By Salomon Maya
Full transparency time: I am not kosher. Actually I am the furthest away from being kosher as you can possibly be. If kosher were the sun … I’d be Pluto. Even though I grew up in a traditional Jewish home and attended an orthodox Sephardic synagogue, I knew I could not abide by Jewish kashrut laws … I had tasted the devil’s flesh … and it was called bacon (feel free to again email all complaints to my editor at firstname.lastname@example.org).
According to sealk.org; kosher is defined as an “observance of historical, communal, and a personal commitment, and a connection to the will of the Creator. To those who observe kosher, its concepts also offer reminders of lessons in kindness and sensitivity to animals, attention to detail in everyday matters, self-control, and thinking before acting.” Eeesh, after reading that, I feel very, very small. I’ve asked myself many times, why do we as Jews have so many rules? Especially gastronomically speaking. Don’t eat this and don’t eat that. I’m sorry Rabbi but back in the day of Moses and Abraham, pork belly dishes did not exist and if it did I’m pretty sure some of our founding fathers might have snuck away to some cave to munch on some pork rinds.
Look, religion is beautiful, follow it as you see fit. Just leave me and my shellfish alone. Lobster is not just wonderful, but when cooked right harnesses all the wondrous tastes of the ocean. Jews live lives dictated by books thousands of years old, and I applaud that. It’s amazing we’ve stuck around, with all our persecution, and still find a way to stay the path to our core beliefs. Yet, could some of the reasons behind kashrut possibly be out of date? How far up or down you are on the religious scale I guess is where that answers lies. I personally am down with the muck dwellers, feasting on shrimp and pancetta.
On June 17 and 18, San Diego will celebrate the pearl of the ocean: the Oyster. The 6th Annual San Diego Oysterfest brings amazing live music performances to the beautiful bayside setting of Marina Embarcadero North. This year’s headliner is Thievery Corporation and will also showcase performances by Little Hurricane, The Young Wild, Birdy Bardot, Through the Roots, Rebecca Jade and the Cold Fact. DJ appearances by Mikey Beats, Artistic, Who and Paulo da Rosa, Fishfonics and Eddie Cutless will round out the event.
At Oysterfest, people will be able to choose from a great selection of food from prominent San Diego restaurants as well as fresh succulent oysters from all along the western seaboard. Beverages will range from crafted beers and cocktails to wines and champagne.
San Diego is turning into a land of festivals, from huge ones like Kaboo to small unique ones like a yearly paella festival, all with great food and drink to be had. Look, I honor my religion. I love bringing my child up in a cultural Jewish home. We will light the candles at Chanukah and fast on Yom Kippur. We will sometimes go to Shabbat and always have dinner as a family on Friday nights. That is the foundation I grew up with, and am proud to now share it with my wife and son. With all that said, I know some out there will look down as I order a cheeseburger or shuck an Oyster in the embarcadero. But this is my choice. And I’m fine with it. And if you’re not, that’s okay too. In the end, we all are just animals in this world, looking for something else to wrap in bacon … I think Confucius said something similar.
Salomon is a local actor and playwright. Please feel free to follow him on twitter @salomaya or email him at email@example.com.