Monday, March 11, 2013

Burn your challah at the gas station for double extra mitzvah points

I think I am going to set up a bunch of bird nests in my backyard and charge stupid people for the privilege for chasing away the mother birds "under the supervision" of some big rabbi. Or maybe I will locate an authentic Egyptian or Edomite and let the dummies pay me for the chance to not abhor them. And of course, I'll pass all the profits on to tzedaka, so no one criticizes me (Sending my son to yeshiva is a tzedaka, btw. Look it up)

Two new ads in the local Orthodox birdcage liner suggest there is a real market for this sort of thing:

Let's document the atrocities...  (Vocabulary first: Here challah is the portion of dough that the Torah tells us to give to a priest, not the braided loaf nor the witch with the braids who, likely, gave the braided loaf its name. Nowadays, instead of giving the dough to a priest we dispose of it, usually via burning)

(1) You can burn challah right in your very own oven. Our wives and mothers have been doing this for centuries. It's pretty simple: You just say a blessing and set it on fire. Nothing else.
Pro tip: If you don't want to set it on fire, you can also double wrap the challah, and toss it in the trash. That's perfectly okay.

(2) The ads seem silent on this point, but many home bakers never need to separate challah. The ritual isn't performed at all unless you're using at least 2.6 POUNDS of flour (enough for almost three loafs) No blessing is said unless you are using almost 5 POUNDS of flour (five huge loafs) (Chabadniks say the blessing when they use more than 3.6 POUNDS)

(3) Scare Tactics! If you make any mistakes with challah your kids will "stray from the ways of Torah" The second ad pretty much promises this is true! And what's the source? Check out the cite: "as stated in text". Which text? Never mind! Challah bakers shouldn't be studying Torah anyway! (We're kidding: Obviously, the ads author is referring to the text he reproduced in the ad; however its mistranslated. The text in the ad says your kids will go bad if you fail to correctly burn the challah, and it gets eaten by a non-kosher animal)

Unfortunately if this catches on, we'll have a new way to exclude perfectly pious and God fearing Jews:  "What? You don't burn your challah at the gas station? You do it yourself, in your house? I don't think our kids should be friends, plus I am not no longer confident in your kashrus."

Don't roll your eyes, either. This happens.

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