absurd contrast of values

Compare these two news items that came my way today, if you will.

The first, a story about Pia Levine, who is in Israel to bring attention to her experiences a year ago.

Pia Levine, a student at Yeshiva University in New York, was riding with a friend on an Egged bus in Jerusalem, carefree after an excursion to the swanky new Mamilla shopping center, when she suddenly heard what sounded like a large clap of thunder. It was a few minutes after 3 p.m. at a bus stop near the Jerusalem International Convention Center and the boom came from a detonated pipe bomb. It killed one person and injured some 40 others that Wednesday, March 23, 2011. Of the bus passengers, only Levine and her friend were able to walk away from the scene.

Now, the 20-year-old is running for charity as a member of Team OneFamily. In that capacity she’s already participated in the New York Triathlon last summer (see NY television coverage here) and is currently back in Jerusalem to again run in the half-marathon, with a two-fold mission: to close an emotional circle and raise money for the organization that helped her so much.

“I decided to come back because yesterday was the one-year anniversary of the bombing and because of it I had a lot of post-traumatic stress,” the accounting major says matter-of-factly in a quick phone call. “And I never had a chance to deal with what happened, to be on a bus, to be here in Israel and not be scared. I had to come back to deal with it.”…

“I call a lot of reporters and try to get my story out there. I want everyone to know, because it’s not normal that you could be sitting on the bus and put your life at stake.”

And now the second one.

People are stealing Tide detergent.

On Feb. 7, police in West St. Paul, Minn., arrested a man who’d stolen $25,000 worth of merchandise from a local Walmart. He pleaded guilty this week. What’s strange, local Police Chief Bud Shaver tells The Daily, is that the rather single-minded thief stole only Tide laundry soap: “Amazing, huh?” Actually, it’s not. By many accounts, such soap-focused crimes are not particularly unusual. Tide is “the item to steal,” says Detective Larry Patterson of Somerset, Ky., where he’s seen “a huge spike in Tide theft.”

Why? You can read this article in the Week if you want to know more.

I just came back from my shopping spree. That means I bought 4 bottles of grape juice on major sale today, plus 2 bottles of apple juice, kosher for Passover. I splurged on kosher for Passover chocolate chips, I will admit. Thank G-d, the Tide was safely on the shelves, no whateveritscalled thingy attached that has to be removed by the clerk before you buy it.

And I’ve got a gold mine in my basement, 2 big bottles stored there.

Oh I have nothing else to say.

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