Tuesday, March 27, 2007

More on the Holiday Menu

Some dear friends have gently pointed out on the previous menu thread that I, your hardworking and hardly-paid blogger, am a "kuntz" for proposing a holiday menu that "that won't meet most people's minimal requirements for a single one of the meals."

Here is my reply, offered in the same loving tone as the the original criticism: "Most people" are idiots. They voted twice for George W. Bush, twice for Richard M. Nixon, and they keep NKOTB albulms in their house. Anyone who thinks my seder menu fails to meet "minimum requirements" is similarly stupid.

Let me explain.

The first objection was to the presence of steak on the menu. But the objector has misunderstood the minhag. Ashkenazim don't avoid red meat on seder night. They avoid anything grilled or roasted. I called for the steak to be cooked in wine, in a pot. I don't know the precise cooking term for "throwing something in a pot with wine" but I do know this: Its not grilling, and its not roasting.

The second objection was based on a common and familiar misunderstanding. Many frum Jews insist on eating meat at every holiday meal. They do this because the Talmud tells us there can be no happiness without meat and wine, and "happiness" is required on the holiday. But, the fools who unreflectivly stuff themselves with meat have forgotten that happiness is a subjective quality. It can't be prescribed. I can't tell you this or that will make YOU happy. Everyone is different. Some people don't like meat. Others like fish and meat equally well. The idea that someone who enjoys fish can't use it to fulfil his requirement to be happy is absurd. And the people who will eat a fish meal with great gusto but insist on having a small, undesired piece of meat at the end "just to fulfil the requirement" are morons. The point isn't to eat meat. The point is to be happy. And if eating fish makes you happy, eat fish and make no apologies.

(PS: The Shragitz Aryeh agrees. I throw this in both because its true, and because I expect many of you won't accept the basic truth of my argument unless someone with a long beard said it previously. So the Shraigitz Aryeh is your man.)

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