Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Kosher Food in Jacksonville

Dear Tuna Traveler,


Thank you for such a great article about Jacksonville, Fla. My family and I have lived here for almost 22 years, keep kosher and are members of the Etz Chaim community.

You and your readers should know that we do have a kosher restaurant called Gili’s in downtown Jacksonville. I also operate a dairy take-out, offering pizza, falafel, fish n chips, fries. My place is called Beyer’s Bakery.

I hope you can spread the word of the kosher food we have available to travelers on their way to south Florida, Orlando, or for people driving north.

Again, thank you.

Beth Beyer
Jacksonville, Fla


Offering The Ashtray

The article Setting Ashtrays for Our Children, by Yisroel Picker, deserves great attention. He so brilliantly points out the need for, as he referred to it, an astray. Absolutely!

When children are faced with a dilemma – something bad has or will happen – what do they do with that information? As parents, we may believe we have made it clear to our children what is right and what is wrong, but we have shortchanged them when it comes to understanding what the consequences may look like.

I have found, from personal experiences as a teacher of almost 30 years, that too often parents are not necessarily on board with what and how consequences should be carried out. Furthermore, if the transgression involves an “outsider” – an adult, an authority figure, a rabbi – what plan of action might the parents be willing to pursue? When it boils down to child vs. child, your child may be ostracized as a snitch, tattletale or liar. And if it is about an adult, what are the parents willing to do? Will they act and prove to their child that they are their true protectors, or cave in to community pressure, fear of isolation, embarrassment, apprehension of outcomes, etc.?

Children who are victims of any sort will only learn to be victorious if their protectors offer them an “astray.” Ashtrays have a specific purpose – to accumulate dirty butts and other refuse.

The consequence of offering an astray is that it will likely, over time, needed to be cleaned out with other trash. But one doesn’t throw away the ashtray; the astray remains, now pristine and cleaned and cleared of all refuse. It remains available, in case, G-d forbid, it is ever needed again.

There is security in knowing that an astray exists, and that it can be emptied. Being taught it can be restored to its original state is the greatest gift.

Laurie Kurs
East Windsor N.J.


In Praise of Rabbi Vaye

In “Looking for Bugs in Produce – How Far Must One Go” (March 10), Rabbi Ari Enkin describes Rav Moshe Vaye, as “probably the world’s expert on bugs in food, from both halachic and scientific perspectives… Nevertheless, there is a sense of going to extremes….”

Rabbi Vaye spoke here over twenty years ago, invited by the MK (Montreal Kashrus), demonstrating his extraordinary knowledge concerning the modern prevalence of bugs and their relevance to kashrus.

One of his points was the entomology of the word “sheretz,” which, he said, comes from “sh’ratz,” “that it runs.” His example was corn on the cob: when the husk is removed and the bugs (thrips) are exposed to light, they run to seek shelter between the corn nibblets. As Rabbi Enkin quotes Rav Vaye: “this highly infested vegetable” must have all the kernels cut off the cob with a sharp knife, etc.…

Modern bug infestation is like the modern thief; whether home, car, businesses or internet, the thief has become more sophisticated to circumvent burglar alarms, police, anti-virus programs, etc. Their potential victims must be vigilant, one step or more ahead of them to protect themselves.

To protect us from the potential violations of six negative commandments from consuming a winged creature or five for a non-winged one, Rabbi Vaye has researched and depicted 1) the insect itself to identify, 2) its prevalence, and 3) how to check for and remove it for consumption.

As a microscopic virus can spread from one end of the world to the other and affect its majority for three years, similarly bugs can sneak onto practically any mode of transport today and destroy crops, like the handful(s) of soot that Moshe Rabbeinu sent up to the heavens that became the plague of shechin that affected the whole Egyptian population.

As Rabbi Enkin stated in part 2 (March 17), concerning the shechita and kashrus of animals today: “Times have changed. Animals are raised in very different conditions… consuming all kinds of foreign matter in the feed… causing more treifot to be found in their internal organs than ever before….”

His visit to a slaughterhouse in which it appeared that the bodek/mashgiach missed a stomach perforated with a rusty nail is odd. According to a shochet and rav in Montreal, the first stomach is always checked, as it is common to find such issues, as Rabbi Enkin did.

Thank G-d for the efforts of Rabbi Vaye to keep us knowledgeable of those creatures who attempt infiltrate our produce. Although Rabbi Vaye is, as Rabbi Enkin suggests, “stricter than what is considered to be the strictest hechsher in the market,” he is to be praised for being vigilant, one step ahead of the tiny creatures who attempt to “steal” the food G-d created and we purchased.

Rabbi Chaim Tzvi Tanny
Montreal, Canada


Biden Is Wrecking Trump’s Successes

A new Gallup poll revealed that when it comes to Israel and the Palestinians, 49% of Democrats favor the Palestinians while only 38% side with Israel. In stark contrast, a whopping 78% of Republicans support Israel while just 11% side with the Palestinians. No one should be surprised by these polling numbers, as Democrats have been undermining Israel dating back to Bill Clinton and continuing to the present day.

Indeed, Joe Biden’s unbridled disdain for Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump led him to neglect the Abraham Accords, which arguably drove Saudi Arabia into the arms of China and Iran. Time will tell how much damage the Democrats have done and whether a future Republican president can revive the Accords and convince Saudi Arabia to align again with Israel and America.

Gerald Jacobs
Boca Raton, Fla.


Torah Economics

The SVB collapse reminded me of the ancient Chinese saying: “Once a certain extreme is reached, a change to the opposite extreme is inevitable” (Confucius). Although there have been countless bull and bear cycles throughout history, one day economic systems as we know them will end: “Ben Dovid will not come until the last perutah has disappeared from the pocket” (Sanhedrin 97).

On considering the knife-edge precariousness of the stability of the orbits of the planets, the mere 2mm diameter of our coronary arteries, the atmosphere’s tiny 4/10,000 parts of Carbon Dioxide, the thinness of the 2.5″ of the earth’s topsoil, etc., all of which we depend for our very existence, so too the marginality of Fractional Reserve Banking, the hundreds of billions of dollars thrown like confetti in bank bailouts, the quadrillions in the casino-like betting in financial derivatives that almost terminated the Western economy in 2008, etc. We should by rights be in a state of perpetual appreciation to Hashem and in semi-trepidation: Ashrei adam mefached tamid – Happy is the man who is always in fear! (Mishlei 28).

The lesson of the Mabul is that Hashem will not allow excessive gashmiyus to thwart mankind’s raison d’etre by overwhelming ruchniyus. Investment falls, company and bank crashes, pension fund scams, stagflation, share price slumps, land value slides, redundancy, mass unemployment, recessions, depressions, ludicrously long prison sentences for financial crimes etc., are examples of these checks and corrections.

We wait to see if Israeli Finance Minister Betzalel Smotrich succeeds in injecting Torah ideals in to the management of its economy when he said, “They’ve tried many different economic systems. They tried capitalism, neo-socialism, etc. But there’s one thing they didn’t try – an economic approach called “If you faithfully obey the commands [I am giving you today, to love the L-rd your G-d and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and olive oil” (Devarim 11).] If we follow the Torah we’ll be rewarded with financial abundance and a great blessing. That will be my economic approach.”

Amnon Goldberg
Tzefas, Israel


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