I Still Miss Pork Rinds

There are many rabbis I’ve heard talk about how we should make our will conform to the Torah. I’ve heard Christian pastors say similar things about believers. While I see some value in keeping organizations together, I find that this kind of thinking makes it where the Torah isn’t that much different from the world. It doesn’t feel as fresh. If the Torah’s laws are completely my own will, then the Torah is no more meaningful to a law that I don’t have the possibility of breaking. I’ll do my best to explain. 

Any converted Jew who says they hate the taste of ham, of REAL bacon, or some fresh shrimp is lying to themselves on some level. Yes, I’m making a very broad statement because there could have been people out there who didn’t like any of these things even before they started keeping kosher. But the point is, once you hit the mikvah or make a covenant with God, this does not turn off your love of things that you no longer than do. 

With full confidence and without shame, I can say I wish I could still do these things: 

  • Eat pork rinds – I loved pork rinds. 
  • Eat fried shrimp – I ate fried shrimp at every seafood restaurant I would go to. 
  • Take a bite out of a big fresh ham – FRESH ham, mind you; that low quality ham has always been gross. 
  • Play gigs on Friday nights – not every Shabbat, of course.
  • Shave…when it’s convenient (job interviews, etc), even though I don’t think I ever would. Just the idea that I could would be nice. 
  • Go out without wearing tzitzit. I get weird looks – especially being in Oklahoma.
  • Get some tattoos – I’ve never had a tattoo, but if they were ok according to Torah, I’d probably have quite a few. 

Is it wrong for me to still want to do these things? Not at all – as long as I don’t do any of them. That’s actually something I really love about the Torah; it’s so much bigger than me. I loved these things, but I love God more. The Torah can definitely be inconvenient when it comes to my own fleshly desires and that’s why I cherish it; it lets me know that not everything is about me. I don’t try and justify doing these things just because I want to do them and I feel that really makes the Torah so beautiful.

6 thoughts on “I Still Miss Pork Rinds

  1. Hello Ken,It is wrong on every level to take away the liberty and life of an innocent and defenseless being.Please don’t participate in using animal products (including meat), since it leads to the death and suffering of precious, sentient, feeling and conscious animals !!! They love life, they love their family. They feel suffering, fear. Please don’t inflict them pain, which is done by the slaughter-industry — and you partake of the carcasses.Consider this:King Lear, late at night on the cliffs asks the blind Earl of Gloucester “How do you see the world?”And the blind man Gloucester replies “I see it feelingly”.Shouldn’t we all?Animals must be off the menu because tonight they are screaming in terror in the slaughterhouse, in crates, and cages. Vile ignoble gulags of despair.I heard the screams of my dying father as his body was ravaged by the cancer that killed him. And I realised I had heard these screams before.In the slaughterhouse, eyes stabbed out and tendons slashed, on the cattle ships to the Middle East and the dying mother whale as a Japanese harpoon explodes in her brain as she calls out to her calf.Their cries were the cries of my father.I discovered when we suffer, we suffer as equals.And in their capacity to suffer, a dog is a pig is a bear. . . . . . is a boy.”Please listen to this:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQCe4qEexjc

  2. Hello Ken,Yes, I did read your blogpost.Just makes me upset when people talks about eating animals and liking it without mentioning the terrible pain and death they have to go through.I also liked the taste of pork. Then I kept Torah for 5 years and was very devoted. Then an I realized that a Creator full of love would never endorse the killing and suffering of His precious and sentient beings.I don’t think any animal is tamei. I think all animals are precious and that the Creator wants them to live their full life.Take care!!

  3. So, if you had been in Mitzrayim when the Creator commanded Israel to slaughter a lamb, put it’s blood on the door post of your house, to roast it, and to eat all of it, you would have refused? Would you have refused to bring your sacrifices to the Temple when it was still standing and was the only source of forgiveness of sin?While I understand that everyone has their own dietary preferences, but the Torah clearly allows for the consumption of the meat of clean animals. Slaughtering them in a kosher fashion is virtually painless and they are treated very well leading up to their slaughter. I appreciate your comments.

  4. Hi Ken,It would seem to me as though there would be wavering in my commitment if I was to think of those things that I used to do. I guess it’s ok from time to time for memory sake, but, wouldn’t that make you want to go back to those old ways? For you it may be the pork, but for someone else it might be something more serious, at least in others’ eyes. Just a thought.-Herb

  5. That is a very good point that I hadn’t really thought about. I could see where it wouldn’t do an alcoholic much good to dwell on drinking. This post was mainly about the less severe and even more obscure aspects of a religious lifestyle that they now participate in.I would recommend that someone with a problem with lust look at questionable content or a former drug abuser would hang out with current drug abusers, but it’s all a matter of perspective. I do, however, believe in self-governance but I do realize people need help. Thanks for your comments!

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