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Re: The Funny/Strange Etc. Pictures/Videos TAKEN BY YOU Thread! So true
November 20, 2013, 05:44:13 PM
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Re: National Free Day Coupons Master Thread 4 one two free days for sale -$55 each. $200 for all 4.
March 17, 2019, 09:27:37 AM
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circling the globe I have been wanting to write a TR about my trip around the world in November, practically since i came back. Time constraints have prevented me from doing so, but since the corona-virus has gotten out of hand, and business is weak or nonexistent, i have some extra time for it.

DISCLAIMER: 
if you are waiting to hear a report on first class travel, suites in 5 star hotels, and multi course meals in fancy restaurants, this TR is not for you. This trip was the peanut butter jelly sandwich, tuna cans, crackers, joe's motel type of trip. We went on a budget, and scheduled the night flights (in cattle class) in order to save $ and to maximize time at the destinations. We spent 1-3 days at each destination, i dont dare to claim that i covered all there was to do in each place, or even close to that. We were trying to get a taste of each place, and to experience the feel of what was for us very exotic destinations, things that we had grown up hearing about, but had never come close to seeing. Last but not least, we went to come back with cool pictures of faraway lands. in my parents generation thats quite an embarrassing thing to say, but today i dont think i am such a sore thumb.

INTRO:
the route was TLV-AMM-AUH-PEK-PVG-SYD-HNL-ANC-SEA-NYC-HEL-TLV. We landed back in TLV 15 days after we had left, but actually had a 16 day trip due to crossing the dateline and having 2 november 17's. it was all booked using AA miles, on an account with 350k that was unaccesible thru the online system because it was being audited by AA, and shortly after our trip commenced i got that email saying that my account was being shut down due to violations of T&C's, and that the remaining 0.5k miles were being confiscated. ;) all in all we got great value for my miles, especially considering the above mentioned account termination.

so after all the blabbering here we go....

PART 1-

TLV-AMM-AUH-PEK 25k AA miles per person

nov 10 had us in TLV for a flight to AMM on RJ @6pm, a 2 hour stop and a connection on RJ to AUH. We each had almost 35kg in our bags, and about 20kg in our hand luggage, (all the above mentioned tuna cans peanut butters and cold cuts etc.), and were praying with great fervor. turns out the israeli RJ desk agent was so blown away to see 2 white shirt black pants beard & tzitzis flying charedis going to UAE that he just sent us straight thru w/o issue, including tagging our bags straight to PEK w/o having to take them in AUH for the 20 hours we would be there.
we got to AUH at 1:30 am and went to the budget desk to get our car, we couldnt help noticing (oy vey) the local policewomen in the airport. police are the only arabs in the airport, all other workers are foreign labor. the budget desk agent and the one who gets the car were breaking their teeth in English to each other, being that they were from different countries.we headed out straight for dubai, where we slept at the aloft city centre deira (17.5k marriott points).
we got up, davened ate and headed out. we parked near the gold souk, and went into a store to buy some local attire. we then spent some time in the gold shops gawking at these larger than life gold necklaces, and seeing wealthy locals and their wives pulling out cash stuffed envelopes to pay for them. we actually tried on a 15kg gold necklace, and asked the dealer to put it aside till we come back with the cash עד אשר אבוא אל אדוני שעירה.... i had never experienced the feeling of window shopping before. we then took a few minutes to visit a local iranian spice shop, the mixture of strong smells were truly amazing. we then headed out to the burj khalifa tower, we didnt bother going inside but spent plenty of time marveling and taking pictures from the outside.
we then drove to abu dhabi to the Ferrari museum, most of the rides were closed but we had a grand time posing in a setup Bedouin tent as sheikhs, and trying to see which of the other tourists actually believed we were local sheikhs and which ones called the costumes. most thought we were locals.
we then headed towards the grand mosque in abu dhabi to catch mincha before shkia. it is truly an amazing sight to behold, my uncle wouldnt go in ("theyre on the other team") but i didnt care for his semantics, so i went in myself. in order to pass security u have to print out a ticket with a barcode. the machine asks u a million questions including what country u are from. of course i put in USA, but after i got my barcode i couldnt restrain the urge, so i printed out another one with citizenship marked as israeli and then quickly tossed the second one in the trash bin. when i got the the screening i heard a couple of the guards taking to each other about "israilia" , i couldnt make out any of the other words, but they kept on repeating "israilia" over and over. i hope they still arent waiting for the israeli guy to come....
we then headed for our hotel, the EY 9:20pm flight from AUH to PEK.
at the gate, they asked to see my visa to china. as u might know, to get a chinese visa for US citizens in the consulate in tel aviv u have to pay 550 shekels, israelis only pay 100 shekels, so i had my visa on my israeli passport. i was uncomfortable showing my israeli passport, so i tried telling him that "i have a visa... dont worry... just let me board..." it didnt work. with no other choice i showed it to him, after a long 5 minutes he gave me back my boarding passes, and quipped "i marked u down as visa w/o passport". i didnt know exactly what he meant, and i dont know if that is official policy or his own policy, but i didnt feel like waiting around to find out. we then boarded and went to sleep for the night.
to be continued....

March 12, 2020, 05:23:10 PM
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Re: Covid-19 and Shalom Bayis I can think of a few good reasons to push off marriage...
1. Learning to live with someone new is hard. There are a lot of habits to get used to. When the couple is working or in kollel, there's a buffer, some alone time, that allows for the adjustments to take place without being "in your face" 24/7.
2. Halachically, difficulties of dealing with niddah. That's always interesting to navigate in any new marriage, let alone one where you're stuck in the same house together with little to no breaks.
3. Financially. Lots of people out of work, or families not in as good of a position to help the new couple as they otherwise would be. Setting up a new house and putting all those stresses on a new couple can doom them before their marriage has a chance.

April 27, 2020, 02:34:02 PM
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Re: Covid-19 and Shalom Bayis Very rosy thread here. B”h I would put myself in the unchanged to better category. I have what I would consider to be a really good marriage but looking way back to Shana Rishona something like this would’ve been a serious threat to my marriage at that point. It’s only because we had our space and time for ourselves that we were able to work things out during what for most people is a very rocky time. Many other couples I know of have the same dynamic, and it is well known that it is a trying time for most. Then there are a huge amount of people out there who are suffering from mental illness and this situation makes what was barely tolerable into a simply horrible situation for the other spouse, especially for those with severe personality disorders. Just ask any of the helplines and crisis organizations. Let us not forget that there are thousands who are suffering to various degrees from this.
April 28, 2020, 10:26:09 AM
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Re: What are MEN in the USA that usually go to the Mikvah daily doing? !
May 03, 2020, 04:39:43 PM
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Re: What Are You Eating?
Arby's 2 for 6. Not as good as the others week 5 for 10.
Your by a Shalom zachor on a tues afternoon??

May 05, 2020, 03:40:57 PM
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Re: Is there a second wave?
By being overly cautious they haven’t learned anything from their mistakes. They’re just making the mistake in the opposite direction, instead of using facts to make a rational decision.
Not neccaesarily. A fact based lesson to learn is to realize that there is still much that we don't know about this virus and that we should err on the side of caution.

May 11, 2020, 10:44:20 AM
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Re: Hatzalah-Thon - Live Stream Concert & Campaign Avremel shows how he is still the king. Nobody has performed with that kind of energy without a crowd.
Great production.

May 12, 2020, 12:03:55 AM
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Re: Live Antarctica Trip Report
Any chance of finishing the TR? I'm in suspense - did we ever make it back, or did we get diverted to the Falklands again to refuel?
Weren't you on the trip?

Ami had the full scoop when we were attacked on the way back by the Bolivian Navy but we valiantly fought them off and sunk their destroyer by correctly calling out A2 and B2.

It even had Fishy's amazing drone pics of the battle!

May 14, 2020, 10:50:47 AM
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Re: Violent protests erupt across the country
May 31, 2020, 08:47:42 PM
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Re: Violent protests erupt across the country
They hate cops which overrides any fear they could/should have for them
Then most in this thread should not fear blacks.  :)

June 01, 2020, 04:27:03 PM
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Re: Where Are You Posting From Now?
Ohio

The state that apparently has a budget surplus that they can put cops by every milepost. Oh, and the ugliest looking color police vehicles

June 07, 2020, 12:56:22 PM
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Re: Is there a second wave?
https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.05.26.115832v1.full.pdf

This study “may” show that immunity which stems from T cells last a long time.

I didn't know enough to understand the article that @Afrages6 posted last week, so I detoured back to basic biology, then went back to the article, and then came up for air and wrote this TR of it all.  It's probably too simplified for many here, but it reflects my simplistic level of understanding, so let me know what I got wrong. 


Just how long will immunity to COVID last?
  We've usually answered this by discussing how long antibodies remain in the blood, but maybe other parts of the immune system are more important.  Let’s look at those other parts, and they help defends against a virus.

We have some general mechanisms to prevent damage – multiple cell layers in our skin, hairs in our nose, cilia in our airways, sticky mucus on exposed surfaces, like tears in our eyes and mucus in the nasal passages.  These  block entry by the myriad bacteria, viruses, and fungi that we come into contact with every day, when we touch a doorknob or breathe in a public restroom, for example.  They work immediately upon contact with an infectious agent, and aren’t picky about what it is, so they’re sometimes called innate immunity, there from the time we’re born. 

Innate immunity prevents a lot of infections, but not all.  Other immune responses develop only after we’re exposed to a particular infectious agent, making up what’s called specific immunity, so let’s take a look at what is meant by specificity.

Imagine you hold a kiddush cup with a stem in your hand, your fingers pressed snugly around the bumps and ridges in the stem.  Now imagine removing the cup, while your hand remains frozen in place, forming a mold that specifically fits that stem.  With eyes closed, you’d be able to use that hand to feel around the china cabinet… past the esrog box…past the candlesticks…then, punkt!  Your molded hand “recognizes” the kiddush cup.  But one day you get fooled.  You’re reaching in with your molded hand… and when you open your eyes… you’ve got a besomim box!  Some artist created a Havdalah set with the the identical stem on the cup and besomim box.  We could say that your molded hand, designed to react specifically with the stem of the kiddush cup, also cross-reacts with the similarly-shaped stem of the besomim box.
 
In the human body, many processes depend on this sort of recognition, where the 3-D structure of one protein molecule matches up exactly with another protein, and that connection leads to some change in the cell.  In addition, cross-reactivity happens, when a protein made to recognize X happens to also (inappropriately) recognize Y. 

In the immune system, two kinds of cells produce these sorts of proteins with specificity. 
B cells make antibody proteins, and release them into the fluid that surrounds the cell.  Antibodies can be isolated from the fluid part of blood, known as plasma.  Antibody activity is also known as humoral immunity, because it occurs in the body’s fluids (not funny!  humoral, from the same root as humidity, meaning fluid). 

T cells make a protein called TCR, which, like antibodies, can match up with a specific target protein.  But T cells don’t release TCR, rather they keep it stuck in their outer membrane, and it’s the cell with TCR that actively fights infection.  This is called cellular immunity

Incidentally, although we talk about antibodies and T cells as being part of the blood, they are, in fact, both found throughout all the tissues of the body.  They’re just usually studied in blood, because people are more willing to donate a pint of blood than a pound of flesh. 

If we were to look at all the blood’s B cells under the microscope, they’d look pretty much alike, but at a chemical level, they’re quite varied.  One cluster of B cells make only antibodies that recognize a measles virus, another bunch make antibodies that recognize chicken pox, another might recognize a particular cold virus.  Similarly there are separate T cells with TCRs that are specific for measles, others specific for chicken pox, etc.  And cross-reactivity can happen, when an antibody or TCR made to recognize X can also recognize Y. 

Antibodies and TCR can recognize a particular protein on the surface of a virus, which in COVID, is often the Spike protein.  Pictures of the COVID virus show a ball with RNA inside and various proteins protruding outside.

Specific immune response - virus in blood

Now let’s go back to that virus that wasn’t stopped by the non-specific immune responses, and now finds itself in the fluids of the body.  Fluids released from the body, such as tears, saliva, and nasal mucus contain IgA antibodies.  If there are IgA antibodies specific for COVID, they’ll attach specifically to the spike protein, and thereby neutralize the virus, preventing it from doing further damage.

If the virus manages to get deeper into body fluids such as into blood or lymph, they’ll encounter IgG antibodies.  Again, IgG antibodies specific for the COVID spike protein will attach and neutralize the virus.  These fluids also contain macrophages, large cells that scoot around between the other cells of our body, much like the ameba you may have seen moving across a microscope slide in a biology class.  Macrophages engulf and digest the neutralized virus, breaking it down into smaller molecules that can then be recycled and reused.  Macrophages act nonspecifically, so can engulf a wide variety of particles – viruses, bacteria, particles of air pollution, what have you. 

Specific immune response - virus inside cell

A strong antibody response may stop the virus in its tracks, but if that doesn't happen, the virus can reach its final destination, the inside of a human cell.  The Spike protein on the virus surface, unencumbered by antibody, is now free to make a different protein-protein connection, and binds to ACE2, a protein on the surface of certain human cells.  This connection acts like a knock on the door, allowing the virus to enter the cell. 

Once inside, the virus takes over the cell’s machinery, forcing it to churn out copies of viral proteins and viral RNA.  The human cell has been transformed into a virus-making factory.   Viral RNA and proteins are then packaged into new viral particles which are discharged from the cell and go on to infect other cells.  The infected cells, prevented by the virus from doing all their own normal human stuff, eventually dies off. 

The kind of damage this does to the body will depend on where the infected cells are.  ACE2, the protein that the COVID virus first latches on to, is found in the lungs, digestive tract, and blood vessels, and all of these have been shown to be affected in COVID patients.

But the body doesn’t stand idly by and allow its cells to be infected by viruses – there’s an app for that!  It’s the T cell, and specifically killer T (or cytotoxic T, or CD8), which has a TCR protein on its surface that specifically recognizes a part of the COVID virus after it has infected a human cell.  The T cell sidles up to a COVID-infected cells, and the TCR-COVID protein-protein attachment leads the T cell to send a chemical signal (cytokine) that causes the infected cell to self-destruct.  Don’t worry, you won’t miss the loss of the cell - you’ve got 30 trillion more. The viral components are dispersed in the fluid, where they can be neutralized by antibodies and gobbled up by macrophages.
 
So this two-pronged approach, by antibodies and killer T cells, can effectively rid the body of the virus.  Another T cell, called T helper (CD4) coordinates the activity of the B and T cells.

Long-term immunity


The first time we’re exposed to a new virus, it can take 5-10 days for the B and T cells to make enough antibodies and TCR to fight this specific infection, and in the meantime, the virus has time to infect our cells and we get sick.  Only as sufficient antibodies and T cells are produced do we start to recover.   Memory B cells and memory T cells are also produced, and remain in our body after we recover.  The next time we’re infected with that same virus, the B and T cells make the specific antibody and TCR so quickly that they overpower the virus before it gets a chance to do any damage, and we're considered immune to that virus.

So our original question, How long does immunity to COVID last, can be rephrased as How long do memory B and memory T cells remain after COVID infection? And are those memory cells still able to fight infection? 

The new article

We can’t answer that for COVID, since the virus hasn’t been around for a long time, so Nina Le Bert and her co-workers asked a similar question regarding a similar virus that appeared 17 years ago, known as SARS.  SARS is also a coronavirus, in the same family as COVID, so it could give us a hint about what to expect from COVID.   (Proper names of the viruses are now SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2, but I abbreviated them to SARS and COVID.)

With regard to humoral immunity (B cells and antibodies), some think this will be short-lived.  It was already known that people who had recovered from SARS in 2003 had antibodies at that time, but they were gone from the blood after 2-3 years.  A recent paper from China suggests that the same may be true of COVID antibodies, which start to diminish after just 2-3 months.  So it's not clear whether humoral immunity to these viruses is long-lasting.

What about cellular immunity (T cells)?  Do people who had been infected with SARS in 2003 still have T cells specific for SARS?  Le Bert tried to answer this by using proteins that were known to have been part of the SARS virus (the SARS virus itself has disappeared).  She mixed those SARS proteins with the blood of people previously infected with SARS, and found that in every single person the blood still contained T cells that could recognize those proteins.  They concluded that memory T-cells can last as long as 17 years after infection with the SARS virus, and makes us hopeful that those who’ve recovered from COVID will similarly have long-lasting cellular immunity.

Le Bert did another study, this time on blood which had been collected in 2019, so it was from people who definitely had not had either SARS or COVID-19 which were not around then.  Much to their surprise, half of these people did have T-cells that could recognize certain COVID proteins!  But we know that T cells are only made specifically for those foreign agents we’ve been exposed to, and these people hadn’t been exposed to COVID or SARS.   So where could these T-cells have come from?  Their best guess is that these people had once been exposed to yet a third virus, with a similar structure, which might have given them a mild cold, if anything.   T cells would have been made specific to that virus, but due to the similar structure of COVID, the T cells cross-react with the COVID protein.   

This is actually the third paper that @Afrages6 has posted, which show that even before COVID appeared, T cells that cross-react with COVID were already in the blood of some people. 

Implications

One implication of this is that it might explain why some people are exposed to the coronavirus but remain asymptomatic.  Perhaps these asymptomatic people had some long-term T-cell immunity based on their exposure to some unknown, related coronavirus, and this protected them from a serious infection.
   
Another implication of this is that it might change our concept of what is needed for herd immunity, something that @Afrage6 said weeks ago.  If 50% of people have some degree of immunity due to a cross-reacting T memory cell, and 20% have immunity because they actually came down with COVID and recovered, then we may have 70% immune, which may be close to herd immunity, even without a vaccine.  On the other hand, as @Lurker has pointed out, it’s possible that of the 20% who came down with COVID, half of those also had the cross-reacting memory T cells and they didn’t work, so maybe cross-reacting T cells are not as useful as we’d hope.

A few caveats:

Le Bert found T cells made in response to some older virus, that can physically cross-react with the COVID virus proteins.  But as @S209 noted we don’t yet have evidence that these T cells can actually fight off a COVID infection.   Even in the case where those who recovered from SARS have T cells specific for SARS,  we can’t be sure how effective those would be in fighting a second SARS infection, since the SARS virus has disappeared.

We don’t know if these findings will generalize to other people – When they say that 50% of people had some T-cell immunity before COVID, they are talking about 50% of the 18 people they sampled, which is just 9 individuals.  We can’t really extrapolate from that to conclude that 50% of 328 million Americans would show the same response.   These people also all lived in Singapore, so it’s possible that the viruses prevalent there were not common in the US, and that fewer Americans would have this particular T cell.

This research hasn’t been peer reviewed, that is, critiqued by immunologists who know something about the subject.

I still don’t understand how memory T cells would be enough to stop an infection – I thought they needed to be accompanied by antibodies, and here they seem to be saying that long-term cellular immunity would be enough to prevent infection.
 

June 23, 2020, 11:13:52 AM
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Re: Do All Black Lives Matter To BLM?
Where were you?
Did you convert? Where’d you learn how to answer a question like that?

July 07, 2020, 08:36:20 AM
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Re: Travel Destinations Reopening News Master Thread
https://m.facebook.com/GovernorDavidIge
Watch the video


Who else pressed the image?

July 13, 2020, 09:58:06 PM
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Re: United ETCs shows on UA.com
I called United to get a ETC (it did not give me the option online or on app!) they say it takes up to 7 business days to process it
Anyone having similar experience?
+1

July 14, 2020, 11:07:05 AM
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Re: Free Amazon shipping to Israel I doubt it will return. No chance they were making money sending Kleenex tissues.
July 15, 2020, 05:08:03 AM
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Re: Kennedy Replacement DDF Shortlist
We have some really sick puppies here.
When there are major ramifications, there is nothing wrong with looking beyond. Do you think anyone who writes a will is a sick puppy? Grow up. I didn't say I want her to die. I actually respect her very much as a person. But I still think that Trump should, and probably does, have someone lined up in case any Justice leaves the court.

July 15, 2020, 11:23:05 AM
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Re: Comments That Crack Me Up! https://www.dansdeals.com/points-travel/airlines/el-al/class-action-filed-el-al-refusing-refunds-received-refund-yet/#comment-1482309
July 15, 2020, 11:50:39 AM
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Re: South Florida Master Thread I don't think I've ever read so much fake news in my life. You're making me very close to adding new forum rules.

Facts:
1 Miami is always gross and humid in the summer, it rarely is in the winter.
2 Miami rains nearly every day in the summer, it rarely does in the winter.
3 Miami hotels always have bargains in the summer, they rarely do in the winter.
4 Miami restaurants often run specials in the summer and have plenty of space, they never do in the winter.
5 It is extremely unpleasant to eat outdoors in the Miami summer.
6 COVID19 is running rampant in Miami, more so than anywhere in the world, in all age groups, and facts don't care about your feelings.
7 The law requires quarantining when you go from NY to FL and FL to NY. Sure, you can also cheat on your taxes or shoplift and it's not always enforced, but that doesn't mean you're not breaking the law so don't pretend otherwise or tell people it's not the law.
8 Show some respect for Doctors running the front line and taking care of patients in hospitals that are now more jammed with patients than NY was in March. Especially ones that also take the time to keep DDF informed!
9 This has nothing to do with politics, grow up!!!!

/rant

July 15, 2020, 11:58:32 AM
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Re: Life Hacks, Post Your Favorites!
Whenever you have a major life decision, and you aren't sure what you should do, go to google.com (or go to your search bar if it defaults to google), and simply type "flip a coin". All your tough decisions will come to a quick conclusion.
I believe that's how the CDC and WHO created their covid19 policies

July 16, 2020, 05:32:49 AM
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Re: Translating a Yiddish diary From the war
My grandmother has a diary written by her father during ww2 (they were running and hiding for almost 6 years!)
The diary is written with a pencil (fading) in Yiddish and he did not have the greatest handwriting.
My grandmother had it translated by someone however they did not know the history or geography of the area therefore making a lot of basic mistakes and they were still not able to translate it all!
If anybody knows someone who does this (Obviously for $) it would be a great help it gets harder to read by the day!

how many pages? This is a must save. I can try & help you as I know someone who is great at reading handwritings but it costs. You can probably recoup if its very interesting by selling it as a book one day. Can you post one page as an example?

July 16, 2020, 04:29:00 PM
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Re: Translating a Yiddish diary From the war I know this guy does translation of this type of stuff

Rabbi Yehuda Altein
(347) 423-5734
yaltein.writing@gmail.com
(Yiddish/Hebrew to English; specializes in handwritten family material)

I may know some others as well

July 16, 2020, 06:48:44 PM
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Re: Correct spelling of Yiddish/Jewish names
IIRC, the name "Leib" in the sefer "Chiddushei Rav Aryeh Leib Malin" is spelled one way on the cover and another way inside the sefer...

So now we're going to bring arguments from the בחור הזעצער?  ::)

July 19, 2020, 06:55:28 PM
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Re: Would you fly with the common cold? Why isn't there a "Yes, without extra precautions" option?
July 20, 2020, 04:12:43 PM
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Re: How can you spot a Republican politician?
Trump pours the Kool-Aid and he drinks it.

“These kids have got to get back to school,” Parson said in an interview Friday with radio host Marc Cox on KFTK. “They’re at the lowest risk possible. And if they do get COVID-19, which they will — and they will when they go to school — they’re not going to the hospitals. They’re not going to have to sit in doctor’s offices. They’re going to go home and they’re going to get over it.”
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/theyre-going-to-get-over-it-missouri-gov-insists-kids-must-go-back-to-school-even-though-they-will-get-covid-19/ar-BB16YVm0?li=BBnb7Kz
ok, enough is enough with all these threads.  It's not even funny anymore

July 21, 2020, 02:08:17 PM
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Re: New Like feature I find that once in a while I Like a post if someone replied to a post of mine and I want them to know that I read their reply and just don't have anything more to add, even if there's nothing particularly like-worthy about their post. It just avoids a useless "I hear" or "Ok" post.

Does anyone else here do that? Does it make sense?

July 21, 2020, 11:05:53 PM
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Re: Is this a scam?
Thanks both.

My wife was about to order me these as a "present" cheap airpods!

Looked fishy but I'm not an expert. Thank goodness for DDF
I think she should buy you these instead:
https://www.amazon.com/Headphones-Earphones-Microphone-Waterproof-CYTT03/dp/B081SPCYZC/ref=sr_1_8?dchild=1&m=A1TIYWFK1TKQJB&marketplaceID=ATVPDKIKX0DER&qid=1595394802&s=merchant-items&sr=1-8

July 22, 2020, 01:14:26 AM
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Re: New Chassidish Community Being Planned in Tampa
pls............ we need more parking spaces in BP! need to push ppl to make the move for our "MUTUAL" benefit

And who do you think will be taking their place in BP? Some tree-hugging yuppie? If that happens you'll have even less parking and more congestion due to bike lanes and parking spots being appropriated to Citi Bike.

July 27, 2020, 11:39:02 PM
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NYC - CA - NYC Solo National Parks Road Trip Summer 2020 Yes, you heard that right. A solo 4-week road trip from NYC to California and back, hitting as many National Parks as I can along the way.

I'm spending a few days in the Poconos (8/18-8/23), and then heading out for real.

Some preliminary details: I'm allowing for some flexibility in my planning; that said, here's the basic plan:
NYC -> PA. Stay with siblings for a few days in a great Airbnb in the Poconos.
Cedar Point Amusement Park. Yes, it's open.
Chicago. See some friends (with appropriate distancing) and eat some Chicago kosher food.
South Dakota (Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Devil's Tower Monument)
Wyoming - Yellowstone, Grand Teton
Utah - Bonneville Salt Flats
(I've already been to Arches and Canyonlands. Zion and Bryce will have to wait for another trip.)
Yosemite (Yo Semite!)
Sequoia National Park
Los Angeles
Death Valley
Joshua Tree
Las Vegas
Hoover Dam
Grand Canyon
After that, who knows?
Possibly: Great Salt Plains in OK, New Orleans, Great Smoky Mountains.

I'm happy to take suggestions, especially westward bound between PA -> Chicago -> South Dakota -> Yellowstone, and eastward bound between Grand Canyon and NYC (yes, I know that's a long way).

I'm deliberately skipping some parks that are too out of the way, like Rocky Mountain, Glacier, Crater Lake; and some cities that I plan to visit at some later date for a baseball game (Houston, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Denver).

I'm using my own car, mostly for comfort and nostalgia reasons. It's a 2012 Camry, 97k miles, and a workhorse.

I eat dairy out, so I won't be obsessing around where to get food. Sorry to disappoint. I'll post food pics if there's demand, or when eating at a hechshered establishment.

Let the trip commence!

August 19, 2020, 08:42:15 PM
1
Re: Can I check my bags in 6-7 hrs before my delta flight I would assume as long as the desk is open, which is always the case with a major airline that has multiple flights, they’ll take the bags from you.
August 30, 2020, 02:03:10 PM
1
Re: Can I check my bags in 6-7 hrs before my delta flight
I would assume as long as the desk is open, which is always the case with a major airline that has multiple flights, they’ll take the bags from you.
I know this isn't true with Air Canada - once tried to check in for YYZ-TLV flight around 9 hours early, and they wouldn't let, even though flying business + status

August 30, 2020, 02:09:15 PM
1
Re: The funny/strange/interesting/random pictures thread


"The man who created autocorrect has died. May he restaurant in peace."

"Autocorrect can go to he'll."


August 31, 2020, 12:25:32 PM
1
Re: Can I check my bags in 6-7 hrs before my delta flight
you can always self check in at a kiosk & self drop it.
Ime the kiosk is auto programmed not to allow you to print tags too early but the agent has the power to check them even if they are not supposed to.

I recently flew southwest w/ a friend. His flight was scheduled for 8 am and mine was 5 pm to the same city. Hoping to get on the earlier flight I accompanied him to the airport where they directed us to the kiosk. My boarding pass printed but they wouldn't allow me to check bags and he couldn't get the kiosk to work so we walked up to the bag drop where the agent was annoyed that we hadn't already printed tags but begrudgingly printed first for my friend. His bags were overweight so we did shifted some stuff into my bags. When it was my turn the agent made a face slammed down her cup of coffee, scowled some more at her computer (אין עוד מלבדו! אין עוד מלבדו! ) and eventually slapped the tags on.

After clearing security the gate agent who changed my ticket  was bewildered as to how I got my bags checked.

August 31, 2020, 12:52:57 PM
1
Re: The current state of COVID-19 in Israel
There's only one Brisk
Some say R Avraham Yeshoshua is also Brisk

August 31, 2020, 03:15:03 PM
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Re: The current state of COVID-19 in Israel
Maybe you can write up a "tr" and give some helpful tips on being in bidud i just got back and im sure there are others that could benefit from that!

I'll make sure to include a Google Maps location history screenshot from the last 2 weeks.

September 02, 2020, 02:18:04 PM
1
Thanks DDF! Just wanted to say thanks to everyone for my beautiful Chitas, I can't wait to learn from it every day! It was so nice of you guys to think of me!

P.S. My older brother @Rafi told me that he was on, like, 100 flights by the time he was my age. Can someone tell my Tatty to fly somewhere with me already?



September 03, 2020, 02:32:29 PM
1
Re: {ALIVE AGAIN} Baby Present for Dan: (DAN/JJ DO NOT READ THIS THREAD)
Quote
https://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=119489.0

Thanks to all the wonderful members of DDF for chipping in with time, money and  ideas and to make this happen, and a very special Thank you to  @Joeymc for taking care of it and making it all come together.

 Its great to be part of such an AAmazing group!!

September 03, 2020, 03:13:17 PM
1
Re: Interesting Articles... The uniqueness of the year תשפ"א

By Rabbi Shea Lindner

This coming year תשפ"א is the most rarest of occurances. I will give a quick introduction: There is a total of 14 various ways of how the yearly Jewish calendar can be set. 7 of them are regular years, and 7 of them are leap years - 14 in total.

Each of these 14 ways has a 3 letter code. By knowing this code, one can figure out the entire year; exactly what day of the week each Yom Tov will fall out, when Rosh Chodesh will be, whether it's a leap year or not, which Parsha will it be each week, etc, etc.

The code for this coming year is זח"א. I will not bore everyone as to explaining what this code means, but suffice to say that it is arguably the rarest of all 14 methods. The last time this occured was 20 years ago and the time before that was 44 years ago.
I will list here some of the rare phenomenons which we will be wittnessing this coming year:

#1
*תפילת ותודיענו 5 פעמים בשנה אחת*
This year we will be making Kiddush & Havdala together, a total of 5 times throughout the year:
1 - ליל שני של ראש השנה
2 - ליל שני של סוכות
3 - ליל שמחת תורה
4 - ליל סדר ראשון של פסח
5 - ליל אחרון של פסח

#2
*אין שבת חול המועד כלל*
This is good news for the children: No Shabbos Chol Hamoed this year - not Succos nor Pesach. This means more time to go to the zoo, the bumping cars, or the merry-go-round...

#3
*שבת מקץ אינו שבת חנוכה*
This year is the rare occurance of Chanuka starting on a Friday - which means that שבת פרשת מקץ is not Chanuka anymore - which causes the reading of the weekly Parsha Haftorah, which is almost never read, since the Haftorah of שבת חנוכה almost always supersedes it. But this year is an exception. If you ever wondered why a Hoftorah for Miketz is printed in our Chumashim since it's never said anyway - the answer is it's printed there for this year. Remember the wisdom of שלמה המלך ordering to cut the baby in half in order to determine who the real mother is? That's the story of הפטורת מקץ which we haven't gotten to read for 20 years...

#4
*עשרה בטבת שחל בערב שבת*
The only fast which can occur on a Friday is Asarah B'Teves. This fast cannot be pushed off for a later date as other fasts are, since the Pasuk refers to עשרה בטבת as עצם היום הזה which Chazal interpret as meaning that this fast must be on the 10th day of Teves no matter what day of the week it falls out. This causes the rare occurance of fasting until after Kiddush. This is when everyone will be making an early Shabbos - in middle of the winter...

#5
*שבת זכור שחל בפרשת תרומה*
In a regular year - not a leap year, שבת פרשת תצוה is always שבת זכור - except for this year when it will be פרשת תרומה instead. While this has no practical ramifications, it is nevertheless an extremely rare occurance.

#6
*פורים שחל בערב שבת*
If Purim every year is not hectic enough, we will now have the rare occurance of Purim on a Friday - and yes - it is still before the clock is moved - so you better be ready to light Shabbos candles at 5:00 - by hook or by crook... Better start the day at the crack of dawn, in order to pack into this short Friday the reading of the Megilla, sending Mishloach Manos, eating a Seudas Purim, manage to get a bit drunk as well, plus running around to all the teachers and family... If your head is starting to spin already - you have an option - buy a ticket to ארץ ישראל... If you're in ארץ ישראל - then it's a different story - as we will now explain:

#7
*פורים המשולש*
If you ever planned to go to Eretz Yisroel for Purim - this is the year to go. Why? Because since Purim in ירושלים is always a day later then by us - namely on the day we call שושן פורים - therefore when Purim is by us on Friday - then by them it's on Shabbos - which results in the phenomenon of פורים המשולש litteraly meaning "The Triple Purim". What this means is as follows:

Just like we have now Rosh Hashana falling on Shabbos, as well as Succos on Shabbos, where the Shofar is not blown and the Lulav is not shaken - as the Gemara explains the reasoning - the same reasoning applies when Purim falls on Shabbos as well - the Megilla is not read. What happens is - Purim instead of being 1 day - ends up being 3 days instead! How so? - This is how it works:

The 6 Mitzvos of Purim are divided into 3 days:
Friday is קריאת המגילה and מתנות לאביונים, Shabbos על הניסים is said and ויבא עמלק is read, and Sunday is סעודת פורים and משלוח מנות is sent. Yerushalayim is clearly the place to be this year!...

#8
*ערב פסח שחל להיות בשבת*
But the Yom Tov which has the most Halachic ramifications is the phenomenon of Erev Pesach occuring now on Shabbos. Here are some aspects of Pesach which will now be different than every year:

בדיקת חמץ
Cannot be the night before Pesach as usual since it's Shabbos, so it must be on Thursday night instead.

שריפת חמץ
Can obviously not be on the day of Erev Peasch, and must instead be on Friday morning. But no כל חמירא is said, and no Chametz is nullified. Why? Because while every year, there is of course no Chametz to be had after the burning, this year however, not only is Chametz permitted afterwards - but one is actually obligated to eat Chametz afterwards. Why? Because on Shabbos one must eat both at night and day some Challa. One cannot substitute Challa for Matza, as it is forbidden to eat Matza on Erev Pesach. But how the Challa is eaten is a bit complicated...

בוקר שבת ערב פסח
Everyone must daven Shachris on Shabbos at the crack of dawn, in order to be finnished eating Challa before סוף זמן אכילת חמץ at 10:00 in the morning. Any Chametz left over afterwards must quickly be flushed down the toilet before סוף זמן ביטול חמץ at 11:00 as burning is not possible on Shabbos and only then is כל חמירא said. Anyone who wishes to eat סעודה שלישית afterwards, cannot eat not Challa nor Matza, and must eat other foods instead.

סדר ליל פסח מוצאי שבת
On Shabbos it is forbidden to do any preperations for the Seder whatsoever, until the זמן מוצאי שבת - besides taking a good nap...

תכלה שנה וקללותיה!
תחל שנה וברכותיה!

September 07, 2020, 10:14:05 AM
1
Re: The Pros And Cons Of Where You Live


September 07, 2020, 01:30:49 PM
1
Re: Guess The Age Of Fellow DDFers
Guess The Age Of Fellow DDFers

Rules

1. Don't guess on people you've met in person.
2. Don't guess on family.
3. Don't guess based off lack of spelling and grammar, there may be some who never learned.
4. Don't expect an exact answer to be given. (So please don't press)
According to this and this you are 18-21  :)

September 07, 2020, 10:31:04 PM
1
So shoot me I changed my mind, but wear a mask
September 08, 2020, 12:45:05 PM
1
Re: Is Covid Spiking in Boro Park?
Maybe some secular education in high schools would be a good thing....

Cuz that's working out so well for the rest of the geniuses in this country... :P

September 08, 2020, 01:11:25 PM
1
Re: The Great American Road Trip, by PBaruch & Family (August 2020)
Another amazing trip and equally well-done TR - thanks! We also love taking family trips in the US and visiting national parks, so I especially enjoy gleaning travel ideas from your TRs. This summer we were in northern MN and WI among other places and got some great ideas from your TR. Unfortunately Isle Royale was closed unless you wanted to pay $300pp to fly in, and houseboats in Voyageurs were all booked up, but we still had a great time.

Even though we've been to most of the places in this TR, we've always wanted to try an RV but have found the logistics daunting (it also helps that we have tons of hotel points so almost never pay for lodging), so I'd love some pointers about how to feel secure enough to go ahead with it. Specifically:

Are there any websites or generally good strategies to use to find good deals on RVs, whether 1-way or just cheap rates?
Are there specific RV rental companies that are more reliable, and any to avoid?
Are there any that include unlimited miles as is standard with car rentals?
In hindsight, were there any red flags you missed or questions you wish you had asked to avoid getting an RV Poopypants? :)
Any tips about how to find good places to stay each night?
Did you have prior RV experience, and any advice about how to handle unique RV issues like emptying tanks, leveling, etc., to ensure a successful first experience?

1. I would check with each RV rental company to see if they have any specials.  Here is a partial list:

El Monte 1-way specials
https://www.elmonterv.com/rv-rental/cool-deal-detail/ONE-WAY-SPECIAL/

Great Alaskan Holidays
https://www.greatalaskanholidays.com/alaska-rv-rentals/specials/

Cruise America
https://www.cruiseamerica.com/

Apollo RV
https://www.apollorv.com/reloc.aspx

Road Bear RV
http://www.roadbearrv.com/en/rental-deals
http://www.roadbearrv.com/en/rental-deals/one-way-specials

https://www.imoova.com/

https://www.transfercarus.com/

2.  We have rented from El Monte, Apollo and Great Alaskan, as best as I can recall.  I do not know if there are any to avoid.  We have always had some issues with the rentals but I wouldn't characterize the issues we had as a reason to avoid that company in the future.  @Something Fishy once mentioned reading negative things about Apollo but we did not have any issues when renting from them and, at the time, they were one of the cheapest.

3. I think there are some that do include unlimited miles for an added fee, but you would have to check with each rental company.  Generally, it is not an option.

4. No red flags that I can specifically point out.  All I can say is that I have learned to check all of the major systems of the RV before you take off.  Make sure the AC, generator and refrigerator work.  Check to see that the outlets work.  Make sure the shower and sink work.  Turn on the stove and ovens.  It pays to spend a few extra minutes before you leave to make sure everything works rather than realizing later on and having to call the RV company and try to diagnose the problem.  With this particular 1 way rental, the RV was definitely beat up a lot more than any other rental we had in the past - but then again it was $75 a night.  Other 1-way rentals can be brand spanking new RVs that need to be relocated from the factory to the rental company - so you can really luck out there.

5. We like KOA campgrounds as they are a chain and are fairly consistent throughout.  We have also found other non chain campgrounds that we liked very much.  I'd suggest doing some research about the locations you want to visit.  National parks have some really nice campgrounds but those are often without any hookups.  You can also camp on BLM land for free but again, no hookups.  Info can be found here:  https://www.blm.gov/programs/recreation/camping.  Another option is to camp at farms, vineyards and breweries by purchasing a membership here:  https://harvesthosts.com/.  The cost is $79 or $119 per year.  Finally, if you are on the road and want a free place to stay for the night, most Walmarts allow you to stay overnight in the parking lot.  This list is by no means exhaustive. 

6.  We started renting RVs without any prior experience - just jumped right in.  The rental company will show you a video before you take off, which will contain a number of useful tips.  There are also many videos on YouTube that you can watch, to learn the basics.  Emptying tanks is not hard at all.  It's not a pleasant job but I don't understand why people make such a big fuss about it.  Likewise, leveling isn't a big deal.  Most RVs you rent do not have auto leveling.  The rental company provides you with one of those bubble levels.  Once you know which side needs to be adjusted, you drive the RV onto one of those small ramps that you are provided with.  I am sure it will be a little daunting your first time out, but once you get the hang of it everything will be fine and you will have a great time.

I hope I answered all of your questions.  If I missed anything, please let me know.

September 10, 2020, 04:45:08 PM
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Re: Is this story true?
there is a desperate case being made for a dislike button
This post made me actually read OP, and I'm disgusted.
I'll delete it soon.
One can make an argument that "soon" has been due for a while.

September 12, 2020, 09:02:46 PM
1
Re: The current state of COVID-19 in Israel I third that (or fourth ?)
I was here since the beginning and what I see is the same level of compliance throughout. Besides the nose slippage I see sometimes. That wasn’t around before

September 15, 2020, 04:25:04 PM
1
Re: EL AL
for those not following the back and forth can we have the the whole story in short?
if its to much for you @tavster maybe @Dan can put it in the new years news roundup!?
Long story short, we don't know yet who the new owner is.

We just know that LY has managed to raise the full amount they were looking for

Since Rosenberg's name doesn't show up on the registrar, as it seems that the shares are held through a bank, I believe we will have to wait for an announcement from Rozenberg himself, or whoever bought the shares.

September 16, 2020, 01:52:24 PM
1
Re: EL AL
It's really historical. Kenny is committed to making the airline cater to Chareidim on a whole new level. He is very aware of the issues we faced with ELAL up till now and the strategy is to change that. They will revamp Matmid to make it competitive, cater to onflight minyanim, separate seating, families with children, etc. The NYC-TLV & LON-TLV routes will have everything the Chareidi traveler can dream of. There will be a huge blitz in the Chareidi media explaining all this. And there will be a firm commitment to Shabbos. This is a real gamechanger.
Wow. I'd love to interview him.

September 16, 2020, 03:15:48 PM
2