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Last time we touched on traveling during the winter and what you need as a Jew. Today shall delve a bit more into Frum winter survival on Shabbat, to make sure you are ready to be stuck on the holy day itself.
Frum travel survival is about Shabbat. The only thing that makes it worth it to be Frum is knowing you can crash by people you don't know when you're stuck for Shabbat. That's why Jews become Shomer Shabbis. To save on travel. Here are some extra necessities for snowstorm Shabbat preparedness.
Travel with More Food
Shabbat means more food. Anything you were thinking, more. Shabbis food means more than what you ever you ate before. If you ate a kilo and a half last Friday night, you should be packing two kilos for yourself. As you grow in Yiddishkeit, so does your belly (you will want to quote this at some point- possibly at your next Shabbat dinner).
Any day after Wednesday, double up on the food. You have to eat more on Shabbat. If you don’t have room for the kids, leave them at home. The food is more important.
Bring A Shabbis Gift
If you can find a Jewish family, you'll want to crash there. This is how Jews have survived for ages, saving money while traveling. You show up for Shabbat and they must house you.
They might be a bit bothered with receiving a nice bottle of wine and a beautiful serving tray with chocolate covered almonds, when you got caught in a storm and all the stores are closed, and you weren't planning on being there for Shabbat. Even so, it's the right thing to do. And if you compare the chocolate covered almonds to the cost of the hotel for the family, it's worth it.
It may be presumptuous. Yet, I always travel with Shabbis gifts. It's fine if you conspire to exploit people for their homes, as long as you have a decent babka.
A Yarmulke and Skirt
These will show the people you’re religious, and that means they should feed you.
Always Know Where a Shul Is
Much cheaper than a hotel, shuls are also great in storms. And you don’t have to pretend that you like people to score free housing. They usually have carpets in parts of the hallway. Very comfortable, shuls are a great Shabbat stay, and you don’t have to bring a gift.
Another perk: Unlike hotels, shuls have nonelectric doors. This makes it easier to get in and out on Shabbat, without stalking people (standing there waiting for somebody to initiate the electric door movement and then following them in- some towns consider that a felony, and those towns are anti-Semitic).
If you're a local, I would suggest to spend winter in the shul. You can save a lot on heating if you spend the winter outside of your home.
With their Chutzpah, the other congregants will still ask you to run errands for them. One of the shul members asked if I could pick up their groceries. I let them know that I was caught in the same storm. They didn't get it.
Extra Note: Nobody blames you for not showing up to shul in a snowstorm, even if you’re in the shul.
Bring A Travel Stove
Choolante does not taste the same cold. I don't care how much faith you have in Gd, it does not taste good cold. I learned that when we had choolante on a family trip picnic. That's how you know I am a good Frum Jew. My parents fed us leftovers on a picnic.
You'll have to probably cook your own food, as your hosts will use the storm as an excuse for not 'expecting you for Shabbis.' In this case, enjoy your choolante and reclaim the babka.
On Shabbat, you want to eat on a table. You may not want to pay for a hotel, but you're Menches. If you're going to crash, you're going to eat properly.
The shul may have extra tables. However, your hosts may not have enough room for your eight kids at their table. You may want to bring chairs as well.
I hope these extra Shabbat tips help as much as the tip I gave last week of ‘travel with a lot of food.’ Myself, I don't have time to prepare all this food or listen to my parents and travel with a lot. I'm still going to travel with soda and chips and pray nothing bad happens. I will also bring a Shabbat gift, just in case I have the chance to save money on a hotel, on a clear day.
If you've learned nothing, be a religious Jew. You can save a lot of money on travel this way.
Postscript: Now that I think back to my childhood, my parents never served us choolante as leftovers. They were too good of Jews to do that. We had kugel, tzimis, chicken soup. Never did we eat choolante as leftovers. They were kind to me as a child and they knew that choolante should be thrown out after Shabbis. Even if you're Frum, you should still have a heart.
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