Warning: I wouldn't follow Rabbi Klein's kashering for Pesach instructions for your cupboards. Boiling water which would seep into the seams and damage wooden cupboards? I just sweep out crumbs, wipe with a damp sponge, and cover mine, as I think most observant Jews we know do. I don't think Rabbi Klein thought to ask his wife how she cleaned her cupboards for Pesach.
I think you will find that much of the kashrut stuff in "Klein" doesn't really help you with practical questions, although it describes all the interesting Hebrew phrases used in the Talmud to describe kashrut issues. For a good, very basic guide to Conservative kashrut check the Dressner book "Jewish Dietary Laws" See much of the book by doing a Google search on "dressner jewish dietary laws" which brings up the Google books version.
The Dressner book does assume various Conservative leniencies, including those on glass and cheese, which you should ask your rabbi about. My sponsoring rabbi does not hold by all RA leniencies on glass, for example, but he is unusually traditional.
I really liked the first chapter of the book on the spiritual aspects of kashrut.
When we lived in Ann Arbor, there was a great food Co-op bakery. They made great vegetarian baked goods.
One thing they made was vegetarian pizza. It had a whole wheat crust and among other toppings, there was tofu that I believe was fried and also pieces of sweet potato. That was the best pizza. Tofu and tempeh are good meat substitutes if you eat soy. I can't remember if the pizza had cheese or not. I kind of think it didn't
Blu Greenberg's book (How to Run a Traditional Jewish Household) is a GREAT resource - unlike SO many books on keeping a kosher kitchen, she has actually DONE so. As Debbie says, sometimes Klein - and Donin also (another good book is Donin's To Be a Jew: a Guide to Jewish Observance) betray the fact that they themselves have never actually had to carry out all the mechanics of the kitchen!
Klein is good for knowing the legal basics, but Blu's book is definitely much better for applying what the 'law says' to 'how to actually do it'. See what she recommends, because it works. But your rabbi and your community should have the final word.
The easiest way to 'keep kosher' isn't to go vegetarian entirely, but to eat fish, eggs and cheese (what do they call that - ovo-lacto-piscaterians?) and avoid animal meats. Fish and eggs are 'pareve' - neither meat nor dairy.
We also live a great distance from a larger Jewish community and no fresh or frozen kosher meat is available locally - we can get canned meats, and Hebrew National hot dogs, but those aren't the basis for a decent Shabbat dinner!
When we visit 'the city' we usually swing by Trader Joe's and stock up on kosher chicken and hamburger, and keep it in the freezer. There are also a few online places where you can buy kosher meat, but it's fiendishly expensive. (It's expensive from TJ's also, but not as bad).
I'd vote for staying away from the 'fake meat' and just going straight to the vegetables, though, if you must have cheese/dairy. It's far simpler.
I like your dishes, its so hard to find good dishes. and everything good here is imported and thus through the roof! my wife is the table setter, i can take no credit. i once did it - I get confused by all the different forks and spoons
Post by jewishconservative on May 26, 2016 6:31:23 GMT -5
I just wanted to weigh in on the Electricity issue on Shabbat. I don't do it, as I am Orthodox (not that I haven't met observant Conservative Jews who don't use electricity). But I follow Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach who says it does not follow under any of the categories of forbidden labor. HOwever, it is rather a universal custom, or minhag clal Yisrael, and should be avoided accordingly.
In my opinion, electricity is not a forbidden category, but certain applications of electricity can be, and in fact the technology has become so advanced it is impossible to know. So, even though I don't use electricity, I could theoretically see turning on an air conditioner to be theoretically permissible (not that I am an engineer), but not necessarily a light bulb. Even if I did not see turning on the light as a kindling of a fire, I might see such as cooking because the filament turns a certain color as it heats up (to quote the Rambam). Thus, at least some light bulbs make a serious argument for themselves being forbidden. The same thing goes with technology. Everything people do on their cell phones involves applications of labor that are best avoided to maintain the integrity and holiness of Shabbat.