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My Hubby: This Just Isn't Kosher!

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If you gave up your dog because your spouse hated dogs, would you be pissed if he decided one day he wanted a puppy? One mom says, "Hell, yeah!"

Wife angry and husband eating

Guest Blogger Samantha: When my husband Rick and I first started dating, we talked a lot about religion. We are both Jewish, but I come from a very reform background, while he comes from a conservative background. His grandparents were all survivors of the Holocaust and had shared some very sad and poignant stories of surviving camps like Auschwitz. One of my husband's grandfathers told him how the Nazis would force them to eat sausage. (The Old Testament clearly states that pork AND shellfish are forbidden under the kosher laws which is why some Jewish people do not eat them.) That story stuck with Rick; he told me that since his grandfather wasn't afforded the freedom of "choice," but that he could practice his religion freely in this country, that he would cut out pork and shellfish out of his diet. It was Rick's personal way of choosing -- his own show of thanks to God.

Rick asked me if I this was a commitment I thought I could make. Touched by his story, and as a Jew who happened to actually not like shellfish at all, I said yes, I could. Would I miss having a good bacon cheeseburger? Yes. Would my heart break a little bit when we travel to Italy and have to refrain from prosciutto? Yes. Would we be the pain in the ass couple you couldn't to go a sushi, seafood, and or BBQ restaurant with because of our dietary restrictions? YES. But it was a sacrifice I was willing to make .... and for the past nine years, I have never (intentionally or knowingly) had pork or shellfish.

However, my husband has always been very opinionated about the "rights" and "wrongs" of Judaism. Even though he (or we) didn't do everything "by the book," he felt very strongly that certain things be done in a certain way, merely because "it says so." "But we pick and choose what we want to do?" I would say, "How can you decide what is right and wrong for other people, or for us even?" It was so frustrating to me. Despite the fact that we didn't entirely keep "kosher" and that our own families weren't "kosher," he insisted that our wedding be completely kosher, that it was the "right thing to do." So we had a kosher wedding (which, BTW, jacks up the cost about 30%). He would get frustrated when my family celebrated Hannukah weeks or days after the actual holiday, insisting it was "wrong," or incorrect (though in my mind, gathering as a family is really all that matters).


Yesterday, I received a text from my Rick. "Should I have an oyster?" WHAT?
"Sure, why not," I wrote back. I'm not the one that really ever cared about it. I did it for him! Half joking, half angry, and half serious, I wrote, "And while you're at it, have a clam chowder too."

Well, wouldn't ya know it, today he called me and said, "Well, babe. It's all gone to sh*t. I just had a tray of clams, some fried calamari, another bowl of chowder ... and I've got a lobster on the way." (I'll pause while you digest this all.) WTF?! What about his "choice" to practice "freedom." What about the sacrifice IIIIIIII made for his "freedom"?! Suddenly all his holier than thou nonsense is shot to sh*t because he's out with the fellas? Because HE's decided that it's okay? Because HE's calling the shots? WHAT?!

I was pissed, shocked, and somewhat relieved (hello, sausage pizza!) Most of all, though, I'm just confused. If your husband was a strict vegetarian and talked about how horrible it is to eat animals, animal cruelty and animal rights, blah blah blah ... And you cut out all your (beloved) animal products to support him, wouldn't you be pissed if one day he said, "Eff it. I'm having a burger." Would you find it hypocritical?

Please, enlighten me ... before I run off and have a rendezvous with a hot piece of bacon ... Literally.

Want more? Connect with Samantha in the momlogic community and tell her what you think of this NOT SO KOSHER situation!

next: Are Your Affairs in Order?
45 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous March 19, 2009, 9:13 AM

go have your bacon!!!

Sherry March 19, 2009, 10:54 AM

ummm…I sat whatever the hell you want!

Toni March 19, 2009, 1:07 PM

What caused him to suddenly want to eat that stuff? I dont get that….I would be pissed though.

aly March 19, 2009, 3:58 PM

im actually a little ashamed that no matter what the temptation - since you knew how important it was for him to keep kosher-( which for jews is a huge thing- one of the things that seperates you religiously-and is out right written in the Torah)that you egged him on. you should have said NO—resist the temptation- even if you were joking- cuz now look where you guys are. you sould have been strong in his moment of weakness.sorry

Auntie J March 19, 2009, 4:13 PM

I hear a bacon cheeseburger calling your name…: )

Robin March 19, 2009, 4:22 PM

Aly, it’s not HER fault. He is a big boy and responsible for his own choices. Plus, he asked her via a text message, which makes it tough to decipher if he was joking or not. Clearly, if he was able to blow his kosher-ness because he was out with the guys, it probably wasn’t that important to him. It’s true that most American Jews (my family included) tend to pick and choose to which laws we adhere. It’s like someone eating bread on Passover. Bottom line: You are as Jewish as you feel in your heart. I don’t think kashrut is the be-all, end-all when it comes to identifying oneself as Jewish. Samantha, if you want the bacon, go for it!

birdsfly March 19, 2009, 7:28 PM

I just want to say good for you for managing to stick with it so long when it wan’t even really your thing. I have a hard enough time remembering Lent! (Note to self: do I have fish sticks for tomorrow? Lol)

Aaron March 20, 2009, 12:17 AM

The way this couple feels about Judaism, I wouldn’t bet on their grandchildren having any connection to the faith.

As someone who was raised Conservative (although few Conservative Jews keep the Sabbath or kosher according to even Conservativism’s meager guidelines), I became observant in college, having rejected the pick-and-choose ersatz “Judaism” of my parents and grandparents who had no standard other than the mirror and the contemporary issues of that week’s NY Times editorial page. Judaism isn’t defined by us. It’s defined by the demands it makes on us. If you feel too comfortable in any faith, you’re probably not that serious a believer.

Ruthie of America March 22, 2009, 8:16 PM

If your husband was wishy-washy about a commitment to exercise would you be resentful that you had worked toward a healthy, fit body all during the years you could have been a couch potato?

The decision you made jointly has been faced with tests. Now your husband needs understanding and support from you. Being consistent is not the issue. Your ability to love an imperfect man is. It’s a subject you can talk about. Share your experiences and feelings. This has had difficulties for you. Tell him about them.

It looks like your husband is something of a perfectionist and wants other people to measure up to his standards, too. Jewish observance is the topic. Love and trust, personal strength, starting again after a failure — those are important issues. Share them with each other and build a strong marriage. That is a very Jewish choice.

Anonymous May 3, 2009, 11:42 AM

We all have to find our way with how we choose to practice our faith. What meant something to him before, may not now, yet he wasn’t aware enough of the ideological change within himself to send you a memo when it happened! No matter the belief set, if the practice of it looks the same in someone who’s practiced for a year and someone who’s been practicing a lifetime, the latter learned nothing. Take it for what it’s worth and behave according to what truly matters to you.

MichaellaS July 20, 2009, 3:53 PM

tks for the effort you put in here I appreciate it!

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