A Reader Writes: We Come First


readers-write3Dear Editor@Matzav.com,       

At a time when we acknowledge that there is an ongoing declining financial situation across the entire world and we have surely noticed that it has affected many Jewish businesses, which are barely surviving, we should keep in mind that the Torah obligates us to help our fellow Jews. Thus, we should reexamine some of our yeshivos’ policies. Many yeshivos require parents to purchase vouchers – sorry, Chesed Dollars – in the thousands of dollars, which encourage our support of non-Jewish businesses, such as Path Mark ,ShopRite, etc. Yet, we all know that our local Jewish businesses, especially the grocery stores, are all suffering. Therefore, as a true chesed, we have to remember to help out our own first. The Torah mandates that we support our brothers first. Help you brother and sister survive even if it is a little more expensive. Tzedaka must begin at home.



Your Fellow Yid


  1. What was the story with the Turkish Taleisim? All of them coming from Tunisia with serious Shatnez among other issues. They all should have bought the Talaisim made by Shomrei Shabbos. Those that refuse to use the ones from Eretz Yisroel, can avail themselves with the USA ones-by Shomrei Torah.

  2. “WE COME FIRST”- Lakewood’s local Moisdois are suffering financially, many can’t afford the tuition. Yet there are Parlor meetings & dinners, Tzedokahs etc from all over the world…Shouldn’t WE COME FIRST?

  3. I could not have said it better, as a grocery owner, after giving my life to the community for many years I will admit out of crying out loud that, I cant keep up with rent,insurance, pay roll, taxes, utility bills, paying for the goods etc.It kills me when I see people looking for bargains in a 99cent store etc. for Purim I can imagine how many of my “loyal” customers will be running to bargain stores while I am literally drowning. I am pouring out my heart to all of you and asking (actually begging you) to shop at your Kosher Frum owned grocery stores, where ever you are, if you care about a fellow Yid.I am actually writing this post with hot tears flowing down …. Show that you care for your brothers who are in desperate need.

    Thank You in advance.

  4. If they are not our brothers, then we are not their brothers either. We shall therefore expect to see reciprocal articles in non-jewish web sites.
    Isn’t every human being a child of Hashem?

  5. I’m happy this topic is being brought up. But I have a problem with the entire idea of forcing parents to buy Chesed Dollars in the first place. It restricts the buyer to shopping in certain stores, which NO ONE has any right to do.

    I know some of you will say, “But… But… But…. the Yeshivos get money……”, or, “All proceeds to Tzdakah…..”

    Don’t matter. You can’t force me to give Tzdakah. It’s not fair to me. Maybe I’m also struggling…….. DUH!

  6. With all due respect to the fellow yid , you are off base. If the Jewish stores could match the prices of the supermarkets , then maybe you have a valid point. But I can testify that the prices at Shop Rite is close to 50% cheaper then most of the jewish Supermarkets. Due to the economic downturn, don’t you think it should be fair to give the customer’s a slight break? The Torah expects you to support your brethren when the prices are in the same ball park as the competition. When Jewish owned Supermarkets charge premium prices, there is no obligation to support them.

  7. We have to help our own first, And that means that we should all buy where we can get the best price. I would love to buy my groceries at the heimeshe stores yet if I am saving significant money which I do not have I will buy where it is cheapest.

  8. Charity is not business. Business is not charity.

    When I go to buy something I have a wholesome right to get the best price, to save my money so that I can give to the charity of my choice.

    If they were the same prices or even close then you have a point. But when grapes cost 2.99 vs. 9.99 then that’s not fair!

  9. The voucher system is nothing more than extortion and protection money for the mosdos- it is no big deal for the Shoprites of the world to give 5% from a tiny piece of their multi millions- but your local grocer has to share with the mosdos- and in turn cannot lower his price- A VICIOUS CYCYLE indeed!

  10. To Mordechai

    I am referring to stores that compete with the Shop rite Path Mark type stores mot the corner grocery that charges $5.49 for a can of tuna

  11. Re Mordechai:
    The sentiment is correct; however, it must be quantified. A difference of up to bitul meckach (i.e., 1/6th in price) still requires us to patronize a Jewish establishment over a non-Jewish one. Anything more than that and all bets are off.
    Of course, this assumes that all other things, such as service, are equal.

  12. Please know that others share your pain. I do my best to shop by stores owned by community members. I understand that smaller stores do not have the chain stores’ buying power, and nevertheless feel it is important to shop locally. A Yid feels another Yid’s pain. I appreciated reading your post, and the heightened awareness will spur me to increase my efforts in this regard.

    Thank you, and may Hashem bentch you and all of Klal Yisrael with Parnassah.

  13. I don’t get this “Tzedokah Dollars” business. I heard recently from a friend that she does most of her shopping in certain stores so that a family member who has to use a certain sum of these “dollars” will make the quota.

    What is this but coercion? If the family is paying tuition, then adjust the tuition. If the family needs a scholarship then certainly they can’t afford “tzedokoh dollars.” What we have here is either a) rampant stupidity or b) blatant hypocrisy. This is just another example of our schizophrenic approach to funding our yeshivas and other mosdos. Let’s get a grip – we have a major problem financing our school system, and the Rabbonim and Askonim should combine their sekel and authority and come up with a workable solution, instead of driving the parents to despair.

  14. I would love to support my local Jewish grocer if I would be able to afford it. I noticed that most of the people that shop in corner overpriced stores are people who shop with food stamps and load their wagaons with nosh and not food! (Maybe slight exageration but not that far off!)If I was living the life of the free ride, I would also support the overpriced, non-competitive stores. Fortunately, my family earns our money with long hours and hard work – azoi vee is darf zein! I, along with many other, need to budget our money so that we could afford the full tuition that we are paying and still be able to put food on our table.

  15. Dear Rabbi Shain, of all people you must know: no matter how bad global(!) finances are, SCHNORR MUST GO ON!!!
    Obama, grada, suggested some ways for schnorrers to WORK!

  16. I’m happy to see that tzedaka is definately an important inyan even or maybe due to today’s financial situation worldwide.
    Every Torah institution is suffering from lack of funds. We must do our all to keep every Yeshiva, chesed organization and the like alive.
    Olam Hatorah, the Torah Index has a list of needy and well deserving mosdos in E”Y. Visit the website and see how you can turn your tzedaka money into a lifesaver.

  17. Dear Jewish Grocery owner,
    I think it’s a very big Mitzvah that you wrote about your hardships as you have to do your histadlut. Amd I have taken heart to it, and will keep it in mind as I shop. I would only say that maybe keep the “hot tears flowing down” to the Ribono Shel Olam as ONLY He gives us our parnassah at the end of the day. I’m sure that you do that anyway…but in these hard times we must all work even more on our bitachon. I wish you hatslacha raba.


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