1/9/22 News Roundup: We Can Do Better; The Chaim Walder Moment, COVID For All, $1,759 Kosher Airline Meal, Surfside Collapse Reconstruction, Taliban, Cancun Resort Gunfire, Hertz Arrests, Free Audi Q3, And More

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Disclaimer: This news roundup discusses sensitive topics.

Some stories and deals don’t get their own post, but should get some coverage. Here are some quick takes on stories that caught my eye. Let’s hear your thoughts about them in the comments below!

View previous roundups and commentary here.

Featured Trip Report

Fair warning, Something Fishy’s epic 2020 summer trips to Alaska will make you question why you haven’t made it to our nation’s 49th state. It’s yet another epic trip report with his usual stunning pictures:

Glacier Kayaking, Chugach National Forest, Alaska. Photo: Something Fishy
Brooks Falls, Alaska. Photo: Something Fishy

The Chaim Walder Moment

Harvey Weinstein’s fall from grace launched the #MeToo movement for much of the world. Many victims were no longer scared to come forward and warn people about those who abused them.

As in many closed societies, sexual abuse often goes unreported in sects of Judaism. But perhaps things will change due to Chaim Walder?

Chaim Walder wrote dozens of popular kids books. They weren’t just story books, they were morality books and focused on kids’ deep emotional problems and challenges. He even wrote about kids being sexually abused, like the story on page 118 here. His writings made him a respected figure in Israel and people came to him for counseling. But apparently he took advantage of his position and dozens of victims, including women, boys, and girls, have testified to being sexually abused by him.

Walder took his own life 2 weeks ago at the age of 53 and the initial gut reaction within some parts of the Jewish community was unfortunate, with people screaming that discussing it is lashan hara. But that ignores the bigger picture and benefit of discussing it, which is absolutely allowed according to halacha. Allowing it to stay buried also perversely incentivizes someone to take their own life as a method of solving their problems and it wrongly uses the Torah to protect a sinner. Israel’s Yated Ne’eman, where Walder had a weekly column, wrote a glowing obituary that called him a Tzadik, or righteous person, while ignoring the allegations against him and that he took his own life.

But that turned into one of the straws that broke the camel’s back, there was an outcry against the Yated, and they owe a serious apology to their readership. Committing suicide isn’t a get out of jail free card and doesn’t mean that people can no longer discuss the horrors perpetrated or that we can’t listen to and believe the plethora of victims. And it certainly doesn’t merit the honorific of זצ”ל or righteous person. And while everyone deserves due process, when dozens of unrelated victims come forward, they too are also children of G-d and deserve to be heard. Do we err on believing the side of the accused or the accusers? There is clearly a difference when there is one accuser and dozens of accusers. But more than that, when Walder took his own life without apology, he removed any chance there was for closure and justice. If all of these allegations were false as he claimed, wouldn’t that be more reason to stay alive and fight them? Instead he ensured that his name will forever be linked with abuse.

Even more tragically, in the aftermath of Walder’s death, Shifra Horovitz took her own life in Jerusalem. Her family confirmed that she was one of Walder’s victims.

If you are a victim or are thinking of suicide, Amudim is an amazing resource to reach out to for help at 646-517-0222, as is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 and the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-4673. If there is one thing I could have said to friends in my life who committed suicide, it’s that you’re not alone and the pain you feel right now won’t last forever. It’s a permanent solution to a temporary problem and it’s never a good idea to take irreversible action when you’re at your lowest. Reach out to professionals who can help guide you through the tough times and to friends who can help listen and support you. You don’t need to suffer alone and you matter to your friends and family!

In this must-listen to speech by Rabbi Shimon Russell, he explains how to prepare your children, how to understand the damage done by abuse, and how not believing victims causes more damage than the original abuse. All parents should watch it.

Rabbi Simon Jacobson (if you don’t have time to watch the whole thing, the conclusion starting at 1:45:40 is a must watch) and Rabbi YY Jacobson also gave timely and helpful advice.

There has been a lively DansDeals Forums discussion on what to do and where to go from here on a range of topics.

One heated discussion was, what do we do with his popular books?

I think Rebbetzin Esti Hamilton hit the nail on the head with the question in this video and was the first to convince many to throw them away.

  • Her points were:
    • Given that so many have come forward, we can’t make excuses as if this didn’t happen. And worse yet, he committed suicide rather than face victims and courts.
    • Walder didn’t write books about math or science, he wrote about morality. He set himself up to be a moral compass for our children, but wasn’t able to keep his own moral compass.
    • His books speak to minds and souls, but you don’t know which stories are about one of his victims who went to him at the most vulnerable point in their life, and then he abused them.
    • The children in the stories who say I’m the Yael, I’m the Rivkah, I’m the Leah, that he went on to abuse, they’re not going to come forward, but we know that their stories are told in these books.
    • If you think your children are too young and won’t know what he did, eventually they will know. And then they’ll ask if you know that he was a sexual predator and when you say you did, they will ask why you read them his books. Perhaps you’ll answer that it’s a grey area, but you’re setting yourself up for failure because there is no grey area for abuse.
    • When we say we want to hear the stories of victims and they should feel safe to come forward. Having the books of a known abuser in your home, does not make victims of abuse feel safe.
    • Even though he decided to leave this world, leaving survivors with no closure and no way to confront their abuser, we can say to his victims and all abuse victims that we as a community don’t stand for this and we will eradicate the evil from within us and we take it out of our homes. We have to make sure children know there is no grey area and we can’t tolerate or forgive abuse or keep any remnant as part of our lives.

It’s hard to argue with logic like that. Rabbi Yakov Horowitz also discussed it further with Esti here. In the video at 19:12 she says how she spoke to the head of an Israeli child advocacy organization who knew 2 of Walder’s victims personally and who heard from 4 more victims after Walder’s suicide. One of the victims attempted suicide and her life was saved by the organization. At 35:00 is another important story of a child who was prepared by his parents on what to do in case of abuse and was able to escape the situation.

Rabbi Horowitz importantly notes that it’s important to be able to differentiate the action (the it) from the person (the who). As long as you link the two, the idea that a role model could stoop so low will continue to not be believed and covered up.

In my family, we used throwing away the books as a teachable moment, explaining to our 8 and 10 year old children why we were throwing away his books, what they need to be careful of, and that no matter how powerful, respected, or influential someone may be, they can still be evil. It’s better for them to have that conversation with us rather than to hear about it from their friends.


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The OU correctly points out that,While the Orthodox community has made meaningful – though clearly insufficient – progress in the realms of prevention of abuse and discovery of its victims, our community has made less progress regarding the perpetrators. Effort after effort is stymied by competing pressures. As Moshe Rabbeinu discovered in his first forays into communal life, while it may be easy to defend a Jew from an external aggressor, the opposite is true when Jews threaten each other. In those situations, voices will be raised that paint the aggressor as the victim, with biases and loyalties clouding what should be a clear sense of justice.”

Some things may take thousands of years to change, but perhaps this is the moment we needed for victims to stop being afraid to come forward and to start being believed.

COVID For All, Now What?

It has long been speculated that viruses generally tend to mutate over time in order to spread as much as possible. If a virus kills its host, it’s unable to spread any farther.

The COVID-19 Omicron variant has spread more rapidly than any other. It’s the dominant strain across the globe and is responsible for a record setting number of daily cases in the US and record high test positivity rates.

It appears to be much milder than previous COVID variants, though perhaps some of that is also due to more people having COVID antibodies.

The Omicron variant may have picked up genetic material and mutations from the common cold, which can occur from infecting someone who also had the cold.

If that’s the case, who knows what the next variant will look like, with many people having the flurona and some lucky people in Lakewood, NJ picking up the full trifecta of the flu, COVID, and strep:

But while the variant is milder overall, hospitalization rates are still climbing due to how prevalent it is. And the number of positive cases is likely many times greater than the reported numbers due to the lack of testing capacity and the lack of benefits of going to test.

Omicron clearly spreads among the vaccinated, recovered, and unvaccinated, though severe cases are still almost entirely among the unvaccinated.

Hospitalizations have not spiked as they have with other waves, though they are still elevated. But the decoupling of case rate to hospitalization rate is a good thing.


Unfortunately, there is still a dearth of research on those who have recovered without being vaccinated and how their outcomes compare with the vaccinated or the vaccinated and recovered.

Israeli Prime Minister Bennett is promoting a 4th vaccine shot by saying antibody levels jump five fold with the booster. But the public messaging about whether antibody levels help in the fight against COVID or not has been muddled at best, or more often only when convenient.


Personally, I got a flu shot this fall (well, the flu mist nasal spray as that has fewer side effects), but I didn’t get a COVID-19 booster. Instead I took a Roche antibody titer, which showed that between my February 2020 COVID-19 infection and my vaccines in March and April, I still had off the chart antibody levels.

I have older relatives who have antibody levels that dropped to nil, so it certainly makes sense for them to keep getting boosters, but I didn’t see the need to get myself a booster. In many countries those who have recovered from COVID and had one shot is considered fully vaccinated. If I need a booster for travel I wouldn’t hesitate to get one, but I’ll wait until I need to travel for that.

The annual flu shot may not be the most effective vaccine, but at least it’s tailored towards the expected strains of the season and is just once per year. I think at some point we’ll see tailored COVID shots, but we’re a ways off from that. Until then, the CDC will continue to shrink the waiting period between the same old vaccine as it becomes less effective against new variants. The problem is that we can’t boost our way out of the pandemic, as variants will keep coming from the 3rd world which still doesn’t have access to vaccines.

A popular theory is Omicron is the end game for COVID that will quickly get us to herd immunity.

That’s certainly the hope and the most ideal outcome, but given that variants have been able to bypass previous immunity it seems more likely that COVID will be endemic and something we just need to learn to deal with.

But more than people need to learn to deal with endemic COVID, countries will have to remain open even when a new variant is discovered. I’m not likely to plan a trip to a country that closes down at the drop of a hat, the uncertainty is just too costly.

Will Israel close down again next week because of “Deltacron?” Who can make plans when a country changes their mind at the drop of a hat and forces people to fly home on Shabbos when rules change while they’re in the air?

And even if you can enter Israel, there’s always the chance you’ll need to be the star in a hotel prison break before Shabbos even if you’re told you would be released the day before. Nothing like being a hotel hostage! Or an airport hostage for that matter.

Is there any wonder why Israelis are microwaving their money to destroy the COVID?


Somehow though we don’t seem to have learned those lessons. School systems are still being closed down, despite a plethora of data from around the globe showing how foolish that is.

Some paramedics are refusing to enter acute-care facilities, instead letting the patient die of a heart attack.

While mothers are putting their kids in the trunk when they think they have COVID.

We have lost the plot indeed.

Life expectancy fell in 2020, and indeed the scariest part of endemic COVID is for the elderly and immunocompromised. But that doesn’t mean it also needs to be that way. Even if we’re stuck with endemic COVID for the long-term, with better therapeutics and treatments, together with our bodies becoming used to an endemic COVID, life expectancy numbers will hopefully soon recover.

It seemed like the US has spent the past year putting all of our eggs into the vaccine basket, when we should have also ramped up government backed production of therapeutics and treatments. With critical shortages of everything from tests, to monoclonal antibodies treatment to therapeutics like Paxlovid that could be saving the lives of the thousands of Americans that are still dying of COVID daily. That’s a tragedy that could have been avoided.

Are Masks Here To Stay?

Aside from vaccines, there is perhaps nothing quite as contentious today as the mask.

Of course we were first told last year that we shouldn’t buy masks.



Then President Trump announced that the government now advised that we should wear cloth masks (but not N95s as those were needed for medical use), but that he wasn’t planning on wearing one.

Airlines then voluntarily added mask requirements, with some exempting young children. However when President Biden took office he mandated the masks that we already had to wear on public transportation, which effectively only made sure that toddlers now had to wear masks on planes.

In unsurprising news, the Wall Street Journal shows that cloth masks aren’t good enough for Omicron.

And Dr. Fauci says that we will always have to wear masks on planes:


At least, until there’s a new regime in Washington?

He’s also in favor of a vaccine requirement to fly domestically as an incentive to get more people vaccinated. No word on China style public shaming yet.

I’ll never understand why the government doesn’t try the carrot approach of making a handout that’s contingent on being vaccinated rather than the stick approach of not being able to keep your job or fly.

I was fine wearing masks as a stopgap measure until there was a vaccine. There was a glorious period of time when we hoped that the vaccine would act like the polio vaccine and eradicate COVID. And indeed, guidance for those who were fully vaccinated said that the mask was no longer needed. But once those hopes were dashed, I’m not sure what the endgame is any more.

I’ll wear masks when I’m asked to and can’t understand the insane resistance and shenanigans that people put up around masking, but once I was vaccinated I gave up voluntarily putting on a mask.

Maybe Omicron will usher in an era where we learn to go back to the old normal?

Are The Mega Card Bonuses Winding Down Again?

Last year saw Chase take things to the next level with an unprecedented 100,000 bonus points offer on their mid-tier Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card card.

Citi, which killed off their premium Prestige card, responded with an 80,000 point offer on their excellent Citi Premier® Card .

Capital One responded with a new premium card, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card X Rewards Credit Card offering 100,000 points along with a $200 Airbnb credit and a $300 annual travel credit.

Alas, it didn’t escalate from there. Chase pulled back to 60,000 points on Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Citi will soon pull the 80,000 point offer on the Premier card. Capital One will also pull back on their Venture X intro bonus as well. It was fun while it lasted!

Read more on the Citi Premier® Card and Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card X offers here. Will you signup for them before they’re gone?

PSA: Use Your Hotel Room’s Deadbolt.

A scary story from the Hilton operated Hotel Phillips in Kansas City. A hotel employee made himself a copy of a guests room key, entered her room, and attempted to rape her at 4:30am. He was caught by the hotel’s key records and cameras and was fired and taken into custody.

It’s a good reminder to always make sure that you use the deadbolt and don’t just rely on your room key, which can be easily broken into.

On Rabbi Yudi Dukes’ First Yahrtzeit, People Continue To Be Inspired

Yudi Dukes was perfectly healthy with no pre-existing conditions when he contracted COVID-19 in March 2020 and fell into a coma. He spent 10 months in the hospital battling its devastating effects before passing away in January 2021.

But even in his passing, his story has resonated and continues to inspire people to be better. May his neshama have an aliya and may his family find comfort.

A Thorough Reconstruction Of The Surfside Collapse

I previously wrote about the tragic building collapse in Surfside, FL.

The Miami Herald has put together a beautiful, haunting, and thorough reconstruction of the collapse. The article brings together facts, experts, video, images, and testimony for readers to experience everything that went wrong at Champlain Towers South.

May the friends and families of the 98 victims find comfort for their devastating loss.

Missing Your Kosher Meal? Sue In Brazil

In 2016 I wrote about how a Brazilian court ordered Lufthansa to pay $1,400 for a passenger for failing to load their kosher meal.

Apparently that was not a one-off situation.

A Brazilian court has now ordered American to pay $1,759 to 2 passengers who didn’t get kosher meals that they ordered due to the emotional suffering they endured.

That’s a whole lot of frozen gefilte fish!

Weiss kosher meal served frozen in SAS business class from Newark to Oslo, March 2016:



Airlines and caterers say that bad kosher meals are our own fault. If you want better qualify food, you need to contact the airline and let them know!

It worked with United, in response to feedback they restored kosher meals systemwide and they now exclusively serve fresh meals instead of frozen meals on flights from Newark.

Under Heavy Debt, American Gets A New CEO

The Wall Street Journal (archive link) covers the daunting task facing American’s new CEO Robert Isom, who is taking over for Doug Parker.

Mr. Parker used America West to take over USAirways and American, essentially turning all of them into airlines that cut corners in a race to the bottom. He spent more than 100% of American’s free cash flow on buying back stock instead of investing in the product, and consumers fled to Delta and United as American’s operational performance and product were horrendous. When the pandemic hit, American’s debt meant that they would have been the first to fail had the government not given the airlines a blank check to stay afloat.

I have top-tier status at American and United, but run into major issues on nearly all of my American flights versus rarely on my United flights. The choice is a no-brainer unless there is a significant price or schedule advantage for American.

Alas, Mr. Isom was created in the mold of Mr. Parker. I’m not expecting major changes, but hope to be pleasantly surprised.

New York Provides Grace Period For Rewards

NY Governor Kathy Hochul signed a grace period for credit card rewards into law that will go into effect on 12/10/22.

If a bank closes your credit card today, you may lose the rewards immediately. Under the new law, you would have 90 days after closure to use the points at their full value and banks must notify you of the closure within 45 days.

The law has a carve-out for “fraud or misuse” so banks can still claim there was misuse to take away your points, but this will help people who have a card closed due to inactivity or just looking like a credit risk to a bank.

In this post I wrote about how to avoid having your card closed.

Hopefully banks will apply this rule nationwide, which would be a nice win for consumer rights.

Cathay Pacific And Hong Kong Will Never Be The Same

China has used the pandemic as cover for permanently removing the freedoms they promised Hong Kong would enjoy for 50 years from when the UK handed it over in 1997.

We flew to Hong Kong in 2010 and it’s sad to think that the city we loved will never be the same.

Flag carrier Cathay Pacific is also in peril. Their troubles started during the protests that preceded China stripping away rights from the territory and worsened during the pandemic.

Hong Kong has been subject to China’s zero COVID policies that have shut down tourism there since February 2020. CEO Rupert Hogg was forced out as he was unwilling to punish pilots who were involved in the protests.

The world class airline, which has my favorite first class seat and bed and used to fly the most comfortable route in North America from JFK to Vancouver before the pandemic, is fighting to survive.

They have struggled with their pilots breaking quarantine when flying abroad, asking hotels to enforce keeping their pilots locked in their rooms, and struggling to keep expat pilots flying for the airline with Hong Kong’s onerous mandatory government hotel quarantine requirements. And the airline is sharply cutting its passenger and cargo capacity yet again.

Hong Kong media, now toeing the Chinese Communist Party’s line, blames Cathay Pacific for their employees quarantine failure. For now, comments are still free and many take issue with the media’s and the CCP’s zero COVID line, in favor of trying to save their flag carrier and the ability to travel.

Hong Kong will recover one day, but it and it’s flag carrier won’t look like it once did. I’d wager that Cathay will be bought out by a Chinese state run airline and will be a shell of its past self.

Free cities like Singapore and it’s excellent flag carrier will be the beneficiary of future business travel and connecting hub traffic.

Is Delta Regretting The 777 Retirement?

Delta retired their 777s during the pandemic and had been all set to operate a unique triangle route from Atlanta to Johannesburg to Cape Town to Atlanta to help with the range issues on some of Delta’s A350s that would have a hard time flying from Johannesburg to Atlanta nonstop.

South Africa rejected that arrangement, so Delta announced that it would fly the A350 nonstop between Atlanta and Johannesburg.

It hasn’t exactly worked out as planned. Flights have been forced to refuel along the way, making a long journey even longer. The A350 simply isn’t designed to carry a full payload from Johannesburg to Atlanta.

Meanwhile, United is now flying nonstop from Newark to both Cape Town and Johannesburg. Thanks to South African Airways’ woes, the market has been practically gift wrapped for United.

If You’re Going To Steal Someone’s Identity, Don’t Work For An Airline

In 1998, Brazilian national Ricardo Guedes stole the identity of William Ladd, an American child who died in a car crash in the 70s.

He worked as a United flight attendant for 23 years and was finally caught after fingerprints from Brazil were matched up with fingerprints taken by United.

Clearly he didn’t represent a major threat after 23 years of working for United, but if you’re going to pull a scheme like that, maybe don’t work in an industry that requires fingerprinting and security clearance?

The Curious Case Of The Lebanese Arab Pretending To Be An Orthodox Jew

The story of how Eliyah Hawila, a Lebanese Arab, was able to convince everyone that he was a religious Jew is a strange one. The number of pieces that had to fall in place for him to be able to marry a Syrian Jewish woman is nothing less than astounding.

But the idea that this is a major problem seems unlikely. An awful lot of warning signs were ignored and the mesadar kedushin’s failure to investigate is one that surely won’t happen again anytime soon…right?

How The Taliban Won Back Afghanistan

The Wall Street Journal (archive link) has the fascinating and devastating backstory of how the US handed Afghanistan back to the ruthless Taliban.

Interestingly, the Taliban didn’t want to capture Kabul so soon, but the US refused to administer the city during a handover when the Afghani government collapsed and the US paid the price as 13 soldiers were killed in the ensuing attacks at the Kabul airport.

Another worthwhile read is this 2009 NYTimes account of a kidnapped American journalist (part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6. Or via the archive part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6.)

Violence at the Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun

I’ve traveled across 7 continents, but I’m not sure if I’ve ever felt less at ease than I did in Mexico, though many others have good experiences there.

At any rate, violence continues to erupt in Cancun and the Riviera Maya and in November, 2 people were shot dead at the Hyatt Ziva Riviera Maya’s beach.

Apparently the problems began when guests at the Hyatt asked hotel staff where they could buy cocaine. The hotel staff called several drug dealers, setting off a turf battle that ended up with guests running for their lives away from the beach and into the lobby and hiding spots.

The hotel says that they are not to blame.

That’s all fine and well, but it’s just another reason I’m not running back to Mexico.

Think Twice Before You Fake COVID Test Results

As soon as countries began requiring negative COVID results, people were forging their own results. Israel quickly learned not to trust test results that couldn’t be digitally verified, which is why the only results they accept from abroad is from the EU.

820 people have been caught presenting fake tests in Brussels and some have now been sentenced to as much as a year in prison. Ouch.

Think Twice Before You Extend Your Hertz Rental

More than 165 people are suing Hertz after they were accused of, or jailed for, driving a car reported as stolen.

It seems that a common denominator is that they extended their original rental contract. Seemingly the process is broken somewhere long the way as Hertz is reporting those cars as stolen, despite people having documentation that their rental was extended and that they were paying for the rental.

Several customers were jailed for over a month, despite contacting Hertz to extend their rental!

If you do need an extension, just return the car and rent it again.

Think Twice Before You Buy A Smartwatch?

Bloomberg (archive link) writes about the Nocebo (“I shall harm”) effect as opposed the Placebo (“I shall please”) effect.

The article suggests research is showing that smartwatches, like social media in general, are making people feel bad about themselves when they don’t meet arbitrary goals or are told that they’re too stressed, tired, or unproductive.

It seems like the more big tech tries to make our lives better, the worse off we feel about ourselves. As a religious Jew that lesson has long been obvious, is there a better 25 hours than the ones spent offline every Shabbos?

Bring Dead Lithium-Ion Batteries Back To Life?

The Achilles heal of lithium-ion batteries is that they have a limited lifespan before they become worthless and there’s a finite amount of lithium and cobalt that exists.

Researchers at Stanford University say that they were able to not only bring spent lithium-ion batteries back to life, but to even give them 30% more life than they had when they were new.

It’s a potential game changer for future electronics, cars, and even planes.

Goodbye To The Blackberry

Blackberry shut down service on their classic phones, making the end of an era that spanned over 2 decades.

Personally I was a Palm OS guy until switching to Android in 2011, but it’s crazy to think how crackberries have now come and gone. It’s also amazing that no modern phones have figured out how to properly implement a full keyboard.

What ubiquitous technology that is used today will be forgotten in a decade from now?

You Can Now Redeem 2,000 Miles To Bring Your Own Food Into A Lounge!

Lounge dragons often police people bringing outside food into a lounge, meaning that it can be a challenge to eat kosher food in many lounges. It can be done stealthily on your own, but is nearly impossible with kids.

Sometimes you can explain that there is no kosher food available, but not all lounge dragons will accept that.

But now Ethiopian is offering a simple mileage redemption, just redeem 2,000 miles and you can eat outside food in the lounge! It’s a bargain at twice the price (which is what will happen if they catch you doing it on another occasion)!

Iceland Mocks The Metaverse

Mark Zuckerberg predicted that the future of mobile internet is the “metaverse” and changed his company’s name to Meta.

It’s hard not to love Iceland’s parody of that prediction:

Dual Takeoffs From Heathrow

When the US reopened to Europeans on November 8th, rivals BA and Virgin pulled off a cool feat.

BA flight 1 and Virgin Atlantic flight 3, both operated by A350-1000s, went airborne at the exact same time from Heathrow’s parallel runways, which is almost never done simultaneously.





Are You Ready For Another Round Of Inflation?

The Wall Street Journal (archive link) writes that food prices will be climbing by another 5% or more in the first half of this year after increases in 2021.

So much for transitory inflation.

The Wheel Of Fortune Taketh, But Audi Giveth

Is there a more unfair way to lose on the Wheel?


But in a smart marketing move for a feel good moment, Audi seized the moment:


16 Seconds Of Hypocrisy From Ben And Jerry


You can watch the full interview here.

States such as Arizona, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, and New York are divesting their Unilever holdings due to the Ben & Jerry’s decision to stop selling in Judea and Samaria.

Meanwhile Palestinian human-rights activist Bassem Eid has filed a complaint against the ice cream maker over the boycott as well.

Good Old Tetris

Don’t click on this link unless you have 20 minutes to kill for some good old fashioned nostalgia.

Previous roundups

Catch up on what you missed!

Leave a Reply

135 Comments On "1/9/22 News Roundup: We Can Do Better; The Chaim Walder Moment, COVID For All, $1,759 Kosher Airline Meal, Surfside Collapse Reconstruction, Taliban, Cancun Resort Gunfire, Hertz Arrests, Free Audi Q3, And More"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.


JET BLUE Heros – how likely 1/31 exp will be extended? would issue now and call for date change later work?


Nice to see the new recap back, thanks Dan!


“”An awful lot of warning signs were ignored and the mesadar kedushin’s failure to investigate is one that surely won’t happen again anytime soon…right?””

Mesader Kedushins failure?? C’mon Dan… Don’t put the blame solely on him. The Chabad rabbi in Houston should have alao sounded the alarm earlier on. No shock that right after this story Chabad sent out that letter…


Great post and a lot to read. One thing that I noticed was United Kosher Meals. I just flew from ewr-lax in Polaris and got a frozen meal – the eggs were barely warmed, the chummus was completely frozen as well as the apple Juice. Was this just my experience or something common?

Liam K. Nuj

Is it okay to wait until Erev Pesach and burn the CW books with the chometz?

Eric from Dallas

Don’t turn it into a ceremony, just get rid of them. Jews are not book-burners – we have traumatic national memories of such things.


Maybe i’ll wait on contacting them. The wait was over 2 hours last week (I’m not GS yet lol)


Re: Yudi Dukes,
There is a beautiful event taking place tomorrow night for his yahrtzeit, with a fundraiser to build a platform for his organization, Jnet, as a legacy.

Mendel n

Hi Dan

I had 4.5k in amazon credit from the synchrony bank amazon card and one day they decide to shut down my account because uf “high risk” and they took away all my points= credit.

Do you think I can sue them or any good way to get them?

I never had 1 late payment in my life!!!


Masks on planes until either Fauci is dead or a Republican in office. Whichever comes first. How do we as country continue to entertain this guy?!


When was Fauci elected and when does his term end? I don’t recall seeing his name on the ballot.
Who agreed to pay the bum such a high pension? Was there a proposal or referendum? Did Congress vote on it? Who decides his salary? Are WE taxpayers that dumb and stupid? Yes we are. Just follow orders. Same with masks. Just follow orders. Vaccines? Just follow orders. Hmmm, where have I heard that expression before? I can’t put my finger on it.

Thank You

Thank you for providing very clear concise analysis of major news stories of interest to your readers . I always look forward to your news roundup . I don’t know anyone else who does a better job of this . Please keep it coming .


Can someone direct me to the latest on 3BM. Such as if it still works with specific banks like Citi?



The story of chaim walder is gut-wrenching. About throwing out his books let’s also throw out Charlie in the chocolate factory whose author is anti Semite etc. etc.
וביערת הרע מקירבך


No comparison, sorry.


To continue besmirching someone who is not alive is simply cruel.
I’m not saying he is a Tzadik, but he has a nice family & there’s no reason why they have to suffer more then they already did for his sins.
There is no reason why people should continue to badmouth a dead person.
Closure will be in heaven & voice to the victims should be by a therapist.

@Dan, how would you feel if this post causes his wife or one of his children to do the same.


Enjoy the post – slowly coming to terms about cw I just think the bombardment is a death sentence that was inevitable and wish there would be other ways we can clean house..
When you allow the lies of masks whether it was allowing people to believe it was a matter of killing people (when masks in truth most likely slow down a spread very minimally)or that antibodies is not a reason to be mask free – a lie just so others should mask up – and then wonder why this insanity spiraled to where it is? you gave validity to crazies and they now got themselves a pass to endless madness


Thank you. I’ve been saying the same for quite some time.


Yasher Koach R’ Dan!

I really enjoy reading these posts of yours (and many others too). I have heard so many conflicting Daas Torahs about the CW issue, but somehow, you mange to just make things seem so clear and simple. Keep up all your good work.

And we should never have to ‘deal’ with this type of issue in the future.


We had booked with a travel agent for the Hyatt Ziva in Cancun the day before the shooting. Canceled the trip, going to Jamaica instead.


You weren’t kidding about the tetris click warning 🙂


Yup. I can’t believe how I just played that for 20 minutes


There are times where extending a rental with Hertz saves you lots and lots of money. I have extended rentals for months at a time because I got such a cheap rate. I guess Im lucky I didnt end up in prison…


You can only extent for up to 30 days, any longer needs a new contract. Unless you take a multi month which you don’t need to extend for 11 months and then you must start a new contract as well.


It is true that teaching children about safety is important. Learning about shmiras haloshan is important as well. Teach your children about safety using any of the many great program, books etc. geared to that end. Use this opportunity to teach yourself and those around you, especially children about guarding your tongue. Halacha is clear: You may not believe anything your heard or read or saw about Chaim Walder. To help you understand: Who is the one “blowing” these stories? Is he to believed as 2 witnesses testifying is beis din? Do what you must to protect yourself but you may NOT believe or repeat any negative information or act in a way that can harm a person.


You are absolutely right when you say “Halacha is clear”! Chaim Walder was an abuser towards children and adults. He is likely in Gehonim right now, and his actions are something which we learn about in the Torah that cause a person to lose their Olam Haba. We learn from the 10 commandments not to commit adultery, so CW is a “great” lesson to learn what a Rasha is. Curse Haman and curse Chaim Walder this coming Purim.


Haman takes offence at this comment.


So actually halachically according to all shitos there are times when beis din is 100% moot and pointless. This is one of those times. U don’t need a beis din to pronounce him guilty. Ask a posek . Educate yourself

Cancel culture analyst

It doesn’t fit the narrative.


I did not see in any article that he abused kids can you please link a post where it specifically mentions kids. From what I saw is only adults.


Maybe your reading the Yated


23,846 on Tetris. Thanks for that hah


Great summary.
Another morning where I’ll be too busy to work..


Firstly, always looks forward to these posts. It’s been a while.

While I 100% agree with throwing out Walders books, what is the limit or benchmark?

Why are so many throwing out the books but still ok with listening to the music of Shlomo Calebach?


Carlebach did do some kind of public teshuva.


Correct, plus Carlebach didn’t selfishly commit suicide


Why selfish?

He was practically killed.
You would do the same if the Media gets on your back(it doesn’t have to be true for the media to get on someone’s back).

Maier Solomon

Just like to mention that the Delta lounge in JFK T4 has kosher meals. Just have to ask for itat the entrance to the kitchen.


Maybe it’s about time people start learning שמירת הלשון as you can see where loshon hara can go as far as make someone do suicide (this is an extreme example cw.. And I’m not getting involved in whether the story is true or not, just you can see effects of how bad לשון הרע can be)


When it comes to these inyanim it’s a mitzva to publicize the bad that these ppl do. Educate yourself


This is exactly how CW attempted to protect himself and his despicable actions:
Let me abuse you, but don’t dare reporting me or you will be responsible for my suicide!

These לה”ר claims are great encouragement for next abusers (ח”ו היל”ת)


“If there is one thing I could have said to friends in my life who committed suicide, it’s that you’re not alone and the pain you feel right now won’t last forever. It’s a permanent solution to a temporary problem and it’s never a good idea to take irreversible action when you’re at your lowest.”

Such deep, powerful words.

I very much enjoy reading your round up posts, just like everyone else, but I just found this paragraph above and beyond, truly truly moving.

We should never know from such things and may wr merit living with empathy and being noseh b’ol chaveiro.


Just flew nonstop ORD-OGG and received no kosher meals. Any recompense?
Other passenger breakfast was rolls, yogurt and cut fruit. Guess still not doing regular hot meals.


Dan, you should link to the “let’s stay safe” book from Amazon.


Just wondering. Why I haven’t heard any mainstream Rabbonim take your position on CW.
I am not arguing with anything you said, as I do not have an opinion on this. Why only quote inspirational speakers and therapists?


I’ve heard plenty of Rabbonim speak out, including those involved with Chinuch and Roshei yeshiva.


Thanks Dan. Your post on CW should be required reading and discussion in every yeshiva and shul. Perhaps an advertiser boycott of Yated is in order. Lets hope others echo The Jerusalem Post’s call for R. Lau to step down. Enabling abusers and using communal pressure to silence their victims is far more destructive to Klal Yisroel than Iran, Hezbollah, Isis, Hamas, BDS, and White Power combined. When will the Rabbonim own up to it and act?


I think you have to be very careful with what you post when you have a public website and Im not sure what made you decide its ok to post about Chaim Walder. Obviously victims need to be helped and supported but we Americans are not helping by endlessly talking and bashing a dead person who lived thousands of miles away and didnt possibly harm us personally (see hilchos lashon hora and don lekaf zechus-how could you just decide yourself what the halacha is in the name of some dubious greater good? and its shocking that you quote anti-religious newspapers as proof). I dont know why we tend to sit on the “blame our society” track. Lets face it, abuse happens in every community and being more open about it will not solve it. the secular community has been open about it for years yet creeps continue to do their thing and victims continue to cover it up in fear. I think we should be focusing on PREVENTION. Put video cameras up in classrooms etc, dont allow for private contact with students/clients without a window etc, and for crying out loud, DONT SEND YOUR TEENAGE DAUGHTER TO A MALE THERAPIST


Sara, I did look up the halachos of lashon hora. It’s totally appropriate to discuss. Which Yated edition did you read this week?


Men abuse boys and women abuse girls. It’s not that simple.


Thanks for bringing back the recap.
Regarding the deadbolt, it’s scary, however I’ve been many in some hotels in different countries that didn’t have them at all
Any recourse?


Umm Dan? Maybe try to stick to your area of expertise, which is probably NOT Chaim Walder or the role of a Mesader kiddushin


C\’mon,wawww do you feel bad for Chaim Walder? Does it hurt your feelings to tell you that your hero is burning in Gehonim for the aveiros he performed throughout his life, including suicide?


די טעטריס איז גארנישט ווערד אן די היימישע, חסידי’שע ניגון וואס אונז פלעג’מיר זיך אנווארעמען דערמיט אין די אנפאנג פון יעדע געים…


I know that this is a super-charged heated debate to discuss CW, and I leave it to Hashem to judge him. We don’t know his nisyonos and health (my knowledge from these cases tells me with almost 100% certancy, that he was abused himself) and if people were hurt, than there are no excuses.
However, the therapy view on how to deal with the victims, is a discussion that is usually accepted, but I chose to challenge. Chaim Walder was their champion! He wrote books and gave validity to many victims. He brought out the suffering that the victims deal with. And the theraputic thinking is to validate and allow the victims to heal by telling them that they are victims.
This may be the accepted process that is tried and working for some (MAY be). I have much experience with people who are signed up to therapy for life. The tharapists are pacifiers making them feel good in their stoop. In general, the therapists stay away from encouraging to move on, because they are not ready…
Yiddishkeit tells us ולאחיו יאמר חזק. Someone who has fallen, needs encouragement to continue and grow. That is the only was to overcome any hardship. Learning about אמונה ובטחון is not mussaring someone, but actualy helping them think positive about their situation, and positivity helps to emerge from the hardship. Of course to invalidate is very harmful, but that does not mean you cannot give encouragement. I know many therapy patients who said that their therapists would never tell them to improve themselves (even regarding social behavior, which would help them tremendously). Instead they make them feel good with being a victim and staying in their state.
Yes, victims need validity and need to be made to feel good as part of the “process”. But with Yidden who have a נשמה and have deeper meaning to feeling good, the healing process does not need to include the feeling of “you are a victim, and that gives you a pass to do whatever”. A positive feeling from doing what our נשמה is happy with, produces much better results. A little חיזוק goes a lot farther than pacifying words…


What do you mean “if people were hurt, then there are no excuses”. What’s with the word “if”? I’m also confused by your language of having almost 100% certainty that CW was abused himself. What percentage do you believed that CW abused others? If it’s also not almost 100% certainty, then you are either misguided or biased.


Thank you for this excellent news roundup! I for one am very impressed with how you manage to present multiple sides of different stories. I also really appreciate how well you write, I hate reading articles that are poorly written, and I find yours engrossing and really well done! Keep up the great work!


crackberries? Is that a typo?


No lol… guess you are too young to remember… people who were addicted to their Blackberries were called “crackberries”.
Of course now it’s so normal and common to be attached to a smartphone there’s no word for it even, it’s just “life”.


Hertz put me on their Do Not Rent list for life and lost all my President’s Circle points. The local branch didn’t put through my extension request. Rental has been paid in full. Sent several emails and they don’t want to budge.


im suprised in the cw case , you shtell tzu a story that happened to you, when you were in yeshiva in la , like by September 11th, etc you always seem to know how to bring yourself into the picture.


“you always seem to know how to bring yourself into the picture.”

Crazy, next you are going to tell me he named this site after himself!


What happened with you when you were in Yeshiva in (L.A.?) IF THATS WHAT HE MEANT ABOVE…
I reread the article and couldn’t find it…


If you feel confident enough to express publicly your opinion with the spirit of your Semikhah and LOR
I remember A few years ago you posted a story about a frum man sitting on a plane between two women.
What was understood from that hashkafa article of yours then was, that there are some normal people in the frum community which don’t put up a fuss about those things etc.
I am wondering if that is with a semikah hashkafa or your LOR views, or it simply stems from the western world influence
Because what I heard from a Mizrachi rav on Headlines Halacha a few years ago, that under no circumstances may a man sit on a plane in such manner if there is a safek of a hirhur


So sorry I dint want to mischaracterize
Can you send a link of it please?


I think (I may be wrong) that the main reason why this is not Loshon Hara is because it is public knowledge, in the news, and everyone knows about it (אפי תלת). As apposed to To’eles which needs 7 conditions, which (the way I understand it) needs to be evaluated each time one speaks about it.


Good stuff, Dan. Enjoyable read!


Yes a lot of things are controversial, but you know what I’m here for? It’s to enjoy a nice roundup!
Keep it up Dan!


Question about the two jets taking off at once. Is this a big deal? Last week as I took off from Charlotte I watched a plane take off a few seconds after us on the runway parallel to us. We pretty neat to watch it climb with us till we banked away…


Why people still saying this stuff?
Is it out of ignorance or is it malicious?

Listen to Rabbi Moshe Meiselman if you truly want a halachic perspective:


In short, the Rambam says that someone suspected of arayos *should* be humiliated.

He who has mercy where he should be cruel will be cruel where he should be merciful