Observing Shabbat: When the Cook Can't Cook

Observing Shabbat: When the Cook Can't Cook

Anjali Prasertong
Aug 19, 2011

The rabbinical student in you observes the laws of Shabbat — the day of rest in Judaism during which certain activities like cooking are prohibited — while the chef in you knows the food that was perfectly cooked in the afternoon is not going to be as good when your family sits down to eat after sundown. How do you reconcile the two?

This is the struggle writer Benjamin Resnick presents in a thought-provoking article for Tablet Magazine.

Once a professional chef, Resnick left the restaurant world to go to rabbinical school. One of the biggest challenges of becoming a more observant Jew, he has realized, has been giving up cooking on Shabbat. Apart from the complex laws governing what can be reheated, how it can be reheated, and what tools may be used, there is this: "I didn't want to give up on cooking as a form of rejoicing."

While he hasn't yet come to an answer, his journey is interesting, and even if you never have to worry about the complexities of Shabbat cooking, the article is worth a read.

Check it out: Closed Kitchen at Tablet

Do you observe Shabbat? What types of food do you prepare?

Related: Creating A Kosher Kitchen

(Image: Flickr member Canadian Starhawk licensed under Creative Commons)

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