Monday, September 20, 2010

Op-Ed Contributor - Yom Kippur at Sea - NYTimes.com

Op-Ed Contributor - Yom Kippur at Sea - NYTimes.com
This Op-Ed about a Jewish lobsterman brings back a wonderful memory.  It was decades ago, before I kept kosher and before I refrained from eating lobster.  Although many years have passed since I made this change, I still love the taste of lobster and so I continue to follow the midrash's advice: "Do not say I hate the taste of pork (read here: lobster).  Say instead, 'I love the taste of it, but God's Torah forbids me from eating it.'"  I had just completed an Outward Bound survival course off the coast of Maine.  I promised my family and especially my grandfather that I would return home with fresh Maine lobster.  We would then share the lobsters and have a grand feast upon my return.  Many had worries about this trip and the wisdom of spending good money to be hungry and cold for weeks and be alone on a island for days.  I packed one blank check for this important purpose.  "Papa will be so happy when I return home with gigantic lobsters." I thought.  Before catching my flight home I went to the local lobster store in  Rockland to purchase the lobster. The store owner and lobsterman weighed the lobsters and packed the nearly twenty pounds tight in a cardboard travel case. After reassuring me several times that it was ok to travel on an airplane with live lobsters, he said, "$60." "Who do I make the check out to?"  I asked.  "I don't take checks," he responded.  "Only cash."  "But I don't have that much cash.  I am sorry.  I guess I can't buy them then. I was going to bring them back for my family and especially my grandpa."  I turned to leave.  "Let me see your check." he shouted after me.  I gave him the check and he looked at it and then back at me and said, "Moskowitz that is a good Jewish name.  Ok.  I will take your check."

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