Oy To The World, the Chinese Is Come, Let Jews Receive Their Food!
December 25, 2007 | Books,Family,Friends,Guest blogger,Guest post,Middle East,Movies,My neighborhood,Opinion,Research,Stuff,Weird things,Working Mother
Aviva and Devra are in da house! Merry Christmas Ya’ll! Maybe you aren’t expecting a holiday greeting from the Two Jew Crew, but when Becky asked if we would guest blog, we requested Christmas. Why? Because we know
You People our Christian mishpuka should be able to spend time with their families, so we shall work today so you don’t have to! (So when Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur roll around return the fave. K?)
Jews and Chinese Food. Add Christmas to the mix and you get a Holy Trinity representing a Trifecta of Treyf. Why is this night different from any other night? Why on this night do Jews eat at Shun Lee instead of at home? From Christmas Eve to Christmas Day Jews are making their Kung Pao pilgrimages. Even
Working Mother Magazine Jews can’t tell you where this longstanding holiday observance originated, we only know it’s tradition. It’s how we roll. Everyone should know more about Jewish holiday observances beyond, “They tried to annihilate us. We survived. Let’s Eat!” If Becky where here, she would no doubt be calling out the people striving to be our nation’s leader to tell us why Jews eat Chinese food On Christmas.
Believe it or not, the combination of Jews and Chinese food is an ancient custom – OK, not biblical ancient nor is it an Ancient Chinese Secret, but it does appear to go back to the late 1800’s – no putzing around!
“In lower Manhattan, immigrant Jews opened delicatessens for other Jews,Italians ran restaurants for other Italians, and Germans had many places serving primarily Germans. But Chinese restaurants welcomed everyone. As a result, even in the 1890s both Jews and Italians usually felt more at home in Chinese restaurants than they did in each other’s eateries.” (Originally published; “New York Jews and Chinese Food: The Social Construction of an Ethnic Pattern” by Gaye Tuchman and Harry G. Levine)
Fast forward a few hundred years and it is still generally true. Chinese food does not include dairy products. The fear of mixing a little dairy with your meat isn’t an issue. (You say, “Pork!” We say, “Kosher house, not Kosher stomach.”) Look, Chinese food became a status symbol for our people during The Depression – immigrant Jews who ate out at Chinese restaurants identified themselves and others as being chic and sophisticated-why should we want to change that practice? Is it so terrible? Who does it hurt? Don’t you want your mother to be happy?
Nowadays, you can find many eateries willing to open their doors to make a buck on Christmas, and you can find quite a few folks who would rather buy a meal instead of cook one. However, it wasn’t so long ago, Chinese restaurants were about the only option for eating out on Christmas day. Another bonus to Chinese food on Christmas is the holiday repast is available before or after the matinee. Just because Christmas is not a Jewish holiday, does this mean no Jewish observance? Feh. Whatever your observance, we wish you Good Fortune and a very Merry Christmas!