I can appreciate Christmas. I can enjoy looking at nicely done decorations, in good taste.
Not these, particularly.
I know, I’ve already talked about this a little here. But as we get even closer, I’m struck with a lot more of the emptiness of the competition. I was happy (if that is the right word–maybe “smuggly self-justified”?) to see a forum that agrees with me about the crass emptiness of the latest round of Infiniti car commercials. One of the posters signs his posts with this quote:
“The American people are not a people anymore; they are an audience.” – Kurt Vonnegut
Love it! Thank you, Jimbo.
But apparently, we’re not in the majority. I rarely am, so not surprised, but sorely disappointed.
Here’s another account of the marketing ploys of car companies at this time of year. And here’s what they say about the effectiveness of the Infiniti commercial:
“I love this commercial! It has a great storyline that’s interesting and gets Infiniti’s point across in a very clever manner. Everybody likes to see the rich bully get what he deserves in the end.”
There are other sites that do agree that this is a little sick.
But the fact that a lot of people think it’s great or funny or one of the best ads makes me a little more than a little sick.
I was going to write something about how we Jews here in America shouldn’t feel jealous of those who celebrate Christmas, just like I don’t feel jealous of people wearing nice clothes. We can appreciate differences. Boys not dressing up as girls because they’re jealous they get attention for what they’re wearing. Girls not dressing up as boys because
ohhhh some people might have problems with that.
If you are happy with who you are, if you truly know who you are, you can be happy for someone else’s success. You don’t have to compete. But you have to know yourself and know what’s important for you. And yes be happy for others.
מסכת אבות פרק א
ד,א בן זומא אומר… איזה הוא עשיר–השמח בחלקו, שנאמר “יגיע כפיך, כי תאכל; אשריך, וטוב לך” (תהילים קכח,ב): “אשריך”, בעולם הזה; “וטוב לך”, לעולם הבא.
Pirkei Avot 4:1:
Ben Zoma would say…who is rich? One who is happy with his portion, as it says ( Psalms 128:2) “When you eat of the labour of your hands, you shall be happy, and it shall be well with you.” “Happy” in this world, and “it shall be well with you” in the world-to-come.
(I’m adding that last part that’s most often left off. We know there’s a settling; we know it’s hard.)
It’s the same for the parashiot of these weeks, with the brothers having to learn not to be jealous of their brothers. There is an opinion that the reason that the brothers quarreled so much over Yosef was that they were under the impression that only one of them would inherit the leadership from their father Yaakov. So it was a race to see who got the best parking spot.
Just as silly then as it is today.