To eat or not to eat..

I have a question that I like to ask to new friends or people over for meals. Being Jewish, the content often sparks some quite excitable debate and opinions. It’s basically the following:

If God came to you in the morning and said that for one day, you could eat anything you wanted.. what would your menu for the day be?

Being brought up strictly kosher, there is a wealth of foods that I have never tried, countless restaurants I have never eaten in and many combinations that are off limits. This question can fill up a lot of time.

I have heard a lot of interesting and surprising answers, but the game came to an abrupt standstill one evening when I posed the question to my eldest brother. Proving himself once and for all the holiest of our clan, he replied to God:

Trick question. You’re testing me. I will keep kosher anyway, and pass with flying colours.

… Oh.

In the Amish community, there is a custom known as Rumspringa, where from the age of 16, many adolecsent Amish are allowed to participate in ‘normal’ teenage behaviour, to give them a chance to choose to return to the church and be baptised Amish. As you can imagine, some dont return, although surprisingly, most do.

No disrespect to any other faith, but this seems crazy. Even for the ones who choose to return to their church, after months or years of drinking, driving, using modern technology, interaction with the opposite sex, how can they possibly go back to their limited lives?

Everyone knows once you have done something once or made a habit of it, letting go is so much harder. If God really did give me a ‘day off kosher,’ and I was lucky enough for it to fall on Tuesday so I could run off to Subway and grab a meatball marinara, no doubt the subsequent Tuesday would entail a much harder and more wistful walk past my local branch.

Why do that to yourself? Some might argue that having experienced what they are not allowed, and chosen their religion anyway, it makes it stronger and more meaningful for them. Without choice, they are simply being indoctrinated with their parents beliefs and brainwashed without their consent.

Hm.. Having strayed once or twice from the rules which hold our own religion together, my response to that view is.. -shrugs- Yes, sometimes I do feel good that I know what I’m missing out on and yet (pat on the back) I still hold fast to my religious values. Most of the time however, my feelings on those laws are firmly in two camps:

1. It wasnt that great anyway, so it doesnt bother me keeping it.
2. Laaaammme, why is this something I have to be keeping? Maybe I’ll just…

Nonchalance or Temptation. Neither were worth the deviation to be honest. So will I be turning R over at the age of 16 to the teens of Britian for a lesson in mind altering drugs and pre marital sex?

Quite frankly, I think I’d rather be accused of brainwashing him.

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  1. Orson

     /  August 24, 2011

    You should watch the documentary Devil’s Playground all about the amish on Rumspringa, its rather good

    • I will admit to being a fan of “The worlds squarest teenagers” on Ch4 about the same thing. Do u think they got Pilkington’d on the title? (ie, an idiot abroad)

  2. Excellent blog!


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