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December 9, 2016 / 9 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘shopping’

Shopping For Priestly Garments

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

I receive letters and e-mails every day from all parts of the world. Sadly, there is no shortage of problems. Pain and suffering abound. How to navigate the turbulent waters of the world we live in is a challenge for everyone.

Every once in a while, however, I receive a letter that seems so outlandish I suspect it’s fictitious – someone playing a prank. Such was the case with the following e-mail.

Dear Rebbetzin Jungreis:

I am so confused and troubled. I am scheduled to get married in two weeks. Two months ago, my father announced he had to go to Paris for a very important business deal. My mother loved the thought of going to Paris and decided to accompany him. Although we hadn’t finished our shopping for the wedding, we scrambled to find the right gown and while we couldn’t decide which one to take, we did settle on a certain designer.

“Anything that you choose there,” my mother assured me, “will be stunning.” As for Mom, she decided to get her gown in Paris.

When my parents returned, my mother took a look at my dress and thought it was awful. I had already paid most of the money – a huge sum – and they refused to give a refund. It’s now two weeks before the wedding, and it’s doubtful whether they can have a new gown in time. I am miserable. I have nightmares about looking ridiculous at my own wedding.

As I mentioned, my mother bought her gown in Paris and, frankly, it is embarrassingly tasteless. My mom and I have been fighting. We keep blaming one another. So what do we do?

I’m curious as to how many readers think the letter is authentic. Well, the fact is – I made it up. Why did I do it? Sometimes, in order to drive home a point, you have to draw a graphic illustration. We, you and I, we are the kallah and the mishpachah. The greatest day of our lives, the ultimate wedding, is quickly approaching, and to our chagrin we are unprepared.

You and I went to a couturier for a specially designed dress. We spent a small fortune on it only to discover we won’t be able to wear the dress on which we lavished so much money. At the end of the day, G-d forbid, we will stand like schnorrers begging for entree to a great wedding hall.

We, the children of the 21st century, are victims of an obsession with money. We idolize the latest in fashion and turn to Paris, Milano, and Madison Avenue for guidance. We will discover too late, G-d forbid, that what we dedicated our lives to is an abominable waste. The wedding is just around the corner, and we are totally unprepared.

We are in the midst of the Three Weeks, which signal the destruction of Yerushalayim that culminated in the tragedy of Tisha B’Av, when our Temple was reduced to ashes.

The Talmud teaches us that when the great sage Rabbi Akiva saw the site of the destruction, with wild animals roaming the holy grounds, he smiled and comforted us: “Even as this prophecy of destruction has come to pass, so too, shall we behold the prophecy of redemption and rebirth fulfilled. Messiah will come and the Temple shall once again glow in all its splendor and majesty, illuminating the entire world with the Word of Hashem.

Many centuries have passed. Our blood has flowed freely over the face of the earth, and it was not only sword and fire that consumed us but assimilation as well, swallowing up our children in the melting pot of the nations. And now we have entered a time in our history when the footsteps of Messiah are audible – that is, if we know how to listen. Soon we will have to go to that “great wedding” and, as in my fictitious letter, we will be mortified. Our garments will be ridiculously inappropriate.

So let us stop for a moment and ask ourselves how will we feel at that wedding when we meet the Patriarchs and Matriarchs. How will stand before our King, our Heavenly Father? Will we say we had to attend to our business or that we were searching for haute couture and therefore forgot the proper dress code? Will such rationalizations fly? How will we explain it all?

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

IBM Haifa Developing Real-Time Shopping App

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

IBM in Haifa is developing a a new augmented-reality mobile shopping app to enable retailers to personalize customers’ shopping experiences from their smart phones and tablets.

The new app will allow users to scan store shelves to receive personalized product information, coupons, and recommendations as they shop.

The app will also allow users to customize their profiles according to factors that matter to them most – such as the cost, inclusion of an allergenic or undesired ingredient, or biodegradable packaging, and will provide prices, review, discounts, and even reviews by friends accessed through the user’s social networking memberships.

Haifa’s IBM Research lab aims to give in-store shoppers the same amount of real-time product details online shoppers have.

The app will also provide retailers with information about consumers, enabling them to better stay in touch with their likes and dislikes, and will help them build brand loyalty by providing coupons and membership benefits.

Malkah Fleisher

Shopping with my Dog

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

Young woman and her dog out shopping in the Florentin neighborhood in South Tel-Aviv.

The Florentine neighborhood in south Tel-Aviv was established years ago by the newcomers from Greece and Turkey. It was planned as a simple and pretty neighborhood, but it quickly sank into poverty and neglect.

Today the neighborhood attracts many foreign workers, legal and otherwise, as well as young students, all of whom like the low rents.  The city has been investing in the neighborhood’s infrastructure and in education, but the neighborhood remains rundown.

Despite this, during the day it is a busy and vibrant place where people flock to buy furniture and fabrics, or visit the Levinsky Market.

(From Tel-Aviv Guide)

Jewish Press Staff

Met Council and NYC Food Bank Launch Virtual Food Drive for Passover

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

This Passover season, more than 100,000 Jewish families in NYC will find themselves struggling to put food on the table, according to the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty. Many households have lived through job loss, dwindling savings and maxed-out credit cards.

Met Council and the Food Bank For New York City, two of New York City’s major hunger-relief organizations, have partnered to fight hunger by launching an interactive Virtual Food Drive, which will remain live through April 14, 2012.

Unlike a traditional food drive, the Virtual Food Drive mirrors the experience of online grocery shopping.  Users will be able to choose staple Passover items to fill a shopping cart and then check out to make a secure donation.  Thanks to Met Council and the Food Bank’s wholesale purchasing power and efficient distribution models, dollars are stretched to ensure the maximum impact is made through each donation.

On the reverse side, some 15,000 Jewish homes will be issued pre-paid debit cards — from $50 to $300, depending on family size and needs — to help with the cost of Passover holiday preparations.

“There is a sense that Jewish poverty is an oxymoron, people don’t think that there are poor Jews out there,” said Met Council CEO Willie Rapfogel. “Passover is a time of year when people ask for help. Everything in the ‘fridge and pantry can’t be used. They need everything.”

 

Jacob Edelist

Believing In Hashem’s Packages

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

Upon returning home from food shopping, I had to park my van a block and a half from where I live. It was difficult for me to carry the heavy food packages and my pocketbook, but I managed to get to the beginning of my block. I then decided to stop, put the packages down, and rearrange them so I’d make it home with heavy packages intact. But after a few more steps, I just couldn’t proceed further. I stopped again, put down my packages, and said in my mind, “Hashem, what am I going to do? I’m so close to home, and yet I can’t get there.” I felt like I couldn’t move on.

Suddenly, one of my son’s former teachers who saw me struggling gave me a nice warm welcome and asked if she could help me. She said her van was parked nearby and that she’d be happy to give me a ride down the block to my home. I was relieved and told her that I just asked Hashem to please help me, and she said, “You see, I was your shaliach to help you.” She told me that her family member writes a list of things that she requests Hashem to help her with, and slowly – with Hashem’s help and her bitachon – each item on the list gets crossed off.

What a powerful lesson this was to me. All of us, in our own way, have our own “package” or “packages” in life that we may feel we can’t handle. Indeed life presents us with daily and sudden unexpected challenges. We need to ask Hashem, our father who loves us, for help, and have bitachon that we will be successful in meeting the challenges. Hashem can send a sudden shaliach, can produce a sudden recovery from an illness, or provide something else one desires.

I happily made it home with all my packages intact, and with this powerful lesson: we need to have faith that Hashem will help us with our packages.

“Kavei el Hashem chazak veya’ametz libecha v’kavei el Hashem.”

Rachel Pattashnick

We Must Have Faith

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

I live at Scharf’s Ateret Avot, a residence for seniors. I get around via a motorized wheelchair. This gives me the independence to go where I choose.

On a recent sunny morning, I decided to ride and do a little shopping. Most important I took my small canvas tote bag, in which I put the things necessary to go shopping. Included among these things were my charge card, my purse with money, and my cell phone. As usual I slung the tote over the arm of my chair, did my shopping, and happily rode back to Ateret Avot. In the lobby I reached for my tote bag to get my keys. Calamity! The tote bag was gone.

Panic set in. Where can it be? Moses Scharf saw my agitation and asked what was wrong. I told him, and said I would retrace my steps. His response was, “Don’t panic. Put a dollar in the pushka and say a prayer to Rabbi Meir Baal Haness.”

Mr. Scharf had to give me a dollar because my money was in the missing tote bag. I recited the prayer for lost articles. I wasn’t sure that this would work, but figured that prayer never hurts.

I left the lobby and saw that Mr. Scharf left right after me. I later found out that he walked into every store on my route to inquire if anyone had found the bag.

I returned to Ateret Avot feeling dejected. I took mental inventory. I would have to notify my cell phone company, my charge card company, etc. All my IDs were gone. I entered the lobby with tears rolling down my cheeks. Iris, the receptionist, greeted me. “Phyllis, smile.” I answered, “I have nothing to smile about.”

Then I saw this young man holding my tote bag. I could not believe my eyes. This wonderful yeshiva bachur, Dovid Lipschutz, had found my bag. It was in the middle of the street and a car had just run over it. He picked it up and ingeniously called a number listed in my cell phone. My son answered and gave him my address.

Also amazing is the fact that the only damage was to a plastic pillbox. My purse, cell phone, etc. were the way I left them. Mr. Scharf smiled as he said to me, “I told you Rabbi Meir Baal Haness would help you find it.” There is no question in my mind that Mr. Scharf had advised me properly.

We must have faith.

Phyllis Schindler

‘Mancation’ In Cincinnati

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

            Two months ago I told you about my “Mancation” (men only, we visit different cities, check out a ballgame and the shuls, etc.).

 

Two months ago it was Pittsburgh. This time it was Cincinnati. Both cities are a five-and-a-half hour drive from my dugout in suburban Detroit. Pittsburgh is east, Cincy west. The two cities have similar populations, well under a half million, and both boast thriving downtowns and beautiful riverfront ballparks.

 

Pittsburgh, however, had one big advantage over Cincinnati: its kosher eateries, kosher shopping, and shuls are all pretty much within walking distance of each other. While Cincinnati’s few shuls are fairly close to one another, its kosher shopping and eateries are spread out and a car is a definite must.

 

Rabbi A.D. Motzen, who reps for Agudah in the Midwest covering several states,
is based in Cincinnati. Rabbi Motzen says the Cincy area has 27,000 Jews and approximately 250 Orthodox families. I was lucky enough to be in town the same time as Rabbi Motzen’s father, the internationally known cantor Yaakov Motzen. The chazzan‘s wife is from Philadelphia and a loyal Phillies fan; the family took in a Reds-Phillies game while in town.

 

Losantville Road houses Cincinnati’s tiny kollel building and adjoining day schools for boys and girls across the street. One big Orthodox shul is a couple of houses south of Losantville and the beautiful, relatively new, building of Knesseth Israel/Zichron Yaakov on Section Road is about a half mile north.

 

Great American Ballpark on the banks of the Ohio River, facing the Kentucky cities of Newport and Covington, is a beautiful baseball venue employing mainly two colors – the red and white of the Cincinnati Reds. A bright white exterior with strikingly white light towers gives all sides of the ballpark’s exterior a different look from other major league parks.

 

The interior of all-red seats for the Reds gives the stadium a bright look and is quite a departure from the dark green or blue seats most ballparks employ. Most fans wear their Reds jerseys, something that adds greatly to the vibrant red color scheme.

 

 


Great American Ballpark in beautiful downtown Cincinnati.

(Photo Credit: Irwin Cohen)


 

Great American Ballpark also has one of the most entertaining scoreboards in the big leagues. Between innings the giant board features fans in attendance and their reactions when they discover themselves on the screen. Camera people are constantly roaming different areas of the stands and concourses for unsuspecting fans, and, of course, many dance around hoping to be featured on the board.

 

Because of the scoreboard’s location, many boaters congregate on the Ohio River at night beyond the right field bleachers, open their coolers and set anchor while watching the game’s (and other) highlights on the scoreboard.

 

So, if you like a mid-sized city with a small town atmosphere and a beautiful, busy downtown – and don’t mind driving a bit for kosher shopping and eating – give Cincinnati a try.


 

* * * * *

 

As you can imagine, the talk around my town (Detroit) has been all about the Tigers. There’s nothing tougher for the baseball fan than to have your team in the postseason playoffs and not know what’s going on as the yomim tovim run into Shabbos. After giving the traditional Yom Tov or Shabbos greeting, everyone asks, “Did you find out anything about the game?”

 

I’ll tell you more about it next month along with some of the biggest surprises of the season and some free-agent predictions for next season.

 

* * * * *

 

Irwin Cohen headed a national baseball publication for five years and earned a
World Series ring while working in a major league front office
. To read his
illustrated autobiography on how he made it to the baseball field, send a check for $19.95, payable to Irwin Cohen, to 25921 Stratford Place, Oak Park, Michigan, 48237
. Cohen, the president of the Detroit area’s Agudah shul, may be reached in his dugout at irdav@sbcglobal.net.

Irwin Cohen

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/sports/mancation-in-cincinnati-2/2011/10/12/

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