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September 29, 2016 / 26 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘lost’

Tamar Yonah Show – Dissed and Disgraced by Nations, Obama Has Lost His Crown [audio]

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016

How has the most powerful country and office in the world, fallen to such depths of disdain by the world? Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has called Barack Obama a “son of a whore” and when arriving in China for the G-20 summit, Obama got snubbed with no red carpet reception, and he had to exit the airplane from the back. Join guest, Paul Miller, director of www.SalomonCenter.org as he talks about this, and the Jewish Prayer Shawl that Donald Trump Received.

Also, she doesn’t wear a cape, but Lana Melman from Liberate Art, is a Jewish Super-Hero who stands up against the BDS and helps celebrities and Music Artists do the same. Hear this important interview on how this woman from Los Angeles has been able to fight the good fight. Lana will be on a speaking tour this fall and you can visit her website at LanaMelman.com

Tamar Yonah Show 05Sept2016 – PODCAST

Israel News Talk Radio

Has the Anti-Defamation League Lost the Plot?

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s website, Word From Jerusalem}

I rubbed my eyes with incredulity when I read bizarre statements emanating from Jonathan Greenblatt the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), one of the most powerful American Jewish organizations whose principal mandate is to combat anti-Semitism.

A few months ago I was drawn into a heated dispute with Greenblatt after criticizing a kumbaya address he delivered to J Street students which included implicit criticisms of Israeli government policy and a failure to urge J Street to cease demonizing Israel and canvassing the US government to intensify pressure against the Jewish state.  Instead, he should have encouraged them to engage in the battle against the mushrooming anti-Semitism proliferating the campus. Greenblatt responded that he was “impressed” with these students and felt that they were “the future Jewish leaders of our community”.

But more recently, Greenblatt appears to have entirely lost the plot and behaving as though he remained employed by the Obama administration. He was entirely out of line in his condemnation of the Republican platform as “anti-Zionist” for omitting reference to a two state solution. One can disagree about a two state policy. But for an American Jewish organization which must remain bipartisan and should be concentrating on anti-Semitism, to issue such a statement breaches all conventions. It is totally beyond the ADL’s mandate to involve itself in such partisan political issues.

Greenblatt is clearly obsessed with the subject of being “open minded” and tolerant of anti-Israeli groups. He made the extraordinary statement that, whilst disagreeing with Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) groups which promote anti-Semitism, he considers that they are “animated by a desire for justice” and we should “acknowledge the earnestness of their motives”. One is tempted to remind him that Islamic fundamentalists are also sincere in their beliefs and equally animated by their perverted concept of justice.

But the final straw is Greenblatt’s deepening association with the “Black Lives Matter” (BLM) movement.

Jews have a long and proud tradition of direct engagement in the civil rights campaign, in the course of which some even sacrificed their lives, making it all the more regrettable that since 1967, many African American groups have been in the forefront of campaigns against Israel.

The ADL mandate is to combat all forms of racial discrimination and endorsing legitimate civil rights groups is commendable.

However, the recent manifesto released by Black Lives Matter has clear anti-Semitic overtones. This should not come as a surprise to anyone.  Last year, BLM endorsed a “Black Solidarity Statement with Palestine” which demonized Israel, accusing it of “ethnic cleansing”, “genocide”, apartheid etc. and called on all Black institutions to engage in BDS. Black Lives Matter are engaged in anti-Israeli demonstrations, teach-ins and other activities, even including visits to Israel to protest the “ethnic cleansing” and “occupation”. It likened New York police behavior with alleged Israeli brutality against Palestinians and in Atlanta BLM accused Israeli counter terrorist training of American police forces as being responsible for the shootings of black Americans.

Yet despite pleas and warnings, Greenblatt continues to associate the ADL and by implication the Jewish community with the “Black Lives Matter” movement. Incredibly, in his J Street address he stated that “making sure that ‘Black Lives Matter’… are the struggles of our time”.

The ADL did criticize BLM’s accusations of genocide and apartheid and its promotion of BDS against Israel. But Greenblatt downplayed and marginalized the anti-Semitic elements to the initiatives “of a small minority of leaders” within the organization and stating that “Israel is far from a principal focal point in the more than 40,000 word document”.

Whilst contending that the ADL did not “endorse” or have a formal relationship with the BLM, Greenblatt refused to break with them. Thus, as of now, he insists that the ADL continue to endorse and promote Black Lives Matter domestic educational material in its curriculum resources and family discussion guides in schools and elsewhere because its concerns “are critical civil rights issues that merit attention”. To the best of my knowledge, Greenblatt also failed to publicly condemn the vicious lies and anti-Israeli statements made by the BLM group which visited Israel last month.

For any mainstream Jewish organization to continue providing legitimacy to a purported civil rights body which includes BDS and anti-Semitism in its policies on the grounds that only “a small minority of leaders” are responsible is unconscionable. For an organization like the ADL whose principal mandate is to combat anti-Semitism, it is sheer lunacy.

Furthermore, when Congressman Hank Johnson, a black Democrat notorious for his hostility towards Israel, referred to Jews living in Judea and Samaria as “termites” – a foul anti-Semitic expression – Greenblatt, who was willing to condemn the Republicans for not relating to a two state policy, saw fit to merely tweet “This is an offensive and unhelpful characterization. Demonization, dehumanization of settlers doesn’t advance peace”. Such a timid response to this outrageous expression from American Jewry’s purported premier body designated to combat anti-Semitism, is incomprehensible.

This is taking place at a time when anti-Semitism and demonization of Israel in American campuses, under the guise of human rights, has mushroomed with some campuses being described as cesspools of anti-Semitism. That is the principal issue on which the ADL (and other major Jewish organizations) should now be concentrating.

It is also disconcerting that, aside from the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), Jewish organizations have shrouded themselves in a curtain of silence and failed to dissociate themselves from this craven ADL approach.

Incredibly Greenblatt actually directed his ire at the ZOA rather than the anti-Semites. He proclaimed to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency “We are a civil rights organization. The ZOA is not. We are an organization focused on combating anti-Semitism and bigotry. The ZOA are not.” The ADL even castigated a Jewish newspaper for having the effrontery to publish ZOA chief Mort Klein’s justified criticism of ADL for failing to sever its links with BLM, claiming that such remarks amounted to “hate speech”. In other words, the ADL had the chutzpa to declare that the ZOA (which has played a major role in combating the demonization of Israel and anti-Semitism) has no right to express its dissent or criticism of the ADL.

This is a fundamentally serious issue for American Jewish leadership. If mainstream Jewish organizations remain silent and fail to criticize the ADL’s reprehensible behavior they will be ushering in a new era in which American Jewry’s hard fought achievements and status in society will be severely undermined.

If the CEO of the ADL continues engaging in such partisan politics and refuses to prioritize his organization’s principal resources towards fighting anti-Semitism, he should step down. Otherwise the $50 million plus ADL budget is likely to be dramatically reduced when supporters and donors recognize that the organization purporting to  combating anti-Semitism is primarily focusing its efforts on seeking liberal acceptance by pursuing progressive agendas, denouncing conservatives, combating Islamophobia and becoming engaged in universal issues and social justice at the expense of its core mandate. These issues are handled by human rights bodies which individual Jews can support as they deem appropriate.

The ADL central mandate must be to combat anti-Semitism which is today largely manifested in the demonization and delegitimization of Israel. If they elect to abandon this objective, they do not warrant Jewish communal support.

 

Isi Leibler

Lost Property The Status of the Shomer Aveidah

Thursday, August 4th, 2016

As you are leaving the synagogue on a Shabbat morning, you find a diamond ring on the floor. The loss is publicly announced in the synagogue three Shabbatot in a row. But no one steps forward to claim it. According to Jewish law, you, the finder, are a shomer aveidah, a guardian of lost property, and must guard the ring in your possession until the owner claims it from you.

So you take the ring home and place it in a safe. When the owner finally comes forward and claims the ring, you go to the safe to retrieve it, but alas, the ring is gone. Somebody, you don’t know who, stole the ring. Are you now liable to pay the owner the value of the stolen ring?

That all depends on the status the halacha attributes to the shomer aveidah. There are two possibilities. The shomer aveidah either has the status of a shomer chinam, an unpaid bailee, or he has the status of a shomer sachar, a paid bailee. A shomer chinam is a person who volunteers to guard a deposited item free of charge. Accordingly, the halacha does not hold the shomer chinam responsible for the theft of the article so long as he guarded it in a responsible manner. A shomer sachar is a person who receives compensation for guarding a deposited item. Accordingly, the halacha holds the shomer sachar responsible for the theft of the article.

Is a shomer aveidah considered a shomer chinam or a shomer sachar?

According to Rabbah, the shomer aveidah is a shomer chinam because he receives no compensation for fulfilling the mitzvah of guarding lost property. According to Rav Yoseph, the shomer aveidah is a shomer sachar.

The reasoning of Rav Yoseph is as follows: While guarding the lost property, the shomer aveidah is performing a mitzvah. Now, the rule is “ha’osek bemitzvah patur min hamitzvah,” if you are busy performing a mitzvah you are exempt from performing another mitzvah. Therefore, explains Rav Yoseph, the shomer aveidah is exempt from the mitzvah of giving charity to the poor. The amount he saves in charity is deemed to be the payment he receives for guarding the lost property and the shomer aveidah is therefore a shomer sachar.

The Shulchan Aruch rules that as long as the lost property is in his possession, based on the dictum of ha’osek bemitzvah patur min hamitzvah, the shomer aveidah is a shomer sachar. The Rambam rules that as long as he is preoccupied with taking care of the lost property in his possession, based on the dictum of ha’osek bemitzvah patur min hamitzvah, the shomer aveidah is a shomer sachar.

Clearly, one’s liability for guarding the lost ring depends on the interpretation of the Talmudic dictum of osek bemitzvah.

Does the osek bemitzvah exemption apply only in circumstances where it is impossible to perform both mitzvot simultaneously, as in the case when the poor man comes by when you are preoccupied with polishing the diamond, a situation we shall refer to as the “Impossible Case”? Does it also apply where it is easy to perform both, as in the case when the poor man comes by when the ring is lying locked away in the safe, a situation we shall refer to as the “Easy Case”? Does it apply where it is difficult yet still possible to perform both, as in the case when the poor man comes by when you are holding the ring in one hand, a situation we shall refer to as the “Difficult Case”?

According to Tosafot and the Rosh, the osek bemitzvah exemption applies only in the Impossible Case. Clearly, argue Tosafot, one is not exempt from mitzvot just because one wears tzizit all day or because one is warehousing somebody’s lost property. Rashi holds that the osek bemitzvah exemption also applies in the Easy Case. Accordingly, a person traveling by day on Sukkot to perform the mitzvah of visiting his rabbi, is, says Rashi, exempt from the mitzvah of eating and sleeping in the sukkah when he sojourns at night.

According to the Ran, the osek bemitzvah exemption does not apply in the Easy Case but does apply both in the Impossible Case and the Difficult Case. The Ran cites several proofs for the application of the osek bamitzvah exemption in the Difficult Case as follows: In Talmud times, a bridegroom was exempt from reciting Kriyat Shema on account of his preoccupation with his wedding night. Similarly, cites the Ran, a person performing the mitzvah of guarding the unburied dead or digging them a grave is exempt from all mitzvot.

In all these cases it is possible, though difficult, to recite Kriyat Shema while preoccupied with the first mitzvah. Yet, says the Ran, the exemption applies. In explaining the reason for the application of the osek bemitzvah exemption in the Impossible Case and the Difficult Case as opposed to the Easy Case, the Ran points out that the Talmudic dictum is “ha’osek bemitzvah” (one who is busy with a mitzvah) and not hamekayem mitzvah (one who is merely fulfilling the mitzvah).

The halacha, as expressed by the Rema, adopts the approach of the Ran and this would seem to accord with the position taken by the Rambam in the case of the shomer aveidah.

 

Raphael Grunfeld’s new book, “Ner Eyal on Seder Nashim, Nezikin, Kodashim, Taharot and Zera’im,” will be published shortly.

Raphael Grunfeld

Tiberias Hospital Brings Health Knowledge to ‘Lost Tribe’ Jews

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

The Baruch Padeh Medical Center, Poriya, located on the ridge above Tiberias by the Kinneret, is accommodating the special needs of Jewish immigrants who must be transferred not only geographically, from the exotic regions of earth, but also in time, from forgotten ages to the 21st century.

A case in point is the community of Bnei Menashe, a small group of indigenous people from northeastern India, who claim they are descendants from the lost tribes of Israel, and have adopted the practice of Judaism. The Bnei Menashe speak Tibeto-Burman languages, and they probably migrated into northeast India from Burma in the 17th and 18th centuries. Israeli Rabbi Eliyahu Avichail, of the group Amishav which seeks evidence of the existence of exiled “ten tribes” in the world, named the group Bnei Menashe based on their account of descent from the tribe of Menasseh.

When a group of about 7,000 of these northeastern Indian Jews arrived in Israel six years ago, some of whom settled down in the vicinity of Tiberias (which is quite aways to the north of where the Biblical tribe of Menashe originally lived), the local hospital has taken upon itself to usher them into the wonderful medical advantages of modern times. And so the Baruch Padeh Medical Center, Poriya, a week ago hosted a meeting of agroup of Bnei Menashe women with its infectious diseases supervisor, Nurse Ilana Aharon from the Epidemiology Department.

The meeting, at the local chapter of WIZO, explored hygiene as the key to health. This included personal hygiene and dental hygiene, as well as keeping homes, courtyards and streets clean. Aharon also covered the importance of proper nutrition—eating vegetables every day—and physical exercise in maintaining health.

Another issue stressed in the meeting was the danger of smoking, which causes a long list of damages to health in addition to lung cancer: diminishing vitamin C deposits, blood diseases, impaired vision, and impotence. Most of the smokers in the Bnei Menashe community are the husbands, but family members suffer by exposure to secondary smoke.

JNi.Media

Fatherless and Leaderless

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

Our tears have yet to dry. I am not sure they ever will. We have all been thrown to the ground, pinned down by a loss of spiritual support.

Why is this so? It is because Maran HaRav Ovadia Yosef, zt”l, was larger than our generation. Or perhaps the generation is too shrunken, too beaten by the wind, to fully appreciate Maran’s greatness. It is still unclear.

One thing is clear. For the Sephardic Jew, this century is divided into two distinct periods – one with Maran’s presence and one that is no longer graced by it. The second period trembles with its own uncertainty because the greatest and strongest of us are incapable of filling the shoes of Maran, who served as posek and leader in an era rife with instability and danger.

Throughout the week of mourning, people spoke of our being orphaned. We feel a deep, unfathomable loss. With all our modern skills and technological know-how, we have yet to develop the device that can measure Maran’s monumental contributions to us, to our generation, and to many generations to follow.

It is not in our power to describe, so soon after his passing, the greatness of such a Torah giant. People will write about his amazing Torah knowledge, the power of his prayers and his outstanding acts of chesed, those he made public and those he hid from the public’s eye. But we will never know, certainly not in the near future, the true extent of Maran’s influence on the history of the Jewish people, how much he shaped the direction of the state of Israel, and how he gave countless Sephardic Jews a different perception of themselves. We are still feeling the effects of his efforts; perhaps we are still at the very beginning.

* * * * *

Maran was the standard-bearer of the movement to restore Sephardic Jewry to its former status in the hierarchy of Torah greatness. Five or six decades ago, Porat Yosef was basically the only higher yeshiva for Sephardic young men. The roshei yeshiva perceived the enormous potential in Maran when he was still a youngster. They did everything to equip him with the tools to realize their vision and bring their hopes to fruition. They placed their hopes in him to return the lost members of our people to the flock by igniting the spark of faith and pride in their hearts.

Maran’s heart was fertile soil for planting the seeds of a revolution among Sephardic Jewry. Even as a youth, his power to pluck lost souls from the depths and carry them on his wings was apparent. Already then, children ran to find places in synagogues and batei midrash with his encouragement.

If the streets of Yerushalayim could eulogize him, they would recount how he gathered the children in all the synagogues, large and small. They would tell how he strode from Musayoff to Geulah and to Beit Yisrael, offering yet another lesson in practical halacha, another page of Gemara, another study in the weekly Torah reading. Every lesson was delivered with his special grace and humor, with a smile and with wit. His lectures were attended by nine-year-old children and ninety-year-old codgers, sharp-minded kollel students and simple laborers after a long day of work.

Yes, this is the way it was long before the politics began, before there was an issue of appointing people to positions, status and jobs. Maran was tilling the ground so that he could sow the seeds of faith – not only in Yerushalayim but in Beersheva, Ashdod, Dimona, Tel Aviv, Tirat HaCarmel, Haifa, Acre and Nahariya. He took it to little settlements and forgotten communities. He never told anyone “No, I don’t have time for you.”

Maran planted the trees of Torah so that their branches would cast the shadow of emunah and yirat Shamayim on the new generation. At the same time that atheistic Mapai activists danced over their success in pulling Sephardic Jews away from their faith, Maran was already laying the groundwork for the counter-revolution to bring them back home. He counted his successes one person at a time. He found them in urban centers and in Zionist establishments, simple people and influential people alike.

How did he do it? Primarily, through the power of his personal Torah study. The energy he put into learning Torah was something unmatched in this generation and, apparently, going back several generations as well. Further, he did it through his sincere, faith-filled prayers that undoubtedly pierced the highest Heavens. His prayers were accentuated by his tears, flowing freely and silently in the hope his wounded brethren would be healed spiritually, step by step until they achieved perfect health.

It would not be right to describe Maran’s public service as beginning with his establishment of the Shas political party. With due respect to Shas and its accomplishments, it was Maran who prepared for it with decades of hard work. He breathed life into the movement; he pushed and encouraged the young men he appointed to fight the battles, instilling courage and confidence where none had existed before. “You can do it,” he said. “It is within reach. We are not powerless.”

“Open more yeshivas and institutions,” he would insist. “Don’t worry. Hashem will help. You won’t run out of money.” He implanted solid faith in his people, telling them Heaven’s help was right around the corner. From his lofty position he brought the horn of plenty to the Torah world, to all who were in need and to all who hungered for Torah. All we had to do was to come, to participate, to reach forward. The blessings of the gadol hador were available. He had envisioned it and sowed the seeds for it more than sixty years earlier. We are witness to his revolution today.

* * * * *

It is crucial for us to emphasize that Maran not only created a monumental edifice of Torah and halacha, but that he also built people. He was there for the youth, for families, for one Jew after the other. He gave people advice they needed in making important decisions in life. He gave his blessings. Maran was the key in helping them to connect with Hashem.

His home was always open, as was his sensitive heart. He was always ready to listen to barren women, widows, orphans, the ill and downtrodden. Whoever they were, he served as their loving father. He was everyone’s father. When he pinched or slapped someone’s cheek, that person knew that it came from his father. Everyone knew that he loved us all, that he prayed sincerely for us all.

It was such a wonderful feeling to know we had a father who was so wise, who possessed such yirat Shamayim, who was no doubt beloved by Hashem. This feeling gave us strength and spirit. When someone left Maran’s presence, he invariably was stronger than before and committed to building himself anew with Torah and emunah. The future appeared rosier because his father had blessed him and encouraged him.

For me personally, Maran was my guide in life, my leader, my authority. Now I feel I have lost my father. The pain is far greater than when I lost my biological father.

* * * * *

Maran, we were privileged to stand by you for decades. We saw your self-sacrifice and stupendous efforts to raise the Sephardic world of Torah. How can we describe it?

There is a type of pride that is proper and a type that is despicable. It is wonderful when a Jew feels pride for going in the ways of Hashem. With his inimitable wisdom, Maran did his best to raise the honor of Sephardic halachic rulings so that we could be proud to know them and follow them. He showed us that we had no reason to feel ashamed of our heritage, that we could be proud to follow the rulings of Maran HaRav Yosef Karo, author of the Shluchan Aruch.

Thanks to the work of Maran, we have a clear understanding of the ways of halacha, and thousands of Torah students have adopted them with pride and confidence.

During Maran’s lifetime, our bookshelves became filled with sefarim of halacha and responsa. Once, the Sephardic yeshiva world was silent. No more. It is a world that has been completely rebuilt, replete with roshei yeshiva, teachers, rabbinical judges and rabbis who are fluent in the rulings of the Shulchan Aruch and the Acharonim. Before Maran, we lacked all this.

Sephardic pride. It is not just an expression; it is an anchor for values and sentiment. For decades, Sephardic Jews were downtrodden and scorned. They did not receive the recognition they deserved. People did not understand the greatness of their own halachic traditions. Maran expertly guided us out of that quagmire. He brought an entire generation of Torah scholars to hold fast to the wisdom of Sephardic Jewry, the wisdom of generations of great scholars who built themselves on the Shulchan Aruch and Rav Yosef Karo.

* * * * *

Today we are confused, bewildered about our future. Our ship has been cast astray and we don’t know where it is headed. Despite this, let us remember how Maran, our leader, always remained confident about the future. He was a born optimist. He knew he was doing the right thing and he always told us to remain on course while seeking to enhance Hashem’s honor.

We are incapable of telling the future. And even though Maran has been taken from us, we must have full faith that Hashem will continue to provide us with the proper leaders. We will continue to follow leaders who will go in the ways of Maran, the spiritual giant who built Sephardic Jewry, placed the crown of Torah on our heads and taught us to love and cherish that Torah.

We pray that we will continue on the road for the sake of our children and grandchildren until we will be privileged to see our Final Redemption.

Jack R. Avital

Vacationing Tip: Get Lost

Friday, August 9th, 2013

I’m on vacation this month, so there won’t be a regular column.  Or at least there wasn’t going to be.  The questions keep coming in.

Dear Mordechai,

I keep losing my stuff.  What do I do?

Lost

STEP 1: Check your person.  (Your person is you.  That’s just how people say it.  I don’t think you’re expected to carry around a smaller person and go, “Hi, I’m Mordechai, and this is my person.”  But if you do, you should probably check him as well.)

STEP 2: Make sure to check the same five places 68 times.  Especially if it’s not a likely place for it to be.  For example, if you’re looking for your car keys, make sure to keep checking the fridge.

STEP 3: Call for the item.  Continuously say things like, “I can’t believe this!  Where is it?”  Like the item is finally going to break down and tell you.

STEP 4: Calm Down.  Whenever I lose something, my wife ends up finding it, and whenever my wife loses something, I end up finding it.  Now I know what you’re thinking.  You’re thinking we should stop hiding each others’ stuff.  But it really has more to do with panicking.

STEP 5: Buy a new one.  As soon as you open the package, the old one will turn up.  Guaranteed.  For example, if you lose your car in a parking lot, the best way to find it is to buy a new car.  If that doesn’t work, you can use the new car to drive around the parking lot looking for the old one.

On the other hand, maybe the reason we can’t find anything is because we keep buying new things, and everything keeps getting lost under everything else.

 

Dear Mordechai,

Why does everyone around me move so slowly?  Especially when I’m in a rush.

No Time

 

 This is definitely a problem.  These people are everywhere.

For example, there are the people in front of us one the supermarket checkout line, who, even though they’ve been waiting the same 25 minutes you were, don’t even start looking for their supermarket card until they get to the front of the line.  Like it’s a total surprise to them that they need a Shoprite card.  In Shoprite.

Or how about the person directly in front of you who leaves his cart in line and goes off to do his shopping, even though you got in line behind him in the first place because he had a pretty empty cart?  But then he looked back at your cart, and he got some ideas.

“Orange juice!  Where’d you find orange juice?”

“Over by the refrigerated juices.”

“Ooooh!  I’ll be right back.”

There are also a lot of people in your way on the road.  Now I don’t begrudge other people for being on the road.  But sometimes I can’t go because the person in front of me is stopped, and has his window rolled down, and is talking to someone who’s sitting in a car facing the other way, who also has his window rolled down, and I want to yell, “Get a cell phone!”

But you know how your mother always told you, “If you do things quickly, you’ll just mess everything up and have to do it over?”  Everyone else’s mother told them the same thing, and they’ve taken it to heart.

But of course, on the other hand, there’s a pretty big chance that if you do things slowly, you’ll mess them up anyway.  At least if you go faster the first time, you’ll have more time to do it over.

 

Dear Mordechai,

Is it possible I just need a vacation?

Stressed

That depends.  How annoyed do you get by everyday things?  For example, I recently came across a poll of the top 20 irritating pieces of technology, and apparently, the invention that annoys us most is car alarms.  Of course, the main reason this annoys everyone is that no one knows what their own car alarms sounds like, so when it goes off in middle of the night, they’re just as annoyed as everyone else, and instead of going out and turning it off, they spends hours trying to block it out and to fall asleep.  So I’m thinking that maybe we should be able to personalize our car alarms, like ringtones.  For example, I would make mine sound like an ice cream truck, so that as soon as a burglar sets it off, everyone will run outside.

Another item on the list was printers.  Everyone knows how frustrating printers can be.  You have a tray that can hold 100 pieces of paper, but if you put in more than 5, it gets stuck.  And sometimes, for no reason at all, it will tell you that you’re low on ink.

“Proceed?”

Yes, of course proceed!  I spend $85 on that cartridge, and the papers are still coming out fine!

But when the printer breaks down, what do you do?  It has one button.  You press the button, and if that doesn’t work, you press the button again.  There’s no way this button is doing anything.

Another item on the list was alarm clocks.  Those guys take so much abuse.  It’s not their fault it’s 7:00.

But if you’ve gotten to a point where you’re finding technology inconvenient – technology, which is supposed to at least be better than not having technology, — then maybe it’s time for a vacation.

 

Dear Mordechai,

Where do you suggest I go to get away from it all?

Still Here

 

If you’re looking to get away from the irritations of technology and people in your way, the best place to go is Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  My wife and I took the kids there recently, and it’s an excellent place to go if you want to get lost.  For example, one thing we did was walk through a gigantic corn maze.  Because getting lost while driving wasn’t enough for us.         

We actually spent a lot of our trip lost, because as it turns out, all farms look exactly the same, and there’s no one to ask directions from but the cows on the side of the road.  And we even did a lot of the steps of what to do if something’s lost: We called around for the place, we calmed down, we went down the same roads 68 times, but nothing.  And the whole time the kids are in the back going, “Look a cow!”  “Look! Another cow!”

Our GPS couldn’t find us either.  In fact, before we left, I had tried, unsuccessfully, to borrow a better GPS just in case this happened.  But then my wife put it in perspective.  “Were going to visit the Amish,” she said.  “We need a GPS?”

Because yeah, we visited the Amish.  The big draw of the Amish, apparently, is that they live without any of the conveniences of modern life, such as cell phones.  Except for one Amish guy that I saw while waiting for a buggy ride (mostly what you do with buggy rides is wait for them) in a town called “Ronks”, which, I have to admit, is a fun name for a town.  Ronks Ronks Ronks.  It sounds like a duck clearing its throat.

I later asked a non-Amish tour guide about it:

TOUR GUIDE: “The Amish don’t use electricity, because they don’t want any wires coming into their house from the outside world.”

ME: “I saw a guy on a cell phone today.”

TOUR GUIDE: “Um… Cell phones don’t have wires.”

But the Amish do have it tough when it comes to parental discipline.

“You kids don’t know how good you have it.  When I was your age, we didn’t even have… Wait.  You don’t have that either.  Well, we had to walk… Well, you have to walk too.  Oh, I got one!  When I was your age, we didn’t even have covered bridges.”

“Whoa, really?”

“Yeah.  All our bridges were uncovered.”

“Wow!  What did you do?”

So where do they take vacations?  Amusement parks, apparently.         I see them at every one.

 

Got a question for “You’re Asking Me?”  Send me a smoke signal.  My cell phone’s still missing.  Or maybe call it, and I’ll listen for the ring.

Mordechai Schmutter

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/potpourri/vacationing-tip-get-lost/2013/08/09/

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