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I found this interesting article on TabletMag.com, and wanted to share it with our readers.
Read an excerpt of the article below, and click on the link at the bottom of the post for the entire article, and find out WHY it’s a sacred tradition for American Jews to eat Chinese food at Christmas:
Jewish love for Chinese food is neither hallucinated nor arbitrary. It is very real and very determined, and it originates roughly a century ago …on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
Most Chinese people are not Christian. Therefore, on Christmas, Chinese restaurants are open.
Rabbi Joshua Plaut, who is putting the finishing touches on a book about Jews and Christmas (it has a chapter on Chinese food), says: “For Jews, the decision to go to a Chinese restaurant on Christmas is conscious and intended.”
“It’s a love affair and a sacred tradition to partake of Peking duck,” Plaut quips. He argues that to eat Chinese on Christmas is a ritual, not unlike the rituals that traditional Judaism—which has always valued observance where Christianity has valued faith—requires. For some, the Chinese-on-Christmas experience is a replacement for traditional rituals: A prayer you can eat.
But more than standing in for religion, going to Chinese restaurants on Christmas as a Jewish person is an elective assertion of your culture. “As ridiculous as it is, there’s something kind of wonderful about it, that you’re paying homage to what has come before you,” said Goodman, the Jewish Food author.
To read the entire article, please click here.