web analytics
August 27, 2014 / 1 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Supermarket Epiphanies in Israel

Israeli supermarket

Photo Credit: Sophie Gordon/Flash 90

So what was I doing behind six shopping carts at the local Shufersal Deal supermarket in Mishor Adumim on a Friday morning? After all, as far as I’m concerned, hell hath no more infuriating nadir than being stuck in that place at that time.

But I had no choice: We had returned from a long overseas trip on Thursday evening and if we wanted to eat on Shabbat, it was the Friday grocery zoo or bust. I hadn’t kept up fully on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s new coalition or President Shimon Peres’s American trip, but one blaring newspaper headline had reached me before I got home to Ma’aleh Adumim: “Shufersal Deal out to murder [competitor] Rami Levi.”

A take-no-prisoners price war had broken out, apparently, which even a friend in distant Pisgat Ze’ev gushed, was attracting her weekly to one or the other emporium in our town.

My worst fears were instantly confirmed. The usually bare parking lot had overflowed onto adjacent streets stretching three blocks in every direction.

The glazed expressions of entering consumers mirrored the grim fatalism of soldiers about to enter battle, while the jubilant looks of the exiting victors towing ridiculously filled carts reflected raw, gluttonous triumphalism.

There I was, in dire gloom, cart frozen well distant from the cash register. I was sorely aggrieved. Until I remembered a flash of soul-searching during my flight when I promised I would try to improve my grumpiness a bit and seek alleged silver linings even in dismal circumstances (I get weird thoughts, and also swollen ankles, on 10-hour flights). What could I do save give my commitment the old college try.

Here are the observations that ensued during the next 40 minutes.

The Holocaust 

A few decades ago, our people faced starvation in the ghetto and worse in the camps. The images haunt us to this day.

And here, in Mishor Adumim, hundreds of Jews in shorts and sandals, were inundated with fine, healthy, nutritious food… at cutthroat rates, priced to put a nearby competitor out of business. What a remarkable, epiphanous and profound change. No joke – I would say it borders on miraculous when seen in this light.

Law and order 

Not usually an attribute associated with Israeli social norms, but here we were. A nasty environment, crowded and frustrating… yet I couldn’t help but notice how everyone, without exception, stayed calm (even resigned), didn’t shout, didn’t whine, didn’t act like babies. It was downright civilized. It disproved the global image that “Israelis do not know how to stand in line.”

Respecting the different 

I saw two handicapped people. One was a Down Syndrome child with his dad. The other a severely handicapped woman navigating the maze with difficulty, burdened by two crutches and a cart. No stares. No averted glances. No looks of pity or annoyance. As naturally as could be, the carts parted, Red Sea-style, as everyone readily made way and moved aside and even smiled…not grudgingly or artificially, but naturally. It was nice to see.

The peace process 

I know crass consumerism can’t bridge the entire Arab- Israeli divide, but there is something to be said about the commonality of getting a good bargain.

Arab women, covered albeit in festive demeanor, husbands, babies… they were all well-represented. Again, it might not be the magic formula, but a vibrant economy in which all parties reap the benefits can clearly encourage a peaceful attitude far quicker and more seriously than umpteen squawking talks around conference tables.

What would generic observations be without, ultimately, a final test. After the 50-minute marathon wait, I received my own personal test.

The lost hour of course meant that we missed the final home delivery.

Now that wasn’t fair, I thought, eyeing our 18 bags of groceries. Our first inclination was to yell it out with the manager and insist on our “rights.” I duly dispatched my “personal commando,” i.e., my wife, dutifully escorted by the cash register guy, but suddenly all my positive thoughts flooded back and I realized this was a defining moment.

Dare I make those five carts now lined up behind me wait for 10 minutes of silly arguing, or should I just forget about it? I canceled the fight and decided that three trips up and down three flights of stairs were preferable to making those folks behind me wait even one minute longer.

About the Author: The writer is CEO of Lone Star Communications in Jerusalem who lives in Ma’aleh Adumim.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Supermarket Epiphanies in Israel”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
The three salesmen -Netanyahu, Ya'alon and Gantz
Netanyahu Tries to Sell Bill of Goods that Israel Won Goals in the War
Latest Indepth Stories
Eisenstock-082914

But the world is forever challenging our Jewish principle and our practices.

MK Moshe-Feiglin

If this is how we play the game, we will lose. By that I mean we will lose everything.

Reportedly, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates have formed a bloc that seeks to counter Islamist influence in the Middle East.

One wonders how the IDF could be expected to so quickly determine the facts.

While there is no formula that will work for everyone, there are some strategies that if followed carefully and consistently can help our children – and us – gain the most from the upcoming school year.

We risk our lives to help those who do what they can to kill to our people .

Twain grasped amazingly well the pulse of the Jewish people.

The entertainment industry appears divided about the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Israelis in Gaza border communities need to get out; who will help them?

The contrast between the mentality of Israel and the mentality of Hamas was never so loudly expressed as when the Arab killers became heroes and the Jewish killers became prisoners.

There is a threat today representing a new category of missionary:They call themselves “Hayovel.”

Just as we would never grant legitimacy to ISIS, we should not grant legitimacy to Hamas.

Is Woodstock still leading the world to destruction?

Wye would be seen to have set the groundwork for the creation of a Palestinian state

More Articles from Charley Levine
Israeli supermarket

There I was, in dire gloom, cart frozen well distant from the cash register. I was sorely aggrieved. Until I remembered a flash of soul-searching during my flight when I promised I would try to improve my grumpiness a bit and seek alleged silver linings even in dismal circumstances. What could I do save give my commitment the old college try.

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Albania PM Gerisha Sali meeting in Jerusalem.

Turkey is trying hard to carve out a new international role, attempting to leverage the unrest generated by the Arab Spring to garner wider influence throughout the Mideast and beyond. The larger story, the part that transcends the Turkish thrust/counter-thrust, is far more intriguing. Shifting regional alignments offer a wealth of possibilities for savvy Israeli initiatives in a wider sphere of ripening influence. Indeed, a true sea change is imminent for the Israel in the heart of the Balkans.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/supermarket-epiphanies-in-israel/2012/07/03/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: