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April 27, 1984 - Image 17

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-04-27

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Friday, April 27, 1984

NO,

Wedding, Rehearsal and Ceremony Assistance

DANCE! into the 80's

hit

Sharon Padzensky

Reprinted with permission from
Esquire, February 1984.
Copyright 1984 by Max Apple
1.1

Where Everything
is Discounted
Every Day!!

PARTIES BY

559-4757

of the kosher. One of my
great-great-grandmothers,
when she came to America,
suspected all canned foods.
My little grandmother,
seasick all the way from Po-
land in the third class of a
rotting ship, listened to her
pots and pans clatter beside
her as she sucked on a le-
mon. She carried her croc-
kery across the Atlantic be-
cause she didn't know if she
could find kosher pots in
America.
My breast milk was
kosher; so was my baby
food. I learned the dif-
ference between meat and
milk long before I knew the
difference between boys and
girls. A hamburger with a
glass of milk is as unlikely
to me as a suicide, a ham
sandwich as unappealing as
perpetrating a bank rob-
bery.
If I wanted to taste the
forbidden, I would break the
taboos. Yet what I might eat
seems such a small pleasure
to gain compared with the
satisfaction of pleasing my
ancestors, the dead as well
as the living.
Most of us American'
don't consciously think that
much about our ancestry, as
if we were all with the Pil-
grims and at Gettysburg.
"Land where my fathers
died, land of the Pilgrim's
pride" isn't historically
accurate. My "fathers" died
in Russia, Poland,
Lithuania, Galicia, Ger-
many, Servia. They lived
their long and hard lives
imagining Jerusalem and
watching what they ate.
The shape of their genes
is mine: also the scope of
their diet.
The prohibitions, rooted
in food, become embodied in
aesthetics and ethics as
well. I can put up with the
awkwardness of what I can
eat because it has never
spread to what r can think.
There are no non-kosher
thoughts or ideas.
I remember once telling a
rabbi at a teenage youth
meeting that I saw no par-
ticular reason why the
world couldn't get along
very well without Jews. He
was eating a peach at the
time, sucking on the pit. He
almost choked. He called
my grandfather. I must
have sounded to him like a
neo-Nazi. But that was his
problem. Thinking is all
kosher, and I sometimes
wonder if drawing the line
in one realm doesn't give me
greater freedom in others.
Maybe that's a fantasy;
still, the line is there.
"Show me where to
stand." Archimedes said,
"and I'll move the earth."
"Show me where to sit," I
say, "And maybe there'll be
something I can eat." If I
have to move the earth, I'll
do it with vegetable shor-
tening.

D.O.E.

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17

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