Monday, March 17, 2008

play safe, go vegetarian

If you’ve ever visited the ultra-orthodox Jewish communities of Jerusalem, all of whom agree in complete and utter adherence to every iota of Jewish law, you will discover that despite general agreement on what constitutes kosher food, that you will not find a rabbi from one ultra-orthodox community who is willing to eat at the home of a rabbi from a different ultra-orthodox community. And the web designers are discovering what the Jews of Mea Shearim have known for decades: just because you all agree to follow one book doesn’t ensure compatibility, because the laws are so complex and complicated and convoluted that it’s almost impossible to understand them all well enough to avoid traps and landmines, and you’re safer just asking for the fruit plate.

Joel Spolsky on IE8 and standards...


Anatoly Vorobey said...

It's a great post, feels like the old Spolsky is back.

A company I used to work for in Jerusalem had many orthodox Jewish employees, and a smaller number of ultraorthodox. The company had a dining hall on the premises where all of the food was certified kosher and milk/meat kitchens and utensils were separate, etc. This was enough for most religious employees, but no ultraorthodox Jew felt they could eat that food. To accommodate them, there was a separate kitchenette with a counter at one corner of the hall that prepared BADA"TZ kosher food (BADA"TZ being the acronym for the ultraorthodox religious court that did its own certification, much more stringent than the merely orthodox one). Most ultraorthodox employees lunched there.

But there were also some whose rabbis were so stringent that they forbid their followers to rely on something as lenient and wishy-washy as the BADAT"Z certificate. I'm not sure what they did for lunch, I think mostly homemade wrapped sandwiches.

Ithaca said...

That's TERRIBLY nice.

The closest I've ever come to ultraorthodoxy is being served edible cardboard at Passover. Probably baked under unsound supervision, had I but known.