questionsrosh hashanah - meals

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The question is whether your guest keeps Kosher or not. Keeping Kosher involves not only not eating certain foods, no shellfish, no pork, but also how the food you are eating is prepared, you cannot use the same utensils that cook dairy products to cook meat products.

I do not keep Kosher myself so did some quick research. http://www.jewfaq.org/kashrut.htm seems to be a good high-level overview.

I wonder if there is any way to just ask your guest whether they keep Kosher or not and, if so, what would be appropriate for them to eat. I seem to recall some friends who would eat hard boiled eggs and matzos when dining away from home.

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@jazcat: I know he didn't. I doubt he does now or he would have told me, earlier. We have been friends for a few years so I have that benefit. I will ask him, I just wanted to sort of check and see if I needed to ask him first.

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@Hobbit: Simply put if he is working on Friday which is still RH anywhere outside of Israel than you likely don't need to worry about dietary restrictions. There are no particular RH specific restrictions on food (as there is on Passover for instance).

[edit] The matzoh and egg thing sound more like Passover than RH

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@erikadyscern: Thanks. I did just email him. He will either ignore me or not. In the past he wasn't at all observant - he ate pork. But I know he has changed a lot in the past couple of years.

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It depends if you want to serve him hot or cold food. Cold food is easier to deal with in terms of prep and serve. Hot food there are more complicated issues.

If your guest speaker is speaking on Friday (second day of RH) then I wouldn't be too concerned about him keeping kosher. As you said, ask him and find out if he does.

[edit} I see you just emailed him about it.

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@erikadyscern: Its still RH inside Israel. Its the only 2 day Yom Tov for them.

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Leave an extra chair in the audience for Elijah.

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@escfrizby: Thats only at circumcisions. So unless @hobbit is planning on doing a demonstration on the guest speaker, it won't be needed.

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@sgoman5674: ewwww no. He is coming to talk about Rule of Law in the Middle East.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlIR0ofYmSQ#t=2m41sec Kosherlicious Oy! Kids these days. Off to google to try to understand the reasons behind the rules.

The extra chair must be along the same lines as why the Navy sets an extra place setting at formal dinners/Mess night...in remembrance.

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@lavikinga: The reason for the chair is not the same reason as what the Navy uses it as. I will have to get back to you on the reasons later.

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@sgoman5674: i meant no disrespect, i think i confused it with the navy.

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@sgoman5674: I wiki'd it. :::insert EdithBunker "oooh" here:::

And THAT is just one reason ya shouldn't lie to the Lord. Not so much as remembrance as more like a punishment for telling falsehoods? Every bris?? Eeesh. Just the thought of a circumcision makes my princess parts hurt.

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@lavikinga: I remember hearing a rumor that certain religions have it done at age 13! I am so glad I had it done when I was 8 days old.

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@lavikinga: my eyes hurt from the vision of such things.

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@sgoman5674: I was hospitalized for several weeks with hyperemesis gravidarum while carrying my twins. My room was directly across the hall from the room where the C's were performed. 6 weeks of hearing the screams of the babies was enough to cement my decision of not having it performed on my son. Baby not feel a thing?? Bull spit! Absolute bull spit.

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An appropriate question for ALL guests would be "Are there any special dietary needs the guest may desire?" A person from many backgrounds, nationality, or religion may have special needs because of food allergies, religious faith, medical need, or simply personal preferences for the food and/or drink they partake. It is not necessary to know the basis of the preference. Perhaps they do not want anyone to know they are taking chemo, pregnant, fasting etc. Simply respect their choice, and make the meal as hospitable as possible.

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I know a chair is left empty at the Seder in case there's a traveling alien far from home that just so happens to come by and need a meal. ...Granted they can get past the door man of your Manhattan condo, find their way to the 20th floor and pick your lock...

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@gmartell: normally that isn't an issue for others. I just know the club is pretty bad about paying attention to when holidays occur. It is a pain to remind them during Lent to have fish, you would think they could remember that after five years.

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@erikadyscern & @sgoman5674 & @jazcat: Thanks for the education and turns out he still isn't keeping kosher. Which is probably good since the club almost always has pork chops on Friday - yuck.

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If I may interrupt the merry hijacking of this thread for just half a moment, here are a few dietary customs related to Rosh Hashanah, ranked from most to least yummy:

- Eat something sweet, symbolic of wishes for a sweet new year. Dishes with honey are quite common, such as apples w/honey, honeycake, or taiglach (think mini-donut holes drenched in honey).

- Eat a new fruit. For some reason, pomegranate are a common choice for said fruit.

- Eat round challah (the traditional twisted bread). Typically, the loaves are braided as a length. For Rosh Hashanah, it is traditional to take the braid and make it into a circular mound. Dip the challah in honey, to combine #1 & #3.

- Eat the head of a fish (the word "rosh" means "head" in Hebrew).

OK, I'll let you get back to talking about circumcision and whatever.

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@heymo: head of a fish? Just how literal does one have to be? Head of cabbage or lettuce sounds much more appealing.

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@lavikinga: Amen to that!

P.S. If Google Translate is to be trusted, "head of lettuce" works properly in Hebrew, but "head of cabbage" apparently does not.

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We usually go with gummy fish to get the effect without the yuck factor.

@Hobbit: thanks for the follow up. The story wasn't half as good before we found that he would be eating a pork chop on the second day of RH. As Heymo points out though, if you serve it with a pomegranate you are good to go.

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Chiming in: @sgoman5674 & @erikadyscern hit it on the head when they said that if the guy is doing this lecture on Rosh Hashana, he probably doesn't keep kosher - as @hobbit discovered. Nevertheless, kudos to Ms. Hobbit for being sensitive. To that end, not sure if this is what he was driving at, but you could use @heymo's accurate rundown of traditional Rosh Hashana foods to provide something special for this guy out of respect for his roots. Your best bet would be slices of apples with honey to dip them in - by far the most recognizable and palatable traditional Rosh Hashana food. Ms. Dyscern's idea about gummy fish is cute and I'll probably steal it, but for someone not too religiously observant the humor and reference may well go over his head.

The chair for Elijah is at circumcisions. The filled cup for Elijah is at the Passover seder. In sum: Elijah need not concern you here. Promise.

And while I'm at it, happy Jewish New Year to all the members of the tribe out there.

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@erikadyscern: They will serve other things too, chicken and the salad bar are always there usually. I just find pork chops gross in general, plus this being the south it is buried under a gravy of onions and i can smell that.

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@heymo: Regarding the head of the fish, I have seen that and also head of lamb. The fish head is less disgusting in my opinion.

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no body parts at 8am I am eating my breakfast.

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@sgoman5674: I think you just explained why apples and honey became so ubiquitous. Eww. What's next, head cheese?

Personally, I vote for @erikadyscern's and @lavikinga's alternative selections.

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@hobbit: Hey! Epiglottis!!!! How's that for body parts?

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Personally, I wouldn't do anything to observe the holiday at all (as appetizing as the lamb head might sound.) If I was working on RH I might feel somewhat guilty about it (we are Jews for heavens sakes!) and it would make me feel more guilty to be shown that others realize it is RH and I am working (and perhaps supping on pork chops.)

Either way, l'shanah tovah tikatevu to all of my deals.woot friends!

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@erikadyscern: I don't think he will be really working. There will be other food options, I was just being courteous to ensure that I didn't need to call and make any special requests, the club already thinks I am demanding enough wanting fish during Lent. Oddly enough they serve fish almost every other friday of the year so why do they forget during Lent?

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@erikadyscern & @gwintner and the other Wooters of Jewish faith; Happy and Healthy New Year. May you and your families spend many more together.

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@sgoman5674: Thank you so much. L'shanah tovah to all.

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Agreed on just keeping it neutral - asking if they have any diet issues that you need to watch out for is a good way to cover your bases.

If someone IS keeping Kosher (and for some reason giving a lecture on RH), then they generally will not expect their host to provide them with a Kosher meal unless said host is knwon to be Jewish and keeping Kosher themselves.

If the issue comes up and you have to put out a meal for someone you know is Jewish, but don't know if they're Kosher, you can play it safe and put out a vegan meal that hasn't used anything in your kitchen to prepare, with plastic utensils and plates available.

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I wouldn't serve pork chops if you know the guy is Jewish. Just because he's working on the 2nd day of RH, doesn't mean he might not eat pork or shellfish.

L'Shana Tova to the other MOT!

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@sgoman5674: he (and I, as a result) got rave reviews. He spoke about Rule of Law in Iraq. He spent a year there with the DOJ helping liase with between the US Embassy and the Iraqi judges. He is a Lawyer for the state here, at least that is what he says he is, he is a judge. Thanks for asking. You see the speech had nothing to do with the holiday, I just realized it was a holiday for him.