Barking Kitten

Fiction, musings on literature, food writing, and the occasional Friday cat blog. For lovers of serious literature, cooking, and eating.

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Close to forty. Not cool. Politically left. Atheist. Happily married. No kids.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Jews eating treyfe, or why can't we all get along?

In the August literary supplement to Gourmet Magazine, writer David Rakoff contributed an essay entitled "Some Pig", an amusing, astute observation of what it means to be a pork-eating Jew. I read it with a mixture of laughter, and, I admit, jealousy. Had I not just posted "My Porcine Dalliances?" Mr. Rakoff was in Gourmet. I was just another disembodied voice in the blogosphere. Never mind. My ego recovered in time to receive the November issue of the magazine, replete with a perfect turkey adorning the cover.

Then I turned to the letters section, where I read Omi Cantor's outraged letter to the magazine. "It is most disturbing that you find it acceptable to publish such drivel.” He wrote. “You should both be ashamed."

Rakoff responded respectfully, if strongly, denying any intent to insult. He is, he says, proud to be part of the Jewish tradition of "spirited ideas and inquiry."

Having struggled myself with Judaism's role in my life, particularly as it relates to food, I must side with Rakoff. No matter how much treyfe I eat, with however much gusto, there is always a little voice yapping away in the back of my head. This is soo good....this is soo treyfe. Here I am, a proclaimed atheist, certain I am sinning. Just the other night, as I slid the milk/cheese topped moussaka into the oven, I thought to myself, this is really takeh treyfe. It'll probably give me indigestion. And I'll deserve it.

Mr. Cantor might be pleased by my lingering guilt. But what he would think of my Catholic husband? Of Mr. Rakoff's admitted homosexuality?

We Jews--observant or not--live in a time when anti-semitism is on the rise. There are groups out there who’d like to see the lot of us wiped off the earth. This is frighteningly reminiscent of a time not so long ago. We live with (beneath?) a government unable to react to hurricanes, terrorism on U.S. soil, lunatics in Seattle. We can’t afford to hate one another right now. Too many other people do, and our division is their strength.

1 Comments:

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January 05, 2009 12:46 AM  

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