Thursday, October 1, 2009

Don't judge me

I hate ranting. I try not to discuss what happens in Jewish world. I ain't an angel myself. If I want to vent there's enough stuff I can vent about myself. But...

But there's one day in the year when I get depressed not because of myself. It's the day when I go buying lulav, esrog and whole lots of stuff related here.

While esrog is what usually makes the price it's pretty easy to get through this challenge. All you have to do is to find an appealing, good looking, right color, nice/ideal form and shape, no black dots, no scratches from leaves, pitim/no pitim and so on. With these simple rules you have almost found good esrog. It's harder to check all boxes and to find one but at least you can take every one and look at it yourself first. After you found something you like, just go to the man checking esrogim and show it to him:

- Ummm, nice esrog! Really perfect one!.. {short pause, looking at esrog with magnifying glass} This would be expensive one, are you ok with budget?
- Yeah, how much is it?
- Where did you find it?
- There {pointing at the box aside from the main table}
- Look, I really can't give it for less that $$
- Sure no problem

This little conversation doesn't take longer than 1 or 2 minutes and both are happy: one got what he was looking for, another sold it for good money and helped a fellow jew.

Now you move to lulavim. The law is the law - don't touch the top two inches or you will have to take it regardless of it's quality. Accepted. You stand aside waiting for your time, not touching anything. Consider these two conversations:

{sales guy stands, holds a lulav in his hands, looks at it's top, looks at your esrog}
- How much are you paying for it?
- $$
- {half second pause} this is a very good lulav {hands you lulav he's holding}
{both are happy - one got what he was looking for, another didn't take much time and helped a fellow jew

{sales guy stands, holds a lulav in his hands, looks at it's top, looks at you, hands you lulav he was looking at}
- Here's good one for you! It's kosher O-U, O-K, Star-K - it's kosher!
- but...
- Don't look at it too much you'll get ain horah at it!

Obviously every year I get into similar situation described in the second conversation. Both take less than a minute, but second one make's me feel everytime like I am less Jewish than people around me. Look - I am not getting esrog for $10 although even here you can make nice conversation. I am paying $80 which is much higher than regular price in the store ($50-60). I didn't just to be upselled - I am paying for expensive stuff, obviously I don't need anyone to run around me, but at least treat me as everyone else in the store. If I wear jeans and color shirt it doesn't tell you much about me. Well, I can understand you are tired, but I was not hanging out the whole week with girls and going to clubs nor did I not come hour before Sukkos starts - I came in advance and I am also tired, I also just came from work.

What bothers me most is that it doesn't take you much effort to say something nicely, regardless of what you think. It doesn't take you longer either. In fact you may get rid of me faster as I will feel that you didn't just give me the first more or less kosher lulav, but that you gave me something good compared to when you make me feel like I am not given good stuff and you make me want to argue with you!

I just wanted to add that I really feel bad saying all this stuff about a yid, esspecially two days after Yom Kippur, but it's not my fault that Sukkos comes right after it...


  1. Some of these hockers selling esrogim have zero experience dealing with people even slightly different from them.

    And for 80 bucks u should have definitely gotten top quality. Mine was going for $90 but Da Jew haz connections...check out a pic of it on my bloggy.

  2. Dunno where you buy yours but sounds messed up.
    I went Friday morning, looked around, ended up buying in store next to Chaim Berlin on L, $30, green esrog, free arovos and free hassidish rings. I pick out esrog and lulav myself and wouldn't trust a salesman with checking.

  3. @Jacob - I don't really want to judge them either, but you should've heard the rav who checked my lulav on second day of Yom Tov - I didn't understand all words in [i guess] yiddish, but it didn't sound even close to "it's a nice lulav", was more of a curse.

    @Moshe - look, first of all the only time i can come is after 10PM and that store was closed. Also I couldn't come on friday and was afraid i won't even make it on thursday so I figured I use the chance.
    I can pick esrog by myself and that's what I did, but with lulavim they have a rule that you cannot touch it on top (like 2 inches) so I figured I'd rather ask for help. Besides that lulav is harder to choose than esrog

  4. Never heard about the 2 inches rule. Nobody bother me when I examine the tip.


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