Moisha’s Supermarket – A Request

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    Red Adair

    I regularly shop at Moisha’s supermarket in the latter part of the week, buying fish, meat and poultry for Shabbos. Their regular prices are very reasonable and the items they have on sale weekly often allow my family, guests and me to enjoy an extra treat on Shabbos. (Bonus: properly refrigerated leftovers make great lunches and suppers until the next Tuesday or Wednesday.)

    Reb Moshe Binik A”H started the kolel store in Boro Park many years ago with the express intent of providing reasonably-priced groceries to kolel families, and now with the KRM (Kolel, Rabeim, Mishpacha) and Moisha’s supermarkets, his stores continue to fulfill that mission.

    Every time I go to Moisha’s, whether I approach from MacDonald Avenue, Avenue L, Avenue N or any other direction, I see one or more of their shopping carts left unattended on the sidewalk or even in the street. They very kindly allow shoppers to take the carts to their cars and apparently not everybody returns them to the store. This is so prevalent that I actually wondered if this is something the store allows, but a sign near the exit stating “As Per Rabonim: Not Returning Wagons To The Store Is Stealing!” makes it pretty clear it isn’t. I don’t know what each cart costs, but they aren’t cheap.

    The unreturned carts really bother me. Why? I have nothing to do with Moisha’s (beyond shopping there) and I don’t know a single person associated with the owner or management. I’m not being dan l’kaf chov that every person who doesn’t return their cart is a member of our community who can and should do better – maybe a mother with her babies was given the OK to leave it half a block away, maybe someone suddenly didn’t feel well, maybe someone had an emergency, maybe it was left by a nochri, etc. BUT, for those who are capable of returning them and simply choose not to, these abandoned carts may be stolen, lost or damaged while on the street and the loss will be to heimishe people who started the store just to save us money; don’t they deserve better? This isn’t even discussing gneiva, chilul H’ and other halachic issues.

    I’m sure their workers go all around the neighborhood collecting abandoned carts, but I highly doubt they get them all before damage, loss or theft occur.

    So here’s the request (actually it’s two requests): 1) Please return your cart to the store after you’ve unloaded it into your car. 2) If you’re going to the store to shop and see a cart abandoned in the street – even if it’s a block or two away – why not return it? It’s on your way anyway, it’s hashovas avaida and also a nice, mentshlich thing to do for a store that really helps our community significantly.

    See you in the meat section and have a good Shabbos.


    What time can I see you in the meat section?

    The Frumguy

    Yasher Koach, Red Adair.
    There’s nothing wrong with reminding fellow Yidden how to act as Mentchen. I personally shop at KRM Supermarket and whenever I park down the block or see a stray cart, I bring it back to the store.


    <Moisha’s should adopt the system used by Aldi in the USA and many markets in Europe. All shopping carts are chained and you insert a quarter to release the cart. People return the carts to the lane and retrieve the coin.
    I was in France this summer and the standard was a Euro coin. People in NY might not bother returning the cart for 25 cents, but probably would for a dollar

    ☕️coffee addict

    They have that in Toronto too,

    It a genius idea!

    And the homeless won’t have any carts


    CT Lawyer has a good idea but even easier and more effective are the shopping carts now the norm in most big cities in Japan and China which use a chip that triggers a locking system on the cart wheels if someone tries to wheel them through the exit doors. I suspect the system pays for itself within a year or so by substantially reducing cart losses or damage.

    Reb Eliezer
    Burnt Steak

    GH, I thought that was pretty standard in America. At least it is in the non NYC area city I am from. We’ve had that for a while.


    Both the quarter idea and the locking carts work well for a store with a large parking lot. For stores like Moisha’s and KRM, where many people park on the street perhaps a couple of blocks away, neither system would work. Most people would consider the quarter (or even a dollar) a rental fee and not bother shlepping back. It’s also annoying if you don’t have the coin on you. Like the Frum Guy, I also return stray carts as I’m walking to the store. I also return my cart to near the store since it’s not a big deal for me. But for a shopper with a little kid or two or three, it’s a lot to expect. I’m sure the store has a worker go around and retrieve carts in the immediate neighborhood (just as a store with a parking lot has a worker retrieve carts from the parking lot). The problem is with people who take the carts home with them, or to far locations.



    The shopping carts with chips that lock the wheels when trying to leave the store are a terrible idea. One needs the shopping cart loaded with a week’s groceries for a large family to get the bags to the car.
    Here in the suburbs some stores have set the carts to lock at the edges pf the parking lots and it works. But stores such as Moisha’s depend on on street parking and shoppers need to be able to wheel the purchases all the way to the car.

    Other models that work successfully in non-urban markets include:
    A system where your purchase is placed in a bin on a conveyor in the front of the store, you drive up, hand the box boy your ticket and they load the car.
    A system used by the Market Basket Chain in Massachusetts and New Hampshire: they hire mentally challenged young adults who wheel the carriage out to the car for every customer, help unload and then return the carriage to the store.
    These cost money and do raise prices slightly.


    CT Lawyer: You are 100 percent correct….I’ve gotten too used to parking an SUV in a large open parking lot and pulling up to the front of the market’s entrance and having the “loading guy” carry my Tikun Olam Inon-plastic) bags from the cart to my car. Its been a few decades since I schlepped 5 blocks with my mother wheeling our own shopping carts to the market and shlepping it home. I can understand the role of the store’s shopping carts have become a surrogate for those we used t bring from home (we never owned a car back then).

    Working on it

    So…I happen to work in the Supermarket industry and I can tell you that all the suggestions, while theoretically good, would not work for the location in question. As a couple people pointed out, locking the wheels at the corner would prevent people from being able to take their purchases to the car – which may be parked a block away. It works well “out of town” because there is lots of room for a parking lot but not in an urban area. Besides, the cost of implementing that type of system would be immense. The way they work is with a strong magnet that has to be placed at the borders that activates the wheel lock, meaning that the sidewalk would need to be ripped out and the magnets installed all around the store. Furthermore, those types of wagons are significantly more expensive and the store would need to replace all the wagons they currently have, which would be very expensive.
    The other idea of using the quarter method….again, the cost of replacing all the wagons would be expensive, but more importantly, the backlash from the customers would be overwhelming. People feel entitled to convenience. Either they would not bother for the quarter or they would complain how the store “DARES” to charge for a necessity. I have had customers in my store request to take the wagon home with them, promising to return it. When I asked that they leave their credit card or driver’s licence as a security deposit so that I can be assured they would return the wagon I received a horrified look. “Why should I leave my card? Don’t you trust me?” The simple answer is no. Hundreds, if not thousands of wagons are lost by grocery stores in Brooklyn each year (not an exaggeration) and what is the harm in leaving a card if you plan to return? I believe that the coin operated carts would work the same way – except they cost a lot more to replace when lost.
    Yes, the store has employees that go around to collect the wagons but many are left more than a block away. These unattended wagons also get taken by random people and are never recovered. I have heard of good Samaritans calling in about a wagon they found….a couple of miles away from the store, or used by a building Super to cart his tools around, or by a construction crew using them to move their trash…etc. Many are never recovered or are found broken beyond repair.
    Finally, while I appreciate the brainstorming about how the store can spend more money (without increasing the price chas veshalom), I wonder what happened to the concept of personal responsibility? When did people decide that something they borrowed from another Jew (that is what wagons are) does not have to be returned to its owner? When did they decide that their own convenience is more important? I guarantee you that if there is a price mistake for $.10, they come running back for their money, why then do they not care about someone else’s property?
    It is a very sad state of affairs that adullts, Frum Jews, do not have this basic concept.


    Years ago, Moishas and KRM tried the leave 1 bag of groceries as a deposit fo the wagon and then come back for the bag when returning the cart.

    I am not sure if what I am about to write is halachically correct but my sevara is that once you pay for your groceries and take the cart to your car you become a shoel (borrower) and are responsible for any damage or loss except “meisa machmas melachah” (I.e. wheel falling off the cart).


    @working on it
    I was in the retail business for many decades.
    Your theory about the carts that cost a quarter to use as being a great expense because current carts have to be replaced is not correct. The locking device that takes the quarter and attaches to the cart ahead is an add on for standard carts.
    Way back in 1980, my father had them added to our carts at our Danbury, CT store as so many carts were disappearing. At that time our standard metal carts cost approx $165 each and the locking mechanism was $28 installed. It was well worth it. When we sold the store at the end of 1987, only 2 of 150 carts had gone missing.


    Fines and deposits can easily backfire because people feel like if they’re paying for it, it’s no longer wrong.


    Why doesn’t Moisha simply provide an online purchase and delivery service option to its customers so they don’t have to drive and park several blocks away and then “steal” the shopping carts when they have to shlepp their groceries back to the car etc. Its much more efficient and convenient to have a single truck drop stuff off to people’s homes meaning less traffic, less double parking, less noise and pollution (and more time to help the kids with their homework). As the technology rapidly evolves, even smaller markets will find it cost-effective to offer this option to their customers.


    In Yerushalayim they ask for 5 Shekels. Everyone retunes the cart.


    Maybe moisha’s should sell bubby carts, have a drive-by pickup or offer a delivery service. No one should be allowed to bring the carts more than halfway around the block or they will never be returned, and the magnetic locking wheels are worth the expense. If moisha’s sells bubby carts or offers a place where people can drive up to load up their cars, then the system should work.

    It’s worth it to install the magnets because even if the customers try to be perfect about returning their carts, without the magnets, there is still a risk of them being stolen.


    No question. It’s wrong not to return shopping carts. That said Moisha’s offers online ordering and delivery, which is much better experience than looking for parking, looking up and down the isles and shlepping your own boxes from store and loading and unloading. The deliveries come in boxes and arrive at your door. I prefer this convenient service.


    Gadol, Moisha’s, like most Brooklyn kosher stores, does offer delivery and many people use it. But for various reasons, many people can’t or won’t. For example, I work in the neighborhood but live outside their delivery area. Others find it difficult to be home when the delivery is expected.

    ☕️coffee addict

    “Why doesn’t Moisha simply provide an online purchase and delivery service option to its customers so they don’t have to drive and park several blocks away and then “steal” the shopping carts when they have to shlepp their groceries back to the car etc. “

    Some of their clientele don’t have internet and I wouldn’t be surprised that this is the bulk of people that take the carriages


    Why doesn’t Moshes this
    Why doesn’t moshes that

    Moshes firstly has a fifty car valet parking lot
    Why don’t shoppers just return the carts that they take
    It’s too hard?
    Ask the store to send a worker to walk you to your car and pay an extra two bucks tip.
    Stop making excuses for people’s stealing

    Can’t return an air conditioner to Walmart (even though they technically allow it.)
    Can’t have Someone else write your essay (even though the school is aware of it)
    But somehow it’s OK to steal shopping wagons from a store that has multiple signs telling you it’s not OK and it’s the stores problem to figure it out?????? “?”

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    Some of their clientele don’t have internet and I wouldn’t be surprised that this is the bulk of people that take the carriages

    What is that supposed to mean?


    GH: 1. At one time Moishas online/fAX service did not honor the sales prices as was clearly stated on their website (i am not sure if that is still in effect).
    2. I and many others prefer to see meat, chicken, and fruits and vegetables before we buy them.

    ☕️coffee addict

    “What is that supposed to mean?“

    I was waiting for someone to ask 😜

    Usually big families don’t have internet and I wouldn’t be surprised if the reason the cart isn’t returned is because the adult has to deal with their kids so they don’t think to return it


    “Some of their clientele don’t have internet and I wouldn’t be surprised that this is the bulk of people that take the carriages”… “What is that supposed to mean”

    I think he is saying that there is a group of yidden who shop at Moishas’ who follow the hashkafah of the Tsemishte Rebbe which holds that it is assur to use the internet but OK to steal shopping carts.

    ☕️coffee addict

    What did you think I meant?


    Locks,horns, wheels, sirens, kazoos, magnets,deposits, … It’s not mentchlach, it could be geneivah, it’s a chillul Hashem if non-Jews observe this . Customers, especially frum Jews aren’t permitted to do it…. Teach this and similar situations first in yeshivas before gemara pilpulim.. Teach it to the girls as well.I’ll know we arrived when some bar mitzvah boy gives a speech on how religious Jews should conduct themselves on the streets instead of deep pilpulim that tranquilize guests.


    They tranquilize quests who are too shallow to appreciate the beauty of Torah.
    Those who think it’s all about laws. Do don’t…
    No we have not “arrived ” when our children lose sight of the fact that Torah is something so much greater than them.
    We have lost when the next generation thinks Torah is just a bunch of rules for life


    Wjen you don’t follow, observe or learn from the Torah , you have denigrated it. We shallow guests have long forgotten the boy’s speech but will for a long time will remember that bnei and bnos Torah are shaming the beauty of the Torah. Get your priorities in order.


    …..and, reading your previous pist I see that you agrre with me.


    By your own admission just now, you will focus on negative ignore positive and denigrate others based on that
    Some of us choose to focus on the beauty of the Torah and realize that humans are fallible and therefore try to forget or look away from others accidental failings , instead of looking down an entire segment of klal yisroel who choose to make Torah the primary ideal and goal in their life.


    but will for a long time will remember that bnei and bnos Torah are shaming the beauty of the Torah.
    Because the non bnei and bnos Torah Are truly glorifying the Torah.
    And how pray tell?
    By lobbing insults at those who learn Torah?
    By…………………. I’m not going to go into the laundry list of public mocking of Torah rules and regulation (which In your worldview is the endgame of Torah fealty )
    You are a classic case of מאי אהני לן רבנן
    For shame.

    Reb Eliezer

    ZionGate, well said, דרך ארץ קדמה לתורה


    Sorry for my “from my phone” typos… Actually ,KY, in your previous post you agree with me and explained it well..


    People who steal, can steal from Moshe’s at any time.
    Moshe’s trust you ; that you keep kosher and are a frum yid and you are not a ganiv.
    It is probably a business decision not to add elaborate security items to the cart.
    Why not install a GPS locator signal to the carts? Also too expensive?

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