Well maybe not a world record, but at least a personal best...This week it only took me 2 hours and 10 minutes to complete my grocery shopping!
As I slowly, and timidly continue to climb the ladder of observance,it is clear that the observance of the Laws of Kashrut continue to be the most confusing for me.
I often contemplate the long line of history, and the women who shopped there! While I am standing examining a box for one of the many elusive symbols indicting kosher, I long for simpler times when a chicken was a chicken and pre-packaged food was a novelty!
Not to turn this into a diatribe on consumerism and the gluttony of the western world, but when you actually have to review every single item that goes into the cart...it does cause one to pause.
This all has heightened my awareness that in many places in the world one is lucky to have something clean and fresh to eat, and on the kosher front there are many that have very limited if any options. I can not imagine what it must be like to try and keep kosher in Alaska or Mississippi.
I know I am lucky to live in an area where kosher options are abundant, from full size markets and stores which only carry kosher items to butcher shops and bakeries. Yet this abundance does carry a price, and a responsibility. I believe that Kosher is more than just the symbol on the package (see my post on the meat packing plant controversy.)
I also believe that being mindful of the totality of Kashrut is a responsibility and a privilege that we perform for ourselves, our community/planet and our relationship to the divine. I am still climbing that ladder, and I am clearly not totally observant at this point, but I do see this practice as a very deep meditation that transcends food labels.
But hey, if they could just make those labels and symbols just a little simpler that wouldn't be so bad either!
Web sites with lists of kosher symbols