Many Jews speak of being “cultural” Jews. What does that mean? Often it has much to do with food. Bagels, lox, and cream cheese? Jewish. Chicken soup? Jewish. Pastrami with mustard? Jewish. With mayo perhaps? Not so Jewish.
One can argue, though, that these delectables have virtually no connection to what it means to be Jewish. First of all, they are really from the Ashkenazic tradition. Sephardic Jews have their own rich culinary tradition. Moreover, as more people from diverse backgrounds choose to become Jewish, diverse culinary traditions have entered Jewish homes; the idea of a specific Jewish cuisine is challenged.
This Friday evening’s oneg, following our Koleinu service, will feature kosher Filipino food. It will be prepared by fellow member Anelyn Jablo along with members of our dedicated Kitchen Committee, Sandy and Ken Kaiz and Francine Schulman. Filipino food at an oneg? Sure! The American Filipino community is the second largest Asian community in America, so it’s a good idea for us to become familiar with the cuisine!
In addition, our Koleinu band will set a couple of prayers to Filipino melodies. And the centerpieces will be made for this special oneg by the ever creative Davida Grossman.
What does it mean to be Jewish? Ultimately, it’s about how we, the Jewish people, relate to G-d and bring G-d’s ethical message or love to the world. May we be spiritually sustained by our faith. And may we be physically sustained by “minei mezunot,” by all manner of sustenance.
Rabbi Jeffrey Weill