Why Jeiwh People And Chinese Food?

Why Jeiwh People And Chinese Food
The incorporation of non-kosher foods into Jewish diets was made possible by the consumption of Chinese food, which enabled Jews to migrate away from a rigorous adherence to kosher rules. “Chinese food is exceptionally well-suited to Jewish tastes because, in contrast to practically every other cuisine accessible in the United States, traditional Chinese cookery employs milk products only infrequently,” according to the New York Times.

  1. While the majority of Jews who were of the first generation to settle in the United States adhered to the tenets of kashrut at all times, many Jews of the second generation remained observant in their homes but were less stringent about the foods they consumed when they were not there.
  2. As a result of the characteristics of Chinese cuisine, they were able to explain their decision “concealed through the use of various cutting, chopping, and mincing techniques.

The natural forms in which pork, shrimp, lobster, and other foods that are considered nutritional outrages are no longer portrayed in popular culture.” Ancient Chinese literature referred to the act of cutting, chopping, and mincing as ko p’eng (to cut and cook), and it was this technique that rendered the food invisible and hence safe treyf.

  • For example, pig was concealed and wrapped in wontons that resembled Jewish kreplach but were actually filled with pork (dumplings).
  • In the end, this led to many Jews born in the United States abandoning kashrut entirely on the grounds that it was “impractical and antiquated.” The younger generation was able to demonstrate their independence and further build a “cosmopolitan spirit” by disobeying the norms of kashrut by consuming Chinese food.

It is possible to find Orthodox Jewish communities in the United States that have Chinese restaurants that strictly adhere to kashrut standards and are overseen by rabbis. These establishments serve only kosher food.

Do Jews eat Chinese?

When and why did Jews begin celebrating Christmas with cuisine from Chinese restaurants? NPR’s Robert Siegel talks to Rabbi Joshua Plaut about this holiday custom, so get your chopsticks ready and dig in while you listen to their conversation. HOST ROBERT SIEGEL, speaking: What is the one thing that a Jew can do that is the most American during the Christmas season? First and foremost, I have to get ready for work.

Allow one extra person who celebrates Christmas to have the day off. On the other hand, when it comes time to order lunch on Christmas Day, I follow the example of a large number of people who share my religious beliefs and order Chinese food. The consumption of Chinese food on Christmas has become as traditional for American Jews as the baking of apple pies.

In addition, as part of our investigation into the customs surrounding the holidays, we have welcomed Rabbi Joshua Plaut into our studios. The title of his book is “A Kosher Christmas: ‘Tis the Season to Be Jewish,” and he wrote it. You’ve been accepted into the program.

  • JOSHUA PLAUT: I’m excited to be here.
  • Thank you.
  • SIEGEL: You have a chapter in the book titled “We Eat Chinese Food on Christmas,” and it is located in the book.
  • How much time has passed since this began? According to The New York Times, the tradition has been going on at least since 1935, when a man by the name of Eng Shee Chuck brought chow mein on Christmas Day to the Jewish Children’s Home in Newark, New Jersey.

PLAUT: Since at least that year. That is the very earliest written reference to Jewish people celebrating Christmas with food from China. SIEGEL: Depending on how you choose to look at it, it’s either the discovery of Chinese food by Jews on Christmas or the finding of Jewish consumers by a Chinese restaurant on Christmas.

PLAUT: Probably a little bit of both. SIEGEL: Probably a little bit of both. And this is how it has progressed. Over the course of the years, this has evolved into a rather standard practice. Yes, Mr. PLAUT. In point of fact, the relationship between Jews and Chinese restaurants dates back to 1899, when a weekly publication called the American Jewish Journal criticized Jews for eating at non-kosher restaurants and singled out, in particular, Jews who flocked to Chinese restaurants.

The criticism was directed specifically at Jews. Therefore, the union of Jewish culture and Chinese cuisine can be traced all the way back to the time when both Jewish people and Chinese people were newcomers to the United States. SIEGEL: This brings up an interesting point about a phrase that is occasionally used to describe Chinese cuisine: “safe trayf.” This phrase uses the Hebrew word for food that is not kosher, which is trayf.

  • What exactly is going on here? Jews dining in Chinese restaurants are unknowingly consuming a variety of non-kosher culinary items, such as shellfish and pig products, which are masked as wontons or eggrolls.
  • You are therefore allowed to indulge in this delightful cuisine without having to worry about unintentionally consuming a food item that is not kosher.

In addition, milk is never used at dishes served in Chinese restaurants. Therefore, here is a location where you may go to consume food that appears to be acceptable and kosher but is not in fact, and you can do so with a grin on your face and take pleasure in it without feeling bad about it.

SIEGEL: (Laughter) As you record in this chapter of your book, by the 1950s, the draw of Chinese cuisine on Christmas Day – when we should say the Chinese restaurants were open, which is no minor thing that – the fascination became into the stuff of, to use the technical phrase, schtick. SIEGEL: (Laughter) It was fuel for the body as well as for the body’s sense of humor, right? Yes, Mr.

PLAUT. It was brought up in sketches on television with Alan King and Buddy Hackett, respectively. On the Caesar comedy hour, Sid Caesar made a joke about it, making fun of or making a caricature out of Jews sitting in Chinese restaurants and being unable to order food or converse with the wait staff.

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It is highly amusing that Philip Roth mentions in “Portnoy’s Complaint” how Chinese restaurant proprietors believed that Jews and English with a Yiddish accent were speaking the King’s English. Roth’s discussion is very humorous. SIEGEL: So if one were to go there, they would get the impression that they were quite well established in the Chinese restaurant? In all candor, PLAUT: On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the local Chinese restaurant served as a sanctuary of refuge for American Jews who experienced feelings of being on the outside.

When you eat at a Chinese restaurant, you instantly become part of the in-crowd. It is possible to celebrate someone else’s birthday while still being surrounded by friends, relatives, and other members of the tribe; hence, the outsider on Christmas might become the insider during this holiday.

  1. SIEGEL: So, do you have any traditions associated with Christmas Day that include eating Chinese food? PUT: No, I don’t think so.
  2. As the son of a rabbi, when I was a kid growing up in Great Neck I often went to visit Santa Claus and sit on his knee.
  3. When I was a kid, my family and I would get dressed up and walk around our neighborhood in Great Neck to see the pretty lights that had been strung up on the trees.

After that, we’d head over to Rockefeller Center for some ice skating fun. And I questioned my mother afterwards, while I was working on this book, how she could have taken me out to sit on Santa Claus’s knee when I was the son of a major rabbi and civil rights leader? And she responded with a why not? Everyone in America did that, and you didn’t feel any different about being Jewish because of it.

  • Therefore, there is no reason not to enjoy the Christmas season.
  • SIEGEL: (Chuckling) I get what you mean. I see.
  • And to continue your mother’s vision and wisdom forward, there is absolutely nothing wrong with non-Jewish American Christian families enjoying some Chinese food on Christmas as well.
  • This is something that your mother would have approved of.

PLAUT: I believe that we have become a screaming tradition similar to that of “Fiddler on the Roof.” It is now considered a holiday custom in the United States to celebrate Christmas with Chinese food. And it’s simply something that’s evolved into a tradition that’s associated with the Christmas season.

  1. And it’s part of the joyous season that – it’s one of our modest contributions as Jews living in America to the way of life here in the United States.
  2. SIEGEL: Well, Rabbi Joshua Plaut, a very sincere thank you and best wishes for the holiday season.
  3. PLAUT: I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Wonderful and Peaceful New Year.

Copyright is owned by NPR as of 2017. We reserve all of our rights. For further information, please see the permissions and conditions of use pages on our website, which may be found at www.npr.org. An NPR contractor works under intense time pressure to provide transcripts for the broadcaster.

What do Jews eat on Christmas Eve?

THE CITY OF SALT LAKE — It is customary for the entire town to go into hibernation on December 24, so residents should prepare for this on Tuesday night. Nothing will be moving since the shops will be closed, the highways will be unrestricted, the children will be at home watching through the blinds for a sleigh pulled by eight little reindeer, and there will not be a sound to be heard.

  • With one notable exception, which is the New Golden Dragon restaurant that may be found on State Street.
  • It is going to be really crowded.
  • At the New Golden Dragon on Christmas Eve, there are always dozens of Jewish individuals, and this year they are anticipating more than a hundred.
  • Every year, they come to celebrate the holiday by eating Chinese food.

* * * The practice cannot even be considered ancient when measured by Jewish norms. It has been around 5780 years since the religion was founded. Approximately one hundred and twenty years ago, Jews began a tradition of eating Chinese food on Christmas Eve.

According to Rabbi Joshua Eli Plaut, who conducted research on the topic and wrote about it in a book titled “A Kosher Christmas,” the practice dates back to around the year 1899 and originated in New York City. On the lower East Side of Manhattan around the start of the 20th century, Chinese and Jewish immigrants found themselves living in close proximity to one another.

The fact that neither of the groups observed Christmas was something they shared in common. Therefore, the Chinese kept their restaurants open, and Jewish patrons continued to frequent them. It developed into a phenomenon. Alex Shapiro, the executive director of the United Jewish Federation of Utah, questioned whether or not the dish was simple to consume.

  1. It’s an easy cuisine to eat, right?” “And people also make jokes about the idea that Jews will keep kosher since Chinese food is almost always prepared without dairy, which means that there is no mingling of the milk and the meat.
  2. Therefore, you shouldn’t have too much to worry about.
  3. There’s no religious component involved, and there’s no symbolic purpose for the custom,” Shapiro is eager to clarify.
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When most of your pals are engaged in other activities, you may still have a good time with this activity on its own. When the United Jewish Federation of Utah made the decision to ask everyone to gather together at the same Chinese restaurant six years ago, the custom transitioned from being more of an individual occasion to becoming an activity that was coordinated.

This occurred here in Utah. Chad Schaeffer, who is in charge of community relations for the federation, was the one who organized the event. “Chad observed that there were people who had relocated here without family, students who didn’t have someplace to go, and other transplants,” Joy Fisher, the development coordinator for the federation, said.

“So it’s sort of collecting those who are searching for another family to eat with.” The first three events were hosted in the restaurant known as Asian Star, which is located in Midvale. Because to the continuously increasing number of attendees, the event was relocated in 2017 from the Asian Star to the New Golden Dragon, which is a significantly larger venue.

They’ve been really helpful to us. Schaeffer, who as part of the event, distributes out goody bags to youngsters loaded with coloring pages, games, word searches, and age appropriate novels – although he does not wear a white beard and a red outfit when he is doing it, stated that they let us really just take over the whole place that night.

Attending Chinese Food Night on Christmas Eve does not need attendees to be Jewish in any way. The presence of Gentiles is welcomed. Fisher stated that everyone in the community was welcome to attend the event. “We advertise it online; you can find it on Facebook.” In most cases, there are Christians in attendance.

Although it is common for them to be accompanied by a Jew. * * * A celebration known as Shalom Salaam Tikkun-Olam is held on Christmas morning for many Utah Jews, and it is where the non-Christian Christmas customs are carried out. According to Shapiro’s explanation, “Shalom” and “Salaam” indicate peace or greeting in Hebrew and Arabic, respectively, while “Tikkun-Olam” is a Hebrew term that literally translates to “fix the world.” The Salt Lake chapter of the National Council of Jewish Women, in collaboration with other service-minded groups in the community, has coordinated the distribution of clothing, food, and supplies on December 25 to refugees, homeless families, homebound seniors, and other individuals and families in the Salt Lake Valley who are in need of assistance.

This effort has been going on for the past 27 years. Hundreds of volunteers show up to West High School at the crack of dawn on Christmas morning. The school has been the location where the donations have been gathered and organized over the holiday break.

Every Christmas, Shapiro’s family spends their time volunteering at Shalom Salaam Tikkun-Olam. “This is going to be a fantastic occasion. He stated that he will be bringing his sons to attend once again this year. They have now relocated to various locations, but they always make it home for the holidays.

We have been engaging in this activity together as a family for many years. “Are you aware of what we’re going to do after this?” Shapiro asks. “We are in need of food. We continue to eat Chinese food at the restaurant.”

Can Jews eat chicken?

Meat (fleishig) – The term “meat” in a kosher context generally refers to edible flesh from certain types of mammals and fowl, as well as any products derived from them, such as broth, gravy, and bones. Additionally, the term “meat” can refer to any edible flesh from certain types of mammals and fowl.

According to Jewish law, in order for meat to be deemed kosher, it must fulfill all of the following requirements: It must originate from ruminant animals, which are animals that have split hooves or cloven hooves, including cows, sheep, goats, lambs, oxen, or deer. The only parts of kosher ruminant animals that can be used for meat are those located in the animal’s front quarters.

Chicken, geese, quail, doves, and turkey are some examples of domesticated birds that may be consumed by humans. The animal must be put to death by a shochet, who is a Jewish religious official who is educated and qualified to kill animals in accordance with Jewish law.

Before it can be cooked, the meat has to be soaked to get rid of any remnants of blood. Any utensils that are used in the slaughtering or preparation of the meat need to be kosher and should only be used with meat and products derived from meat. The following varieties of meat and goods containing meat are not regarded to be kosher: The flesh of pigs, rabbits, squirrels, camels, kangaroos, and horses, amongst other animals.

Birds that hunt prey or scavenge, such as eagles, owls, gulls, and hawks flank, short loin, sirloin, round, and shank are all examples of beef cuts that originate from the animal’s hindquarters. Other examples are the round and shank.

What do Jews eat on Christmas Eve?

THE CITY OF SALT LAKE — It is customary for the entire town to go into hibernation on December 24, so residents should prepare for this on Tuesday night. Nothing will be moving since the shops will be closed, the highways will be unrestricted, the children will be at home watching through the blinds for a sleigh pulled by eight little reindeer, and there will not be a sound to be heard.

  1. With one notable exception, which is the New Golden Dragon restaurant that may be found on State Street.
  2. It is going to be really crowded.
  3. On the evening before Christmas, Jewish people come to the New Golden Dragon by the dozens to enjoy Chinese food.
  4. This year, they are anticipating more than one hundred individuals to turn up at the restaurant.
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* * * The practice cannot even be considered ancient when measured by Jewish norms. It has been around 5780 years since the religion was founded. Approximately one hundred and twenty years ago, Jews began a tradition of eating Chinese food on Christmas Eve.

According to Rabbi Joshua Eli Plaut, who conducted research on the topic and wrote about it in a book titled “A Kosher Christmas,” the practice dates back to around the year 1899 and originated in New York City. On the lower East Side of Manhattan around the start of the 20th century, Chinese and Jewish immigrants found themselves living in close proximity to one another.

The fact that neither of the groups observed Christmas was something they shared in common. Therefore, the Chinese kept their restaurants open, and Jewish patrons continued to frequent them. It developed into a phenomenon. Alex Shapiro, the executive director of the United Jewish Federation of Utah, questioned whether or not the dish was simple to consume.

“It’s an easy cuisine to eat, right?” “And people also make jokes about the idea that Jews will keep kosher since Chinese food is almost always prepared without dairy, which means that there is no mingling of the milk and the meat. Therefore, you shouldn’t have too much to worry about. “There’s no religious component involved, and there’s no symbolic purpose for the custom,” Shapiro is eager to clarify.

When most of your pals are engaged in other activities, you may still have a good time with this activity on its own. When the United Jewish Federation of Utah made the decision to ask everyone to gather together at the same Chinese restaurant six years ago, the custom transitioned from being more of an individual occasion to becoming an activity that was coordinated.

  • This occurred here in Utah.
  • Chad Schaeffer, who is in charge of community relations for the federation, was the one who organized the event.
  • Chad observed that there were people who had relocated here without family, students who didn’t have someplace to go, and other transplants,” Joy Fisher, the development coordinator for the federation, said.

“So it’s sort of collecting those who are searching for another family to eat with.” The first three events were hosted in the restaurant known as Asian Star, which is located in Midvale. Because to the continuously increasing number of attendees, the event was relocated in 2017 from the Asian Star to the New Golden Dragon, which is a significantly larger venue.

  1. They’ve been really helpful to us.
  2. Schaeffer, who as part of the event, distributes out goody bags to youngsters loaded with coloring pages, games, word searches, and age appropriate novels – although he does not wear a white beard and a red outfit when he is doing it, stated that they let us really just take over the whole place that night.

Attending Chinese Food Night on Christmas Eve does not need attendees to be Jewish in any way. The presence of Gentiles is welcomed. Fisher stated that everyone in the community was welcome to attend the event. “We advertise it online; you can find it on Facebook.” In most cases, there are Christians in attendance.

  1. Although it is common for them to be accompanied by a Jew.
  2. A celebration known as Shalom Salaam Tikkun-Olam is held on Christmas morning for many Utah Jews, and it is where the non-Christian Christmas customs are carried out.
  3. According to Shapiro’s explanation, “Shalom” and “Salaam” indicate peace or greeting in Hebrew and Arabic, respectively, while “Tikkun-Olam” is a Hebrew term that literally translates to “fix the world.” The Salt Lake chapter of the National Council of Jewish Women, in collaboration with other service-minded groups in the community, has coordinated the distribution of clothing, food, and supplies on December 25 to refugees, homeless families, homebound seniors, and other individuals and families in the Salt Lake Valley who are in need of assistance.

This effort has been going on for the past 27 years. Hundreds of volunteers show up to West High School at the crack of dawn on Christmas morning. The school has been the location where the donations have been gathered and organized over the holiday break.

Every Christmas, Shapiro’s family spends their time volunteering at Shalom Salaam Tikkun-Olam. “This is going to be a fantastic occasion. He stated that he will be bringing his sons to attend once again this year. They have now relocated to various locations, but they always make it home for the holidays.

We have been engaging in this activity together as a family for many years. “Are you aware of what we’re going to do after this?” Shapiro asks. “We are in need of food. We continue to eat Chinese food at the restaurant.”