What Does Kosher Mean?

I’m staying with some non-Jewish friends at Loma Linda University this weekend. I’m going to be on a panel Sabbath afternoon talking with three Christians and a Jew about a new book.

My friends have never hosted an Orthodox Jew for the Sabbath before.

I found myself asked, “What does kosher mean?” And I stumbled. “I think it means ‘fit’ or ‘appropriate’,” I said. “Food fit for a Jew. I’m a vegetarian and that makes keeping kosher much easier.”

And then I found myself explaining “kosher grape juice.” I said that about 2,000 years ago, the rabbis decided that Jews should only drink grape juice and wine grown by Jews. I didn’t explain but I think this is obvious, that it was part of the rabbinic fence to minimize socializing with non-Jews.

If you can’t drink with them, you are less likely to sleep with them.

I am a man of exquisite sensibilities, the most delicate of temperaments, so I did not spell this out.

Last time I was at Loma Linda, I got the most severe case of yellow fever. It took me many months to burn it out of my system. Damn Seventh-Day Adventist girls, they are so fine. If only I could’ve believed that stuff about Jesus coming soon, I’d be married now.

Many times married.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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