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Category Archives: decisions

The Right to Swing My Posuk


…might end where your level of observance begins. Or it might just be a continuation.

I have been heartened – honestly, sincerely, truly delighted, by the responses to my post about observing Mitzvot. Why? Because more than one person has stated (either here or on the URJ Blog where it was reposted) that I was wrong when I said:

Of course, this analogy can only go so far on a single tank of metaphorical gas. Traffic laws are enforced by humans, and ultimately affect others in a very direct way. Kashrut is not “enforced” by anyone – you don’t get a treif ticket if you chow down on a shrimp egg roll. Nor is there any impact on the people around us for our own dietary observances, or lack thereof.Read the rest of this entry

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A Little Kosher Whine


In planning our new (improved?) kosher home, we looked at everything that went into our mouths – from dairy to diet soda; meat to mints, chocolate to cheese. One area I hadn’t thought about until Rabbi SpiceRock brought it up was wines.

I’m happy to say that I’m not hung up with the thought that “kosher wine” is synonymous with “diabetes-inducing sweetness”. So the wine needs a hekshur. OK.

“Uh, no there’s something else”. The good Rabbi offered. “It’s called mevushal, which just means “cooked” in Hebrew and…”

“Hold the phone, Reb,” I cut in. “COOKED wine? Are we talking about mulled cider kind of cooked, or that I can only drink sherry and marsala or…”

“It means,” he said, taking control of the conversation before I got out of hand, “that the wine has been heated. It used to be up to boiling, but these days it just has to get up to 180 degrees. Basically it needs to be pasteurized.”

Read the rest of this entry