by Reb Gutman Locks @ mystical paths
This one is really nuts! A guy in his mid-thirties came up to me Shabbos afternoon at the Kotel. He had read my book, Coming Back To Earth, and wanted to thank me. “It was truly inspiring,” he said. He lives most of the year in Tel Aviv, and his main “thing” is placing Jews in homes for Shabbos meals. He is doing a tremendous job. He places hundreds of Jews in homes every Shabbos, where they find a warm Shabbos meal with a warm Jewish family.
He told me how he became religious.
“About 12 years ago, I was standing there in the plaza,” he pointed behind us. “And a rebbetzin (rabbi’s wife) came up and started talking to me. I was not at all religious. She said, ‘The next time you’re going to eat pig (a pork product), eat a cheeseburger instead.’”
Eating a cheeseburger is no less forbidden than eating pig, but it just doesn’t seem to be as bad, since the prohibition against mixing milk and meat is not so well known--nor does it seem so disgusting.
He went on, “I forgot all about what she told me, but a few months later, I was in a restaurant and I ordered a bacon sandwich. Then, for some reason, I remembered what she said. I called out to the waitress, ‘Make it a cheeseburger instead.’ That cheeseburger tasted delicious! It was the best I had ever eaten. I thought, ‘Wow being religious is great!’ From then on, I did little by little until I’ve come to observe all of the Torah’s commandments.”
I would never recommend telling a Jew to eat a cheeseburger, but here is a case where it actually brought someone home!
(We learn from the Torah, a religious law from G-d himself, that it is forbidden for the Jewish people to cook or eat or derive benefit from dairy products and meat products together. For religious Jews this means an absolute separation between these two, to the extent that a religious Jew will have one set of pots and dishes for cooking and eating their hamburger and steak, and another set for eating their macaroni and cheese. No lasagna with meat, no hamburger with cheese. In religious Jewish life, foods have one of three designations…dairy, meat, or parve – meaning no dairy and no meat ingredients and may be used with either.)