Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Black Friday Destroys American Traditions

Macy's black Friday will now begin on Thanksgiving night, Thursday, at 8 p.m.

I doubt they would do this if they thought only a handful of people would show up.

Besides the fact that it sadly means some employees have no family to join for dinner, it means many many Americans must be leaving the food-family tradition to go shopping.

How terribly sad.  Traditions are so important.  Another American family-one on one time- interpersonal relationship- activity gone down the tubes.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Yevonim Are Winning

In very recent times,  the DIP father has been using an expression, much to the exasperation of some of our children.  And it is now, I think, more relavant than ever.

The Yevonim are Winning.  Or, The Yevonim Have Won.

Normally I think I would have even put an exclamation point after this statement (The Yevonim Are Winning!!) , to show a lightness, a brevity, a humorous side.  But I can't.  I'm too disturbed.

My husband began using this term when he feels our children are too entwined, enthusiastic, or involved in pursuits he feels are very....Yevanim-like.  Mainly, I believe, he means sports.  He was never a huge fan type.  He followed, he cheered, he was disappointed  (mainly disappointed. That's what happens to Oriole fans).  But he was never obsessed with it.  And never ever had or has made judgements about other people who Really Love The Game.  Whatever The Game may be.  But for our children, it has saddened him to sometimes see too much involvement and enthusiasm...Okay, I'll call it obsession, time wasting, whatever......with organized sports, or popular trends.   And his reference to the Yevanim was clearly that- The ancient Greeks who glorified the beauty of physical prowess and ability, the antithesis to some of our Torah ideals.  So if the kids go on and on about something in sports, or something very new and popular in the American culture, that was discussed just a little too long and often at the Shabbos table, he will say (with a cheeful yet somewhat disappointed and sad look) "Oy! The Yevanim are WINNING!!".

But today I had a conversation at the mechanic with Luke, who converted for his wife.  He told me he's having the Chanuka Bush again, but it's going up a lot earlier, on Thanksgiving.  So he can have Chanuka, Thanksgiving, and early Xmas all at once.  Luke is not religious (actually not really jewish), so I understood his enthusiasm for all the holidays in one, the Menurkey, Thanksgivukkah, Chanaving, etc.

I am not sure why so many frum people are embracing this coinciding of Chanuka and Thanksgiving. 
Really,  who cares??
I don't have a problem with frum people celebrating Thanksgiving, either by eating a traditional turkey/stuffing/cranberry/pie dinner, watching whatever football game is on, visiting with family.

But why are so many frum people going on and on about this?? and why are they proudly talking about how they are cooking food entwining these two themes? How can they? One is our sacred, holy, spiritual celebration of redemption, and Hashem's miracles!  The other is a secular holiday!

  I am so sad that so many, many people don't see that if we can compare and combine our beautiful holiday with another holiday (even IF it doesn't have religious overtones), then the Yevanim have definitely won. 

Please don't be a lurker. Let this post be the one you respond to.


How do you define loyalty?

Is it too lofty an ideal to use it for a basic concept?

There are many grocery stores here in Monsey.  Over the past few years they have expanded and spread out.  A few years ago, one store became a mega kosher grocery store. A candy isle twice the length of my house. A wall of dips and shmears** that dazzle the eyes.  A huge selection of meats and poultry, sometimes just cut up 6 different ways. Such as cutlets: cut thin, in strips, in chunks, in little stir fry strips, on skewers, spiced, breaded, etc.  Good for them that they can be so clever with their marketing  (or shame on us cooks that we'd pay extra per lb. to have a chicken cutlet cut into little strips.  Really, how much work is that??)

I do believe that the mega grocery store took away some business from other stores.  And even more than groceries, when the  large stores start to sell non-grocery items  (and I don't mean chanuka menorahs or paper goods), like sandwich makers, small electronic appliances, a huge selection of swimming gear, it has to have an effect on the other hardware/appliance stores.

Recently another new, modern grocery store opened.  And there is no question, IMHO, that it has severely affected the other grocery stores.  Places which had been packed on a Wednesday or Thursday are now less so.  Parking spaces abound.  Lines are shorter.

I admit, I have gone into the new store.  It is nice!  Actually, not my taste exactly, too dark, and it smells like sushi.  But it's modern, has an energy to it, and some clever shticky things, like zoom checkout and purple fingerling potatoes. 

Does the concept of Hasogas Hagvul have an application here? I don't know.

But I think loyalty does.  I think I should still shop at the grocery store near my home, Wesley Kosher.  I love them.  Their prices are ok, their meats a very reliable hechsher, and tasty, and they pretty much always have what I am looking for.  Staff that are helpful, and really know me.  Back when I was still using checks to pay for groceries, Luis would look at my check and say, "Hey, your husband was in here before!"

And they are undergoing some major cosmetic changes.  I am sad that they must do so to stay competitive, and that locals really need to have their fruit display look different, or their meat and chicken pre-cut and seasoned.  I wish they would know that there are many of us here in the extended Monsey community who have always liked their store the way it is. Familiar.
 But such is change. And competition.

And here at DIP, I think we shall remain loyal.


Monday, November 18, 2013

Bring Back the Title of Mr.

I'm back to complain.

I'm so disgusted. with things in our frum world.

the title of Mr. has become dishonorable, disgraceful, low, pick your adjective

Do not reference a Gvir, an Askan, as Rav _____ if they are not a Rabbi.

They are important, very important, to our frum world!

There is no disgrace in being a Mr. who supports Torah, organizations, families, tzedakas.

But please!  JUST WRITE MR. 

you take away the distinction between their importance in our world, and the importance of our bonafide Rabbonim, who are our spiritual guides.