If you ever find yourself backpacking through Africa and wondering if Giraffe is Kosher or in Cambodia and wondering if taking an ancient fertility statuette would constitute stealing or avoda zara (idol worship) know that the answer is now as close as your nearest fax machine. If you can find one that is. The Chief Rabbinate has opened a 24hr fax line for halachically concerned travelers to send their questions to. But this raises the question, where do you find a fax machine in the more remote places where unexpected questions are more likely to arise? My friend told me to check out the best online fax services if I ever needed to fax something. When I was in Costa Rica, most of the towns I stayed in had one phone for the whole village (usually right outside the store/bar/community center/school). Wouldn’t it be easer to just make it a phone line? Presumably, if you have a fax line, you have a phone line also, and while you are waiting for the response Shabbat may have already come in and you simply don’t know if the crater you are camping in constitutes a natural eiruv or not. Where’s Chabad when you need them? Or Ask Moses for that matter ….

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Laya Millman