books and reading · food · Jews/Jewish/Judaism/Orthodox Judaism

Going Kosher


Last week’s “Question of the Week” was: “Why is My Family Insulted by My Kosher Diet?”

Going kosher can be such a touchy subject with relatives that someone, Azriela Jaffe, wrote a whole book about it: What Do You Mean, You Can’t Eat in My Home?: A Guide to How Newly Observant Jews and Their Less Observant Relatives Can Still Get Along”!

In “Walking the Tightrope”, Angela Goldstein writes about her struggles to become more observant:

Let’s be honest, it is a very rare case that a woman falls asleep with a Big Mac in her hand and wakes up with a kosher kitchen. The entire transformation is a process that happens over time. For some it can be a few months and for others it takes years. However, one thing that we all share is that “in between” phase. That time when we know in our heart of hearts that we shouldn’t eat the non-kosher steak but it is just so unbelievably tempting!


It only took me about six months to go completely kosher (I’m a little extreme). I still remember the day I realized that while I’d been trying to eat kosher sandwiches, I’d actually been eaten meat on dairy bread. Ouch! And I still fantasize about octopus (not kosher). Lucky for me, I got to eat Big Mac and even a Whopper at the kosher McDonald’s and kosher Burger King in Israel and because I was too scared to get on any buses, I walked off the fat fairly quickly.

Check out: “Kosher for the Clueless but Curious” by Shimon Apisdorf

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4 thoughts on “Going Kosher

  1. My husband had an evening interview the other day and brought his own kosher food with, no one batted an eye….but he had a minor struggle with the fact that the dinner part of it was at Carrabba's, his favorite restaurant! Even after 5+ years of keeping completely kosher, he still waxes poetic about their minestrone soup (of all things)….

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  2. It took my household *20 years* to go from not-at-all kosher to all separate plates and cookware. However, I suppose we simply stalled out after the first decade of change at the point where the main issue with our kitchen was that it had a lot of plates, utensils, and cookware that had been used for both milk and meat (and maybe completely non-kosher foods too, depending on how old the item was), but we kept the rest of the rules of kashrut (no inherently treif foods, only meat with a hechsher, no meat-dairy mixing). We also had a set of glass plates and kosher-dairy-only cookware so that we could cook for our more observant friends. And we had a few kosher meat and pareve cookware items too.

    So the final conversion of our kitchen to kosher required quite a bit of shopping, but otherwise we didn't have to change what we ate or how we prepared it except for being more careful about the meat/dairy/pareve status of the kitchen items.

    My family's eating “out” standards are still evolving and differ quite a bit between different members of the family. Luckily, there are plenty of kosher restaurants in our area, so we increasingly eat out kosher since then everyone is comfortable. But in that way we are still in an “in between” phase.

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  3. Debbie B, that sounds like it was complicated! Wheew! But then I'm Orthodox so I find a lot of the ways Conservative (and some Reform) people keep kosher…surprising. I think part of this is because I thought that “keeping kosher” meant the same thing to every movement but I find that it doesn't and obviously, why should it when we respond so differently to other Jewish matters.

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