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Historical musing - Impressions and Expressions of Ijon
December 8th, 2001
06:27 pm


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Historical musing
A few days ago, I was eating a pasta called "Don Corleone", consisting of pasta, a cream sauce, mushrooms, and bacon. This combination is doubly un-kosher for Jews -- kosher laws require the separation of meat and dairy, and furthermore absolutely forbid the eating of pig under any circumstances.

The pasta was delicious. While savoring it, I wondered whether one could obtain such condiments in Palestine in the first half of the 20th century, under the British rule. Surely, the rabbinic noose was looser around people's necks then, before the State of Israel came to be, born in sin by not separating religion from state.

I could consult some history book, but I doubt it would contain this detail about food. Perhaps period Hebrew literature will reveal the answer, but I wouldn't know where to look, and can't afford a grand reading enterprise just to satisfy my curiosity on this one. So I'm putting the question up on my LJ, as a reminder to myself to keep looking for clues, and on the off-chance that some current or future reader will have the answer for me.

Current Mood: creative
Current Music: Nick Drake - Pink Moon

(4 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:December 9th, 2001 06:02 am (UTC)

I highly doubt it. While the secular authorities didn't prohibit non-kosher food, I don't think the culture was developed enough to offer such dishes at that time. The food was much simpler, at least for most of the population.
[User Picture]
Date:December 9th, 2001 06:45 am (UTC)

So a British soldier in Jerusalem in 1937 could not have a breakfast of bacon and eggs? However did they manage?
[User Picture]
Date:December 9th, 2001 12:55 pm (UTC)

They didn't

That's why they left...
Date:December 13th, 2001 10:46 am (UTC)
I doubt it. You're making a mistake here, see.

You presume there was a large enough secular Jewish population in pre-Mandatory Palestine to make a non-kosher eatery plausible. I really doubt such a community existed. And while the Zionists were, mostly, ardently secular, they had to make deals with the Orthodox - and many of them (Berl Katzanelsson is an excellent example) objected to eating non-kosher food in public.

Also, many of the Arabs then living in Palestine - which were the majority - were Muslims.

So, I think publicly non-kosher restaurants had to wait till the 1960s. Remember Kishon's famous parody, in which his newspaper is boycotted, because he had a thing for Hungarian meat?
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