Becoming Kosher and Orthodox in Budapest and NYC


Eating and (Not) Cooking on The Sabbath
2010/06/11, 6:53 am
Filed under: Judaism

Shalom!

This post is written early Friday morning. It will take a look back to last week’s Shabbat and a look forward to tonight/tomorrow.

Last Shabbat was the first of our joint observance. It was wonderful! Although it took a real (and honestly, not always successful) effort to break the old habits of turning on/off lights, etc., we really did appreciate the difference!! No computers, no Blackberries, no tv. We read, talked, napped a bit and in simple terms, RESTED, as God commanded. And this was a rest that went deep, physically as well as mentally and emotionally. We both understood  the concept “Bein Chodesh L’Chol”, the difference between the sacred and the everyday.  We agreed that we could (relatively)easily get used to being Shomer Shabbos. (Although I will miss watching all those sports, especially my beloved Yankees, and European soccer, and College football in the Fall when we are back in the USA).

Although we stocked up on food last Friday afternoon, and although D. made a wonderful Erev Shabbat meal, we realized we would have to eat “cold” on Shabbat itself. We declared the stove “trefe” since we could not Kasher it. So we could not (and did not want to) light a burner and keep it on all Shabbat. We would not use the toaster oven for the obvious reason, and finally, in District V, Budapest, there were no central fires where we could warm up a meal!  Also, I may be wrong, but I don’t think there is an Eruv around the district either! 🙂

So this is going to be a question for us in the future, both for our remaining time in Budapest, and for when we return to the USA. How to have hot food on Shabbat without doing any work-arounds, or dubious tactics that take advantage of Talmudic loopholes.

Anybody got any suggestions?

Late Spring/early Summer are long days here in Central Europe.  We haven’t even gotten to the Summer Solstice (21 June) and Shabbat ended last week at 9:38pm!! So we had a warm meal late.  And we intend to do the same for this Shabbat.

So the plan for today is that we go back to District VII (the Jewish Quarter) and pick up meat from the Kosher Butcher, run over to the Kosher Supermarket (or more accurately, the Kosher hole-in-the-wall), and then run over to the bakery for that fresh Challah. We ordered a 1 kilo loaf (2.2 pounds). Think that will be enough for the two of us, plus a little for the dog???

By the way, a digression on the Bakery. It is called “Cari Pizzeria and Bakery” on Kazincky Street between Dob and Wesselenyi.  It is tiny, with just two tables and a kitchen with the oven! The smell of baked bread, pizza, and Challah is always there and is enticing. D. and I had some pizza there when we ordered our Challah and it was terrific!  A crust like Matzo (but much better!) and great toppings.  Those of you Kosher in Budapest surely know it. Those of you planning to visit Budapest must try it!

So, enough already for today! D. and I wish you a restful Guten Shabbos, Shabbat Shalom, and I will post again early in the week. Topic to be a surprise!

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For warm food on shabbos lunch, we set up a hot plate (as opposed to a blech) and use timers set before shabbos so that it turns on around 11 and off around 1:30. The hot plate is hechshered for shabbos use as it doesn’t “cook” the food but it is hot enough to heat the food through and through. We also use it for erev shabbos when cooking is done earlier in the day just to keep everything nice and hot. If you can find one like it in Budapest it would be great, but you may have to wait to get to NYC. Also a water heater for tea and coffee is essential!

Comment by Mike




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