Sunday, March 23, 2008

Legally brunette.........

Easter is not a holiday that has any special meaning for me, as I was raised Jewish. While I had many friends from different religious persuasions, Easter did not have the significance for me that it did for my more devout Christian friends. I gave up being Jewish for Lent some time ago. Let's just say that for me, organized religion is something of a contradiction in terms. (There is nothing organized about it, IMHO) My wife, who was raised Catholic, also gave up on the church many moons ago for reasons similar to mine, but even more so due to the hypocrisy that she saw and heard over the course of many a Sunday mass.

So, here I am today at my in-laws place, as they are more devout in nature, and do celebrate Easter both in spirit and in food. The ham is delicious, as is everything else. (I've always wondered: Why ham on Easter? If someone could give me an answer to that, I would be forever grateful.) As Passover often falls close to, if not directly on Easter, in the past I would often find myself at relatives' houses indulging in foods that had no relation to anything that came from a pig, as this is somewhat frowned upon by those who are of the Hebrew persuasion.

Of more importance is that my niece's birthday was a few days ago, so the celebration was delayed until today, since there was a large family gathering for the holiday as well as her birthday. It is hard to believe that this little girl is not so little anymore.

She turned 21.......

She's also not one of these vacuous college students that seem to be everywhere today. She is majoring in psychology, and while this often stimulates active eye rolling in many when you first hear that, she is quite serious about this field. She seems to be leaning towards working with people in group homes, and considers herself a devotee of Jung, rather than Freud. (Though she is not so sure about Jung's ideas on dream interpretation.)

For this girl, majoring in psychology is serious business. I remember when she was in high school, and came to us for a weekend visit. I suspected that she was on her way towards this field, as she was reading a book about multiple personality disorder, and was totally engrossed with the subject. She deliberately transferred from one college to SUNY Buffalo, as they had a better psychology program than where she was at the time.

Now, lest you think that all psychology majors are boring, Skinner box experimenting geeks, think again. She is a sharp, caring individual, and the one thing that this major has given her is the ability to do an internship in a sort of residential psych facility. It gives her some real world experience, as well as, I would hope, remove any naiveties she may have regarding the real world. She also has a wicked sense of humor, as do her psych major peers. She told me that the undergrad psych association she belongs to have made t-shirts emblazoned with the following on the back of them:


I think that I will give her one of these when she graduates next year......(see below.)


Holly said...

People who celebrate Easter eat ham then because it's a food that (the story goes) Christians can eat but Jews can't because of God deciding that he's going to embrace everybody after Jesus was crucified, rather than retaining the Jews as his special people. It relates to a dream Peter had, described in Acts 10.

That's the theological explanation, anyway. I think a more practical one might have to do with what sort of meat used to be available in March or April WAY back when, back in the days before certain innovations in agriculture and food storage. People butchered animals in the fall, and all you'd have in spring is meat that is new (the other thing people eat on Easter is lamb) or well preserved, like ham.

Lent, after all, may well be an attempt to throw religious significance on what would already be a fact of life: getting by on a very scant diet during the last weeks of winter, until it warms up enough that early fruit and so forth is available.

p.s. I'm glad you're blogging!

Mr. Nighttime said...

Well, as far as Jews not eating ham, or any pork products for that matter, I know that has to do with Jewish religious dietary laws. ("kashruth," or what you know as "kosher." It is the same set of dietary laws that disallow for the eating of such things as shellfish, as they are considered unclean. (Since they are bottom-feeding creatures, and you are only allowed to eat fish with scales.)

Of course, those rules go out the window when it comes to Chinese food....especially pork spare ribs....My mom, although raised in a kosher home, did not keep kosher as an adult. The one thing that she could never bring herself to so though was to bring pork into the house, but, go out for Chinese food, and all bets were off..;-)

Thanks for the explanation, as it seems to make total sense, and thanks for the good wishes on blogging.