22 comments on “What Thoughts Come to Mind When You See Photos Like These?

  1. My wifes grandmother recently passed away. After the funeral, my father in law asked me to lead the minyan in davening Mincha. Virtually all of the people in the room grew up in Reform or Conservative Judaism and not only was I the only person capable of davening Mincha, but no one except my father in law knew to answer “amein” after each paragraph of the Shemonah Esreh.

    Its interesting and revealing that having the minyan was so important to my father in law and family.

  2. Would you rather see gentiles trying to be nice (however misguided it might be), or see them telling stories about how matzah is made with the blood of Christian children? Not every Jew is privileged to live in nice, safe Lakewood. As for those Jews who do go into a treif restaurant and order hamburgers without the buns during Pesach, SephardiLady has a good point. Isn’t some effort at observance better than none at all? The same path that would lead an orthodox Jew away from the truth can be used by a secular or reform Jew to return.

  3. These bizarrely self-contradictory sights should prompt us to deal with our own inconsistencies. The Ba’al Shem Tov was quoted to the effect that that unavoidably seeing others do an aveirah is a heavenly signal to eliminate traces of that aveirah from our own conduct.

  4. I have a non-Jewish friend who bought chametz from her Jewish, live-in boyfriend. Talk about compartmentalizing! On his part, I mean. But look, one is an issur karet and the other isn’t.

    Oh, and the McDonald’s marquis is missing punctuation. It should read “Passsover-Free Matzah”

  5. I don’t see what is so surpising about those signs. The nonreligious community who tries to keep Passover, who don’t keep kosher the rest of the year, eat eveything they normally would on Pesach, except they substitute supermarket purchased matzah for bread for 8 days, loves these things. They might use kosher wine for the Sedar, but then again they might not. They still don’t purchase kosher meat (which wouldn’t be kosher anyway when they cook and serve it) and use the same dishes and utensils they do the rest of the year, so to them eating at a McDonalds with a burger on matzah or any other non-kosher restaruant where matzah is offered is to them keeping Passover. The Carnagie Deli for years on 7th Avenue had boxes of Matzah under their bacon and eggs breakfast special sign so I see nothing suprising about these signs at all.

  6. Capitalism is based on demand (and supply) for goods. The fact that those who are estranged from Torah Judaism are still seeking matzah for Pesach, should make us all smile.

    Seeing pictures like this reminds me of the experiences I had with a wonderful co-worker who was far removed from Jewish life, but underneath the layers he had such desire. Something aroused his interest after a dinner I hosted with a number of young people and he became an avid reader of halacha websites for the holidays.

    He would fast on Yom Kippur while working. He would sell his chometz to his next door neighbor for Pesach and refrain from eating bread and go to his cousin’s home for (Reform) sedarim.

    Whiel some may have viewed his observance as strange and incomplete, seeing the observance develop was heartwarming from upclose, while if I had been afar I would have probably found it humorous.

    I now wonder if my former co-worker is eating matzah at McDonalds this Pesach. And, if he is, I’m glad to hear it. Maybe someday he will marry Jewish iy”h and his children will be eating matzah at a seder.

  7. The McDonalds picture was sent to the Midwest NCSY Regional office last year from Baltimore. I’ll have to ask the person who sent me the pork picture where that came from.

  8. Maybe I read too much into it, but it seems like their (host cultures) public acknowledgement of our Holydays and seeming acceptance/respect is what Rabbi Krohn described last week in a shiur on the Hagadah. He spoke about how in every generation they rise up to kill us, not only with the sword, but nowadays with the smile.

  9. Are these 2 photos from Chicagoland area? I believe you write from there. I used to live in Chicago and was curious. My husband will get a big kick out of these 2 shots.

  10. It bothers me that many of the tinokot she’nishba will see the signs and think the food establishment somehow has a legitimate connection to, or representation of, Passover. There are so many paths already leading them away from the truth…..

  11. My first reaction was to laugh, but then I realized, it’s no joke, nebuch.

  12. To me it’s a reminder of walking past the now extinct Stratton restaurant in Forest Hills on my way to a Seder and observing (pun intended?) people sitting at the tables conducting their own “Seders”. They had their boxes of matzohs, Manishevitz wine and gefilte fish. There’s a wonderful dvort I once heard of Rav Shlomo Carlbach z”l that I’ll paraphrase here: “Pesach is the most obviously visible Chag. It’s the one that requires the most effort on our parts. Is it any wonder that the term spring cleaning has become a part of the vernacular? And the majority of Jews do celebrate it, even if that only means buying a box of matzoh. The Chag of Succos also requires a lot of work and preparation – building a Succah, choosing the Luluv and Esrogim, decorating, etc. Most Jews in neighborhoods where there are synagogues of any denomination are also aware of Succos, because they see Succahs put up at the local synagogues, and some people have even stopped in out of curiosity. However, the Chag that requires the least amount of physical preparation is the one that is the least known by our Holy Brothers and Sisters – Shavous”. This was said over by Rav Shlomo at his table when I once had the zchus to be his guest for an entire Shavous.

  13. Only in America? When was the last time you where in Israel for Pesach? Domino’s Pizza with Kasher LaPeseach in the adds. They serve meat and milk together and have no hecsher in Israel!!! McDonalds and Burger kind, same thing.


  14. To me it is a painful reminder of the long, deep, dark golus that we are truly in.

    Our tests are so different from the tests of yester-year. Here in America they woo you with gestures of good faith, which in the end are nothing more than covert attempts at luring the Jew away from his true life’s calling…that of being an eved H”.

  15. Coming from a place where the Jewish community is small and almost invisible, I would have to say that these attempts by local businesses to cater to Jewish needs are really quite delightful. I wish there were enough Jews in my town so that our concerns and values were taken seriously, even if they were occasionally misguided.

  16. It reminds me of a Jewish co-worker I had who really made an attempt at keeping Pesach, but in her own way. She went to restaraunts and asked for burgers without the buns, and when I pointed out that they may have bread crumbs in them, she said she specifically asked. She made it through almost the entire week of Pesach, and on the last day, broke down and had a bagel. But I was actually really impressed at how hard she tried – it was certainly more than I did growing up.

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