Monday, September 29

Trouble for London

Tube strike 08/07/2015
Bus drivers should be considerate of the Tube passengers, who are forced to endyre the slow pace of the bus network during a Tube strike.
Last week, one driver bumped off all passengers as the lower floor was packed with passengers whilst the upper floor was half-empty.
A simple gesture like informing passengers crammed below that there is a comfortable seat waiting for them upstairs, would have solved the problem.
Instead, about seventy passengers stood on the pavement waiting for the next bus to pick them up, only to discover that it's already full.

Siyum on Seder Mo'ed

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: menasche scharf <>
Date: 18 September 2014 09:57
Subject: Siyum on Seder Mo'ed
To: JT <>

For immediate release:
London,  17/09/2014
By Menasche Scharf
Siyum on Seder Mo'ed
Daf Yomi participants are eagerly looking forward to completing Seder Mo'ed, which is nearly a third of the Daf Yomi cycle.
To commemorate this milestone, a grandiose celebration is being planned for the many participants in the Greater London area.
The dedicated team of Askonim at Agudas Israel of Great Britain is working tirelessly to ensure the success of this event and with the lineup of speakers it looks like they are well placed to raise Kevod HaTorah in general and a renewed appreciation of this august study programme in particular. 
Menasche Scharf

Thursday, September 11

Trouble for London

11/09/2014 9:16 Finsbury Park shows a delayed 9:14 train due to arrive.  I don't rush as whatever the case I will be late. When I reach the platform I skip all the steps up to catch the train that I hear pulling into the station. I ignore the ticketing barriers and opt for the open gate, risking the raised eyebrows from staff and travellers alike. I find a seat in the full train at the far end of the carriage, puffing and panting from the short sprint up the flight of stairs. The lady sitting diagonally opposite me eyes me with obvious concern and from the corner of my eye I am already visualising her grabbing her mobile phone to be on the ready if there is a need for an ambulance. . .
Finally I can breathe normally and I start noticing that the train hasn't departed the station yet. There is an announcement over the PA system to the effect that the delay was caused as they are looking for a driver bla bla...
The saving of five minutes that I was hoping to get by taking the Welwyn Garden City train to New Southgate has just been shaved...

Tuesday, September 9


As told by my friend:

I have been travelling to and from work in the West End of London for the past fifty years.  Most of my trips are by tube and on this occasion - at the time this story took place - was no different. 

I am a regular traveller and on that day, halfway through my return trip from work, the train stopped in Euston Underground station.  The usual two minute stop turned into four minutes and before long, an announcement was heard over the public system to the effect that due to a fault on the rails, this train will be staying put for at least an hour - if not longer.

It was a Friday afternoon, around Purim time, when the days are not too short but also not too long either, and I therefore decided to travel home by bus, so to arrive home with plenty time for my Shabbos preparations.

As I was traversing the main concourse in Euston British Rail Station, my eyes caught a small group of perhaps three Bochurim who were gesticulating to the cashier at the ticket office.  When I stopped to ascertain if they are in trouble, they noticed me and - visibly elated - approached me.  What they were telling me made me cringe and smile at the same time, for they had been trying to convince the clerk to accept Charity Vouchers in lieu of payment for their fare to Manchester.

They insisted that they have no money on them except these vouchers and begged me to exchange them for "real" money.  I complied with their request and one of the boys - they must have been aged between 15 to 16 years old - went over to the ticket office to finalise their purchase.

It was already afternoon and I tried to explain to them that they better hurry up as in order to reach their destination they would need to depart pretty soon. They agreed and started walking towards the platforms, when I stopped them in their tracks and asked them to explain to me how on earth did they expect to arrive in Manchester without money and at such a late hour?!  They answered "HaKadoh Baruch Hu Ozer"....

Now, it is the first time that a train should be held up for such a long time - at least as far as I can remember - and on a Friday afternoon to boot.  Had I chosen to take a different exit then I would never have come across this motley group of adventurers...  It looks like they were experiencing a Hashgocho Protis event in which I was chosen to be their troubleshooter!