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We Pause…

Sunday, 30 August 2009


During last week’s field trip to a local amusement park, Beernut was very careful to make certain that he finished his milchig items before moving on to his fleishig foodstuffs. To his credit, he has always been conscientious about our dietary boudaries…even going so far as to examine the ingredients in Bubbe and Zayde’s pantry on occasion.

Like me, I know that for Beernut observing kashrut goes beyond a set of commandments from God. The so-called “dietary restrictions” act as a spiritual station identification for us. Each time we eat, we are reminded that we belong to God. We belong to a group of people who has been identified by what we do not eat for hundreds of generations.

So it was particularly troubling to learn that one of the other campers (from this Jewish daycamp) said to Beernut:

Doesn’t it suck not being able to eat cheeseburgers and pepperoni?

The other kid was not making a statement of commiseration.

Reminds me of when I was in high school and non-Jewish classmates would ask me why I was eating matzah and refraining from eating certain foods when the other Jewish kids seemed just fine eating like everyone else.

Why aren’t these questions aimed at those who are in violation of the commandments???

To his credit, and completely contrary to his normal character, Beernut did not get involved in any type of defense as to why it’s important to separate meat and milk and abstain from seafood and pork products. He simply said “nope” and continued with his lunch.

Nor did he explain to his companion that “suck” is a really bad word and not allowed in our house.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Robyn permalink
    Monday, 31 August 2009 7:25 am

    the question is where did you get that picture – it’s hilarious (or offensive all at the same time!)

  2. Monday, 31 August 2009 7:48 am

    doesn’t it “suck” when other people’s children are obnoxious!?

    oh wait…they have to learn that behavior from their parents…yep.

  3. Tuesday, 1 September 2009 7:19 am

    I was thinking about this just this past week. At work, when I do something like cover my hair (which I do) or eat kosher (which I do), I get “But I have never SEEN another Jew do that!” or “I know plenty of Jews who eat whatevers in front of them whenever they can!”

    I find that language to be offensive but you’re right. Why can’t people see it for the virtue it is?

    I particularly find it offensive when it comes from another Jew.

  4. Thursday, 3 September 2009 9:18 am

    Why the quotes? They are restrictions – restrictions with meaning.

  5. Saturday, 3 October 2009 10:59 pm

    My general approach is to take these things at face value — as simple queries that deserve an answer.

    “Sometimes it is hard to keep kosher. I would LOVE to eat a cheeseburger. But I don’t because I am Jewish.”

    I was one of only a few kids who kept kosher in my school, even though most of my friends were other Jews. But I knew that even though I felt repulsed by the idea of eating shrimp or lobster, that it was a psychological defense and that I did not eat it because of God and the Torah, not an aversion to creepy crawlies.

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