November 23, 2021 The Christmasification of Chanukah
Chanukah is upon us, and the Hasidic shops are full of gifts, treats, silver, and other paraphernalia. In recent years, I’ve experienced a pronounced expansion of the market of items sold for Chanukah. There is something of a Christmasification of Chanukah. More and more items show up, and they are sold almost entirely divorced from any religious values. This, I would argue, is the natural trajectory of a local capitalistic economy in search of new markets.
In order to illustrate my point, I’ve included a handful of pictures I’ve taken this week, and here are some donuts from a few years ago. But I also discussed this in a video where I looked at the most recent Monsey Community Connections, a popular classified-ads publication in the Orthodox community of Rockland County. I think that understanding the economic motives of this community is pivotal to understanding this community as a whole and how it straddles its insularity.