Friday, March 18, 2005

Yummy Nummy Traif!

The cover of this April's Gourmet Magazine features a gorgeously-lit, lushly-arranged, exquisitely-photographed bowl of... yup, you guessed it, shrimp.

I don't remember where I read it when I was in yeshiva all those years ago, but there's a Chazal (trans: an wise adage offered forth through the annals of ancient history by our Sages of Blessed Memory) that, I assume, was engineered with the express purpose of consoling those of us Yidden who struggle with looking at things like the April Gourmet cover, or at the above image of Shock-Tarts, the most deliciously sour-sweet candy that Wonka, Inc. (who brought us Nerds, Everlasting Gobstoppers, etc.) ever concocted, which, as you can probably guess by now, also lacks a certain "Kosher Certification" which would make it permissible as a Shabbos treat, or a weekday treat, or a treat for anyone other than those of us whose dietary decisions abide by the strictures and regulations ordained by the aforementioned Sages of Blessed Memory and their contemporary disciples:

"Don't sneer at non-kosher food, saying, 'Oh, how disgusting -- I think shrimp cocktail, barbecue baby-back ribs, pepperoni pizza, bacon-double-cheeseburgers. and Shock-Tarts are gross, gross, eww, yucky-poo, go away and leave me alone...' Rather, you should look at it and say, 'Dang! That sheeyite looks amazing! And if it's amazing, how much more amazing must my reward in olam HaBa (otherwise known as the Afterlife) be for not indulging myself!!! Wow, boy O boy, I sure do love the Lord!"

In all frankness, I think it is a much harder struggle to make myself reiterate this adage to myself when I come across yummy-nummy traif than it is to avoid eating the traif itself. There are enough tests of my emunah (faith) out there without having to put myself on Auto-Cheer everytime I come across another kashrus-related struggle. Whatever. I'm not supposed to be doing all of this for the divine Reward anyway, am I?

Good Shabbos...


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