Boycotting Borsalino?

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  • #1070098

    Daya Zooger
    Member

    The issue as I see it: Thousands of hats are sold by Borsalino to our communities with a hefty profit margin. They have been taking advantage of the fact that in our communities hats haven’t yet gone the way of the ice box, nor will they be in the foreseeable future. They have been hiking prices steadily. They know we need them. What we need to see is if we can gather together under one banner to urge them to lower prices, under threat of changing our style (go over to kangol or stetson as a group). We cannot underestimate our bargaining power, as we are likely a large percentage of their customer base. (It’s not the 1940’s anymore…)

    It is neither Communist nor capitalist. It’s common sense.

    #1070099

    flatbusher
    Member

    Daas Yochid, people who don’t earn money of their should not expect to spend others’–namely their parents–for the sake of vanity. Doesn’t sitting in yeshiva teach them anything, or have they been instilled with a sense of entitlement? When you were growing up, did you expect your folks to buy you whatever your heart desires, even if they could not afford it? Saying they are just human beings is cop out and seems to suggest that following a Torah way of life has little impact on the way they conduct their lives. Otherwise, this would not be an issue. My parents were poor and I never expected anything beyond what they could afford to give and was grateful for all they gave me, and I wasn’t sitting in yeshiva all day.

    #1070100

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Daya Zooger, how much dies it cost to produce a hat, and what is the wholesale price?

    Flatbusher, you’re being unrealistic. We live in a very decadent society, and it affects everyone. Sure, it’s not a god middah, but it doesn’t affect yeshiva bochurim any more than anyone else; probably the opposite.

    I’m not sure what your point is. Is it to dismiss the overwhelming benefits of learning in yeshiva because bochurim like $260 hats, and send them to public schools (don’t forget that they start wearing hats when they’re 13) or college? Is it to increase mussar seder?

    The reality is that they’re young men, in the process of growing, but they’re not perfect.

    #1070101

    flatbusher
    Member

    Part of the problem is folks like you making excuses for them or defending them, rather than someone in their lives–maybe their rebbeim–to give them mussar that would help them grow. I assume we’re not talking about 10 year olds, but these young men who are old enough to get married and have kids, should be a little more mature. My comment about the yeshiva, is that if they are little better than those who are not in yeshiva, that in itself is a problem, but obviously, you don’t see much of a problem here.

    #1070102

    TheGoq
    Participant

    It’s always easier to spend others peoples money rather than money you yourself earned.

    When you work to earn money you realize how much it is truly worth because you have struggled, sweated, and been inconvenienced for it and therefore you are more careful about how you spend it , just like people on food stamps who I see in my store every day it stifles ambition why bother working when you can live on the taxpayers dime.

    #1070103

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    That being said, many do learn most of the day, and in their defense, they have been taught that what they are doing is correct. If you wanted something other than a child expecting a $300 hat, you should have started from day 1 teaching them the middah of histapkus (what’s that?) and how they don’t need to keep up with the Cohens’. If you want your child to live with nothing and stay in learning, teach them and sacrifice for learning yourself. By the time your child is Bar Mitzvah, that barn door has long closed behind you.

    #1070104

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Quoting fully from the biography of Rav Ahron Kotler on the Shema Yisroel Network:

    [materially] that he could even want. This is what [Hashem meant when he said to Avrohom Ovinu]

    So as per Rav Ahron Kotler and the Gaon, these Kollel and Yeshiva Bochrim are missing a necessary element for Kinyan HaTorah

    #1070105

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Flatbusher, making excuses for them? I’m not saying it’s right, I just think your bashing is unwarranted, and won’t accomplish anything.

    No, gavra, they’re not perfect, but by and large kollel yungerleit are a great deal more accomplished in the middah of histapkus b’muat than baalei batim. A small minority live in luxury; the majority try to find ways to minimize their expenses. If people want to pick on Borsalinos, they will, but the general theme here is way, way, off the mark.

    #1070106

    flatbusher
    Member

    Gavra, thank you for your eloquent posts. I do disagree that it’s too late to retrain a boy of 13. What is necessary is for yeshivos to be more proactive with their bachurim, and I see little indication of that. It could be because many of the people they hire as rebbeim themselves don’t hold the values described in the biography. Without opening another can of worms, from what I can see, yeshivos don’t have a class on middos or hashkafa that would instill boys with better values.

    #1070107

    apushatayid
    Participant

    Whether borsalino is actually better product doesnt matter when it comes to supply and demand. The demand is for the brand, so market forces dictate they can get away with it. when you see an israeli news site do a story on the “boycott” and bachurim angrily state they must have a borsalino for “zeh keili vianveyhu” and they must charge less, borsalino realizes that they have a bunch of fools as buyers and can charge what they want. unless I’m mistaken, borsalino hat company is not owned by yidden and as a result they are not governed by the laws of onaah and instead dictate their pricing based on the laws of the marketplace. right now the laws of the marketplace say they have a bunch of foolish customers who believe their product the best out there, by far, and are willing to pay outrageous prices for them. the proof is in the pudding. despite the outrageous price, they buy it anyway (and complain while doing so). If they wouldnt buy it at that price, borsalino will either cut production to meet the newer lower demand for its hats or lower the price. till then, they are laughing at this “boycott”.

    #1070108

    apushatayid
    Participant

    when will consumer reports evaluate mens fedoras, so we can know once and for all, if, or how much, better a borsalino hat is then any other brand?

    #1070109

    MDG
    Participant

    GAW said,

    ” today’s typical yeshiva bochur is decadent, materialistic, does not feel responsible for themselves or their families, and expects much from others (including their shver, which is where we had the discussion) with a Magiah Li attitude.

    That being said, many do learn most of the day, and in their defense, they have been taught that what they are doing is correct. “

    Do you believe that they have been taught that way from just their parents? My guess is that the yeshiva system contributes to that attitude. When one is taught that learning Torah is the best thing and one should support learners, then a bochur can easily think “I’m doing the best and people should support me. Any bracha you have is because of me, so support me well!”

    #1070110

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    It’s always easier to spend others peoples money rather than money you yourself earned.

    Not directed at you, Goq, but it’s also always a lot easier to bash others than work on your own shortcomings.

    By and large, I find that the more time people spend in yeshiva and kollel, the less they are into gashmius, so it’s ridiculous to specifically bash yeshiva bochurim for this.

    It’s like going to an auto assembly plant and seeing cars without doors, and deciding that you’ll never buy a Toyota because they’re missing doors.

    Human beings are born selfish. It takes time, chinich, maturity, and working on oneself to overcome this, and truthfully, very few people ever do, and much fewer to the point of not caring about gashmius at all.

    So, many bochurim want a good quality hat. Many of these same bochurim will end up living lives with very little gashmius, and great sacrifice for ruchnius, or even better, histapkus to the point that it’s not even a sacrifice.

    Would you prefer that the ones who are too involved in gashmius leave yeshiva? Will that make them less so?

    A fellow who was in yeshiva with me was a little too into gashmius for my liking. He found very up-to-date, stylish suits (Syms bash), had his 100% cotton shirts professionally cleaned and starched, and enjoyed a good meal at a nice restaurant. Should he have left yeshiva?

    It would have been klal Yisroel’s loss, because he’s now a very fine talmid chacham and marbitz Torah. He also lives a simple lifestyle; small house, used minivan, Concord shirts, etc.

    #1070111

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    No, gavra, they’re not perfect, but by and large kollel yungerleit are a great deal more accomplished in the middah of histapkus b’muat than baalei batim. A small minority live in luxury; the majority try to find ways to minimize their expenses. If people want to pick on Borsalinos, they will, but the general theme here is way, way, off the mark.

    I mostly don’t disagree with you, but there is an exception for items that are needed to be “socially” acceptable, which seems to in many cases be a requirement (and each circle has it’s own gedarim of what that is). As an example, I have been told of “sweater wars” in the Mir. The expectation to wear a Bors or be a nebuch (which could affect shidduchim) is similar.

    Don’t get me started on Lexi, Infinities and Mercedes’ of the Yeshivish velt, to say nothing of the top of the line Leather Odyssey replaced every two years.

    As an aside, I believe it was Rabbi Bender in Far Rockaway who was very against the Borsalino for this reason, that it creates an expectation on a child that is very hard to resist.

    flatbusher – you can’t do it at 13 for the 13 year old who wants this hat or the $3000 tefilin (as in the Yated), but you might be able to do something for the child for when he will (hopefully) become an adult.

    #1070112

    flatbusher
    Member

    Daas Yachid, so you say you aren’t defending it or saying it’s right. Reread your post and tell me exactly what you are doing when you keep saying they’re human beings, what you can do. You say the bashing is unwarranted and won’t accomplish anything. Well, you probably could say that about 90% of coffee room comments on any topic, but I guess it makes you feel uncomfortable to mention the issue.

    #1070113

    TheGoq
    Participant

    Flatbush you put the onus on the Rabbeim it should be put on the parents the apples don’t fall far from the tree. If someone comes from a wealthy family than they should have things that are of a higher quality because they can afford it, but doing so without crossing the line into showing off it can be done.

    #1070114

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Agree with Goq. To a large degree, the rebbeim are trying to undo the poor chinuch of the parents.

    Flatbusher, my previous post answers your latest points (although I obviously hadn’t seen your post), but was not yet approved when you posted it.

    #1070115

    flatbusher
    Member

    Of course the parents should do their part, but considering how many hours a day a child spends in school, and how they develop relationships with rebbeim, there is a good chance rebbeim could have more influence on the child than the parents.

    I’m not even putting the onus on the rebbeim, but they certainly can incorporate middos and other values into their day, don’t you agree?

    Somehow, I don’t think parents are encouraging their kids to buy things they can’t afford, so not sure I understand your apple point.

    #1070116

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Do you believe that they have been taught that way from just their parents?

    Human beings are born selfish. It takes time, chinich, maturity, and working on oneself to overcome this, and truthfully, very few people ever do, and much fewer to the point of not caring about gashmius at all.

    So, many bochurim want a good quality hat. Many of these same bochurim will end up living lives with very little gashmius, and great sacrifice for ruchnius, or even better, histapkus to the point that it’s not even a sacrifice.

    This (although I believe the final number is small as a percentage, it is still “many). However, it can be done even for a bochur if you are willing to start early. It makes for a much better bochur and eventually, a head start in becoming a Talmid Chochum.

    #1070117

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Don’t get me started on Lexi, Infinities and Mercedes’ of the Yeshivish velt, to say nothing of the top of the line Leather Odyssey replaced every two years.

    Very distasteful, but a very, very small minority in my experience.

    As an aside, I believe it was Rabbi Bender in Far Rockaway who was very against the Borsalino for this reason, that it creates an expectation on a child that is very hard to resist.

    But he apparently lost that battle, and as you say, it’s very hard to resist, which is why, although I don’t like it, I think a mountain is being made of a molehill. A bochur wanting a Borsalino, in the reality we live in, is not optimal, but is not indicative of extreme decadence on his part.

    #1070118

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    The apple point was right on target. It’s hard to expect a kid not to want expensive clothing when his father drives a new Lexus and his mother a leased Town and Country, and they go to a fancy restaurant weekly.

    #1070119

    MDG
    Participant

    “Human beings are born selfish. It takes time, chinich, maturity, and working on oneself to overcome this, and truthfully, very few people ever do, and much fewer to the point of not caring about gashmius at all.”

    While I think no one disagrees with that, I think that many of us expect more maturity sooner from some one who has been learning full time for several years.

    #1070120

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Maybe the expectations are unreasonably high, and maybe you don’t know how some bochurim, whose midos are not what you’d expect, are actually doing with their time.

    #1070121

    MDG
    Participant

    DY, it’s not just the parents. A friend’s son was actually encouraged by his Rebbe to enjoy the “good life” (expensive clothes, shoes) in Yeshiva. The idea was to keep them learning.

    #1070122

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    I don’t know that bochur, but in some cases, the long term goal justifies it, because the reality with some boys is that if they feel deprived (justifiable or not) they’ll leave yeshiva.

    Had he had a different chinuch from his parents, maybe that wouldn’t have been necessary.

    Rav Meir Shapiro zt”l built Chachmei Lublin with the premise that yeshiva bochurim need some degree of gashmius.

    #1070123

    TheGoq
    Participant

    If you don’t like the gashmiusdik culture of the city/neighborhood you reside you should look to move elsewhere but even if u must be in that area you the parent can define what is proper and what is not, they say it takes a village to raise a child but if you are not happy with the people in your village then you may not like how your child turns out.

    #1070124

    MDG
    Participant

    “Rav Meir Shapiro zt”l built Chachmei Lublin with that premise.”

    I disagree with that comparison. There is a big difference between having normal living conditions -like a dorm and food – and $300 Italian dress shoes.

    #1070125

    flatbusher
    Member

    DaasYachid, you make it sound like a lot of frum people drive around in fancy cars. Sure, if the parents drive a Lexus, likely they can afford to give the kids all the expensive stuff. But I wasn’t talking about them. Based on your theory, there should never be a boycott of Borsalino because if the kids followed their parents example, they would know if they can’t afford expensive things, they don’t buy expensive things. And if the parents can’t afford expensive things, but get them anway, well, how long can that lifestyle last?

    You said, if deprived they’ll leave yeshiva, and….work! A dirty four-letter word I suppose.

    #1070126

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    But he apparently lost that battle, and as you say, it’s very hard to resist, which is why, although I don’t like it, I think a mountain is being made of a molehill. A bochur wanting a Borsalino, in the reality we live in, is not optimal, but is not indicative of extreme decadence on his part.

    I rather see it as a sign of the “extreme decadence” of our reality/society (American Yeshivish), instead of the individual. It is not a battle that we will win. We had our chance with wedding Takanos, and when the Olam saw that there were “exceptions”, the whole thing fell apart. We will not get another chance any time soon.

    So yes, big picture it is not worth harping on. Better to work on shidduchim for girls who are looking to get married.

    #1070127

    MDG
    Participant

    “Better to work on shidduchim for girls who are looking to get married.”

    That is the same problem as the Borsalino issue. Very high physical/material expectations.

    #1070128

    flatbusher
    Member

    MDG, Bingo! Basically, it seems boys, or rather their mothers, put up a sign, “Poor Girls Need Not Apply.”

    #1070129

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    I disagree with that comparison. There is a big difference between having normal living conditions -like a dorm and food – and $300 Italian dress shoes.

    I disagree with the comparison between a Borsalino and $300 Italian shoes, and your comparison between generation.

    The basic point remains valid.

    DaasYachid, you make it sound like a lot of frum people drive around in fancy cars.

    That was a bit of an extreme example, and there are other chinuch errors which can lead to too much gashmius as well, but a common one is certainly parents’ overemphasis on gashmius.

    You said, if deprived they’ll leave yeshiva, and….work! A dirty four-letter word I suppose.

    Technically, it is four letters. 🙂

    If you want to have young bochurim who could be learning leave yeshiva, we part ways here.

    I rather see it as a sign of the “extreme decadence” of our reality/society (American Yeshivish)

    More than any other part of society, or as a result of absorbing the increasingly decadent values of society?

    We had our chance with wedding Takanos

    There is still too much waste, but the very yeshivish chasunos I’ve been to lately have been relatively simple.

    Very high physical/material expectations.

    Not what I see in the very yeshivish crowd.

    #1070130

    MDG
    Participant

    “I disagree with the comparison between a Borsalino and $300 Italian shoes, and your comparison between generation.

    The basic point remains valid.”

    We will have to agree to disagree.

    ___

    “Not what I see in the very yeshivish crowd.”

    Not sure where to draw the line of what is “very yeshivish”. Anyway, I have a young female relative in Shidduchim. She has been told that some bochurim are expecting 10 years of support. That’s like a half million dollars.

    #1070131

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    I rather see it as a sign of the “extreme decadence” of our reality/society (American Yeshivish)

    More than any other part of society, or as a result of absorbing the increasingly decadent values of society?

    I can’t tell, as I’m not (at least on this board) a sociologist. But yes, Americans are decadent.

    We had our chance with wedding Takanos

    There is still too much waste, but the very yeshivish chasunos I’ve been to lately have been relatively simple.

    That is (IMHO) due more to being lucky that Lakewood has a large number of halls that will do small weddings on Thursday nights as a “Chessed” (which causes fewer people to show up, which lowers costs and makes it profitable). I’ll grant you that we probably go in different circles, and I haven’t been to a statistically significant number of weddings recently, but I haven’t seen it (Lo Rainu Aino Rayah).

    #1070132

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    “Not what I see in the very yeshivish crowd.”

    Not sure where to draw the line of what is “very yeshivish”. Anyway, I have a young female relative in Shidduchim. She has been told that some bochurim are expecting 10 years of support. That’s like a half million dollars.

    But each one is the “Best bochur in Lakewood!”

    #1070133

    apushatayid
    Participant

    So, whats next, a boycott against rolex because their watches are not available a costco for $59.99?

    #1070134

    A jew who cares
    Participant

    I agree with all DY points, glad we have one normal voice here.

    I’m not sure what the rest seem to have against yeshiva bachurim??

    You should be glad all they have peer pressure for is a Borsalino hat…

    #1070135

    A jew who cares
    Participant

    And btw Flatbusher – a little birdie told me a few days ago that if I would have played basketball in Yeshiva then perhaps I would have remained there for longer.

    Would you not agree that just as much as they need a gashmiyus outlet they also perhaps feel a need for something as gashmiyusdik as a nice hat?

    #1070136

    flatbusher
    Member

    no, I don’t agree that guy needs a $250 hat,but if out of the goodness of your heart you want to fund hats for yeshiva bochurim so they’ll stay in yeshiva longer, be my guest. But if that is what it takes to keep them in yeshiva, makes me wonder, why that is the case.

    #1070137

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    So you don’t understand human nature, or don’t think yeshiva bochurim are human.

    Either way, I sure hope you’re not in chinuch.

    #1070138

    A jew who cares
    Participant

    If $250 would keep a bachur in yeshiva for 3 extra years (that’s around how long my hats last), then yes that perhaps might be a good cause.

    #1070139

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    There is a physical need for exercise. There is no physical need for a Borsalino.

    #1070140

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    There is a lot more to boys playing ball than physical exercise.

    #1070141

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Anyway, I have a young female relative in Shidduchim. She has been told that some bochurim are expecting 10 years of support. That’s like a half million dollars.

    $50k per year? I’ve never heard that. Ten years is high, but not unheard of.

    There are plenty of very nice bochurim who expect much, much less.

    #1070142

    MDG
    Participant

    A jew who cares said:

    “I’m not sure what the rest seem to have against yeshiva bachurim??”

    and said

    “If $250 would keep a bachur in yeshiva for 3 extra years (that’s around how long my hats last), then yes that perhaps might be a good cause.”

    If it takes only an extra $300 to incentivize 3 more years of learning, I’m for it. My issue is that it seems to me that many use learning Torah as their tool for making money and their selfishness. The Borsalino is emblematic of that. As that attitude grows, so does the appetite for support. Which leads me to my next point….

    DaasYochid asked, “$50k per year? I’ve never heard that. Ten years is high, but not unheard of.”

    Let’s do some math. Rent in the NY/NJ metro can easily cost $2000 a month for a 2 bedroom –> $24,000 yearly. Utilities, phones, car payments and gas, food, car insurance, and health insurance can easily bring it up to $35,000, more likely $40,000. I’ve left out clothing, other incidentals, and “what ifs”.

    In a few years, G”W, there will be kids. A bigger place might be needed with higher rent. More health insurance needed. Diapers, wipes, formula, and baby food add more costs. Childcare is expensive. Chinuch is expensive.

    Eventually, the young family might want to buy a place to live. The shver is then expected to plunk down a down payment, which could be like $100,000.

    Am I missing something, or does the loose math come out to about a half million (if not more) in 10 years. Even if you cut corners here and there, you still come out with a figure of hundreds of thousands. I’m sure that most young ladies will be working and contribute greatly to that in the beginning. But as kids come along, their net earnings will either diminish due to higher child care or less ability to earn.

    BTW, all of that is AFTER TAXES. In other words, the shver has to make about $700,000 to pay that half million. Even if you want to tell me that it’s only half of that, it’s still a hefty sum.

    #1070143

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    You are assuming that Borsalinos go along with luxury apartments and leased cars. They usually don’t.

    I don’t know precisely what the cost of living in Lakewood is, but it starts at less than 50k, and anyhow, in the vast majority of cases, the girl’s father does not undertake to fully support the young couple regardless of income or expenses. It’s usually a set amount, and far, far less than the numbers you’re using.

    #1070144

    MDG
    Participant

    “You are assuming that Borsalinos go along with luxury apartments and leased cars. They usually don’t.”

    I think the sentiment that some of us have been showing is dislike of the attitude of entitlement. “Gimme gashmius because I’m a ruchnius person.” Sounds funny to me.

    _

    “in the vast majority of cases, the girl’s father does not undertake to fully support the young couple regardless of income or expenses. It’s usually a set amount, and far, far less than the numbers you’re using.”

    Reality sets in.

    _

    I recently became more repelled by the attitude of entitlement because of my female relative’s experience. In short, that’s my issue. Borsalino is the tip of that entitlement iceberg.

    #1070145

    apushatayid
    Participant

    “There are plenty of very nice bochurim who expect much, much less.”

    My issue with this sentence is the word “expect”. What do they expect, why do they expect it and who set those expectations?

    #1070146

    NeutiquamErro
    Participant

    To focus on the original point – I think a boycott would be a justified, if ultimately doomed, venture.

    There is no question that the premium one pays for a Bors is unjustified. There was a time when Brandolinos were virtually the only viable competitor, and even then they were poor quality. At that time (about ten years ago), Borsalinos were much fairer priced, as it was accepted you were paying for quality, much as you would for a Lexus. But Brandolino have improved vastly, and can now offer some quality hats, and the market has opened up significantly. Both the choice and standard has improved over recent years.

    Taking this into account, Borsalino’s prices begin to look extravagant. Whereas in the past there were few viable alternatives and they truly offered a better product, in current times they are trading as much on the name as on quality. Bochurim, among others, will buy a borsalino as much for the lining as for the rest of it, and that is the problem. In such a situation, it is a perfect example of free market economics for a consumer group to take their custom elsewhere and thereby, with the frum market being one of the main consumers of black felt fedoras, the Borsalino company would have little option but to lower their prices to a more reasonable rate.

    The reason why the move is ultimately doomed is because I cannot see many, myself included, being the korban, especially as if one can afford it one has little to gain from the boycott.

    #1070147

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    APY, what word would you prefer?

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