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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
Re: Model Mom Calls Her Religion a Cult
Your right. It should on a person to person basis. And if they can't control themselves and Need to look up from their Tehilim to look at the back of their head then they have many other issues that need to be dealt with.
It is an issue if someone is naturally attracted to women? The problem is if they don't look at the women ever, then you have a real problem. Don't place a stumbling block in front of someone, like tell them not to look at women and put a women in front of them... (This is the logic I assume of women in the back.)

March 03, 2012, 11:19:53 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
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Re: Wyoming Photography Trip
Great TR.
How did you get the moose to smile for ya :D

I told him he could eat my friend when we were done :D.

November 29, 2013, 03:29:01 PM
1
Re: Satmar Rebbe (R, Aaron) EWR-TLV Trip Report Its pathetic how some, who for whatever reason dont want to accept his shittos, need to imply that he did not have the holiest of intentions in heart.


February 23, 2014, 09:37:02 PM
1
Re: Satmar Rebbe's comments on the three murdered teens
tamid einei Hashem Elokecha bah meíreishis haíshana víad acharis shana
The tora promises that the land will eject us for desecrating the Torah.
Indeed the most dangerous place to live if you look at the amount of desecration of the Torah rc"l.

July 04, 2014, 12:48:28 PM
1
Re: Bronx zoo on Wednesday? Bronx zoo is not worth the hassle period.  You end up walking a mile to see 3 animals, then walking two miles in circles looking for a bathroom, then walking a mile back to your car covered in shvitz.

The only decent part is the Asia Monorail, but query why if you already paid admission to the zoo, you need to pay again to see the animals.

July 09, 2014, 10:14:51 AM
1
Re: Riddles!
How do you stop a rhino from charging?
Close his CC accounts?

October 14, 2014, 12:36:32 AM
1
Something Fishy's Maui and Lanai Trip Report, Courtesy of Delta Trip Report
 
Planning and booking

Flights:

In November of 2012 I went to Kauai and the Big Island for the first time, and was promptly bitten by the Hawaii bug. I have been to many beautiful and interesting places, but none have smitten me like Hawaii. No other place made me want to return so bad that it hurt.
 
So when I got a DDMS text one cold and dreary December morning that Delta was having a major pricing glitch, I know exactly where I'm going. After half a nail-biting hour of browsers hanging and Priceline misbehaving, I had my prize in hand: three ticketed reservations, flying JFK-LAX-LIH on 8/10, and returning OGG-HNL-SEA-JFK on the 18th. Total cost? $582.90. Within a few minutes of booking the deal was dead; prices were back up to normal.
 
Of course I know that this being a glitch, it's very likely that the tickets won't be honored. However, after just a few minutes, another text arrived: Delta announced that they're honoring any and all tickets! Thinking this can't get any better, I settled back down to work. But what do you know - another text: the glitch had worked for first class as well! I hadn't even thought of searching for F and J, and now I was kicking myself for it. On a whim, I figured I'd check my tickets again - if Delta was so broken, who knows, maybe they put me in first class too. Sure enough, there it was - all but one leg in either First or Business Elite! The only leg that was not - LAX-LIH - had booked into B class, which would entitle me to free Economy Comfort.
 
The original plan was to spend half the time on Kauai and the other half on Maui, but we later decided to skip Kauai this time and just focus on Maui. Delta was more than happy to let us change our flights Ė so long as we paid the difference in the fare. No, thank you :P...
 
Since this was more than six months out, I knew that itís almost inevitable that there wonít be a schedule change, so I decided to wait for that and change the tickets then. Sure enough, in early March, I got an email that the LAX-LIH flight had been pushed off by two hours. A quick phone call later and I was confirmed on a new itinerary: JFK-LAX-HNL-LIH. This was perfect since I would now be flying to LA lie-flat on the B767 instead of recliners on the B757, but more importantly, I could now drop the HNL-LIH leg and jump on a HNL-OGG plane instead.

A week before leaving I suddenly get an email notifying me of a completely new itinerary: JFK-ATL in F on an MD-88 (>:( >:( >:(), and ATL-HNL on the A330 in Economy Comfort. The really annoying part was that my original flights were still scheduled as normal - but for some reason they had bumped me off those flights! I called Delta right away and expressed my disappointment on flying 2 hours in "first" and then 9+ hours in economy, vs. 5.5 hours in a lie-flat bed. The rep was extremely helpful (and annoyed at the change as well, since she could not see any reason for it), and asked me how she could make things right.

Make things right? Hmmmm... difficult question... "Well, ma'am, I think if you could put me in J on the ATL-HNL leg that would make the itinerary change easier to handle..." She put me on hold and came back a minute later: "Well Mr. Fishy, I'm happy to let you know that you're confirmed into the last three remaining Business Elite seats for your flight to Honolulu". Woo Hoo  ;D ;D ;D! Not only was I in F/J all the way through, but this was on the internationally configured, brand-new, A330! Not a bad way to get to Hawaii...

On our return flights we also had a couple of minor schedule changes, which ended up in switching the original OGG-HNL-SEA-JFK to OGG-LAX-JFK. The advantages were a later flight out, so more time in Hawaii, plus lie-flat on the 767 on the LAX-JFK leg.

All in all I found Delta absolutely amazing the deal with. From the very beginning when they announced that they're honoring the glitch tickets, through the multitude of schedule changes (there were 11 of them in total, each of which worked to my advantage), to the flights themselves. Pity their FFP is so lousy.

Final tally per passenger:

Out of pocket: $196.33.
F/J throughout.
Mileage earned:
- 630 UR (booked using CSP)
- 14,716 AS (@1.5x actual mileage)
- 14,716 DL (yes, they credited both my AS and DL accounts ;D)

Assuming 1.5cpm, total cost p/p: $-254.60.

Not a bad deal... Not bad at all.

November 16, 2014, 10:37:17 PM
1
Re: Something Fishy's Maui and Lanai Trip Report, Courtesy of Delta Food (in which Pomegranate dares me to eat six meals a day):

For this trip we decided to use Pom meals for the first time. We had read plenty of great things about them in other people's trip reports, and figured it'll make a nice change from preparing meals beforehand and/or cooking on vacation. We were also moving 10 days after coming back, so any cost of the meals was absolutely worth it in time not spend shopping and cooking.

Since their menu changes often, they sent us the latest menu by email. You simply reply with your choice of main and two sides, and they ship or deliver it. Right away however we started running into problems. We were leaving on vacation the Sunday after Tisha B'av, as was half the Jewish community it seems. This level of demand meant that all orders had to be in earlier that usual. I didn't know this little detail, and placed my order a day after the deadline. To Pom's credit, this earlier deadline was clearly mentioned in their email; for some reason I didn't notice it. I got a call from Pom that day letting me know that even though I missed the deadline, they will still deliver on time, albeit later in the afternoon on Friday.

Sure enough, the order showed up as promised, except that it wasn't exactly right. They has mistakenly swapped one of our dishes with one from someone else's order, but more importantly, everything was wrapped for warming in the oven, instead of two being microwave-wrapped. This presented a more serious problem, as we were going to spend the last night in a cottage in Hana with only a microwave. I called Pom, but kept on getting bounced around (this being their craziest Friday of the year and all). It was the eleventh hour and I was getting desperate.

After a while I finally got through to the manager (Shimmy, if I remember correctly), who promised that he'll call me back within 15 minutes from somewhere quieter. Yeah, right. At this point I had given up on getting any help.

However, a few minutes later my phone rings and he's on the other end. First he tried confirming that everything actually was oven-wrapped (I had never seen the microwave wrapping so I wasn't 100% sure). He gave me his personal cell phone (talk about customer service!) and we switched to texting so that I could send him pictures of the packaging. After some back-and-forth he confirmed that yes, everything is in fact oven-wrapped, and also that it is far too late to do anything about it now.

At that point I had what must have been the most backwards customer service argument ever: I said it's okay, I guess we'll manage and figure something out (remember - I had ordered after the deadline and should be grateful that I'm getting anything at all). Shimmy on the other hand was insisting that he refuses to not satisfy a customer 100% percent, and I should give him my address in Hawaii and he'll overnight the missing food. I said that's absurd, he's not spending that money on shipping for two meals. He said I should cut it out and send him my address :D. By that time is was close to Shabbos so we dropped it for the time being.

Throughout the day Sunday, whenever we landed and got cellular service back, there would be a message from Shimmy asking how everything was going and reminding me to end him our address. Eventually he broke us down and we gave in :D.

A day later, a box from Pom far larger than it should have been arrived at our rental. Instead of just resending the one missing dish and two microwavable ones, Shimmy had resent our entire order! We were in awe. Pom had gained a lifetime customer, that much was certain.

Needless to say, we had feasts every day after that :D...

Taste-wise, we were disappointed though. For example, the General Tso's chicken was just chicken nuggets - not a trace of sauce. Some of the other dishes were just... plain. Some dishes were quite delicious (chicken capons, Swedish meatballs), but I failed to see why everyone here seemed to go crazy for their food.

However... Once the second batch arrived I understood. Every single dish, whether a fancy rib steak or simple tzimmes, was absolutely delectable. The General Tso's was saucy, spicy, and delicious. A complete turnaround from batch 1.

The explanation I think is obvious - they were simply overwhelmed with the post-Tisha B'av crush. Once they were back to normal operations the food went back to normal too.

In the end, I highly recommend them and will definitely be using them again. And I highly commend Shimmy for setting a new standard in customer service - talk about going the extra mile.


Weather Woes (in which we almost cancel our trip):

The flights are all confirmed (for the 11th time), the food is ordered, and we're ready to go. Except that for the only the third time since 1950, a hurricane is headed straight for the Islands. And for the first time in recent history, there are actually two of them. Both Hurricane Iselle and Julio are expected to make landfall on Maui with 75-80mph winds and up to 12 inches of rain. Iselle is expected the day before we arrive, and Julio the day after.



Airlines (including Dleta) had started canceling flights to the Islands; Hawaiian canceled all inter-island ones. The Big Island and Maui were expected to be hit the worst; schools and businesses closed, long gas lines formed, and Costco was cleand out of bottled water. Even if the hurricanes didn't hit while I was there, there was sure to be blocked roads, closed beaches, and a whole host of other problems. In fact, a rainstorm earlier in the year had closed the Road to Hana for over a week.

We were seriously considering canceling or postponing our trip. However, since we were moving right when we came back this wasn't really a very realistic option. I started obsessively following the local weather news; there were a number of websites and Facebook pages which had up to the minute on-the-ground information.

Sure enough, right on schedule, Iselle roared onto the Big Island, causing a tremendous amount of damage. However, wonder of wonders, other that some moderate rainfall, Maui was not hit at all. The worst of the damage was a fallen tree blocking a road; the hurricane had fizzled over the BI.

However, the danger was not over - Julio was barreling towards Maui and growing stronger. By Friday afternoon we were still not 100% sure if we're going or not.

The second I got home from Maariv on Motzei Shabbos I jumped onto the computer and checked my flights. Not canceled - that's a good sign. I then went to check Julio's path. Unbelievable! In maybe a 1-in-100 freak occurrence, it had veered north right before the islands and was now tracking a hundred miles away from Hawaii and getting further!




The trip was on.

November 17, 2014, 12:36:48 AM
1
Re: Something Fishy's Maui and Lanai Trip Report, Courtesy of Delta Day 1, Sunday:

As always, click on any picture to see it in full resolution, along with more info (exposure, map, etc.)

We got to JFK bright and early, and headed to the lounge. I met up with a couple more DDF'ers who were flying to LAX, also on glitch tickets :D. In fact another DDF'er had planned to fly on my daughter's ticket (as we didn't bring her in the end), but in the last minute decided that he can't really pass for a 2-year old girl...

After davening shachris and eating a quick breakfast we went to board our flight. First class on the MD-88 was... well, better than coach. At least my knees weren't banging into the seat in front of me.

Takeoff from JFK - the A train, Cross Bay Boulevard, and Jamaica Bay National Wildlife Refuge:



The Kosher "meal" was (surprise!) fairly terrible:



The person sitting next to me had ordered the far more gourmet-sounding salmon and cheese dish. We had quite the laugh when the flight attendant brought him a bagel with cream cheese and lox ;D.

After a short and uneventful flight we landed in Atlanta. We hung out in the lounge again during our very short layover, and then headed to the gate. This was going to be the first time either of us had experienced a "real" premium cabin, plus this was also the longest flight yet for both of us. Needless to say, we were pretty excited.

We were welcomed aboard and found our seats. Amid many "Aloha"s and "much mahalo"s from our Hawaii-based crew, we took off.

Our seats were 1C and 1G, located in the "nose" of the cabin. According to Seatguru these seats are not recommended due to high traffic volume. I have to say that this was definitely not our experience; in fact I highly recommend these seats over any other for people traveling together. At no point during the 9+ hours in flight did I feel bothered by any traffic; the seats are private and partitioned enough that I didn't even notice when someone went by. On the other hand, these are the only seats in the row, so you really don't see anyone else 99% of the time. It felt cozy and private.





Long way to go:





Lunch was an improvement over breakfast, but not by much. The potatoes weren't half bad; the pastry on the left may have been good, if only it hadn't been frozen solid. The couscous on the other hand still haunt my nightmares sometimes:



The beds were fantastic. For a guy who's 6'-8" and gets crushed in a standard coach seat, being able to sleep like this - comfortably - is just amazing. The Westin Heavenly bedding was just that - heavenly:



After a couple of hours of rest we awoke for dinner service (it was around 7pm eastern time). Dinner ended up being the same stuff as lunch, but with the frozen pastry replaced by chocolate mousse. We sent everything but the dishes and mousse back, and asked the crew if they could warm up a couple of Pom meals for us. They were extremely accommodating, and within a few minutes we were feasting happily:



The mousse as it turned out was sublime. Perfectly creamy and chocolaty, it made a perfect end to the meal:



Finally:



We landed in Honolulu right on schedule, and rushed to sort out our luggage. Remember - our actual itinerary was to continue to Kauai. The skycap at JFK refused to short check our bags, so it was tagged all the way to Kauai.

I want over to the gate agent and told her that I'm not feeling well and will probably be spending the night in HNL before continuing on the Kauai, and could she please help us retrieve our luggage ;). Withing a minute she had printed out a couple of tags and directed me to baggage services. Five minutes after that, I was in line with my luggage checking in to my separately purchased flight to Maui ;D.

Our ride to Maui:



Hawaiian Airlines KSML :P:



Flying over the uninhabited island of Kahoʻolawe:



Molokini Crater, and our first glimpse of Maui:



We landed, collected our luggage, and went to get our rental convertible. At one point I had 8 different reservations running, and kept on updating them as the prices fell. In the end Enterprise turned out to be the cheapest.

Our Mustang didn't have much trunk space...:



Off we went to Kula, to the cottage we rented via airbnb. We arrived a little over half an hour later, to find this perfect little slice of heaven waiting for us. The cottage was bright, airy, and set over a stunning orchard and nature preserve. It was also 3000 feet up the slopes of Haleakala, so the views were absolutely insane.







We went for a short stroll in the garden:





Self portrait (that's the cottage in the background):



Each afternoon we were treated to other-worldly sunsets. I don't think you can imagine a more perfect sunset the first night in Hawaii:







Last light - you could see the island of Lanai in center-left:



A perfect ending to a perfect day.

November 19, 2014, 01:02:31 AM
1
Re: Something Fishy's Maui and Lanai Trip Report, Courtesy of Delta Day 2, Monday:

We woke up on Monday to a beautiful Hawaiian morning, with nary a sign that two hurricanes had passed through only days ago; everything was quiet. However, as we were to find out, there actually were two remaining effects on the island. The first was that the storm had completely stopped the usual trade winds; instead of the normal, constant ocean breezes, the air was absolutely, perfectly, still. Without the trade winds, you suddenly remember that you're in the tropics; the day was to turn out extremely hot and muggy. Thankfully, as the week went on the winds came back, but on this first day the exceptionally hot weather made us skip out on a few hikes that we had really been looking forward to.

The second thing was that the storms had completely churned the ocean up. Most lifegaurded beaches were closed to swimming, and all beaches had extremely dangerous surf. Stirred up water also means that the waters were far from their usual clarity. This also slowly returned to normal as the week wore on, but again it limited us as far as activities went.

In any case, we had plenty of things planned and so headed out for the day. We stopped at Long's Drugs in Kahului for some essentials, and headed toward the infamous "Over the Top" highway. This road follows the northern flanks of West Maui Mountain, and is similar to the Road to Hana, but shorter and less lush. It is also has no traffic, no guardrails, is not completely paved, and has miles of one-lane stretches along sheer cliffs. In short, my dream road :D.

Most people who drive this road (and there aren't many!) drive it from West to East, since this would keep them on the safer inside of the road. We took it East to West, so we were driving along the cliffs most of the time:



(This picture is a video freeze-frame from a GoPro that was suction-mounted on my side-view mirror, hence the low quality. All other pictures with the nose of the car in it are freeze-frames too.)

Following the contours of the mountain, the road climbs up and around ridges, hangs on to the edge of the cliff, and slowly meanders down into the jungle valley. Up another ridge, and back down again.

You could see the road cut into the cliff, climbing up and disappearing around the ridge:



At points the road was a good 500 feet straight up:





At every turn, in every valley, a different stunning view would appear:






There were many one-way stretches and bridges:





We made a quick stop at Curley's fruit stand for a quick stretch and picked up some local passion fruit at 25 cents each:



I was driving merrily along on one of the no-guardrail stretches, with nothing but a 12-inch embankment between me and the cliff, when the thing every driver on this road dreads happened: I found myself face to face with a row of cars. Hawaiian etiquette dictates that the driving going uphill should be the one to back up.

Yay, just yay.

Luckily, there was something resembling a turnout a short way behind me, so I didn't have to back very far.





(This GIF is obviously sped up; I did not back down that road anywhere near as fast.)

We had originally planned on doing the Waihee Ridge and Ohai trails, but had to skip them due to the extreme heat caused by the hurricanes. Now having a more open schedule then we had anticipated, we were on the lookout for something different than the typical stops, preferably something with air conditioning ;). Our chance was not long in coming - spotting an 8-foot giraffe made out of driftwood on the side of the road, we turned down the driveway to investigate.



The place turned out to be the Turnbull Gallery, an eclectic place filled with stunning artwork and sculptures made be local artisans:

"Angel Dance":



The prices were right too; I was sorely tempted:



A cool coffee table:



We spent some time looking around, and had a nice schmooze with Steve, who was working on his latest sculpture in the back.

It was a nice stop, but if you're on this road and the weather is cooperating there's really no reason to stop in - take a hike instead.

On the road again:



More jaw-dropping views around every bend:



And my personal favorite:



Presently the road opened up a bit as it turned somewhat inland and passed some large ranches:





If you gotta be a cow, I think there's no better place you could hope to live:





We rounded the famous Kahakuloa Head (the cows above are actually grazing on the east side of it), and headed up to the other side to a pullout with some amazing views:



On one side of the pullout was the Head:



On the other was the ocean crashing relentlessly against the cliffs:



And in the middle was the oddest ice cream stand you will ever lay eyes on ;D:



Onward we went to the Acid War Zone, which would take us to the Nakalele Blowhole. The description of this hike in Maui Revealed is fairly accurate, but there are simply too many false trail and tracks for the directions to be very helpful. It's in a spot like this having the companion app is incredibly useful. Simply make sure that you're not straying too far from the blue line and it's impossible to get lost.

The views from the hike are absolutely incredible.

Note the island of Molokai off in the haze on the horizon:



Dangerous and mostly inaccessible tidepools:



You could get some sense of scale from the tiny people perched on top of the cliffs:



Soon the landscape changes from dry scrubland to the tortured rocks that gave this hike its name - they really do look like they were dissolved by acid. In reality it's the tons of saltwater coming out of the blowhole that's been wearing down these rocks for who knows how long:





Rock detail:



After about half an hour's hiking you get to the blowhole itself. The waves are constantly pushing masses of water in underneath the lava shelf, and every minute or so this water sprays out of a small hole with tremendous force. While I was there the water easily reached a good 60-70 feet every other time. The spray from this column of water reaches dozens of feet all around and was exceedingly refreshing in the stifling heat:





When the burst is over all this water flows back into the hole, creating pretty dangerous conditions. You have to maintain a safe distance, or you could be swept away by the rushing water on the slick rocks:



Here's a video I took, complete with some slow motion footage:



Heading back we took the blowhole trail instead of doubling back through the acid war zone. The trail climbs more than 200 feet over a pretty short distance, and is very steep in parts. Being an out of shape lump, I was pretty winded by the time I got to the parking lot - which was still a 15 minute uphill hike up the road from the acid war zone lot, where my car was parked.

We then headed to the Dragons Teeth for a quick hike, where the surf was still going bonkers from the hurricanes:







Here, too, the unrelenting ocean had carved interesting patterns in the rocks:



The highway past Dragons Teeth:



By this time it was late afternoon, so we decided to skip our plan of exploring Lahaina. Instead we took the still-under-construction Lahaina bypass around the afternoon traffic. Only part of the bypass was completed and open to traffic, and we didn't come across another soul on the road. The views were stunning, and very different from what we had seen all day. Instead of lush jungle and raging seas, there was the green and brown slopes of West Maui Mountain, lit up by the setting sun:





Making a new friend:







I also took a few beauty shots of our car:





Back on the main road past Lahaina, I stopped for mincha. And just in case we hadn't seen enough beauty that day, we were treated to another incredible Maui sunset:







Then it was back in the car for the long drive back home.

December 14, 2014, 01:37:05 AM
1
Re: Something Fishy's Maui and Lanai Trip Report, Courtesy of Delta Day 4, Wednesday:

Today we woke up bright and early to be by the airport for our 6:30 AM flight to the island of Lanai.

Lanai is a small island off the southwest coast of Maui with one tiny community of around 3000 people. The entire island except for the airport and beaches is now owned by Larry Ellison, the 5th richest person in the world. Other than  two or three main roads, the island is crisscrossed only by 4WD dirt tracks. The main activities on the island are off-roading and swimming in remote and otherworldly beaches.

The vast majority of visitors (and there aren't many) who come from Maui take the Expeditions ferry out of Lahaina. Right away it didn't seem very practical - we would have to drive all the way from Upcountry to Lahaina, and then the crossing itself takes around an hour. Had it been whale season I suppose it would have been more enticing, but in the summer it's just a not particularly pleasing, bumpy trip. At $30 per person, per way, it wasn't cheap either.

Looking around some more I discovered that Mokulele Airlines is running a $39 fare sale Maui to Lanai - and my dates fit perfectly!

Mokulele is a hinky dinky airline who flies tiny little 7-passenger Cessna Grand Caravans between some of the islands. In Maui they fly from the commuter terminal, so no lines, no TSA, none of that garbage. For only $9 more per person per way than the boat, we would be getting a fantastic and unique flight, plus get there far faster as well.

So off I go to book - and hit error after error. None of the dates on sale were pricing out properly, no matter what. Calling customer service I was told that there are only a limited amount of these tickets per day, and they were all sold out. I pointed out to her the fact that for the entire week around my dates there was not a single ticket sold yet on any of their flights (they were all showing 7 seats available - the entire plane). I may as well have talked to the wall. Limited quantity blah blah blah.....

So I HUCA'd - and got the same lady ;D. Turns out they only have one CS rep. Oops ;). So I switched to email support and got their only email rep, who - luckily - was very helpful. First she couldn't find any record of such a sale, but thankfully I had screenshots. A while later she emails back - they had found the sale, but the person who loads the fares onto their website is on vacation now, so no fares could be loaded until he comes back. Oy oy :D.

After a couple of days I hear back from her - they guy is back at work and the fares are loaded. Five minutes later and I was booked  ;D.

The commuter terminal:



We parked our car in the lot on the right and were checked in 20 seconds later. After a couple of minutes a lady went around announcing that whoever is going to Lanai should follow her onto the tarmac.

The flight before ours preparing to taxi:



Heading out to our ride:



Not a bad looking bird, I think:



Boarding:



The pre-flight safety demo was epic: the pilot twisted around in his seat and rattled off the no smoking, no cellphones spiel in about 15 seconds flat:



I was assigned (by weight, supposedly) the back seat, which was actually a bench across the entire width of the plane. It was also the "exit row", so I had gobs of legroom and space:





(Yeah, yeah. I'd like to see you find a size 21 sneaker that looks less crazy  >:(. At this point the soles were being held together with crazy glue, as they had been shredded on the lava the day before. They would not survive the day :'()



Waiting for an Hawaiian inter-island flight to land before we could taxi:



Takeoff:







West Maui Mountain (you could see the Over the Top road and Kahakuloa Head all the way on the right):





The craggy, eroded south side of West Maui Mountain:



The Kaheawa wind farm:





I wish all airplanes had such large and beautiful windows:



Approaching Lanai - it's a dry, arid, dusty place:





Manele small boat harbor (where the ferry from Maui docks) is on the right, and the spectacular Four Seasons Manele Bay is on the left:



Note the reef on the right side, off Manele Beach. It's one of the best snorkeling in Hawaii, and that's where we were headed first:



Approaching the airport:




Touchdown:



The flight turned out to be tremendous fun. The views were incredible, the plane was unique and comfortable. As far as the smoothness of the flight, it felt exactly like riding in a minivan. We were doing 60mph, and every bit of wind felt like a bump in the road. Considering that most people don't take a helicopter ride on Maui (at least not as many as do on Kauai or the Big Island), this is a great - and relatively cheap - alternative. Of course it doesn't compare, but it's still fantastic.





Other than a couple of hangars and the like, this was the extent of the airport:



Gotta love the high-tech flight info board :D:



There are two places that rent Jeeps on Lanai. Dollar is quite popular, but they have far too many rules - you can't drive to certain places, and if you do any damage to the Jeep you're screwed. Maui Revealed however mentions a place called Adventure Lanai Ecocenter which has far better prices, no restrictions, and better service. There are also Hummers available from a third company, but these are quite expensive and don't really add anything over a Jeep.

I made my reservation with Adventure Lanai Ecocenter over the phone. The owner, Mikey, wouldn't stop talking - he told me about the sights to see, the history of the island, and made fun of New York weather. We arranged that he would meet us at the airport with the Jeep.

I had read reviews online that what he does is meet you at the airport, then asks that you drive him back home to Lanai City (more like Lanai Village, in reality). People were complaining about this "waste of time", but after my phone conversation with him I saw that he's a real character and looked forward to meeting him.

When we landed, there he was waiting for us, looking even more like a "character" than I expected.

Besides his rental business, he also grows "herbs" for "medicinal purposes":



On the way back to town we had a great schmooze about the island.

Up until a few years ago Dole Pineapple owned the vast majority and grew pineapple on about 90% of the land. When they pulled out of the island, the economy tanked and unemployment soared. In 2012 Larry Ellison bought the island and started to put it back in shape. He has full control over everything that happens on the island, and is more or less the only employer. The two run down hotels were turned into world-class and ultra-expensive Four Season resorts, and he reopened the farms. Instead of pineapple, he started growing all manner of odd crops. As we drove Mikey pointed out palm farms (the trees are sold to places like Texas, which doesn't have any native palms), grass farms (the most expensive golf course turf in the world comes from here), and all sorts of organic fruit and vegetable farms.

One thing we saw a disproportionate amount of that morning were grass mowing crews. Turns out that a few days earlier Larry had issued an edict that all grass on the island be cut to two and one-quarter inches; not more and not less. All these crews were busy bringing the island's grass up to snuff.

I asked Mikey a question that I had been wondering about: don't the locals resent living under what's essentially a king, who's every whim they have to bend to? His answer was very simple: "Yes, we totally resent the fact that everyone on the island has their own house, instead of the homelessness epidemic there used to be. We totally resent that everyone on the island now has a job. And what we resent most of all is being able to send some money to help out relatives on the mainland instead of the other way around".

According to Mikey the only people who are resentful at the moment are the gardeners. Instead of using their weed whackers all willy-nilly like they've always done, they now have to use motorized mowers which they claim takes all the fun out of it. You can't get the 2-1/4" precision needed with a weed whacker...

Right outside the airport:



As soon as we turned out of the airport and onto the main road, we started to "feel" Lanai. It's not something that can adequately be described in words; it just a certain level of tranquility, of relaxation, that I have never felt anywhere else. You could practically feel your bones melting away. The island is not particularly pretty, but it has this silence around it.

And no, Mikey didn't share any of his herbs with us ;D; you'll find online that this feeling is extremely common to visitors to the island.

We drove for miles without seeing a soul; whoever we did meet greeted us with a wave or shaka (that's the Hawaiian greeting Mikey's doing in the picture above). Even in town - every person on the street, every oncoming driver, even a group of kids, all waved to us. Pulling out of the gas station into traffic was almost an ordeal. "You go first". "No, you go first". "After you..." After a minute or two I gave in and went first. During this whole time there was a line of cars being held up - and what do you think they did? The waved at me! For someone who's driven in New York all his life, it was a bit freaky to drive in such an environment ;D...

The main highway on Lanai:





The weather of the day was typical Hawaiian - bright and sunny here, cloudy and threatening half a mile over, but warm and delicious as a whole.

Driving down the main street in Lanai City:





The only gas station on the island (amazingly enough their prices weren't insane by Hawaiian standards):



Lanai City must be one of the most misleading place names out there - Lanai Village would have been far more appropriate. This is just about the entire town:



So we dropped Mikey off at his house, and he loaded up the Jeep. Unlike the other rental place, he includes beach chairs, a cooler, and snorkeling or surfing gear (which we didn't need as we had brought our own). The Jeep itself was a 4-door Wrangler Unlimited Sport. Mikey gave us a hand-drawn map of the island as well as the important dirt tracks, along with a mountain of tips only a local would know, such as which rock on Shipwreck Beach we could expect turtles at between 1 and 2 o'clock (and turtles there were, right on schedule!).

Unfortunately, one of the things were had wanted to do most - the Munro Trail - had been permanently close to motorized traffic. No matter; there were plenty of other options. Off we headed to Manele Bay, one of the best snorkeling spots in all the islands.

Heading down to the bay:



Manele Bay is a spectacular bay on the southeast side of the island, and is quite close to Maui. The ferry puts in just on the other side and is about a five-minute walk away.

Since Lanai is arid, there is hardly and runoff so the ocean around it is crystal clear, second only to the Kona side of the Big Island. But unlike the Big Island, there are only a fraction of the amount of visitors here; that means far more fish and healthier coral. The reef here is famous for it's underwater topography, which looks like miniature canyons and ridges (it is actually sometimes referred to as an underwater Bryce Canyon).The beach itself is a perfect crescent of golden sand, fine and clean.

The water itself was still suffering the aftereffects of the double hurricane, so it was actually quite cloudy. However, even in this less than perfect state, it was still absolutely spectacular and the best snorkeling we had had, ever. I could only imagine what it would be like in normal conditions...

The surf was a tad choppy, but since there are no real places for the waves to bread offshore, once you were in the water is was completely calm; you'd just go a bit up and down with the swells. It was getting into the ocean which was tricky. At one point I got hit by a wave and drilled into the sand multiple times head over heel, but other than getting exfoliated by the sand in places that should not be exfoliated I was perfectly fine :P.

(A note about the underwater pictures: this was the first time I had done underwater photography of any sort, so the pictures are definitely not up to my usual standards. I had no underwater lighting, and it was all taken blindly with a GoPro (no way to see your composition or what you've shot). Some are still images, while others are video screen grabs, so these would be even lower quality. Add the fact that the water was far from its usual clarity......The vast majority of these picture were taken at depths of 15-20 feet.)

Looking back at the beach:





Most of the beach drops off to simple sand:



It's off to the left where the spectacular reef is.

Three Black Triggerfish, known as Humuhumu'ele'ele in Hawaiian:



Hawaiian Sergeant:



Orange-Spine Unicornfish:



Yellow Tangs:





You could see some of the interesting topography:




















Blue-Spine Unicornfish:



Yellow Tangs and Orangeband Surgeonfish:



Brown Surgeonfish:



Another Black Triggerfish:



Something Fishy Fish:



After a couple of hours of snorkeling Manele Bay we reluctantly packed up and headed to Shipwreck Beach, a wild remote beach only accessible by 4WD. The snorkeling is not supposed to be too good, and the channel between Lanai and neighboring Molokai is frequently to dangerous to swim. However, the appeal of this beach lies in its raw beauty and remoteness. Miles and miles of sand, an amazing view of Molokai, a WWII shipwreck, and not a soul around.

Mikey had pointed out on his map a spot along the beach where he had a so-called clubhouse. According to him, we could expect turtles to swim up to a certain rock in front of the clubhouse between 1 and 2 o'clock. We figured we'll see how well Mikey knows his turtles...

Leaving Lanai City and heading down to the ocean, the road starts out paved, but quickly turns into a deeply rutted and sandy track.

You could see Maui to the right, and Molokai to the left:





Before we know it, we were driving over this:









The "road" varies from dried mud, to rock, to deep sand. We were having the time of our lives speeding like maniacs, the Jeep bucking and bouncing. There wasn't anything that stood in our way; we just bounced over it. In fact we were having so much fun that we drove certain crazy stretches of the road over and over a couple of times  ;D:














Eventually we got to the "clubhouse". No word on how many serial killers were living in the compound:





The ocean was quite calm, so we went for a quick snorkel. However, the water was not very pretty, plus there weren't many fish or any reefs. To top it off, the area is notorious for it's shark population. Between the murky water and being this far from civilization we got out of the water pretty fast.







Instead we hauled out and got settled for some hardcore relaxation. Heaven on earth:



Right on time, a line of little bobbing heads became visible off in the ocean off to the right. The turtles have arrived, right on schedule :D. I counted at least 8 turtles; there may have been more. I got into the ocean hoping that they'll come up to me, but they were too skittish and went wide. The one turtle who let me come close enough to touch turned out to be a floating coconut ;D.

Funnily enough though, when I went over my videos from that time, I found out that a turtle had come up to within 6 inches of me. I was so focused on the ones avoiding me that I didn't even notice him at the time:





(Yeah, epic pictures 8). I know.)

The shipwreck off in the distance (this is a crop from a far larger picture, hence the blurriness):



All too soon it was time to leave the beach, and the island:


 
Back to Lanai City, where we picked up Mikey, and on to the airport:







You could think this guy is flying Air Force One, not a tiny puddle jumper :D:



Safety briefing:



Coming in for landing in Maui, over the sugar fields:



I was far too tired to shoot a proper sunset that night, but our little cottage looked spectacular in the late afternoon light:




Overall, I'd highly recommend Lanai as a day trip for anyone staying on Maui, especially if you could fly. It's unique, quiet, and is a fascinating place. But most of all is a feeling which can't really be described - a sort of deep relaxation, or peace. Even while running around all day there was always this tranquility.

That day on Lanai was the first (and so far only) time I told my wife, "forget about the stupid camera, I'm having too much fun". I was just in a different zone. (And let me reiterate: I did not try any funny herbs of Mikey's ;D)

Off to bed for an early night; it's sunrise on Haleakala tomorrow. One of the most spectacular things I have ever witnessed, yet one of the most irritating.

January 19, 2015, 02:11:03 AM
1
Re: Something Fishy's Maui and Lanai Trip Report, Courtesy of Delta Day 9, Monday:

Today was our last on the island.

I woke up before dawn to see if I could catch a nice sunrise over Hana Bay while my wife slept in. The hotel is fantastically located, just a two-minute drive from Hana Bay and down the street from the Red Sand Beach trailhead.

The beach at Hana Bay is a beautiful crescent of black and white sand with a long jetty off to the right, where I set up and watched the sunrise. After the craziness of the day before, this was a nice change of pace. It was quite lovely sitting there all by myself while the town behind me slept:



First light hitting Hana and Haleakala behind it:



After sunrise it was still quite early, so I decided to head over to the world-famous Red Sand Beach (actual name Kaihalulu Beach). The advantage of going this early was two-fold: I was dying to see (read:photograph ;)) the beach, while my wife wasn't interested at all. And at 6:30 in the morning, it was virtually guaranteed that I'll have the place to myself.

Getting to this beach is difficult - and dangerous - in the best of times. The trail consists of a notch in the cliff, often only a couple of inches wide. The cliff and trail are both made out of loose volcanic cinders, which makes for extremely unstable footing. The ocean here is ferocious; at times you're 40 feet above the waves crashing on the boulders below. One wrong step and you're toast. The many exposed tree roots along the trail serve as both occasional handholds and terrifying stumbling blocks which have to be climbed over. Thankfully, the trail isn't very long, maybe 1000 feet or so.

I parked at the trailhead (facing the correct direction! The cops here are bonkers about that.) and headed out. It occurred to me (premonition :o?) that no one knows where I'm going, so I texted my wife my plans along with my GPS location. The trail is not exactly deadly by any stretch of the imagination, but should I slip or something it could be hours before I'm seen.

Taking the trail nice and slow, it took around 10 minutes until the bend where the beach appears. What an amazing sight! A little beach, red as can be, sat nestled underneath a towering red cliff. A line of jagged rocks stand sentinel and protect the beach from the ocean's fury, where gentle waves lap quietly.

I stood there drinking in the view, when suddenly drip, drip, SPLAT!

In the space of two minutes, the sky had gone from sunny to dark and stormy. The skies opened and it started pouring.

I knew that I couldn't remain there; there was no shelter whatsoever, and the distant rumblings of thunder could now be heard. Everything I had read about this trail said the same thing: do not even attempt if it has been raining. Nowhere were there instructions on what to do if you're stranded...

The trail was becoming more dangerous and slippery every minute. I whipped out my camera, took two pictures through the rain (priorities ;D!), and tried to figure out where to go. I couldn't head down to the beach, since the trail got even steeper in that direction. The only solution was to head back before the trail became impassable.

The return trip was harrowing. The rain had loosened the zillions of cinders on the trail, and every step was a fight to keep from slipping off the edge. If I tried to grab onto the side of the cliff for support I just came away with a handful of cinders. At this point it was lightening as well...

After half an hour or so of this I finally made it back to the car, soaked to the bone but happy to be back on terra firma :D.

It of course goes without saying that as soon as I got into the car the sun came right back out ;D ;D ;D. But success: I got my pictures and made it back alive  :P:





(Unfortunately, the rain made the reds appear brownish. Too bad... But I like the pictures anyway.)

In hindsight, I think it was incredibly stupid of me to head to that beach by myself, without checking the weather forecast and taking along any rain gear. Lesson learned.

After all this it was still quite early, so I headed for another photo stop at Koki Beach, around 10 minutes down the road:





I then headed back to the hotel to begin the days "official" activities. The plan was to head to the Venus Pool after breakfast, hang out there for a while, then back to the hotel to check out. However, when we arrived at the pool's trailhead, there were seven cars parked there already (even though this was still quite early in the morning). This meant that there were at least 15 people sharing the pools already, and this obviously didn't appeal to us in the slightest.

When we had checked into the hotel the night before, we were given a schedule of the following day's activities. These were all free for guests, so we decided to take advantage of 'em. We figured that since we're paying so much more for the night than we had originally planned we may as well get our money's worth. We were also in the mood of something more toned-down, after yesterday's (and this mornings!) excitement.

Unfortunately our first choices didn't fit our schedule, so we went with the archery instructions. It was just us, the instructor, and two other guests, and in a lovely setting up-mountain from the main hotel grounds. While not a typical "Hawaiian" activity and not something we would ever have planned on ahead of time, we ended up enjoying it a lot (even though it turned out that we were terrible at it ;D).

We checked out at around 11, and headed back on the the Road to Hana and towards 'Ohe'o Gulch. This is better known as the Seven Sacred Pools, and is part of Haleakala National Park. If you pay the entrance fee for the summit you could show your receipt here and get free entry withing three days. However since we had gone up for sunrise five days ago, we had to pay again. No worries; it was only $10 or so.

The Pipiwai Trail is also here, and is up the mountain from the parking lot. The Pools are in the opposite direction, towards the ocean. Our plan was to head down to the pools, and then do at least two miles of the Pipiwai Trail (till the bamboo forest).

In the parking lot we bumped onto the local Chabad Shaliach and a couple he was escorting. We had a nice conversation, and he suggested we join them on the Pipiwai. I was more interested in the pools, so we declined. (This would turn out to be one of the only regrets we had on this trip.)

The hike down to the pools was longer than it seems from the maps, so it took us more time than expected to get down. Quite frankly, I was disappointed when we finally arrived. The place was packed - there were literally hundreds of people in a fairly small area. True, the falls and pools were beautiful, but you had to see past the group of teens climbing behind the falls, the busloads of octogenarian slowly picking their way from rock to rock, and the piles of kids running every which way.

I had envisioned a quiet and peaceful spot; instead I got a zoo. Supposedly the place is supposed to be empty before 1 o'clock or so (when the RTH day-trippers arrive), but that was definitely not the case that day.

Most pictures of the pools look about the same, so I wanted to see if I could get something unique. Careful positioning enabled me to get a fresh perspective on the oft-photographed scene:



By the time we got back up to the parking lot we were hot, tired, and disappointed. We decided to skip the Pipiwai Trail and move on. Now we were wishing we had gone with the Shaliach earlier; I'm certain it would have been far more fun. From the short conversation we had he definitely came across as someone who it would be great to spend more time with.

Back on the road:



Past the park is where the road stops being the lush Road to Hana and turns into the wild "other half". Though technically called the Piilani Highway, it's generally referred to as the other half of the RTH. The road here starts out as a one-lane, generally unpaved road hugging the cliffs. Soon it passes through shrubland and pastures, which eventually changes into bona fide desert, not unlike the American Southwest. Finally it climbs Haleakala's flanks and back to greenery and Kula.

On this half, the road is more about the jaw-dropping scenery than activities, waterfalls, and the like. There's not much to do here, but I found myself pulling over and gawking at the scenery more often than on the first half.

(Fair warning: there are lots of road pictures coming up, as that's the star of the show here.)

The first part of the road is an astonishingly beautiful nail-biter:







Some spots are downright alarming:



Some areas had guardrails...:



...but most didn't:



In some areas the guardrail has simply given up:





The one-lane bridges are even hairier here than the first half:











A curve in the road takes you back to the jungle for a moment, and reveals a tiny but stunning beach through the foliage. Perfect spot for lunch:









Many people think that a regular car can't make it all the way around. This is simply not true. In fact, there are many large tour buses doing it just fine. Whenever we had one of those behind us, I'd pull over and let him go ahead. That let us keep our pace nice and slow:



A tiny, localized rain shower up ahead:



Rain like this means just one thing, so I promptly put my wife on rainbow-spotting duty ;D. Not five minutes later she called out a target:





The other side of Haleakala's Kaupo Gap:





Another beautiful double rainbow:



Slowly the road went from green jungle to scrubby land. With this change came the cows: dozens of them, in multiple herds, meandering mindlessly wherever they pleased:













The landscape changed yet again, this time to desert. Without thick foliage in the way, you have marvelous views of Haleakala on one side and the ocean on the other. The road itself is often visible for great distances, a winding ribbon wending its way to the horizon.

Every rise and every bend provides yet another - and completely different - vista:

























The Pokowai sea arch is off to the left:



One of the most incredible-looking areas on the island is on this part of the road. In between mile markers 28 and 27, the road takes a nearly 180-degree turn around a hill. At you round the turn, your breath is taken away. The road falls sharply away from you, revealing a landscape that would feel at home in Utah or Arizona. This is the Manawainui Gulch, a deep, dry canyon which makes its way down the mountain.

The road drops 123 feet in around a tenth of a mile - that's a 40-degree grade. For comparison, the maximum allowed grade in the Interstate highway system is 7 degrees.









When people think of Hawaii, something like is is not what they imagine... The diversity on this island is unbelievable.

On the other side of the bridge the road climbs back up:





After this some plants start to appear again, as the road turns more inland towards Kula.

Someone appears to have had a lot of fun on a motorcycle here:



It was getting late in the afternoon when we came to the Auwahi Wind Farm overlook:



A shower over the island of Kahoʻolawe:



A cinder cone from Haleakala's last eruption:



The darker looking area on the left (in front of Kaho'olawe) is the Molikini crater:



Tourists:



My wife dared me to drive with the roof down and wearing my snorkel gear. I added a lei for good measure ;D:



(My motto in life is "Why be normal when you could be yourself" 8).)

Once you're back upcountry, green abounds:





Back in Kula, it's off to our cottage to pick up our luggage:



We had just enough time to our flight to collect our stuff and have dinner. One incredible Hawaiian sunset later and off we were, homeward bound.

The end :D

May 31, 2015, 09:03:35 PM
1
Re: Boycott Kaporas? The answer to all of this is simple.

1) If you are not a vegetarian  -this isn't any different than the chicken you buy and eat. Oh seeing the blood makes you think about it too much? Deal with it
2) If you are a vegetarian - I'm not. Sorry to hear you don't get to enjoy meat. Go protest outside the many slaughterhouses and restaurants all over the world before focusing on the few chickens used in Kapparos.

September 21, 2015, 12:55:11 PM
1
Re: Los Cabos, Mexico Master Thread Hi all,

Just signed up to an account. We manage the Chabad in Cabo and are happy to help with any questions or info related to travel in or around Cabo.

I can't stand it when people get ripped off by the local trip vendors around town and would be happy to suggest what prices you 'should' be paying for different trips around town.

Feel free to email or PM me at any time.

January 31, 2016, 01:32:24 AM
1
Re: What can I take from a hotel room? Rule of thumb: things that you can potentially use up during your stay (e.g. Not the remote but the batteries. Not the lamps but the light bulbs. Not the coffee maker but the coffee, tea, creamer, stirrers, filters, sugar, Splenda)
April 13, 2016, 11:45:19 PM
1
Re: Silent Killer What constitutes an "orthodox" suicide? Does the person have to come from an orthodox home or does the person have to be orthodox at the time of death ?
July 15, 2016, 01:20:03 PM
1
Re: Boycott Kaporas?

45 dollars each=180. 

That's not expensive. Thats highway robbery.

October 11, 2016, 09:50:52 AM
1
Re: Keeping Up With The Kushners
We all do aveiros, so precisely where do we draw the line?
Firstly, let's try to use the Torah method and say that we aren't perfect in keeping all mitzvos.

The line is drawn when a person finds justification for acting against halacha, or says that it is right to do so.

January 24, 2017, 04:25:16 PM
1
Re: Keeping Up With The Kushners
So you're orthodox and they're something less because your sins are outside the realms of shabbas and kosher and sitting in a church? Why are those realms the deciding factors for you in this label system of yours? Aren't all d'oraisas equal to each other, and same with all d'rabanans?

You keep ignoring the simple answer to all your questions:

The line is drawn when a person finds justification for acting against halacha, or says that it is right to do so.

January 24, 2017, 05:35:14 PM
1
Re: Keeping Up With The Kushners
Idk how much you guys "get out there" in the secular world but here's a story for you, I had a coworker a few years ago I became friends with who ate dairy out and his family didn't keep shabbas at all growing up. While in NYU he met a Rabbi that he's still in touch with this to this day, drives out weekly at night to learn with him. As we chatted more and more, he made strides in eating out less, fasted with me whenever I told him it was a fast day, and just in general had many good conversations about Jewish philosophy. God plays a big part in his life, he's doing his best, and it made me realize how much I took my "head start" for granted. Some of you would call him conservative, to me he's way frummer and more genuine than myself, who you would probably call "modern orthodox" if you saw my spec sheet (I keep shabbas, kosher, but I'm not perfect and don't daven with a minyan except on shabbas, I don't learn enough and I grew up in JDS system with 0 excuse).
Why would anyone call him "conservative". He is obviously a תינוק שנשבה and is growing in his yiddishkeit as he is learning. Who knows, he might even get you to daven daily with a minyan and have daily learning with him :)

January 24, 2017, 05:42:26 PM
1
Re: Keeping Up With The Kushners
Nope, just have a weak Ashkenazic digestive system.

From all your TR where you eat lunch and dinner for a week in restaurants, I was thinking you must have something very strong.

January 25, 2017, 11:01:29 AM
1
Re: Keeping Up With The Kushners
You're not serious about calling her geirus a sham if she leaves onions overnight, are you?

The problematic parts of the recipe is not putting it up until the night, and adding salt to the pot in the morning, but the recipe is not geared only for Shabbos, or for Jews, for that matter, so although some halachic disclaimers would have been nice, I don't think this is a big deal.
Come on, sarcastic font wasn't even needed for that one.

January 25, 2017, 11:02:30 AM
1
Re: Keeping Up With The Kushners This is preposterous. Are you guys seriously sitting here debating whether someone else who claims to be Jewish genuinely is?
How can you possibly claim to have a conclusive answer without tasting her cholent?
I"YH next week I will follow the directions exactly and recreate her dish, I will then settle this debate.

January 26, 2017, 11:19:01 AM
1
Re: Keeping Up With The Kushners Comment from the matzav article:
Quote
Dear author.
You made the mistake that many other people made. Iíve never seen an interview where Jared or Ivanka have claimed to be Shomer Torah Umitzvos.
She did once say that she likes Shabbos because of the gashmiyus aspects (peace and quiet, family time etc)
She does light Menorah (although she does it within her house, not by the window and uses candles)
He is never seen in public wearing a yarmulkah. Even during the Israel trip, although he did have one by the kosel.
Basically, no one actually thinks they are Orthodox, besides for Orthodox Jews.
Sadly they are like most American Jews (actually the vast majority) who have little connection to Judaism.
They do keep a handful of mitzvos maybe, but no one thinks they are Frum.
As far as her Geirus is concerned, thatís a shailoh for a Rav.
But no one should think that these are standard Frum family who are looking to buy a house in the middle of Flatbush.
Sadly, far from it. 

I kinda agree. I think the "frum velt" were the ones that got all excited and advertised that אחות לנו בבית המלך, and are now feeling duped

May 26, 2017, 02:28:25 PM
1
Re: Keeping Up With The Kushners
Lol, that may have gone over your head.

Now I understand why Chabadsker are putting on Tefilin on streets. There out for the frum ones!

June 14, 2017, 12:43:17 PM
1
Re: Keeping Up With The Kushners
Is it just me that finds it weird for an article on ou.org to discuss a movie in detail including a character's "breasts and buttocks", especially when it has nothing to do with the point of the article?
Not weird at all.   - This is the OU.. the highest level of kashrus possible.

June 15, 2017, 07:33:39 PM
1
Re: Messianism among Lubavitch The whole concept of "nosi hador" is an invention. It makes no sense and is misleading. Wholly unesessary term.
July 27, 2017, 11:55:34 PM
1
Re: Messianism among Lubavitch
And the other viznitz don't believe their Rebbe is the manhig/nosi hador?
Noone but chabbad use term nosi hador.

Words matter. This term was coined to induce some kind of dynastic royalty attributed to the last couple of leaders.

No chassidim use this anywhere near in an extreme way as chabbad.

July 28, 2017, 12:01:13 AM
1
Re: Messianism among Lubavitch
Believing your Rebbe to be Manhig/Nosi hador is part of the Rebbe-Chosid relationship.

Chabad is so in there own world. I don't think chasidim in general believe that believing you Rabbi is highst authority is part of chasidus. It may be a natural thing.

July 28, 2017, 12:18:56 AM
1
Re: A Summer Trip to Morocco: Marrakech, Casablanca, Fes Day Three: Marrakech

Tuesday followed the same pattern as Monday, but we did the South of the Medina, as opposed to the North which we did the day before.
While walking, we passed through a different souk which was interesting. This guy was uber talented, making intricate woodwork with his toes!



We started off by going to El Bahia Palace. This palace was built in the late 1800s, and I believe it took 15 years to complete. Itís beautiful and interesting to see how they lived. Each of the kingís 4 wives had their own quarters, with the favorite one having an entire riad to herself (she became the favorite by having the first son).







Also interesting to note is the Star of David floorwork in one of the rooms. Apparently, they were eager to show the good relations with the Jews and used this pattern often.



After the palace, we walked through the Mellah Ė the Jewish Quarter. While once housing hundreds of Jews, it is now all but empty. There is a Jewish cemetary which we visited a few days later, so Iíll expound then.
We walked towards the Lazama Synagogue and found an Arab kid standing outside yelling Ė you Jewish? Shalom! Synagogue here. He learned some basic Hebrew and holds himself as the official Ďguardí of the shul. It would be difficult to find if you donít know your way around.
Lazama Synagogue is one of several remaining in the Mellah. To my knowledge, it is the main one and the only one that is still open daily to the public. Itís beautiful, with a nice courtyard (riad) and garden area inside.
I believe the original synagogue on this site was built in 1492, when the Jews fled Spain. The current building was built at the turn of the 20 th century.





We visited the Saadian Tombs, a burial ground constructed by the Sultan in 1578. The tombs are magnificent decorated with marble, which is the Saadianís signature look. Itís cool, but not a must-see.



We went back to the riad where we relaxed for a few hours and had dinner.

We headed back out to Jemaa El Fnaa where we hung out with some snakes, and the souks where we stayed for a bit and shopped.



We then went to Le Comptoir Darna, a popular restaurant in the New City. We couldn't eat, but got drinks and enjoyed the entertainment, which was lively Moroccan music, dancers, and entertainers. Itís nice to walk around the New City and get a totally different side of Marrakech. Itís quiet and clean, with beautiful hotels and nightclubs. The cars parked are all luxury cars and there are contemporary, western shops.
Interesting paradox to the grungy, loud, stuck-in-time medina.


Day Four: Atlas Mountains

The Atlas Mountains is a great day trip from Marrakech. It has beautiful scenery, slightly cooler weather, and is a general reprieve from the hustle and bustle.
We arranged with a company to do a full day trip, which includes the drive from Marrakech, which is about 2 hours.
We started off in Imlil Valley by having refreshments and mint tea at a local riad. Mint tea is a staple in Morocco and is how they welcome anyone. We were served mint tea at almost every location we went to.
The riad had a terrace where we enjoyed our tea and an incredible view.






We then set out on a hike through the mountains, stopping at a scenic waterfall to cool off. The hike was really intense, but it was magnificent and thankfully the weather was a bit cooler than the previous days. Itís interesting to see a different part of Morocco in the villages, with the simple, hardworking Berbers. They are visibly friendlier than the people of Marrakech, all smiles, saying hello, and just overall have a more easygoing nature.
At the waterfall, the locals were clambering over hard rocks barefoot, seemingly not bothered at all.
Another fascinating aspect was how the women were all swimming fully clad in their burkas, which knocked down our perpetual being-the- most-covered- females-around status. The water was FREEZING so maybe the burkas came in handy  :) .

We hiked for about 2.5 hours and then made our way back to the riad where we enjoyed a relaxing lunch.
On our way, we stopped at local Berber shop where we bought some items. When we discovered later that one of the scarves we bought was missing, the shop owner was super nice and told us to head to his brotherís shop where heíll give us a new one. We found, in general, that most shop owners, hotel staff etc. throughout Morocco, were all super nice, polite, and eager to help. It was a nice change from the New York mentality we are used to.







The simple Berber homes:



We then set out for a camel ride, which we did for about an hour.





On our way back to Marrakech, we stopped in an Argan Oil Ďfactoryí. This is made from the fruit of the Moroccan Argan tree, and is a lengthy process done mostly by Berber women. They do everything by hand and need numerous Argan nuts for a tiny bottle of oil. Argan Oil is used for culinary and cosmetic purposes.



We got back to Marrakech pretty late, so we had dinner and called it a night.


Day Five: Marrakech and Desert Agafay

We spent our morning in the medina and opted to view it from a different vantage point: a caleche. These are horse drawn carriages that are lined up in Jemaa El Fnaa and offer tours of the medina.



We drove around and were able to see the sights in a leisurely fashion. When driving through the mellah, we passed the Jewish cemetery, so we alit for a quick stop. Itís much larger than it looks from the outside and is well preserved. This is the largest Jewish cemetery in Morocco, and itís beautiful, with white washed tombs and sandy graves. Most of the graves donít have names of them, but they say that some of them date back to the 16th century. Thereís a large section for tinokos shel bais rabban, which is basically a mass grave of children that died in a plague, as well as numerous graves of great Rabbis. Itís very sad to see such a vast cemetery which hints to the great life that once was here.





We drove around some more and made a stop at La Mamounia Ė an exquisite, opulent hotel. If youíre willing to spend a bit more, and donít want the raid experience, this is the way to go! It was certainly worth a visit, just to look around at the grandeur and beauty of this hotel. Just the entranceway and garden is amazing, and it certainly gives a feel for the rich Moroccan lifestyle. The staff were really gracious even though they knew we were just taking a look around.







We were dropped back off at Jemaa El Fnaa where we had told the driver of our half-day trip to meet us. We then drove about 45 minutes from Marrakech for our Quad Biking trip.

Visiting the Desert Agafay is a good option if you would like to get the feel of the sand dunes and desert, but donít have the time to travel all the way south to the Sahara. Quad biking, or ATVing as we know it, was a really fun way to explore the foothills of the High Atlas Mountains, and the beautiful Desert Agafay. We also drove by the stunning Lake Takerkoust, and stopped there later for mint tea.








The desert was vast and silent, with just the sand blowing in our faces and the sound of the ATVs. I was unsure about adding this to the itinerary since I generally steer away from doing things I can do at home, but Iím really glad I left it in! Great fun and great views all around!
It was also really funny how, when getting to the desert, we drove on the main road and the cars actually yielded to us and took it all in stride. Only in Morocco do mules, scooters, cars, and ATVs all get equal treatment on the road.

We drove back to Marrakech, hung out in Jemaa El Fnaa and the souks for a bit before going back to Riad Kheirradine to pack up and get ready to leave for Casablanca early the next morning.

September 13, 2017, 06:52:19 PM
1
Re: Ex Gingi Farbrengen DO
Sure.

Mentioned the attached, and how (by extension) everyone is actually a Lubavitcher, it is just בהעלם.😉
Thanks
We are from different plants. I went to chasidish yeshiva, consider myself knowledgeable in what we call chasidus. I can definitely understand most sfarim from talmid baal Shem.

And I didn't understand a word. Maybe I'm missing the context. Also, didn't understand/see any expansion why we are all lubavitches.

December 30, 2017, 10:23:34 PM
1
Re: Why do some Jewish communities prohibit women from driving? Someone's not working today.
January 01, 2018, 01:28:47 PM
1
Re: Why do some Jewish communities prohibit women from driving?


Because women are bad drivers.

Simple as that.

January 01, 2018, 01:33:49 PM
1
Re: Women in Jewish magazines







Drawings of girls, never pictures

January 02, 2018, 05:08:10 PM
1
Re: Why do some Jewish communities prohibit women from driving?
Thats probably just Aggadah. Who even survived the Churban? what proof is there that he had sex with a harlot in the beit hamidash ?
sorry to interrupt the very important thread about lubavich
just want to call out the apikorsus and make a machaa brabim for making light of divrei chapel

January 08, 2018, 02:04:00 PM
1
Re: Why do some Jewish communities prohibit women from driving?

Someone is living in la la land
-100 many women won't break the visible rules but will have a smartphone because הנני בחדרי חדרים מי רואני
While I have no interest in having in arguing about this, if you take the the majority of Chassidishe Women from BP, Willi, Monsey, KJ ( Lakewood I'm assuming is different but I may be wrong ) the majority of Chassidishe women don't have smartphones.

That said you can start a new thread what categorizes a Chassidishe Women...

I hate an argument about facts when it's not technically possible to prove one way or the other...

I rest my case

January 29, 2018, 09:59:14 AM
1
Re: How do U define yourself, what does it mean & how would you like to see your kid
Some people would say a sheep dressed up as a wolf who is dressed up as a sheep, is more accurate. I'm not sure if I agree with them.

A sheep in sheep's clothing who identifies as a wolf?

February 12, 2018, 05:00:59 PM
1
Re: Torah stuff that doesnt make sense
Astronomy, most sciences, and accounting make no sense to me either. Because I donít understand any of it.
+1 I'm getting tiered of people on DDF posting their deep klotz kashes on many aspects of Torah and mesorah while being utterly clueless about the subject matter.
There's one guy who had the temerity to say he no longer believe in chazal because of his "questions", meanwhile he probably hasn't studied more than 25 pages of shas (and on a grade school level at that!). Pathetic.

OP apparently has the same machla, he reads some random books or blogs, (aka seforim chitzonim), then he has big klotz kashes, where things " don't make any sense", and sometimes should be totally "abolished".  All based on his finger nail deep immersive research..

February 25, 2018, 01:44:10 PM
1
Re: Ayubowan from Sri Lanka (with a side of Dubai) Day Nine: Dubai

We landed in DXB at 6:00 AM after a 4 and a half hour flight from Colombo.
Since our layover was under 24 hours, our luggage went straight from CMB to EWR, which was great.
We changed some money, got out of the airport quickly, and caught a cab to our hotel.
Even though we weren't spending the night, we chose to get a hotel room for the 21 hours we would be there, as a home base.
We chose the Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek Heights due to it's close proximity to the airport and cheap pricing. It was really nice and worked out beautifully.
We got to the hotel, showered, rested a bit, and ate breakfast. We then headed out for our 11:00 Yellow Boat Tour.
The Yellow Boat Tour is a great way to see the main sights of the city in a pleasant and enjoyable manner.
Once we reached open water, the boat went fast which was really refreshing. We saw The Atlantis, Burj al Arab, as well as lots of other sights, for about an hour and a half.

One thing we were not counting on was the intense intense intense (did I mention intense?) heat.
The humidity was suffocating and the sun was beating down ferociously. The day we were there had a real feel of about 140 degrees.
By the time we exited the boat, we were all just about wilted.











Any plans we had for after the boat ride were immediately nixed as we took refuge in the nearest grocery store and bought some cold drinks. We then went back to the hotel, cooled off and had lunch.
After girding ourselves to face the heat again, we took a taxi to the Gold Souk, where we enjoyed walking around and shopping.





After feasting our eyes on all the glittering gold we took a cab to the Dubai Mall, where the entrance to At The Top is located.
At The Top is the observation deck on the 124th and 125th floors of the Burj Khalifa. We chose not to pay extra to go higher as everyone said it's really not worth it.

The line was long to get up and we waited for about half hour. After that we went up an elevator that takes 70 seconds to go up all those floors. It's really cool that you don't even feel yourself moving at that speed and the only indication is that your ears pop.

Once we got up we walked out on the balcony to enjoy the views of Dubai. It was getting dark by the time we got to the top so we got to see partial daylight, as well as the nighttime views which were really nice.







We chose to do the virtual reality which was a fun experience. They have you up climb on top of the Burj, blowing wind in your face which makes it very realistic, and then jump off the building with a parachute.

After spending some time At The Top we went back down to the back of the Dubai Mall. They have a really nice fountain show every half hour at night.
They have options to pay for views from a boat or the platform, but it's completely not necessary as you can see perfectly from the boardwalk.





It was a really incredible show, in fact we enjoyed it so much that we stayed another half hour (almost dying from heat exhaustion in the process) to see another one.

In between shows they had a cool light show with music on the Burj Khalifa.



We went back to the hotel to freshen up and get ready to leave.
We left pretty early to the airport which was a good thing. DXB is like a city unto itself and it can take a really long time to get anywhere.
Once we got to the gate, there were no seats to be had and the place was packed. Our flight was so full that they started boarding over 2 hours before departure!

We got on without incident and had a pleasant flight home. Upon our arrival we breezed right through thanks to Global Entry but then waited about an hour for our baggage.
Since it was such a full flight, they had to open 2 luggage carousels and it took an endless amount of time for everything to come out.
Eventually we made our way out of the airport and headed home. 

Dubai was a great stopover and a great way to break up the trip home. Any more than a day probably would not have been enjoyable due to the heat, but we loved seeing the city for the couple of hours that we did.

If anyone has any questions on Sri Lanka or Dubai, feel free to ask!


August 27, 2018, 03:20:08 PM
1
Re: PSA: Don't swipe recklessly for others Are we calling cc swiping "investing" now?
February 10, 2019, 09:50:01 PM
1
Re: Absent DDFers
Is it just me or did @TimT Post something yesterday
Maybe @TimT can help you find it ;)

February 26, 2019, 08:26:23 AM
1
Re: PSA: Don't swipe recklessly for others
please show some respect for the Chief Rabbi
please please just go away.

February 27, 2019, 12:22:15 PM
1
Re: PSA: Don't swipe recklessly for others
If anyone needs a rabbi to talk to
I am available
I just want to inform you that the rest of DDF is waiting for you to grow up and realize that your childish and immature posts are doing nothing but making a fool of yourself here. Whatever respect you had in members eyes before is likely gone at this point.

February 27, 2019, 08:52:36 PM
1
Re: PSA: Don't swipe recklessly for others
I see you are new
Welcome to the forums
I joined over 4 years ago. Read more, talk/post less. You might want to try that yourself instead of spewing garbage

February 28, 2019, 08:11:44 PM
1
Re: Adding Financial Literacy Courses In Yeshivas
The chasidim who don't speak English as a first language are at a significant disadvantage. But that is not an education issue.
That's why the yoely's are the ones that hire,
and those that go to college work for the yoely's

March 11, 2019, 02:18:30 AM
1
Re: Adding Financial Literacy Courses In Yeshivas
I would think between siyumim preformances, Siddur and Chumash parties, divrei Torah at the shabbos table, (in Chabad, mivtzoim, tahalucha, etc), and chavrusah learning, kids are taught to speak and express from a young age all the way through all stages of school way more than secular classes.
My father never let me read a d'var torah at the Shabbos table from a sheet we brought home. Read it a few times and then give it over in your own words.
Was good advice.

March 11, 2019, 11:46:03 PM
1
Re: Re: The Funny/strange/interesting/random Tweets Thread
How are you still posting. Just saw 4 neturei karta guys arrested at the protest i thought they take away your phone when you get arrested.
lol. Not everyone who doesn't completely parrot the Zionist script is NK.

March 28, 2019, 07:29:12 PM
1
Re: Re: The Funny/strange/interesting/random Tweets Thread Read a book? You mean Berel Wein?

On a serious note, there was plenty of Arab Muslims in Palestine before 1948, that did not come with the Aliya waves. Lydda and Ramle, Jaffa, Nablus, Hebron, Acre, Haifa, Jenin, and Jericho etc. were significantly sized Muslim towns. Jerusalem was on the larger end, and 80% Muslim. Nazareth and -interestingly enough- Ramallah, were Arab Christian. The Jews were very sparse pre 1850, settled mainly in Safed and Jerusalem with small communities in Tiberias and Hebron. The waves of Aliya brought the population to a 70-30 ratio which was the number the British sought to maintain. All the talk of net immigration by Arabs to Palestine is blatantly false, peddled by the Israelis. There was a net migration of Arabs from Palestine in the 1880-1960 era, which is the bulk of the Jewish Aliya. The Arab birthrate, until today, is higher than the Jewish one. If Arabs were coming in, then the population here would be a Arab majority, which was only avoided by this net migration.

That being said, the Arabs have plenty land of their own and should make way for the Jews who have been wandering around for 2,000 years. Letís ignore the fact that authentic Judaism, the version that has lasted these 2,000 years, rejects ďforcing the MessiahĒ. Letís take all these Arabs and push them out. And then letís wonder why they want to murder us. Letís point to the beautiful country we built (by schnorring from the Germans and Americans) and hide behind our advancement. And letís promote the fact we are a true democracy (as long as youíre not Arab, Mizrachi, or Chareidi- but hey, America had slaves once too).

I love Eretz Yisrael, spent most of my life there, do a lot of business there, but am sickened by Zionism more everyday that goes by.

March 29, 2019, 12:13:54 AM
1