Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Walmart and Jews

Walmart, I applaud and thank you. Yet again, you bless us with your worldliness and cultural sensitivity.

Finally, dress-ups to pique my children's awareness of their heritage and identity -as I struggle with these myself- have stocked Walmart's high-quality shelves. A costume with which my daughters may finally embrace their Jewish roots: the "Dress Up America Jewish Mother Rivkah Children's Costume!"


Dress Up America's™ line of Judaica costumes is exquisite, covering both gender roles of Jewish lifestyle. Boys' costumes even include payos for hair styling. Thankfully, they have a King Mordechai costume specifically for Purim. Now, I can finally have my kids dress up for that irreverent holiday in order to celebrate that time when Jews were almost annihilated but suddenly saved at the last minute.

Now, young Jewish children can authentically pretend to be their parents. Now, little Jewish boys and girls, who were so desperately yearning for make-believe costumes they could identify with, may participate in that global game of pretend in which all children act out stories of the Old Testament. Even better, adults can dress up as rabbis for Halloween without the least possibility of ridiculing a civilization that so rarely, if ever, becomes the butt of jokes.

And, may I also extend a warm and heartfelt tip-of-the-hat to Dress Up America™ for their exploration in culturally sensitive costuming and dress-up play with their Japanese Girl, Egyptian Girl, Dutch Girl, Mexican Dancer, and Deluxe Indian Girl. Never mind that their Mexican Girl and Sexy Mexican Girl are, in fact, the same costume. I hear they are currently developing a line of both girl and boy Sambo costumes, due out this summer.

The Brooklyn-based company, a locale where there is, of course, no shortage of Jews, in no way, whether purposely or accidentally, further instills opportunities for trick-or-treating Gentiles to ridicule Jewish Orthodoxy and other ethnic stereotypes. And, how clever a business move to distribute through Walmart, a historically socially responsible institution, whose actions have never raised doubts regarding the ethics of its own business practices. Well-played, Walmart, well-played, to acquire such a valuable avenue for promoting ethnic tolerance through culturally educational paraphenalia.

Thank you, Wal-Mart, thank you. Now, I may genuinely educate my daughters on how they should look! No more of these Gentile garments, girls. Let's go eat our matzoh and search the couch for pennies.

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