When you eat only kosher food, as our family does, traveling has an added element of uncertainty. Will there be a kosher market or restaurant? What will the quality be? We are grateful that in the United States many national brands of crackers and other items are kosher and fruits and vegetable are easily accessible. Even so, after a few days tuna fish and peanut butter stave off hunger but don’t do much more than that.
To our delight, my husband’s recent speaking engagement was in a city that had a kosher restaurant. The place was clean and the food was delicious. What more could we ask?
If you pay close attention to our website, you know that we were closed for much of September in honor of the Jewish holy days. Imagine owning a kosher restaurant. Not only do you close every Friday night and most Saturday nights throughout the year, but this year there were barely any evenings in an entire month that you could remain open. We completely understood when the proprietress told us that she was trying different things to ramp up business.
The night we were there was one such attempt. The owner had invited a local college’s performance art class to come and deliver a stand-up comedy show. Suffice it to say that after only a few minutes, my husband and I whispered a prayer of thanks that I had two sets of earphones in my purse. We each plugged them in and spent the rest of the meal listening to podcasts on our phones.
As the program continued, we noticed the owner’s mortification as she went around the room offering to pack customers’ meals up. We also saw the teacher of the class motioning his students to end their routines prematurely. All in all, it was a disaster. It seems that one after another, the students (most of whom were older than standard college age) were under the impression that using profanity and making sexual references turned words into humor.
Fast forward to today, where we are in another U.S. city. This one doesn’t have a kosher restaurant. The incredibly gracious folks at the TCT network where we tape TV ask someone each day to drive to the nearest city with a kosher restaurant to pick up lunch for us (shout out to Morris who does the not-always-pleasant drive).
We did something a bit different on today’s show and interviewed Judy Gruen about her book, The Skeptic and the Rabbi: Falling in Love with Faith. This particular book of Judy’s is on a serious topic, although true to her calling as a humor writer parts of it are very funny. The book doesn’t have a bit of crudeness or profanity. Neither do her previous humor books.
Each day seems to bring proof that the country in which we live is divided between two groups of people who look at just about everything through different lenses. One group sees humor in vile and dehumanizing references. The other group of Americans use humor to connect and uplift. No wonder we are no longer laughing together.
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