The menu of the original Trefa Banquet (Photo/Courtesy American Jewish Archives)
The menu of the original Trefa Banquet (Photo/Courtesy American Jewish Archives)

Trefa Banquet 2.0 — our readers love to hate on Jews who love treyf

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Banquet may not have meant to insult, but it did

I was unpleasantly surprised to read the recent J. article on “Trefa Banquet 2.0.” The Bay Area prides itself on being open-minded, tolerant, inclusive and not prejudiced. The anti-kosher sentiment was very unkind to a segment of our kosher-observant Jewish population.

While it may not have been intended to insult, it very much did. I propose a kosher challenge to our Bay Area Jewish community: Join a movement of kosher inclusiveness. Announce that your events are now observing kosher dietary laws. This would send a very positive message about our Jewish community.

Fran Lent,
San Mateo

Marginalizing fellow Jews with frivolous event

I do not understand what the intention of the Trefa Banquet article was other than to instigate and marginalize fellow Jews who do keep kosher. The Bay Area has very few kosher restaurants given the size of the community, but there are endless options for eating nonkosher or treyf food.

I would understand if they were protesting some kind of intense pressure for them to keep kosher, but the case is quite the contrary. Perhaps attendees of this frivolous event can meet at a local restaurant next year. However, thank you for writing this article and motivating me to keep more mitzvot.

Nomi Moradzadeh,
San Mateo

Banquet an act of terrorism on the kosher-observant

Since light conquers darkness, acclaim to J. for lighting the sorry spectacle of “Trefa Banquet 2.0.” While the banquet’s intent was unlikely to be malicious, it doesn’t mitigate impact. There is no justification for assaulting a fundamental practice like kashrut. I consider the attack an act of terrorism on the observant, if not blatant anti-Semitism.

What’s next? Maybe reject tefillah, tzedakah and teshuvah as proven failures? Worse? How about mocking “don’t kill” with mass slaughter of the homeless and less fortunate, followed by a blessing (brachah) to celebrate the killers’ good deeds (gemilut chasadim)?

Despite my confidence that HaShem can forgive the participants, I regret my inability to do so. I don’t wish them indigestion, but I do wish them recovery of what they’ve clearly lost.

Ira B. Poretsky,
San Francisco

A strike at the heart of traditional Judaism

It is a sad commentary on the direction Jewish life is taking in the Bay Area when J. feels no compunction in highlighting the “Trefa Banquet” which, with some rabbinic support, openly strikes at kashrut, one of the tenets of traditional Judaism.

Joel A. Teisch,

Why not burn Israeli flag or trample on Torah scroll?

I have no problem with Illuminoshi’s choice not to adhere to the practices of kashrus, nor do I care if they believe that kashrus is primitive, outmoded and even silly.

However, they must be aware that there are hundreds of thousands of Jews of all denominations, as well as millions of Muslims, who find the biblical dietary laws meaningful, spiritual and even holy. To sponsor “Trefa Banquet 2.0,” a public event that ridicules their practices, is to disrespect and offend these adherents. I do not know what to compare Illuminoshi’s banquet to, but images of Jews trampling on a Torah scroll, holding a mock seder or burning an Israeli flag come to mind.

At a time when our society is awash in political correctness and any negative comment about a minority group immediately triggers widespread social condemnation, why does this group feel it is acceptable to deride traditional Jews and Muslims?

I am certain that the Illuminoshi have already disingenuously told themselves that they are not lampooning kashrus and that they already have a pretext for the event, but I would ask them to look into their hearts and find the true motives for this event.

Gerald Zuriff,
Cambridge, Massachusetts

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