Sears’ Swastika Ring

Is an apology enough?

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Comments (117)

(100) Anonymous, May 14, 2015 10:01 PM

But then there's this...

I wholeheartedly agree with the comments made by K. Lemel, (October 23, 2014 7:53 PM) and could add nothing to improve upon them. But--I will add a note of "devil's advocacy:" The swastika has become overwhelming linked with a horrific time in our world's history, and with an equally heinous mentality of intolerance and supremacy. However, the swastika symbol has a long history that predates those associations--having been a symbol long used in Hindu, Sanskrit, Buddist and even North American native cultures, that denotes good fortune, well-being, harmony, and other positive messages. So...I have another question: even though I admit to being one of those who would not want a swastika on anything I own--do I have a right to try to deny that symbol to someone else, who may look upon it as a positive spiritual symbol?

(99) Anonymous, November 12, 2014 2:08 PM

Sears On My List

Sears along with Home Depot our on my personal list of those businesses who were insensitive to my being a Jew and yes I take such things very personal. These businesses have choices as well as an opportunity to make things RIGHT however at the present time I do not see such moves and therefore I do not need their services.....

(98) Bernard Shapiro, October 27, 2014 10:34 PM

I can't believe Sears put these rings up for sale. The buyer did not know what the symbol stands for or is it for the money on the sales of these rings. They should be ashamed of this hypocrisy.

(97) Bracha, October 26, 2014 5:57 PM

company. We may be buying their products and not realizing it. Also, who is the buyer at Sears who ordered the ring. That person should be called to task.

(96) Barry Baldonieri, October 24, 2014 9:39 PM

Who & Why

I think it's improbable that it was deliberate on the part of Sears, but the name of the party responsible should be made public, and their reason for this action made known. Then decide, as individuals, what to do. P.S. I find it disgusting!

(95) K. Lemel, October 23, 2014 7:53 PM

Lesson learned?

It happened. Sears corrected the problem and apologized.
You want to know if Sears takes this seriously, ask if it put anything in place to PREVENT such issues in the future. If not, if's "business as usual", but if it DID, then accept the apology and move on.

Leah, October 24, 2014 5:42 PM

Absolutely Not!

"let bygones be bygones" and move on? No!
We're talking about the murder of millions of people, not just a "slip-up". What does "Never Again" mean if we just say "oops!"?

(94) Anonymous, October 23, 2014 6:20 PM

SEARS NEEDS TO FACT FIND AND HEADS NEED TO ROLL

I think that Sears needs to get to the bottom of what happened; share names etc. with the public and that heads need to roll at what they find. It very well be that it was an oversight, but a company the size of Sears should obviously have a LOT more control for their own purposes. A simple apology without a LOT more explanation about details is not enough.

(93) david geffen south africa, October 23, 2014 2:37 PM

an apology is nowhere even nearly enough

1.sears was in the late 60's and early 70's the largest usa and world retailer and mail order company. they should be familiar with managing outsourcers etc and the idea of corporate responsibility.
2. they did a lot of financial damage when they broke their commitment to their tenancy at then-sears towers in Chicago.
financially necessary, PERHAPS, but really immoral even if some legality allowed them to get away with.
3.sears business was saved by a financially smart jew (Julius rosenwald, or similar)or they would not have been around at all today!
4. sears (sears roebuck) built its business on trustworthiness.
it reflected decency and middle-USA values. supplied originally farmers and others. sears did more than just be trustworthy to justify its hugeness. but it always prided itself on its integrity, decency ...
where is all that now? they cannot even claim ignorance about morality nor about management/supervision in business, both inhouse or outsource...nor can they claim innocence in the marketplace, surprised by the jew-hatred of the ringmakers nor even the meaning of the nazi symbol.
they have been through everything the last century threw at all of us.no more innocence, denial/lack of responsibility. no more ivory tower [esp after sears tower!]
we should boycott them. they thought it would appeal to their customers (and who might THEY be?)
we should sue them in court for degrading fellow-citizens, the very ones whose disproportionate contribution to the American economy over the many years have given these lowlifers a base to work on and live from.


so for what purpose should we just keep quiet while yet another slap is delivered to our already-pained faces!

(92) James Arthur, October 23, 2014 4:10 AM

ring

First off, it's a company, not a person. People work there but I boycott businesses for moral reasons, so this is a good enough reason to boycott them. J. A.
wife:
Really!?! I think Sears should be boycotted for at least one week so that the I'm Sorry statement from Sears will really make them sorry. Who is responsible for overseeing what goes to market for Sears should be fired. Sears will be lucky if there isn't a major riot from people who are directly affected by this supposed mistake. I personally don't think it was an oversight. The way things are going in recent months, I strongly believe someone is just trying to see how far they can push it, for whatever their own personal agenda is. That all being said, fire the jerk that is responsible for this "oversight" and let's get on with the strong work ethic and strong sense of integrity which I always thought Sears represented. A long time customer. C. A.

(91) Anonymous, October 22, 2014 9:45 PM

swastika ring sold through Sears

Disgusting. This is why I never shop at Sears, even before I heard this in the news. No, an apology is not enough. Where is the outrage from our President? And the civil rights leaders who always blame racism for keeping the black man down? Sharia law is slowly creeping into this country, and if anyone says anything, it's Islamophobia, even when an innocent woman's head is cut off at her place of work, the government refuses to call it an Muslim extremist act of terrorism. Swastika rings sold at Sears is par for the course! I'll deal with this the only way I know how. I will not shop there, ever!

(90) Anonymous, October 22, 2014 3:37 AM

Swastika ring

The issue is how did the ring go on the catalogue when there is so many processes in between, right from the manufacturer , their purchaser, the marketing , pricing, all of those things and people involved. They probably thought there was a market out there that they could profit from. That is the mind boggling part. Who with what kind of mind would want to wear such a symbol to "look good" ??

(89) Anonymous, October 22, 2014 12:09 AM

Swastika Ring at Sears

Since this is a third party entry onto their website, it is altogether possible that the Powers-That-Be at Sears had no idea what they had authorized this other Company to solicit. My father worked for a subsidiary of Sears the majority of his working life, and I was raised on Sears merchandise. I do not take this as an offence, and I am relieved that they removed the item immediately and issued an apology.

(88) Anonymous, October 21, 2014 5:45 PM

Outrageous and Totally Unacceptable!!!

The swastica symbol used by the Nazis is an image of the beastiality of man and resonates with hatred, death and especially anti-semitism. Anytime, and anywhere this symbol is
displayed, that is the message conveyed. For Sear's to list a ring with the swastica on their website is no accident. Someone in Sear's made that decision. An apology is not sufficient.
The Sear's brand & Management have a responsibility to the public not to degrade or display images of hatred.

(87) Anonymous, October 21, 2014 4:21 PM

i will not patronage sears
it is not acceptable to sell a RING
with the symbol that killed my family
this was a terrible insult to judiasim

(86) Anonymous, October 21, 2014 8:29 AM

As one who stands with the nation of Israel, I cannot turn. A blind eye to something like this,, the fact that these rings were in the stores, means they were approved, mass produced and merchandisers, product managers etc, chose these rings which are probably likely sitting in some warehouse waiting for another opportune time waiting to be distributed either in SEARS again , or in a neo- nazi store somewhere, or they will be sold on line. Shame on SEARS! This is an wake-up call to all of us...should we boycott sears...they deserve some kind of tangible reminder in their purses, never to go there again, so yes, should we boycott them forever, maybe not, but a solid good 3 months maybe a solid, tangible lesson

(85) yael, October 21, 2014 6:26 AM

sign of the times

This is just another sign of the times and a wake up call to us from Hashem --

Michael, October 22, 2014 6:07 AM

MANY signs of the time.

Yael - You said it all in your short statement. I think that the all good Almighty has about had it with mankind.
The old day' of people being kind to each other is over. Evil is walking among us like never before.

Bless you, all the children of Israel, and the State of Israel.

(84) Jilla Hasid, October 21, 2014 6:03 AM

I think this is a start or maybe a test for so many other companies to market more of these items. For sure they are fully responsible and of course bringing the third party excuse
Was the easy way out for n'ot getting blamed. I am

suggesting more strong reaction toward them.

(83) Janice Kenner, October 21, 2014 3:27 AM

Forgive

Sears reacted immediately. They removed the ring and offered a major apology. My opinion in to forgive them.

(82) Esther, October 21, 2014 2:07 AM

I am a child of survivors. Sears should be boycotted.

I no longer shop at Zara - they sold a pocketbook with a scene of a concentration camp - then withdrew it from the market after customers protested, & more recently they sold a blue & white striped shirt with a yellow star on it which was also removed from their stores after customers protested. I also stopped shopping at Sephora after they stopped selling Ahava products.

(81) Anonymous, October 21, 2014 1:08 AM

They crossed the line.

There's right & there's wrong & America is for ever saying things that are wrong ex. Wallstreet bankers bringing the US down & what's done - nothing & if they were fined they have tax loop holes to recupe their money. That's it In a nut shell - forgive & they'll do it again - why not - no consequences. Until companies & individuals are held responsible things are NOT going to change - why would they. The all mighty $ is the final goal, & Sears paid someone to produce it - somewhere shouldn't a light have gone off that this is morally wrong. the fact that it was produced says volumns. Sears - boycott - my vote - Yes!

(80) Yocheved Hande, October 21, 2014 12:38 AM

Do more research...

Someone should find out who ok'ed the final entries of products and find out what they were thinking. Also, we need to speak to the manufacturer and discuss their purpose in creating this ring. See the attitude and willingness to discuss it. Then we will have a better Idea of the "why" and what we need to do moving forward.

(79) Davida Hathaway, October 20, 2014 9:42 PM

Quick to forgive says it isn't important.

Sears is a huge corporation! More than one person know about the ring and supported its connection with Sears. Person to person we should be forgiving. Too casual---too easy---not smart

(78) Ron Kleiman, October 20, 2014 9:27 PM

Sears

Rabbi, if I understand your position correctly you are advocating that Sears must take responsibility for whatever appears on their site. That a quick response of removing the offensive add and sincerely apologizing is not enough.
Though I do not recall you're saying so, I imagine that you would consider as an appropriate penitential gesture their posting, in a prominent position, not only an apology but their policy on products that associate with Sears and perhaps a donation to the Holocaust museum, or perhaps Aish.
I would support such a solution provided that no pictures of the offensive item were used and no mention of the company that sold them. This because I would not wish to give any free advertising to the dark side. Taking such action, if Sears were to approve, runs the risk, if not handled properly, of making things worse. I expect that Jewish observers of this would interpret it in a positive way, however we being the minority are less important here than the view of the majority, uneducated in the Holocaust. As long as you have no problem accepting responsibility for the outcome, I have no problem supporting you, whatever solution you deem appropriate

(77) shoshana, October 20, 2014 8:40 PM

there's ten other stores I rather shop than sears, they're not getting my business anymore, totally unacceptable

(76) mary Callahan, October 20, 2014 7:08 PM

Boycott:yes!!

I say Boycott Sears! Shameful and upsetting and ignorant

(75) Anonymous, October 20, 2014 5:59 PM

Forget it. because making a big tsimmis about it will only increase the appetite of the anti semites and they

will find other ways of advertising their hatred of the Jews. They love to anger us. If Sears would have refused to remove this item then a boycot would be in order. Have you checked whether this Indian symbol was intended to represent the Nazis. y.s.? .

Ann, October 20, 2014 11:31 PM

Don't Drag Natives Into This

The Anasazi symbol, which circles in a counterclockwise, and opposite direction of the nazi symbol of terror, represented the Four Destinies and sacred goodness to these ancient peoples and descendants of today's Hopi people. A simple internet search will elaborate far better than I can, here. The symbol of the Four Destinies should not be confused with the evil 'trademark' of the reich. As for Sears, I believe a boycott is in order. They cannot possibly claim ignorance or innocence on something so universally recognized as offensive.

(74) Anonymous, October 20, 2014 5:08 PM

sears should be boycotted all over the usa.

sears should be boycotted all over the USA..............

(73) Anonymous, October 20, 2014 5:06 PM

Just a comment

I am just commenting on the Swastika comment
I am also a holocaust child survivor.
Sears made a mistake and they did not do the ring or bought the ring as a memory of the Hitler times. The same symbol is a old Hindu symbol
as far as I am concerned they took it down and apologize. They did what they were suppose to do Being a jew a Tsuva is sufficient
At least this is my opinion. The point was made and action was created.
All the best

(72) John Reynolds, October 20, 2014 4:40 PM

Sears is responsible

Sears is responsible for the content of their advertising - or they should be. Do they not vet their advertising? Does no one at Sears view what they are putting out?
An public apology in some thing like the New York Times is the least they can do.

Anonymous, October 21, 2014 4:15 AM

I agree there should be a public apology in the NY times. Also things need to be checked out more thoroughly so that this atrocity not happen again.

(71) Frank Thomas, October 20, 2014 4:35 PM

A Strong Response to Sears

It's appaling that a Nazi ring could get onto the Sears Catalogue website. I just shredded my Sears Card into a hundred pieces, and I owe them nothing. I will not patronize that company again. The fact this ring appeared on their online catalogue says volumes about Sears. All civilized, fair-minded people should Boycott Sears.Ok. forgive. But Boycott.

(70) Anonymous, October 20, 2014 4:06 PM

I don,t fully agree with the Rabbi. We have to accept Sears apology, but at the same time let them know that they must be more alert at what their buyers are posting and make sure that they do not offend people with swastikas, or other obscene items.

(69) Smith, October 20, 2014 3:23 PM

A Question of Origins

I really dont think Sears intentionally sold these rings to make people angry. After all, they sell a wide array of products and not just jewelry. If they wanted to be offensive, they would be more open about it with their other line of products as well. So, the firebrand boy they are not. As to the swastika, it is nothing more than a world symbol that represents good luck. However, it could also be said that sears was selling the rings as talismans (which isnt any better). Of course, if you really think you will look better just by donning a ring, youd prolly be making the same mistake a certain emperor did when he got new clothes... All in all, if you just want a nice ring to wear and you happen to like the sears ring, then buy it. Personally though, I wouldnt. There doesnt seem to be anything edifying or redemptive about wearing a ring with a swastika on it and to me the swastika represents ancient paganism which I would rather have nothing to do with.

(68) Michael, October 20, 2014 2:46 PM

Monetary Fines to be given to Tzedakah or Jewish Charitable Organization.

Why not have them provide records of quantity sold and ask them to donate $18 (chai) per sale to Tzedakah or to a Jewish Charitable organization. I also agree that Sears should no longer do business with that company and exercise greater care on 3rd party sales.

(67) Yael, October 20, 2014 12:59 PM

Sears AND CIT should be held responsible

Why is no one saying anything about the other party, CIT, being held responsible? In my opinion, Sears should drop them, stop doing business with them. Until that company is publicly rebuked by Sears, Sears has not shown any real remorse. Sears is ultimately liable for anything that goes on its shelves, website, or catalog.

(66) FM DUFF, October 20, 2014 11:22 AM

PUBLIC APOLOGY

THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR WHAT SEARS DID IN THAT THEY
KNEW WITH IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK ALONE THEIR
ARE THE LARGEST POPULATION OF JEWS AND SEEING
IT WAS A SWASTIKA SYMBOL ON THE RING THEY
SHOULD MAKE A PUBLIC APOLOGY TO THE JEWISH PEOPLE
KNOWING THAT IT IS OFFENSIVE TO THEM.

(65) Simcha, October 20, 2014 11:04 AM

Boycott Sears!!!

I am not from the same background as Rabbi Salomon due to the fact that my parents (may they rest in peace) and my maternal grandmother (may she rest in peace) were born in the USA and my other grandparents (may they rest in peace) arrived in the USA many years before the Holocaust, but I still agree with Rabbi Salomon that an apology is NOT enough and Sears must be boycotted. Even though that thank G-d I am not a Holocaust survivor (I was born in 1959) and my parents and grandparents were not Holocaust survivors, I still do NOT buy German and Austrian products and certain other European products as well. All Jews should stick together and have empathy for those who are Holocaust survivors and avenge the blood of those who were murdered in the Holocaust by boycotting these products including Sears.

(64) Lotus, October 20, 2014 8:17 AM

It depends...

Really it depends on if the ring was one of those Hindu Symbols or if it really was a Nazi Swastika.The swastika is an ancient symbol that has been found worldwide, but it is especially common in India. Its name comes the Sanskrit word svasti (sv = well; asti = is), meaning good fortune, luck and well-being. The listing did say it was not for Neo-Nazi use. So could then it's intended use be the more older Indian Symbol? A boycott would be necessary if it was for Racist, Hateful Purposes. An apology is sufficient if it was for the ancient good luck symbol. Find out what the main company that sells it makes. Who owns them? If they are Nazis Sears should have known that a deserves to loose income. Thank-you. ^_^

(63) Sharon, October 20, 2014 7:56 AM

a stronger reaction is needed

In line with all of the recent world wide Anti-Semitism a stronger reaction is needed

(62) Melanie, October 20, 2014 7:54 AM

where are the preventive steps?

It is not acceptable to make innocent mistakes when a high percentage of the population can identify the impropriety, and just say "oops, sorry."

Sears should terminate its relationship with the cemedia site immediately. They can find a new big site to host them, and that big site can determine whether cemedia can be trusted not to embarrass them in the future.

Sears should also publicly detail how their publicity department has altered its site monitoring so that it can better keep an eye out for these kinds of mistakes in the future, so they can catch them themselves. Could be as simple as employing few ordinary people diverse in age and race, to just browse their site a bit each day, and write up their impressions.

(61) LarryB, October 20, 2014 6:22 AM

I'm with you

A much stronger statement is in order. If not now , when?

(60) Fay, October 20, 2014 5:28 AM

Who at Sears made the decision to selll that particular ring.

Sears is a large corporation with many departments.
I think whoever chose/ok'd that purchase should be immediately fired without severance pay or references.

More to the point, it is possible that this is not an act of anti semitism but the abysmal ignorance that exists today about American history/or any other history.

Ms Fay

(59) Robert, October 20, 2014 3:02 AM

Answer to boycott

Who gets to decide when repentance is satisfied? Sears reacted quickly and, for all we know, sincerely in taking down the offending ad. How long do they have to repent before you are satisfied? When is G-d satisfied? Sometimes we need to stop thinking about what we want and start thinking about what G-d told us to do. They repented, they met the requirements of the law; leave it alone, otherwise you become the next problem!

(58) Anonymous, October 20, 2014 2:04 AM

More info needed.

Perhaps publishing the exact events involved in causing this concern would be helpful. An explanation of the process of how this came to be on their website, using the positions of those involved (not necessarily names), might be reassuring that this would not happen again.

(57) Robert, October 20, 2014 1:36 AM

But they did Know !!!

Nothing can get by a Company this large with so many checks and rechecks that could cost them more money,Don't You think ???

(56) Anonymous, October 20, 2014 1:08 AM

Hefty fines and an apology

This should be legislated against with hefty fines imposed- a hefty percentage of their yearly profits or of all their assets if they go into liquidation.
Otherwise they are really getting free publicity, yes, in this golus for us Jews it Is exactly free publicity that they are getting unfortunately and they should not get it. Oh, and an apology with their hefty fine.

(55) Rochelle Bodner, October 20, 2014 12:38 AM

I think a loud statement needs to be made. It's unacceptable to make these kind of "mistakes" without having.a strong reaction from the Jewish community and hopefully from non Jews as well.

(54) Jerald Gould, October 20, 2014 12:34 AM

How was this ring ever allowed to be created with a Swastika on it to begin with?. Whoever authorized it or gave approval should be fired forthwith ! Any apology is insufficient to undo the damage that has been done to the Jewish community world-wide. Even though litigation to hit Sears in the pocket book may be the only recourse it will never undo the damage and hurt tthat they have caused the Jewish people ! Shame on Sears !

(53) TMay, October 20, 2014 12:14 AM

Then there is the royal education.

Then there was Prince Harry who showed up at a costume party as a Nazi.
"Harry says sorry for Nazi costume"
Jan 2005
Prince William attended the same party.
The UK lost 388,000 in WW II.
So the best schools in the UK give a lousy education on the subject.

(52) Michelle, October 20, 2014 12:08 AM

Full out boycott

Apology shmology. Someone, somewhere had to vet the information/picture being put on line. I didn't just appear there. So I am thinking that they were thinking lets just sneak it in there; maybe no one will notice, no one will say anything until they'd have sold X amount of these rings. When all is aid and done for however long this ring was displayed, you can well believe people (some nefarious people) bought it somewhere, and despite Sear's best "intentions", this ring will appear on some men's hands WITHOUT (at tis point) being able to do anything about it. I know I would do an about face if I were to see one.

(51) Anonymous, October 19, 2014 11:46 PM

Actions Speak Louder

No boycott. However, obviously,some of these rings were sold, and Sears made a profit on those sales. How about asking Sears to triple that amount, (or multiply it by 18) and donate it to the Jewish Charity of it's (Sears') choice? Actions speak louder ….

(50) Joey, October 19, 2014 11:42 PM

What would be the point of boycotting them now? Generally when you call a boycott, it's to achieve a specific aim; if Sears already took the ring off their site and apologized, what would a hypothetical boycott be demanding that they do?

On the other hand, if this third-party seller is still making and selling these rings, perhaps THEY'RE the ones whom people should direct their ire at.

(49) IJH, October 19, 2014 11:01 PM

They should have been more careful in initiating the ad But they responded positively and apologized This is enough for me They are down desist from kicking them

Let it be . I accept their apologetic responce

(48) Anne Henschel, October 19, 2014 10:55 PM

Boycott? response

I think I agree with Chris Yaren. This incident is an opportunity to teach, influence, educate. As much as I would love to allow my anger to lead my head, I know that a boycott would be counter-productive on so many levels. Meeting with the powers at Sears, getting them to acknowledge that, as nice as an apology is, being more creative will be to every one's advantage! We can push the idea that any nazi symbols are unacceptable in fashion (or anywhere else for that matter), and Sears could show the world that they stand for a better world! Win win for all !!

(47) Anonymous, October 19, 2014 10:28 PM

what about the met opera playing an antisemitic opera

and they are not even sorry?!
what do you think about that!

(46) Elliott, October 19, 2014 10:15 PM

it's not about Sears

This is very dismaying. But we know that all events are orchestrated by Hashem, frequently for the purpose of sending us a message. So I disagree with the Rabbi. I suspect this is not about Sears, nor about Chinese culture. It's about Jews and (perhaps) how we relate to one another, i.e., as though I couldn't care less what happened to your parents. Or perhaps this is Hashem's way of reminding us to stop trying to use things which are antithetical to Judaism as adornments, to make ourselves "look attractive at parties". Focusing on Sears misses the problem completely.

(45) Anonymous, October 19, 2014 9:46 PM

Sears should pay

IAnti semitism is growing and Sears MUST pay- money and greed - so Sears' tongue turned to say "we're sorry" and then turned their tongue around and blew it off. Jews shouldn't buy at Sears and make their voices loud and clear.

(44) Darrell, October 19, 2014 9:08 PM

Only one word (BOYCOTT)

with all the rising hate going on in the world these kind of things should not be tolerated by anyone let alone a major corporation like Sears they are responsible for what ends up on their web site end of story.
Not only Boycott Sears add Kmart and that third party CET domain let us all say no to these hateful things.

(43) Anonymous, October 19, 2014 8:30 PM

Sears

Totally unacceptable . Boycott Sears!

(42) George Bernstein, October 19, 2014 8:08 PM

Boycott not justified

Someone should be held responsible for letting this through and onto their website. However, a boycott hurts many people who work for the organization and who had nothing to do with this.

(41) Stephen Berr, October 19, 2014 8:04 PM

What about tschuva?

Sears can do tschuvah by making some kind of donation to a Jewish cause, perhaps a Holocaust education foundation? I don't think that a boycott will do much, especially since they have apologized.

Lisa, October 20, 2014 12:53 PM

Not a bad idea....a donation....$$$$$$

Sears should donate a nice sum to a Holocaust museum !!
That would be real true teshuva!!

(40) Mira D Bergen, October 19, 2014 7:56 PM

RE: Sears Swastika incident

The person responsible for putting it on the website should be FIRED! AND his or her BOSS should be FIRED! The company should then train its employees to NEVER let something like this EVER happen again

(39) Anonymous, October 19, 2014 7:36 PM

I complerly agree with you Rabbi Salomon. It should never been allowed on site. It should have been caught immediately, before publication. Accepting apology not enough. Unfortunately we accept too much too often. I will not shop there again, they are insensative idiots,

(38) Howie, October 19, 2014 7:34 PM

Not their fault

Sites such as this and others, for example ebay, which allow third party content posting have no way of knowing what is being posted, nor do they approve it before it goes live. Their only methodology is to wait for someone to point out the issue or complain. As such Sears is not culpable. If they are guilty of anything, it is the ridiculously slow speed that they have in getting something removed, but that is pure and simple an IT issue.

(37) TMay, October 19, 2014 7:30 PM

Russia-Miss Hitler 2014 Beauty Pageant

In Russia, which lost a minimum of 20 million people in WW II a Facebook equivalent webpage is holding a Miss Hitler 2014 Beauty Pageant."To join, contestants must submit a Nazi-themed selfie, accompanied by a caption that describes why they "Love and revere the Third Reich of Adolf Hitler," reports the Daily Mail. The Web site lists 8 requirements which includes being a female Nazi who hates Jews, member of the VKontakte fan page, post a sexy Nazi selfie, get other members to like her photo and not insult the other female contestants." "One of them is Katya Shkredova from Belorussia, gave the "explanation that she adores Hitler because of his willingness to experiment on people." It seems that their education is not very good either, both in history and in empathy.
The rise in secularism and non-judgementalism has not helped. The girl stating the pro-experimentation opinion does not feel that the person who will be experimented upon will be her. There are scientists who see humans as a bacterial outbreak on the surface of Earth that needs to be controlled and those scientists have predicted pandemics that will remedy the "problem." Our present administration is secular. Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood see humans as tools, whose deaths can be used to achieve an end, including babies and children.
As we write about the Sear's ring, we see genocide taking place of Kurds, Yazidi, Christians, minority Muslim sects, with no response from Turkey, actually they are firing on Kurds, and nothing but " for show" non-serious pantywaist demonstrations of force from the West. And we know it is happening in real time.

(36) Anonymous, October 19, 2014 7:25 PM

Rabbi Salomon, Please forgive what might be thought of as pettiness in this suggestion, but I think that I would be grateful if someone pointed this out to me if the situation pertained:

Please, Rabbi, no "etcetra." It doesn't add any meaning; it
detracts from your message. If used, it should have four syllables, not three: et cet-e-ra, not et cet-ra.. The latter is the
common pronunciation. Thanks, BGS

(35) TMay, October 19, 2014 7:21 PM

need to focus on education

I think we should forgive and forget Sears because it was a 3rd party. This issue comes up a lot online. If we hold a website owner responsible for everything that people post, we will live in a less free world. They apologized. That is important.
When I imagine it happening, I think of someone maybe 25 years old, born in 1989. WW II is ancient history to them. They don't have a feeling for it. When people do questions on the street, the ignorance of people is on view. One petition was pro ISIS and people signed. We should concentrate on education. We have seen that the education of people here has gone down in quality.The thinking ability of people has gone down. There is so much they don't understand. They don't understand history, geography, the American system. A Jewish woman started a a one woman campaign to get the Holocaust taught in schools in New Jersey. It has been adopted in a few other states. We should keep working on that, and also be on guard that it doesn't get perverted. In Rialto, California a teacher taught the Holocaust in terms of essays on whether the children thought it occurred or not, and whether Jews invented it to get sympathy. The fallout was not much. The school board apologized in May. In July, the San Bernardino Country Sun newspaper reported that Holocaust Denial essays by students earned high marks. In a lesson on critical thinking, given the websites they were given, some students "felt" that the Holocaust did not take place, and received high grades. Some of the essays said the Diary of Anne Frank was a hoax. That lesson plan affected something like 800 students.
This is not exclusive to the USA. We have seen a cafe with a Nazi theme in Indonesia where 90% of the population is Muslim. After an outcry, it closed down and then reopened with a general WW II theme.

(34) Anonymous, October 19, 2014 7:10 PM

they should stop selling rings that have engravings on them

(33) Anonymous, October 19, 2014 7:05 PM

PS. another thought

T'shuva alone is not enough to uncloud a sin -- tefilah and tzadakah, are also required... Tzdakah does not mean charity, as many people believe; its meaning is righteousness. If Sears wants to be righteous, they can take this opportunity to shine a light on anti-semitism.

(32) A, October 19, 2014 6:56 PM

This is an opportunity to forge a partnership

We Jews need better PR. Israel needs better PR. We need to assemble brilliant ad people and have a huge national media campaign, and an International internet campaign about the rise in antisemitism. Globally, as well as in the US (and how in the US it is subtle, manifesting as anti-Israel bias...). Sounds like Sears might now be able to be persuaded to be a willing and eager corporate sponsor. Freedom, Equality, Honesty, integrity, Building Dreams... all values shared by Israel, America, and Sears.

(31) jballinger, October 19, 2014 6:43 PM

Sears response to Swastika jewelry

I completely understand your misgivings about Sears apology. Is it enough? Well, I don't want to Boycott Sears knowing that they highly support our military families. I think it would be very appropriate if they made a public statement along with their apology letting the people know how repulsive the swastika symbol is and that was very insensitive to allow this jewelry on their website. They will take responsibility and make sure it does not happen again. Also, it is not just repulsive to the Jewish community but to all people who fought and endured in this war against humanity.

(30) Chris Yaren, October 19, 2014 6:37 PM

Boycott?

Anti-semitism is surely on the rise and becoming scary to every day Jews; however, let's use this incident to our advantage. Rabbi Salomon, use your influence and power to meet with the exeutives at Sears to start a meaningful dialogue on the rising anti-semitism in mainstream culture. Convince the to lead the charge against promoting nazi-ism in fashion. I just read on FB that a store in Montreal featured a shirt with Hitler on it. Wasn't one of the Princes dressed as a Nazi a few years ago or was that urban myth? My point is this: use your energy to do something to leverage Sears to move the whole industry, raise awareness and make change happen! Boycotting Sears might hurt them but it will be the wrong conversation in the public - "those pesky Jews and their anti-semitism again?" versus "Sears, a major American company, takes a stand against hatred in fashion". Its time to engage with the Nations of the World, not to become insular. The fact is that we could probably use their help right now.

Anonymous, October 19, 2014 8:27 PM

moving the whole industry in the right direction

I agree with Chris that a boycott may not be the best response but using the situation to raise awareness, vigilance and understand of the threats things like this pose, is a better plan.

Rick, October 19, 2014 10:32 PM

Chris (30)

I agree with you I think that is the correct approach to solving the issue

(29) dominique, October 19, 2014 6:32 PM

Truly unacceptable

Want more shocking news?
http://www.jpost.com/International/Miss-Hitler-2014-contest-seeks-the-most-anti-Semitic-of-them-all-379173

(28) Yan, October 19, 2014 6:21 PM

They stoped selling it they apologized BH ... Move on

(27) Anonymous, October 19, 2014 5:55 PM

Public Symbols

I agree with Rabbi Solomon. Displaying the swastika on a website is totally unacceptable and something should be done to stop it.

(26) Anonymous, October 19, 2014 5:55 PM

i think that something should be written up..... in the news.. in the papers... i do not think that a boycot is appropriate since they responded immediately ...but i do think that people should know that this happened.

Anonymous, October 19, 2014 7:28 PM

I agree with Chris Yaren's thoughtful, intelligent suggestions.

I agree with Chis Yaren's thoughtful, intelligent suggestions.

Anonymous, October 20, 2014 3:23 AM

Agree w #26 Sears should be lauded for prompt action, more.

As above but also should be advised of the harm sale of these evil symbols cause. Yes the media should be adviised to take notice.

(25) P. Melanie Vliet, October 19, 2014 5:54 PM

For Once a No-Brainer

Although I always enjoy your videos as thought-provoking, this one is not so.

The First Amendment grants us freedom of speech. This applies to all speech--even and ESPECIALLY that with which we disagree. If we attack Sears--or even CET Domain--here, we are not only being un-American (advocating violation of the U.S. Constitution) and un-Scriptural (refusing to forgive), but we are de facto surrendering our own right to freedom of speech and to be forgiven.

Furthermore, it should be noted that Sears did not "act" here; it made its site available to others and thus became a passive victim.

I am not a big fan of Sears; I am simply pointing out the facts of the case and the implications of the course of action that you, my esteemed Rabbi Salomon, are advocating. Thank you for asking.

Alan S., October 19, 2014 8:59 PM

Not speaking for Rabbi Salomon, but...

I do not recall wherein this video Rabbi Salomon advocated for an anti-American response, such as fire-bombing a Sears building. Quite the opposite, his response is most assuredly American: the right to disagree, the right to protest, the right to advocate for a non-violent, by the law-book response if he doesn't like the Sears response, which he obviously does not. Ms. Vliet, you certainly have the American guaranteed right to disagree. You do not surrender it because you disagree with Rabbi Salomon.

(24) Marvin Katzen, October 19, 2014 5:54 PM

Nazi ring

Sears goofed. They apologized. Go after the vendor. What bothers me more are the pseudo-rich assimilated Jews who wrap themselves in a BMW or Mercedes, Audi or Maybach to let everyone know how high they have arrived in life.

(23) Toby Lapin, October 19, 2014 5:53 PM

Absolutely unforgiveable!!

Rabbi,

Due to my background being similar to yours, and even without that being said, this is inexcusable and wrong on every level! The fact that Sears even allowed it on their sight to begin with, speaks volumes against them and this deplorable action! I feel further action needs to be taken both verbally and against Sears in the way of boycotting them as well, as I know I will do for sure. Please let me know how I can participate further in any action you initiate! This needs to be stopped ASAP, no need for further discussion! Shameful and disgusting!!

(22) Dr. Joyce Block, October 19, 2014 5:45 PM

boycott Sears

The more you sit back and don't have a voice against these things, the more they will continue. What about the Met Opera production of "The Death o Klinghoffer" Is that okay?

(21) Robert Ford, October 19, 2014 5:40 PM

proof of admonishment

If it is a third party. I think Sears should cut them off like a gangrenous limb. Right down to the tongue in cheek person who approved the item. It would make a conversation piece like a six digit number tattooed on the person's arm sitting next to you. I'm a Jew. That excuse of blaming a third party vendor is lame.

(20) Anonymous, October 19, 2014 5:40 PM

I'm with you Rabbi. An apology is just not enough...

(19) Anonymous, October 19, 2014 5:32 PM

Was this deliberate or an oversight?

We all know that Sears is on their way out. I'm all for expediting the process by boycotting their stores. Obviously, the corporate office consists of a different generation, one that is totally insensitive, or perhaps not aware that there was a holocaust.

(18) Tadmor Benyivrit, October 19, 2014 5:17 PM

An Apology Is Not Enough

My comment is to ask people two questions, and I suspect that the answer will be clear:
1. What would happen if Sears put a KKK ring on its website for sale with the statement that ''you will look beautiful and attractive for parties'';
2. What would happen if Sears put a ring with the Islamic moon and star with a red circle around it and a diagonal bar inserted in it with the statement ''you will look beautiful and attractive for parties.''

I am only one man. And, I used to shop at Sears a lot. However, I will never walk into one - neither do business in one - ever again until a full formal public and nationwide statement by Sears' CEO that this Nazi ring is unacceptable is made, and that Sears repents from its reprehensible decision to offer this ring on its web-site.

(17) Dvirah, October 19, 2014 5:03 PM

Mistake or Purpose

What I find most perturbing - both here and in the case of Zaca's holecaust shirt - is that it should have reached the marketed at all. If this is a mistake, where does that mistake begin and why was it not caught? Obviously someone thought these objects would be profitable, ie that there are indeed enough people who would willingly buy them. I have some experience in product development and know that many people are involved and many discussions held before a product is "released for market". Production, Quality Control, Marketing, Advertizing, etc. and finally the upper Management all have their say before the product is launched. And did no one think, thoughout this entire process, about the potentially offensive nature of the symbols?

(16) Leah, October 19, 2014 4:53 PM

I agree with previous response

I agree with Alan. I think this curse like Baalam's curse, can be turned into a blessing. How? If Sears and other large companies make a pro-Israel statement. Such as selling Israeli flags and t shirts. This would make Israel a nation that is "loved" by the media driven mindless general population.

(15) Anonymous, October 19, 2014 4:53 PM

I agree with Alan S

(14) Harvey Y, October 19, 2014 4:49 PM

Sears and the Nazi Ring needs a control.

An apology and taking the ring off the site alone is not acceptable. Sears should take control steps to make sure 3rd party resellers only show vetted acceptable merchandise on the Sears site and take steps to assure these resellers do not show unacceptable merchandise on other sites. This will help assure
that Sears' Resellers don't sell this crap elsewhere.

(13) Anonymous, October 19, 2014 4:36 PM

stupidity is not an excuse, they knew what the nazi insignia meant and sold it.

(12) Mati, October 19, 2014 4:31 PM

What too many Jews buy

It is an abhorence to me that I see Isaeli Jews buy and ride mercedes, the Nazi staff car. Yet so many buses and taxis are mercedes and I, myself will choose to lose my "quick ride" and will always refuse a mercedes. Then there is Ford. Okay Ford had relations with Hitler and was an antisemite.....but I like Fords. So do I have to make a decision not to buy or ride Fords? How far do we want to go with this? Okay, so I made the decision not to buy Fords and definitey stay away from Mercedes. How many other aniti-semites are there out there.?

(11) Anonymous, October 19, 2014 4:25 PM

I agree with Alan. Sears needs to be more vigilant about what goes on their website since it is under their name.
A donation with a nice note would definitely show remorse.

(10) Alon Barak, October 19, 2014 4:20 PM

HELL to pay

The "swastika" was not about just killing millions of Jews. How many died fighting the Nazi war machine? How many died not fighting, simply being on a cargo ship or tending sheep in a field in Poland? The whole world paid a HUGE BLOOD PRICE. Enough is enough. We Jews have again an opportunity to "lead". Let's go. Our letters to Sears need to have teeth and BITE. There was "Hell Paid" by all the world. It is now time for Sears to have HELL TO PAY. We now speak for ALL THE WORLD FOREVER SILENCED by the swastika.

(9) max winkler, October 19, 2014 4:18 PM

CET Domain

The distributing company is a Chinese corporation that usually does video game distribution from PR China. The swastika has a very different meaning in China, where You- Tai people (Jews) are highly esteemed and regarded. In China, the concept of 'kosher' is seen as a sign of clean food and in South Korea, the Talmud is taught to children as a means of improving their cognitive abilities! I would propose clear objectivity in this issue.

(8) max winkler, October 19, 2014 4:10 PM

is it Nazi or Asian swastika?

I have spent enough time in Asia to have seen the symbol (clockwise and counter clockwise)commonly displayed.
It has a completely different meaning there, usually the continuity of life, good luck, etc. In Tibet, it is found in the center of the converging triangles (star of David symbol) as the ancient symbol of the Tibetan people, preceding even the coming of Siddharta Gautama, the Buddha. The link between Chukchi people of Siberia and Innuit and native people of North America, brought the symbol to native American tribes, again, NEVER as a racialist meaning. It is also a symbol of the Falun Gong religious movement banned in China. I would as who the distributing company really is and what is their intentions.

(7) Anonymous, October 19, 2014 4:06 PM

Forgiving doesn't mean forgetting

Forgiving doesn't mean forgetting, allowing and accepting someone's (in this case, a corporation) apology doesn't mean a 'free pass' and all is forgotten. Just because you forgive and accept an apology doesn't mean you have to be a friend (shop in the store) anymore. It was an incredibly insensitive, hateful item on their website, which they should supervise. It is ultimately their fault, did they direct all the profits from the sales before they removed the item to a Holocaust survivors organization, that might be a more palatable apology, but none the less, what they did by not reviewing the submission on their site was inexcusable and unforgettable but by not forgiving, aren't we committing an act that goes against the grain of everything we believe in.

(6) Lisa, October 19, 2014 3:52 PM

"Sin-Sear" apology??

Yes... I think it was sincere . I think if we boycott we might get " a knock is a boost" reaction. Every retail chain wants their name in lights ( sometimes) even if it's for a negative reason. Rabbi, like you said, they did their Teshuva for this horrible act... Let's just hope they learned their lesson!!!!

(5) betty, October 19, 2014 3:45 PM

just an appology is not enough. Sears should openly take the company to task and make that reprimend public. Until then I will not deal with sears.

(4) Odspan, October 19, 2014 3:44 PM

Never Again!

The thought process that one is three generations removed and unaffected is the same one that encourages a future holocaust. The old "it can't happen here" mentality makes it more likely it will. I agree that Sears has not done enough. As a start, someone at Sesrs is responsible for that section of the site. That person MUST make a public apology and be sent to a class on bigotry and holocaust. Beyond that I agree Sears must make a significant donation--one that HURTS and will be remembered--to a prevention or memorial site such as the U.S. Holocaust Musesm or the SWF. Failure to do so MUST result in a major and noisy boycott!.

(3) Anonymous, October 19, 2014 3:38 PM

It's not only Sears

The ring actually appeared on other retail websites in addition to Sears, including Amazon. In fact, if you enter the search term "Swastika" on Amazon you'll find other items available: Swastika ID Lapel Pin Badge, 3'x5' NAZI Swastika Flag w/ Iron Cross, German Youth Knife, and Nazi armband.

I understand the concept of freedom of speech but with over 11 million people killed in Nazi concentration camps, I really don't understand why these items are displayed for sale. I will be contacting Amazon to express my concerns.

(2) LMaltz, October 19, 2014 3:29 PM

More is needed

I think that more needs to be done on the part of the Sears Corporation. At the very least, the vendor should not be allowed to sell it's items on the Sears website. Does Sears not 'vet' the items that are being sold on it's website? If it does and this was permitted, Seard has much more work to do to make amends than a sincere apology. The world community can not allow hate groups, of any kind, to be promoted or supported by corporations or governments. I will definitely be avoiding Sears in the future. There are MANY other stores and corporations that can fulfil my shopping needs other than Sears.

(1) Anonymous, October 19, 2014 10:48 AM

it's a generational issue

I know that some people would never buy an Audi on principle, after their involvement with Hitler's operations. I am already a third generation away from the holocaust and I never understood why the sons of Nazi murderers have to be held responsible for their father's actions. Here too, it was most likely a very irresponsible mistake. Sears have realised that and made amends as much as possible. What more can we expect of them?
Again, I was not brought up by Holocaust survivors as Rabbi Salamon and my father was. In addition, my father's parents passed away when I was a young kid, while my mother's parents (they should live and be well till 120) were both born and raised in London.
It seems to me that it all depends on how deeply the holocaust affected your personal life.

Efraim, October 19, 2014 11:47 AM

Not a Communist

When they came for the communist, I did not speak up because I was not a communist. Then they came for the socialist and I did not speak up because I was not a socialist. They came for the Jew and I did not speak up because I was not Jewish. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak up for me. Seems as though we have already seen the dire effects of the type of thinking espoused by anonymous. If it doesn't affect me personally I should be cutting those who make these mistakes a lot of slack.....REALLY!

Alan S., October 19, 2014 1:46 PM

Fair enough....but...

Well intentioned reply and particularly useful in today's world. But one question: will Efraim ever buy an Audi, or shop at Sears? Will it matter how many generations has passed till Efraim or one of his children buys an Audi, or shops at Sears? Only Efraim can answer this for himself.

To answer the Rabbi's question: for me, Sears needs to do more than just apologize. I would be happy if Sears makes a substantial contribution to a Holocaust study program or center AND ends it affiliation with the vendor that had this ring on its web site.

Mark B., October 19, 2014 5:15 PM

Good Answer

I like your answer, Alan.

Susan Rose, October 19, 2014 6:28 PM

I agree with Alan S.

I agree the apology is not enough. It is not enough to plead ignorance, Sears needs to do its due diligence on its website. A contribution to a Holocaust educational organization would go a long way to showing their apology is sincere.

Anonymous, October 19, 2014 6:55 PM

Does Sears not check what merchandise is in the catalogues? Do they not meet with the vendors beforehand for approval of items? It has to be employees who approved these rings for sale.

Toby, October 19, 2014 5:55 PM

absolutely agree with the above statement!

This has been all too true when first written such a long time ago!
Sadly, still pertinent today in 2014! needs to be remedied and changed!! NOW!!

Anonymous, October 19, 2014 6:49 PM

His reply is sad because you can't just stop being involved or active because you are not personally affected. It is your heritage and you should always be vigilant. Look what is happening today globally towards the Jewish people. You don't have to look very far. It is the responsibility of your generation and the ones that follow to take over the teachings of the holocaust and to be forever vigilant.

 

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