Friday, May 10, 2013

Things I've learned about Judaism that just take up space in my brain

We all know that all religions have some random rules.  I'm not saying Judaism has more than others, but here's a list of some of the more random ones I've learned about relatively recently.
In no particular order.

    1. Once a year, we stab challah with a key dozens of times.
    2. It's crucially important that the letter shin on the outside of a mezuzah scroll faces the correct direction.
    3. Some women, in an attempt to be modest, cover their hair with a wig (ie, different hair).  This commonly looks better than their own hair.
    4. There's 18 and 72 minutes of wiggle room at the beginning and end of Shabbat.
    5. It's polite to ask someone else to bless the wine in case your own blessing isn't good enough.
    6. For some things, simply being Bar Mitzvah'ed isn't enough.  You must be observant, but that's not really defined.
    7. It's true - everyone has their own rules for keeping kosher.
    8. Not all horseradish is created equal.  Some is good enough for Passover, but not good enough for the seder plate.
    9. Not all matzah is created equal either.
    10. Speaking of matzah, there are guidelines for minimum amounts required to eat at seder.  I freely (but quietly and politely) disregard these.
    11. Three rabbis can have four answers to the same question.  Okay, I already knew that one.
    12. Not a rule, but Reform Jews and Orthodox Jews have equally wrong opinions of each other.
    13. A youth group has become the national standard for Grace after meals.
    14. Occasionally toilet paper needs to be pre-torn.
    15. Don't answer the door to talk to a neighbor between washing your hands and saying Ha'motzi because someone'll get stuck being silent for a while.
    16.  After getting ritually cleaned, it's vitally important to take a shower to get actually cleaned.  The same goes for dishes.
    17. If you un-kosher something by doing something cold, it doesn't need to be re-koshered.
    18. If you wear red (particularly if you are a woman), you cannot frame a picture of yourself and hang it in the living room.  Word is still out on what if it is unframed or in a different room.
    It's been an interesting learning experience.

    Update:
    19. If you need to temporarily make a knife kosher, you can stab it in dirt 10 times.  I swear, you can't make this stuff up.

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