Friday, December 23, 2005

A Xmas Mitzvah

See this story from Newsweek's website:

My wife pleaded that she was on a tight budget for a good purpose. She had read of Stockings With Care, a volunteer group in New York City that coordinates with social agencies who work with impoverished families. The children have written down their Christmas wishes and through Stockings with Care, social workers provide these “wish lists” to people like my wife who buy the gifts. These presents are given to the parents so that on Christmas morning the children get exactly what they yearn for—and can thank Mom or Dad or other caregiver for making their wish come true. My wife had a list for five kids, and the oldest on it desperately wanted an MP3 player.

The [Orthodox Jewish B&H] salesman listened to this story, then said he’d see what he could do. He went back to his computer and rechecked the inventory. Sure enough, he found a discounted MP3 player he had overlooked, and even marked it down a notch to $50.

“Take it to the checkout,” he directed my grateful wife. “And Merry Christmas.”

The salesman recognized a mitzvah (good deed) in what my wife was doing, and he replied with one of his own. The moral of the story, if there is one, is that Christmas, though Christian in origin, can unite as well as divide.
I'm sure some people will see this as a kiddush Hashem [sanctification of God's name] but personally I shudder at the story.

Sure, the B&H salesman was just trying to treat his customer nicely so she'll have a good shopping experience and come back again. And he was probably also sympathetic with the whole "charity" aspect as well. There's nothing wrong with that. But I find this author's transforming it into some sort of trans-religious experience offensive. Very offensive, actually. Keep your holidays to yourself, please.

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Favorites More