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Is There A Blessing for the Bazaar? (November 2017)

Rabbi Mike

I don’t know about you, but my email inbox has been flooded lately. Last week it was all about Black Friday; since then Cyber Monday. I have been spending way too much time pushing the “delete” button.

We live in a consumer culture, and we feel it most acutely this time of year. I understand it, but I don’t particularly like it. I understand that retailers do an inordinately high percentage of their business during this holiday season, and that their businesses and livelihoods are dependent on doing so. I don’t like it because I think that our society places way too much emphasis on having at the expense of being.

So as long as you’re going to be shopping, say a blessing. That’s right—we Jews have a blessing (or “beracha”) for just about anything. You may recall the line in Fiddler on the Roof, when a villager asks the rabbi if there is a blessing for the Tsar (as opposed to “Bazaar”). And the rabbi replies, “May God bless and keep the Tsar…far away from us!”

After we eat, we recite Bircat Hamazon, the blessing after the meal. I am writing this on Cyber Monday, so it is appropriate to offer you the following:

Sorry, I couldn’t help myself!

Sun, July 5 2020 13 Tammuz 5780