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Re: Is this story true?
I really feel bad to bring this up but I feel it's necessary being that I'm related to a young bochur who died of hunger in a Lubavitch yeshiva during WW2 which was right next to one of Aharon Kotler's yeshivas which at the time had a surplus of food. However the yeshiva was instructed by Aharon Kotler not to provide any food to the starving Lubavitch bochurim in the neighboring yeshiva. In fact some of the bochurim in Aharon Kotler's yeshiva took pity and broke the rules by sneaking a bag of rice to the Lubavitch bochurim. Several Lubavitch bochurim died of hunger when the supply stopped.

Another story: My great aunt worked in Aharon Kotler's office and they received a desperate plea from R. Weismandel in Slovokia who had bribed nazi officials to release thousands of Jews. At one point he secured a deal with Eichman to release many of the Hungarian Jews in the camps in late 1944 for an unknown sum of money. The request begged Aharon Kotler to help raise the funds needed to secure their release. His response was "NO" but he went on to print an updated version of "Shita Mekubetzes" (priorities?)

This story was documented a book called "The Unheeded Cry"

Needless to say I have a hard time believing the above mentioned  story...



Where did you pick up all that $%*&?

Not only are you spreading Motzei Shem Ra, you are stomping on the grave of the Gadol Hador responsible for the revitalization of Torah in America and the PREEMINENT fundraiser for the Vaad during the war

September 05, 2011, 07:10:47 AM
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Re: Is this story true?
I really feel bad to bring this up but I feel it's necessary being that I'm related to a young bochur who died of hunger in a Lubavitch yeshiva during WW2 which was right next to one of Aharon Kotler's yeshivas which at the time had a surplus of food. However the yeshiva was instructed by Aharon Kotler not to provide any food to the starving Lubavitch bochurim in the neighboring yeshiva. In fact some of the bochurim in Aharon Kotler's yeshiva took pity and broke the rules by sneaking a bag of rice to the Lubavitch bochurim. Several Lubavitch bochurim died of hunger when the supply stopped.

Another story: My great aunt worked in Aharon Kotler's office and they received a desperate plea from R. Weismandel in Slovokia who had bribed nazi officials to release thousands of Jews. At one point he secured a deal with Eichman to release many of the Hungarian Jews in the camps in late 1944 for an unknown sum of money. The request begged Aharon Kotler to help raise the funds needed to secure their release. His response was "NO" but he went on to print an updated version of "Shita Mekubetzes" (priorities?)

This story was documented a book called "The Unheeded Cry"

Needless to say I have a hard time believing the above mentioned  story...


the story is obviously not true, since aharon kotler is not nearly that old, unless youre referring to his grandfather Rav Aharon Kotler in which case all i can say is shame on you mechutzef.

September 05, 2011, 07:46:44 AM
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Re: Is this story true?
I really feel bad to bring this up but I feel it's necessary being that I'm related to a young bochur who died of hunger in a Lubavitch yeshiva during WW2 which was right next to one of Aharon Kotler's yeshivas which at the time had a surplus of food. However the yeshiva was instructed by Aharon Kotler not to provide any food to the starving Lubavitch bochurim in the neighboring yeshiva. In fact some of the bochurim in Aharon Kotler's yeshiva took pity and broke the rules by sneaking a bag of rice to the Lubavitch bochurim. Several Lubavitch bochurim died of hunger when the supply stopped.

Another story: My great aunt worked in Aharon Kotler's office and they received a desperate plea from R. Weismandel in Slovokia who had bribed nazi officials to release thousands of Jews. At one point he secured a deal with Eichman to release many of the Hungarian Jews in the camps in late 1944 for an unknown sum of money. The request begged Aharon Kotler to help raise the funds needed to secure their release. His response was "NO" but he went on to print an updated version of "Shita Mekubetzes" (priorities?)

This story was documented a book called "The Unheeded Cry"

Needless to say I have a hard time believing the above mentioned  story...


So basically you are saying that Harav Aharon Kotler didn't care about saving jewish lives, wasn't caring and compassionate, had skewed priorities, and was heartless???    SHAME ON YOU!!!!
Some of the things that Rav Aharon was most famous for was his active work in saving jews in WW2.
There are many stories of how he dropped everything, and went door to door (even on Shabbos when an emergency Pikuach Nefesh situation came up) fundraising to help save Yidden from the holocaust! He used to go to Washington D.C. to Plead with the President and Senators to help stop what was going on in the concentration camps!

I'm not going to go in to his Gadlus Batorah now, but even just on the Chesed aspect and caring for and helping every jew that he came in contact with,  I wonder who made up those fake stories that you wrote!!

September 05, 2011, 10:22:53 AM
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Re: Is this story true? I am shocked appalled and disgusted, why don't we start a new thread: "Purported scandals about Rabbonim" Besides that the stories do not factually add up (its almost funny that anyone would believe them) But on a more serious note, I don't think that these type of posts are beneficial to the forums. The beauty of the forums as Dan has pointed out (Re: DO) is that you've got people from all types of backgrounds coming together. There are similar legends about lots of different people and it would not serve any purpose to start posting them. I think that such posts belong at the checkout tabloids and not on DDF.

September 05, 2011, 10:24:10 AM
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Re: Kosher Switch
Ok, CM, the thread's been moved. Hop aboard!
HAVE YOU ALL LOST YOUR MIND? Kosher switch? This is nothing but a scam, sham, trick, loophole or a hundred other things. One thing it is not is "kosher". This is not some CC T&C's you are trying to justify. Who do you think you are fooling here? You think you are going to pull a quick one on your creator? Good luck with that one. 

April 16, 2015, 12:28:12 AM
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Re: Forum Game: Where have you been that none of the rest of us have? Khan Yunis
April 24, 2015, 09:10:52 PM
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Re: Abortion = Murder? @JTZ,

I've often read your posts and I respect you a lot, but i've have thought that many of your post indicate that you seem to misunderstand something basic about Judaism.

While Judaism contains many elegant and neat truths, and is taught and studied and expounded upon by intellectual greats who use logic to decipher it's codes and come up with new laws and rulings- ultimately, it is NOT a logical or rational religion.

At first, however, in our search for Truth we are bound to logic and our limited capacity to understand truth.
When Abraham looked around the world, it was with logical conclusion that realized that there must be G-d in the world, and that it wasn't those idols his fellows worshipped.
So, acknowledging a Higher Power, and evaluatinge a religion is still within the realm of logic. And every ounce and every capacity for our human brains to evaluate and arrive at the truth, must be used. But anything after that point, logic is futile. G-d and his Torah are not bound to the limits of logic, because they are greater than logic. Suprarational, not subrational. It would seem ridiculous to try to understand G-d or his Torah through the lens of logic.

We do NOT do acts of charity out of kindness because it is the 'good' thing to do.
We act charitably with kindness because G-d commanded us to.

We are forbidden to murder, NOT because rationally it seems inhumane, unfair, evil or immoral.
We don't murder because we were forbidden to do so by a Higher Authority that we sumbit completely to, G-d. Period.

In a case such as Amalek, we can try to understand it as best as we can, with many beautiful midrashim and explanations... But ultimately, it's another commandment, and we quiet the resistance of our human minds, and accept that this is what G-d wants.
And it doesn't matter whether it makes sense or not. And it doesn't matter if it makes us look evil in the eyes of others.

(A. And how do we know this is what G-d wants? Different Discussion. B. And why can't other violent religions use the same ideas to explain their violence? While we are commanded to love and respect and tolerate all human beings, it doesn't mean that we need to agree with them, or accept their religion as truth. A deeper investigation will show falacies in the original thinking that led them to their belief. But that brings us back to A)

I am an openly unapologetic American, Jewish woman from Brooklyn.
I don't apologize for my religion even when it seems at odds with the rest of 'modern' thought.
___________________________

So, under Jewish Law, even though a fetus isn't considered fully a human, if it is not Amalek and it is not posing a threat to its mother, and it seems to be healthy with normal potential for life- (of course, each case must be analyzed by Drs and competent halachic authority) then it is forbidden to kill it via abortion.

Inopportune time or unwanted pregnancies are not (usually) considered a threat to the mother's health- and therefor are forbidden.

At all times, the question is NOT, "Is the right or humane thing to do?" rather, it is "In this case, what has G-d commanded"

ETA: This doesn't mean that religious people can shut off our minds and disregard logic. We always use logic to explore any topic to the limits of our minds, but ultimately we understand that logic is not the be and end all. There's more.

January 27, 2017, 08:44:46 AM
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Ayubowan from Sri Lanka (with a side of Dubai) Intro:

Welcome to Sri Lanka - a diamond in the rough!
Still recovering from their 30 year civil war, which ended in 2009, this country is fighting its way to development and it's fascinating to see.
With no Zika, beautiful beaches, mountains, safaris, rain forests, timeless ruins, and welcoming people, this was a great way for us to experience Asia.

The current exchange rate is 160 Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR) to 1 USD, so most items end up being really cheap.

The weather was much better than expected (albeit slightly hormonal), being that the summer is monsoon season. It really depends on which part of the country we were in, but the weather forecast was completely untrue, as it showed rain every single day, all day.
There were definitely a couple of downpours, but in general it rained basically every day but usually only for a couple of minutes. It was sunny 30 seconds after the rain, and the humidity was not bad at all. In The Hill Country it was much cooler, and we had generally pleasant weather.

There are numerous sim card options, but Dialog is the easiest and best, and most accessible throughout the country if you need to refill. We bought a sim card for safety reasons, though I don't think we used it once as we had wifi in the hotels and car.
Our total cost for the sim card for 8 days was under $2, which included the sim card ($1) and minutes for local time, which served our purpose.
Important to note that Verizon service and T Mobile were both a bit spotty, for those relying on the $10 a day plan (not recommended since the sim card is a fraction of the cost).
Some may prefer to purchase minutes for international calls which would cost more. The basic tourist plan to include international calling is $9.

The driving in Sri Lanka is not for the faint of heart. In addition to the fact that they drive on the left side of the road (or on the right, or in the middle, or on the sidewalk), there are basically no highways and a large chunk of the driving takes place on super narrow mountainous roads that are hundreds or thousands of feet high, with no guardrails or streetlamps.
Try following the rules? Well, there just aren't any. Coupled with the fact that you need a special license to drive there and traffic laws are mere suggestions, this was not something we were going to attempt.

From doing research we learned that it was a lot cheaper to get a driver for the entire duration of our trip, than to pay for each drive separately. Although we didn't love the idea of being so dependent on one driver, it seemed the smartest route to take.
The company we ended up using was fabulous. Although I went to them with a fully formed itinerary, they would've been a great resource in planning the trip if needed.
They came with an air conditioned van that had excellent wifi, and the driver was professional and great to work with. Our total cost for 8 days was $520, which included tolls, gas, and driver accommodations , so it was a no brainer.


Day One: Flyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyying. And then flying some more.

There are no direct flights to Sri Lanka and the most time efficient and cost effective route is through Dubai.
These flights are PACKED and fill up fast, especially since this is the route a lot of people take when going to India. We booked several months in advance as the tickets were disappearing before our eyes.
Even so, we dawdled for about 3 days too long and lost the flight we wanted. We therefore ended up with 2 stopovers on the way there. We were traveling for so many endless hours anyways, we figured an extra couple of hours won't make much of a difference. (We voted to do our extended stopover on the way home so we don't run into issues with our food, namely it all melting into a giant Pomegranate smelling puddle. We also knew that Dubai is much stricter about allowing food into the country, as well as the hotels giving problems with storing it, as happened to my friend the week before.)

We flew Emirates which allowed us 2 suitcases each. I will admit to feeling like a terrible Jew when I weighed my suitcase. To my dismay, it weighed a mere 38 lbs and I considered packing a library of books just to get it over 50.
Then I remembered about our 4 suitcases of food and immediately felt better.

We departed from New York on Sunday morning for a 13 hour flight to Dubai. Emirates is a great airlines with more legroom, an excellent in-flight entertainment system, and really nice flight attendants, so the flight went by smoothly (Thank you Bose headphones courtesy of Prime day, which were a lifesaver!).

We landed in Dubai a bit late and immediately made our way to the gate for our connecting flight to Male. DXB is a massive airport so we knew if we were in the wrong area, we would definitely miss our flight (as happened to my friend as well) so constant vigilance was in order.
We were fortunate enough to have landed in the correct terminal and did not require a shuttle. If we needed to take a bus, or a train, or a plane, and all the fun stuff DXB Airport has to offer, we would certainly have been cutting it very close.

Thankfully, we made our flight with no problems and 5 hours later we were circling over the beautiful Maldives. We had a 1 hour stopover , though we were not allowed to disembark, we did get to enjoy the view. After sitting on the plane for an hour, we departed for an hour and a half long flight to CMB.

We made our way out of the airport easily, and our driver was waiting to greet us. We then had a 2.5 hour drive to our hotel, which was located in Galle. 
Driving to our hotel was our first introduction into Sri Lankan driving. It is located deep in middle of mountains/rain forest/tea plantation and in the dark it felt like we were driving into impending doom.
We eventually climbed our way up to our hotel. and so we arrived, a mere 26 hours or so after leaving home. 

Niyagama House is a beautiful place nestled in nature, with sparkling clean big rooms. It's owned by a German woman, who moved to Sri Lanka after marrying a local. She used to be an architect and designed the place herself, and now lives in it.
The staff was really hospitable, and we had a wonderful stay.

After dealing with our food (trying to explain Kosher and Shabbos to bewildered Sri Lankans who have never heard of Jews before was quite fun), we settled in and were off to bed.

August 20, 2018, 02:58:58 PM
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Re: Ayubowan from Sri Lanka (with a side of Dubai) Day Two: Around Galle

Galle is a beautiful coastal town, which is steeped in history.
Once an important trading post between the east and west, Galle was the main port for the country for more than 200 years.
Today it still retains many of its military features, narrow streets and Dutch-colonial buildings, but with a tropical climate that you wouldn’t otherwise encounter in Europe, which makes for a very interesting juxtaposition.
(Some say that Galle is the biblical Tarshish but I couldn't find anything that supported that.)

We started off by driving towards Galle Fort. On the way we passed by a bustling fish market and hopped out for a quick look.







We then continued on to the local town where we exchanged money, got a sim card (the airport Dialog booth had run out) and bought lots of water.
Point to keep in mind - the water is unsafe for drinking and it's suggested to use bottled water for everything, even brushing teeth.
We really enjoyed walking through the town, which gave us a nice feel of the culture.



Galle Fort is a walled city surrounded by thick ramparts. These were built by the Dutch merchants that controlled the city in the 17th century.
We walked on the ramparts which has beautiful views of the ocean and the lighthouse.
Inside the fort there are cute little boutique shops (though a bit overpriced) which we spent some time in.







Towards the end of our rampart walk we got stuck in a torrential downpour, so we didn't bother finishing up. We headed back to our hotel and had lunch.
The hotel is a place we could've spent hours in. We had a balcony on which you can see the tea plantations, hear monkeys chattering, and be mosquito lunch all at the same time.

Lounge area:


Balcony:




Infinity Pool:


We chose to do a bike tour of the surrounding villages that afternoon. We biked through the rice paddy fields, the rural villages, and the beautiful tropical surroundings. This proved to be slightly more difficult than expected being that the 'roads' were quite wet and it was very mountainous terrain. Although more of a workout than we bargained for, it was great fun and we enjoyed immensely!
As we biked we passed the locals, who greeted us enthusiastically, small houses nestled in the rainforest, steep hills that we had to share with tuk tuks, cars, and buses. It's each man for himself out there so we had to be aware of our surroundings at all times lest we get plowed over. 
Throughout our stay in Sri Lanka, whenever we encountered locals, we got beaming smiles and giggles from the kids. They were thrilled to see us, and everyone was genuinely nice and looking to please.
We were literally an attraction. Mothers called to their kids to quickly come to the doors to see the white people on bikes!

Views from the bike ride:








We got back to the hotel, washed up (we were completely covered in mud from our bike ride), and ate dinner by the pool.
The mosquitoes are everywhere and boy do they bite. I think I asphyxiated about half the hotel staff with OFF, but it didn't seem to do anything and we all got very bitten up anyway.

We were wiped out by then and headed to bed early. Thanks to the extreme jet lag, none of us actually slept much (over the entire trip) but enough that we were able to function throughout the day.



Day Three: Balpitiya / Bentota

We spent our second day on the island on the west coast.
We started out going to Balpitiya, which is under an hour from Galle, for the Madu Ganga River Safari.
This was a really nice boat ride which was a great way of seeing some of the hundreds of species of plants and animals; monkeys in trees, water monitor lizards etc. It was a speed boat so it went pretty fast, though it did stall at times. They were chilled and let us sit on the bow and do our thing. 
The area surrounding the river are all swampy marshlands covered in mangrove forests. There are numerous small islands, and the boat makes several stops.









Fishermen in the river:



There's a small island with a temple, which we did not get off at.  We then made our way through the mangroves, and eventually making a stop at 'Cinnamon Island'.
We met a young girl that lives there, and got to see how they get the cinnamon from the bark, along with how they weave the roofs for their huts using coconut fronds. It was really fascinating and at the end we were able to purchase cinnamon oil and some cinnamon sticks to take home.




We continued our beautiful boat ride, stopping at a floating shop to purchase a coconut (word to the wise- it looks better than it tastes).



Next stop was the fish 'spa'.  We got onto the floating stage from the boat and sat down to put our feet in. Hundreds of fish swarmed over and gently nibbled the dead skin off our legs.
I can't say it was pleasant, but definitely an experience!





We had beautiful weather, which definitely contributed, but this was a really enjoyable way to experience some of the nature and animal life in Sri Lanka.

We then made our way to Ahungalla Turtle Hatchery. They look after the turtle eggs to protect them from animals and poachers. Once they hatch, they keep them for a couple of days, at which point they are released to the sea.
The baby turtles are unbearably cute and we had a great time playing with them, and then releasing the 3 day old turtles to the sea (one of us may or may not have yelled out encouraging words to the turtles as they battled the waves).
They also keep maimed or 'handicapped' turtles there for good, which is interesting to see.










We then headed to Bentota Beach where we ate a late lunch.
Bentota has various water sports, like jet skiing, banana boats etc. At that point we were tired and thinking of heading back to the hotel, but we ended up deciding to do a quick spin on the 'Sofa' ride. This was exactly what it sounded like - we sat ourselves down on an inflatable couch and got pulled by a boat, which was awesome.

After that, we went back to Niyagama House where we ate dinner, and enjoyed Ayurvedic therapeutic/methodical massage, which is designed to heal the body and create a balance between mind, body, and spirit. Or something to that effect.


August 21, 2018, 10:43:25 PM
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Re: Mezuzah Fraud I was recently in the market for a new mezuzah. I went to my local seforim store to inquire, they showed me different options, this one for $50 the other for $70. As I was weighing my options, I saw a whole stack that he didn't even mention. I asked him what the price on those mezuzahs were, he's like "Oh, those? You can't afford them. They're for kollel yungerleit."
January 04, 2019, 09:01:31 AM
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