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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘shopping’

Things Haredim Do

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

A volunteer at the Tachlit center are busy dividing hordes of food into boxes, to be distributed to needy families before Shabbat and before the coming Jewish new year in Jerusalem.

Tomchei Shabbat (supporters of Shabbat) organizations like Tachlit flourish throughout the Haredi communities, each with its unique, local flavor, but all of them with one, central goal: feed the needy.

Most of them also deliver the food boxes quietly, so as not to shame the recipient. In many places there’s also a feedback system in place, allowing recipients to indicate which goods they like and which they’d rather not receive. It prevents waste, and also makes the proces look more like shopping than like charity.

Photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

A View of Observant Judaism by a Non Observant Jew

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

I must say that I am both surprised and disappointed at the negative comments about David Brook’s op-ed column in the New York Times. And they weren’t few. They were many. The Forward, DovBear, Failed Messiah, and the many people who commented in the New York Times itself – all of them could not have been more upset about a positive article dealing with Orthodoxy.

I am upset too. Not by the article, but by all the negativity – some of it venomous! It is almost as if the entire column was some sort of a made up lie by an Orthodox cheerleader.

The fact is however, that David Brooks is not Orthodox. Nor is he a cheerleader. He is a respected journalist reporting on his impressions of a community which he is not a part of. Mr. Brooks took a tour of a Pomegranate, a ‘luxury’ kosher food store in the Midwood section of Flatbush a large mostly Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn. His guide was my old (…well maybe not so old) friend from Chicago, Rabbi Dr. Meir Yaakov Soloveichik.

The article was very positive. Brooks describes rather well what it means to be an Orthodox Jew living in the modern world. He explains quite nicely the primacy of Halacha in our lives even among the upscale Orthodox Jews who shop at a store like Pomegranate.

Expanding on his encounter with Pomegranate – he makes Orthodox Jews look like role models for all… suggesting that one could do a lot worse than following our ‘countercultural’ model. For example he quotes Rabbi Soloveichik on the Jewish approach to marriage:

“Marriage is about love, but it is not first and foremost about love,” Soloveichik says. “First and foremost, marriage is about continuity and transmission.”

He seems to praise our “deeper sense of collective purpose”:

They are like the grocery store Pomegranate, superficially a comfortable part of mainstream American culture, but built upon a moral code that is deeply countercultural.

He ends with the following paragraph:

All of us navigate certain tensions, between community and mobility, autonomy and moral order. Mainstream Americans have gravitated toward one set of solutions. The families stuffing their groceries into their Honda Odyssey minivans in the Pomegranate parking lot represent a challenging counterculture. Mostly, I notice how incredibly self-confident they are. Once dismissed as relics, they now feel that they are the future.

I think he’s got that right. Even if one looks only at the statistics he cites one can see a very bright future for Orthodox Jewry versus other denominations. At least in terms of population growth:

Nationwide, only 21 percent of non-Orthodox Jews between the ages of 18 and 29 are married. But an astounding 71 percent of Orthodox Jews are married at that age. And they are having four and five kids per couple. In the New York City area, for example, the Orthodox make up 32 percent of Jews over all. But the Orthodox make up 61 percent of Jewish children. Because the Orthodox are so fertile, in a few years, they will be the dominant group in New York Jewry.

British historian Arnold J. Toynbee must be rolling in his grave. This is how he explained our survival: The Jewish people are an ancient relic of a dead past. (He was corrected by Dr. Eliezer Berkovits who successfully challenged him on that notion.)

I felt really good about this article. But it did not take long for all the naysayers to come out of the woodwork – bashing it.

It’s not that any of the claims they were making against it weren’t true. Many of them are. In fact these problems are discussed right here fairly often.

No one screams louder than I do about the miscreants in our midst. Indeed these people are the cause of so much hilul HaShem – it is a wonder how any objective person could ever say anything positive about Orthodoxy. And no one complains more about how some of the more extreme segments of our world could use some serious tweaking.

Nor is Orthodoxy uniformly observed as one might erroneously conclude from this article. Indeed, there are Hasidic, Yeshivish, Lubavitch, Modern Orthodox, and Sephardi communities whose lifestyles are in most cases quite different from each other. Additionally each one of these has their own subgroups. And just like the non observant world, socioeconomic conditions play a very important part in how any of us live.

In Hebrew: ‘Shopping’

Monday, February 4th, 2013

קְנִיּוֹת

Whereas שׁוֹפִּינְג (shoh-ping) is still the term that refers to that activity that my mother loves so much, shopping for clothes, Israelis call general shopping – like for food and electronics – קְנִיּוֹת.

קְנֵה פָּחוֹת, חְיֵה יוֹתֵר
buy less, live more
(picture of graffiti at a bus stop in Tel Aviv).

For example:

עָשִׂיתִי קְנִיּוֹת אֶתְמוֹל בַּסּוּפֶּר.

I went (literally, did) shopping yesterday at the supermarket.

קניות comes from the active-simple פָּעַל verb, לִקְנוֹת, which means, in Modern Hebrew, to buy or to purchase (in Biblical and Mishnaic Hebrew, it also means to possess).

A single act of purchasing is a קְנִיָּה, in Modern Hebrew (in Rabbinic literature, this is aקִנְיָן).

For example:

אֶתְמוֹל עָשִׂיתִי קְנִיָּה גְּדוֹלָה.עַכְשָׁיו יֵשׁ מַסְפִּיק אֹכֶל.

Yesterday I made a big purchase. Now there’s plenty of (literally, enough) food. 

From the same root of ק.נ.ה, a shopping mall is a קַנְיוֹן.

Visit Ktzat Ivrit.

Many Happy Returns

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

I never thought I would see the day when “Yossie” would smile. He was not an unhappy man, but rather very serious in demeanor. He never said hello, or any words, to his customers other than those absolutely necessary.

Whenever I went to his store, I felt uncomfortable. It was as if I was invisible. I would greet him when I entered and thank him when I left, but there was never any response. In time, I realized there would never be one. Despite this personality flaw, Yossie’s business was flourishing. His prices were fair, and he was an honest man.

I had not been in his store for a couple of years. My husband was not as bothered as I was by Yossie’s rudeness, and so he was the one who generally went there. Recently, though, I reluctantly found myself there. I’m glad it worked out that way for a number of reasons. I got to see Yossie in a different light, and I also got the chance to give my sister a special surprise.

I was waiting my turn to be served when I noticed something out of the corner of my eye. A woman’s lightweight jacket was hanging on a hook.

Without thinking, I called out to Yossie, “To whom does that green jacket belong?”

He turned to me and quietly responded that it had been left in his establishment about two years ago.

“It’s mine. I can’t believe it. I gave up on ever finding it!”

Yossie looked away, but not before I caught the pleased smile on his face. Who would have ever thought that he would hold onto an abandoned object for such a long time, hoping someone would one day claim it? Who would have thought this could make him smile?

The story does not end here, not without telling you of the story surrounding my missing jacket.

Over the past several years, my sister and I have found ourselves traveling back and forth from Israel to America in order to spend time with our elderly parents.

Whenever possible we chose to fly together, thereby giving each other physical, as well as emotional, support. Most of our trips revolved around our parents, but we also tried to squeeze in quick shopping trips, bringing back gifts for our children and their families.

Two years ago, during the fall season, we found ourselves packing our suitcases yet again. To my dismay, I discovered that I could not find my lightweight green jacket.

I searched everywhere, but concluded that I had simply left it somewhere and would have to buy a new one in America.

I take a limited amount of money with me whenever I travel, and I really am very careful with how I spend it. This way, I can buy something for everyone on my list.

Before I knew it, I had spent almost all of the cash I brought and did not have enough left over to purchase a jacket.

While shopping one day, my sister came over to me with a lovely jacket in her hands.

“Do me a favor,” she said, “and try it on for me. I am too tired to try it on myself, and we are the same size.” I knew she had been planning to buy this particular item herself, and so I tried it on for her.

In the end, she bought it for me. She refused to take it for herself, as she still had another jacket at home while I did not. She said she could always buy the jacket for herself on our next trip.

The next time we traveled to America, as well as on subsequent travels, we searched in vain for another jacket like the one she bought me. We either found one in the wrong size or wrong color, or not quite the same style. I always felt bad to be wearing her “dream” jacket, while she was still searching for hers.

Now, I finally had my chance to rectify the situation.

While still in Yossie’s store, I called her. “Rivky, what is that item you are always searching for in America? Well, guess what? I have it for you!”

Red Alert in Be’er Sheva, 10 Rockets Fell

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

At least 10 rockets were fired at Be’er Sheva in the Negev this evening. Several sirens were sounded in the city

Throngs of Israeli student pack the Be’er Sheva train station, due to the closing of Ben Gurion University. To accommodate the masses of students, Israel Rail Road is sending extra long trains to evacuate the students looking to escape northward.

One of the Kassam rockets fell in a shopping mall in the city. A building was damaged but there were no casualties.

Two of the rockets were blocked by the Iron Dome system.

Home Front Command Issues New Guidelines for Southern Communities

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Home Front Command has issued defense guidelines to residents of the South. In communities between 0 and 4 miles from the Gaza Strip border: upon hearing sirens or an explosion, you must get into a protected space within the available period of time. Schools will be closed tomorrow. There is a temporary prohibition on public assembly. Do not try to reach work places for tasks that are not essential. Shopping centers are closed.

In communities that are within 4 and 25 miles from the Gaza Strip: upon hearing a siren or an explosion, you must get into a protected space in time. Schools will be closed in all municipalities. No public assembly of more than 100 in open and closed spaces (shows, events , soccer games, etc.). It is permitted to hold gatherings of fewer than 100 without restriction. No restriction on nonessential jobs, malls are open.

Famed IDF Rescue Team in Ghana After Mall Collapses

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

The Israel Defense Forces galvanized its internationally-recognized emergency response team to assist in a search and rescue operation in Ghana Wednesday night, after a shopping center collapsed in the country’s capital.

Doctors, engineers, and others, along with Magen David Adom staff, were sent to establisha  field hospital in the area.  So far, 51 people have been pulled from the rubble, with one confirmed death.

Jordan: We Stopped an al-Qaeda Plot against Western Diplomats and Commerce

Sunday, October 21st, 2012

The Jordanian General Intelligence Department has foiled a major terrorist plot which was in the planning and preliminary stages, according to the Petra news agency. The plot, by a group of 11 terrorists associated with Al Qaeda, was designed to target and carry out attacks against vital targets in Jordan including shopping centers, residential areas, diplomats and foreign nationals.

The objective of the plot, labeled as 9/11 (2) in reference to the Amman hotel bombings of 2005, was to cause chaos and anarchy and spread fear among the population, setting the stage for further operations to follow. The group had intended to take advantage of what they believed was the Intelligence “preoccupation” with other files, to carry out their plans.

The terrorist group made comprehensive preparations to carry out their crimes against selected targets. They performed surveillance and casing of these potential targets and laid plans for execution using explosives, booby-trapped cars as well as submachine guns and mortars.

The group, which was under constant surveillance at every stage by GID, experimented with explosives after procuring basic material and consulting with senior explosives’ experts from Al Qaeda in Iraq through terrorist websites.

Their objective was to create a highly destructive explosive that would cause the highest number of casualties and extensive physical damage. They had planned to bring TNT explosives and mortar shells from Syria, exploiting the ongoing crisis there.

The group was able to devise new types of explosives to be used for the first time, and planned to add TNT so as to increase their destructive power. Given what they believed to be the “success” of their experimentation with the explosive material, they made their findings available on terrorist websites for the benefit of other extremists. They subsequently started selecting operatives and potential suicide bombers to carry out these attacks.

The early plans of the group were to target diplomats from hotels and public areas followed by the bombing of two major shopping malls in order to draw the attention of the security services away from these selected targets, thus clearing the way for them to target their main objectives in Abdoun, in West Amman.

The plan was for the main attack to be carried out by suicide bombers using explosive belts and devices as well as booby-trapped cars and machine guns.

Subsequently, mortar shells would be fired at the entire neighborhood.

GID has seized machine guns and ammunition along with basic material for the manufacture of explosives. Other seized items included computers, cameras and forged documents. The case has been transferred to the Prosecutor General of the State Security Court for investigation and further legal proceedings.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/jordan-we-stopped-an-al-qaeda-plot-against-western-diplomats-and-commerce/2012/10/21/

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