Sunday, June 26, 2011

Delta's alliance with Saudi Arabian Airways

Delta is entering into a partnership with Saudi Arabian Airlines through its SkyTeam Alliance, beginning next year. Delta planes don’t actually fly there, but Delta customers will be riding on Saudi Arabian through an interline agreement.

A lot of people have made a big deal about this saying that Delta would comply with Saudi requirements regarding who can arrive in the country, which could lead to the exclusion of Jews.

IMHO this is really idiotic. The Saudi government only allows in non-Saudis who have a visa. To get a visa you need to apply with the Saudi government. The Saudi government will not issue a visa to anyone who has an Israeli visa stamp in their passport nor to anyone who they think is Jewish. No airline can fly you to Saudi Arabia without a visa, agreement with Saudi Arabian Airways or not. In fact, today, you can fly on Continental through Frankfurt to Saudi Arabia and on American Airlines through London to Saudi Arabia. The problem is with the Saudi Arabian government not with Delta.

The Wall Street Journal seems to agree with me Blame Saudi Arabia, not Delta, for Policy on Jews

Should we go to the best doctor?

Last week R' Elyashiv had heart surgery and the Charedi press had extensive coverage. Mishpacha (Hebrew) had a number of articles about the surgery including a profile of the surgeon. They flew in the top cardiac/blood vessel surgeon from Cleveland (a religious Catholic) to do the surgery.

The question I would like to ask is why was that necessary? The prevalent (only?) Charedi hashkafa today is that not even a leaf falls without it being a גזירה מו שמים and that השתדלות has no effect, it is just an illusion. השתדלות is just so that we avoid ניסים גלוים (see מכתב מאליהו, חזון איש אמונה ובטחון and others). If so, shouldn't bringing the top surgeon be too much השתדלות and a lack of בטחון? After all, Hashem is doing the healing not the surgeon and once we have done our השתדלות, going to the doctor and having the surgery, why should it matter whether the surgeon is the best in the world or simply Joe surgeon who is competent? As long as we do our השתדלות to avoid requiring a נס, the rest is a גזירה מן השמים. If the גזירה is that the surgery will be successful, then it will be successful even if done by the average surgeon, and if the גזירה is that it won't be successful then it won't help that you have the best surgeon.

In fact, what does it actually mean that someone is considered the best surgeon? After all, הכל בידי שמים, our success is actually an illusion to make it look like it is our skill. In fact, our success in worldly matters is simply a גזירה מן השמים so the fact that he successfully operated is not due to his skill but due to the גזירה מן השמים.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

R' Sternbuch's response to the Segula Ring

The original ad in last week's Mishpacha listed R' Sternbuch as endorsing the ring. Mishpacha this week printed the following disclaimer from R' Sternbuch's son.

It is interesting that R' Sternbuch seems to accept the segula, he just says that he doesn't know if these rings meet the criteria for the segula.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Some of the segula type ads that I have seen in the past

Here are some of the ads that I have posted about in the past.

For the first time since Moshe Rabenu ...

Kupat Hair never stops

Historic event in Vilna taking place today

Here is the schedule for today's big event:

Important information for all Daf Yomi Learners

The tzedaka wars are escalating

Here is the latest Kupat Hair ad:

R' Chaim Kanievsky and tzedaka organizations

The Tzedaka campaigns are working overtime

These are all from 1 edition of Yated Neeman in October 2008.

Believe it or not this is just a drop in the bucket, there is literally a campaign a week.

Monday, June 20, 2011

This time it's "Segula Wine"

The following ad for segula wine was a full page on the back of last week's Hamodia.

I don't know what to say anymore, what's next?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Judaism or Avoda Zara? Updated with contact information

I could not believe an ad that I saw in this past week's Mishpacha magazine. It was for a "Silver Segulah Ring". Is this what we have come to? Believing that wearing a "magical" ring can get us a shidduch, money, health, etc.?

For anyone who actually wants to find out more and maybe buy one here is the contact information: