Why Is There A Dollar Sign In This Jewly Bandz Chanukah Set?

The makers of Jewly Bandz, a Jewish-themed knockoff of those Silly Bandz things that kids today are into, are having to do some explaining after the Internet noticed that, along with recognizably Jewish icons like a menorah and a dreidel, there is also a dollar sign included in its Chanukah Set.

The company’s owner had this to say to the ladies of TheGloss, who originally broke the story:

The dollar sign in the set is there to symbolize the “Chanukah-Gelt” – which is an old Jewish tradition. During Chanukah Jewish children all over the world are given coins or chocolate coins (to symbolize the real coins). The Dollar sign in the set comes to remind us of that. By the way, they were created by Rabby Moshe Rabin. Maybe it is not the best choice, but this is what the manufacturer chose for that symbol (probably if he would have tried to show coins it would just be a round silly band – and that would defeat the purpose).

Has the Jewlybandz Website Been Hacked? [TheGloss.com]

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  1. Spook Man says:

    Wow.. Created by a Rabbi and people are having issues with it.. If people didn’t have anything to complain about, their worlds would collapse..

    • Tim says:

      Just because one rabbi approves of it, everybody whose Jewish has to agree?

      • Anonymously says:

        No, I guess you’re right. All Jews have to agree if The Hebrew Hammer approves, though.

      • AI says:

        No, of course not, but you also can’t claim racism if it’s Jewish vs Jewish.

      • laika84 says:

        I’m Jewish and I got the reference to the Channukkah gelt right away. Doesn’t offend me at all and I think we’re SO hypersensitized to things that “may” offend people that we’re going to end up stripping all meaning from our cultural symbols. Just my two cents.

        • MauriceCallidice says:

          I’m not Jewish and I got the reference to Hannukkah gelt right away too. Really.

          This is making a mountain out of something that’s not even a molehill.

          • Conformist138 says:

            Ditto, I understood the intent was to symbolize some kind of gifting tradition (i didn’t know the name). I did giggle a tiny bit, but I also couldn’t think of a better symbol to use.

      • laika84 says:

        I’m Jewish and I got the reference to the Channukkah gelt right away. Doesn’t offend me at all and I think we’re SO hypersensitized to things that “may” offend people that we’re going to end up stripping all meaning from our cultural symbols. Just my two cents.

    • majic2516 says:

      Silly Rabbi…..

  2. Dopaz says:

    Whats the yellow Snork for?

  3. Dutchess says:

    It’s for your Hanukkah gelt. The money you get on Hanukkah.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanukkah_gelt

  4. Dallas_shopper says:

    My 3 year-old nephew figured this one out on sight.

  5. PanCake BuTT says:

    That made me smile from ear to ear. I now want a set, including the $ sign, police badge & jug.

  6. Bativac says:

    Why is one of them not an outline of a Star of David?

    Also why is the “Jewlybandz” logo so terrible?

  7. PanCake BuTT says:

    That made me smile from ear to ear. I now want a set, including the $ sign, police badge & jug.

  8. chiieddy says:

    The oil jug I get, but what’s the shield for? I can’t think of any part of the Macabees of the temple story that involves a police shield.

  9. dwtomek says:

    If they made a coin shaped band to represent a coin, well…it would just be a rubber band. I’m not even Jewish and I knew what they were going for. Strange that people clearly not involved in the religion would be the ones to jump all over it. Not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing, or maybe people just think Jews are funny.

    • Dunkelzahn says:

      Wow. You totally raised my awareness. Maybe they should include this informative tidbit of info in the article.

  10. DanRydell says:

    What’s the deal with the shield?

  11. Grungo says:

    I’d be more concerned about the yellow hand grenade in the lower right corner.

  12. Ed Greenberg says:

    It’s true. An symbol for money is appropriate for Chanukah. The actual custom is to give the children money, not gifts. Gifts are a spillover from Christmas. The other icons are, a candle (obvious), a Chanukiah (menorah – obvious), a jug of oil (not a hand grenade), a dreidel (a top, to spin, to gamble with your Chanukah Gelt, and a shield (a symbol of militancy, not a police badge.)

  13. jimmyhl says:

    Oy gevalt!!

  14. BStu78 says:

    Yeah, that’s a pretty reasonable explanation. I’m not sure that was a smart choice, but it clearly wasn’t a choice hostile to Judaism.

    Still, its not hard to see how that will be taken so poor judgment even if its not a representation of prejudice.

  15. shlni says:

    Way to read past the headline people… We’ve already established that it’s supposed to be a gelt.

  16. MaliBoo Radley says:

    Isn’t the better question “where the heck did all this rubber bands as jewelery thing come from?” …

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      My boyfriend’s sister explained it to me.

      They were originally for tanning – you put the shape on you and get a “tan line” in the shape of whatever. But somehow it got extrapolated into putting them on your wrist (which I don’t understand because that completely invalidates the fact that they’re in cool shapes)

      • Conformist138 says:

        I’d bet it’s how people carried them to and from the tanning salon or beach or wherever they were increasing their risk of melanoma. Toss them on your wrist and you won’t lose or forget them. You know, because as awful as it is to be lighter than the color of fried chicken, it’s even worse if you’re missing a pale outline of a heart around your navel.

      • MaliBoo Radley says:

        So, it’s essentially a “tan tattoo”? That’s even worse than wearing them as bracelets.

  17. benh999 says:

    I, for one, will be voting with my wallet and going to Ma & Pa!

  18. Benzona says:

    As a Jew I approve of the dollar sign. We love money, so what…. If I were a rich man.

  19. Jasen says:

    That’s hilarious.

  20. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    There was a chart I saw yesterday that distributed weath among the different faiths of the usa. 48% of Jews in this study made over $100k annually.. higher than any other one faith. So um.. if that’s the case.

    *shrug* I am jewish, and as I was explaining to my boyfriend earlier, I can’t recall any of the adults in my temple growing up that didn’t do something really ritzy like doctor, lawyer, etc. With few exceptions all seemed to be exceedingly well off (half million dollar houses, mercedes, etc)

    • SunnyLea says:

      Hi! Meet an exception!

      (I know what you mean, though. Which makes it all the more fun to be the poor kids at shul. Librarians do not make fat stacks of cash.)

      • Skankingmike says:

        I would hypothesis that this is true do to the Clan nature of Judaism. Thus it creates a very tight group of people, the sense of community in the Jewish sphere is strong, so strong in fact that is lends itself to misinterpretation by outsiders. Thus the stereotypes and the Zionist creations that sprung about throughout the centuries.

        • Rectilinear Propagation says:

          Some of the occupational lumping is due to the bigotry even:

          “Outliers,” for instance, offers a fascinating portrait of a group of eminent New York Jewish lawyers, all of whom were born around 1930. As Gladwell points out, this accident of birth date gave them several distinct advantages. Thanks to demographic shifts, they went to underpopulated public schools, where they received more attention from teachers. They were then able to get inexpensive college and legal educations. Barred from mainstream WASP firms, they were forced to specialize in proxy fights, an area of law that WASPs wouldn’t touch. This, in turn, gave them a huge competitive advantage 20 years later when hostile takeovers began to sweep across the corporate landscape.
          http://www.salon.com/books/review/2008/11/17/gladwell

          • Skankingmike says:

            The sense of community amongst Jews especially the NY/NJ region is very strong. And like you suggest with people baring them from various fields.

            Look at civil rights cases. Most were and are still headed up by strong Jewish Lawyers.

            Hell the whole reason people think of Money when they think of Jews is because Catholics refused to handle loans way back when. Thus the greedy Jew stereotype was born.

  21. rbb says:

    Chris –

    Did it make you feel old when you wrote “those Silly Bandz things that kids today are into…?” You’re now only a step away from yelling at the kids to get off your lawn. ;^)

  22. raybury says:

    Jewish Objectivists (Ayn Rand followers)?

  23. loribindy says:

    according to the jewlybandz.com site itself, the shield is a “Maccabees Sheild” – being a non-Jew, i haven’t a clue what that is. FYI, the shapes included in the pkg are: “Menorah, Chanuka Gelt, Maccabees Sheild, Dreidel, Chanukah Candle, Jug of Oil.” this set is the only one that’s on backorder on the jewlybandz site, i suppose because of the dollar sign issue…

    http://jewlybandz.com/

  24. RayanneGraff says:

    I’m sorry, but… ROFL.

  25. r586 says:

    where’s the mogen clamp silly band?

  26. Intheknow says:

    Just have the laugh and move on.

  27. kaleberg says:

    I suppose they could have used a circle to represent one of those gold foil wrapped coins, but I doubt anyone could have figured out what it was supposed to be.

  28. BytheSea says:

    Before I clicked on the article, I was gonna say – gelt.

  29. Difdi says:

    I read the comments over on the Gloss site…the sheer number of accusations of anti-Semitism astound me. An analogue to a traditional religious symbol of a Jewish holiday, selected by a Rabbi, is anti-Jewish? Wow, really?

    Though technically speaking, the State of Israel IS anti-Semitic (exactly what ethnicity do you suppose a native Palestinian is, exactly?)

  30. CyGuy says:

    Wow, not just one company but THREE sell Jewish themed band bracelets: (Jewly Bandz, Meshuga Bands and Jewish Silly Bands).

    The fad has got to be peaking soon though. I expect they will do really well through Halloween, and as stocking stuffers (the non-Jewish ones anyway) during the holidays, but then the market will fall out and you’ll be seeing them by the case at Dollar Stores by spring. I also expect at least one major fast food chain to give them in kid meals before the fad fades.

    Several people here have asked why they are so popular. As the parent of a couple of big silly band fans, I can attest that the main attraction is trading them. The kids all have a mental price list that values the different shapes and materials (glow-in-the-dark and Tie-Dye are the two most common variants from normal solid colors, but I have also seen red, white and blue) based on how hard they are get and whether you like that shape or not. It was the obsession with trading them that got them to be such a distraction that some school ‘banned’ them (no pun intended) – but that of course only made them that much more desirable, and got them national attention.

    Some kids have even raised the bar and turned them into a real business. These two teens claim they will be able to pay for college with their earnings.

  31. carbonero says:

    that’s nothing. check out the yellow hand grenade!

  32. Gladeye says:

    The shield is probably to symbolize the maccabee soldiers. I’m Jewish and I don’t really find this offensive, especially considering the explanation. Yes, we’re a hypersensitive, but damn if we’re not also still a heavily stereotyping, prejudging “us and them” society. Sadly.

  33. haggis for the soul says:

    I really wanted some, but the shipping costs more than the actual product.

  34. PupJet says:

    I want the snork grenade. :P

  35. banmojo says:

    I got it, I get it, and I laughed at it just the same. Stereotypes exist because people have eyes/ears and can observe others around them, and sometimes patterns emerge and groups get labled. Jewish comedians often make fun of this stereotype – are we getting so PC that non-Jewish people making comments about Jews/money will be looked at the same as non-blacks using the ‘n word’? I think it should have NOTHING to do about a word, which by itself is meaningless, and the INTENTION of the person using the word. That lady with the radio talk show, for eg., stepped away from a job she loved due to public pressure – SHE WAS MAKING A F***ING POINT ON HER SHOW WHEN SHE USED THE N WORD. And I AM sick of blacks using the n word freely, then making a big deal about it when others use it. ‘PC’ can go f*** itself. People ARE all different, yet ALL just the same. Deal with it, learn to love your neighbor as you love yourself (learn to LOVE YOURSELF first, people!! seriously!!) and do good to those who persecute you. Get 51% plus doing this and our shit world will turn into a utopia.