shidduch prospects would be impressed that she preserved the sanctity of life by keeping this baby with the shaygitz father that impregnated her.  I am sure that will go over great when that baby becomes bar mitzvah and gets called to the torah without his true father's name. I'm sure he'll have no issue fitting in in the jewish world (because let's face it, giving up a frum baby for adoption to a non-jewish or non-frum family is probably just as bad as getting an abortion).

But this is no longer a cold-hard, logical, scientific truth. The sanctity of life is a uniquely religious idea. Because we are made in the image of G-d, that is why human life is precious. If we remove G-d from the picture- is life precious from an evolutionary standpoint? Is the 80-90 year lifespan of one (statistically prone to be) unremarkable human important among the millions of years, millions of species that precede and succeed it? Not much. Should this clump of molecules, this group of atoms matter more than this amoeba, that bacteria, this asteroid shooting, hurtling around in galaxy? And if this particular life will be difficult and often unhappy, then maybe it's even a kindness to kill it.

So for me, ultimately it's an issue of morality. And morality is inherently a religious constructs. Again, if nature is king and evolution dictates the progression of the world- why does social justice matter? In fact, in today's parlance, evolution is 'racist'! According to natural selection, it's only inevitable that 'the fittest' end up on top. That the smartest and strongest dominate and exploit the weaker isn't evil or unjust- it's only the way nature is designed!

and yet in the torah/mishna/gemara we see that:
- the punishment for damages that end a pregnancy isn't equivalent to murder.
- A child isn't considered a viable human being until 30 days out of the womb.

So now, does immoral = illegal?
Should it?

As a frum jew, from a Torah perspective, something is illegal precisely because it is immoral. But is that something we should pursue in a secular government? What about separation of church and state?
I remember frum Jews posting somewhat celebratory messages when gay marriage was legalized in 2015. The government shouldn't dictate the terms of morality, they wrote.

But where is the line drawn? And what kind of arguments can be made when God is removed from the picture?
The only reason something is illegal is because the society that we live in have deemed it as such.  I think most people in this world - regardless of religion - would think that Adultery is immoral. While adultery is grounds for divorce, and a reason to sink a political campaign, it isn't illegal.

There are those that suggest making permanent changes to your children's bodies is immoral as well, after all if we're arguing for the rights to save the unborn from their parents, why not fight for the rights of the unaware - there are movements now to not only ban ear piercings for young children, but bris mila as well. While you and I do not, some people think that circumcizing a baby is immoral as well, and it soon might in fact be legal.

Where do I draw the line? that's a good question, and a hard one - the laws that protect me as a member of a religion, should not only protect members of other religions, but also those not bound by religion.

I will leave you with a little story. Someone close to me had a situation many years ago where late into the wife's pregnancy (about 18 weeks) a medical condition that put her in serious danger was discovered. The couple consulted with several rabonim and after some discussion were given a heter to terminate the pregnancy. B"H this couple were blessed with healthy children after this (in addition to the ones they had prior).

I imagine that there are other such situations where this type of abortion is warranted, and I hope that you will agree with me. The problem is, under a lot of the new laws being introduced, these logical exemptions - at the very least Rape, Incest, or Medical Danger to the mother - are not exempt.

Which means that even in these cases, where there is a clear - Mother's life or Baby's life - situation, a doctor wouldn't be allowed to perform those abortions, at the very least, I find this reprehensible.

May 17, 2019, 02:07:17 PM
Re: Jokes Master Thread
A guy goes to the doctor and says “Doc, I want to live to be 100”. So the doctor pulls out his prescription pad and starts to write: Early to bed, early to rise. No smoking. No drinking. No women. No anger or excitement. No meat, only vegetables and legumes.

The guy says ”Doc, if I do all of this I’ll live to be 100?”
“Probably not,” answers the doctor,” but it will feel like it.”

Reminds me of this one:

- A reporter is tasked with finding older individuals in the park and asking the secret to their longevity. He sees three elderly gentlemen and decides to ask them their secrets. He asks the first man how old he is, and then man says he's 85. He asks his secret to longevity, and he tells him that he never smoked cigarettes a day in his life. He approaches the second man and asks him how old he is, the man says - I am 88. He asks him the secret to his longevity, and the man tells him that he's sworn off alcohol. Finally he approaches the third man. "So what's your secret?" the reporter asks him - "No smoking?" - " I've smoked a pack a day, everyday for years". "Well, probably no drinking then?" asks the reporter - "I drink like a fish", said the 3rd man. "Wow, so you smoke and drink and you don't look much older or much worse than these two guys here - how old are you?" "I'm 54" :)

May 20, 2019, 02:09:50 PM
Re: Starbucks Rewards changes/devaluation Tried hacking this a little myself.
I got a brewed coffee
Almond milk
Cinnamon Dolce syrup,
Two shots of espresso
For 50 stars.

I ordered via the app, and then when I came in I asked for a cup of ice. Poured the coffee over the ice and Voila!

May 26, 2019, 06:29:45 PM
Re: Gedolei Hador?
He writes about how humble Dan is.. man this guy is all into selfies and pics of his shoes and food *barf*

He's a marketer, that's what they do.

June 06, 2019, 11:01:31 AM
Re: Prime Day 2019
Mazal Tov! Boy or girl?


I wish controlling my kids was as easy as buying an Amazon remote :)

June 25, 2019, 02:31:21 PM
Re: The Pros And Cons Of Where You Live
Because our assemblypeople are an outspoken anti-semite and a self-hating Jew and they try to hurt us at every corner.

The state formula needs to be changed to cater to the unique needs of Rockland County, but they won't lift a finger.

Thank God, the people who they represent and one of them were utterly humiliated in the primaries this week.

Also, a few of the villages have ridiculous debt to pay off because they had and lost RLUIPA suits that cost them millions and they need to pay it off, and we end up paying, because we live there. They fought it (except Chestnut Ridge that got sechel) because they're vile anti-semites.

The rhetoric among some of them wouldn't embarrass the Nazis of the 1930s.

Here you have a sitting Republican Rockland County legislator, one day ago on Facebook.

I remember having an argument with someone about an article that was published by the NY Times (of course) on Rosh Hashana (double of course) about 10 years ago. The article talked suggested that the school board had 'Overly Ultra-Orthodox Representation' and that the 'Hasidim stuff the ballot boxes'. The people I was arguing with suggested that the Chasidim unfairly divert the money from the school board to weaken the school districts. They also argued it wasn't fair for people who didn't send their children to public school to be involved in the school board.

I pointed out to them that at least 2/3 of the district's children (as pointed out by the article) went to yeshivas - are they not entitled to proper support services? Speech and Language, OT, etc? They started to see my point - but they were still uncomfortable about the 'chasidim' running the school board - I pointed out that a) they were the clear majority of voters and b) their representation on the school board wasn't out of line with their demographics (I think it was 5/7 seats).

So they regurgitated their argument of 'people without kids in the district...', I asked what if we replaced chasidim with 'Old People?' - what if the people on the school board were empty nesters who no longer needed the school district? Would they feel the same way? That made them think.

June 27, 2019, 10:08:22 AM
Re: The Pros And Cons Of Where You Live I'm surprised that I never chimed in on this thread before, so I'll bite. I live in White Plains, NY. The frum community is definitely a little more modern, but we have two orthodox shuls (Young Israel and Hebrew Institute) with about 350-400 families.

The pros
- It's a relatively affordable community still within a stone's throw of NYC.
- Taxes are relatively good (but not great) most 4Bd will run between 10-13K per year
- Metro North to midtown is about 35-40 minutes by train, and reliable
- Conveniences of a city - supermarkets open late (Every once in a while I'll find myself in stop and shop at 11pm on Thursday getting the one thing my wife needs to finish cooking for shabbos and I meet 5 other people doing the same thing), 24-hour pharmacies.
- Not far from anything - in less than an hour you can be in Riverdale (20m), Monsey (30-35), Queens (about 40), UWS (25-30), Teaneck (35-40)- and Five Towns or Brooklyn on a Sunday morning.

The cons:
- Lack of restaurants - there's Pizza and Chinese in New Rochelle
- Only one large kosher supermarket nearby, and it's expensive (but most people go to Costco in New Rochelle, which has kosher meat or buy meat/cheese in Monsey/Riverdale/Queens)
- Yeshiva Choices - there are a few, but they're all co-ed - works for some, not for others.

I'm sure that for many of you this might not be a good fit, but if you have any interest and want to know more, please feel free to DM me.

June 27, 2019, 10:36:32 AM
Re: Is It Ethical?
Disney World offers discounted annual passes for "Florida Residents" without defining what a FL resident is. Rather, they state that "You’ll need to provide proof of a Florida residential address in order to purchase a Florida Resident park ticket or annual pass", and then provide a list of acceptable documentation, including (i) Valid Florida driver’s license (must have a Florida address) and (ii) Mail from financial institutions, including checking, savings or investment account statements. See full list here:

Nowhere on the page (that I can see at least) does it state how many nights are required in FL in order to be considered a resident, or provide any other test for determining residency. So, as long as someone meets the qualifications on the page, would it be ethical to purchase a FL resident annual pass? For example:

1. Person A lives with this grandmother in FL all year round, but keeps his NY ID and didn't change his mailing address on his official documentation.
2. Person B lives in NY all year round, but has access to his grandmother's vacant apartment in FL all year round, and has his financial documentation forwarded there.
2. Person C lives in NY all year round, but keeps an apartment in FL for occasional weekend visits, and has his financial documentation forwarded there.
3. Person D lives in NY all year round, but has a PO Box in Florida and has his financial documentation forwarded there.

Which of these three people would be ethically entitled to a FL resident annual pass? Or is it always ethical as long as you can provide authentic documentation as requested?

I believe that this is ethical - as any one of those people would be able to satisfy the proof of residency requirements.

I imagine that Disney's lawyers put a fair amount of thought and effort into their policy before deciding on how one would prove 'residency' - understanding the pros and cons of each. For example, Florida does have an inordinate number of 'snowbirds' and those snowbirds may or may not have local driver's licenses, but most likely have a utility bill or bank statement. While they know some people who don't fit the classic definition of a Florida resident, they imagine that they constitute a small number of cases relative to the aforementioned snowbirds who's grandchildren they want to visit their park.

I believe that this is a similar in spirit to the NY and NJ policies for in-state college tuition at SUNY, CUNY and Rutgers. In order to enable illegal immigrants to get in-state tuition, both NY and NJ passed an alternative definition of residency - if you graduate from a high school in state, and have spent at least two years there, your diploma and transcripts prove residency. So if you live in Monsey but go to school in Teaneck you are eligible for In-state tuition at Rutgers, even though you are clearly not a New Jersey resident in any sense of the word.  They created this policy in this manner to help a certain subset of the population, knowing that another minority will take advantage of it.

July 01, 2019, 09:49:34 AM
Re: Jokes Master Thread A group of bochurim were going on a road trip. They had two cars - a station wagon and a coupe. They couldn't decide which of the two cars should lead - some argued the coupe should lead because it's a fancier car. Some argued that the Wagon should lead because of B'Rov Am Hadras Melech. They kept going back and forth, but couldn't reach a conclusion. So they turned to the resident Iluy in the beis medrash and asked him - his opinion.

"Obviously, the coupe should go first - don't you know the rule - Two-Door, V'Shainu Two-Door - Two-Door Kodem"

July 09, 2019, 12:36:37 PM
Re: Jokes Master Thread Thieves wander into a shtetl and kidnap four Jewish men right before Yom Kippur, and hold them for Ransom. The 4 men they kidnap are: The Rabbi, The Chazzan, the Shul President, and one of the balei batim.

The community realizes it's a bad precedent, and decides not to pay the Ransom, and so after some debate, the thieves decide that they need to kill these four men. To show that they are not cruel, they grant each man a last request.

The Rabbi says - "I wrote a beautiful sermon for Kol nidrei, it's sure to get anyone to do Teshuva - can I please give my sermon?"
The Chazzan says - "I composed a beautiful niggun for Nesaneh Tokef, and I would love to sing it!"
The President says - "I wrote an amazing appeal that would cause everyone to donate to the shul, and I'd like to give it"
The Ba'al Habyis says - "Kill me first"

July 12, 2019, 11:43:39 AM
Re: Jokes Master Thread Chaim Yankel is going on his first Shidduch date. Chaim is very shy, and hasn't really talked to any girls, so before the date, his father gives him this advice: "Since you're dating for the sake of marriage, your conversations need to be tachlisdik (functional) - you need to cover three topics: Food - you need to know if your food tastes are compatible; Family - you need to know her approach to family and family values, and Philosophy - which will help you understand how she thinks and who she is as a person." Chaim repeats this to his dad - "Food, Family, Philosophy, got it", and heads off to pick up his date.

Because Chaim and his date are both shy, things, as you imagine aren't going well. After a few minutes of awkward silence, Chaim remembers his first topic - Food. He turns to his date and asks: "Tell me, do you like soup?". His date looks at him, and simply replies, "No".

After a few more minutes of awkward silence, Chaim moves on to topic #2 - Family - "Tell me, " he asks her, " does your brother like soup?" She replies: "I don't have any brothers".

After a few more minutes of awkward silence, Chaim moves on to topic #3 - Philosophy - "Tell me," he asks, " If you had a brother, do you think he'd like Soup?"

July 12, 2019, 11:52:18 AM
Re: Jokes Master Thread

Back in the day when Jews were still poor, when a bochur in the dorm was going on a date, his chevra would offer to lend him new clothes in order to make a good first impression. Moshe was about to go on a date, and while he was getting ready, Dovid insisted that he wear his new tie. Moshe comes back from the date, and Dovid asks him how it went. "It was okay," Moshe responded, " I think we might go on a second date". "More importantly, " asked Dovid, " did she say anything about my tie?". "As a matter of fact, she did", said Moshe, " she said, I don't like that tie on you, nor did I like it on the last 3 of your friends that I dated."

July 15, 2019, 12:55:02 PM
I agree. The laws are targeting group 3, but group 2 are being caught in the crosshairs. If group 3 didn't exist, nobody would care about the slighly lower standards in group 2.

Group 1 essentially meets the standard when counting Hebrew language as a secular studies.

Based on my comments regarding the actual policy document, it would seem that group 2 would also qualify - albeit with a little creative accounting - i.e. Chumash qualifies towards history, and Gemara to Social Studies, and both qualify for foreign language.  Again - this is if the total is 12-15 hours per week as opposed to 20-25 hours per week. If it's 20-25 hours per week, even those in group 1 would have difficulty meeting the requirement.

This is not true. All groups are apposed to it including the Christian and Muslim schools.

A lot of independent schools are opposed to it, in part because its more quantitative than qualitative. It also puts the burden on the schools to do more time accounting in case they're subject to an audit. While it might be easy to see how any religious school would be opposed to time limitations, other schools that are not religious oppose it too - some of them have alternative methods of teaching or subjects other than the standard curriculum don't want the government interfering with their curricula either.

I imagine most schools would agree to a qualitative measure of their teaching (i.e. this % of students are required to pass statewide subject exams) vs. you must teach x number of hours of this subject per week. In the qualitative measures, those numbers should be driven by the public schools in their same district. Back in the days where everyone in NY was required to take regents, I'm sure that most Yeshivas had far higher averages than the overall Public School average (even if you throw out the cheaters).

July 22, 2019, 12:42:50 PM
The question becomes how controlling  they're going to want to be in terms of the subjects taught.

And part of the reason everyone is against this is because it sets a bad precedent of being told not just what students have to know, but also what to teach, and how.

Exactly my point - which is why even some non-religious private schools are against it. The fight isn't as much about adequacy as it is about governmental control of private schooling.

July 22, 2019, 02:43:02 PM
Re: Jokes Master Thread
Judge: “Why did you kill your wife after 30 years of marriage ?”
Defendant: Pure laziness, your honor. Every day I said “tomorrow”

Reminds me of the old Henny Youngman Joke:
David is visiting his parents' graves in the cemetery, a few plots over he sees a man wailing over a grave, repeating "Why did you die so young?" over and over.

Man: "Oy, why did you die so young? You were so young!"
David: "Excuse me sir, you seem very distraught, was this a close relative of yours?"
Man: "No, we weren't related. Why did you die so young!!"
David:"Wow, was he a good friend?"
Man:" I never met him alive - but why did he have to die so young!?!"
David:" You never met him, why are you so distraught?"
Man: " He was my wife's first husband! Why did he die so young!"

July 24, 2019, 08:57:21 AM
Re: Jokes Master Thread ... and while on the subject:

In the afterlife, there's a lot of paperwork. Everything from where you live to what you drive is assessed by the angels based on a certain characteristic of your life. As an example, 3 men who recently died are at heaven's DMV. The angels explain that the car you get in heaven is a reflection of how faithful you were in your marriage on earth. They ask the first guy - how faithful were you in marriage. He explains that he was a travelling salesman who had a girlfriend in every city he'd visit and never told his wife. The angels hand him the keys to a used Chevy. The second man says that although he was mostly faithful, he once had a yearlong affair with his secretary, but ended it, told his wife and she ultimately forgave him. They gave him the keys to a small new Lexus. Finally the third guy says I was married for 54 years until my wife died two years ago. Not only did I never cheat on her, I never even thought of another woman in that way. The angels give him the keys to a brand new Rolls Royce.

A few days later, the guy in the Chevy stops at a red light, and sees his buddy in the Rolls one lane over, but the guy in the Rolls has a terrible look on his face. "Why so glum?" he asks," You've been rewarded for 54 years of faithful marriage, you should be proud!" "I was proud of it," says the guy in the Rolls, "until I drove past my wife the other day and she was on a skateboard!"

July 24, 2019, 09:05:48 AM
Re: Jokes Master Thread Johnny and Billy are drinking at the bar when last call comes around, and the two tipsy men start walking home. A few blocks later, Johnny realizes that he needs to move his bowels, but there's no open bathroom for them to use. "It's okay, " says Billy, "there's no one around, just make your deposit here on the street, and we'll be gone before anyone is the wiser." So Billy stands guard while Johnny takes care of business. No sooner does he zip up his pants do they see a police officer approaching on foot patrol. Knowing that they don't have time to run, they need to hide the evidence. Billy quickly takes the hat off of his head and covers the poop.

As the officer walks by, he sees the two of them and the very suspicious hat lying on the floor. "Morning Gentlemen, " he says to them, " do you realize that you're hat's on the floor?". The Police officer bends down to pick up the hat, but Johnny stops him - "No, you can't pick it up!". "Why?," asks the police officer - " are you hiding something under the hat?" Billy responds - " as a matter of fact, the two of us just caught a bird under there, and if we pick up the hat, he'll fly away." "Not a problem," says the officer, " why don't you pick up the hat slowly, and I'll grab the bird!"


July 25, 2019, 01:11:32 PM
Re: Jokes Master Thread Well if no one else is going to post a joke, I might as well. Today - two jokes that my Russian/Hungarian friends would appreciate:

Joke 1:
A reporter in the city of Munkacs is sent to interview the oldest living man in the city on his 100th birthday. So he asks the man a few background questions:
Reporter: "What country were you born in?"
Old Man:"I was born in Hungary"
R:" ... and where did you get married?"
OM: "I got married in Czecheslovakia"
R:"... and what about your children, where were they born?"
OM: "In the Soviet Union"
R:"... and your grandkids?"
OM:"my grandkids were all born in the Ukraine"
R:"Wow, that's crazy, all of the different places you lived in!"
OM:" What are you talking about? I never left Munkacs!"

Joke 2:
During the Soviet Era, before someone graduated from high school, the Communist party would interview them to determine their loyalty. They would ask three questions, and your answers would prove your loyalty. One day 3 young men were set to be interviewed.

They asked the first one: "Who is your father, who is your mother, and what do you want to be when you grow up?"
He replied:" My father is Brezhnev, my mother is Russia, and I want to be a communist"
They stamped his file with a seal of approval, and sent him on his way

They asked the second one: "Who is your father, who is your mother, and what do you want to be when you grow up?"
He replied:" My father is Brezhnev, my mother is Russia, and I want to be a doctor"
They stamped his file too with a seal of approval, and sent him on his way

Finally they asked the third one: "Who is your father, who is your mother?"
He replied:" My father is Brezhnev, my mother is Russia"
"... and what do you want to be when you group up?", they continued.
"An Orphan"

July 26, 2019, 02:34:59 PM
Re: 8÷2(2+2) = ?

The NYTimes says the answer is 16, which means that some of you will agree and some of you will argue that it's anything BUT 16

August 02, 2019, 12:25:20 PM
Re: The funny/strange/interesting video thread... The Marlins called up Isan Diaz for his first MLB game against the mets. His family came to watch and were being interviewed by the Marlins' reporter as he hit a home run - his Dad's reaction is epic.

August 06, 2019, 12:28:29 PM
Re: Useful utilities/programs, windows only Not sure if this is useful for anyone else, but in Windows 10 if you hit Windows+Shift+S it will allow you to snip a screen shot using your mouse
August 14, 2019, 01:49:04 PM
Re: Jokes Master Thread A distraught man walks into the shul of a small shtetl on the market day and asks the Rebbe for help. He explains to the Rebbe that he is a horse salesman, here to sell his horses in the marketplace. But just as he was about to start selling, someone drop a large piece of pottery and the noise scared his horses away and their nowhere to be found, and he needs help getting them back.

The Rebbe thinks about it, and asks his shamash to accompany the man back to the marketplace and bring his 'Shtender' as well, and the horses will return. The Shamash is perplexed, but he goes along with it. He and the salesman get to the marketplace, and he puts down the Shtender. Within 5 minutes all of the horses have returned. The salesman is ecstatic, and tell the Shamash to thank the Rebbe.

The Shamash returns with the shtender and asks the Rebbe how he knew the horses would come back. The Rebbe replied -"In all my years of being the Rov of this town, I've only learned one thing- Alle Ferden Laufen zo deim amud

August 14, 2019, 04:01:46 PM
Re: Interesting Articles...
August 14, 2019, 04:07:52 PM
Re: Jokes Master Thread Today is national tell a joke day -


A Russian Army General was teaching his cadets about military strategy. At the end of his lecture he opened the floor to questions. The first Cadet he called on asked him the following:

Cadet: "Professor, there are only several hundred million of us, but 1.4 billion chinese. What if we were to get into a war with them? Wouldn't their superior numbers eventually give them the advantge?"

General: "Quantity isn't everything in battle. For example, look at tiny israel, with 8 million people. They're surrounded by half a billion Arabs and they've never lost a war"

Cadet: "I've thought of this, but where we going to get 9 million Israelis from?"

August 16, 2019, 04:17:22 PM
Re: Jokes Master Thread
This one emanates from the Europe:

Q. How do you describe a person that speaks two languages?
A. Bi-lingual.

Q. How about a person that can speak 3 languages?
A. Tri-lingual.

Q. And a person that speaks many languages?
A. A polyglot.

Q. How about a person that can only speak one language?
A. An American.

Very similarly: "How do you spot the American in Paris? He's the only one insisting that people speak English to him"

August 27, 2019, 11:44:42 AM
Re: Jokes Master Thread
I've had personal experience with that. Try to speak English, and the response is a facial expression and a sound made by letting out air from tightly closed lips. Try talking in the even in the most broken French, and they'll politely answer you in English.

I had this experience when I lived in Israel. You start speaking Hebrew to someone and they hear your accent and they say... 'No, It's okay, I speak english'. When that happened, I'd go into my full-on NY, 300 wpm english and then after the first sentence they'd quickly flip back to hebrew

August 27, 2019, 02:29:16 PM
Re: "Why Does No One Care About Violence Against Orthodox Jews?" (Interesting Article Split) Late to the Party here.  w/r/t all of the arguments about different minorities and ethnic groups, a couple of points:

- Obviously, we should denounce hatred of anyone for their race, religion, or ethnicity.
- If you go by the FBI's hate crime statistics, even though there are more groups that have more hatred incidents directed towards them, Jews are still the 3rd largest total for 2017 (the last report available from the FBI), and the only higher groups are African Americans - who may have double the number of incidents but 8 times the population, and all Sexual Orientation incidents which are only 200 more than incidents against Jews - while the estimated LGBTQ+ community in the us is roughly 2x the Jewish Population

- Jews still make up nearly 60% of all anti-religious hate in the US.

- While 2017 has an uptick in reported incidents. The raise in in anti-Jewish Violence spiked up about 45%, while the other two groups above showed much smaller upticks against the previous 4-year average (anti sexual orientation incidents are up 3%, anti-blick up 16%)

- Incidentally, Anti-Muslim attacks, which jumped significantly between 14 and 15, went down last year.

Here is the source of the data -

I realize that all hate/bias crimes are under reported, but I would have to imagine that the under reporting is somewhat proportional - unless you have a study that can prove otherwise.

The bottom line, we need to worry about hatred against all groups, but Anti-Semitism has taken off in a scary direction, and disproportionate to other hate crimes.

August 30, 2019, 10:06:43 AM
Re: Jokes Master Thread After WWII, Albert Einstein moved to the US and would travel from university to university to deliver talks on his theory of relativity. For these trips, he had a Chauffeur named Bob who'd drive him from school to school. Bob would also sit in and listen to the lectures. One day, on their way to a lecture, Bob turns to Einstein and says - "you know, I've heard your lecture so many times, I could probably give it at this point." To which Einstein replies - "maybe you should - let's switch!". Given it was the 1950s and pictures of einstein weren't widly distributed, they figured why not. So about a mile from the college, they switch spots, and Bob gets up to give the lecture, while Einstein, dressed as the Chauffer, takes a seat in the back of the auditorium.

Much to Einstein's surprise, Bob is spot on. He delivers the talk perfectly, and even answers the first few questions from the audience. Of course, most of the questions are the same one people usually ask, and so Bob already knows the answers. But then, the department chair asks a more difficult question, one that Einstein knows Bob can't possibly answer. He waits with baited breath to see what Bob would do. Bob looks at the professor and without missing a beat, says:

"That's such an east question, even my Chauffeur can answer it!"

August 30, 2019, 12:21:20 PM