An Elul moment

Like many bloggers, I love when readers post comments. It's always nice to know that I'm not just writing into a huge void but that there are actual human being taking in what I say and writing back. Like lots of bloggers, I have chosen to moderate the comments before publishing, mostly to make sure that crackpots aren't writing weird and unpleasant things that will makes everyone's experience less pleasant.

During the time that I have been writing this blog, several times the comments, were not real comments from actual people, but were simply links to Internet stores, most often, ones selling factory made Judaica. I found these sneak links to be deeply irritating for several reasons. It seemed to me that these stealth links were  a not very honest way, to steer business to a commercial site, to which I had zero connection. As someone who hand makes Judaica, it seemed like a not very nice way to try to siphon away business.

Usually, when such a comment shows up, I grumble  and then delete the the  fake comment. This morning, I received two such comments both linking to the same site. My husband, the PR man, was standing next to me, as I began to complain about yet more stealth advertising. He suggested that I contact the site and let them know that I was unhappy with what they were doing.

I did. I found the "Contact Us' link on the site and sent them a cranky email, letting them know in no uncertain terms, that I thought that posting anonymous comments with links to their site was just not a kosher way to do business. I received an incredulous, all caps, angry reply.

I was impressed with how quickly I received the reply, which made me believe it's message of a,  " What are you talking about?" nature. I quickly sent them the comments, so they could see what I was dealing with on my end.

Like me, the folks who run the Judaica site like to be on the moral side of things when doing business.Their off shore Web designer had discussed an option to play Google a bit to be sure that their store comes up higher on Google searches for say, tallit. The folks who run the store, would agree to that option, as long as it was done on the straight and narrow. The stealth comments fell into that not so lovely, morally grey area.

By the end of our flurry of emails back and forth, which had begun in anger on both sides, I feel like I have made a really nice connection  with a fellow traveler from a very different part of the Jewish universe than the one I occupy. Our goals both in terms of earning a living, and in how one ought to live as a Jew in this world may at first look a bit different, but are actully, quite similar. is certainly worth a visit. I was impresed bytheir selection of serious Judaica books in Spanish.


  1. It does look like an interesting store. They are not so much competition as serving a different customer.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts