Home » Friday Fictioneers » That’s Not Kosher – Friday Fictioneers

That’s Not Kosher – Friday Fictioneers

Happy New Year my peeps!  I wasn’t sure where to go with this one so I went back a “few” years to a memory.  A very fond memory of a family vacation.  To play along, just click on the frog below and add your own 100-word story to go with this photo.  Thank you, always, to Rochelle for running things so fantabulously all these years.  As well, this is her photo so, yanno… thanks for that, too!

Click here to play!

That’s Not Kosher!

In the summer of ’75, Dad brought us to Golden Acres Ranch in the Catskills. We must have been the only Gentiles in the place.

“Good morning! Good morning! Good morning!” Our wake-up call every morning through speakers in the cabins.

There was horseback riding, dancing, sports – think Housemans of “Dirty Dancing” fame, but not quite so ritzy – at least, I don’t think it was.

I can still hear my not-quite-five-year-old sister, Tracy, ask Joel, our waiter, for a cheeseburger.

“Sorry, Kiddo, that’s not Kosher.”

“But I’m not Jewish!”

What a great way to teach us about other religions and cultures.

111 thoughts on “That’s Not Kosher – Friday Fictioneers

  1. Here’s my idea…

    When I met my in-laws, I was brand new to Hanukah and everything Jewish. Growing up, I knew no Jews.

    For a time, it all fascinated me. Hanukah and Passover. Reclining while eating and paying homage to centuries and millenia of tradition and culture. A history filled with so much pain that was to be respected, revered, and remembered.

    But as the years went by, the luster wore off. The religion, like any other was about being special and being superior. I’m done with it now. All I do is tolerate the holidays. It’s the best I can do. I am sorry.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have to tell you, Mark – when it comes to religion, I am not buying any of it…

      That said, this little exchange between my sister and Joel is something I never forgot because it was so innocent and she (and we) couldn’t understand why you could not mix dairy and beef.

      I may be Catholic officially – coz I did the obligatory rituals – but we never went to church and never ate fish on Friday 😉


      • I was raised Catholic. Until I turned eighteen, I had to go to church every Sunday and holy day, and we typically didn’t eat meat on Fridays, particularly during Lent. When we turned eighteen, we could make our own decisions and since then I have not stepped willingly into a Catholic Church except for weddings and funerals.

        With marrying a Jewish woman, I agreed to raise our kids in that faith. Why did I care? I was a non-believer, but wasn’t militant about it. Fast forward almost 20 years, and I feel like it’s one of the mistakes I’ve made in my life. (Talk about regrets I’m trying to not waste energy on.)

        The reason I regret it is because my kids have been taught to believe they are special because they are Jewish. That certain qualities I believe to be inherent in human nature (like intelligence, inquisitiveness, etc.) they have been taught are special to them because they are Jews. I can’t stand that. Simply cannot stand that.

        But yes, the exchange you describe in your piece is classic.

        Liked by 1 person

        • My mother was so disgusted with the nuns and the small-minded mentality of a small village she dissed them from the moment she left. When she married my father and it was the first “mixed” marriage in Montreal – he was officially nothing. Never baptized, never given an official religion so he agreed for us to be raised Catholic. Honestly. It was just the formalities we did. Church was and is for funerals and marriages and the occasional baptism.

          Not everyone married to a Jew ends up with children being taught to be “special”. But, some do, unfortunately.

          It was a cute exchange – and I swear, all the Jews I know do NOT keep Kosher! 😉

          Liked by 1 person

          • My mom went to Catholic school as a child and it was drilled into her that if you don’t go to church you will burn in hell. Rationally, she understands this is poppycock, but she also doesn’t want to press her luck. To this day, she keeps going to church, but is totally fine with the decisions her adult children have made — none of whom go to church anymore.

            I’ve not taught my kids they are special. The problem is with what happens at the synagogue. It’s why I’ll never believe in any kind of organized religion. Of course, my atheistic views don’t help either. 😉

            Liked by 1 person

          • Funny how that works. My mom had it drilled yet the second she could, she was out. My grandmother went back and forth between going and not – mind you, here in Quebec, the church has lost a LOT of favour. They were so powerful once and as a result, the Quebec people have revolted. We are the least religious of all of Canada.

            It’s a good thing – kids are NOT special 😉
            Don’t get me started on organised religion. It’s a business (that said, did you see “The Two Popes”? I rather enjoyed it. 😉

            Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s an interesting exchange between you and kingmidget; I read with interest. Now I’m adding my tuppence worth, though it doesn’t add much. I hear lots of ex-Christians trash their former beliefs, and make fun of them, and declare themselves atheists, when what they really mean is they’re done with the religions of the Book, whichever of the three they chose.
    BTW, all this discussion, I haven’t yet said, Good post. But of course, just look at the comments it has inspired. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m picturing you there with Mrs. Maisel and her family! 🙂
    I’ve never been to the Catskills.
    Re conversation above: My parents were not religious–and my dad was anti-religion– but they had a very strong cultural Jewish identity because they grew up in neighborhoods with relatives who spoke Yiddish and there were restrictions on Jews. I remember my dad telling me once that Jews go to Atlantic City, not Ocean City.
    I’ve never belonged to a synagogue, and any religion teaching kids they’re special just because they’re whatever is wrong. But, knowing that people would kill you simply because of your ancestry–whether you are religious or not–is something that I do think about, and I know I’m not alone.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Exactly! (Should have used that as an example…)
      It’s funny how that happens. I used to think the Jews were way more religious than us Christians but it’s the same the world and religions over, isn’t it? Not all keep the faith by going to Shul or Church but the traditions remain.
      My dad was brought up in a very Jewish part of Montreal (enough to be a goy mit a Yiddishe Kopf 😉
      And it is a sobering reality that we must not forget either. No, you are not alone.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Dear Dale,

    OMG, how much do I love this! At least Tracy didn’t ask for a pork chop or shrimp cocktail. I think you could expand this into something longer. The fact that it’s true endears you to me even more. I can only imagine what all the Jews thought about the Goyim amongst them. Thanks for the smiles.

    Shalom and lotsa more hugs in 2020,


    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Rochelle,

      So very glad you do! True. We were probably reminded that no pork products would be available 😉 but not the whole beef and cheese thing 🤣
      I’m sure we weren’t the only Goyim there (which I was gonna use instead of Gentile…)
      Glad I gave you them!

      Shalom and Lotsa non-Kosher love…


      Liked by 2 people

  5. No mixing meat and dairy 🙂 It was easy for me to put myself in that story. When I was eight, we moved to a heavily Jewish neighborhood. My dad warned us that we would have to work hard in school, because Jewish kids were smart and disciplined. They were, and we did. It was a great neighborhood, with lots of Jewish mothers to fuss over us and take care of us because they knew our mom had to work. They never were critical about that–they just took us in with their own broods and always told my mom and dad how good we were 🙂

    Another memory: Several of my classmates attended Hebrew school after our school was over. I had a friend, a boy named Saul, who liked to practice his Hebrew on me. He had a special name for me, but would never tell me what it meant. I wish I could remember. But we were only eight 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • So glad I brought you down memory lane. My father was brought up in a Jewish neighbourhood and I think he always felt he fit right in. Made us watch movies like “The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz” and “Lies My Father Told Me”…

      Awww… that is a sweet memory indeed!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Q,

    It reminds me of when I used to go to synagogue on Saturday mornings with my friends. No, we weren’t interested in the services, but that was the deal we forged with the Rabbi. If we wanted to take part in the softball game that took place afterwards, we had to come for the service and sit with our friends. Not a bad deal considering we also got bagels.

    As for the word kosher, I knew it well. As a way of describing food or a situation, we used it interchangeably. As for the Catskills, I remember my father had the bright idea to take us to a resort there one winter. It was cold as shit and everything was an itinerary, which I ditched, of course. And we didn’t even get to ski! WTF.

    Your memories are so much better.


    Liked by 1 person

    • B,

      I’ve never even set foot in a synagogue. But you had good reason to 😉

      Kosher is as kosher does. I swear, every single Jew I know eats bacon… Of course we also use kosher to refer to something that should or should not be done.

      The Catskills was quite the experience. Thankfully it was summer and there were horses. I am still friends with Robin, from Long Island (insert proper accent, here). I’m sure there was an itinerary but, being 11, I didn’t feel like it was. It’s funny. Of all (not that many) the family vacations we took, this is the one I remember the most. I remember the names of many of those who worked there, the horses…

      Yep, my memories are good. Sorry yours aren’t.


      Liked by 1 person

  7. I love the way you’ve constructed your story. It’s put together so casually, as though it’s stream of consciousness, but everything is in the right place and perfectly weighted. Lovely work, Dale!
    Unlike most of your other readers, I’m a regular church-going Christian. I confess, though, that much of what I hear in church strikes me as plain wrong. However, if you start from the standpoint that God loves each and every one of us unreservedly it all starts to make more sense!
    With very best wishes

    Liked by 1 person

    • You know, Penny… almost everything I write is steam of consciousness. I almost never (if ever) map things out! So, needless to say, it is great that it feels perfectly weighted!
      I admit to having some problem with organised religion – and that has nothing to do with faith. And yes, if you start from that standpoint, then you are in the right place.
      Best wishes to you, as well.


  8. This was delightful and though you said it wasn’t like “Dirty Dancing” I’m not all that certain there wasn’t some of that going on (not with you, at 11, but with the older youth there …). How funny about the “not Kosher” request. Having grown up in a generally religious household (went to Orthodox schools) and with many in my family and extended family still practicing Jewish traditions and leading an ‘observant’ life … I ‘get it’ even if I don’t lead a religious life myself and hadn’t for many years. I know all the ‘rules’, so when my observant sisters stay with me, I’m happy to accommodate them so they feel at home. But for me personally, these things aren’t what matters. I find that if someone wants the framework of dietary restrictions and rules about cookery and blending threads and what not, as a way to help them remember their heritage or the requirements for kindness to others and awe at creation … they can do that to their heart’s content. I enjoy some of the traditions for their cultural folklore feel, but that’s about it. To me, the rules I try to live by as kindness, equality, fairness, honesty, humanity, and doing what I can to not damage this world and, if possible, to mend what little corners of it I can try to make even a tinsy bit better. If that’s religion, fine. 😉 A kind of ‘kosher’ life, I guess … 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love your response. And yeah… at 11, any shenanigans that were going on, were going on above my innocent and clueless head (took me a few years to become more aware of such things 😉 )
      I can’t help but wonder how many of the kids (ok late teens and young adults) working there kept kosher at home 😉
      I think in many cases we know the rules – whether or not we obey them. And yes, some prefer to have that framework to keep themselves feeling part of the community, as it were. I don’t judge.
      Your rules are the ones we should all abide by.
      Dale xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Eric – short and sweet 😉
      Yeah, you can get them at Costco – and I usually choose them when I do decide to treat myself to crap 😉
      So glad you liked!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. This was great, especially the photos. I don’t know where the Catskills are but what a great name. We don’t do camp like that in the UK so it’s always interesting to hear about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Siobhan. It’s in the state of New York. A lovely area, actually. There are people who used to (especially in the ’50’s and ’60’s spend the whole summers in these camps – obviously not the blue collar types 😉


  10. Such a beautiful story of learning about different cultures. Religion-wise people can believe whatever they want, as far as I’m concerned. As long as they don’t try to force anyone else to believe likewise or hurt anyone. Happy New Year, Dale.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Gabriele – so nice to see you!
      And yes, I agree wholeheartedly. Practice your religion as you see fit, just leave me out of it!
      A very Happy New Year to you, Gabi!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. A nice family memory turned into a lovely story. I really like the photos too! It’s important for kids to gently learn of the differences of others in order for us all to live together peacefully. I hope you had a wonderful time ushering in 2020!

    Liked by 1 person

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