This Thanksgiving, Thank Rami Levy

“For the sake of Zion, I will not stay silent; For the sake of Jerusalem, I will not lie still, until her justice goes forth like light, and her salvation burns like a torch”. (Isaiah 62:1).

This verse smolders within me. I previously wrote of a time of pain, and of silence. It is still a time of pain, but I will not let my city turn into one of intolerance and prejudice. This city is seen by the prophets a a city of peace and of justice. It is the city that will house the place of prayer “for all the nations” (Isaiah 56:7).

Recently, this peace has been rocked by the actions of terrible terrorists. There is no justifications for their actions, and my heart breaks for all the bereaved families. But in this time of darkness, let our justice shine forth like a light. Let us reach into the goodness that we have within us, to make our society a little more fair.

It is precisely in times like these, that we have to support those institutions in our society that promote fairness. That is why I was extremely disheartened to hear of a rally held outside a Rami Levy in Jerusalem this week, that criticized the store for employing Arabs. This rally drove away hundreds of customers.

It’s time to take action: This Thursday, November 27, is the American holiday of Thanksgiving. Let’s celebrate it by shopping at Rami Levy, even if it’s only for one item, and by thanking either the cashier or the manager for not engaging in discriminatory employment practices.

After all, it is precisely when justice shines forth from the city, that salvation burns like a torch within her. Can there be a more appropriate metaphor as we approach Hanukkah, a holiday about light overpowering darkness?

Answer: Yes, and it probably involves sufganiyot.

“We have come to chase darkness; in our hands are light and fire; everyone is a little fire, and together, we are a strong one. Leave darkness, onwards light. Leave, because of the light.” – Children’s Hanukkah song, by Sarah Levi-Tnay. (It sounds much better in Hebrew.)

About the Author
Shayna Abramson, a part-Brazilian native Manhattanite, studied History and Jewish Studies at Johns Hopkins University before moving to Jerusalem. She has also spent some time studying Torah at the Drisha Institute in Manhattan, and has a passion for soccer and poetry. She is currently pursuing an M.A. in Political Science from Hebrew University, and is a rabbinic fellow at Beit Midrash Har'el.