Eretz Israel for my FIRST TIME!!! ever..!

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    Please advise, a frum chassidishe lady what I got to know. I am super excited.


    a) travelling by EGGED and foot in Jerusalem, Beit Shemesh and Meah Shearim

    b) places to avoid

    c) Places MUST SEE

    Like say I am in the market place and want to buy fruit. How do I know if it is from Shmitta observant farmers? What other mitzvos are important to be aware or careful of? How will I find a very good friends grave in Har Zeisim?

    Where can I swim on a kosher beach? How can I get to the Sea that is healing ?


    If you want to avoid Smittah products only eat from Badatz Hashghaca

    There is a kosher beach someone near Ashkelon, sorry not sure where.

    Id Avoid Tel Aviv and Haifa, Do NOT discuss politics there,


    Also if you go into a place that is not Charedi ONLY Speak English, I am sure you realize there are issues going on and if you speak English with an american Accent, you will be treated like a tourist and not like a local and be treated better.


    Eretz Yisrael or Israel?


    b) places to avoid All Arab neighborhoods & enclaves.

    c) Places MUST SEE Kossel & Tzefas

    I. M. Shluffin

    Take me with you and I can be your tour guide.



    Please remember to get outside of Yerushalyim to see the country – there is holiness everywhere, not just in the city.


    b) places to avoid All Arab neighborhoods & enclaves.

    c) Places MUST SEE Kossel & Tzefas

    The Old City of Jerusalem IS an Arab enclave, Just act like a tourist and speak english and you will be fine.

    Also Kever Rochel and Maarat Hamachpelah are in Arab Conclaves

    You should decide if you want to see some of the sights or only visit Kevorim or some combination


    How exciting to go be going for your first visit

    Regarding kashrut, best to speak to your rabbi what hechsherim he considers acceptable in Israel. Can get a bit tricky especially when travelling around the country.

    Generally, the most accepted ones are eida chareidit, rav rubin and belz, but best to get a list and what symbols to look out for.

    Definately must visit the kotel, the jewish quarter in the old city and generally just walk around and take in the holiness of Yerushalayim. The shuk at machaneh yehuda is also great but just need to know whats acceptable. If you get a chance also go up North to Tzfat, Tiveria etc. Beautiful up there and a lot of history.

    As for beaches, there is a seperate one in Ashkelon, Tel aviv (specific days only) and at the dead sea.

    Hope that helps


    Just a clarification

    Eidah Charedis is Badatz

    Avi K

    Jono, FYI the Rabbanut hechsher is accepted by the Religious Zionist public. In fact, I heard about someone who will not eat yivul nochri produce because it has the blood of terror victims in it.


    Fair enough.

    But i have seen a few things called badatz which are anything but a beis din tzeddeck 🙂


    Not sure when you are going, but if you going for Succos or any other Yom Tov dont forget they only keep 1 day and most people hold you need to keep 2 days (Except maybe if you are Satmar as I think the Satmar Rebbe held even tourists keep 1 day in Israel)


    Avi K: Just someone? I use primarily Otzer Bais Din. There is also outside of the Shmittah Gevul and from Chutz La’Aretz. I would never use Badatz because it is Gevul Nochri, a euphemism for Arab produce. Badatz successfully lobbied to allow the poison from Gaza to enter Israel.

    Are we to support the terrorists who try to kill us? Even Heter Mechirah is better than that.

    By the way, there is also other Halachic problems using Arab garbage. There are Arabs are halachically Jews, so there is a problem with using their produce because you don’t know who is whom and neither do most of them. Also, some unscrupulous Israeli farmers sell produce to Arabs who then sell it back to the Israeli market.


    always runs with scissors fast: First, enjoy yourself. When going to the Kotel, before I bought a car, I would take a taxi to the Kotel. It’s not expensive and you can avoid Arab areas, which Egged goes through.


    they only keep 1 day Different Rabbonim over the years have told me to keep 1&1/2 days.


    I would make an effort to get to the big Birkas Kohanim at the kosel. It will be taking place this year on Thursday, October 1st. Shacharis begins at 8:15 a.m. and Birkas Kohanim will be at about 9:00 a.m. and then again in musaf at about 10:00 a.m.


    Wow really fantastic for you. If you are able to, go with one of the well known tour operators. It is well worth it.

    Make sure you go to Kever Rochel, Meron Tzefas and Teveria. You might want to go to the hot springs in Teveria. The Dead Sea is the healing sea – might want to go to a hotel for a night or two….

    Enjoy walking the streets and drink in the spirit!

    May we be zoiche to geuolo shlaimo bkorov.


    a MUST is the blind museum in the children’s museum in Holon. it is worth traveling from far. there also is an option for the deaf museum, but if its one of the two- the blind one, is an eye-opening experience (no pun intended)


    I went to Israel for the first time more than 20 years ago. I suggest you go on organized tours by Hoffman or others. They charge a fortune for an English tour but it was well worth it and they have many tours that take you to most of the places you would want to see. You can go to kever rochel on your own if you want, with a local bus, but I wouldn’t go to Chevron unless on a tour with an armored bus. I think you could live without Tel Aviv, but do get to Sefas and Tiveria. If you do go to the Tel Aviv,, go to the Diaspora Museum, and don’t forget the Holocaust Museum in Y. By all means, just stroll around Geulah and Meah Shearim for a wonderful feel for the city. My favorite activity was going to the kosel, including the cave tours. Yes, there is kedusah all over Israel, but for me nothing compared with Yerushalayim. Have a wonderful experience.


    Definitely spend a lot of time strolling through Chareidi neighborhoods. Malchai Yisrael on almost any day can make 13th Ave. look calm. Take the tunnel tour at the Kotel. You can safely take the #1 and #3 Egged buses to the Jewish gate of the Kotel that goes directly to the Kotel Plaza.

    There are some great tours to Tzfas and Tiberas, we did Atzeret which is a frum tour. Visited lots of kevorim, although they do rush you a bit which makes a nice slow davening a bit challenging.

    Stay out of East Jerusalem and the Arab quarter of the Old City. If you rent a car, don’t trust the GPS, since it doesn’t know political realities. Instead, have someone reliable map a safe route for you.

    Most of all, enjoy the Holy Land. I didn’t get there the first time until well into adulthood and virtually kicked myself for not going sooner. It is a wonderful place, davening at the Kotel is so inspiring! And it’s also such a funny place, there’s always some sort of shtick going on, whether it’s the Nach nachs dancing on top of a van near the central bus station, crazy taxi drivers, or people who sit down at your table at a falafel place and start telling you a vaad. BTW, the falafel in Israel is phenominal, nothing like what we’re used to here. In fact, all the food is really good albeit the kashrus is confusing.


    Where can I swim on a kosher beach?

    In Haifa (on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays for women).

    Id [sic] Avoid [sic] Tel Aviv and Haifa,


    Do NOT discuss politics there,

    Was that a separate thought or part of the previous? Again, why?


    Rundown on Yerushalayim public transportation:

    There are bus cards called Rav Kavs- they are green and purple and will get you on any public bus in the country (while you may need to pay extra for different locations or distances on intercity buses, they can be loaded onto this Rav Kav). They can be purchased on buses or at the Tachana Merkazit. You can load money on them either on the bus or at machines at light rail stations. (I don’t remember ticket prices but it’s cheaper than NYC and you have free transfers for 1.5 hours.)

    There are many local buses in the Geula/Meah Shearim area, as well as a bus station that has buses to probably 95% of the cities in Yerushalayim you’d probably be interested in visiting. There are two area buses, the 1 and the 3, which will take you directly to the kosel, but like people said they do go through an Arab neighborhood for a few minutes. 99.9999% of the time there is no problem, but I definitely understand preferring not to take them (especially as I was among the .00001% of people who did once have a problem…). It is also a quick walk from Meah Shearim to the kosel, but you will probably want really good directions or someone to show you around.

    You’re also a quick walk from Meah Shearim to the center of town, including Machane Yehuda. Many stands have great hashgachas, including Eida Chareidis.

    If you’re there for Sukkos, I also recommend going for Birkas Kohanim if only so you can just see the huge numbers of klal Yisrael all in the same place.

    There are kosher beaches in Ashdod, Netanya and I’m sure other places as well.

    There are several buses to Beit Shemesh, including the 415, 417, 418 and 420. They all go to roughly the same places but have different routes, so check with your hosts for the bus you should take. You will have to buy a ticket on the bus (though you can buy a return ticket to be put on your Rav Kav). If you want to go to Ramat Beit Shemesh, take the 417 specifically.

    A good bus tour can be a great way to get a lot of sights in that you otherwise would have to get to yourself. Basically, sightseeing in Israel is either cheap or convenient. I’ve done both routes- the pay-for-a-bus-and-get-ferried-from-kever-to-kever route and the so-the-bus-to-the-nearest-town-comes-in-an-hour route- and for a tourist, a bus is definitely worth springing for. You can get basically anywhere by public bus (including Yam Hamelach like you mentioned) if you really want to, but you should probably look into more practical methods.

    When in the Old City, don’t freak out but also stick to main areas unless you know where you’re going. While people there are really nice and mostly speak English, if you’re not familiar a lot of the streets look the same and can be really confusing.

    Have an incredible time!


    Correction to my earlier post:

    Birkas Cohanim at the kosel in on Wednesday of chol hamoed. I am informed that it is always the first day of “Chutznik Chol Hamoed”.


    If you have (or plan to rent) a smartphone with the proper bands for Israel, be sure to download Moovit and Google Maps. Moovit will be a great help with the buses, and Google Maps will help you figure out walking and bus routes.


    So, what did you do, how was it?


    there are a lot of mountains for great running experiences.


    who goes to Israel to Run? Eretz kodesh? I can run in north america.


    true but that doesn’t mean you have to stop just because you’re in Eretz kodesh.

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