When Cantor Ilana Plutzer was serving as a chaplain at Rikers Island a few years ago, she went to the kitchen to get grape juice for Jews in the jail who said they were not getting it with Shabbat meals as they were promised. Plutzer said a kitchen worker told her they did not have any. She went back another day, only to be told there was grape juice — but that she could not have it, though the jail does not use it for any other purpose.
Those who attend synagogue for the sake of kiddush — the post-Shabbat receptions at which congregants mingle, gossip, and nosh — will be disappointed.
“The Jewish community needs to show leadership, but there is not one vegan synagogue in America yet.”
A delightful joke to share around the Shabbat table with your friends and family this week — or read and chuckle over anytime.
Genetics and culture may provide an answer.
British newlyweds Ian and Janice Donoff sponsored a kiddush last Shabbat at London’s Stanmore Synagogue — but not for one of the usual reasons, like a bar mitzvah, aufruf, baby naming or birthday. Their celebration was to give thanks for surviving the recent Costa Concordia shipwreck off the coast of Italy.
The Divine One is probably not thrilled with the attendee who arrives when the audience is filing out of the synagogue. Come to think of it, the rabbi probably isn’t, either.
Just before Kiddush on Shabbat, we read the passage from the Torah that mandates rest for the entire household. It’s a bit of a tongue twister as it identifies not only the long list of family members and servants, but also the animals in one’s household, who must be allowed to rest on Shabbat.