B and H photo and video superstore is in my opinion one of the biggest Kiddush Hashem’s that is out there. Its rare that you see such a Kiddush Hashem that is able to take place on a daily basis and touch so many hearts and souls. I went to B and H right before my trip to Spain and Israel, my laptop is nearing 7 years old, in techno years its certifiably ancient, with an 80 gig hard drive and no webcam or built in mic. I had decided it was time to upgrade but couldn’t afford a Macbook and didn’t want to skimp this time, I also wanted to something portable that I would be able to type on and so after much debates in my head while standing at Best Buy I decided to purchase a netbook.
For those of you who don’t know, a netbook is fully functioning mini-computer. They come in two major sizes, 8.9 and 10.2 inch screen and range from microscopic keyboard to 92% of normal. Netbooks have batteries that last up to 10 hours and the only downside if that they do not contain and DVD drive.
Based on reviews on Cnet and physically trying out different Netbooks I knew what I wanted, Best Buy near Far Rockaway was sold out for the interim and so I ventured into the city to buy one at B and H. One hour parking is free for purchases over $100 and that makes it very convenient if you know what you want.
I love B and H, because its one big electronics paradise and because 80% of the people working there are Jews, plus I have a bunch of buddies who work there and every time I go I give my card out to random people. All of the Jews standing around in vests, talking to people and giving receipts out (you do not hold your items until its time to checkout – all the items are shuffled through the store via a serious of conveyor belts and you get receipts for each item purchased) makes the situation look like a Chassidish stock exchange.
B and H probably has the worlds largest group of hockers under one roof, but they are paid to hock and they probably love it. Jewish geography is common when looking for a new Ipod, or computer or $5,000 camera lens. Don’t get me wrong, the people in the store are predominantly not Jewish and that’s why its so great. Imagine a different place in which massive amounts of non-Jews come in close contact with Ultra-Orthodox Jews and come back without a negative feeling.
Its unfortunate but true, how many instances can you think of when Charedi Jews make a good impression on non-Jews and irreligious Jews on a constant basis. Its unfortunate, but much of the world only has negative experience and rarely see the beauty of the ultra-orthodox community.
Just like at the Matisyahu show I attended and felt very proud to be an orthodox Jew, walking into B and H photo and video gives me a sense of nachas that is hard to replicate.
For those of you interested I bought the Asus EEE-PC 1000HA Netbook. It cost $295 with a $30 rebate, and comes with 160 gigs of hard drive space, 1 gig of ram , 10.2 inch screen, 7 hour battery life (5.40 is the most I have gotten so far) and a 92% of normal keyboard. After 2 weeks of solid use I can say I am very satisfied with my purchase and proud to support such a store as B and H.
They are also the only company I know of that closes their website on shabbos and holidays.
Can you tell me about any other Kiddushei Hashem’s?