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I found myself stuck in a snowstorm recently, for two days, and I learned that I was not prepared because I didn't take my parents' advice. I've been in snowstorms before. I've been caught in lake effect storms. But I've never been caught in the typhoon effect snow of Buffalo. When it's six feet of snow pouring down, you're not ready. I wasn't ready for the effect of more snow than a lake can hold. And it all fell on my car.
I want you to be ready. Especially if you're a Frum Jew, you've got to be ready for Shabbat. Your life depends on it, and it's a Mitzvah to save a life. Hence, I will let you tips for Frum winter survival skills for travel.
Bring a Shovel
In the Buffalo storm the snowplows gave up. They said the 'people will go to work and pick up groceries when it melts.' I had to shovel my car and the street.
Nobody will believe you when you say you shoveled around the car. Even so, take that shovel along and shovel. They will insist that it's impossible to get another three feet of snow in five minutes, and Frum Jews don't work. Even your family will turn the storm into something anti-Semitic.
The scrapers don't help in six feet of snow. You need a shovel for that. I never knew that shoveling my roof was part of the shoveling process. I saw people on their homes, shoveling the roof. They didn't even need a ladder to get up there.
Travel with A Lot of Food
That means enough food for Shabbis, or enough food for a non-Shomer Shabbis family for a week. It's the same amount.
On any trip during the winter, bring it all. Disaster can always happen, especially when duty free is around. When you travel be sure to bring as much as the carrier allows. Never pay for an extra bag; one bag with the largest dimensions allowed. Load up your suitcase with MealMart TV dinners if you must, like your parents do.
Don't trust the airlines to give you enough food when you travel. That one egg omelette with salsa doesn't help with layovers. Now you're caught in Sudan for Shabbat, and you're going to try to make it on a Mezonot roll, because you didn't listen to your parents.
By the way, Frum people should not be eating TV dinners. It's Ma'aras Ayin, and because of Kosher TV dinners we now accuse religious Jews of watching series. Oh. So do they have a TV in their home?!
During the week, travel with leftovers. That's what good Jews eat during the week. Not Frum Jews eat lasagna for dinner. Frum Jews have leftovers. That's the dish.
Travel with Bedding
A mattress too. Travel with whatever your car can hold. That means food, clothing, bedding. Take a cot if you can fit it in the back seat. You should be able to move there. Wherever you're going, you should be ready reside. As Jews of European descent, we should be good at this.
You will have time to learn. The problem is that you can't use a small book. It's almost impossible to turn the pages of a novel with gloves. You need a huge Talmud from the 1960s. Those pages you can turn with mittens.
You can bring Halacha books too. Hopefully, you'll find a place to stay for Shabbat. However, I don't suggest Halacha books. We're talking about a saving a life here, and the place in your car would be much better used for an ice axe and a hand auger.
Listen to Your Parents
My parents were right. Always travel with a lot of stuff. Stuff means food. Make sandwiches. 'You never know.' They are right. You never know. When they loaded up the car with packages of spaghetti and peanut butter, they knew what they were doing. You never know, they might stop producing food. Typhoon effect will do that. We even had choolante in the car. There's a reason. Shabbis is only six days away.
The number one piece of advice I forgot to take from my parents is 'Don't travel. Stay away from storms.' Their friends took their advice and moved down to Florida.
And never throw out leftovers. My parents taught me that too.
I hope my tips and advice help. Myself. I'm going to have a can of soda and chips in the car, and I will pray that nothing bad happens.
Next time we will focus on Shabbis, to bring home the lesson of making sure you travel with a lot of food.
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