Eretz Yisrael Time

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007
After intermittent internet connectivity over the chag, and no release for my creative energies (or all that Matza), I’m bursting with what to write. I spent half the holiday trying to decide if I will write one long post, or a series of smaller ones, but it’s all coming gushing out, so one long post it is.

First of all, there is no question in my mind that the only way to properly experience Pesach is to experience it in a hotel – specifically a hotel geared to the Chareidi audience.

Let’s go through the reasons:
Pillars of Smoke and Fire
I spent the Chag in a Tiberian hotel with a Bnei Brak (Chareidi) crowd. Plenty of smoke and fire from those cigarettes during Yuntiv (not in the dining room – my wife made sure of that – anyone who even thought to light up got a mouthful until they ran out).

Yetsiat Mizraim
The rush and tumble, pushing and shoving immediately after the holiday ended to get into the elevators to pack up and leave the hotel left nothing to the imagination. Yetsiat Mizraim was clearly experienced.

The Maan
Imagine unlimited portions of food 3 times a day, but always the same stuff at every meal. Now I understand what the Maan was.

Some of the Shvatim:
Bnei Brakers from Har Shalom
Chareidim from Har Shlomo
Chareidim from Rechesh Shuafat
Americans from Ramat Beit Shemesh (they stood out a bit)
The Eruv Rav - I think that was the JoeSettler family with this crowd.

Kriyat Yam Suf
I crossed the Jordan River a few times, so I think that counts

Moving on to other related subjects, I think everyone who made fun of the rabbis and their Tznius conference on women’s clothing and wigs needs to apologize - quickly.

Trust me when I say, I couldn’t tell if half the women in the room were married or about to go clubbing at a singles bar.

What I’ve learned this week is that if you want a “Custom” wig that looks so real that I personally can’t see how it counts as Kisui Rosh then go to “Eli” at D-Mall or “Beit Shlomo” on Jabotinsky and drop a two thousand dollars (this was an upper class B”B crowd). Lycra is also very in. Hot Chanie has nothing on this crowd.

I was also introduced to some very strongly opinionated halachic(?) viewpoints (by the women, of course) who made it clear that a hat or scarf that is clearly covering the head, but with hair coming out (the explicit example I was given was that of a settlerette) is not a kosher Kisui Rosh, but a Custom wig (even made from one’s own hair, as in one case!) that is completely unrecognizable as a wig is a 100% kosher Kisui Rosh. Go Figure.

Regional information:
Tiberias (the city center at least) is an interesting mix of Arab, Russian, Arse, and Tourist. There is a major Chareidi neighborhood, but I didn’t get a chance to visit it, though I saw them all at Kever Rebbe Meir Baal HaNes.

The roads within Tzfat needs to be redesigned. At a minimum, sign need to be put up at key street corners to let you know whether to go left or right to the Old City and other sites, otherwise you will go in circles for a half hour.

Kvish HaBiqa is the only way to go North (and back) – very little traffic, but some very, very dangerous drivers. We saw a fully-loaded semi-trailer that had just gone off a cliff. At least 20 ambulances and fire trucks at the scene trying to rescue them (and the Bedouin homes I think they crashed down on).

On Kashrus:
The water supply from the Kinneret is disconnected during Pesach, due to a “Chashash” of Chometz. Yes, there is definitely small amounts chametz in the Kinneret, mostly in the form of beer cans, but I’m not going to discuss that Halacha.

Instead I will mention that after my kids took a "visit" to the Kinneret, I personally will now only drink bottled water that comes from Ein Gedi (at least until we visit down South).

More to follow (maybe), but I need a breather.


Anonymous said...

Gee- sounds like you had a good time. Whoever paid surely got their money's worth.

Anonymous said...

I sure got a good laugh from reading your "Passing thoughts on Pesach". Was I supposed to?

Lion of Zion said...

your description of tzefat brings back (bad) memories. i even "lost" my car there by the old city and spent an hour trying to find it.

Ben Bayit said...

Just use the term "sheitel whores". That will help you laugh you're way through it.

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