Poll

Should I toivel in the Berezina or in regular mikvah before Shabbos/YT?

Berezina
5 (55.6%)
Regular mikvah
1 (11.1%)
Berezina on YT morning
3 (33.3%)

Total Members Voted: 9

Voting closed: April 13, 2024, 07:31:27 AM

Author Topic: ExGingi's 3 generation wedding & Pesach trip to Russia.  (Read 22038 times)

Offline ExGingi

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Re: ExGingi's 3 generation wedding & Pesach trip to Russia.
« Reply #280 on: May 07, 2024, 12:26:24 AM »
Ex CAI KSML was Hermolis. No need to say much. It was current dated, but served partially frozen.
I've been waiting over 5 years with bated breath for someone to say that!
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Offline ExGingi

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Re: ExGingi's 3 generation wedding & Pesach trip to Russia.
« Reply #281 on: May 07, 2024, 12:28:11 AM »
Business class JFK-CAI



IINM on the return it was slightly newer. Though no wifi in either.

Both DW and myself slept quite well on CAI-JFK leg. Though old, you can't beat the spaciousness of a 777 compared to an A350 or B787.
I've been waiting over 5 years with bated breath for someone to say that!
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Re: ExGingi's 3 generation wedding & Pesach trip to Russia.
« Reply #282 on: May 07, 2024, 12:28:33 AM »
What are you asking about?

Going for Pesach? No!

Though I don't regret staying there for Pesach, as the goal was to ease the transition for my son, rather than leave him there right after Sheva Brochos.
Yes... Going for Pesach...

And to visit, you'll go?
אין עוד מלבדו

Offline ExGingi

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Re: ExGingi's 3 generation wedding & Pesach trip to Russia.
« Reply #283 on: May 07, 2024, 12:32:05 AM »
Yes... Going for Pesach...

And to visit, you'll go?

We don't go anywhere for Pesach. Our experience was as close as we might ever get to a Pesach program. We compromised a lot for the cause.

I would definitely visit again. Not with such a large group. Preferably at a time when US credit cards can be used (though the tradeoff will probably be higher prices). We all really hope my son will move to the US sooner rather than later.

I would fly EgyptAir again if it was the most convenient schedule and price. I'm not sure if the rest of the family would.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2024, 12:36:02 AM by ExGingi »
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Re: ExGingi's 3 generation wedding & Pesach trip to Russia.
« Reply #284 on: May 07, 2024, 12:36:09 AM »
We don't go anywhere for Pesach. Our experience was as close as we might ever get to a Pesach program. We compromised a lot for the cause.

I would definitely visit again. Not with such a large group. Preferably at a time when US credit cards can be used (though the tradeoff will probably be higher prices).

I would fly EgyptAir again if it was the most convenient schedule and price. I'm not sure if the rest of the family would.

At the time when US credit cards can be used, other carriers will fly too.

Offline ExGingi

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Re: ExGingi's 3 generation wedding & Pesach trip to Russia.
« Reply #285 on: May 07, 2024, 12:42:55 AM »
At the time when US credit cards can be used, other carriers will fly too.

Let's just say that I would guess that I might end up going even before that time.
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Re: ExGingi's 3 generation wedding & Pesach trip to Russia.
« Reply #286 on: May 07, 2024, 12:57:41 PM »
While we had wonderful weather most of our time in Moscow and surroundings, DS is reporting (and sent a video) that it was snowing today in Moscow.
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Re: ExGingi's 3 generation wedding & Pesach trip to Russia.
« Reply #287 on: May 07, 2024, 09:53:01 PM »
Some extra details on Petersburg side trip:

For the train ride on the way there I had someone else book for us, so he booked 4 girls in 1 second class coupe (4 beds - 2 upper and 2 lower, with the fare for the lower beds being slightly higher), and myself with my teenage son in a first class cabin (2 beds).

On the way back I booked myself, in a car where one can select men's only, women's only or mixed (first person to book the coupe sets the mode). I was able to get a full coupe for my daughters, but my son and I ended up sharing with with additional passenger. Wasn't too bad.

Before we left Petersburg, we went for a late luch/early dinner at Golden Café. Entrance is at the corner, so it can be easily missed. Service is slow, but food is prepared fresh and served really hot. Cuisine is combination of Georgian, Russian (and possibly some Israeli). I ordered an appetizer of red beans, which came in a ceramic bowl, was nice and hot and delicious (everyone tried it and agreed). Girls ordered meat dumplings with tartar sauce, they liked it. I didn't. We got two soups, a chicken soup and a mushroom soup. I liked the mushroom soup (it wasn't creamy, more like a bullion based with mushrooms and some other vegetables). Girls liked the chicken soup (I wasn't impressed by it). French fries were good IMHO (though not a huge serving) my son asked for ketchup, and the server asked how many. We looked at her astounded, and said one. Apparently it is the practice in Russia almost everywhere to charge for condiments. I can look up the receipt, but IIRC it was 70 or 80 Rubles for a serving of ketchup.

It seems like Shawarma is quite popular in Russia, but I've seen it spelled various ways. Шуарма (shuarma), шеварма (shevarma) and other variations. At Golden Café it was шеварма. We ordered 2 as well as 2 falafels. The standard serving comes with a mayonnaise based sauce, and menu says to ask for hummus if preferred, which we did. Little did we know that the hummus would appear as a separate line item on the bill (70 Rubles). While the falafel and shevarma came in something that was somwhere between a wrap and a laffa, and was very good, that is where it ended for those two dishes. The shevarma seemed to have been sliced turkey pastrami that might have been warmed up a drop, and the falafel was nothing to write home about either. The "salad" in either of those was slices of cucumbers.

The menu contained a section called "flaky" which is basically knishes with an outer layer of flaky dough. We got a meat one which was excellent IMHO, and was quite generous in size.

Kids had water or coke. While I had Borjomi (Georgian sparkling mineral water - an acquired taste for most Americans, as it is real mineral water, with the flavor of the minerals. Whenever I would order it I knew I would get the entire bottle for myself).

Overall we found the ambience and the food (with the exception of falafel and shevarma) to be very good, but service was slow. If you're not in a rush, it's just reassuring to know that your order is freshly prepared rather than just taken out of storage and warmed up.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2024, 10:07:32 PM by ExGingi »
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Re: ExGingi's 3 generation wedding & Pesach trip to Russia.
« Reply #288 on: May 07, 2024, 10:40:26 PM »
The following might be the last part of the TR, and will be about people.

An extremely capable yungerman by the name Moishe Boruch Beynish helped us. He was extremely helpful, known by everyone (hotel managers, restaurant and store managers, etc.) so if we ran out of Rubles to pay a bill, his word was enough to allow us to come back the next day to settle the bill. We were not easy customers, but he was always patient and accommodating.

Everyone at Marina Roshcha was welcoming, and Rabbi Lazar is a true דוגמא חיה of how to be kind and welcoming to every person.

During Pesach at Ramenskoye, in addition to our mechutonim (and their family), were a few families from their community. They were all very nice, and when my grandson needed medical attention were extremely helpful.

During the last days of Pesach in Lubavitch, we spent time with people who spanned a wide spectrum in their knowledge of Yiddishkeit. One person who I spoke quite a bit with, shared with me quite a bit of his life stories.

He told me he knew Rabbi Gordon for many years, ever since they were both brought to EY as part of the "Children of Chernobyl" project. While he was living in Moscow, apparently his great grandmother who was frum asked Rabbi Kogan to do everything in his power so that her great grandson gets some Jewish education. He spent summers at Camp Gsn Yisroel, had his bris at camp, and when the Children of Chernobyl project was in full force, Rabbi Kogan personally made  sure he joins one of the groups.

The groups were brought to Kfar Chabad, were they were given all their physical needs, and were given a basic Jewish education. As he described it, some went on to become frum, some continued to Yeshivos and ended up as full fledged Lubavitcher, while others ended up with various levels of observance. The main goal was that they should get some Jewish education, and hopefully end up marrying Jews and raising Jewish families.

When he came of age, he decided to enlist in the IDF rather than go to Yeshiva. But knowing that the IDF experience can be challenging, he actually decided to take his Yiddishkeit more seriously at that point. By the time he was done with his IDF service he was fully שומר תומ"צ and learning daily. While we were in Lubavitch he repeated several Torah ideas during meals, and translated others into Russian for those that didn't understand what I said in Hebrew. I found his ability to explain things well quite amazing.

During a later conversation I had with him, he confessed/bemoaned the fact that he had neglected learning for quite a few years. He was a rather successful businessman, but decided to explore other avenues hoping to become the next Levayev. Unfortunately, he ended up losing not only his own fortune, but also monies he borrowed. And along with his business failures, his Yiddishkeit and learning suffered, as well as his health. He is now trying to get back on track with the original line of business in which he was successful. He told me that after sanctions were placed on Russia, Putin ordered the financial/small business floodgates open (similar to what we experienced in the US during Covid). Taxation for small businesses with up to $2.3MM in annual revenue is either 30% of net earnings, or 6% of sales. A small business can choose their tax regime out of the two options.

Rabbi Kogan (who wasn't in Lubavitch during Pesach) was appointed by the Rebbe to head Agudas Chassidei Chabad in Russia (along with Rabbi S.B. Levin, and Rabbi Y. Y. Aronow). He has taken upon himself to take care of Lubavitch, as well as Rostov. Making those places accessible and welcoming to visitors and people who wish to spend time close to the Tziunim. Being a Kohen, the Rebbe told him to use every opportunity to bentch yidden. He does so informally everywhere, and in addition does Birchas Kohanim every Shabbos, as is done in EY.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2024, 10:46:54 PM by ExGingi »
I've been waiting over 5 years with bated breath for someone to say that!
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Offline Dan

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Re: ExGingi's 3 generation wedding & Pesach trip to Russia.
« Reply #289 on: May 07, 2024, 10:48:14 PM »
Ex CAI KSML was Hermolis. No need to say much. It was current dated, but served partially frozen.
Didn't have the HotLogics for this?
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Offline Sam 77

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Re: ExGingi's 3 generation wedding & Pesach trip to Russia.
« Reply #290 on: May 07, 2024, 10:50:36 PM »
Oh well it was a fun couple of weeks following and enjoying this in depth TR thanks for the entertainment

Offline ExGingi

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Re: ExGingi's 3 generation wedding & Pesach trip to Russia.
« Reply #291 on: May 07, 2024, 10:51:36 PM »
Didn't have the HotLogics for this?

I initially thought we'd have a hot logic for the flights (חמץ) and another for Pesach. We ended up not using it on the Outbound flights, so we had two new ones that came in very handy during the last days of Pesach. I decided to keep them both Pesachdig, so we didn't have them in our carry-ons on the way back.
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Re: ExGingi's 3 generation wedding & Pesach trip to Russia.
« Reply #292 on: May 07, 2024, 10:53:19 PM »
I initially thought we'd have a hot logic for the flights (חמץ) and another for Pesach. We ended up not using it on the Outbound flights, so we had two new ones that came in very handy during the last days of Pesach. I decided to keep them both Pesachdig, so we didn't have them in our carry-ons on the way back.
Sounds like you are planning more Pesach travels. ;)
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Re: ExGingi's 3 generation wedding & Pesach trip to Russia.
« Reply #293 on: May 07, 2024, 11:06:41 PM »
Sounds like you are planning more Pesach travels. ;)

Anything prohibits using them at home? I find them ideal for keeping food at an perfect serving temperature without risk of burning. Also one day excursions are always part of the Chol Hamoed experience.
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Re: ExGingi's 3 generation wedding & Pesach trip to Russia.
« Reply #294 on: May 07, 2024, 11:10:49 PM »
Browsing through this thread, I would propose that the DDF version of an ice bucket challenge should be a Тархун drinking challenge. 😉
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Re: ExGingi's 3 generation wedding & Pesach trip to Russia.
« Reply #295 on: May 07, 2024, 11:49:38 PM »
Anything prohibits using them at home? I find them ideal for keeping food at an perfect serving temperature without risk of burning. Also one day excursions are always part of the Chol Hamoed experience.
we use this one for pesach

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Re: ExGingi's 3 generation wedding & Pesach trip to Russia.
« Reply #296 on: May 09, 2024, 11:16:58 AM »
Last days in Lubavitch were a wonderful experience. The opportunity to spend time with people of various levels in Yiddishkeit (including one non-Jew who is in the process of conversion, along with the wonderful Gordon family) was truly exhilarating. We actually felt both welcome and able to contribute to others enjoying their YT.

I hope to write up a little about the people we spent time with.

We are now back in the Sprinter on the way to Moscow, where we will spend the morning before heading to the airport.

A small detail that came to mind which I think I didn't write about.

The minhag is to stay up late (until dawn) on ליל שביעי של פסח. My teenage son left a little earlier along with DW and daughters, but that too was after midnight. The sky was perfectly clear, and there were no streetlights on (not even the few that do exist). Looking up at the sky revealed a sight which I don't think I ever saw before. So many stars. With a perfectly clear sky and no light pollution to reduce light sensitivity, it was so amazing that it was one of the first things I heard from the rest of my family the next morning. It might also be worth noting that the are of Lubavitch is flat (probably previously being marshland), and there aren't many trees other than those planted for fruit, or in the park in the middle of the village.
I've been waiting over 5 years with bated breath for someone to say that!
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Re: ExGingi's 3 generation wedding & Pesach trip to Russia.
« Reply #297 on: May 09, 2024, 12:58:37 PM »
IDK. In Moscow the Mikvahs were free. In Petersburg is was 50 rubles (about 46 cents). In NY it's $3-$6. What does free mean?

46 cents in SP probably has more buying power thank $6 in NY…
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Re: ExGingi's 3 generation wedding & Pesach trip to Russia.
« Reply #298 on: May 09, 2024, 01:00:43 PM »
Business class JFK-CAI



IINM on the return it was slightly newer. Though no wifi in either.

Both DW and myself slept quite well on CAI-JFK leg. Though old, you can't beat the spaciousness of a 777 compared to an A350 or B787.

Are you allowed to sleep on the floor, ? :P

#lieflat
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Re: ExGingi's 3 generation wedding & Pesach trip to Russia.
« Reply #299 on: May 09, 2024, 01:01:40 PM »
There's a (polish?) Borscht recipe...

Fermented Beets

Shredded (with fresh onions)
Cooked for many many hours with meat.
Lemon juice & sugar for taste.

It's definitely a soup.

Yes, I've had it. It's a real acquired taste and smell. Not for the faint of heart

Fermented anything is an acquired taste.
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