Thursday, January 8, 2009

Chinese Auctions meet the Emperor's New Clothes

You may think winter has arrived because of the ice and snow and weekly school closings. Uh Uh.

Check your mailboxes- this is how we know it's winter:

Chinese Auctions. aka Legal Frum Gambling. aka The Great Black Hole of Gashmius.

I have really been content with my old yellow gold jewelry, but I feel I am just not part of this millenium and the Sophisticated and Classy set from Brooklyn- because I don't have a SINGLE piece of jewelry from David Rudy. and by the way, do they include a bright halogen light bulb with the diamonds? On a miner's hat, so every time you bend your head it can sparkle and shine?

I would love to meet Ben Barber. Does he know how inadequate my own sheets feel? (yes I meant that the way I wrote it). And by the way, does Mr. Barber ever make any money selling anything? Or is it all donated to all the auctions? And any sheet less than 350 count, or from some mid east country besides Egypt, forget it. Who really wants 180 thread count from Damascus?

I have no problem with the Israel tickets- though nothing can compete with the Bais Yakov in Chicago which now offers 10 tickets, hotel stay for ten days, full breakfast AND lulav and esrog mehudar Is that because only big families can usually afford to go to Israel for Succos, so that's who the tickets are catering to? Oh, no! It's to give the poor families a chance to do what every neighbor is doing, so why should they feel left out? But really, about trips to Israel? Always worth buying a raffle.

We next have the electronics package: GPS, Camcorder, Computers. I don't know why they refuse to offer a DVD player. Everyone is obviously watching movies. Or maybe not! The movies they take on the camcorder are home movies. And the computers all have DVD players, so that's covered. And besides, we are only watching camp reunions, high school plays, and Aguda Convention Keynote Speakers. ha ha

Around the Year: this can mean a few things: sterling silver for all Yomim Tovim: Esrog box, Seder Plate, Megilla Case, Menorah.

Or spend yomtov in...Eretz Yisrael for Succos, Lakewood for Shevuos (why is that appealing?)Hotel for Pesach, Hotel for summer vacation.

I like this new and novel one: A Mitzvah That Has Been Around for Quite a While But Someone Discovered it Anew: Shmitta. Own Karka in Eretz Yisrael to do this mitzva. Which by itself is a great idea, but somehow, seeing it in a Chinese Auction booklet demeans the beauty of the mitzva.

Don't forget the second tier jewelry- less diamonds, smaller pictures, therefore, obviously, for a teen.


and hello kitty! stuff? how tacky.

It wouldn't have that ehrlech and refined taste if the auctions didn't include a painting, lithograph, or visit to a rav or rebba.

I have some ideas for new additions:
1. A housekeeper to go with all the silver. Takes a long time to polish a 13 branch candelabra.

2. A Sefer Torah. Why dance with the shul Sefer Torah for only one Hakafa on Simchas Torah? Have your own and dance whenever you want!

3. A Succah room addition. Although the Lakewood Chinese Auction was stopped in its tracks, their booklet showed how much nicer our homes could look, with new moldings, railings, and windows. This would be a great way to include some of their great ideas, but through a mitzva like Succos, so no one feels they are spending money frivolously. And if you have a Simchas Beis Hashoeva or Parlor meeting in this Succah room, then everyone will say, "...but they do so much chesed".

And now to my title of this particular blog entry:

The biggest coup, the smartest move, t h e m o s t c l e v e r idea for a chinese auction ever, the brilliant concept, goes to ...

"The winner of this entry gains the knowledge that they have given soley for the mitzva". Didn't get that? This entry wins nothing. At least nothing tangible, that can be worn, sat on, slept on, looked at, shown off, talked about,talked on, played with, listened to, brushed, cleaned, polished, inserted in your car, your phone, your computer, your home, your home office, your library. You just get the reward of the mitzva.


and I assume you all get the connection to the title now...

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