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Topics - moish

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Up In The Air / *G lounge policy change?
« on: August 18, 2012, 07:38:23 PM »
i recently tried to enter a lounge using star gold and was told that as of 6 months ago there was a change of policy where i can only guest one family member in, either wife or child.

anyone heard of this before?

General Discussion / vote for mindy!
« on: July 25, 2012, 06:28:28 PM »

from JKN
Summer Kashrus Travel Advisory for Jerusalem
3 Menachem Av 5772
July 22, 2012
I would like to begin this post with an apology for not publicizing my
message a number of months ago when I first felt compelled to do so. Since
that time, I have spoken with people, consulted, and pondered, and finally
reached the conclusion that no one is willing to speak so it’s time for JKN
to do so, as I have done in the past when the situation demanded. Since that
time, the situation has become significantly worse and realizing the result
will be unpleasant, it is time to say what has to be said for I can no
longer tolerate seeing religious people eating, many times being duped,
unaware they are relying on a kosher supervision that is no longer reliable.
Not seeing any way to compel a change I feel duty bound to warn those of you
who will listen, those who have come to trust my voice. For the others,
nothing lost and nothing gained perhaps. I do not know why Hashem put me in
this place, but I do not believe it is to remain silent.
As you know, I am not affiliated with any kashrus agency and do not make a
living from JKN. I have stopped shuk tours and lectures in schools and
elsewhere for reasons I do not care to share at present, and focus on
investigating and education. I feel that you have a right to know that the
kashrus situation in the holiest city in the world, Jerusalem, has reached
an all time low, at least since my aliyah over 30 years ago.
This kosher travel advisory applies to restaurants and eateries under the
supervision of the Jerusalem Rabbinate, both regular and mehadrin ONLY.
1. This DOES NOT refer to any other hechsherim,
2. Does not refer to the Rabbinate hashgacha in other cities,
3. Does not refer to factory products,
4. Does not refer to hotels or whatever else you can think of.
5. Does not refer to tithing in the shuk, only the restaurants and those
selling take home foods and ready to eat items in the shuk. NOT fruit and
vegetable vendors.
It is quite specific so read carefully and do not extrapolate and draw your
own conclusions.
From my hours and hours of visiting stores, monitoring stores, spying on
stores, stakeouts, picking through garbage, observing mashgichim, walking
the shuk and other areas in the center of Jerusalem and have reached the
conclusion that one seeking reliable kashrus may no longer rely on the
Jerusalem Rabbinate hashgacha in restaurants, regular and/or mehadrin unless
you are personally familiar with the goings on in the restaurant you wish to
That means in my opinion, if you lack firsthand knowledge attesting to the
reliability of a mashgiach and a particular eatery/restaurant, you should
not eat there. A rabbi in a suit or sporting whatever defines reliability to
you is insufficient.
For rabbonim in Israel and even more rabbis abroad recommending Jerusalem
Rabbinate regular or mehadrin without recent firsthand information, I urge
you to stop doing so until you have made numerous unannounced visits to
restaurants before you shoulder the responsibility for your congregants
I have seen many violations of basic Shulchan Aruch. I am not speaking about
chumos (stringencies) here but simple basic halacha, which includes but not
limited to:
1. Non Jews lighting the fire and mounting shwarma for cooking in a mehadrin
and non-mehadrin stores.
2. Non religious Jews pouring non-mevushal wine in a mehadrin and
non-mehadrin restaurants.
3. Using non hydroponically grown (gush katif) greens for cooking in
mehadrin and non mehadrin restaurants.
4. Using non mehadrin cheese in a mehadrin restaurant.
5. Non bishul yisrael for Sephardim in mehadrin restaurants in contradiction
to the regulations of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.
6. Accepting hashgachot categorized as “unauthorized” by the Chief Rabbinate
of Israel.
7. Non-Jews holding keys and opening and closing the store without Jewish
supervision, a basic in kashrus.
8. Non-Jews with keys to freezers and meat refrigerators.
9. Violating Shulchan Aruch 118, ‘meat being out of sight’ without proper
kosher markings, two seals as law demands. Chotem B’soch Chotem.
10. Meat being delivered without proper markings/supervision.
11. Deliveries to stores hours before mashgichim arrive and improper
paperwork to legitimize those deliveries to a kosher inspector if and when
he arrives.
12. Unsupervised cooking in kitchens predominately staffed by non-Jews.
13. Breads being transported by non-Jews without any kosher supervision or
14. I could go on but if you do not get it by now, no need to continue
In short, the Jerusalem Rabbinate mashgichim are all too often “no shows” as
are the mifakachim (inspectors supervising mashgichim). Mashgichim in many
cases do not remain in stores the minimum required time daily as per the
Chief Rabbinate. Ditto in mehadrin stores. Ditto for showing up at all.
The Jerusalem Rabbinate has unilaterally decided to permit unauthorized
hashgachas to operate in the capital, once again, ignoring the Chief
Rabbinate. In short, the Jerusalem Rabbinate no longer adheres to the rules
and regulations of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel in many cases and it
thereby disqualifies itself by non-compliance.
How can this be you ask? I for one believe that after not having chief
rabbis in the city for over a decade has led to the total breakdown of
kashrus services in the city. In short, there is no one watching the store
and over the years, several changes in management, the organization has
become dysfunctional from a reliable kosher standpoint.
You may accept this or not. It is entirely your call but I have done my duty
by informing you. If you have followed JKN over the years you know I have no
agenda, no bias and it’s is never about dati leumi, chareidi, badatz or
anything else, just simple compliance to halacha.
To prevent the flood of loshon hora comments that this is bound to generate,
the article is closed to any and all comments. Emails asking me “Where can
we eat” will not receive a response. I do not have the hours and manpowerto
check restaurants with any level of competence since we are talking about
hundreds and hundreds that are certified in Jerusalem.
Once the certifying body is no longer reliable, it is time to realize,
painful and inconvenient as it may be, that you may have to find new places
to eat. As I said, it is entirely your call.
I apologize to the mashgichim and mifakachim out there doing your jobs, for
there are some reliable places that I have seen, but they seem to be the
exception, not the rule, hence the kashrus advisory. Some mashgichim call me
regularly; stop me on the street regularly, begging me to go public forthey
cannot tolerate the anarchy that exists today.
Believe me when I tell you that I am being polite and exercising much
restraint here.
As I have been explaining for years, it is time for you the kosher consumer
to get an education. Learn the minimum about a hashgacha you plan to rely
upon and not come to Israel and then call from a hotel room after you are
booked and ask if it is okay. An educated empowered consumer can actualize
change. Please, for all our sakes it is time to accept responsibility and
implementing change. Eating blindly because it is convenient and enjoyable
will guarantee this unacceptable situation perpetuates itself chas v’sholom.
Before leaving your home abandon the myth that the State of Israel is all
kosher and Jerusalem is glatt/mehadrin (use any word you like). This is not
so and as you seek an acceptable hashgacha elsewhere; you must do the same
There is a growing number of stores in the middle of Jerusalem that do not
have any hashgacha, that open on shabbos, that serve treif, including
seafood and pork products. A mashgiach in a non-mehadrin restaurant is
expected to spend a number of hours in every store daily. Please, if a
mashgiach has 4,5,or 6 stores under his responsibility how does he manage
such a feat? You may be accustomed to the OU in America, or the Vaad
HaRabbonim of Queens perhaps. That means when you enter a meat restaurant
there is a mashgiach there to greet you and respond to your questions. There
is no such thing as a meat restaurant operating without a mashgiach present.
Please, think back and tell me the last time you saw a mashgiach in a meat
restaurant here? The kitchen staffs are frequently and perhaps even
primarily non-Jews and non-observant Jews.
Please, I urge you to wise up and understand that people here speak Hebrew
as it is the national language. Not everyone had a yeshiva education and
when it comes to kashrus, good intentions are insufficient.
There must be a legitimate competent hashgacha and today, the Jerusalem
Rabbinate is no longer doing its job as it should. It is my tefilla that the
many rabbonim ‘in the know’ will draw courage from this alert and come out
publically attesting to the accuracy of my words towards compelling change.
I have no doubt the mudslinging will follow because when you cannot argue
the facts, the next step is to discredit the messenger.
Wishing you all an absolutely outstanding visit to the Holy Land.
In closing, permit me to refer you to a Jerusalem Post article from
September 2011.
If the entire article is not visible, double click on it to view in another

To read the entire article, please click on the following hyperlink

General Discussion / Shekel-dollar rate passes NIS 4/$ threshold!!
« on: July 18, 2012, 03:29:57 AM »
lets keep it going!

Just Shmooze / Baby Moish's Trip Log
« on: July 11, 2012, 06:42:29 PM »
Baby Moish's travels in-utero and during his first 13 months...recorded for posterity.

In-Utero (18 segments, 31,720 mi):

1. TLV-LED FV Coach
2. LED-DME S7 Coach
3. SVO-KBP VV Coach
4. KBP-ATH VV Coach
5. ATH-HER A3 Coach
6. HER-ATH A3 Coach
7. ATH-TLV A3 Coach
8. TLV-EWR CO Business
9. JFK-LAX UA Business
10. LAX-YYZ AC Coach
11. YYZ-LAX AC Coach
12. LAX-MUC LH Business
13. MUC-WAW LO Business
14. WAW-TLV LO Business
15. SDV-ETH IZ Coach
16. TLV-ETH 6H Coach
17. ETH-TLV LY Coach
18. TLV-YYZ LY Business

First 13 Months (42 segments, 90,363 mi):

1. YYZ-LAX AA Business
2. LAX-JFK AA Business
3. JFK-TLV LY Business
4. TLV-EWR LY Coach
5. JFK-LAX AA Coach
6. LAX-JFK AA Coach
7. EWR-TLV LY Coach
8. TLV-AMM RJ Business
9. AMM-DXB RJ Business
10. DXB-HKG CX Business
11. HKG-BKK CX Business
12. BKK-CNX PG Coach
13. CNX-HKT AK Coach
14. HKT-SIN 3K Coach
15. SIN-HKG CX Business
16. HKG-DXB CX Business
17. DXB-AMM RJ Business
18. AMM-TLV RJ Business
19. TLV-EWR CO Business
20. JFK-LAX UA Business
21. LAX-YYZ AC Coach
22. YYZ-LGA AC Coach
23. JFK-FRA LH Business
24. FRA-TLV LH Business
25. TLV-AMM RJ Business
26. AMM-AUH RJ Business
27. AUH-MEL EY First
28. MEL-ADL QF Business
29. ADL-KGC ZL Coach
30. ADL-SYD QF Business
31. SYD-AYQ QF Business
32. AYQ-CNS QF Business
33. CNS-SYD QF Business
34. SYD-DFW QF Business
35. DFW-LAX AA First
36. LAX-DEN AA First
37. DEN-PHL UA Coach
38. PHL-ORD AA First
39. ORD-YYZ AA First
40. YYZ-JFK AA Business
41. JFK-MAD IB Business
42. MAD-TLV IB Business

Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Germany Master Thread
« on: June 19, 2012, 07:34:50 PM »
im thinking about visiting. anybody been?

is there anywhere worthwhile to visit besides
- Berlin
- Hamburg
- Munich (including Dachau & Neuschwanstein Castle)
- Frankfurt (including Michelshtadt, Mainz & Worms)

has anybody been to Nuremberg?

any info would help


General Discussion / anyone coming from lakewood to israel?
« on: May 30, 2012, 12:23:18 PM »
can you bring me a shutterfly book? thanks

Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Shabbos in Tzfas
« on: May 05, 2012, 08:43:08 PM »
anybody been? where to stay? what/where to eat? what to do?
any help would be appreciated. thanks

Trip Reports / Oz Trip Report (w/ a splash of Abu Dhabi)
« on: April 30, 2012, 07:08:26 AM »
Part 1 : The Boring Stuff

I wont bore you with all the details of my various flight itineraries in all the various stages, only the last few.
I'ts worthwhile to point out that if you want to snag award space to/from Australia, especially in premium cabins, you gotta start planning waaay in advance. 

As I was originating in TLV, the best way to structure my titnerary (I had AA miles to burn, so Star Alliance wasn’t an option for me) was to make a one way partner award to Australia, and then make a oneworld award originating in Australia and ending in TLV (that would be my one and only open jaw allowed on a oneworld award)

After months of playing around with my itinerary, to include New Zealand or not, I was finally set. A one way all partner award TLV-HKG El Al J, 6 hr layover, and then HKG-MEL on Qantas J. Two long hauls with only a 6hr layover, but I would be arriving on Thursday morning, so I figured I would relax Thursday, check out the penguins  in the evening at Phillips Island, explore a bit of Melbourne on Friday, and be fully recuperated by Sunday. 

Did I mention I was flying with my wife and 2 kids? (Ages 4 and 1)

Anyways, about 6 weeks before the flight, El Al contacts me that they will not operate the TLV-HKG flight on my date, and put me on the flight a day earlier. For whatever reason that couldn’t work for me and at this point Qantas didn’t have any award availability to leave the day later.

In the end, I found 3 first class seats on Etihad, an AA partner, from AUH to MEL, and RJ had availability TLV-AMM and AMM-AUH so I figured I’d splurge for the extra 15k miles and experience the Etihad first class suites. I would also have 10 hours to explore Abu Dhabi which I wanted to do, after having a great time in Dubai this past summer. 

AA has a weird rule that they cant issue a reward unless the carrier has a published fare between the 2 cities. So in my situation, since Etihad doesn’t publish a fare between TLV and MEL, I couldn’t book it with miles. The AA rep wanted me to make a one way TLV-AMM-AUH with RJ for 25k (Middle East-Middle East in J) and then a one way AUH-MEL for 60k (Middle East-South Pacific in F) for a total of 85k, but I opted to do a one way AMM-AUH-MEL for 60k, and use Avios for the 20 minute TLV-AMM. (NOTE: you know that whole thing where the infant costs 10% avios? that only works if you book the infant at the same time as the adult. So it doesn't work online. I learned the hard way)

Finally, I was all set to go!

My final iitinerary looked like this:

On The Road / Merging 2 Hyatt accounts
« on: March 10, 2012, 07:56:20 PM »
does anyone know the hyatt policy with this or better yet have experience?
is it a smooth as with spg?

General Discussion / notary in jerusalem?
« on: February 18, 2012, 03:33:37 PM »
i need to get a document signed and i dont want to shlep to the consulate. does anyone know of a notary in jerusalem?

On The Road / help me make a decision
« on: February 15, 2012, 06:50:53 PM »
i need to make a decision, but as im going back and forth, i turn to you guys for some advice.

my flight is scheduled to arrive in AUH at 1:50am, so i figure after customs and waiting for my bags, getting to the hotel etc, theres no chance of getting to bed before 3:30-4. my flight out of AUH leaves same day ay 10:30pm
where should i stay?

things to consider:
1. how can i go to abu dhabi and not stay at the brand new park hyatt?
2. how can i go to abu dhabi and not stay at the brand new hyatt capital gate?
3. i have temporary diamond status with hyatt (from a challenge)
4. i have enough hyatt points (18k), but points are worth money too, right?
5. im getting in so late and hope to get out of the hotel as early as possible to explore the city so....
6. maybe just stay at a cheap hotel, but...
7. since im leaving at 10:30 i would prefer late checkout so i need status, so back to hyatt, or...
8. i am spg plat, and i could also use a stay credit towards requalifying. (and theyre relatively cheap) but...
9. the spg hotels are either ordinary, dated or out of the way, however...
10. see number 5, but at the end of the day...
11. see numbers 1 & 2

cant make a decision

please help!

General Discussion / have little kids? watch this
« on: February 09, 2012, 02:05:42 PM »

On The Road / Aloft New York Brooklyn
« on: January 26, 2012, 06:51:19 PM »
anybody stayed here or know anything about it?
is it a good option to stay in bklyn?

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