I pick up her jar of pickles
and absentmindedly think
aloud "How can a pickle not be kosher
? If I recall correctly, most of the kosher/terefah
issues have to do with meat
anyway . . . oh well."
"I think it's some Jewish thing,"
she drawled. "It matters to them, but it don't mean nothin' to us."
This really got on my nerves
for two reasons. The first thing was that I could have been a Jew
myself, albeit an underinformed one, seeing as how I didn't know how a pickle could be terefah. (Hey, I have known so-called Christians who knew less than that about their religion
.) The second thing was the way she said "it matters to them, but it don't mean nothin' to us." A cannibal
tribe could say the same about our culture frowning on human flesh
This also really made my faith
in my fellow townsfolk plummet. I hoped to God
that she was just a fluke and that the rest of the members of my community
were not as ignorant
Just in case she knew anything at all, I hummed "Hava Nagila
" while I finished bagging her groceries