So it's Chanukah. Time to ask that age-old question: Do Jews have trash cans in their kitchen?
"This is like the gateway drug of the Jewish foods" - Non-Jews try traditional Jewish food for the first time
Urban miniaturist Alan Wolfson (previously) unveils his latest masterpiece: Katz's Delicatessen (related) [more inside]
Julia Sherman offers us a glimpse into the sheitel industry and the larger global hair trade. [more inside]
In May 2010, New Zealand introduced a new Animal Welfare Code effectively banning the kosher slaughter of animals, or “shechita”. Agriculture Minister, David Carter, rejected a recommendation from advisers that Jewish ritual slaughter of livestock be exempted from animal welfare rules under the Bill of Rights - which provides for freedom of religious practice. The new welfare code had a requirement that all commercially slaughtered animals first be stunned, and forbade the importation of raw kosher poultry. Carter argued the Code was required on humane grounds, citing a study that said the animals suffered pain. A study which Dr Temple Grandin has subsequently criticised. Jewish law prevents stunning on the basis that this is, in fact, cruel to animals. Halal meat in New Zealand is stunned prior to slaughter. The Jewish community contested the Code through the courts as a direct attack on the freedom to practise Judaism in New Zealand. Bans on ritual slaughter inevitably raise the ugly spectre of anti-Semitism. In November, immediately before the case was due to be heard, Carter made an abrupt u-turn. The practice of shechita on poultry was declared no longer illegal while the Government also agreed to negotiate the ban on sheep. New Zealand Jews will still have to import beef from Australia, where shechita is allowed. The reversal raised the ire of animal rights groups, and raised questions about Carter's motivations in considering the ban. Previously.
2nd Ave Deli closed; may not reopen. The half-century old 2nd Ave Deli in New York City's East Village has closed; its rent was hiked 37% to $33,000 per month. The closure is described as temporary, but the owner acknowledges that it might open next "to clear out." [MI]
The Geek Guide to Kosher Machines : How the industry makes appliances Shabbat safe.
New York's Water Ain't Kosher! - You may be aware that shellfish are not kosher. It turns out that little, itty-bitty, microscopic shellfish called copepods are in New York's water. Brita to the rescue?
Calls for a ban on Halal and Kosher slaughtered meat in the UK are being called an attack on religion or necessary to improve the welfare of farm animals... Where to start thinking about this? Take 1: Is there a vast right-wing, um, wait, left-wing, um wait, err, something-wing conspiracy against Muslims right now? Take 2: Is this a case of "colliding waves of political correctness"? Take 3: As a vegetarian (works for me, ain't gonna preach) the notion of killing animals nicer is kind of funny. Why couldn't we just survey the animals as they enter the slaughterhouse? "Slash to throat? Bolt to head? Electrocution? Thank you, drive through." Whichever way you look at the story, it just goes to show you, the world's a complicated place and you can't please anyone.
Have you ever wondered what Xmas would be like if it were a Jewish Holiday? Precisely defined rules for preparing for the holiday, procuring and decorating the tree, cooking the festive meal, giving gifts, and all other seasonal celebrations. With footnotes! Songs! More footnotes! Riddles! Even more footnotes! [via Making Light] (This is a Geocities site, so don't all rush there at once and overload it, OK?)