A student of Rav Pam z"tl came to his home for a bracha with his new kallah. Obviously, this was the first time he was at his rebbe's house; he was taken aback by the old and sparse furnishings. After receiving a bracha ("a birchat hedyot I'm certain my rebbe interjected"), he asked our rebbe if there was anything he can purchase for the house. With the rebbe and the rebbetzin standing at the door; "everything we need and want we have, anything we don't have, we don't need or want."
For the first time in my life, I desired to experience first-hand a Black Friday shopping day. Not because I wanted to purchase some junk for a $20 savings, I wanted to experience what the rest of the world does with their time and money. So on Friday I braved the 75 degrees weather, donned my short sleeve shirt, and went to take a look.
I waited some 35 minutes to find a parking space, and entered the Best Buy store. There must have been a thousand or so people in this mega store...2 scuffels by customers that security had to breakup, peoples' faces were ugly with determination to buy something, anything, but they were not going to leave the store empty handed, whether they needed it or not.
I had enough; I could only imagine (besides what I saw on the news) what transpired at midnight prior, where some people got into brawls, and I read one woman actually maced a competitor for a cheap TV.
I can tell my readers, among the happiest moments in my life, by far, were the times my family danced around the Chanukah menorah...singing Yevanim, Yevanim nikbatzu alei... and on Shabbos mornings walking with my kinderlach to shul....when their tiny hentelach grasped mine...and I firmly, by securely grasping theirs, let them know I'll always be there for them.
As we celebrate Chanukah, let's not lose sight that Consumerism is fleeting happiness...only leading one to want more; your children and their children are forever....Please let's keep them safe.
A Freilechen and Lichtegen Chanukah.
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