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Free The Hostages! Bring Them Home!

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Jul 15, 2024

15 years to clean up

According to the United Nations, the destruction in Gaza is so bad that it will take 15 years to clear the rubble.




I say good. The longer the better. They will be so busy clearing rubble maybe they wont get so involved in terrorism. 




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be careful Chabad

from what I am told, this video is published by Hamas calling for their supporters around the world to target and attack Chabad, as they are part of the Israeli army





be careful out there...







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#157: Behind the Bima - Douglas Murray (video)








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Is sabas advice valid? (video)






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From Kidron Valley to Pool of Siloam (not a Tourist Route!). Jerusalem Early in The Morning. (video)








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Kol Zman - Shulem Lemmer ft. Hershy Rottenberg (video)








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Jul 14, 2024

Picture of the Day



this will be the actual PotD connected to Israel.. the site of the hit on Mohammed Deif yesterday in Khan Younis, Gaza. There has not yet been confirmation that Deif was taken out, and unless he makes an appearance we might never know if he was successfully killed or not, but Israel thinks with strong indication that Deif is no longer a threat.
May the rest of the Hamas leadership meet a similar demise soon..



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But they flew

But they flew

My response to the survey of El Al in the previous post.

But they flew

When all other airlines, and most of all the airlines that fly to North America, disappeared during the war at the slightest appearance of anything concerning, El Al continued to fly.

Expensive? Yes, but that is the free market law of supply and demand. All the other airlines stopped flying, El Al had a limited number of seats available with many more people than available seats vying for them. Naturally the prices go up accordingly. As someone who had to fly during that period and had to pay the high prices of El Al, I still say this.

And mostly....

But they flew. When nobody else did.


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A SURVEY OF EL AL AIRLINES IN WAR TIMES

A SURVEY OF EL AL AIRLINES IN WAR TIMES

 

By

Dr. Harold Goldmeier with assistance from Leora Cohen, Bella Katz, and Moriah Rosenthal.

Dr. Harold teaches at Touro College Jerusalem. He is an award-winning entrepreneur receiving the Governor's Award for family investment programs in the workplace from the Commission on the Status of Women. He was a Research and Teaching Fellow at Harvard.  Harold is a Managing Partner of an investment firm, a business management consultant, a free public speaker on business, social, and public policy issues, and taught international university students in Tel Aviv.

 

 

El Al is Israel’s flag-carrying national airline. It is prospering from the Hamas war recording its best first financial quarter of the fiscal year in the firm’s history. That is not as cringe-worthy as it seems at first glance. The company’s revenue in the first quarter of 2024 was 48% higher than the first quarter of 2023. Profit topped $80M.

 

When other major carriers erratically canceled flights and ultimately ghosted Israel after Hamas invaded, El Al swiftly added routes. Planes were packed with passengers and cargo. Ticket prices doubled and tripled, as weeks turned into months. The company CEO unashamedly told the press, to paraphrase, that is what happens when the competition folds under pressure.

My students in our Entrepreneurship class at Touro College Jerusalem surveyed a small sample of the English-speaking public at random in May to gain insights into the public persona of

El Al is under stress. 

 

Over decades of Middle East conflict, commercial airlines kept flying into Israel. They dealt with threats from terrorists’ missiles and anti-aircraft weapons. Flight crews operated in the liminal state between life and death. Open Skies sent a political message in addition to underpinning the nation’s commercial development.

In October 2023, alerts were issued warning pilots that a commercial plane might be mistaken for an enemy aircraft. There were warnings of debris in the sky from missile intercepts; manipulation of Internet location services to fool invaders; and GPS spoofing potentially affecting flight patterns. Pilots faced uncertainties about where to land in emergencies. In wartime, insurance premiums skyrocket. Planes had to carry extra fuel in case of diversions to other airports. Delays in take-offs and landings add to costs and money lost.

 

El Al is a cultural icon as well as a commercial venture. A blue and white Jewish star is the El Al symbol on every plane’s tail; the airline is woven into the fabric of the nation. Hostages in Entebbe? Divert El Al jumbo jets to extract them. Refugees fleeing Ethiopia? Build clandestine runways in the Sudan desert, rip out the seats in El Al jets, and pack men, women, and children on the floor for flights to their Biblical homeland. Rescue plans have sobriquets like Operation Solomon, Operation Magic Carpet, and Operation Ezra and Nechemia. El Al sent a plane to bring captured Nazi mass murderer Eichmann from Argentina to Israel for trial.   

 

It is the only airline equipped with onboard missile defense systems. Its airplanes did not fly Friday night until sundown Saturday night for 40 years until the state’s rabbis permitted Sabbath flights to bring home soldiers and military cargo from overseas after the invasion of Israel by Hamas.

   

The company is under relatively new management; kudos to them for keeping Israel's skies open to the public, essential cargo flowing into Israel, and turning a profit. There are problems they need to fix.  Here are highlights and lowlights from our findings.

  

El Al profited despite offering discounts to passengers rushing to Israel to rejoin military service units and a flurry of diplomats flying to foreign capitals. El Al became a lifeline for supplies when Red Sea ships became Houthi targets carrying cargo for the war effort and commercial goods for the public. Despite fewer tourists, El Al upped its market share to 80% in the fourth quarter of 2023, compared to 22%, previous to Black Sabbath, October 7th.

 

In the end, record revenue and profits come down to supply and demand; i.e., ticket prices soared because El Al safely flew when other airlines canceled Tel Aviv service, citing safety concerns and sky-high insurance premiums. Perhaps competitors who cancel their flights and ghost Israel will be enticed to return to Israeli skies. That might lower ticket prices, increase tourism, and speed up deliveries of essential cargo.

 

My students each asked travelers between 21 and 55 years of age 12 questions about flying to Israel and El Al, specifically. Students describe the undertaking this way: “We raised questions about El Al that collected constructive criticism, identified competitors, quantified customer loyalty, and more. By receiving this feedback, opportunities to improve business success and business strategies can be identified.”

 

They found El Al is the most popular airline among Israeli respondents when buying tickets, with an average favorability rating of 7.5 out of 10. This coincides with other studies, for instance, as reported by Flight-report, that claim El Al gets an average 8 out of 10 rating by frequent fliers in peacetime. Students ranked respondents’ suggestions that the airline improves seating comfort, in-flight entertainment, and customer service. Americans believe competitors have “better frequent flier programs, more comfortable seating, and superior customer service…. The respondents’ dream flight experiences include easy booking, first-rate customer support, cozy seats, and reasonable costs.”

 

El Al’s support services rate poorly (5.5/10) by American fliers. The sky-high ticket prices that jumped since last October, dramatically contribute to the poor perception of El Al more frequently than it does of other carriers. Perhaps travelers see this as gouging in tough times; rightly or wrongly, we must see the long-term impact on El Al’s reputation.

 

“Younger respondents,” writes one student, particularly those in their early twenties, often prioritize affordability and comfort, while older customers in their forties and sixties focus on service quality and loyalty perks.” The breakdown applies to female respondents and male respondents, respectively. Long wait times for check-in service and misinformation from staff are particularly annoying to customers. “Despite these mixed reviews, many customers are willing to buy from El Al again, primarily due to the airline’s reliability and loyalty, especially in challenging times.”

 

Random comments from respondents point to other areas for improvement. Bathrooms on El Al can be filthy, needing regular cleaning; staff ignored complaints about a dog roaming the aisles on one flight; “teaching crew politeness and cross-cultural training would be an improvement… because El Al services globally to a large array of varying cultures.”

 

Notable comments include fliers’ appreciation for upholding Jewish values, particularly not flying on Jewish holidays and providing kosher meals. Elisheva got special attention from the flight crew when she was pregnant. Others take note that “El Al brought free bags to Israel for soldiers in the current Gaza war, and “they value the sense of security they experience on El Al’s flights because, for example, each flight has sky marshals with concealed arms.”

 

Finally, the students suggest El Al’s marketing ought to focus on people loyal to Israel and stop wasting marketing money on the general population. “Even in wartime, supporters of Israel have proven to be loyal and active consumers.” El Al is like an 18th-century poet’s lonely bird from “haunted places of sadness.” Israel is under siege. Our children are dying. Hostages are captive. But the national airline is “soaring in a flood of gladness” bringing hope with every Magen David landing and take-off on the tail of those lonely birds. 

 






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Picture of the Day






the image has nothing to do with Israel but how can it not be the PotD?




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Halacha Headlines: 7/13/24 – Shiur 474 – Halacha: Can an aging forgetful leader be replaced? | Should you allow your daughter to go out with a boy who smokes or vapes? (audio)








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Yeshiva with a degree: Mesivta Torah Vadaas (video)

headed by Rav Dovid Leibel.
Looks interesting. I wonder how they deal with the army issue...





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"UN officials are turning a blind eye to terrorists fighting out of their own buildings." Eylon Levy (video)







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MAGICAL JERUSALEM! An Evening Stroll from the City Center to the Western Wall at Night. (video)








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Cantor Netanel Hershtik & Mordechai Shapiro - Prayer for IDF (video)







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Jul 11, 2024

beis din musings

I have had to spend some time recently in the building of the Rabbanut Beis Din in Jerusalem.

Yes, I have heard and read all the statistics of divorce rates always going up and reaching new highs, and even the divorce rates in the religious and Haredi communities climbing. 

It is different to see it yourself, with your own eyes.

The place is hopping, all the time, during business hours, with couples breaking up and going through the process. the days I have been there the crowd was even mostly Haredi (all types, Hassidic, Litvishe, modern, sefardi, etc). The couples were mixed between those only married for short times and others who were clearly married for longer periods. All types of people and couples deciding to get divorced. I am sure each has their story and i no way am I saying that any given case is not justified. I dont know their stories.

But it is sad/disappointing/upsetting/depressing to see.

And on that note, I was surprised to see that among all these couple going in for their hearing, and sometimes with the voices behind closed doors getting raised and becoming screaming matches, young 16 year old women are also sitting their waiting to declare themselves  as religious before a beis din to qualify for an army exemption. Must these young ladies really sit there among all these divorcing couples, have to listen to their arguments and even screaming while they wait for their turn?

The beis din should separate these young women and have them do their declarations in a different part of the building.

And there should be more discretion in the lobby of the discussion halls - divorcing couples and their families have to sit there waiting while the other side to the dispute is sitting just a few chairs away and they both have to sit there uncomfortably. And that's if they aren't screaming at each other. And everyone has to hear everyone else talking to the lawyer or talking to the soon to be ex or families talking amongst themselves... At what is surely a private and sensitive, and emotional, moment, the people should be given more privacy.


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