In first person… Kid ponders culinary laws as mom eyes an odd lunch

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Our 5-year-old daughter Miriam has been grappling with Jewish identity for a long time. She asks what Jewish people eat, and when we tell her Jewish people don't eat pigs, for instance, she wants to know why.

Anyone who knows a young child knows how exhausting and never-ending a cycle of questions can be. Sometimes we have to end with, "Because that's what Jewish people do."

About a year ago, we went to Papa's, a Persian restaurant in Berkeley. When our lunch arrived, I noticed the beef kebab was a long piece of ground beef that curled around the plate. It occurred to me that it looked like a snake and I thought of sharing this humorous insight with Miriam. Just then she asked, "Do Jewish people eat snakes?"