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

Pre-MLR Will Make Its Re-Branding Debut This Weekend as ‘MLR Jr.’

NEW-MLR-Logo

Phoenix, AZ — The 10th annual Messianic Leadership Roundtable will take place this weekend, starting with what was formerly known as “Pre-MLR.” Pre-MLR is the day before MLR and is geared toward the next generation of Messianic leaders. MLR is the only leadership conference in the entire Messianic movement that brings together leaders from every major Messianic Organization and allows them to be in a controlled environment with plenty of security officers to prevent them from killing each other.

“Originally, this year’s MLR was going to be an African Safari in Kenya, but due to rising costs, we very unfortunately had to cancel that trip and move the conference back to Phoenix,” explained Jewish Voice and Messianic Movement President Jonathan Bernis. “Since this is our 10th MLR, we still wanted to do something to make the 2018 conference stand out. It was always our intention to change the name of Pre-MLR. That name was temporary until we could come up with a better one, and I really think we have a winner with ‘MLR Jr.’ it’s got a much nicer ring to it, and it also describes what the event actually is: a day for the youngsters. And I know those youngsters love catchy names they can pound sign on Instatwitter. So make sure you pound sign MLR Jr this year if you’re attending. And if you’re not attending, it’s only because you weren’t important enough to be invited. I’m looking at you, Messianic Meow! But I digress. Seriously though, pound sign MLR Jr. I’m not quite sure exactly what that does, but Matt Rosenberg told me it was a thing.”

If you’d like to be invited to MLR/ MLR Jr in the future, you may want to consider becoming a Rabbi. Most the MJAA and UMJC congregations in the U.S. are ready to start training up their next Rabbi, and it could be you…unless you’re a woman!

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

FDA Retroactively Warns: Smoking Marijuana with Bob Dylan in the 1970s May Cause You to Become Messianic Rabbi

bob-dylan-5366

Silver Spring, MD — The Food and Drug Administration issued a retroactive warning this week that smoking marijuana with Bob Dylan in the 1970s may cause you to become a Messianic Rabbi. The warning was issued after The Messianic Behavior Research Institute found that 92% of Messianic Rabbis over the age of 60 had smoked marijuana with Bob Dylan on at least one occasion during the 1970s, leading to a necessary study to find out if there is a direct correlation between previously doing drugs with Bob Dylan and becoming a Messianic Rabbi. The study found that there is, in fact, a direct correlation between the two incidents.

“It’s really appalling,” said Dr. David Matzah of the Messianic Behavior Research Institute in Pennsylvania. “After rigorous research on the testimonies of various Messianic Rabbis over the age of 60, we have come to realize that 92% of them had smoked marijuana with Bob Dylan, at least one time during the 1970s. Unfortunately, all of that marijuana is long gone by now, so it would be impossible for us to analyze the drugs in question to see if they were laced with something that affected the brain of young Jews and made them think they need to lead congregations for Jews who believe Jesus is The Messiah. But then again, we don’t really need to run tests on the drugs. I think the proof is in the pudding. The drugs were clearly laced with something very weird. This may also explain why all Messianic gatherings have to have food present.”

Robert “Bob Dylan” Zimmerman initially could not be reached for comment, though we suspect he was intentionally tampering with the aforementioned drugs to ensure he was not the only Jewish believer in the country. Dylan later responded only with, “It ain’t me, babe.”

 

 

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

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

Guest Post by Associate Rabbi David Wein | Local Congregation Bans Treif Jokes at Oneg

pepperoni pizza

Honolulu, HI — After the flurry of the high holidays, Congregation Or Yisrael has decided to focus their attention on the most pressing issue of their community: joking about non-Kosher food.  “It seems like every week someone will say, ‘I brought a pizza’ to which another person will inevitably chime in ‘with pepperoni?’  It’s really a low form of humor to which we’d rather not stoop,” notes local congregant, Marty Katz.

A sign posted in the fellowship hall alerts all members and visitors to the new community standards.  Asking questions like, “Rabbi, is there a blessing for the lobster?” in hopes of referencing the beloved, iconic film Fiddler on the Roof are now strictly un-Kosher.  “Surely the sanctity of Tevye and his family are not to be brought into such a common, Vaudevillian context,” explained Rabbi Harry Heinzleberg.

The congregation has not made a ruling on mixing milk with meat jokes, as in, “How about a nice, juicy Cheeseburger?” This is due to the schism on the halakha of Rabbinical Kosher jokes in the Messianic Jewish community.  There is, however, a consensus on pork humor.  “A pig-free comedic environment eliminates a stumbling block for everyone in the wider community,” Katz explained. “We’re keeping it Kosher in the kitchen and in conversation.”

The success of the new initiative has led the congregation to think about expanding it.  “Jokes about Jewish Mothers: you’re next!” cautioned the Rabbi.

 

 

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