July 18, 2024
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Lessons From Black Friday and Cyber Monday

It was said on the news this week that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are now observed in many parts of the world, although obviously the phenomena originated in the U.S.. When we lived in Canada there was no such celebration of shopping, as Thanksgiving is on a Monday and the next day everyone returns to work and their everyday lives. The first few years that we returned to the United States, Nina got really caught up in the frenzy of shopping. She would take her two teenage granddaughters shopping at 1 a.m. and together they would stand on line to each buy maybe one item. It wasn’t even that the bargains were so amazing as much as it was the fact that we could say that we did it! The first year Nina purchased a toaster for $7 at 2 a.m. in Target, which just a few weeks ago saw its demise. It has been replaced with a $7.99 Shoprite special, which was purchased at 1 in the afternoon without any long lines winding throughout the aisles of the store. Nina’s shopping partners have deserted her this year, spending a much more inspiring year in Israel, and none of our daughters would ever consider joining her in her “childish adventures.” It therefore appears that, for the time being, Black Friday in a store has ended in the Glick family.

We realized that at this point in our life there is little that we really need. More towels, more linens, more serving pieces, more tchotchkes—we have more than enough. Another computer, iPhone, iPad, iPod, Alexa—certainly we do not need them and can hardly figure out how to use the ones we have! We received Alexa as a gift, and other than asking her to tell a joke or whether the traffic was heavy on the George Washington Bridge, we hardly ever made use of her services. Once we found out that she was spying on some people we decided that Alexa was not really welcome in our home. She was also one more thing to dust.

As we look around our home and think about what the “things” are that we really need, there are not many. There is a difference between what you need and what you want.

We often say to each other that there must be something wrong with each of us because we see no reason to replace the bedroom set that we purchased before we were married in Korvette’s for $199. It is really in fine condition and we like it. Does the fact that it is old mean that it is not acceptable any longer? We think not. Do we need new living room furniture? The fact that we finally got it 20 years ago, after we were already married, was so overwhelmingly exciting that we still feel grateful for it. Yes, in truth, maybe we could use new furniture in our living room, but would it change anything in terms of our outlook on life or gratitude for what we have? Absolutely not! Does Nina need an Instant Pot or do we need a Keurig? We make fresh coffee every day in our Mr. Coffee. Extras to fill our closets and our kitchen counters we no longer are interested in. We look around and really think that we need very little. We are so grateful to have each other. We laugh and cry at memories and thrill at some of the events that we still have to come in the future. No, we really do not need Cyber Monday or Black Friday in our lives anymore. The only thing we really need is continued days with each other in good health and enjoying the bounty of joy we receive from our wonderful children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

By Rabbi Mordechai and Nina Glick


Rabbi Mordechai and Nina Glick are living in Bergenfield after many years of service to the Montreal Jewish community. Rabbi Glick was the rav of Congregation Ahavat Yisroel as well as a practicing clinical psychologist in private practice. He also taught at Champlain Regional College. The Glicks were frequent speakers at the OU marriage retreats. Nina coordinated all Yachad activities in Montreal and was a co/founder of Maison Shalom, a group home for young adults with special needs. They can be reached at [email protected].

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