Perhaps because when the first Jewish settlers arrived from Europe in the 1870s there were already several thousand Jews living in Eretz Israel, and, more to the point, the local Arabs did not greet them with maze and fish but instead fired on the original settlement, Petah Tikvah – the fact is Israelis by and large do not celebrate Thanksgiving. However, the same Israelis have been fascinated for several years by the more modern concept of Black Friday, as soon as Thanksgiving Day is over.
Black Friday is an informal name for the day following Thanksgiving, which has been regarded as the beginning of the Xmas shopping season in the US since 1952. Major retailers open very early, as early as the night between Thursday and Friday, and offer promotional sales to armies of shoppers with their faces pressed against the stores’ glass doors until they open.
Israelis don’t celebrate Xmas but they do appreciate a good sale, since Shopping is far better qualified to be the state religion than any known monotheistic option.
The purely capitalistic holiday’s name is spelled as simply “Black Friday” in Hebrew letters – בלאק פריידיי – and every news outlet, in print and online, offers extensive reviews of the deals to be salivated over. Also, since Friday is a day off for most Israeli workers, a kind of Sunday just before Shabbat, massive hordes of shoppers can storm the malls guilt free, just like their American counterparts.
Here are a few of the most enticing savings available to Israshoppers this year, right after the holiday they don’t celebrate: the biggest savings we spotted is a cooking set of pots and skillets for 399 shekel, list price 1,290 shekel, a savings of 69.1%. The US dollar today is worth 3.51 shekel, you do the math.
More? Pioneer wireless speakers that normally go for 800 shekel can be gotten on בלאק פריידיי for a mere 269 shekel, a 66.4% savings. And a set of six premium towels goes for 299 shekel instead of 899 – that’s a 66.7$ savings.
Then there are smartphones, TV screens, computers, games, toys, at anywhere from 33% to 69% savings, and whatever else your consumering heart desires to fill your personal void.
To illustrate the above report, in August this year, Decathlon S.A., a French sporting goods retailer which is also the largest sporting goods retailer in the world, opened its first store in Israel, in the southern coastal city of Ashkelon. The store was bombarded so heavily by customers from across the country that by early October it had to shut down temporarily – it had run out of its entire stock. All the shelves were emptied out and then they went after the back rooms.
Israelis shop. It’s what they do.