I’ve been a loyal customer of B&H Photo/Video since they were on 18th Street in lower Manhattan. Back in the 80’s they established themselves as a market leader with incredibly competitive pricing, and as the years passed the medium sized merchant grew into the MegaPlex facility now on 9th Avenue.
Naturally, as technology has changed, B&H has adapted as well, and so ordering via phone, or even in person, has been matched by clicking menu options on line and making purchases through their website.
But as much as things have changed, one very special aspect has remained entirely the same.
Expanding into an operation literally spanning the globe, the management of B& H Photo haven’t forgotton to keep God first, placing their business interests second.
Imagine closing a SuperStore for a week in celebration of the Passover! A full week!
Think of the money lost to other sales establishments — the customers allowed to seek other retailers, the revenue passed up in preference for a higher consideration.
And remember, this is all done, not because of a city ordinance, but because of a loyalty and deference to a faith, and an abiding reverence for the Lord. It is a costly devotion, apart from the nominal connection so commonly seen elsewhere across our country.
You see, we in the “freer” traditions stemming from the Judeo-Christian soil, have long since abolished antiquated “blue laws”, and thus we have been liberated, not only to shop 24/7, but also, to work nearly as much. We realize that spending extra time with family and setting apart special time for God is outmoded.
Quite beyond communing with the Wholly Other, and thereby gaining a better insight into ourselves, we have learned the ways of texting, and ipods, and Blackberries, and pagers, and beepers, and palm-tops.
Manifestly different from those who fervently keep the Sabbath, and intentionally assert the need for Shabbat Shalom, we have advanced to the point where we can work, anywhere and everywhere, at anytime. Why, even behind the wheel, driving to meet friends, we can don headsets and earpieces and serve the company from which we earn a paycheck.
We need not seek solace in the One Who gave us life, and meaning, and identity. We are past that. We know better, and it shows.
When it comes to all things photographic, partly because of their selection and price, B&H will remain at the top of my personal preference list, along with like-minded institutions like Adorama…
But I will also hold a partiality to these vendors because they have a due and inspirational partiality to the Almighty. They set an example we would all do well to follow.
They have my admiration, so I don’t mind giving them my money.