“…and Israel encamped there, opposite the mountain.” (Shemos/Exodus 19:2) Rashi says quite clearly that B’nai Yisroel were like one person with one heart. It was, in fact, the only time we all agreed on anything. This is what I usually think about on Shavuos.
On the second day of Shavuos this year, as I was reading a copy of the Yated Ne’Eman I laughed out loud. Then I shed a tear.
The fine print of this ad for Lakewood Farms Orange Juice reads:
Don’t be fooled with new designed easy pour containers that contain only 59oz. and cost as 64oz. [Yes, this is what was printed] At Lakewood Farms, we never cheat. Our Orange juice still contains 64oz., freshly squeezed from fine Florida Oranges. A wise consumer chooses carefully.
Wow!! Lakewood has finally attacked New Square. And what great timing. As yidden across the world celebrate Shavuos, as we receive the Torah as one people, as we put aside our differences and concentrate on how Hashem’s Torah unites us all…the war for the who’s orange juice is more heimish breaks loose. Now I did see the repacked “easy pour” New Square. I even bought it for Pesach, along with my Tropicana. I actually commented to my wife about how it might be deceiving to consumers when they finally figure out they’re only getting 59 ounces of juice. But I chose to buy it. I knew what I was paying for. And the truth is, I hope, that most people know what they’re paying for. It’s their money and their choice.
You never see an ad for Coke stating that you shouldn’t buy any cola that comes in a blue can, do you? You never see Artscroll ads stating that they use special thinner paper so that their 2 inch thick sefer really contains more pages than a regular 2 inch thick sefer, do you?
I find it sad when Derech Eretz and Mentschlekeit go out the window for quick $2.99. I ask myself, “How can I raise my children to be B’nai Torah when Lakewood Farms has to slam New Square?” This ad on page 48 of the Yated is only a small example of the bigger picture. I’m surely not the first to mention it, but Lakewood…Litvish. New Square…Chassidish.
It’s not just that one derech is right, it’s that the other derech is totally wrong. That’s the real problem.
We quickly forget that prior to reaching Har Sinai, we crossed the Yam Suf. Each shevet had their own route. Each shevet actually had their own nuach (so I’ve been told). We all are different. We dress differently, we have different minhagim, send our kids to different schools, and we have different outlooks. Yet, for the Kavod Hashem, to accept the Torah, we were one. Why couldn’t I have read about Achdus on Shavuos after a night of learning, instead of about orange juice?
PS: My thanks to Yitzy and Rana Wechsler for letting me read their copy of the Yated. For the record, my family is a Tropicana family. I don’t have anything against Heimeshe brands, but I’d rather show Tropicana that having hashgacha matters to me, as a consumer.