Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Just one bite

Yesterday I had a little fun with a very creepy Jesus painting. I hope I didn't get anyone's religious undergarments tied up in a bunch. In order to show I am an equal opportunity offender of the great Abrahamic religions, today I am taking on the Kashrut, the dietary laws of my own people.

Last week, I spent 13 grueling hours at a commercial shoot just outside of Wrightwood, California. As anyone who has ever been on a night shoot can tell you, there is a lot of sitting around, eating and getting to know fellow ad whores in ways that are sometimes deeply personal.

I had the opportunity to chat with an Israeli born Orthodox Jew. This is not something I normally get to do. Much less in the relaxed tell-all environment of a commercial shoot. I have always found people will tell you the strangest thing at 4 AM.

After discussing our two very divergent opinions on the universe -- she believes in God, I believe if there were a God I'd still have hair, my nose would be smaller and my neighbor's dog would have died a long time ago -- we got around to talking about bacon.

In all of her 30 some odd years, she has never had a strip of bacon. Not the cheap ass bacon you can buy at Safeway. Not the thick, center cut, chewy applewood bacon they sell at Trader Joe's. Not even the tiny artificial bacon bits you can drizzle over your salad at Carl's Jr. She's a bacon virgin. Moreover, she's never had scallops. Or lobster. Or, and this is a mind bender, meaty fall-off-the-bone baby back pork ribs slathered in smoky barbeque sauce.

What kind of God visits his people with such suffering?

It doesn't seem right does it? In fact, it seems downright stupid.

But I'll tell you what's even stupider. This week I will pay my temple dues and purchase tickets to high holiday services. In other words, I will fork over hundreds of dollars for the privilege of belonging to this ancient and honorable tribe of pork-deniers.

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