Church Potlucks vs. Synagogue Potlucks: A Holiday Guide For Those Who Are Straddling Two Worlds

potluck

With Chanukah and Christmas approaching, if you attend religious services somewhere, you are bound to have at least one potluck to attend in the near future. If you’re reading this, I would assume that, like me, you have spent at least part of your life bouncing back and forth between synagogues and churches. Maybe you’re unsatisfied with your local Messianic congregation, maybe you didn’t discover Messianic Judaism until later in life and are struggling with where you fit in, or maybe you are in a relationship where one of you is Jewish and the other is not. Whatever the case may be, you know that churches and synagogues, regardless of the sect or denomination, are vastly different from each other.

Though all four of my Grandparents were Jewish and my DNA test came up approximately 98.5% Ashkenazi, I was raised in a very Gentile area. Being Jewish in Mundelein was like being gay in 1953. You probably weren’t the only one, but nobody talked about it. And if you did talk about it, you were treated like you had Leprosy. So it was much easier to go to church and live my life as a Christian. It wasn’t until I was well into college that I found my way back to Messianic Judaism. And even then, I spent quite a while going back and forth between synagogues and churches. Because of this, I have been able to observe many potlucks, in both types of settings, and I am going to share with you what I’ve learned from these experiences:

When it comes to church potlucks, mayonnaise is key. That’s right; mayonnaise. Gentiles love mayonnaise based dishes. It doesn’t matter if it’s chicken, potatoes, macaroni, or old shoe laces. If it’s swimming in mayonnaise, they will eat that #@%! up. And by eat it up, I mean figuratively, of course. Don’t expect any food you bring to a church potluck to actually get eaten, despite the fact that you don’t have to worry about picky people, like you would at a Jewish potluck. Gentiles love to talk about eating food more than they actually love eating it. As a Jew, I can’t figure this one out, but we’ll get to that later. I’ve been to many a Gentile potluck and only once have I had something completely finished off, and that is my ‘Magic Guacamole.’ (And don’t think you’re getting the recipe, because that one’s gonna cost you). Everything else has no more than a few bites taken out of it, by the time the event ends. It doesn’t matter how good it is, how much people tell me they love it, or how much effort I put into it, it will not get eaten. I’ve given up. Why should I put effort into making food for people that won’t eat it? The last time I went to a potluck at a church I wound up just bringing a tub of cookie dough and stuck a few spoons in it. It was just as big of a hit, and I didn’t care as much when it didn’t get eaten.

Jewish potluck culture is pretty much the exact opposite of church potluck culture. First of all, every single person at a Synagogue or other Jewish function’s potluck is lactose intolerant, or can’t have gluten, or is allergic to something else, and everyone is incredibly picky and has certain things they absolutely will not eat. On top of this, you have varying levels of Kosher observances. Most Jews do not eat pork or shellfish, some will not mix meat and dairy, some will only eat food that is Kosher certified. Oy, there is so much to remember. Despite this, you can rest assured that your food will be eaten and you will not bring home anything more than a dirty dish. Unless of course what you made was terrible. In which case, I suggest you just stop at the store and pick something up before hand next time, instead of making it yourself. I have also been to many Jewish potlucks and I have never once brought home leftovers, which is amazing, because to a Jew, it is a great insult when people do not eat our food. There was once an almost of leftovers, however, when I brought a double batch of my mandel bread to a mezuzah hanging, but people found Ziploc bags and took the leftovers home with them! My synagogue has also started providing to-go boxes for everyone after the Yom Kippur break-fast. The only thing Jews love more than fresh food is leftovers. And, remember, the theme of every Jewish holiday is, “They tried to kill us, we won, let’s eat.” I don’t know if I’ve ever been to a Jewish function that didn’t revolve around food. Weddings, funerals. In fact, most Messianic synagogues even serve food after all of their services, including on Shabbat. And, from personal experience, I even gain weight during Yom Kippur, which involves a 25 hour fast, because it begins and ends with stuffing your face!

In summation:

•Church potlucks: They say they will eat anything, especially if it’s got mayonnaise in it, but they don’t actually eat anything after all

•Synagogue potlucks: Work around food allergies and dietary restrictions and all of your food will be eaten

 

 

Donate to Support The Meow: www.patreon.com/messianicmeow

Advertisements

All Messianic Recording Artists Change Their Names to Shae

Beckah Shae

Philadelphia, PA and Nashville, TN — Interesting news this week out of the Messianic music scene, as every Messianic recording artist simultaneously changed their name to Shae. In an effort to come together as one, in our very divided community, the musicians opted to make a very bold statement to the world, by all taking on a shared name.

“Beckah Shae was the first, but then Sharon Wilbur started going by Shae Wilbur, which was ‘unrelated’ to Beckah’s name, of course,” explained Nate Benjamin, now Nate Shae, in a press release. “As Jews we’re supposed to be set apart, and as Messianic Jews, well you know…We’re REALLY set apart. But sometimes our music doesn’t set us apart from Christian artists, so if we all have a common name, then everyone will know exactly Who/what we represent.  Besides, when you’re as masculine as I am, sometimes you need a little help showing your feminine side. And what better way to do that than by using a girl’s name?”

Shae, which is Hebrew for “unique” or “one of a kind,” is gaining popularity on the Billboard Top 100 Baby Names Chart, thanks, mostly, to Messianic artists. Artists, such as Paul Shae, Joel Shae, Joshua Shae, Shae Pearce, Heartcry of Shae-vid, Blue Mo-shae-ic, Shae Sol, How to Shae, and Shae-mie Hilsden. At press time, Marty and Misha Goetz are both still on the fence over exactly where to fit “Shae” into their names, as ‘Shae Goetz’ is too close to the derogatory Yiddish term for a Gentile male.

 

 

Donate to Support The Meow: www.patreon.com/messianicmeow

Modern Yiddish Fairy Tales: The Three Little Kosher Pigs Celebrate Sukkot

03-three-little-pigs-house-of-straw-350x242

Once upon a time there were three Kosher pigs: Tekiah, Shevarim, and Teruah. You may ask yourself how pigs could be Kosher; well they are grafted into the olive tree, so just deal with it, okay? Tekiah, Shevarim, and Teruah were very excited to celebrate their first Sukkot. So excited, in fact, that they each chose to build their very own Sukkah!

The first pig, Tekiah, built his entire Sukkah out of straw, and not just the sechach (roof). Tekiah was kvelling over the first Sukkah he ever made, when a Cantor from a local Synagogue, Pinchas Wolf, came by to inspect the structure.

“You call this a Sukkah?” Wolf scoffed. This Sukkah wouldn’t last one day in the wind and rain. How do you expect it to withstand all seven days of Sukkot? This is why PIGS should not be allowed to build Sukkahs. You have no idea what you’re doing or why.”

“This is my first Sukkah,” Tekiah replied. But Adonai commands us to build a Sukkah every year.”

“No,” Wolf retorted. “Adonai commands JEWS to build Sukkahs. YOU are NOT Jewish. You are a PIG. Shouldn’t you be more concerned with Christmas trees and Easter baskets?”

“I may be a pig on the outside, but on the inside I have a Jewish heart,” Tekiah declared. “Yeshua made me Kosher.”

“Jewish heart shmewish heart,” Wolf replied. You’re a pig, and you believe in Yeshua and you expect me to consider you Jewish when you haven’t even converted? If you were REALLY a Jew, your Sukkah wouldn’t be the chaserai that it is. If you were REALLY a Jew, it would stand against the wind. I’m going to huff and puff and blow your Sukkah down and then we’ll see who is really a Jew.”

And Pinchas Wolf huffed and he puffed and he blew poor Tekiah’s Sukkah down. And he laughed as Tekiah cried and ran to the comfort of his brother, Shevarim.

Now Shevarim had chosen to fashion his Sukkah out of sticks. After hearing of Tekiah’s experience with Wolf, Shevarim was certain he had made the right choice. Tekiah helped Shevarim decorate his Sukkah with gourds, fruit, and paper chains hanging from the sechach.

“This Sukkah is shayna,” Tekiah told his brother. “My Sukkah was ongepotchket and could not even withstand being breathed on, there is no way it could have lasted all seven days of Sukkot. Maybe Wolf was right. Maybe I’m not cut out to be a Jew.”

“Don’t be silly,” Shevarim reassured his brother. “You have a Jewish heart and so do I. Forget about Wolf’s opinion. We will celebrate Sukkot together as brothers.”

Just then, Pinchas Wolf came by to torment the brothers.

“Well well well, what do we have here? Yet another sorry excuse for a Sukkah!” Wolf taunted. “Your brother’s Sukkah wouldn’t stand and neither will yours. You’re just a PIG. You have no right to build a Sukkah, a tradition of MY people.”

“I have a Jewish heart,” Shevarim stated. “Yeshua made me Kosher and I have every right to build a Sukkah and take part in God’s appointed times.”

“Jewish heart shmewish heart,” Wolf replied. “If you were REALLY Jewish you could build a Sukkah that would last through the wind and rain of all seven days of Sukkot. I’m gonna huff and puff and blow your Sukkah down. Then we’ll see who is really a Jew.”

And Pinchas Wolf huffed and he puffed and he blew poor Shevarim’s Sukkah down. And he laughed as Tekiah and Shevarim ran to the comfort of their brother, Teruah.

Now, unlike his brothers, Teruah had made a trip to a nearby Judaica shop and purchased a Sukkah kit, which required no skill or expertise to construct, and was suitable for all of God’s creations.

“This Sukkah is shayna,” Tekiah and Shevarim told their brother. “Our Sukkahs were ongepotchket and could not even withstand being breathed on, there is no way they could have withstood all seven days of Sukkot. Maybe Wolf was right. Maybe we are not cut out to be Jews.”

“Don’t be silly,” Teruah reassured his brothers. “You both have Jewish hearts and so do I. Forget about Wolf’s opinion. We will all celebrate Sukkot together as brothers.”

Just then Pinchas Wolf came by to torment the brothers.

“Well well well, what do we have here? An even SORRIER excuse than the other two Sukkahs!” Wolf taunted. Haven’t you PIGS learned your lesson by now? The first two Sukkahs wouldn’t stand and neither will this one. You have no right to build a Sukkah, so how could it last? Go get your own traditions and leave Sukkah building to the Jews.”

“I have a Jewish heart,” Teruah stated. “Yeshua made me Kosher and I have every right to build a Sukkah and take part in God’s appointed times.”

“Jewish heart shmewish heart,” Wolf replied. “If you were REALLY Jewish you could build a Sukkah that would last through the wind and rain of all seven days of Sukkot. I’m gonna huff and puff and blow your Sukkah down. Then we’ll see who is really a Jew.”

And Pinchas Wolf huffed and he puffed…and the Sukkah did not budge. A little famisht, he dusted himself off, and tried again. And Pinchas Wolf huffed and he puffed…and the Sukkah did not budge.

“Oy!” said Wolf. “My lungs are a little tired from already blowing down two Sukkahs today.” So he caught his breath, dusted himself off, and tried again. And Pinchas Wolf huffed and he puffed…and still the Sukkah did not budge.

“Your Sukkah is still standing. What is different about this Sukkah than the other two?”

“Well,” said Teruah. “I was nervous about my first Sukkah. I let people like you convince me that a pig could not build a proper Sukkah. So I prayed for Yeshua to guide me in the right direction and He led me to my local Judaica shop. They had these Sukkah kits that required no skill or expertise to construct and are suitable for all of God’s creations. I knew if I used the Sukkah kit Yeshua led me to, it would stay standing during all seven days of Sukkot, even enduring wind and rain.”

“Yeshua helped you build a proper Sukkah?” Wolf asked.

“Of course,” Teruah replied. “Yeshua is Jewish afterall!”

“He is?” Wolf asked, surprised. “I always thought He was Catholic.”

“Yeshua is Jewish!” Exclaimed all three brothers, excitedly. “He came first for the Jew and then to the nations!”

Then Tekiah, Shevarim, and Teruah invited Pinchas Wolf to have dinner with them in their Sukkah and have a conversation about Yeshua and how He came to save the Jews, even when they aren’t very nice to their neighbors whose hearts are in the right place, though they may not be the best at Sukkah construction and maybe they weren’t born Jewish, but they still have Jewish hearts and that’s what matters.

And they all lived happily ever after, because Yeshua saved them and gave them new hearts, even if they did not deserve them, for it is by grace they have been saved.

The end.

 

 

Donate to Support The Meow: www.patreon.com/messianicmeow

Were Your Services Canceled This Weekend Due to Weather?

Screen Shot 2017-09-05 at 9.10.38 PM

If your congregation had to cancel services this weekend, because of the hurricane(s) or wildfires, here is a list of the Messianic congregations that livestream their services (Please make note of where they are located, however, as the Florida and Georgia congregations have canceled their services). Your physical and emotional safety and wellbeing is very important and our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.

Isaiah 43:2 TLV
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you,
or through the rivers,
they will not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned,
nor will the flame burn you.

The Messianic Meow Radio Interview on Bagels and Blessings

Bagels and Blessings

 

Jami is going to be interviewed on the Messianic Radio show “Bagels and Blessings” this coming Saturday, September 2nd. The show will begin at 2pm ET/1pm CT, with the interview starting around 2:30pm ET/1:30pm CT. If you are in the Rochester/Buffalo/Toronto area you can listen in on your local WDCX station, otherwise you can listen live at www.wdcxradio.com!

Live Q&A Session Tomorrow Night!

Screen Shot 2017-08-01 at 10.21.12 PM

Have a question you’ve been dying to ask The Director of The Meow? Now’s your chance! Join us on Facebook live TOMORROW night and ask away! In addition, we will also be picking the winners of the three free Messianic Meow T-shirts to celebrate our first year of existence!