Monday, September 10, 2012

An expensive Rosh Hashana


Rosh Hashana is right ahead of us and I suppose that most of us are busy with cleaning the house, planning the festive meals and running to the groceries. Besides all Teshuva and Selichot, Rosh Hashana has also become a commercial event. At least in Israel where the Jews don't only think about the deeper meaning of the holiday but rather about buying expensive presents. Just like Pessach, Rosh Hashana has become an extremely expensive holiday. In particular when you are among those inviting guests to your home.  

I haven't started all the cleaning and shopping yet but last Friday shopping in the Jerusalem Machane Yehudah Shuk made me aware of the high prices for vegetables and fruit. I went to one of the stands in order to buy some carrots, zucchini, kiwi and apples and when the sales person told me the price, I almost fainted. 30 Shekels (approx. 7,50 $) for a few vegetables and fruit and the stand itself wasn't even among the expensive ones. 

Shopping in Israel: Beginning with September 1, the Israeli VAT has risen from 16 to 17 %.

I am not exaggerating when I say that Rosh Hashana is going to cost me a few hundred Shekels. Without any presents, as I stopped participating in this kind of madness a long time ago.

At the Machane Yehudah Markt / Jerusalem

Copyright / Photos: Miriam Woelke

Thousands of Israeli families are unable to afford a festive Rosh Hashana meal. There is simply not enough money for buying meat, wine and the traditional honey. Various Jewish religious institutions are handing out special food packages these days in order to enable the needy of celebrating Rosh Hashana. Despite the claim that the local Machane Yehudah Market is the best place to buy groceries, I have had the experience lately that cheap supermarket chains such as Rami Levy offer much more reasonable prices. Too many sales people at the Machane Yehudah have just become too greedy. In particular when it comes to buying meat. 

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