Seasons Supermarket, Chapter 11, and Rashi veZos HaBracha


By Rabbi Yair Hoffman for

Season’s Supermarket.  Chapter Eleven bankruptcy.  Rashi on Moshe Rabbeinu’s bracha regarding Shaivet Levi.

What do they have to do with each other?

The pasuk tells us, “And of Levi he said: Your Thummim and Your Urim be with Your holy one, whom You did prove at the waters of Meribah.”

Rashi explains that the tribe of a Levi did not complain with the other murmurers.

We see here a remarkable insight.  Neither did Shaivet Levi complain nor did they join with other murmurers.  There appears to be a special yetzer hara to join in with others in murmuring and complaining.

Shaivet Levi didn’t do that.  They remained davuk bashem.  Many meforshim explain that it was because of this quality that they earned the Urim v’Tumim and the title of ish chasidecha.

We are now right after the elevation and purification of the aseres yemei teshuvah.  We are about to enter into Hashem’s inner sanctum according to the Nesivos Shalom. “HeviAni HaMelech Chadarav – The King has brought me into His inner room (Shir HaShirim 1:4).”  The Sukkah’s holiness is a revelation of Hashem’s intense love for His people – a love comparable to the love demonstrated when He was with us in the Bais HaMikdash itself.

In regard to Seasons, let’s try to be the Shaivet Levi here.

Seasons did run into some difficulties.  They did file for bankruptcy.  But, Boruch Hashem, they were able to secure what is called DIP financing.  They have restocked their shelves and by Wednesday they should be fully restocked.  Both Chrysler and General Motors obtained this type of financing and they have emerged as healthy entities.


Let’s make our best effort to support them and to shop there. We should do this for a number of reasons:

  • There are many frum employees that work for Seasons.
  • There are numerous frum vendors who will avoid serious losses if Seasons becomes successful again.
  • The owners and investors are community minded people who give heart and soul to Klal Yisroel’s needs.  They do so without fanfare.

There is a fourth reason too.  Rashi (Vayikra 25:14) cites a Sifra (Parashas Behar, 3): “From where do we know that when one makes a purchase, he should purchase from his fellow? The pasuk therefore tells us “v’chi sikneh m’yad amisecha or when you purchase, from the hand of your fellow.”

What might be the reasons for this mitzvah? A cursory examination will reveal three fundamental issues: (1) It is an expression of the mitzvah of Ve’ahavta lerei‘acha kamocha, loving thy neighbor as thyself; (2) It supports our mosdos and economy; and (3) it creates a stronger bond among Klal Yisroel.

This mitzvah of ki sikneh miyad amisecha is cited by numerous halachic authorities: the Sefer HaChinuch (end of mitzvah #337), the Chofetz Chaim in Ahavas Chesed (5:7), the Rama in his Responsa (#10), and the Chasam Sopher (C.M. V #79), among many other authorities (Tashbatz Vol. III #151; Maharam Shick C.M. #31; Minchas Yitzchok III #129).


What happens if, from a logistical perspective, we encounter difficulties? The mitzvah applies even if it is more difficult to make the purchase at an establishment owned by one’s fellow than at one owned by other vendors (Maharam Shick, C.M. #31). Thus, distance, a lack of adequate parking, and just general inconvenience – are not factors that exempt one from the mitzvah.


Most authorities (Rama, Tashbatz, Chofetz Chaim) rule that the obligation to purchase miyad amisecha exists even if his price for the item is higher than that of the other vendor. There is a distinction, however, when there is a significant difference in the price.

When the price of the other vendors is significantly less, some authorities rule that there is no obligation to purchase miyad amisecha. Other authorities rule that even in such a case one must still do so (Minchas Yitzchok’s reading of the Rama).


Certainly if the fellow citizen is having difficulty making ends meet, all would agree that one must purchase from him even if there is a significant difference in price (Ahavas Chesed 6:10).

The Ahavas Chessed was written by no less an authority than the Chofetz Chaim.  There is no question that Seasons would fit into the Chofetz Chaim’s criterion here.

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  1. This is precisely why the Lakewood population should be patronizing their home grown supermarkets , grocery stores , Confectioners and the like.
    I am actually surprised no one had taken a stand for them !!!!
    The supermarkets who have gone out of their way all these years to help support local Mosdos Hatorah , Rabbanim, local Tzedakah organizations and the like.
    Aside for the unethical buisness practices ;outside investors and opportunist have used Lakewood to try and get the hamoin am to believe they have been paying inflated prices.
    Lakewood residents should be supporting their friends and neighbors who have supported them all there’s years through hardworking and hashkafically sound buisness ethics.
    They have helped your schools , Roshei Yeshiva’s , Rabbanim , Mosdos and organizations all these years.
    Coming in and trying to cunnigly “buy up” the Tzedakah market is not ehrliche either.
    Let’s take a stand and
    Pardon my French

    Let’s consider our freinds and neighbors ,
    Let’s be ehrliche ,
    Let’s conduct ourselves so our freinds can make a decent and ehrliche parnassah,
    Let’s not open up to outsiders whose goal is to come in
    And conquer.
    Vi assaisa Es Hayoshor Vihatov!

  2. What if you are already are purchasing from “miyad amisecha” (i.e. Gourmet Glatt)? Is one chayiv to stop shopping there and switch to Seasons?

  3. That’s why our family eats Chalav Stam and Paas Akum. We got sick and tired of being ripped off by the heimishe stores. There’s no special zchus to be a gullible fool. Now we look every week what’s on sale in Shoprite, Keyfood, Target, Walgreens, etc… If we need Chalav Yisroel for guests, we go to Moishe’s or Bingo. Enough is enough.

  4. You beat me to the punchline ! !

    Couldn’t have said it any better !!

    All those stores that are coming in with investors from out of town should pack their bags and leave !!

    We don’t feel bad for them we have no mercy for them !!

    You kill it for all the other stores, then we should have mercy on you ??

    Get out of our town !!

  5. what if someone is already purchasing “miyad amisecha” (i.e. Gourmet Glatt)? Is there a chiyuv for me to switch to Season’s because they filed for Bankruptcy?


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