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Shopping with responsebility

Friday, 22 January, 2010 - 11:02 am

Dear Friends,
 

 

I do my weekly and Shabbat shopping on Thursday evenings, usually at the Wholesale Club (which carries many kosher items, and at a good price too...).  Last Thursday, after I finished unloading my cart, I took out my debit card to pay. Just then, I realized that after getting my insurance for my car that day, and some other large shopping, I had exceeded my daily allowance on the card. As you may know, Wholesale Club doesn't take credit cards... The store was closing in less than one hour and I wasn't sure that I'd be able to go back home and get an alternative payment method...

While I was thinking of what to do, a couple from the community, with whom we celebrated holidays and events together, came close to see what the issue was. "I don't have my bank card with me but I live closer. Let me go home. I'll be back in a few minutes," says R. Before I had a chance to thank him properly, he was on his way...

The cashier at the register was amazed. She realized that we didn't come shopping together. She turned to me and said, "We don't see these kinds of things any more..." Usually it would be no more than plain empathy....

I was very thankful to this couple who saved my shopping for that day and I thought to myself that maybe this sense of responsibility that we have for each other: "Love your fellow as yourself," which is the foundation of Judaism, is something that we still need to share with the world.

Maybe this is the same drive of over 200 volunteers from a little country in the Middle East to travel to open the first field hospital and save hundreds of lives, 10,000 KM away from their homes...

Chani joins me in wishing you Shabbat Shalom, 

Rabbi Meir Kaplan 

Comments on: Shopping with responsebility
1/23/2010

Nechamie wrote...

I really enjoy reading. beautiful!
9/22/2012

Summer wrote...

While I agree with pretty much evtheyring posted here, I would make one additional observation: nobody likes being in the minority all the time. As an African American in the US, I have two choices: either self-segregate, (and then have to put up with well-meaning whites who ask, Why don't you people _participate_ more? ) or else live in an integrated community with the knowledge that my daughter and I will always be outsiders to a degree. I have chosen the latter, but it isn't always pleasant. However, I have never assumed that I have the _right_ to be in the majority in my own country. This is not a uniquely Jewish/Israeli dilemma: I have heard anglos in Texas and California complain that increased Asian and Mexican immigration makes them feel like a minority group, _and they don't like it_ So yes, while the impetus to form a majority Jewish state arose from valid fears of annihilation, that's not the only reason. Brant, I think I remember you observing in a sermon once that it's kind of cool to celebrate shabbat in a place where EVERYONE is celebrating it, where being Jewish feels normative and not the exception. As an African American, I empathize; sometimes I would like to feel normal too. But I don't think that justifies creating a separate African American state for little ol' me. Ideally, we should all (Jews, gentiles, Palestinians ,whites, blacks,Asians, ) get comfortable with NOT needing to be in the majority to feel comfortable in our own country.Lesley W.
9/22/2012

Abib wrote...

as much in his message to the virtcos of WWI who were busily carving up the geographic spoils of war back in the early 20th century and in the process creating very unnatural and illogical configurations in places like Europe, the MIddle East and Africa. National self-determination is a powerful force. The last 100 years are replete with examples of artificially created bi-nations and multi-nations violently splitting up into their ethnically, nationally and linguistically purer selves. After the U.S., the list of truly multi-ethnic nation-states in the world is very short indeed. Our pluralistic society just doesn't work everywhere across the globe. (It might not be working so wonderfully here, either. But that's a topic for another blog.)Have you thought about Tibet lately? Nice country. Nice people. Long and complicated history with China. Now being settled by waves of Han Chinese immigrants encouraged and subsidized by the government in Beijing in an attempt to dominate (and erase?) Tibetan culture. The Tibetans have my sympathy and support. Free Tibet! Free Palestine!