.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Saturday, March 31, 2007

 

Please don't drink the gasoline unless it's kosher-for-Passover!??

April 1, 2007 NY Times

[pix: Tim Roehm, a co-owner of Larry’s Sunoco in Teaneck, has joked about selling kosher gas.]

In This Town, Talk Turns to Putting the Volvos on a Kosher Diet
By PETER APPLEBOME
Teaneck, N.J.
It’s not easy to find the gas station where Yaniv Ben-Zaken will be selling kosher-for-Passover gasoline during the holiday this year.
In fact, if not for a story in The Bergen County Jewish Times that’s been widely circulated on the Internet, even most people in Teaneck, which is heavily Jewish and increasingly Orthodox, might never have had the chance to debate the merits of his innovative approach to Jewish dietary laws.
So a random survey taken on Cedar Lane, Teaneck’s main drag — of people doing Passover shopping at Judaica House Ltd., inspecting women’s hats at My Fair Lady, filling up on nonkosher gas at Larry’s Sunoco — indicated that you didn’t have to make it to Mr. Ben-Zaken’s gas station to have a position on his plan. A position that usually began with a rolling of eyeballs.
As the article reported, Mr. Ben-Zaken said the sale had become necessary because of the increased ethanol content in gasoline required by the government. Ethanol is typically derived from corn, which is forbidden food for Ashkenazi Jews on Passover. And Mr. Ben-Zaken said that since it was also forbidden to derive any benefits from corn, it was inappropriate to have it in your car.
“We will be providing a number of services to anyone interested in making their motor vehicle kosher for Passover,” Mr. Ben-Zaken said in the article. The process, supervised by a rabbi, Yitzchok Mandelbaum, includes siphoning off nonkosher gasoline and replacing it with the kosher kind.
One rabbi, Shalom Silver of Congregation Ohel Emeth, said the notion was excessive and recommended that his congregation not buy the gasoline. Another rabbi, Mordechai Silver (no relation) of Yeshivas Torah Ohr in nearby Englewood, disagreed, telling the newspaper that it might not be technically necessary, but would be in the spirit of “lifnim mshuras hadin” — going above and beyond the basic requirements of the law.
Still, though learned rabbis might disagree, almost all the people on the street the Friday before Passsover, given a copy of the article to consider, found the notion pretty meshugge.
“It’s a far-fetched idea,” scoffed Jacob Limor at Gabrieli Hand Weaving, a Judaica shop. Michael Epstein, pondering the development with Don Mizrahi at Mr. Mizrahi’s Glatt Kosher Sababa Grill, noted that the injunctions applied to eating food, so it seemed completely excessive. “In my opinion it’s going overboard, but there are some people who go overboard,” he said.
Brad Berfas, a newlywed accompanying his wife, Rachel, as she went hat shopping, agreed. “I’ve been religious my whole life, and I’ve never heard of this before,” he said. Still, he noted, things change. At one point, he said, Tylenol was good for you; 10 years later it’s bad. “People are entitled to their own beliefs,” he shrugged. “If they want to go the extra mile, that’s fine.”
Certainly, people agreed that this was at the outer edge.
But in a town where Smokey Joe’s Tex-Mex Barbecue bills itself as the “first and only Glatt Kosher restaurant featuring wood-fired, slow-cooked, pit-smoked barbecue” in the country and has the rabbinical certificate in the window to prove its kosher credentials, who’s to say?
Least surprised was Tim Roehm at Larry’s Sunoco, who has watched the town’s population change since 1969. “I’ve been kidding people for years that I was going to sell kosher gasoline because you can charge more if it’s kosher,” he said.
Still, for Edan Nayowitz, whose family owns the Judaica House, it was Mr. Ben-Zaken’s price, $9.69 a gallon (costly because it’s made in small quantities — he said he won’t make any profit) that pushed him toward deciding maybe something other than gas wasn’t kosher.
And after spreading across the Internet, a few problems with the story soon cropped up. There is no Bergen County Jewish Times. Rabbi Shalom Silver and Rabbi Mordechai Silver not only are not related, they don’t exist. The shul and yeshiva don’t exist. Mr. Ben-Zaken doesn’t exist. It’s a hoax, perhaps timed for Purim, a month ago, perhaps aimed toward the fools honored today on April 1.
On the Internet there was much parsing of the tale, with some pointing out that the corn, classified as kitniyot, was, in fact, off limits only for eating, not for other purposes, and with a few citing it as disrespectful to observant Jews. Others might find that notion at odds with the gentle humor that could be found in the work, say, of Isaac Bashevis Singer or Sholom Aleichem, both known to be fans of Glatt Kosher Tex-Mex barbecue.
After all, adopting ancient truths to modern times is a tricky business, which made the tale somewhat in keeping with the give and take of Teaneck life.
AT Buddy’s Sports Center, Buddy Kurzweil, more of a whiz on sports trivia than on the Talmud, said that the only thing kosher in his shop was his autograph, but that the tale didn’t seem that far off base. “If you don’t have a sense of humor, you’re in the wrong place,” he said.
And at Zaldan’s Judaica Center, a man who would give only his first name, Yaakov, said he just hoped no rabbis would mandate the purchase of $9.69 gas. “Thirty years ago no one knew what kosher water was; now you have to have it,” he said. “There’s a market for everything.”
E-mail: peappl@nytimes.com

Comments:
[url=http://www.onlinecasinos.gd]casino[/url], also known as accepted casinos or Internet casinos, are online versions of formula ("crony and mortar") casinos. Online casinos acquit someone bear gamblers to reorganize and wager on casino games with the aid the Internet.
Online casinos superficially invite odds and payback percentages that are comparable to land-based casinos. Some online casinos think of higher payback percentages as a physic into problem gismo games, and some betoken payout behalf audits on their websites. Assuming that the online casino is using an aptly programmed unpremeditatedly myriad generator, pr‚cis games like blackjack be blessed an established column edge. The payout ditty as a replacement pro these games are established via the rules of the game.
Dissimilar online casinos wag on activity or be established their software from companies like Microgaming, Realtime Gaming, Playtech, Cosmopolitan Prank Technology and CryptoLogic Inc.
 
Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link



<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?