Monday, January 12, 2009

A Halachic picnic with cousin Vinny

Tonight was supposed to feature a guest post, but unfortunately it has yet to materialize, so before it gets too late I'll just do it myself. If I fail the test because of this..

So you're not allowed to place a salt container next to a container of kutach because we're afraid that the kutach will splash into the salt and then you'll put that salt into meat. Since the kutach is not batul you have therefore committed a great sin and will undoubtedly burn for an extended period of time in the eternal barbecue that is New Haven, CT. Oh, sorry, I meant hell. Same difference.
You are allowed to put a container of vinegar next to kutach though, because even if the kutach splashes over it'll be batul. Obviously this is only b'dieved, not l'chatchilah.
So let's say you want to eat salami sandwiches on your picnic, but cousin Vinny is a vegetarian and insists on dainty mustard and watercress delights for his lunch? And let's say there's no watercress in the house, so he has to settle for some cheddar. So do you have to beat up cousin Vinny, or can you compromise and both eat on the picnic? Did I mention that for various involved reasons, Vinny can't carry a backpack, so you'll have to carry all the supplies? Not that it matters anyway, because all you have is an ancient lunch pail. At least you have separate containers for the sandwiches. Because as you may have guessed, there's no problem with taking these two delicious victuals along with you. Why is the law this way? After all, in the precious case, you had something which could possibly be mixed with meat, and is therefore forbidden, while here you have meat and milk together, in perfect harmony, and no one seems to mind! In fact, that's exactly why it's allowed. Because we trust you to mind the foodstuffs and make sure that they don't mix, because while a person might not be too careful when it comes to mere possibilitys, he sure is scrupulous when it comes to close cases like this. A bit ironic, isn't it, that you're allowed to do something that has a greater chance of going wrong than something which doesn't?
There is still one concern of course, and that is whether you're allowed to share that mustard you thoughtfully provided for Vinny's cheddar. See, you take one bite out of that salami sandwich, and you realize that what it dealt needs, besides to be washed down with Coca-Cola Classic, is some mustard. Good thing that at this juncture cousin Vinny is able to call some of his mafioso friends and arrange for a single bottle of Coke to be brought to the picnic. So can you share the Coke? Was Vinny classy enough to have his friends provide two cups, or are the two of you stuck, one with his mustard and one with his Coke? A tragic ending indeed.

But indeed, hope lurks in the hearts of man, and not only do you discover two cups growing in the bushes, but Vinny remembers that when he was making his original sandwhich he had mustard'ed it before realizing that there was no watercress in the house. The result? Felicitous bliss. How cute.

26 comments:

Farbrengen said...

BS"D
I'm really sorry... Morah Farbrengen has been very busy... Soon soon b"H.

The Real Shliach said...

Salachti. Btw, impressive there on the post/comment time. I think that could be a record.

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of Dr. Dougie Hauser....(sp?)

The Real Shliach said...

I googled that, read the article on wiki, and yes you did spell it incorrectly. And yes, I have no idea what you're talking about.

Anonymous said...

Well, Vinny is Doogie's best friend. And a play on the words - Dougie's bbq... and then Vinny having the cheese...oh well...you get it, you get it, you don't you don't...

The Real Shliach said...

Oh wow. I see. Yeah, I was a little young when this show was running.

Anonymous said...

:)

Nemo said...

When you picture kutach, what do you imagine?

Anonymous said...

Feta cheese.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Which is why if I go for any smicha at all it's gonna be safrus or shchita. In my circles if you have a yoreh yoreh you're expected to do one of two things. A: sit in clay qodesh (one of my circles) or B: Get to work on your yadun yadun because you just proved you could do it (the other, MO circle)

The Real Shliach said...

Nemo: nastiness.
Anon: not the way the Gemara describes it.
Modeh: yoreh deah is very practical. The goal, at least in lubavitch, is to know what shaila to ask, not to become a Dayan.

Nemo said...

Modeh, aren't there JD or PhD prerequisites for Yadin Yadin?

Cheerio said...

what the heck is kutach?
and why would you and cousin vinny be going on a picnic?

The Real Shliach said...

Nemo: in whose religion?

Cheerio: mouldy bread and sour milk...yum!
Whyever not? You never went on a picnic with your relatives?

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

I meant it's way too hard. I treasure my am ha'artzus and want to keep it intact as much as possible while still becoming a talmid chacham. :) And the yadun yadun isn't the normal track but if I was in YU I would be seen as an ideal candidate by everyone but myself.

Nemo: Not that I know of. Maybe you're thinking of the conservatives. They list their smichas as DD -- Doctor of Divinity -- so that they can get the full secular benefits. Most orthodox yeshivas will issue an English ksav horaah if necessary but JTS actually brags about it.

Kutach: The source of all the miraculous refuos in shas. Penicillin and cottage cheese combine to be a miracle cure.

The Real Shliach said...

Re: staying an am haaretz-shouldn't be too hard, even if you're in kollel in lakewood for twenty years.

Re: kutach: they used to eat it like we eat chummus. Crazy people.

Nemo said...

TRS: like you eat chummus maybe. I've had a container of it in my fridge for two months now that has gone untouched. Chummus is backup food for me if I get snowed in or if there is ever a nuclear attack.

Modeh: I was under the impression that anyone spending eight years of their life learning smicha at YU would make sure to also walk out with a law degree or masters in English literature from Columbia. Maybe that's my wrong impression from reading too many rabbis' bios.

Farbrengen said...

BS"D

So, the dating posts were a little... boring? Meaningless for this crowd? Too serious?
Therefore, I had decided that I wanted to ditch that direction in my writing, and that's why this was so late.
But then, just today, I was asked to write about marriage.
Coincidental? Ironic? Whatever...

In any case, I was asked by a very close friend of mine, "Do you think I'm ready to get married?"
I never had before considered myself as sagacious enough to give haskama on the readiness of a marriage canidate, so I had to think and dig into my brain files about what I've learnt regarding such a question.

The answer that came to mind, and what I said to my friend went something like this:

Is anyone ever ready to get married? Do we wake up one morning and say "Wow, today's the day I feel i'm ready and mature enough to make a commitment for the rest of enernity!"?!?

Most likely not. If you look at marriage objectively, and put aside the passion and fringe benefits, you might question as to why anyone would possibly want to get married... You have to give so much of your time, energy, love, toil, and talent to someone else.
This though, is one of the keys to understanding if you're ready for such an eternal commitment.

If you are ready to give of yourself, your strenghths, and your very essence to another person, unselfishly and with true care and concern for that individual, then it's time to call the shadchan ;)

Then again, how many of us (even married ones of us) can honestly say that we can, or have, reached that stage?

Perhaps, just putting someone else's needs and desires on par with our own, is a big enough sign to know we are ready. And if we can't, then it's time to work on our good ol' Ahavas Yisroel.

I'm going to finish the marriage info. with a joke that will undoubtedly have you rolling your eyes, but all the same, here goes:

What's black and white and red all over?

A bochur on a first date.
************************

The Mud Hole Moshul and question list will be coming soon enough, just thought I'd at least type up something quick to start with.

EndOfWorld said...

what is kutach?

The Real Shliach said...

Mouldy bread and sour milk.

Anonymous said...

Douglas (not related to Doogie H.) Kutach is a Prof. of Philosophy.

The Real Shliach said...

Now that I know that, what do I do?

Anonymous said...

I don't know, what do you usually do?
Maybe D. Kutach fell in the milky soup...

Cheerio said...

mouldy - am i the only one seeing something wrong with that spelling?
the question was less about going on the picnic, and more about what you're doing with a cousin vinny.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Only polymath genius roshei yeshiva get Columbia law degrees and two smichos. The rest of us mere mortals get one or the other not both.

TRS: Especially sitting in lakewood 20 years.

The Real Shliach said...

Anon: he'd have other issues.
Cheerio re: mouldy: yes
Re: you can choose your friends, not your relatives.
Re: 20 Lakewood stay: yeah, I suppose that would be a symptom of far greater issues.