2008-12-26

2008-12-19

Yeah right!

We could use some global warming now!
-Eli

2008-12-18

Such convenience!

Bike shop literally around the corner!
-Eli

Place I'm applying for tomorrow.

Front view of the building the apartment is in that I will put in an application for in the morning. 102 W80th.
-Eli

cRc Kashrus Alert



December 18, 2008

21 Kislev 5769

 

 

Kraft Foods has introduced a new product – Crystal Light Hunger Satisfaction powdered beverage in Strawberry Banana flavor.  This item is unique among Crystal Light varieties in that it contains whey, a milk protein, and is therefore dairy/cholov stam.

It is certified OK-D, as stated on the package.

 

 

Do not reply to this alert address. Please send all responses to info@crcweb.org

 

 

 

Please Post

 
Visit our Website for continuously updated information

www.crcweb.org


Chicago Rabbinical Council
2701 W Howard Street
Chicago, Illinois 60645



2008-12-16

Kashruth Alert


From the Orthodox Union <alerts@ou.org>
Date: Tue, Dec 16, 2008 at 2:54 PM


KASHRUTH ALERT

December 16, 2008

Boar's Head Placards

Issue:

Placards bearing an unauthorized OU symbol and the Boar's Head logo have been distributed to delis. These placards are not an indication of the Kosher status of their corresponding products. Corrective action is being taken. Consumers spotting these placards are requested to contact the Orthodox Union at 212-613-8241 or via email at kashalerts@ou.org.

More OU Kosher Alerts


Kashruth Alert


From the Orthodox Union <alerts@ou.org>
Date: Mon, Dec 15, 2008 at 1:57 PM


KASHRUTH ALERT

December 15, 2008

Hoody's Party Tray

Brands:

Hoody's

Products:

Serve & Snack Party Tray

Company:

Harvest Manor Farms - Cedar Rapids, IA

Issue:

This product contains dairy ingredients as listed on the ingredient panel but the dairy designation has been inadvertently omitted. Future packaging will be revised.

KASHRUTH ALERT

December 15, 2008

Sally Sherman Seafood Salad

Brands:

Sally Sherman

Products:

Seafood Salad

Company:

Sally Sherman Foods - Mt. Vernon, NY

Issue:

A limited amount of this product has been distributed while bearing an unauthorized OU symbol. The product is being withdrawn from the marketplace.

More OU Kosher Alerts



2008-12-13

Customer Service: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

This past Friday I had the opportunity to experience both excellent and poor customer service. The phrase, "Outstanding Customer Service", is one of the two core values of my new employer, SeniorCare EMS, and had been oft repeated during my previous three days of orientation (the other core value is "Clinical Excellence", for those of you who were wondering). Going out of my way for the satisfaction of my patients, their families, caregivers, resident facilities, etc. all of whom are also my customers happens to be an ethic I believe in; but I was perhaps hyper-aware of it due to it's emphasis during my job orientation.

The Good...


SeniorCare uses WhenToWork.com for scheduling shifts. WhenToWork.com (w2w) is a really nifty service that provides a lot of powerful scheduling solutions to both employees and supervisors. It's quite handy and easy to use and I've quite enjoyed using it. My previous employer, the Ambulance Service of Manchester, also uses w2w. When I logged in using the temporary sign-in ID that my supervisor had provided me with, the system asked me to pick a permanent username. I tried to pick "elipongo" which is my standard login name. The system refused to allow me to use it because it didn't recognize that I was the same person as the one who had worked at ASM.


File:Customer Care affirmation poster, USAF · DF-SD-04-09849.JPEGI wrote an email to w2w explaining the situation, that the truth of the matter was easy to establish since both accounts were assigned to the same email address, and requested permission to re-use my old sign-in name. I sent the email at around 9pm on Thursday night and in all honesty did not expect a reply earlier than sometime on Friday at the earliest, if I got a reply at all. I wasn't too worried about it, it's not like I haven't had to compromise on my username before.


Dan from w2w's customer support wrote back at half past midnight to let me know that he had forwarded the request to their tech department. By 12:50am he wrote again that the permission had been granted. He was even patient with a couple of crossed emails on my part and was cheerful despite the late hour.


I was very struck by this. WhenToWork.com had taken the trouble to make a manual change to their system very promptly and in the middle of the night. It is especially surprising in light of the fact that I am not even their customer per se. Rather it is my employer, SeniorCare, who is their customer; I am merely a brand new employee with zero seniority and no ability whatsoever to affect purchase decisions.


Such attention to detail deserves to be lauded when encountered. Thank you Dan, with attitudes like yours and the rest of the w2w team's I'm sure you'll all do very well.





...The Bad...



As I mentioned in a previous post, my first road shift with SeniorCare is on Sunday. I had to retrieve from Connecticut some equipment I needed (stethoscope, shears, etc.) for the shift. I also needed to purchase a new tire & tube for my bicycle and I needed to have my new uniforms tailored and their patches attached. I had made some efforts to find places in NYC to do these things, but I realized that since I was going to Connecticut anyway, it would be simpler and faster to go to the places I already know of that could do them. Between the fact that Shabbos arrives very early this time of the year, and the fact that I had to be back before my shift started on Sunday, I decided the fastest way to get these all these things accomplished would be to rent a car for the weekend.


When I've needed to rent a car in the past, I have used Enterprise Rent-A-Car and had always been satisfied. Their staff was friendly, the cars were clean and well maintained, and the rental process was quick and painless. I had even joined up with their Enterprise Plus preferred customer program.


What I thought would be Enterprise's most convenient location to get to from my niece's Washington Heights apartment is in the Bronx. Getting there, I had the pleasure of having to take the 1 train all the way to its northern terminus at Van Cortlandt Park–242nd Street because the northbound trains were by-passing all the stations between there and the Dyckman Street station (very slowly, on a little used express track) due to track work. I had to take a southbound train back to the 231st Street station where the Enterprise was located.


So I got there later than I expected; additionally when I arrived I was informed that their computers were down. I asked, and they were cool with me eating my lunch while they checked me in manually. I thought I would choke when after a bit I was asked to produce a payroll stub and a utility bill. I was informed that because I was using a debit card (I don't do credit cards anymore, hate 'em!) and had an out-of-state driver's license I had to prove my residency using these items. While I did just happen to be carrying a pay-stub from my old employer (I obviously haven't gotten one from the new one yet!) I told them that the only utility I paid was to Verizon Wireless and that I had paperless billing. They said they could call the utility for people with paperless billing, but that Verizon Wireless couldn't be used because of the "temporary nature" of cellphones this despite the fact that I've had the same phone number and account since 1989. I asked them what exactly a utility bill would prove that my Enterprise Plus account wouldn't.


I had rented from Enterprise just two weeks prior from their Vernon, Connecticut location when I went down for my job interview at SeniorCare, so I asked them whether this rule was limited to New York state; they didn't seem to understand the question. I asked them to call the Enterprise location in Fort Lee, New Jersey to see if they would have a similar problem with my renting from them. The staff was kind enough to make the call and I was informed that New Jersey had the same rule.apathy


So I told them if the problem is simply my trying to use a debit card with an out-of-state driver's license, then I would take MetroNorth up to New Haven and rent a car from there where my license would be in-state. They said that would probably be a good idea and they even offered to transfer my reservation over; but since they seemed to be hazy on the geography (they mentioned another town than New Haven), I told them that I'd book it by cellphone from the train.


So I burned through yet more time traveling the subway all the way into Midtown to Grand Central Terminal and caught a New Haven bound train. I used my cellphone's VZ Navigator program to find the Enterprise location closest to the train station and gave them a call. I was careful to mention my problems with the New York location, and was informed that I still couldn't rent because the hold-up was with the debit card and not the out-of-state license as I had been informed. At this point I gave up on Enterprise, telephoned a Hertz location just a couple of blocks from the New Haven station and rented from them without any issues whatsoever.


I called Enterprise's corporate customer service number and asked them why they had treated a loyal customer so shabbily. That while most people would have called another company immediately upon getting problems at the Bronx location, I had put forth an extraordinary effort to remain their customer and had been summarily rebuffed. That I didn't understand what a utility bill, which could easily have been faked in Photoshop, would prove better than my own Enterprise Plus account I had with them. I told them that I had formerly been a person who spoke highly of their company to my friends, and encouraged them to use Enterprise when needed; but that now I would not be shy about sharing my negative episode with them because in my own experience companies that change their rules like that are often already a good way down the road of going out of business. The young lady on the telephone was courteous and apologetic, but obviously couldn't do anything besides start a complaint file with the corporate offices and promise that I would likely get a call back in a week or so.


...and the Ugly.


Because of all the time I wasted due to my misplaced loyalty to Enterprise, I barely made it to my home in Connecticut in time for Shabbos. I didn't have time to get my uniforms tailored and their patches attached, I didn't have time to get a new tire and tube for the bicycle, and I barely had time to get something to eat. I hope my sister Sylvia, with whom I'll be staying the next few days, can help me with the uniforms anyways, else I may have to resort to using staples...





Elias Friedman A.S., EMT-P
אליהו מתתיהו בן צבי
elipongo@gmail.com
http://elipongo.blogspot.com/

2008-12-12

New job!

Patches and cap from my new job at SeniorCare EMS! I'm excited about working here- the company seems to be very serious about safety and customer service- things very important to me as well. First road shift (as a third) this Sunday.

I almost thought I would lose my opportunity here yesterday. On my way into the third day of orientation, when we were to meet the company owner, I got a flat tire!

It was pouring rain at about forty degrees in NYC yesterday and I got the flat less than two miles from my destination. First I tried a quick shot from my CO2 canister to see if it was a slow leak that would hold the fifteen minute ride- no dice. So I got out the cell phone to tell them about what was going on and tried to convince dispatch to send a rig on a rescue mission to fetch the bike and me- no dice on getting a ride; I guess I'm too new an employee yet to have built up enough trust for such a favor- fair enough, really.

So I had the distinct pleasure of changing my tube in a cold, driving rain. My front tire has a quarter inch gash in it- I have no idea from what. I improvised a boot from the box my spare inner tube had come in, pumped it up with another CO2 canister (It's amazing just how much ice can form on the valve stem when you use one of those things in a cold rain!) and got on my way. I wound up being about fifteen or twenty minutes late, thank goodness everyone wasn't too upset at me! Not exactly the impression I wanted to make on the boss on my third day of orientation... Such is life, I suppose though. Just gotta' roll with the punches and come back up smiling!

2008-12-11

cRc Kashrus Alert



 

 

 

December 11, 2008

14 Kislev 5769

 

 

Confiserie Leonidas, a fine Belgium chocolatier which also has a retail outlet on Madison Avenue in New York City, has mistakenly labeled some of their products omitting the Dairy designation.

All of their kosher products are indeed cRc dairy, Cholov Stam. A complete list of their kosher products can be found by clicking here.

 

*************************************

 

Please be aware that at this time, all varieties of Oneg Cheese are certified by the cRc as Dairy- Cholov Stam.

 

 

Please send all responses to info@crcweb.org

Please Post

 
Visit our Website for continuously updated information

www.crcweb.org


Chicago Rabbinical Council
2701 W Howard Street
Chicago, Illinois 60645


2008-12-08

Cold bus line

It's 18 degrees out here!
-Eli

Photo at the Hartford Union Station

Parked at the Hartford bus station waiting for the 6:30 to NYC.
-Eli

2008-12-05

Parsha Vayetze (וַיֵּצֵא) December 6, 2008 / ט' כסלו תשס"ט

No services this week.

Ellington Candlelighting: 4:00pm
Havdalah: 5:05pm

Have a Good Shabbos!

Vayetze
(וַיֵּצֵא)
Genesis 28:10–32:3
The Weekly Torah portion in synagogues on Shabbat, Saturday, 9 Kislev, 5769; December 6, 2008
"He had a dream; a stairway was set on the ground and its top reached to the sky, and angels of God were going up and down on it." (Genesis 28:12.)
Jacob's Dream (painting by Michael Willmann)

When Jacob left Beersheba for Haran, he stopped at a place for the night, using a stone for a pillow. He dreamed that he saw a ladder to heaven on which God's angels ascended and descended. And God stood beside him and promised to give him and his numerous descendants the land on which he lay, said that through his descendants all the earth would be blessed, and promised to stay with him wherever he went and bring him back to the land. Jacob awoke afraid, remarked that surely the place was the house of God, the gate of heaven, and called the place Bethel (although the Canaanites had called the city Luz). Jacob took the stone from under his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on it. And Jacob vowed that if God would stay with him, give him bread and clothing, and return him to his father's house in peace, then God would be his god, the stone pillar would be God's house, and he would give God a tenth of what he received.

Jacob and Rachel (painting by Palma il Vecchio)

Jacob came to an eastern land where he saw a well with a great stone rolled upon it and three flocks of sheep lying by it. Jacob asked the men where they were from, and they said Haran. Jacob asked them if they knew Laban, and they said that they did. Jacob asked if Laban was well, and they said that it was, and that his daughter Rachel was coming with his sheep. Jacob told the men to water and feed the sheep, but they replied that they could not do so until all the flocks had arrived. When Jacob saw Rachel arrive with her father's sheep, he rolled the stone from the well's mouth, and watered Laban's sheep. Jacob kissed Rachel, wept, and told her that he was her kinsman, and she ran and told her father.

When Laban heard of Jacob's arrival, he ran to meet him, embraced and kissed him, and brought him to his house. Jacob told Laban all that had happened, and Laban welcomed Jacob as family. After Jacob had lived with Laban for a month, Laban asked Jacob what wages he wanted for his work. Laban had two daughters: The elder, Leah, had weak eyes, while the younger, Rachel, was beautiful. Jacob loved Rachel, and offered to serve Laban seven years for Rachel's hand, and Laban agreed. Jacob served the years, but his love for Rachel made them seem like just a few days. Jacob asked Laban for his wife, and Laban made a feast and invited all the men of the place. In the evening, Laban brought Leah to Jacob, and Jacob slept with her. Laban gave Leah Zilpah to be her handmaid. In the morning, Jacob discovered that it was Leah, and he complained to Laban that he had served for Rachel. Laban replied that in that place, they did not give the younger before the firstborn, but if Jacob fulfilled Leah's week, he would give Jacob both daughters in exchange for another seven years of service. Jacob did so, and Laban gave him Rachel to wife, and gave Rachel Bilhah to be her handmaid.

Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah, so God allowed Leah to conceive, but Rachel was barren. Leah bore a son, and called him Reuben, saying that God had looked upon her affliction. She bore a second son, and called him Simeon, saying that God had heard that she was hated. She bore a third son, and called him Levi, saying that this time her husband would be joined to her. She bore a fourth son, and called him Judah, saying that this time, she would praise God.

Rachel envied her sister, and demanded that Jacob give her children, but Jacob grew angry and asked her whether he was in God's stead, who had withheld children from her. Rachel told Jacob to sleep with her maid Bilhah, so that Bilhah might bear children upon Rachel's knees who might be credited to Rachel, and he did. Bilhah bore Jacob a son, and Rachel called him Dan, saying that God had judged her and also heard her voice. And Bilhah bore Jacob a second son, and Rachel called him Naphtali, saying that she had wrestled with her sister and prevailed.

When Leah saw that she had stopped bearing, she gave Jacob her maid Zilpah to wife. Zilpah bore Jacob a son, and Leah called him Gad, saying that fortune had come. And Zilpah bore Jacob a second son, and Leah called him Asher, saying that she was happy, for the daughters would call her happy.

mandrake roots (illustration from a 7th century manuscript of Pedanius Dioscorides De Materia Medica)

Reuben found some mandrakes and brought them to Leah. Rachel asked Leah for the mandrakes, and when Leah resisted, Rachel agreed that Jacob would sleep with Leah that night in exchange for the mandrakes. When Jacob came home that evening, Leah told him that he had to sleep with her because she had hired him with the mandrakes, and he did. God heeded Leah and she conceived and bore Jacob a fifth son, and called him Issachar, saying that God had given her a reward. Leah bore Jacob a sixth son and called him Zebulun, saying that God had endowed her with a good dowry. And afterwards Leah bore a daughter, and called her nam Dinah.

God heeded Rachel and she conceived and bore a son and called him Joseph, invoking God to add another son.

Then Jacob asked Laban to allow him, his wives, and his children to return to his own country. Laban conceded that God had blessed him for Jacob's sake, and asked Jacob to name how much he wanted to stay. Jacob recounted how he had served Laban and how Laban had benefited, and asked when he could provide for his own family. Laban pressed him again, so Jacob offered to keep Laban's flock in exchange for the speckled, spotted, and dark sheep and goats, and thus Laban could clearly tell Jacob's flock from his. Laban agreed, but that day he removed the speckled and spotted goats and dark sheep from his flock and gave them to his sons and put three day's distance between Jacob and himself.

Jacob peeled white streaks in fresh rods of poplar, almond, and plane trees and set the rods where the flocks would see them when they mated, and the flocks brought forth streaked, speckled, and spotted young. Jacob laid the rods before the eyes of the stronger sheep, but not before the feeble, so the feebler sheep became Laban's and the stronger Jacob's. Jacob's flocks and wealth thus increased.

Jacob heard that Laban's sons thought that he had become wealthy at Laban's expense, and Jacob saw that Laban did not regard him as before. God told Jacob to return to the land of his fathers, and that God would be with him. Jacob called Rachel and Leah to the field and told them that Laban had changed his opinion of Jacob, but Jacob had served Laban wholeheartedly and God had remained with Jacob. Jacob noted that Laban had mocked him and changed his wages ten times, but God would not allow him to harm Jacob, but had rewarded Jacob, giving Laban's animals to Jacob. Jacob said that in a dream God told him to return to the land of his birth. Rachel and Leah answered that they no longer had any portion in Laban's house and all the riches that God had taken from Laban were theirs and their children's, so Jacob should do whatever God had told him to do.

So Jacob set his sons and his wives on camels and headed out toward Isaac and Canaan with all the animals and wealth that he had collected in Padan-aram. Jacob tricked Laban by fleeing secretly while Laban was out shearing his sheep, and Rachel stole her father's idols. On the third day, Laban heard that Jacob had fled and he and his kin pursued after Jacob seven days, overtaking him in the mountain of Gilead. God came to Laban in a dream and told him not to speak to Jacob either good or bad. But when Laban caught up with Jacob, he asked Jacob what he meant by carrying away his daughters secretly, like captives, without letting him kiss his daughters and grandchildren goodbye. Laban said that while he had the power to harm Jacob, God had told him the previous night not to speak to Jacob either good or bad, and now Laban wanted to know why Jacob had stolen his gods. Jacob answered that he fled secretly out of fear that Laban might take his daughters by force, and whoever had his gods would die. Laban searched Jacob's tent, Leah's tent, and the two maid-servants' tent, finding nothing, and then he entered Rachel's tent. Rachel had hidden the idols in the camel's saddle and sat upon them, apologizing to her father for not rising, as she was having her period. Laban searched and felt about the tent, but did not find the idols. Angered, Jacob questioned Laban what he had done to deserve this hot pursuit and this searching. Jacob protested that he had worked for Laban for 20 years, through drought and frost, bearing the loss of animals torn by predators, and not eating Laban's rams, only to have his wages changed 10 times. Had not the God of Isaac been on Jacob's side, surely Laban would have sent Jacob away empty, Jacob said, and God had seen his affliction and awarded him what he deserved. Laban answered Jacob that they were his daughters, his children, and his flocks, but asked what he could do about it now.

Instead, Laban proposed that they make a covenant, and Jacob set up a stone pillar and with his kin heaped stones, and they ate a meal by the heap. Laban called it Jegar-sahadutha, but Jacob called it Galeed. Laban called the heap as a witness between him and Jacob, and invoked God to watch, when they were apart, if Jacob would afflict Laban's daughters and take other wives. And Laban designated the heap and the pillar as a boundary between him and Jacob; Laban would not pass over it to Jacob, and Jacob would not pass over it to Laban, to do harm. Laban invoked the God of Abraham, the God of Nahor, and the God of Terah, and Jacob swore by the Fear of Isaac and offered a sacrifice.

Early in the morning, Laban kissed his sons and his daughters, blessed them, and departed for his home. And when Jacob went on his way, the angels of God met him, and Jacob told them that this was God's camp, and he called the place Mahanaim.

Hebrew and English Text
Hear the parshah chanted
Commentary from Conservative Judaism by the Jewish Theological Seminary
Commentary from Conservative Judaism by the Conservative Yeshiva
Commentary from Reform Judaism
Commentaries from Orthodox Judaism by Project Genesis
Commentaries from Orthodox Judaism by Chabad.org
Commentaries from Aish.com
Commentaries from Reconstructionist Judaism

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Portal:Judaism/Weekly Torah portion

All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. (See Copyrights for details.)

--
Elias Friedman A.S., EMT-P ⚕
אליהו מתתיהו בן צבי
elipongo@gmail.com
http://elipongo.blogspot.com/



OU Kashruth Alerts: Lottie & Beck Cappuccino Drink Mixes; Treasures from the Sea

From the Orthodox Union


KASHRUTH ALERT

December 05, 2008

Lottie & Beck Cappuccino Drink Mixes

Brands:

Lottie & Beck

Products:

Powdered Cappuccino Drink Mixes
Cappuccino, French Vanilla, Amaretto and Mocha flavors

Company:

North American Tea & Coffee Inc. - Canada

Issue:

These certified products contain dairy ingredients as listed on the ingredient panel, but the dairy designation has been inadvertently omitted. Future packaging will be revised.

KASHRUTH ADVISORY

December 05, 2008

Treasures from the Sea

Brands:

Treasures from the Sea

Issue:

Consumers are advised that Treasures from the Sea products whose OU symbol is covered with a sticker are not certified by the Orthodox Union.
More OU Kosher Alerts

http://www.ou.org/




--
Elias Friedman A.S., EMT-P ⚕
אליהו מתתיהו בן צבי
elipongo@gmail.com
http://elipongo.blogspot.com/

2008-12-04