Monday, March 2, 2015

Alert The Media: Shrimp Dietary Update

In the knock-me-over-with-a-feather department, please note:

Shrimp are, of course, not Kosher,


Shrimp are, indeed, Halal. 

We had our graduation at school today, with the usual giant lunch room set up for those of us with official duties.  All week, in fact, today was just day one.  One of the five or so food stations was a Muslim outfit, three or four women in head scarves.  One of their food trays was full of shrimp, and it gave me a start.  I had thought that the dietary laws for Muslims and Jews came from the same place, both stem from the Abrahamic tradition, and both respect the Old Testament as a revealed document.  Leviticus is clear on the shrimp issue:  it's verboten.  So what's up with the shrimp here, I wondered, are they just too Thai to worry about it?  (Thais are really wild about shrimp.)  Turns out that Muslims have permission to eat shrimp, while Jews do not.

It called to mind the first-hand story that I heard one time about a Jewish lawyer who visits gentile clients at dinner time and is informed, "I'd ask you to stay for dinner, but we're having pork chops."  The lawyer says, "smells great!  It's okay, I'll just bless it and call it fish."  (True story.)  

Thanks, Professor Google!  Shrimp are Halal, Muslims are free to indulge.  (Crab, on the other hand, are Haram, forbidden.)  Sorry, my Jewish friends, still forbidden, and sorry my fundie Christian friends, if you really insist on living your life according to "Biblical principles," you'll still be needing to grow a beard and give up shrimp if you want us to take you seriously. 

Another of the mysteries of religion, I suppose. 

No comments: