Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Pig Called Traif. Seriously?

Not that I want to give press to folks dishing out non-kosher foodstuffs, but I can't pass up mentioning this. I'm incredibly amused about this new restaurant opening in New York, and I have to hat tip @MarkSoFla for posting it up on Facebook. I mean, the restaurant is called Traif, and I don't even want to begin the discussion on the transliteration (trayf, trayfe, traife, etc). The chef/co-owner of this establishment is Jason Marcus -- yes, he's Jewish. He admits on his blog that although he's Jewish, he's "obviously not good at it."

I'll say!

No judgments passed on observance or kashrut or anything here, but really? The most ancient attributions that defined Jews, no matter where they were living, consisted of two things: circumcision and not eating pork.

The funny thing is most non-Orthodox Jews I know won't even eat pork as a matter of principal in sticking with ancestral tradition. I don't even know when the world became obsessed with pork, but I think it sucks. Why the obsession with bacon? With pork? It doesn't even taste good and of all your meaty options, it really isn't that great for you.

And from the comments from both frum and non-frum Jews on Facebook from just having posted this link, the reaction is one of disgust. Should this be happening? Why couldn't the guy just call it the Pork House or something. Why integrate the Hebrew word? Why sort of chuck such an integral cultural/halachic no-no in people's faces and on their radars?

I mean, to each his or her own, but it just seems a little ... unnecessary. I wish Marcus all the luck in the world, but I also secretly hope people turn up their noses at his attempt at kitsch in the face of "tradition." Thoughts?