You know, planning that I wouldn’t post until Tuesday was a fantastic idea. This bloggy thing is time consuming! Witness the fact that last night, when I didn’t even turn on my computer, I:
- Recycled three weeks of newspapers
- Cooked a gourmet dinner
- Folded laundry
- Baked muffins
- Went to bed before 2am
Conclusion: When am I going to start getting paid for this blog thing?
Anyway, as promised, here are the scintillating answers to your Jewish questions. My two observant Jewish readers can read quietly at their desks while the rest of the class catches up.
Disclaimer: I am not a Rabbi, nor do I play one on the Internet.
Fabulous Hostess in San Diego writes:
Okay, Becca, here’s my question. I really have wondered about this. When you come stay at my house, how can I cook for you? I mean, I’ve got the no pork or shellfish thing down. I’m talking about implements.
Shall I buy two coolers, one for the kosher meats I’ll be preparing and one for the dairy products? Also, I’m planning on buying new pots and pans. Would it be best to await your visit and use brand new pots/pans/utensils? I mean, would it be wrong to serve you your latkes on a plate that held my cheeseburger the night before?
OK, the very first thing you need to do, before anything else, is send me a first class ticket to San Diego. Done? Brilliant.The next thing you need to do is clean out your entire kitchen and throw everything away. Then, scrub everything: the oven, the sink, the counters, the fridge, etc. Then take a blowtorch and….still there? Fabulous Hostess? Fabulous Hostess?
Hot Blogger in Rockland, IL writes:
Is it true that on the Sabbath, the elevators in some buildings in New York stop on every floor?
Does work ever interfere with your Sabbath? Like traveling and such?
Do you wonder what non-Kosher food tastes like? Do you “miss” it? Or is there just no temptation or wonder at all?
1. It is true. First, let me explain why one would need this. On the Sabbath, one is not permitted to use electricity. Why? Because we like you. No, you’re too young to get that joke, Hot Blogger. But really, all the Torah (that’s our Bible and part of some of yours) says is, not to “work.” Since there was no dictionary.com back then, the Rabbis looked around the Torah and found the word “work” someplace else as well. It was used to describe the 39 kinds of work that the builders of the Temple did to construct it. Hey, that’s all-encompassing, right? So that’s the definition we use. Two of these are lighting or extinguishing a fire. When you flip a light switch you are completing an electric circuit that is seen to be lighting a fire. This is not to say that you can’t enjoy a light while it’s on. You just can’t turn it on. Or off. Or on/off, on/off, on/off. This last rule is designed for small children.Same with an elevator. You can get in, you just can’t push a button. So an elevator stopping at every floor will solve this problem. Of course, by the time you’ve reached your floor you’ve converted to another religion.The other thing you can do (although you have to be a Loophole Lucy) is to get in an elevator behind someone else and just go to whatever floor they are going to so you push no buttons. Then you walk from there. There was once a story about a famous, learned Rabbi who did this. He got in behind a woman who asked him, “What floor?” He answered, “Whatever floor you’re going to.” So she slapped him. Oh ahahahahaha. Yes indeedy.But you’d only see these elevators in buildings with mostly religious tenants, like in Borough Park. I mean, who would put up with it? So this is why most Orthodox Jews live on a low floor of a building. I live on the second floor, you know, with Luka.
2. The better question is, does the Sabbath ever interfere with my work or travel? It’s work that has to bend, not the Sabbath. I always tell this to my future employer right during the first interview.
“Hey, this sounds like a fun job, but you know I’ll be leaving work early every Winter Friday and there are eight or 10 days during the year I’ll be taking off and I won’t be able to work on a Saturday, ever. Thanks, I’ll show myself out.”
But seriously, none of my employers have ever had a problem with this. At least they don’t tell me while my lawyers are around (I like to keep a lawyer in my pocket at all times). I don’t travel for my job and if I did, well, my work would end on Friday at sunset and that’d be it.
3. Well, frankly, some non-Kosher food just seems gross to me, as fried insects (a delicacy in some parts of the world, a part of cleaning out the light fixture in others) do to those of us in the Western world. For instance, sausage just looks nasty to me, sorry. Any “breakfast meat,” really. But hey, more for you! And everyone says lobster tastes great but I’ve never really been tempted because it doesn’t look as good as you guys say it tastes and, well, a bib is involved.
Thanks for the multitude of good questions, Hot Blogger!
Underdressed Mom-to-be in Boston asks:
I have a Jewish question not relating to the Sabbath — why must every single freaking Jewish wedding be black tie? Do you not realize that we goyim don’t, as a rule, own tuxedos, and so we must go rent one for every wedding, thus raising the cost of wedding-going by $100? Is it a conspiracy? Do you all laugh at our menfolk in their rented tuxes at your weddings?
Yes. Thanks for writing in!
My allusion to the second floor is of course from:
And speaking of the Bible: