Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Kosher Cochon Dreams

I dunked three years ago. In some ways it feels like a lifetime away, but yet it is only a mere thirty six months give or take a few.  For those not in the know, in order to convert to Judaism, the ritual includes submersion in a very specific ritual bath called a  mikvah. Upon exit from this water, presto-change-o, you are a Jew! This concise explanation clearly leaves out much. The mental, spiritual and emotional experience which leads one to so drastically change religion are not brief or easy.  
Did I mention that at the time of my conversion I was a Buddhist Unitarian Universalist?
I have embraced this new life and the many choices that come with it. Some people would call these choices rules or laws. I prefer the word choice because I have chosen this path with an open mind and heart. This includes keeping Kosher. Kosher is a complex system of food regulations/choices and yes religious laws that the Jewish people have been following for thousands of years.
 Having been Buddhist for approximately 20 years, I have spent a good portion of my adult life flirting with various forms of food restrictions, vegetarianism. Clearly, I am accustomed to not being in step with the mainstream regarding gastronomy.  I have been, in my life, at times, the queen of food issues. So kosher shouldn’t be such a big change.... well, maybe not!
 I miss bacon. I miss pancetta, Italian bacon. Did I mention I have a strong Italian family heritage?  I miss cooking with it, the smoky flavor of it and generally the entire gestalt of it. I remember being at a diner with a friend during my strictest vegetarian days. This friend was complaining vigorously about the smell of the animal flesh, bacon, and even then, I loved that aroma! It was my vegetarian cheating animal product, but now I have chosen to forsake the porcine delight…forever.
I truly do not want to eat it. Currently my convictions are stronger than my urges. Yet I can't help but wonder, does loving the smell and the taste, of bacon make me somehow a failed Jew? Has my first hand understanding of the power of that savory slice made it impossible for me to join the rest of the tribe? Being a convert has some extra pressures to it. In some ways I feel as if I am held to a stricter standard if only in my own mind. If I dream about eating that delectable traif, non kosher meat, is that a violation? If I get my pathetic fix with kosher, artificially bacon flavored food products, am I cheating? At last perhaps my only choice is to keep my cochen, pork dreams a secret and rely on another pre-dunk legacy, guilt.
Did I mention I was once Catholic?

3 comments:

Business Loans said...

Generally I do not post on articles, but I would like to say that this blog really forced me to do so! Thanks, really nice blog.

Dunking Rachael said...

thanks!

Abacaxi Mamao said...

Check out this blog, which is about kosher bacon (and other foods)--these are just the posts about bacon:
http://jewishbacon.wordpress.com/category/bacon/

Dunking Rachael

Love, Faith and Life