Sunday, November 27, 2011

Black Friday

If I ever needed a reminder as to why I do not plan on raising my daughter in America, the media came to the rescue. 

An editorial in The Forward, entitled "The American Shabbat, " stated the following:  "Macy's flagship store in New York City's Herald Square and more than 800 branches around the country opened just after the clock struck midnight on Black Friday.  So did Target and Best Buy. Walmart got the jump on its competitors by opening at 10 pm on Thanksgiving Day, but Toys R Us beat them all by starting it Christmas sales that day at 9 pm, three hours before Black Friday even officially began."

Reuters news service reported that "Black Friday turned into a black mark against American shoppers as riotous crowds brawled over video games, waffle irons and towels, drawing international condemnation and even raising questions about the state of humanity."  [Emphasis mine]

The article continues, "One of the most outrageous incidents of the day was in the Los Angeles area, where up to 20 people were injured after a woman at a Walmart used pepper spray to get an edge on other shoppers in a rush for Xbox game consoles." [Emphasis mine]

Pepper spray!?  What is the point of the Occupy Wall Street Movement in New York and around the United States, and the parallel Social Justice Initiative in Israel if not to point out the idiocy of crazed consumerism, and its negative affect on the spiritual and economic development of the human race?

The new battle cry for the United States seems to be, "Give me $1.88 towels or give me death!"

I fully admit that Israeli society is not totally innocent in this regard, the local paper Kol Hair reported this weekend that the Malcha Mall in Jerusalem is the highest grossing mall in the country, ironically, in the poorest city in this country;  and there are plenty of Israeli citizens who get wrapped up in the status game. However, the values of family, community and tradition still outweigh the trend toward emulating the American model, and for that I am grateful.

To paraphrase a core value in Judaism, "Who is wealthy? She who is content with her present life."

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