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The secrets of frum hospitality

Me at the HotelBy Chaya Miriam Fried

I don’t know if you ever got a chance to stay at a Marriott Hotel, but they have their signature (l’havdil) Book of Mormon and copy of the Gideon Bible in every room (at least I think they still do), and I got to wondering, what would a frum hotel chain look like? Maybe a Chitas or Mesillas Yesharim in every nightstand? They could include setting you up for negel vasser with turndown service at night; they could even offer wake-up calls at shkiah, no electronic door locks, etc.

There’s something about frum hospitality that’s different from staying with non-Jews. When I was a kid, you couldn’t just suggest a slumber party to someone; that was considered rude. Once I reached adulthood, if you asked to crash at someone’s place, you’d better be either drunk with no ride home or prepared to deal with the sideways glances the roommates would give each other, using their eyes to remind each other for what reasons it’s not a good idea. That’s the beautiful thing about frum Jews, you can get away with showing up with nearly no notice, practically calling them from their own doorstep to see if you can crash for shabbos.

I accidentally fell asleep on one family’s couch while everyone farbrenged after shabbos dinner once, and I awoke in the morning to their son (age 11 maybe?) already balancing the baby on one hip while he set up the highchair and offered me negel vasser all at the same time. I thought I’d overslept the entire morning, but he assured me that nobody in the house was awake yet, and I slipped out without incident.

Do you know what happens when you fall asleep after drinking at a non-Jew’s place? They write on you with a Sharpie…ON YOUR FACE. Try dragging yourself to shacharis with an eccentric mustache drawn on. Not getting an aliyah is the least of your problems, I assure you.

A traveling Yid’s only concerns are things like: Did they give you a Styrofoam head on which to place your sheitl at night? Do you have a shabbos light in your room, or do you have to dress with the door partially open and crouching behind an open closet door? Do they have any Trader Joe’s ice cream in the freezer? Are they cool enough that when they say “Help yourself”, it really does mean you can climb into their cupboard in the middle of the night and mamish raid the place? Is the husband going to try to get you to join Ambit right after havdalah?

Hachnasas orchim is pretty much my favorite thing to do right now, I don’t exactly have a hotel website, but I’m trying to polish up my skills (what do you mean you want a clean sheet?), but I figure we’ll get there slowly. We mostly have male guests, which is great because they don’t notice the screw-ups like I feel women might (don’t you just hate mattresses that are like, off the floor and stuff?), and they’re usually pretty young, which is awesome because all you have to say is that you have plenty of beer and it makes up for the fact that I almost always shut off the bathroom light before shabbos. If you consider my husband’s ability to make an extraordinarily good meal and cross it with my ability to vacuum the house very quickly, you can see why the Frieds’ is the destination of choice.

{ 87 comments… add one }
  • dave July 8, 2013, 8:13 AM

    Trying to gwt u to buy ambit…..hahahha best line EVER!

    • Heshy Fried July 8, 2013, 9:08 AM

      When it opened up in California it seemed like everyone decided Ambit was the next best thing, turns out that it’s another honest pyramid scheme in which a very small percentage of the folks involved make money.

      • Charlie Barkin July 8, 2013, 11:05 AM

        Regarding Ambit :
        There is no such thing as a Get rich quick scheme.
        You have to put the work in to make money.
        You get what you put into it like anything else.
        The reason why there is a small percentage of people making money is like any other business ;
        1. You have to have persistence.
        2. You have to attend meetings that will bring out best approaches.
        3. The one unique thing about Ambit is that the essentially free electric and Gas cost 0 to invest in .. You just have to be a customer and sign up 15 people. 0 is a great investment to get free electricity and Gas .. I love that my supply bill is 0 !.

        • A. Nuran July 8, 2013, 11:08 AM

          4. You have to be one of the Fortunate Few who got in at the beginning

        • Alter Cocker July 8, 2013, 11:28 PM

          It’s another pyramid scheme like Amway.

          • A. Nuran July 9, 2013, 12:48 PM

            Yeah, but this one’s different. And if you just work hard pulling everyone you know into the scam you will Get Rich Quick like every other sucker in the pyramid

  • Joe July 8, 2013, 8:40 AM

    Best post in long time…

  • Baruch July 8, 2013, 9:30 AM

    Every pyramid scheme Frum people get involved in (Melaluca, Ambit etc) it’s always “well this one is different”

  • Alter Cocker July 8, 2013, 11:16 AM

    I stayed at a house in LA (one of the fancier parts) for Shabbos. They had a guest book and they actually called themselves the “Hotel “. Maybe the street was Bluebell? This was like 4 years ago.

    They’ve hosted a lot of people, as I saw when I looked at the guest book.

    • The Mrs. July 8, 2013, 12:28 PM

      Bluebell is in San Fernando Valley in Valley Village. I’ve spent many a shabbos on that street, but not in the Hotel. I think we should get a guest book soon, too. You never know when the gedolim of the future might stop in.

      • Alter Cocker July 8, 2013, 11:24 PM

        It removed what I wrote because I included brackets, I think.

        I was writing they called themselves the “Hotel (insert street name here)”. Hotel Bluebell.

  • Shragi July 8, 2013, 7:45 PM

    B”H, if you’re a goy and you get written up on your face with a sharpie you don’t have to go to shachris the next day.

  • Rob Inu July 8, 2013, 7:46 PM

    Heshy Fried explain to us how it is a pyramid scheme? is it because you dont have the skills to make alot of money in ambit and maybe you are jealous of others who succeed in ambit and other mlm OPPORTUNITIES. is that why?

    • Shragi July 8, 2013, 7:52 PM

      Um, dude,
      MLM is pyramid.

    • RELAX July 8, 2013, 8:25 PM

      Shit, dude, he said it was honest. Relax yourself, asswipe.

  • Shragi July 8, 2013, 7:51 PM

    The other thing you have to worry about when guesting at a frum family is how much to exaggerate when signing their precious guest journal.

    • The Mrs. July 8, 2013, 9:39 PM

      Overuse the word “amazing”, like “the food was amazing” [eyeroll]

      • Shragi July 8, 2013, 9:48 PM

        You’re supposed to say “the food was amazing” like a robot, precisely after benching as you stand up to walk out the door after benching; not a minute sooner – or she’ll think you’re too friendly – and not a minute later – or she’ll think you don’t mean it and you seem too robotic.

    • Dan July 8, 2013, 10:59 PM

      Guest journal? Must be an oot thing

  • TO SHRAGI July 8, 2013, 7:57 PM

    and what is wrong with a “pryamid”? arent you stuck on the bottom of your pyramid at your work place where you cant move up and your boss is underpaying u for ur hard work and ur stuck on the bottom of the pyramid like a poor and limited sucker!!

    • Shragi July 8, 2013, 8:01 PM

      Dude, I haven’t expressed an opinion one way or another regarding pyramids, I was only pointing out that while you take offense at Heshy’s calling Ambit a pyramid, you turn around and praise MLMs which….as I said, are pyramids. Now you’re just frothing at the mouth so I’ll leave. Goodbye.

    • Heshy Fried July 8, 2013, 8:39 PM

      I would rather be stuck in a 50 hour a week job making crap, than trying to sell nothing. It would be one thing if the money you made from Ambit was directly due to switching people over to their gas/electric service, but the fact you have to be part of the pyramid to make money means you’re a parasite. You speak of money, but you don’t speak of honesty and integrity. If ambit was such an honest living, why does Ambit employ such a huge team of folks to combat the fact that it’s a dishonest way to make a living.

      Just so you understand, because it seems that you’re language skills forced you into Ambit…If Ambit was not a scheme it would be like any other sales job, does Goldman Sachs require one to sign up other brokers? No, they sell stock, funds, investments, etc…Ambit sells the concept that the more people you sign up, the more money you get paid. It’s a pyramid scheme that pays well to the 1 out of 100 people that actually make it, everyone else is just a sucker.

    • A. Nuran July 9, 2013, 8:38 PM

      Christ on a pogo stick.
      A business has a hierarchy. You have fewer managers than regular workers because one manager can oversee more than one worker.

      A pyramid scheme is one where recruiting more people into the scam is what keeps money coming in.

      If you don’t understand the difference between these you’re like a guppy swimming in the shark tank

    • A. Nuran July 9, 2013, 8:43 PM

      Hit “Submit” too soon…

      In a pyramid scam like Amway or Ambit the money doesn’t come from selling actual product. It comes from new workers buying in so they can recruit others to do the same thing. It grows quickly at first. I notice Ambit has won awards for layering on the new suckers on fast forward. But eventually it tops out and the whole thing comes crashing down. I’ll give you a hint, you won’t get rich selling soap or electricity. They’re mature products with fairly low margins.

      • Heshy Fried July 10, 2013, 11:14 AM

        According to wikipedia the average take of MLM folks is $93

        Only 10% of Amway sellers ever sold a product

  • Short girl 1 July 8, 2013, 8:18 PM

    Host me now! San Francisco right? I’m comin.

  • TO SHRAGI July 8, 2013, 8:21 PM

    yes i praised mlms unlike u who is broke and unhappy with ur life of working 50 hours a week for nothing and what did u mean by pryamid? again u are locked into ur pyamid at ur work u sucker!!!!

    • Uhhhhh July 8, 2013, 8:34 PM

      What are you selling man, Shragi and Heshy didn’t say anything now your panties are all in a bunch you have no idea what these people earn at their jobs. Does it make you feel cool to assume that they have no money or something?

    • Alter Cocker July 8, 2013, 11:32 PM

      Did you even make it out of high school? Try learning the language before trolling blogs.

  • Rich Cow July 8, 2013, 8:27 PM

    shragi is just a broke complainer who doesnt know better

    • Shragi July 8, 2013, 8:50 PM

      Are you done coming up with new names?

  • TO UHHH July 8, 2013, 8:40 PM

    heshy called it a pyramid scheme and shragi called it a pyamid which is another way of saying pyramid scheme. what is ur point?

    • Uhhhhh July 8, 2013, 8:43 PM

      And then you came in and called every job a pyramid, so what’s YOUR point in getting all bent out of shape. If it’s so reputable it should speak for itself. I wonder what the guy that signed you up thinks of how you treat people that discuss Ambit, my guess is that your attitude is a little out of bounds.

  • Anonymous July 8, 2013, 8:48 PM

    yes every job is a pyamid that is very true and that doesnt mean every job is a pyramid scheme. it does speak for itself if you look for people making alot of money in ambit and all mlms but for people that look for negative things in life like YOU than u can expect to not find any good since YOU are not looking for any good. my guy that signed me up thinks good and doesnt even speak to suckers.

    • Uhhhh July 8, 2013, 8:54 PM

      He spoke to an angry little pipsqueak like you, he must be a sucker himself. Go sell something and stop bothering everybody

  • TO UHHHHHHH July 8, 2013, 8:57 PM

    ur so ignorant and by the way what do u do for a living because making somebody else rich?

    • Shragi July 8, 2013, 9:00 PM

      Still frothing at the mouth?

      It is nice that you’ve stuck to one name for more than one comment.

      It would be nice if you learned how to reply to comments though so that people knew where your vitriol was aimed instead of simply spraying it all over the place indiscriminately this way.

      • The Mrs. July 8, 2013, 9:03 PM

        Seriously! Can we have our conversation back now, or is this turning into a n Amway meeting?

        • Shragi July 8, 2013, 9:08 PM

          And how do you propose to have the conversation back? By deleting the comments of the ignorant Tupperware salesman?

          Here, why don’t you respond to my comment above that was on topic and see if the fool can follow the conversation without confusing himself.

  • TO SHRAGI July 8, 2013, 9:02 PM

    they are aimed at ignorant broke fools like you because you are such a genius! what do u do for a living besides learning in kolel?

  • TO THE MRS. July 8, 2013, 9:05 PM

    what is wrong with an amway meeting?

  • Susanne July 8, 2013, 9:08 PM

    If anyone wants to come to Dallas, you’re more than welcome here.

    • Shragi July 8, 2013, 9:09 PM

      Do you have a guest journal that you’ll make all my kids sign?

      • Heshy Fried July 8, 2013, 9:11 PM

        I love when shuls have guest journals.

        • Shragi July 8, 2013, 9:13 PM

          I’ve never seen a shul with a guest journal. I guess I haven’t yet been to real out of town shuls then.

          • Dani July 8, 2013, 11:08 PM

            Maybe I’m mistaken, but I couldve sworn I saw a guest journal at the shul in Onset, MA (Cape Cod) this past weekend. Never seen one before.

            • Telz July 9, 2013, 8:58 AM

              There is a guest journal at the shul at Onset. So cute. I signed it with a fake name so the future generations should ask.

  • TO SUSANNE July 8, 2013, 9:11 PM

    what can we do in dallas?

    • Heshy Fried July 8, 2013, 9:14 PM

      The skatepark in Allen is amazing

      • Anonymous July 8, 2013, 9:15 PM

        ill go tomorrow on my day off from work

  • TO HESHY FRIED July 8, 2013, 9:13 PM

    I love it too.

  • hungry for freedom July 8, 2013, 9:22 PM

    i love mlm my great great grandfather made alot of money with amway and now my children are making money in it because their greatgrandfather has a dream to be wealthy and not make someone else wealthy

    • Shragi July 8, 2013, 9:28 PM

      Will you stop with the endless names already? You’re really getting tiring.

    • G*3 July 8, 2013, 9:53 PM

      MLMs don’t work because if each person recruits just two people to work under him, after only 33 levels you exceed the current world population.

      • A. Nuran July 9, 2013, 8:44 PM

        He can’t read. He can’t write. He can’t think. Does it surprise you he can’t do arithmetic?

  • TO SHRAGI July 8, 2013, 9:30 PM

    what do you do for a living besides complaining?

    • Shragi July 8, 2013, 9:49 PM

      I learn in kollel full-time. But you knew that already.

      Look dude, I know you’re on your phone, but still, you can hit the REPLY button before spewing. Or can’t you?

  • Dana July 8, 2013, 9:50 PM

    To The Mrs…
    You wrote a funny and delightful post. You deserve some attention here. So happy to know that Heshy found the right partner – in humor and in hospitality. When you’re ready to bring your A-game, try this… (and invite some cute girls for those boys. It’s what Heshy would have wanted:) http://www.milechai.com/judaica/switch_protectors.html

    • Esther Rochel lein July 8, 2013, 11:42 PM

      I love it, CM. You guys just about nailed it this time!

    • Shmully July 9, 2013, 5:40 AM

      I don’t often post, but I had to agree, this post was highly enjoyable. If your ever in KY, be sure to look us up.

  • brisker dude July 8, 2013, 10:33 PM

    I am really surprised by some of the comments here. As a full-time ambit salesman, i must say that it is NOT scheme. I have made a decent living out of ambit. Anyone who would like more information please feel free to email me at getrichquick@gmail.com.

    • Anonymous July 9, 2013, 4:39 PM


      • Shragi July 9, 2013, 7:20 PM

        What’s wrong with you dude? I still haven’t expressed an opinion on MLMs one way or another. Get a grip and learn how to read, and write.

        P.S. It’s nice to see that you learned how to hit the REPLY button. Keep up the good work, at the rate you’re learning you may even be able to find a real job soon.

    • Heshy Fried July 10, 2013, 11:17 AM

      I’d like to know why you aren’t selling a product, why you’re constantly trying to get people to sell your product, rather than just selling something tangible.

      • Yochanan July 10, 2013, 7:47 PM


      • A. Nuran July 13, 2013, 1:09 AM

        We have a winner in the Incisive Question Game.
        Come up and claim your Clear Thinking Cookie

  • Dani July 8, 2013, 11:10 PM

    Hey, anyone need knives? I’ve got this awesome set of knives that never needs sharpening and can cut a penny!

    • Ponivitch Jew July 9, 2013, 4:37 PM

      What is your point?

      • Dani July 9, 2013, 5:25 PM

        Seriously? CUTCO?
        Google it.

        • Heshy Fried July 10, 2013, 11:18 AM

          Oh I remember cutco, but in the end their knife handles are lame. There’s a reason you never see cutco knives in professional kitchens.

    • A. Nuran July 9, 2013, 8:47 PM

      Cutco? You’re farking kidding me. An inferior grade of serrated knife with lousy celluloid “grips” sold by people who didn’t have the high class necessary to sell aluminum siding, used cars or their sisters.

    • The Mrs. July 10, 2013, 1:42 AM

      Can it cut straight through an empty aluminum can? Or wait, that’s Ginsu Knives…

    • A. Nuran July 13, 2013, 1:11 AM

      If I need to cut a penny I’ll use shears or a hammer and chisel or a cutoff wheel.

  • Anonymous July 9, 2013, 5:44 PM

    seriously? why didnt you put your phone number or business information here? do you have a problem with cutco? or do you have a problem with ambit you poor broke little boy.

  • Yochanan July 10, 2013, 2:49 PM

    “They write on you with a Sharpie…ON YOUR FACE. Try dragging yourself to shacharis with an eccentric mustache drawn on. ”

    Better that than a dick!

  • Recovering MLM-er July 10, 2013, 5:44 PM

    MLMs are regulated, TECHNICALLY legit businesses. The real problem with them all is that the key factor for success isn’t hard work or committment, but rather personality. Comments like “every job’s a pyramid, working like a slave to make someone else rich” are part of a canned, manipulative script used to demean detractors and strong-arm sign-ups. Insinuations of “prospects” lacking a work ethic, talent, money or ability is just psychological manipulation to “double-dog-dare” them to join up — standard sales recruitment garbage: “if you’re not a loser, prove it and join…” Have a personality cult that can be tapped to get fast sign-ups, and you’re golden. The other 99.92% of enrollees come away having wasted money on a “get rick quick scheme”. The typical MLM pitch “you get out what you put in” merely displaces the blame onto the unsuccessful. The system is broken. Just because it’s legal, that doesn’t make it ethical. It’s about making promises that are false in 99.92% of cases, statistically; but setting up a belief system from the start that squarely places the blame on the inadequacy of the defrauded. It’s like street hustlers blaming their victims because they didn’t watch the shell closely enough. And who are the prospects for this doomed-to-fail enterprise? Why, friends and family, of course. Where do I sign up? I actually attended a job interview this week, after submitting a résumé for a “Regional Director of Marketing” position with a “Fortune 500” company… Which turned out to be merely a pitch for one of the new MLMs, the “Healthy Chocolate” company, Xhoça, or some such, which promised a salary, etc. This is just the type of disingenuous, misleading double-speak that characterizes MLM. In order for it to work, the system requires a recruitment model that violates trust, courtesy, and usually law.

    • GROWING MLM-er July 10, 2013, 6:42 PM

      You have some valid points but how is it ethcially wrong? it is ethically wrong for those that misrepresent the industry such as those “regional director of marketing” scams. Remember that robert kiyosaki endorsed mlms? and donald trump and many others. there are many good “ethical” rabbis involved in mlms who dont push the products on others. where else can you create a residual income in many cases a few years without spending hundreds of thousands on real estate? WHERE?

      • Anonymous July 10, 2013, 7:00 PM

        By working hard and innovating on your own and not relying on your friends and family.

        I earn residual income on a website I CREATED 5 years ago. Sell a real tangible product it service.

        • Anonymous July 10, 2013, 7:08 PM

          Not everyone can come up with their own invention. the price to invest in the business would usually be way more than any MLM. what do you sell? whats yours website? please help me i have been in mlm for 5 years and only make about 1000k a month when i really was trying to make 7 or 8 a month.

          • Anonymous July 10, 2013, 7:12 PM

            1000k = 1M
            If that’s what you earn monthly, good for you. I just don’t believe you.

            • Anonymous July 10, 2013, 7:40 PM

              you dont need to believe me. i know people in my neighborhood who make over 40k a month in mlm. how much do u make at ur job working 10 hours a day for someone else?

              • A. Nuran July 13, 2013, 11:03 PM

                Fer fewk’s sake. I’ve heared exactly those words in more than one MLM pitch. At least try to pretend you’re saying your own words. Besides, if they were really making half a million a year they wouldn’t be living in your neighborhood. They’d move somewhere nicer.

  • Tova July 15, 2013, 2:13 PM

    Gideon’s Bibles (and, in Utah, the Book of Mormon) are found in most hotels, not just Marriotts.

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