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Large Jewish-led Company Remembers Sabbath

Located on 9th Avenue in New York City, B&H Photo is the largest non-chain photo and video equipment store in the United States and the second largest in the world—only Yodobashi Camera in downtown Tokyo is bigger. The owners, along with many of their employees, are Hasidic Jews who dress just as their eighteenth-century ancestors did in Eastern Europe. On any given day, 8,000 to 9,000 people pass through the front door. Yet 70 percent of their business is online, serviced by a 200,000-square-foot warehouse located nearby in Brooklyn.

Even in a competitive marketplace, B&H won't conduct business on the Sabbath or on about a half-dozen Jewish holidays during the year. They close their doors at 1 p.m. on Fridays and keep them closed all day Saturday, the biggest shopping day of the week, During Sabbath, customers can peruse the B&H website, but they can't make an online order.

Recently a customer asked the B&H director of communications how they could close not just the retail store but also the website on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving and the busiest shopping day of the year. The director simply replied, "We respond to a higher authority."

Possible Preaching Angles: Peter Scazzero comments: "… the workers at B&H grasp an important biblical principle: God is sovereign over every principality and power in the world. God is King of kings and Lord of lords. When we practice Sabbath delight, we proclaim that Jesus Christ defeated every spiritual force of evil at the cross (Colossians 2:15). We affirm that human beings have infinite value and worth apart from their productivity and that God's love is the most important reality in the universe."

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