Returning Goods Lightly Used Is Not Unknown Among Jews

I hope there is not a higher percentage of Jews doing this than non-Jews.

There’s a mentality among some Jews (and some goyim) that they are free to return items after they’ve used them and to keep playing this game as long as they can get away with it.

I must confess that I briefly did this in the years following my Reform conversion and I would never have considered committing this abuse prior to my conversion. For me, there was something about belonging to a tribe that decreased the feeling that I owed things to the wider society.

I don’t think this tribal mentality that I tapped into is unique to me or unique to Jews. I suspect it applies to most tribes most of the time, whether they are black or Chinese or Jewish, etc (as opposed to WASPs).

Which groups are the least likely to abuse a store’s return policy? I’d say WASPs would be the least likely. Those who feel the least identification with their host nation would be the most likely.

Here’s a comment from an Orthodox Jewish board discussing the Wallmart in the Catskills: “When the Wal-Mart in Monticello had to send a letter to the Agudah discussing the horrible chillul hashem made in many ways over the summer months, it wasn’t because they hate us. They love every one of the millions of dollars we spend in their store, summer after summer after summer. What they DO NOT like, and rightfully so, is that we take advantage of a return policy in ways not intended. Is there a reason Wal-Mart has been reffered to as the Toy Gemach, Bike Gemach and A/C Gemach? That we take advantage of a large air conditioned store and use it as a babysitting service.”

I wonder if this Wal-Mart had to scrap its return policy over this?

Chaim Amalek: “When Moshiach comes, the goyim will compete with one another to sell us their goods just that they might receive returns from us.”

Daniel de Jew: “Neither I, nor my family have ever purchased anything with the intention of returning it later. I have entertained the though of, for example, buying a nice camera for a special event and then returning it after it was over. But I never did, because I know I’d be violating my Jewish values and feel terribly guilty as a result. The Jews who commit this crime of ethics are, I hope, a very small minority. If they would study some Mussar, they’d realize the gravity of their deeds, and cease their activity immediately.”

Stores that accurately racially and religiously profile their customers and get away with it legally will be more profitable than those that don’t profile. Countries that racially and religiously profile their citizens and base their immigration an visitor policies, in part, on such profiling are more likely to survive and perpetuate themselves than countries that don’t. For instance, not admitting people from countries with high rates of Ebola seems like a good idea right now.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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