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Re: Dans Deals 2,000,000 hits Promo...? it better be something good.
June 27, 2008, 06:55:08 PM
1
Re: Interesting Articles...
its not the first time im hearing this....
i know someone that left satmar and moved to Chabad and he was telling me lots of the same things...its pretty crazy (messed up) what goes on there.
and no wonder why this lady ended up like this.
I am friends with satmar chasidim and all though they are brought up in a way you and I would call sheltered they actually live a very beautiful life. Much closer to how Jews lived for the past thousands of years, it is very pure and innocent. I wouldn't live like that nor want to raise my family like that, but it works for some people and I definitely see the beauty in it.

February 09, 2012, 03:14:40 AM
1
Europe trip report pessach 5772      I found out I was going to Poland for pessach less than a week before I left so it didnít give much time to make an organized itinerary and buy 5 guide books on every city I will be visiting as Dan is so keen to do. A rental car was my main concern for a trip to work out. I initialy negotiated a reservation through a website called staypoland.com where I managed to reserve a manual car for $24 plus various small fees. When I got to Warsaw the local shliach introduced me to a small local rental company where I managed to negotiate an amazing price for a 2 week rental. With all taxes, fees and insurance included I paid $27 a day for an automatic ford focus plus a mandatory $300 down payment. If anyone wants to rent from thme call Paul at (+48) 608-461-444. As a side note I know a lot of rental companies outside the US try to rip you off on the down payment and damage claims these guys didnít even look at the car when I returned it they were really mentchen and I highly recommend them. The next most important item was navigating around Europe. My chavrusah found an android app called navigon It is made by Garmin and does not require data which was obviously a must. The app was a life saver especially with the very helpful POI feature. If anyone wants a link to download the app feel free to PM me. For food we brought hard salami, tuna, and a whole lot a matza. We flew on Lot airlines which was easily the worst airline I have ever flown with the terrible kosher meals, rude flight attendants and a seat that sank literally a foot down when I sat in it (I sat on 2 pillows to compensate), there is not much worse I could expect. I landed in Warsaw.

     Warsaw- The Jewish Ghetto does not have much there to see. Amazing antique market every Sunday. If you are there you must check it out. I spent hours looking through a lot of old stuff, including but not limited to swords, switch blades, guns, rifles, beautiful glass, and old Jewish scripts including a large part of a sefer torah. All the antique markets I went to had old Jewish materials like megilas, torah covers, pointer hands for a torah etcÖ Just be warned no matter how old it looks some of the stuff is fake. The old city is very beautiful, but not worth to visit unless you are in Warsaw already. They do have a kosher restaurant I did not eat there though. One nice thing was that you can park anywhere, sidewalks are perfect. I think there are signs outside of every neighborhood saying specific parking laws so ymmv. The police are a total joke, always bribe cops if you get pulled over. Just be sure to keep an extra 50-100 zluty in your passport in caseÖ

     After Warsaw I went off to Poznan where I conducted a seder for 50 Jews.

     Poznan- A very clean and nice city. It has many old buildings and two old shuls. One shul was made into a swimming pool by the Nazis and has remained so since. The Carlsberg beer factory is here not that I went because it was pessach. Rabbi akiva eiger is buried in the back yard of a apartment building with his family. It was neat knowing I was one of maybe one hundred Jews to visit his kever due to it only being discovered 4 years ago. Itís a cute town nothing to write home about but if you drive next to it it is worth pulling over for a 30 minute walk around the old city. In addition there are museums which I did not have time to explore. It is from what I have seen and been told, the prettiest city in Poland.

    Motzei  yomtov my chavrusah and I drive through Germany, which has the most amazing highways I have ever driven on, to Prague. (Side note Poland does have road tolls of about 3 or 5 dollars every so often.)

    Prague- Most beautiful city I have ever been to. When I drove into the city I saw the first street where every building had intricate carvings, and moldings around the windows also every building had a different beautifully colored stone. Then I realized the entire city was made up of streets that looked like this, I was instantly in love. The kosher restaurants are outrageously expensive I believe there is a chabad one and one other. The marhals shul and cemetery are obviously a must. There is a way to get into the shul and cemetery for free you have to talk to the shliach though. We ended up just buying 2 tickets because they charge to see the mharals shul and 6 other shuls on one ticket and then they charge separate for the cemetery it is very smart of them to doÖ None of the other shuls really seemed worth going to. Charles Bridge is a must to walk across. I bought some very nice artwork on the bridge. Make sure you bargain these people I bought 2 paintings which were originally 70 euro for just 32 euro.  In general enjoy the superb architecture is just breathtaking. There are also some very modern buildings that cannot be missed. Bribe cops if you get a boot on your car, we got one the cop wanted 50euro to take it off. We offered 25euro and made it very clear we didnít need a receipt the officer readily agreed. Parking is almost impossible to find, but once you do its not to expensive, I was there on easter so it was free  . Also do not expect to be alone in this city there are thousands of tourists every day the streets are always full and hectic.

    After a long day of walking in Prague it was off to Vienna.

    Vienna- Really nice city it has the olden city look but its very active with industry and modernized so in a way that you feel youíre in a regular city. There is a beautiful palace with free garden in the back that has a view of the entire city. At sunset it was a breathtaking view. That evening we went to a concert in the palace where Mozart had played. It was a decent concert in retrospect I probably wouldnít have spent 25 euro to go. We stayed by the nicest shluchim ever they moved 6 kids to one room to give us our own room to sleep in. Parking is annoying and expensive. Downtown was 4 euro an hour. In the Jewish area you need to change parking tickets every 2 hoursÖ At the end of the day itís not necessary to see Vienna but it was a nice stop to rest and have a proper sleep for 2 nights.

    We were planning on going from Vienna to Venice but we realized that Hungary was only 4 hours away so the night before we left Vienna we decided the next day we would go to Budapest.

    Budapest- Very clean and serene city, Especially on the mountain overlooking the city. Just walking around was like in another universe with all the people so happy and calm. Very beautiful buildings bridges etc.  The chabad has a receptionist whom was very helpful, the shliach was also very kind and got us a 3 course lunch (granted it was pessach not sure if they offer that every day). . Parking is cheap but make sure you feed the meter, they will tow you here as fast as Prague will put a boot on. The old city across the river is so serene I could not get enough of it. Unlike Prague whichwas packed off rushing tourists this was so peaceful and relaxing. I walked along a brick wall that was at the edge of a mountain and just enjoyed the environment. There are many jaw dropping buildings to be seen. Although none of the museums looked to interesting.  There is the largest synagogue in Europe which is across the street from chabad. I would highly recommend Budapest as a one day trip.

    Now it was erev the second days of yom tov so it was time to drive down through Slovenia , which is gorgeous country side and mountains, and on to Venice. We were going to park by the San Giuliano lot but there was a yacht show that weekend so the lot was closed. Lucky for us we were informed by the lot owner and confirmed by the guy who runs the ferry to venice that Cops donít ticket for parking on the side of the street or in the parking lot by the ferry over the weekends for sure,( and it seemed even not the weekends you could park there for free too). So that is exactly what we did and got 3 days of free parking although we had to buy 7 euro ferry ride tickets to get in. Not that I was complaining the ride was great!

     Venice- A must see in your lifetime. It is the coolest most romantic and awesome city on our trip! I was there for the 2nd days of pessach and out of the 48 hours at least 12 were spent walking. The shliach Rami really is as amazing as everyone says he is. Although if you plan on crashing on the floor of his shul or a shliachs house or the smicha dorm, forget about it he seems to have a very strict no bochurim crashing policy. But he hooked us up with a beautiful Venetian attic for just 20 euro a night so I couldnít complain too much. The food at gam gam was GREAT and of course free. The atmosphere was all very friendly. And we even got free pies of pizza right after moshiach seuda!!! My advice is to just walk all around the city get lost and ask for directions back. You will be amazed at all the things you will discover, boat garages, coolest eye glasses in the world, docks that sink halfway before the next street and you can scale the wall to get across, etcÖ I loved every second I was in Venice and BĒH it was yom tov because there were so many amazing shops selling beautiful glass products and other specialties I donít know if I could have resisted. The regular shul there is very old and nice inside with sefer torahs dating back over 400 years in use every week. There is so much to write about Venice but you will have to just go there and experience it for yourself.

    The day after pessach it was off to see the rest of Italy starting with Florence. (Side note Italy was the only other country besides Poland to have road tolls and in Italy they were far more expensive about $25 to get off the highway by each city) There are some Amazing rest stops in Italy specifically Autogrill rest stops have a place to park your car overnight and some have showers in the morning, and washers and dryers for a small price.

    Florence- A beautiful city. Some would call it the art capitol of the world. There is no full time shliach only on Shabbos and tourist season. There is a kosher restaurant called Ruthís and around the corner a kosher market that sells sandwiches and sometimes pizza (hechsher?). Didnít eat at either so I canít report on the food. The 3 most famous museums are the Uffizi, pitti, and achedamia. I was fortunate to get there for culture week when every museum in Italy is free so I am not sure about prices for these museums. Uffizi has more sculptures than I knew existed in the world. There were some notable ones that I am sure everyone knows from gemara and Jewish history so those are cool to see and put a name with a face. The ceiling is stunning too it is an amazing museum although a bit repetitive and long. Donít get me wrong I would encourage everyone to go there it is really amazing how detailed and realistic these thousands of years old sculptures are. The Pitti is a modern art museum, (do not be confused with the modern art of nowadays when they say modern they mean the time period of the the 1800ís). The art was very nice. The whole museum can probably be done in 30 min. maybe stretched out to an hour in general I always skip portraits because they bore me to death. The museum Achedamia is one of the reasons I went to Florence to see Michelangeloís famous David. David definitely lived up to expectations it was the most beautiful sculpture I have ever seen in my life and this is after seeing about 500 at the Uffizi. The rest of the city is just plain pretty with a river flowing through the middle random sculptures all over and a ton more museums which I unfortunately did not have time to seeÖ The Ponte Vecchio Bridge is famous nice walk but nothing to special in my opinion, just a ton of expensive jewelry I will never buy. Parking is a bit hard to find but itís not too expensive once you do. The Portuguese shul is right next to the kosher places and is stunning definitely a must see. The leather market is very neat. There is one vender who is in love with Jews especially if you are wearing a yalmuka. He literally sold me stuff 30 euro cheaper than everyone else even with bargaining. You may need to shmooz with him but itís worth it. IIRC His name is Marko just ask for him, he is the one that loves Israel. There may be 2 leather markets so make sure you are at the one closest to the Uffizi museum. There is also an antique market but itís not nearly as large and varied as the one in Warsaw. I wish I had more time for other museums in Florence. I heard there is an amazing museum full of different types of war armors. Next timeÖ

    Off to ancient Rome.

    Rome- Any history buff like me will automatically love Rome there is so much there Jewish history and non-Jewish history it was very neat seeing all these places in person. 1st of all if you go to rome and donít wait for the guided tour of the synagogue (you can only see it with a tour guide unless during minyanim which I believe are daily) your crazy. It is the most elaborate, ornate and grand synagogue I have ever seen it puts every modern day shul to shame (Others say it looks like a church a donít like it).The coliseum is very cool to walk in and explore. It is much better from the inside then out. We also went to the arch of Titus which is included in the pass to the coliseum. Of course we saw the menorah (and informed everyone around us that itís not the real meorah but rather just a lamp ;). Baghetto Pizza was very good pizza and an even nicer owner he gave us about a dozen pitta breads for our trip back to Poland for practically nothing. In general seeing all the ruins and old bridges etc is very neat. Also we climbed to the top of a mountain across the coliseum and had an amazing view of rome. Parking was very cheap once we found a spot. There are many kosher restaurants all mainly in the Jewish ghetto.

     Now for the long drive back to Poland, but with a stop at the always beautiful LakeComo.

     Lake Como- Beautiful Lake at the foothills of the Alps. I wish I could have spent more than a few hours here. Seems like a really nice place to spend 3 or 4 days just boating and exploring the lakes and rivers in front of the Alps. Amazing views of the lake, alps, and city of Como from on top of the mountains you can just drive up any of the roads, I think most of them are residential, when the road gets to narrow and steep just walk the rest of the way up as far as the road goes and take in the scenery I did this at sunset and the view was absolutely breathtaking.

    Now off to meet up with March of the living. We drove through Switzerland which was amazing driving through the Alps. Drove by Lichtenstein, through Germany returned our car in Warsaw and took a train to Krakow.

    Krakow- Most people visit Krakow because they are there to visit Auchwitz and Birkenau. I did the same. You can get a relatively cheap cab from the train station to take you to the camps and back for about $40. I was there for March of the living. It was really an amazing experience that I am very happy I was a part of. The whole experience was extremely inspiring and emotional of course. In Krakow there are 3 kosher hotels open all year around. I ate at the 5 star holiday inn and the kosher food was top notch. All very fresh and delicious. The food I ate was under hashkacha of the local shliach rabbi Gurary who is an amazing guy and extremely nice. He gave us blow up mattresses to sleep on in his shul which is about 400 years old. Krakow has a Jewish section like seemingly all cities in Eroupe. There is the RemĒaís shul and kever along with the BaĒch, tosfos yom tov, and Yossel goy (tzadik)buried next to the tosfos yom tov. There is a market in the Jewish section and I managed to find some very cheap and neat nick-nacks to bring home. Krakow is a decent city with a few pretty buildings no reason to visit other than of course the camps.

    Back to Warsaw for Shabbos by Rabbi Stambler which was very nice experience. After Shabbos we took a 17 hour train to Amsterdam.

    Amsterdam- Amsterdam to me was like a best of all the cities I visited on my trip and was a great city to end my trip. It has the beautiful canals of Venice, museums that can rival Florence, and classic Dutch architecture dating back to the 1600ís, that does not even come close to the architecture of Prague, but is unique in the sense that you wonít see such beautiful buildings of this style anywhere else. The first thing we did was buy a three day unlimited tram, bus, and subway pass for 16 euro. The transit system is phenomenal in this city. Next we bought the yearly museum pass good for nearly all major museums in the Netherlands for 45 euro, and it lasts an entire year. It was well worth it because we would have spent more than that just our 1st day (most museums are either 14 or 8 euro)! I will list the museums in order of what I liked. The Van Gogh museum has the biggest collection of Van Gough paintings in the world. I am biased towards Van Gogh partially because his bedroom is probably my favorite painting all time. None the less him and his contemporaries made undisputedly some of the most mesmerizing paintings in history. Be sure to see all the floors, I almost skipped the basement exhibit which is one of the most moving art displays I ever walked through, it puts you in a different world of nature, truly amazing. Next is the Rijksmuseum with great paintings of mainly Dutch origin, do not miss the the nacht vatch is the most famous art display in Holland, it features Rembrandts largest and most famous work. The maritime museum is a GREAT museum for kids and adults alike with a pirate ship to walk through, and tons of other exhibits you can easily spend 2 hours here and not get bored. The Royal palace is only open when the queen is not there with foreign dignitaries. Be sure to check that its open before you go. The palace is exactly what you would expect, ornately decorated rooms and hallways. This comes with a free audio tour which is suggested being that there arenít any signs as to what things are. The museum of resistance is all about the Dutch resisting the Nazis in WWII and about the Jews in WWII. It takes a good hour and half to do, I unfortunately didnít have that much time but it was very interesting none the less. The Museum Geelvinck is an old Dutch house that is open to the public to walk through. It consists of a coach house and a main house with 6 different exquisite rooms. The thing I like most about this museum is you can sit on most of the furniture and it is just really relaxing to be in. If you need a place to chill for a bit and take in some of the most beautiful granite youíll see in a house, this is your place. The Jood museum had some interesting artifacts. Especially a very beautiful megilah with illustrations on every column. The old shul is included in the Jood museum ticket so may as well go see it but itís nothing to special, just old. The Foam museum was interesting and nice to walk through seeing the many different photo journalism displays. Not one of my favorite places though. The van loom museum is nice but a bit to regular type of art for my taste although the house it is in is quite nice to see. The Allard Pierson museum was a bit lame. It had a bunch of old objects from Egypt and Greece which I have seen a thousand different places before. If you are into artifacts from those times you may enjoy it otherwise donít bother. The hermitage museum was the worst museum we went to on our trip. It was extremely plain mostly portraits and Christian paintings really advise not to bother going there. The Stejdlik museum was closed but they had a temporary space with 3 film exhibitions. No point in going until the full museum reopens. The Anne Frank house has massive lines if you plan on going make a reservation before through heir website. I do not see the big excitement about the house but thatís personal feelings so I wonít get into it. The Diamond museum was a total waste of time. The most fun thing we did our entire trip must have been renting a paddle boat and driving the canals for 2 hours. We were having so much fun discovering birdsí nests with eggs in them and waving to everyone, the people of Amsterdam are so nice. The flower market is nice I bought a beautiful orchid for my host there. The kosher  sandwich store sal-meijer has extremely unique tasting meats being that they are all handmade by the owner. He also has stupendous mustard for the sandwiches and mayo for the fries. I am completely sold on the mayo and fries concept. You must have a few sandwiches from here. The pizza shop Pizza co. had pretty good pizza nothing amazing but nice to have fresh good pizza while traveling, also the fries were good. There is one main kosher grocery store and a kosher bakery, they both sell Sheffa yogurt which is the most amazing yogurt/breakfast food I have ever had! It has fresh fruit in the bottom and delicious yogurt on top. This is an absolute must have! The food I tried at the bakery was pretty awful, although a loaf of bread was cheap and good for sandwiches. I did not go on the tour of the Heineken factory because it was 17 euro and didnít seem even close to worth that price. Instead I tried a local brew in a bar called IJ brewery it was a very good beer. Also a must have while youíre in Holland is jonge jenever which is just gin, but I have had gin in America and it tastes nothing like this stuff which is delicious.

    We flew out of Amsterdam again on Lot which was an equally horrible experience. They made my chavrusah check his carry at the gate on which he had already flown to Europe with because it was a few centimeters to large. That cost him a whopping $85. For our kosher meal we had meatloaf that expires in 2014. It was not edible. So to list the cities in favorite order it goes 1. Venice 2. Amsterdam 3. Prague 4. Budapest 5. Florence 6. Lake Como 7. Rome 8. Krakow/camps 9. Poznan and 10 Warsaw. I obviously had to abridge this trip report to just list the main activities I did in each city. If anyone has a question or wants details about a specific city feel free to ask and I will do my best to answer them. Also if you want photos of something specific let me know I have a few.


May 08, 2012, 04:07:24 PM
1
Re: jokes, any type goes.Whats the difference between mashed potatoes, and pea soup?
btw it is really funny
By no means is it "really funny." Besides the fact that it is derogatory and insulting an amazing volunteer service which helps frum yidden on a daily basis. Derogatory can be funny but this one just isn't one of those. (Besides I personally wouldn't post a derogatory joke on here, just not so nice and this is very public)

July 17, 2012, 12:40:25 AM
1
Re: Whats the best way to send money to a bochur learning in Israel.
It might not be such a good idea to train a bochur into using credit cards.
Let him open a TD bank account with a debit card, and deposit money in his account monthly.
Or it is a good idea. I've been trained since 8th grade :) And I'd say I'm pretty good in spending... Depends on the kid/parents-responsibility/trust.

August 13, 2012, 01:26:11 PM
1
Re: Woot Bag of Crap
What's up with that box? I'm not star-worthy?
grass is always greener on the other side :) Look at it as a gold plaque. It makes your account name more distinguishable from the rest of us, if nothing more.

August 13, 2012, 01:53:48 PM
1
Re: Amsterdam Master Thread I was asked to post this here with all the noobs that'll be checking it out for the Israel deal... Its an exerpt of a much longer tr.

    Amsterdam- Amsterdam to me was like a best of all the cities I visited on my trip and was a great city to end my trip.

It has the beautiful canals of Venice, museums that can rival Florence, and classic Dutch architecture dating back to the 1600ís, that does not even come close to the architecture of Prague, but is unique in the sense that you wonít see such beautiful buildings of this style anywhere else.

The first thing we did was buy a three day unlimited tram, bus, and subway pass for 16 euro. The transit system is phenomenal in this city. Next we bought the yearly museum pass good for nearly all major museums in the Netherlands for 45 euro, and it lasts an entire year. It was well worth it because we would have spent more than that just our 1st day (most museums are either 14 or 8 euro)!

I will list the museums in order of what I liked:

-The Van Gogh museum has the biggest collection of Van Gough paintings in the world. I am biased towards Van Gogh partially because his bedroom is probably my favorite painting all time. None the less him and his contemporaries made undisputedly some of the most mesmerizing paintings in history. Be sure to see all the floors, I almost skipped the basement exhibit which is one of the most moving art displays I ever walked through, it puts you in a different world of nature, truly amazing.

-The Rijksmuseum with great paintings of mainly Dutch origin, do not miss the the nacht vatch is the most famous art display in Holland, it features Rembrandts largest and most famous work.

-The maritime museum is a GREAT museum for kids and adults alike with a pirate ship to walk through, and tons of other exhibits you can easily spend 2 hours here and not get bored.

-The Royal palace is only open when the queen is not there with foreign dignitaries. Be sure to check that its open before you go. The palace is exactly what you would expect, ornately decorated rooms and hallways. This comes with a free audio tour which is suggested being that there arenít any signs as to what things are.

-The museum of resistance is all about the Dutch resisting the Nazis in WWII and about the Jews in WWII. It takes a good hour and half to do, I unfortunately didnít have that much time but it was very interesting none the less.

-The Museum Geelvinck is an old Dutch house that is open to the public to walk through. It consists of a coach house and a main house with 6 different exquisite rooms. The thing I like most about this museum is you can sit on most of the furniture and it is just really relaxing to be in. If you need a place to chill for a bit and take in some of the most beautiful granite youíll see in a house, this is your place.

-The Jood museum had some interesting artifacts. Especially a very beautiful megilah with illustrations on every column. The old shul is included in the Jood museum ticket so may as well go see it but itís nothing to special, just old.

-The Foam museum was interesting and nice to walk through seeing the many different photo journalism displays. Not one of my favorite places though.

-The van loom museum is nice but a bit to regular type of art for my taste although the house it is in is quite nice to see. The Allard Pierson museum was a bit lame. It had a bunch of old objects from Egypt and Greece which I have seen a thousand different places before. If you are into artifacts from those times you may enjoy it otherwise donít bother.

-The hermitage museum was the worst museum we went to on our trip. It was extremely plain mostly portraits and Christian paintings really advise not to bother going there.

-The Stejdlik museum was closed but they had a temporary space with 3 film exhibitions. No point in going until the full museum reopens.

-The Anne Frank house has massive lines if you plan on going make a reservation before through heir website. I do not see the big excitement about the house but thatís personal feelings so I wonít get into it.

-The Diamond museum was a total waste of time.

The most fun thing we did our entire trip must have been renting a paddle boat and driving the canals for 2 hours. We were having so much fun discovering birdsí nests with eggs in them and waving to everyone, the people of Amsterdam are so nice.

 The flower market is nice I bought a beautiful orchid for my host there.

The kosher  sandwich store sal-meijer has extremely unique tasting meats being that they are all handmade by the owner. He also has stupendous mustard for the sandwiches and mayo for the fries. I am completely sold on the mayo and fries concept. You must have a few sandwiches from here.

 The pizza shop Pizza co. had pretty good pizza nothing amazing but nice to have fresh good pizza while traveling, also the fries were good.

There is one main kosher grocery store and a kosher bakery, they both sell Sheffa yogurt which is the most amazing yogurt/breakfast food I have ever had! It has fresh fruit in the bottom and delicious yogurt on top. This is an absolute must have!

The food I tried at the bakery was pretty awful, although a loaf of bread was cheap and good for sandwiches.

I did not go on the tour of the Heineken factory because it was 17 euro and didnít seem even close to worth that price. Instead I tried a local brew in a bar called IJ brewery it was a very good beer.

Also a must have while youíre in Holland is jonge jenever which is just gin, but I have had gin in America and it tastes nothing like this stuff which is delicious.

December 22, 2012, 07:37:42 PM
1
Re: Status for posting deals that are posted to main site? I stole deals? At least not as much as some members.
January 11, 2013, 02:05:14 AM
2
Re: Stuff Your Kid Tells You Can people post the age of the kid as well please? :)
August 06, 2014, 10:20:22 AM
1
Amazon 3rd Party Price Mistakes (scam) Master Thread Link

This store just launched and has tons of mistakes.

For example

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001FWY1JS/?tag=cl03f-20
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000A6HM9G/?tag=cl03f-20

These will never be honored, but you can hope for credit.

Post what products you are buying :)

November 03, 2014, 08:58:38 AM
1