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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 24, 2014 / 26 Tammuz, 5774

To Share Is Not Always to Share Alike

By Froma Harrop



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The online rental booking service Airbnb is a fast-growing empire that pairs travelers with people wanting to profit off a room in their house — or the whole house. Like VRBO, HomeAway and similar platforms, Airbnb occupies the lodging sector of the "sharing economy."

I come not to address the legal concerns such services raise. They do compete with motels and hotels, which are subject to a variety of regulations, while often depriving cities of the taxes the hostelries must charge. They frequently break local laws governing short-term rentals. And contrary to the image these corporations cultivate, many of the "hosts" are running not homespun little sidelines to wring some cash from a spare bedroom but large operations controlling many rooms in numerous buildings. To call them "illegal hotels" would not be inaccurate.

But I'm here to discuss this trend from the consumer's viewpoint. That part is also problematic.

I've used these online rentals a number of times and never had a hideous experience. But I've never had a first-rate one, either.

The official line suggests a certain vagabond freedom. Isn't it cool to live like a native — and outside motel chain conformity? Well, that depends on the native you're boarding with.

You may want to get up close and personal with the stranger on whose sofa you're spending the night. I don't. To be totally upfront, I'm not even wild about staying with relatives. When doing these temporary rentals, I've made a point of accepting only highly private setups. Still...



Here's a recent example:

For a week's visit to Los Angeles, I rented a homey-sounding cottage in Venice via HomeAway. The reviews were typically glowing and, also routinely, glossed over the hassle factor.

I had to arrive with a certified check covering the entire stay. No chance would be taken on a bounced check. Of course, the convenience of using a credit card was not an option.

This was not a mi-casa-es-su-casa relationship. The owner was affable enough, but this was just one of several properties he rents to tourists as a business.

There was the inevitable initial period of suspicion, during which the host tried to size up the alien with a suitcase. And who could blame him? Temporary rentals have been hired for unruly orgies.

The accommodations were a mixed bag. Lovely garden, but the electric wiring would have kept a fire inspector up nights. The cutlery was below cafeteria-grade, the plates scarred by chips. And it would have been nice had someone pushed a vacuum under the couch once in a while.

Obviously, only token expense and sweat had been applied to what was really a cash business renting to a revolving parade of temporary tenants. They call this an example of the sharing economy, but I wasn't sharing this guy's home at all. Now that would have been a whole difference experience.

The place was not cheap. I could have stayed at a modest motel for less.

In sum, I find more freedom staying in a chain hotel. Check in and out anytime. Slap down a credit card. Assume a certain standard for housekeeping. Know that Wi-Fi will flow like Niagara and that the breakfast room will supply cornflakes and milk with various fat contents.

And at the desk, day or night, you'll find locals invariably happy to recommend a place to eat. If you want to share life stories with them, they usually have the time.

Meanwhile, there are no neighbors resenting the pageant of visitors coming and going. No byzantine rules for street parking.

Minimal fuss is the ticket. That's my idea of cool.

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