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Category Archives: feelings

Starting to Stop


When you are driving along and come to a red light, when do you start to apply the brakes? In other words, when do you start to stop.

We all know that going through a red light is not only illegal, it’s dangerous.But you can’t just zoom up to a red light at full speed and then slam the brakes. There are other variables to consider: whether there are cars ahead of you or people in the cross walk; how fast you are going; whether the road is dry or icy; etc. All of that (and more) will affect when you begin to apply the brakes.

I’m finding that observing mitzvot (commandments) is very similar.

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What this is all about, part 2: Family


(this is the second essay in a 3-part series “What this is all about”. You can find the first part here.)

If you read the “About Us” page, you know that we’re a pretty average midwestern (Jewish) family. We’re not ultra-orthodox. We’re not in the “orthodox” or “modern orthodox” camps either (not that there’s anything wrong with any of those, it’s just not us. It’s not where we came from and I don’t believe (at this moment) it’s where we’re headed).

But obviously, we don’t do nothing either.

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Same Time, Next Year

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Kashering your house often involves saying “goodbye” to things. So Long to (pork) sausage. Cheerio to cheeseburgers. sayonara to shrimp. Toodeloo to… well, you get the idea.

But kashrut doesn’t stop at the food itself. It also includes the items you cook food with and serve that food on. The less porous the substance, the more “resistant” (from a kosher perspective) it is. Stainless steel is good. Glass is better. Plastic is only so-so. And at the bottom of the pile, so to speak, are items made from ceramics.

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CROSSPOST: Being a Light


I just posted “Being a Light” over at EdibleTorah. Since the main idea of the essay has as much to do with kashrut as with general observance, I wanted to share it here as well. Click here to read the original item.

“I’m so glad you are here today,” the woman said to Pandora at her Weight Watchers meeting today. “Because you were the crazy lady.”

The woman speaking had just made her lifetime goal, and she was speaking in front of the whole group about her success. She took the opportunity to single out my wife for honorable mention.

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Ti ti ti timing


I know this is bothering me way more than it should. But it still is.

In our pre-Kosher days (or perhaps it’s more accurate to label them our “proto-kosher” days) we just focused on separating meat meals and milk meals. We didn’t change the dishes, we didn’t worry about utensils or containers. We simply avoided eating cheeseburgers, muenster-and-baloney sandwiches, or cheesey-beefy noodles.

Oh, and we steered clear of bacon-wrapped shrimp, of course.

Sounds simple, right?

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I’m not doing this for my health, you know!


As we have spoken to different people – young families who grew up with the practice, single individuals who took it on after they moved out of their family home; people in our situation, where their Jewish Journey has taken them to this spot, it has become clear that everyone has their OWN reasons for keeping kosher. Each reason is significant, meaningful and most of all, connected to what that person wants out of life.

In other words, it’s a selfish decision.

You can’t start keeping kosher it to impress your Rabbi (or your buddy, or the cute orthodox guy down the street, or… you get the idea); You probably won’t be successful with it if you do it out of some empty sense of obligation to family tradition; You certainly shouldn’t consider it if you are bored on a Sunday afternoon and looking for an entertaining hobby.

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What this is all about, part 1: God


Like it says in the sidebar, this is not a “how to” guide – as in “how to keep kosher”, or “how to kasher your home” or even “how to move as a family from a non-kosher to a kosher lifestyle”.

While you might find tips and ideas you can take with you (I certainly HOPE you might!), the truth as I see it is that everyone’s dance with God’s commandments is a personal one. Trying to fit your two-step to match our bunny-hop is just never going to work.

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